My posting here has been rather scarce lately, because I was focusing instead on a book, a collection of short short stories. Drabbles if you’re familiar with the term… complete stories in ~100 words. I went with 101 words and wrote 101 of them (130 actually, as I knew they wouldn’t all make the cut, but you get the idea).
I enjoyed the process, and learned a lot of things, which I will hopefully keep in mind for next time.
* Have a release date tin mind, that seems rather sudden, but doable if I push myself
I am terrible at focusing my efforts, it took slightly longer than a year to make the book once I got the idea for it. Part of that was in the beginning I was chasing a range of other writing goals, and part of the problem was my inherent laziness. When the finish line was nearly in reach, I picked an arbitrary dated to publish on, which seemed possible so long as I put in some concerted effort. It didn’t work at the start of the project, as the end was too far away, and I experienced plenty of rubber time.
*There’s always a tiny bits of fiddling to do, but ship the bloody thing already.
Even on the day of publication I was still doing minor tweaks (by this stage it was things such as the addition or removal of a comma, or swapping out an occasional word for a better synonym). If I hadn’t picked the publication date, I could still be doing minor cosmetic changes to get it “perfect”, a word that should never be used in a sentence in relation to anything I touch.
*Cover art created by friends is a wonderful thing.
My first port of call was a professional artist that a mate likes, but they were too busy. I think even if they hadn’t been, I had more fun getting an artist friend to do the cover, it makes it feel more special to me, and they weren’t interested in it as just a job. They were happy and excited for me, and we have an overlap of interests so the subject material was right up their alley. I have a bunch of artist mates, so I better get writing so I can share the love. For me, this is a really motivating thing, collaborating with a mate and showcasing their art with my words.
*Get the ebook and paperback all sorted, then announce it.
At first I just A Ton and One Tales up as an ebook. But Amazon has a print on demand option. I ignored that at the start, as who would be interested in my little book? Then a few mates started asking about it, and I began reading about it, and eventually jumped through the hoops to set it up (now I’m just waiting for them to magically realise the two books are linked). Because of the nature of my book (short stories, mostly one to a page), there were a few minor differences between the paper version and the ebook, so that those that were longer were on a double spread. If I had waited for sorting all this stuff out before I announced the book, who knows, I may have made some dead tree sales as well. Now that it is set up, I am thinking of buying a few copies myself, to send out to really good friends.
*I don’t really get marketing yet, or Twitter
But that’s fine, and it’s something I can work out further down the track. The more books I have out, the more effective that’ll be, so there’s no great rush there.
Now the plan is back to more flash fiction and general writing, and a stab at a longer piece (most likely a novella, I think).