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I am aware that when I started this blog, my intention was not to waffle about what it means to me to be a writer (in short, I earn some money by putting words onto paper/screen) but rather to explain to others who are considering becoming self-published authors what the process is like.  So for today’s update….

As explained in my last post, I ordered – and have now taken delivery of – my proof paper copy of “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”.  It looks lovely, and so I have ordered my bulk purchase of 75 copies.  It sounds a lot, I know, but I have worked it out quite carefully (and, when ordering from CreateSpace, it is advantageous price-wise per copy to order more rather than fewer).  To begin with, I contacted the three bookshops who are very kindly already stocking “Fatal Forgery”.  I showed them the cover and back cover blurb for “Canary”, gave them the publication date (still aiming for 31 October) and then asked if they wanted a few copies – and they all said yes (twelve, ten and six copies respectively).  I then contacted the lovely people who reviewed “Fatal Forgery” and asked if they would be interested in reviewing “Canary”, and so far two of them have said yes.  Then there are gift copies for some family members, for the man who kindly beta-read both “Fatal Forgery” and “Canary”, for the woman who allowed me to use a family document on the cover of “Canary”, and for my two local libraries.  And then – here’s the optimism kicking in – I’ll need a few on hand to re-stock those bookshops!

The interesting thing about self-publishing is that, in order to be able to buy these copies, I have to actually publish the book – but I don’t want to publish it properly (i.e. list it on Amazon) just yet.  So I have “stealth-published” it, so that it is listed only on the CreateSpace website, which hardly anyone visits as a bookshop – and at the end of the month, once I have distributed all the copies as listed above, and lined up my other promotional activities, I will publish it fully, with all guns blazing.

Incidentally, quite by coincidence, I was invited back onto our local radio station this week.  I wrote about this last time I went – and that was an invitation I sought because I was trying to promote “Fatal Forgery”.  This time they invited me, and I went along without really thinking about the timing, and on reflection I think it was an error.  The presenter very kindly mentioned my name and that of my book almost constantly – but kept having to point out that “Canary” is not yet available.  It would have been better to be able to say go and buy it now!  So, as with most things, it really is all about the timing.