Saturday, 30 April 2016

Parallel Lives: Branching Out Into Indie

This is what a learning curve really looks like
There’s too much going on. That’s always my problem. I’m too prolific. (I like that word — it makes me sound important, vital, somehow successful. No?) I write too much.

I’ve always done that. I’ve always had at least half a dozen stories in my head and several on the go at the same time. I’ve twittered on about this before on this blog, muttered on about the struggle of different books and how to promote them. But this is the official announcement of my leap into a parallel life. I’ll keep submitting books to my publisher (and hopefully they’ll keep accepting them) but I’m going to self-publish my next book.

I’m apprehensive, and not just because the indie author’s to do list reads like one of the more fiendish tasks from The Apprentice, though at least it comes with the saving grace that I won’t get called into the boardroom at the end of it to explain my abject failure to Lord Sugar. 

There are things on it I can do with relative ease (write the book is the obvious one) or slightly less ease (produce the blurb). There are things anybody can do but are extremely tedious (produce and contact a list of potential reviewers). There are things I’ve deemed to be beyond me and have contracted out to people I can trust to do them rather better than I can (editing and cover design). And there are the things I might contract out if I could afford them but which, in the interests of parsimony, I’ve decided to do for myself.

These things don’t give me nightmares. They are things that fall within my technical capabilities, but only at a stretch. Specifically, they are computer-related. Yes: formatting. Putting a book up on Amazon is not, in actual fact, that difficult. But there are other platforms. And uploading to Amazon doesn’t give you a file you can distribute to reviewers; nor does it give you a PDF file or an ePub version. If you want to reach readers beyond Amazon, you have to go beyond Amazon yourself.

Less necessary, and rather more daunting is the shift into movie production (please allow for exaggeration). I’ve decided to make a book trailer. I daresay you’ll hear more about this in posts to come, but suffice it to say…I’ve got a few more grey hairs after a couple of afternoons wrestling with iMovie. And I’ve produced a sort of something — twenty seconds of random pictures, a rambling voiceover above a clip of crowd noise. No script, of course. But hey…I can worry about that later.

There’s one thing about this self-publishing lark. I’m certainly learning new skills!


  1. Well done on branching out on your own (partly), Jennifer - it's a good idea these days. Like you, I have lots of ideas and projects on the go but, unlike you, I have trouble finishing them!

  2. Thanks for dropping by, Rosemary. :) Yes; I decided it's the only way. Fortunately I do like trying new things.

  3. Thanks for dropping by, Rosemary. :) Yes; I decided it's the only way. Fortunately I do like trying new things.

  4. All the best with your indie book, Jennifer. As you say, some parts of the process are easier than others. Lots of learning curves. Your movie sounds intriguing! Look forward to seeing it.