Posts Tagged ‘Indie publishing’

An interview with Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Recently the Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook published a short interview with me, having mailed their standard questions. I don’t do many interviews, but here is what appeared.


Children’s Authors and Illustrators on Facebook





An interview with Vincent Eaton.


Tell us about yourself.
I write. Fiction, humor, exaggerated memoir, kid’s stuff as well as flash fiction. Make videos. Act and direct plays (some of which have won international awards), and been in movies, TV, ads. Am a voice over professional. A publisher of books. Was born & raised in Southern California, and while in high school was a surfer, had a station wagon for my surfboard and a cheerleader for a girlfriend, broke a swim record on the swim team. I now live in Brussels. Some have asked, What went wrong?


What is your latest published work?
“The Boy in the Sandwich,” which gets described as “A story for readers of all ages, from 8 and up, up, up!” (exclamation thrown in for free, and the link: http://hidden-people.net/boy-in-the-Sandwich.html). It’s about a boy who is about to eat his peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich and a blue spider pushes up the top slice of bread and tells him there’s a party going on inside with a lot of other grape jelly spiders, so “don’t chomp, don’t chew!” He gets dragged into the sandwich where lots of blue spiders have their party hats on, but then his brother chops and chews the sandwich and swallows him, later he almost gets eaten by a Bath Monster, invaded by little men while in his bed, and taken away in his dreams. Books has some illustrations, too.


Where did you get your ideas from?
Imagine them. I imagine some writers follow the news, others eavesdrop, lots make lists, a few steal. I daydream. Letting the imagination grow, fester, bloom, be a constant. It takes years, decades, of training, or letting go. Till you get to where you can dream up ideas rather than “get” them. It’s what cannot be taught at schools or writing courses. Imagining in your own voice. The most important artistic trait is letting go in order to let in.


What are you working on?
A number of books. After being published by Viking Penguin, N.Y., I found, because my interests take me from psychological thrillers to purely artistic novels to kids’ book to satires on self-help (plus my theater work), I did not fit into a niche, and was, in the limiting language of the market, “not saleable.” So I’m a sidelined indie making his way in a narrowed world. Presently, after the “The Boy in the Sandwich,” I’ll be launching an early work of mine that takes place in the 1970s in Southern California called “The Nice Guy” about a radical reaction to domesticity. After that, before Christmas 2011, a story collection, “Intimate Dialogues.” There’s other books impatiently in line shouting, “Me next!” for 2012.


Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring authors?
You learn to walk by walking. You learn how to think by thinking. You learn about love by loving. Same goes for writing. There are no short cuts.


Do you have a crazy story about an aspect of writing life, perhaps from a school visit or event?
I once had a tapeworm. It was an impressive personal experience. Invited to dinners, I would sometimes share some of the details of this experience with my dining companions. I usually got groans of laughter. I embellished the story during other dinners. I then performed it at a Café Theater, and then later at some storytelling festivals. I was asked to write it up. It was published online, and then a guy wanted to do a podcast of it. And it has taken on a life of its own, all arising, initially, from some dinner conversation.
Read it: http://fray.com/drugs/worm/
Hear it: http://bit.ly/1hCk6d
Comments: http://bit.ly/oRcr1z


Is there anything else you’d like to add, such as a web site or blog?
Here’s everything:
Personal: http://www.vincenteaton.com/
Blog: http://www.vincenteaton.com/Blog/
Publishing: http://www.hidden-people.net/
Facebook Fan Page hidden people: http://bit.ly/9xfpW2
Twitter: @VincentEaton
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/VincentEatonStories


Thanks Vincent,

Simon Rose
www.simon-rose.com
simon-rose.blogspot.com


2011 begins — some plans & thoughts of things to come

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

FIRST OF ALL: I have a short video greetings for 2011 if you want to have a look click here.


