E-Publishing. Tales of frustration and delight

There are a number of excellent blogs and web-sites which will give you a great insight into how to self-publish on Kindle and other e-readers. Here are two just for a start. The first is by the ever-informative David Gaughran.

The second is the website of Dean Wesley Smith

The series of blogs that I am about to write aims to serve a different function. This is to tell how I went about getting published, the mistakes I made and how I overcame them, the frustration, (there was and continues to be plenty) and the joy and delight at seeing my books on the internet and being bought.

So, first, a little back-story. Since the age of twelve I always had two ambitions. One was to be a teacher (all those holidays) and the second was to be a writer. I taught for twenty years. More importantly, I have written continually since the age of eleven.

I had minor success. Lots of encouraging rejection letters, a competition winner, a story on radio. In 2008 I won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story in the style of The Wind in the Willows. As well as winning, and getting a certificate, I had the pleasure of seeing my story in print and the cover of the anthology featuring a scene from my story. I also sent submissions off to agents and publishers without being taken up.

When I had a serious accident three things happened. The first was that I lost focus on my business. The second was that my injuries meant it was difficult for me to turn over even a paperback book without dropping it on the floor. So, the third thing that my accident caused was my purchase of an e-reader. I couldn’t get a Kindle for a month so I bought a Sony reader instead. I fell in love with the thing.

My life continued to change. I enrolled on a creative writing course with my old university, UEA. I wrote much more than I had ever done before.

And then I heard about Stephen Leather.

Stephen Leather does not write the sort of book I normally read. However, I was intrigued by his novella, The Basement. I enjoyed it and began to read more about him by looking on his website.

I was struck by his generosity in talking about his writing. Most of all I was fascinated by his arguments for why he published e-books. I thought, if such a successful author as Stephen Leather writes e-books then there was no shame in me doing so. Then he mentioned Amanda Hocking.

All residual thoughts of the perils of self-publishing and vanity publishing flew out of the window. I started on my journey.

Tomorrow, How I chose what to publish and my first big mistake


About Martin Lake

Martin Lake lives in the French Riviera with his wife. After studying at the University of East Anglia he worked as a teacher, trainer and company director. A serious accident shattered his arm and meant that he had to rein back his work. He decided to concentrate on writing and is now writing full-time. He writes a wide range of fiction. His main interests are historical fiction, short stories and fiction for young adults. Martin has a series of novels 'The Lost King' which are set in the years following the Norman Invasion of England. They concern Edgar Atheling, last representative of the ancient English royal dynasty and his fight to regain the throne from William the Conqueror. Martin has also published 'Artful' the further adventures of the Dodger and 'Outcasts' a novel about fall of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. His latest novel, 'A Love Most Dangerous' is about a maid of honour who becomes the lover of Henry VIII. Martin’s work has been broadcast on radio. He won first prize in the Kenneth Grahame Society competition to write a story based on 'The Wind in the Willows.' You can get the collection, 'The Wind in the Willows Short Stories' from Amazon.
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