About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Independent author and amateur beefcake

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


For a few hours, last week, I was a published author.  A self published author, that is.  I had submitted my short to Kobo Writing Life and pressed the publish button.  It took twenty four hours for it to hit the web and during that time is when the doubts happened. 

Was it ready?

Were there errors, I had missed?

What if nobody liked it?

What if nobody bought it?

I opened the sample Epub they send you on my Kobo and started reading it, for the hundredth time, and, almost, immediately found two spelling errors.  Even after I had sent it off to a few beta readers and even though, at this point, I'd read it so much I could probably do an audio version by memory.

So, even though it's only 8,000 words, I decided to send it off to an editor.  

I checked on Kobo and found that it had finally been approved and posted for sale.  I admired the image of my name next to the book cover and then went into my account and took the book off, until I can post a more polished version.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Dreaded Synopsis

You've wrote a story...now what...?  You get to write a synopsis for that story.  Easy, you say?  Not so much, say I.

I've been sitting here trying my best to come up with a small synopsis of my little ghost story and I'm finding this harder than the actual writing of the story, itself. 

Sure I know all the small plot points and character developments I've placed throughout the story but how do you give a small cliff-notes version of that without saying too much?

It's different with a novel, I'm supposing, since you can basically explain the opening chapter and then you can leave the rest of the book to do the majority of the talking for you.  With a short story, though, you can't do that.  I've got 60 pages, depending on your font size, that I need to condense into a small blurb.  A blurb that will decide if people hit the 'buy now' button on their ereader or browser.  Just a little bit of pressure.

Any ideas, out there, on the best way to go about this?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Self Publishing Options and Beta Readers

So, one of the most frustrating things about deciding to self publish might have to be the options.

Yeah, who knew options were bad?!

KDP, Kobo, Createspace, Smashwords, etc and etc.  A few years ago you might have only had one or two places to go if you were deciding on going it alone. These days....not so much.

I'm tempted to go Kindle, simply because they simply 'own' the market when it comes to digital reading, even though I own a Kobo.  The deal is, however, that you can't have your stuff available on Kobo if you publish through Kindle and you can't have your stuff on Kindle if you publish through Kobo.  Smashwords is okay for both but I get the sense that there's doubt about the quality of a novel published through Smashwords.  Looking at their homepage certainly makes me doubt whats available there.

Currently I'm still inclined to go Kindle simply due to the amount of Kindles they've sold.

Now, on to beta readers.  I need some, pretty much.

I sent off my story to a buddy who's an avid reader and his response was.   "Yeah, it's pretty good."

I tried to get him to elaborate,  "Were there any spelling or grammatical errors, did the story lag, were characters developed enough that you cared about them?"

"It was pretty good, not spooky enough though."

I tried to explain that I wanted the story to be more about my character coming to terms with growing up and not about the horror, that the story also contained, but it seemed to fall on deaf ears.

I sent it to someone else, though, and he thought it was great, over the top great.  Scary and he loved the characters.  Still no negative feedback. 

I've read it and reread it and I can't really think of anything I want to change so maybe I'll just move forward and let the world decide?  I'm not sure yet.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Self Publishing

I've finished something.  Sounds crazy, right?  A writer who
can finish a story...weird.  But I did it, all the same.  It's a little ghost story that, I've been told, will give you the willies, not of the wet variety though so if you're looking for that there's a whole universe of internet sites out there to fit the bill.

It's a strange position to be in.  Back in the day, a finished short story would mean that I would start to send out manuscripts and hope some magazine, somewhere, would pick it up, or even better, an anthology of some kind.  Now, in this modern digital world, I don't have to wait for the approval of some person sitting in a cubicle.  I don't really know if those people sit in cubicles, it just helps, in my mind, if I imagine them sitting there, reading my work.  Now, though, I can, if I wanted, shove this thing onto the kindle store and people could start downloading it within minutes.  Doesn't mean people will, of course, but they could if they were so inclined to.

I'm of the mind that traditional publishing is dead.  Why publish when you can do it yourself.  Sure they give you some advertising, if you hit all their buttons right, but nothings guaranteed.  I know plenty of authors who got themselves an agent and then got signed and then got buried under the releases of other books, to never be seen again.

We live in a time when I'm surprised that big bands and musicians don't release their own work.  Imagine if U2 were to release an album on their website?  Cut out the middle man and you have complete artistic freedom and you get more of the dollars.  Win, win.  It's just scary to cut the cord, push yourself off the publishing rocket and spin out into zero gravity, all the while hoping that people decide to read or buy your stuff.

It's what I'm going to do, though.  I'm done thinking I can succeed at the 9-5 job, my mind is always in my stories.  I might be at work but, in my head, I'm wondering what that guys going to do with his new-found super powers, especially when the villain has just killed the city's previous hero. ( the current thing I'm working on.)

It's time for me to move closer to cutting the cord, see if anything can sell, see if there's a future for me as an author and see if the stories running through my head resonate with anyone out there.

Over the next few posts, I'll keep y'all informed of what it's like to push oneself through the self publishing hole.  I hope you read along and laugh and cry and shake angry sticks and preform publishing dances from long lost literary cultures.