NOW.
For those paying attention, all five of you, after serializing Brussegem, a snug hell during the last limping weeks of 2010, I’m looking at this as my publishing schedule for 2011:


THE BOY IN THE SANDWICH (children’s fiction)
HOW TO FIND YOURSELF (illustrated version)
Stories on Stuff (Dot Hippo – kid’s textiles)
THE NICE GUY (first novel)
SLICES (novel on business)
INTIMATE DIALOGUES (short stories)
Stories on Stuff (Polite babies)
THE NEXT GENIUS (Novel on artist)
THE BLUE SPOT IN MY HEAD (Part One in fictionalized trilogy)
Stories on Stuff (3 & 4 – kid’s for Christmas)


“The Boy in the Sandwich” will be presented for the world to lick and look at very shortly. Will be putting some free chapters online on a weekly basis, along with audio clips from the novel.


The comes the new, illustrated version of “How to Find Yourself (or a reasonable facsimile)”.
Maybe a couple of chapters of that, too (again), and me reading some chapters. Also free and weekly.


These two books were supposed to see the light of day toward the end of last year, but things got reshuffled and re-organized. The first “How to” book had to be fully reformatted and laid-out due to errors I wrote about somewhere in this blog during the last year. We can’t have that again, so took time to reorganize the publishing work flow. I thought each book would take three months from finished manuscript to launch, but there’s far too much to do properly; properly takes time. So now I’m aiming at a four month launch of each book, from final period to book available.


And adjust accordingly if that still doesn’t supply enough space & time. See whether I actually keep to the publishing schedule this year….


As I have had occasion to mention: I have well over a decade of experience in international publishing in one of the top three media companies. But it is one thing being part of a system, and being the whole system oneself. So refinement in my hidden people venture was called for. To Get It Right. And no doubt this, like life, will be an on-going process.


Beyond books, next up is a final setting up with audio book distributors as I have three audio books just about done and wanting life. Same with my Stories on Stuff T-shirts and textiles and whatnot spin-offs (with “Boy in the Sandwich” and “How to” coming fully born with illustrations…).


Meanwhile, I’m thinking up stories on t-shirts and for kid’s nightwear. Then I want to make a video, or write a play, or write a 300 word story. So that’s what I do: Whatever Comes Up Next.


Thanks for dropping by and reading. –Vincent

Man, this one-man indie publishing business is a time suck yet leaves a smile on one’s face.

Thursday, July 1st, 2010



I knew coming in to this publishing business it would not be a barrel of laughs or necessarily a thing a beauty, but it could turn into a joy forever.


Having spent a decade in international publishing, and over a couple of decades outside looking in the traditional publishing houses, I had a pretty good idea of what I was getting into. But it’s always more than the carefully researched, optimistic planning allows.


Since publishing my second book (really, re-issuing “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”), these are most of the steps I’ve needed doing since:


1.) Tidying up next book (the novella “Brussegem, a snug hell”), getting its ISBN number, and registering it with my print company. Then working the cover. Requesting feedback from trusted folks. Re-briefing designer. Announcing a February launch date that came and went, because….


2.) I needed to stand back and understand what I was supposed to be learning from my first two book launches. I had my 26 steps check-list from book inception to continuing promotion, but the timing was off some because of the unexpected making itself known. This was…


3.) I should be releasing three formats for a single title simultaneously: the print book, the ebook, the audio book, so readers had a choice from the get-go. I had mostly concentrated on the print, knowing I’d be playing catch up with the other two formats. Which meant….


4.) Recording and editing the audio books, which takes up humongous amounts of time. To get it right. It’s a lot of fun, the performance and interpreting,but it’s second-by-second work, that leads to days and weeks. And since I do this as a professional voice over, there’s the happy work of getting it right. And so there follows….


5.) Ebook (Kindle & iPad included) that are a pain to format properly. Especially as I had lots of footnotes in “How to Find Yourself (or a reasonable facsimile)” that are just not respected or possible in most ebook formats yet. And that means reformatting, giving the book a slightly 2nd level feel to the read than the print version, then re-reading, checking, and for a low-grade proof-reader such as myself, it’s not easy going.


5a.) Researching where to place the ebooks as there are a dozen and so much more ebook sites, and then promoting on each (jump up and down saying Look at me!) like mad, or at least consistently.


