Don’t Buy My Book – Adventures in Self-Publishing (29/03/2015)

If you’ve been reading these pages at all regularly, you’ll probably know that The Silver Kings is coming out in a few months and that that’s going to be the last fantasy Stephen Deas writes for Gollancz for a little while (Nathan Hawke is still a more open question). Now this is sort of annoying and sort of good. It allows (forces) the pursuit of other projects. But on the other hand, there was more to the story of that world that I’d wanted to tell. Long story short, I’m contemplating self-publishing at the moment. I have no idea whether anything will come of this, but part of that whole contemplation thing was a decision to self-publish a few shorter stories to see what happens and (much more importantly) figure out how to do it.

Last week I self-published a short story through Amazon. Here it is. It’s a story that appeared in the BFS anthology Unexpected Journeys published for World Fantasycon 2013. It’s about six thousand words. Problems I encountered with this first pipe-cleaning exercise

  • I haven’t figured out how to make it available for free. Yet. It’s free if you’re signed up to Kindle Unlimited
  • Getting a cover sorted out can be something of an arse. Note the lack of author name and title. I also have no idea how well this cover art comes out on a kindle for reasons…
  • If you download a sample from Amazon, you’ll see the paragraph indent formatting is all off. I believe I have fixed that. I believe I have uploaded the fixed file. I believe I did that about a week ago. Yet still the file Amazon shows as its sample is the original published upload (my first major mistake was publishing before the formatting was right in the belief that I could change it later).

So I’m kind of torn. I’d like you to download The Sin Eater so that someone can tell me whether the formatting and cover are now present and OK (they’re not on my version, but I bought the original and I can’t seem to get an update to happen). But on the other hand you shouldn’t be paying for something that isn’t formatted right. So don’t buy my book, but if you happen to be able to get it for free and happen to have a look, please do let me know whether the paragraph indents are fixed (and as of writing they’re still not fixed on the Read-A-Sample sample, so if that changes I’d like to know too!) and whether the cover downloads OK.

[UPDATE: The feedback I've had so far is that it's all fixed. So, um, DO buy my book after all... :-)

Lessons learned. I'm in the process of getting another story ready. A story about Syannis the thief-taker, a sort of the-beginning-of-everything companion to go with the end-of-everything Silver Kings. Hopefully I'll do better.

Some new reviews have shown up. One of Empires that actually likes it! Hurrah!

“All round a cracking piece of fiction and something that a lot of Science Fiction fans can really get behind especially as the tales not only keep you hooked but leave you wondering throughout if mankind can triumph against such odds. Magic.”

I think, if I'm honest, the fairly ciritical SFX review was one of the most accurate. "One tenth Iain M Banks-lite … 90% is half urban thriller, half Michael Bay’s Transformers." I don't think that was meant in a good way, by the way, but for better or worse, it's on the nail. I note that Empires wasn't submitted for the Clarke award. Probably wise.

A new one up for The Royalist too.

“... an intriguing, drama-laden, heart-thumping crime thriller with historical accuracy and authenticity. I found myself sorely disappointed at the last page; not with the ending, but that it had ended!”

I struggle harder to find a critical alternate point of view with this one, but the guy on Amazon who doesn't like William Falkland for having a mindset that very accessible to modern thinking (as opposed to having a Seventeenth century mindset) has a point.

Anyway, I'm in an Empires frame of mind at the moment, so this week's giveaway is Robot Overlords by Gollancz's very own Mark Stay, who also wrote the script for the movie.

"The adults lost the war and now the kids must save the world! Robots rule the streets and the people are locked in their homes. Stepping outside risks being vaporised by a hulking Sentry or picked off by a lethal Sniper. Through the ruins of Britain a group of kids set out to join the Resistance. Hot on their heels however is their old teacher turned robot collaborator Mr Smythe."

The movie has a limited release in theatres and is on right now (Vue cinemas seem to be showing it), so there's some Easter viewing for you if you like  :-)

Robot Overlords

Robot Overlords

Usual deal – comment on this post in some way before Sunday 5th  April and I’ll randomly select a lucky victim for a free copy. No one has complained (so far) about how long it takes me to get to the post office and post things, but it can take a while and if you live abroad then it can take even longer. Sorry about that, but they do get there eventually. Well, so far. Am currently a week behind with posting things.

No tags for this post.

7 Responses to “Don’t Buy My Book – Adventures in Self-Publishing (29/03/2015)”

  1. claire says:

    It’s a shame re Gollancz; I think that you have continued to grow as an author and that the last few books have been real crackers. Characters to sink your teeth into, as opposed to characters I’m happy for the dragons to sink their teeth into, and some lovely world-building. I’ll download the short stories when I get an opportunity.

  2. Patrick says:

    Good luck with the self-publishing adventure. We had a discussion about this in my writing group recently, and there seemed to be a very wide range of experiences – some people had found it straightforward, while others had had a nightmare.

    Robot Overlords looks interesting, but the film does seem to be on a very limited cinema release – the nearest to me is many miles away – so the book would be a great alternative! Cheers.

  3. Ren Kuroya says:

    Tis a shame that Gollancz is not wanting your fantasy. I absolutely love your books and wish they would find a larger following in the Americas. I shall acquire those books which I do not have as of yet asap. Keep up the good work Mr. Deas. Even if Gollancz doesn’t want the story you’ve got fans who eagerly await!

  4. Mango Heroics says:

    I’m too anxious to check the Kindle store to write much here. I wonder if it’s also in US Kindle. I’ll just go have a look and then come right back :)

  5. Mango Heroics says:

    Okay. I’m back. The scarab cover (attrubuted to Anastasia) is really cool, your name is there, and paragraphs are indented. It was only 99 cents, so of course it’s now mine. :D
    I’m sorry to learn that Gollancz can’t sell enough copies to make it worth their while, but you do have a dedicated group of followers who will buy your self-published work. So there’s that.

  6. Mango Heroics says:

    I knew you can’t count this post in your offerings to the gods of random. But I wanted to let you know I enjoyed The Sin Eater. I guessed the ending, of course, because you are very good at foreshadowing. I found a few small things I might edit if I were you (murdered where I think you meant murderer, for example). I can tell you where they are if you like.

  7. Stephen says:

    Mango wins, in part by sheer force of numbers (although I only counted the first two, as per the rules…)

    And yes, please do tell me of any typos found. They can still be corrected.

Leave a Reply