Amazon

Whilst I am not the world’s greatest fan of Amazon, it is at least convenient in many ways. However, I have been told there are some issues with them cancelling orders for Finding Our Way Home and refunding the payment without any explanation.

I have not been contacted by Amazon about any problems there may be, so I have contacted them. As soon as I find out what is going on I’ll let you know.

I hope anyone who wants to buy a copy can wait until I’ve sorted it out. Many thanks to those of you who have already done so.

Publishing… 2

I feel like I have looked at thousands of websites to do with publishing and self-publishing. They all seem to have pretty much the same information and very similar expectations. Some of the self-publishing sites seem to hark back to the old “vanity press”, who would publish anything for a fee. Some seem to be more aware that not everyone has any money to put up front.

The thing is that the profit margins on most publishing are pretty slim, and getting slimmer. Conventional publishers are still trying to find that next international best seller. They don’t seem to remember that a surprisingly large proportion of publishing houses started because someone believed in an author that none of the existing publishing houses would take a chance on.

The years when a new creative talent would be encouraged and nurtured are long gone, not just in publishing but also in music, and, I suspect, in all the other creative arts. All these “creative” industries are no longer in touch with creativity, they are focused on the bottom line (money).

My bottom line is, I don’t have any money, I have very little time, and I don’t want to be a media superstar. I just want the chance to have my voice heard by a few more people than I can reach from my front room.

Just Another Pebble On The Beach

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit at a loss. I’ve written lots of words. I think it’s coming together quite well. I’ve asked one or two people to give it a read and tell me if it makes sense. What do I do next?

I’m not going to approach an agent or publisher, as far as I can tell they all want me to 1. evaluate the competition (what competition? I’m not taking part in a race); 2. write an evaluation of my own book, an overview, a blurb, a biography… it goes on; 3. tell them what it’s genre/category (and dewy decimal number, not really) should be; 4. create a web presence with a following of thousands (sure, I have nothing else to do and a budget of millions… not.).

I’m not sure what they’re offering me in return, but as far as I can tell the only thing they’ve got, that I might want access to, is a distribution network. Like I said, I’ll pass. I’ll go for what used to be called the “vanity press”, it’s now more flatteringly called “self publishing”.

I have to say I find the whole idea intimidating, but I didn’t write all those words just to leave them on my computer. I admit I wrote them for me. I wrote them because I wanted to get straight in my mind about what I dislike about the world the way it is, and how I feel we could make it better.

I’d love to change the world. I don’t expect to. I’d be chuffed to blazes if I helped one person feel better about themself. Even more thrilled if one person started to explore permaculture because of me.

We are all small pieces of a large jigsaw. We can maybe cause a small change in the jigsaw pieces that touch ours. In other words, we can only influence as far as the reach of our arm. I’d love to create a small ripple, to add to the ripples created by the people I admire. So that between all of us, in our own unique ways, we can cause a tidal wave to change the way society is.

So, one more book to read that challenges the status quo, one more contribution to a possible alternative culture. Just another pebble on the beach.

Publishing…

Well, I’ve been looking at publishers and literary agents sites, and basically I think it’s safe to say that they don’t want to know you until you’ve already done all the work you will be paying them for!

Self publishing sites are a lot more friendly, though some of them want to part you from a significant chunk of money before they publish anything. Others are surprisingly generous, some only taking a small cut from your sales. They tend to be the epublishing companies. I suspect that will also be because they have to do bugger all work to publish you.

I have to say that the more I read the less certain I become. About the only thing I’m sure of is that any author will have to do all their own promotional work.

Finding Our Way Home

Well, things are developing apace. I thought it would be a good idea to set up a separate blog for what my lovely Tim insists on calling my book.

So here it is.

The challenge for me is to work out how to have more than one blog active at a time, and how to share this as widely as possible without being a complete pain.

About my writing… my basic premise is that the human race, particularly modern western culture, has lost it’s way and we need to make some significant changes. Not because we are scared, but because we deserve a better, kinder world. I critique modern Britain and some of it’s history. I talk about celebrity culture and blame culture, two sides of the same coin, and loads of other stuff.

Watch this space. 🙂