6.) Getting time to investigate different online book clubs to introduce the novels to, and then promoting on each (jump up and down saying Look at me!) like mad, or at least consistently.


7.) Making the video(s) to attract happy attention, as opposed to old style Buy This Sucker commercial videos, of which I have no interest. And as someone who has made his living in marketing communications, I know the edge between selling and its possible ugliness. But each video meant coming up with the idea, writing the script, shooting the video, editing it, adding the right soundtrack, posting it on YouTube, letting people know, and then know some more. And then repeat, time after time.


8.) Research various free newsletter lists so I can offer opt-in/opt-out choice so people who want receive regular updates concerning my work can, or refuse. I have a number of sites I need to check out, some cost, some don’t, and need clear understanding before committing. Nothing worse than creating an email list, then have to change for a negative reason.


9.) How to embed a click-able web site link in videos to allow anybody who sees the wonders of a book I have described in a video I made, click right to the publishing page and buy it. Have half a dozen YouTube How To on that I need to find time to review, then implement.


10.) Review tons of sites on ebook developments and new sites to sell my stuff on. I have 40-50 of these to review. Just can’t throw them everywhere, because some are quality, lots ain’t.


11.) Research sites where I can post my audio books when they are completed. Again, new ones, learning from old ones, pop up and need exploring. And exploring, again, needs time, time, time.


12.) Get more fans, or Like people, onto my Facebook site. And view some How To videoing in personalizing the Facebook page.


13.) Write some fiction, do some storytelling, because that’s what it’s all about in the end.


14.) Continue developing relationships with seven different graphic designers the world over to launch a line of fabrics for fun, stories on stuff. Which means, beside developing ideas, also checking the various POD sites for t-shirts and spin-offs, and making the contacts and then contracts. Again, who is great, who is environmentally great, which have international print outlets, and so on.


15.) Look into authors’ exchange efforts.


16.) Write a blog. Then another. Repeat. Stick to a schedule.


17.) Take looks at the 100 blogs I follow.


18.) Check my Twitter feed. And Facebook updates.


19.) Get closer with Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Book, Book Depository, et al.


20.) And write more fiction, develop scripts, work with illustrator for my children’s book, another for the upcoming illustrated version of How To Find Yourself, and others for one-offs and series…


21.) Jobs outside publishing that come in and need fairly immediate attention that throws all the above back a bit.


22.) I am also the reader acquisition go-to guy.


23.) Look around my room to see whether there’s anyone I can delegate any of this to. See no one.


24.) Review and comment on play representation scripts.


25.) Also make the tea.


And that’s a hint of what’s involved, mostly, in running a this independent online publishing company on the run, eight months from opening up shop.

Here’s my blog plan for the next little bit of life

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010



This writer has gone off his schedule on this blog since hopping off to Italy for five days a few weeks back. I let things lay, took off, came back, and made an entry here and there, and then my hands got full.


My usual schedule of
Monday=audio clip,
Wednesday=video,
Friday=short-short story,
took a hit. Sure, I did some audio, one video, a couple of stories, then last week, dropped it all. As I formed my next immediate moves.


Interesting, my time off from posting showed up in the visits, i.e. Goggle statistics, showed a dropping off, an equal laying low. Yet I’ve been busy.


I did get some unexpected voice over jobs during this time (although most voice over jobs are usually unexpected). But also landed a sizeable job of shooting seven videos round town, and then downloading, now editing for delivery. This is called Real Money to support my budding publishing and free storytelling gifts to my world.


Yet I’m recording audio for three books (two out, one coming up), and editing it, and recording videos, and editing them, and toying with new stories, and about to post some. Been working, and getting ready to post. And getting my two published novels Kindle ready.


So right now I’m juggling right-now-money-work and my someday-over-there-money-work; a balancing act between meals now and dream meals in a future time and place.


Anyway, this right now is written to mention I’m busy and everything’s getting back to shape on the storytelling front. With more story goodies to arrive.


Elsewhere I promised not to write many or at least not too many posts on writing, publishing and related activity, but I have developed a backlog of material and will be posting a bunch of them in the days/weeks ahead.


