Sunday, 29 May 2011

My first novel is published.

I have now published my first novel on Amazon.  It is called Deadly Decisions and I need to mention my mate who I have known since school, Mr Akin Yilmaz, as he has played a big role in this novel.  Around 15 years ago he wrote a script that he asked me to read and from that script he allowed me to write Deadly Decisions 12 years later.  So, thanks Akin.  He tells me he has a few more scripts he has been working on, so, who knows, there may be a few more collaborations in the future.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Possible future of book stores

I've just been catching up on Dean Wesley Smiths posts and he seems to have come up with an idea that could be the future for book stores.  Read the full post here.  To sum up his post the idea is to sell gift cards that have your ebook cover on the front and your name, blurb for the book, code for downloading your ebook and the address of where to get it from on the back.  As the requirement for the traditional book becomes less, these ebook gift cards could be sold within the book stores alongside normal books.  Check out the comments on the post as well for more ideas.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


Well, so much for posting my plan before I start publishing.  Ah well!  Let's get started.  The first part of my plan was to create writing time.

Time is a precious commodity for a writer, especially when you have a full time job and a family.  I've read that there are writers that can grab 10 minutes here and there on the computer during the day to progress their writing, but that is something I can't do.  It's like spending only 10 minutes eating a really tasty meal.  You start enjoying the flavours and then you have to stop leaving you hungry and unsatisfied.  So here is how I carved out my writing time in the day.

In my job I work shift hours.  Some mornings I have to get up at 4:15am and others I don't need to get up until 8am.  When I'm on the early's I get home around 2:30pm and around 7pm on the late's.  When I am at home most of the time is spent on family stuff, (taking the kids to their after school clubs, helping with their homework, washing up, etc).  So, a pretty varied and full use of my time.  When I first started writing I used to do it on the train to and from work and also at lunchtimes.  I also cut out watching TV in the evenings, (but I never really replaced it with writing).  This was quite slow, but, as I thought at the time, it was the only way I could do it.

A couple of years ago I felt I needed to re-energise myself.  I was feeling quite listless during the day.  During my search for help in doing this I came across a book called The 7 Day Energy Surge by Jim Karas.  Amongst all of the useful tips there was a section on sleep.  What Jim suggested to help with energy was to get up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time every day (or at least to be within 30 minutes of the times).  As long as you were getting the same amount of sleep every day that you felt you needed, (for me it was between 6 and 6 1/2 hours) it will help to keep your energy up.

Because of my shift work I had to set my times to be up for 4:15am - 4:45am and be in bed by 9:45pm -10:15pm.  I did this for the weekends as well.  I started noticing the difference after only a few days, but what it also gave me was extra time in the mornings when I was on the late shift.  Not only for writing, but also for swimming, which I've always wanted to do as a form of exercise.

So here is how my writing week breaks down:

Monday - Early shift - 2 hours before bed.
Tuesday - Late shift - 2 hours before work, 1 hour at lunch and 1 hour before bed.
Wednesday - Middle shift - 1 hour before work, 1 hour at lunch and 2 hours before bed.
Thursday - Late shift - 2 hours before work, 1 hour at lunch and 1 hour before bed.
Friday - Early shift - 2 hours before bed.
Saturday - 2 hours before anyone gets up, 2 hours while kids are playing computer games and 2 hours before bed.
Sunday - 2 hours before anyone gets up, 2 hours while kids are playing computer games and 2 hours before bed.

Total = 28 hours per week.

Now, I average my word count per hour at 500, so that gives me 14000 words per week.  Taking out 6 weeks for sickness and holidays, that's a possible 644000 words per year.  I'm not a long novel writer.  My books tend to get to between 60000 and 80000 words.  So with a book length of say 70000 words, that will take me 5 weeks to complete.  Add 1 week for planning.  Add another 4 weeks for editing, creating a cover and publishing and that takes the time for a book project to get from beginning to being published to 10 weeks.  That gives me a possible yearly catalogue of 4 novels and a number of short story's.

These projections have all been possible because I have been able to establish set writing times for each day of the week.  Something that I feel is very important for a writer.

The next part of the plan was to set up my publishing company which I will tell you about in a later post.  For now, I'm off to do some writing.      

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

I am now a professional writer!

I finally got my business account set up and began publishing my short story's on Amazon.  While checking my first story, Hero Worship, on I noticed that it was 112,707 on the paid in Kindle store list.  I hurriedly went to the reports on my Kindle publishing page and found that I had one sale.  WOOHOO!

Don't worry, I won't let it go to my head in anticipation of receiving the whole 35 cents (less than that really, but I'll explain that in a later post).  Although, I can't but help feeling a certain amount of pride that somebody actually paid some money to read my writings.  Let's hope it continues.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Who am I and why writing?

So, a little bit about myself. I am a desktop support engineer for a trading company and have been there for 10 years now. I've been in the IT industry for just over 15 years and love messing around with computers and new operating systems as they come out. Before I got into computers I was a mechanic so I've been fixing things my whole working life.

What drew me into writing then?

I was unemployed for a couple of years before I started working with computers. I had just bought my flat when I was made redundant, so not good timing. I was never very good at interviews and dreaded the times I had to attend any. Before I started at my current job I was at a company for a couple of years as a contractor when the position I was in came up as a permanent role. My manager was happy with me and wanted me to stay, but the company still wanted to do interviews. I didn't get the job and I made up my mind then that I didn't want to have to go through interviews again. (Fortunately I was contracting at my current company when they offered me the role permanently without the need for an interview.)

After reading a few books and trawling the web I found the answer I needed. Passive income. Something in place where I could travel the world for a year and still have income coming in without having to do a thing.

After a while I had a list of things that could provide a passive income and writing was second on that list. The first on the list didn't work out so I began writing. And do you know what? I really loved it. When I was at school, (many moons ago), I had real trouble writing story's in the English class.  I would struggle to reach 2 sides of an A4 sheet of paper, so discovering now that I really enjoyed creating story's and finding it easy getting words down really surprised me.

I started writing short story's for competitions, had no luck, but lots of encouragement from the organisers about the story's. I then tried my first novel. It was created from a script that my friend had written about 8 years before. He kindly gave me permission and when I finished it I tried to get an agent.  Forty rejections later I decided to start my second novel.

Two years later and I was only two thirds of the way through.  Around this time I found Dean Wesley Smith's blog that changed my whole approach to the writing business.  It destroyed a load of myths that surround writing and getting published.  As I read through all of his posts I found a new path to being published that suited me perfectly as a new writer and techie.  And that is e-publishing.

So, that's how I got to where I am and over the next few posts I'l be going through my plan before I start publishing what I have already.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Here we go..

So, this is the blogging world.  All new to me.  I don't twitter, I haven't a Facebook account yet and I hardly use my numerous e-mail accounts.  So why start now when I'm just the wrong side of 40?  Well, seeing as I'm entering the epublishing world I need to keep a presence on the Web.  It's all part of the marketing strategy for my books.

However, rather than hounding all of the forums when my books were available (and getting a bad rep) I thought I'd start a blog that followed my progress from beginning to...who knows where.

The signs are looking good for ebooks.  Sales have been steadily increasing for a while now and 2010 saw an explosion in sales which look set to continue with the increase in iPads, Tablet PC's and eReaders.  Hence my foray into publishing my books as ebooks.

My strategy for this venture has been inspired by Dean Wesley Smith.  His website has amazing information on the whole writing and publishing business.  A lot of experience from him and everyone who comments on his posts.  If there's a must read website for all aspiring writers it is his one.

So I hope you'll stick around and feel free to comment on anything I write.