The glamorous life of the indie author…

I tend to talk – and whinge – about writing a lot on this blog, but something I want to talk about a bit more is the other side of indie publishing.

See, if you’re one of the lucky folks who lands a traditional publishing deal, you get a lot of the stuff that us indie folks do as part of the process. Editing, formatting, all of that is part of your deal – although you do admittedly sacrifice a chunk of royalties for that.

Today, I wasn’t really feeling up to writing. It happens, and as I’m writing a lot of Call Of Herne without a proverbial roadmap I’m hitting a few walls where I’m having to take time out to think through my next move.

So I decided to do some of the behind the scenes work that fuels the writing machine by formatting the final two books of the two individual series, Proper Shucked and Wolves Within for Order of Britain and  High Moon Rising respectively.

Now, to be fair to Amazon, KDP does try and make things as easy for authors as possible – you can simply upload a word document and let KDP convert it for you. That, however, can bring it’s own set of issues: formatting can play up and since no piece of software translates a document exactly the same you can end up having to do a lot of pain-in-the-arse corrections.

I prefer to use a piece of software called Sigil. When it boils down to it, a kindle book is basically a self contained website made of HTML pages. obviously HTML is easy enough to use, but when you’re formatting page after page of text it can be very irritating to work with. With sigil, its literally a copy and paste job. Regretfully, it doesn’t copy over italics and the like, but its still better than writing the code from scratch.

Of course, the big part of the publishing process after that is the cover. I’m very very lucky in that my wife is extremely talented and makes them for me – I wouldn’t be anywhere near as far along in the start of my career if I was having to pay for cover designs. The same goes for proofing and editing; my mum actually does it! That isn’t as self defeating as it would be for some – my mum is a primary school head teacher, and has no interest in preserving my fragile writers ego!

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve got a good process together, and combining everything together works. Now, if only I could sell more books!


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