On what?


— Update on what it takes to pull off a one-man publishing company.


— Announcements on upcoming launches if new, new stuff.


— About where I get my ideas for stories.


— About my story and videos, Red Ball and Max Dix, brings hits huge extra from porno sites.


— Multimedia (Vook, et al) books and where I’m headed with that, and what’s happing.


— eBooks and more ebook news.


— And some more fun videos on my book rejections, and my sales, on my connections. And, if time permits, my soul.


There, you’ve been warned.

Reflections on the International London Book Fair, 2010

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

I attended the International London Book Fair last week (and due to the Icelandic ash cloud, it was slightly less international than usual). Here’s some of what I did, saw, and got in my brain.


As an author who has launched a currently small independent publishing concern but with ten plus in-house years of experience in international publishing (and a lifetime of writing), and in attending the fair (which I had done a number of times previously) my interest this time around was in the electronic side of things. I am a PoD publisher, with eBooks and audio not only part of the package, but I believe eventually the bulk of the package.


I attended a number of seminars. The first seminar I wanted to hit was titled “Children’s Bookfutures: Children’s Literature & Digital Imagination”. As this was one of the first seminars on the first day, I was given crap directions by someone at the info desk who pointed my in the wrong direction with far too many stairs. I was three minutes late, and met a guy blocking the door: “There is no more room”.


I was not late to the next seminar (see below, title and panel names).
Winner losers in dig jungle slide names
They spoke of the importance of METADATA (this came up a lot), and that one should put an ebook in every possible channel, and APPS (again, many mentions) were the ruling prize while perhaps the 300 pages book had been a 20th century concept as the perfect sized book for commercial publishing but was meeting its death. Novellas may very well be the new ebook rule.


My next seminar, the opening slide of the speakers for this ILBF seminar. Guess what?
Vook no show slide of names


Vook no show seats
No one showed up — not a one. All ash damaged. And the rather sparse audience was only informed at the moment the show was supposed to roll, rather than informing us as we arrived. We sat there stupidly we hope in our hearts.


I had actually arranged to have a meeting with Brad Inman, the CEO of Vook, who was still in California. Vooks, for you all, is: “You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.”


Because I use words, images and performance for many of my stories, initially I was hugely interested in the “enhanced” multimedia e-books. Wowie-zowie, I can combine all of what I do. However, the more I researched it, the more I thought, One, I don’t really see a reader demand and yearning for it, and Two, an enhanced ebook already exists, and even available through mobile devices; it’s called a Web Site. So I have a big Hold On with this perhaps wishful development.


The whole point of fiction is the individual voice of the author speaking directly to the single imagination of the reader. The reader imagines through the author’s words the world of the novel or story. Add images, videos and voices and it may be more of an invasion than an enhancement, distorting, and in a way, narrowing what the individual mind can conjure. (Novels into films are the obvious metaphor: how many times has a viewer who was a fan of a book said, after seeing the movie adaptation: “I didn’t see it like that at all.”


In short, the author’s best tool is the individual reader’s imagination, and the choosing of the right words to spark the imagination. The rest can be clutter. I remain intrigued, and see possibilities, but perhaps not for most fiction.


Anyway, I had a sudden empty part schedule so visited the floor. Not a lot of action, but I did locate my PoD publisher, Lighting Source, owned by Ingram’s. Eleven years ago, when I already researching this independent publishing idea, I had attended the fair (and to see my now ex-literary agent) and their booth at that time had been tiny, one Vice President manned minor place tucked away in a maze of tiny, ghetto booths.


Amazing what a decade and a revolution can do. Here’s the booth this year:
Ingram booth 1
Ingram booth 2
Ingram booth 3


And surrounding this booth were these guys:
Little brown booth
HarperCollins booth
Penguin booth


And these were circling Ingram’s. PoD was no longer tucked away, but, symbolically, interestingly, it was at the center, surrounded by the others, the traditional industry.


A repeated phrase, from authors to publishers themselves, when it came to the changes overtaking the industry was: “Publishers don’t know anything.” It was judged that traditional publishers have neither the skills nor staff to make the sudden changes necessary to turn around toward digitalization and the ebook.


