author talks, Gregory 1, Gregory Hardiman, indie publishing, library, sales, Samuel Plank, self-publishing, The Solo Squid
Many writing days are rather uneventful: enjoyable, certainly, but uneventful. So when a writing day comes along that is exciting, I like to tell you about it. And yesterday was a doozie.
For a start, I spent a good part of the morning with the Cambridge University Marshal and the Pro-Proctor for Ceremonial. The what, I hear you cry – but if I tell you that these two are part of the office that employs the university constables, you will understand my excitement. Quite apart from being lovely people, they were both an absolute fount of knowledge and so generous with that knowledge. I now have a much clearer idea of the character for the narrator for my Cambridge series – for instance, I was going to give him a limp, but they said that constables (in the 1820s) needed to be fleet of foot to catch naughty undergraduates and so perhaps a eye injury (very common in war veterans of the period) would be more suitable. I have pages and pages of notes and leads and ideas – just fizzing.
In the afternoon an email pinged in with the heading “The Solo Squid”. This book was published on Sunday (paperback and Kindle version) and I have been a bit nervous about it: it’s a business book but not in the usual way, in that it doesn’t give guidance on setting up a business or dealing with the taxman or turning your company into a world-beating brand. It simply encourages people to enjoy working alone and to take steps to make life as a one-person business professionally and personally fulfilling. And I did wonder whether people would read it and say, what a load of self-indulgent piffle. So I opened the email through squinted eyes, prepared for the worst – someone outraged and demanding a full refund. But what did I see? “The Solo Squid arrived from Amazon this morning and I have to say I read it all in one sitting – as such I felt compelled to contact you and to say thank you so much for writing this… Thank you once again for a superb read – something that I will endeavour to recommend to a number of business associates who have also risked it all to go it alone.” I literally danced around the office – and the lovely fellow has already posted his thoughts as an Amazon review.
And in the evening I gave a talk at our local library on life as an indie-published author. It was a packed room, as you can see:
I had notes to guide my talk and to make sure I didn’t miss out anything crucial, but there were so many questions and such a lot of interest – and I even sold a handful of books. I love encouraging others to give indie publishing a go, and it is a great boost to know that my experience will help other authors and budding writers to take the plunge. What a day!