I turned up at another, less pertinent seminar for me on graphic novels and the digital world (but since I’d been locked out of the children’s seminar, I’d try this one). Here’s the panel:
Graphic novels to digital - panel names slide 3
Graphic novels to digital - panel 1
Graphic novels to digital - panel 2


This was a lively one. I was most familiar with Ian Rankin from television culture shows (he was one of those who said, Publishers don’t no nothing, like Hollywood execs”) but not his books.


iPad and Kindle were the reoccurring companions in the e-babble, but they may very well be a short term book-focused e-readers. They have, what, 10 million sold to date? The real action, the future-perfect, are handheld mobile devices: your phone. There are 2.7 plus billion sold. Currently Nokia, Samsung, etc., are all developing combined phones-ebook readers-game/playing-waffle-makers (joke) etc. with launch dates in 6-12 months time. Literary agents may end up have auctions on rights not with Random House and HarperCollins but Nokia et al for, say, the exclusive 3-month launch of the next Stephen King kind of novel on their mobile device before distribution goes wide.


Of course, versions 1 and 2 of e-anything are only development and not definitive, so it’ll be a couple a versions on, in 2-3 years, before it shakes out…


I also spotted at this seminar a “Facebook friend” and “Twitter” follower, Nick Harkaway, who wrote this book:
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway - book cover


And here’s his signature:
Nick Harkaway signiture of "The Gone-Away World"
I almost went up to him to say, Hi, we’re fellow Twitter-followers and Facebook friends and I sent you a message two weeks ago wondering whether you were going to speak this year as you did last year on Social Media, but you aren’t, and you replied you were waiting for the invite and…” and my imagined confab went nowhere, except into stilted awkwardness, so I didn’t approach. Virtual nodding acquaintance is it.


The best seminar for me was this one:
Audio publishing for books read by authors
Ebook info slide - audible
Audible is still the best for getting your/my audio out there and into the ears of happy (willing) listeners. The seminar wasn’t greatly attended, but greatly appreciated by me.


After all this, I needed a massage. They have this row of young ladies ready to give a neck and shoulder rub for 7 minutes and you “give what you want”:
Massage 2
Massage 3
And here’s the one who relaxed me tensed muscles for a bit:
Massage 1


On the last day, I visited this seminar:
The Future of ebooks - ILBF 2010
The Future of ebooks - panel shot at London Book Fair 2010


Someone said 10,000 word stories will sell great in the future in ebooks. Another said the “Sunday Digital Conference had an average age attendance of 55: no one who knew what was going on was there.” Which is why I avoided it. Again, “Traditional Publishers know nothing,” the biggest cry.


Lastly, this one:
Want to be published? The rise of self-publishing.
Of little use to me, as I knew as much and more than the panel…which happened quite a bit throughout the fair, and its various seminars. I’m up to speed on a lot, following the correct industry blog, and seem to know my business fairly thoroughly. However, I would like to link Siobham Curham who has had four books conventionally published, but has turned down a two-book deal to go it on her own. She was proof of what some at this fair called “a movement for the future”, but it was happening already, and many are in major catch-up mode. That was the main rub. Many speakers were saying, “This could be happening in the near future,” while was already happening for a while, right at the show…


And here’s some general purpose shots:
ILBF - stands 1
ILBF - stands 2
ILBF - stands 3
ILBF - stands 4

Yep. A trade fair is a trade fair is a trade fair. They all look pretty much the same


And this is why, on this site, I like to just tell my stories. I don’t have a swell talent for journalism, travel writing, the exhibition visit. Where’s the story. Only facts and pointing out. I’m pointed out here.

Gibberish

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

gibberish, random thoughts, blog mutterings, videos, stories


I’m busy being busy. And the following reflects it.


Or I’m busy trying to be busy. Circle stuff. Getting something halfway done when something hits my inbox and I need to turn my attention to that, and repeat such Pavlov dog behavior, and voilà by the end of the day, lots of half-done things that filled a whole day.


Let’s see if I can sweat some concerns out here. I need to do a couple more videos on my Self-Portrait of Someone Else work. Ideas: reviewing the reviews the book has gotten, and reviewing all the wonderful temporary refusals it got by UK publishers.


Also “drive” you and anyone else who reads this to my Hidden People Facebook Fan Page – a labor of half-love that went from a slow build to neglectful half-love. Haven’t pushed this because I’m not clear of its purpose and general reason why, except for doing because it’s somebody’s idea of a marketing package of indie publishers. Maybe someday I’ll do a blog on pleasepleaseplease “Join my Facebook Fan Page”, once I see the forest for the trees, as well as some mushrooms and all the leaves that turn into compost.


There’s been a lot of social media I’ve joined and tossed my books and info onto/into. Like another log on the fire, to see what burns brightest. It’s a massive world out there and lots of sites jumping up and down to get my attention and then my participation. So I can get other people’s attention, then participation.


Hey, this blog ain’t going much of anyplace, but isn’t that what so many blogs are for? Blowing off steam, or whining or venting and then instant ether death?


I also want to blab about Twitter, and some musings on videos, and Amazon, and my publishing experiences, and more, oh so much more, but you know, eyeballs, who cares? I do stories, and want to release them. Get a small living going via ’em. You can get gab elsewhere. Anywhere. I’ll just ooze words, images, performance bits up and wonderful that are story related. That’s what I think is most interesting about what I do and am and being and Zen om. Keep doing what I am doing.


That’s about it. Videos for the next few Wednesdays, promise. Thanks for reading this and wasting your time. I love you. Who are you again? Buy something. Buy what? (That’s another blog post.) Or in the word of many these days: Whatever.

Here’s three things concerning what I’m doing and comes straight from my “Blog About This!!!” notes.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

future plans in storytelling + Vincent Eaton

ONE
I am currently completing the writing of a short novel (short, the only kind I like these days) called “DON’T”. About a 69 year old guy in Brussels dealing violence and urban threats, some sex, foreigners, digital photos, long-term marriage and short-term lust, a Polish cleaning lady, a comfortable sofa, robberies, hit and run accidents, haircuts and gel, police, hospitals, comas, online porn, writing workshops, possible manslaughter, navel piercing and its seems I’ve got my hands full when putting it all out there like that. Maybe it’ll be done in another couple of months? No promises. Then let it rest in a dark drawer. Thereafter, baste according to taste.


TWO
Next to be published under my hidden people company later this year is the first in my series of ARTISTS, this one called BRUSSEGEM (A Snug Hell), and after that a kid’s book called THE BOY IN THE SANDWICH. BRUSSEGEM is all proofed and copy-edited, laid out, and ready to go except for the cover. Still have to photograph the village sign of Brussegem for the cover so the graphic designer can move forward but I’ve been waiting first for the snow to melt and now waiting for the rain to stop. Everything is completed with the kid’s book, but interior layout needs fine tuning and I’m having a meeting with friend/illustrator to do an illustration for the cover as well as for each chapter…which will then turn into t-shirts and suchlike spin-offs.


THREE
I have gotten a few kind interested souls wondering on how sales actually going after “How to Find Yourself” video campaign. Ah, thanks for asking, you and whoever, but I’m not counting at this point. My POD printer and Amazon only gives a statement every quarter and pay after 60 or 90 days. I’ll see when I see, but I’ll get on the ball about this and be A Serious Business Entity. My focus right now is creation with “the rest will follow” simple-minded hopefulness attached. This indie publishing company is based on a two year build. Meanwhile, more YouTube, more blog, more stories and social media and so on and very much so forth.


P.S.
I have a pretty good story I’m posting this Friday (the less-than-600-words kind), and working on another matches video for next Wednesday and a “Self-Portrait of Someone Else” video on the reviews it received. And Don’t Don’t Don’t….

Book Trailer of “Self-Portrait of Someone Else”

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Self-Portrait of Someone Else, Vincent Eaton, novel, book trailer


You’ll remember my series of videos for my humor book, “How to Find Yourself (or a reasonable facsimile)”–five in all. Now another book, completely different, and thus with a different approach.


“Self-Portrait of Someone Else” was originally published by Viking Penguin, N.Y. and is re-issued by hidden people limited. I suppose one could call it a psychological suspense thriller. Originally it was presented as a literary novel.


To view the video, CLICK HERE.


The approach I take with this video is more like a book trailer, giving a dramatic taste of the book. A “Teaser”, as they say in the biz.


Hope you like. If you like, spread. Thanks for reading this.


SELF-PORTRAIT OF SOMEONE ELSE, cover


P.S.
If you want to read a couple of stand-alone extracts of the novel, to get another sort of “taste”, here’s a link to ONE STORY and a SECOND STORY.

Random thoughts on social media, commercialization, being a writer/publisher, some things I know

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Hidden People Limited logo for indie publishing company on books, videos, t-shirts


I’m a good slave to what’s going on in the social media world.


I’m on Facebook.


I have my Twitter account.


I have my place on Good Reads.


I even decided to follow the social media flow and put up a
Hidden People Fan Facebook page for my Indie Pub company Hidden People Limited, which at this point in time, at this writing, is bursting with FIVE FULL FEVERED FANS (does this mean it is this on its way or simply dead in the water and of really no use?).


Then I began wondering: at which point do I stop establishing multiple social media connects before I die and just get on with the life I have?


Like how about right about now? Enough already.


Meanwhile, here are three random quotes (living up to the title of this blog) from sources I forgot to source, on what I think or have found to be true, in the indie publishing, solo writing, general hodgepodge of what I’m doing…


— Indie-publishing must be a considered business decision, not a response to several hundred rejections or from general impatience to publish


— Most commercially published authors maintain day jobs to support their writing, which means the bulk of book authorship is performed on a volunteer basis.


— The traditional way of doing business (author-to-agent-to-publisher-to-printer-to-warehouse-to-wholesaler-to-retailer-to-reader) is mostly dead, dying, or only for the mostly connected.


And lastly, I’m not following many marketing “experts” on any of this social media march toward when-is-too-much-too-much, simply because there aren’t that many things to say about online marketing (reflecting perfectly off-line marketing experts). But boy do they like to say the same thing many times in different ways in order to make a living, bless them. But my own marcom experience has taught me there’s a handful of stuff to know on this subject, which I’ve known for decades. Many, many online experts are saying nothing new…Big Surprise…and I don’t want the modern disease of marketing to get in the way of the personal (semi)-purity of my creativity and sharing it.


There, we can all sleep better tonight, and this bumping blog falls asleep in the ether waves…


Note: If you post a blog and no one reads it, has it really been posted? (see: tree, forest, fall, no one around to hear, did it really, etc., so forth).

On a technical level, putting together books for indie publishing

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

How to findFollowing up on yesterday’s post on initial steps to take when setting up a indie publishing company, on a technical level, here’s how I put the first two books together:


1.Set-up a publishing company, Hidden People Limited, bought a series of my own ISBN numbers fromNeilson — UK as it’s cheaper than USA branch.


2.Signed contract withLightning Source (which I knew about 10 years ago) as my primary printer–United Kingdom rather than the USA, as I am UK-based Limited company.


3.Book cover design by Fontana identity & design.


4.Since I work on every story for years (unless I get lucky and it comes out in a couple of hours), they don’t need huge amounts of editing. My “Self-Portrait of Someone Else” was edited by Viking-Penguin, and the pages from the original book was scanned and directly used in my paperback reissue. The Viking-Penguin editor suggested two paragraph deletions and a few sentences. I agreed with half. Otherwise, on proofing, after one less successful episode with an American proof-reader in Scotland, I do had two upcoming titles (novella and children’s book) line edited by Scribendi.
All this is ongoing and evolving and changes constant.


5.I’m still engaged in getting ebooks off the grounds via Smashwords and Amazon throughout the world.


6.Audiobooks, which I’m recording in my home studio, are still finding their best home via ongoing research and then more research.


That’s some of the basics that fills out yesterdays impressionistic piece….