If you are reading this around the date it is published then you will have probably noticed the changes that have been made to the website over the past week or so… a few tweaks, a more prominent Twitter feed and the addition of a new Facebook feed. Now you can become a ‘fan‘ not just a ‘friend’ on Facebook… it makes my life easier as well since I don’t have to approve ‘fans’!
You will also notice that the WTF section has become a single feed – yes I know it hasn’t been updated for a while – I realised I didn’t have the time to update it daily so decided I would still update it as and when something grabbed my attention but I didn’t want it to be the most prominent section of the website.
In addition the ‘Books’ pages have had a bit of a facelift and you probably can’t help but notice my face peering out at you from the top of the webpage. Yep, there’s a few things to tidy up but I’m pretty happy with it now.
Where’s this leading to? Well, at the start of the year I made Aspects of a Psychopath and Damon– both of which had previously been published – available for downloading on the Amazon Kindle. Shortly after I also converted them for download on a range of ebook reading devices including the iPad. Since then the sales have slowly been increasing, not in huge numbers but certainly better than I expected considering the subject matter.
This has given me the inspiration once again to place posterior on seat and get writing again. Of course it could all be a foolhardy exercise, the publishing world is facing immense changes at the moment with publishers still assessing the effects that reading devices such as the Kindle will have upon the traditional book. In this ever changing world publishers have been slow on the uptake of adopting the new technology and as a result they have lost out.
This leads me nicely to the title of this post. As the public take up the use of the new technology it has enabled Authors to sell their own books directly to the public leaving out the middle man so to speak. For some this has proved extremely successful. British thriller writer Stephen Leather made a number of his unpublished works available for download from Amazon last year and they have consistently remained in the top 100, providing Stephen with more than a little extra pocket money! At the same time, across the continent an unpublished author by the name of Amanda Hocking who had previously failed to secure a traditional publisher released a number of her young adult fiction novels for download. I’m sure Amanda will be the first to admit her surprise with the response she received to her work selling thousands of copies a month. In a funny twist of fate Amanda Hocking has recently signed a four book publishing deal with traditional publisher Macmilan. It is believed to be worth in excess of $2 million.
Okay, time to be realistic, both Amanda and Stephen have worked extremely hard to get where they are today. Yes they have taken different routes to get there but the goal will have been the same… to do what they love, have people read and enjoy their work and to have an opportunity to make a career from writing.
I’m certainly not the next James Patterson, Stephen King, Stieg Larsson or any other author you can probably name. I’m simply me. I know that what I write has previously been described as grotesque or weird but there are people that enjoy reading it. Besides that’s only a small sample of my work!
I expect you are getting little bored now – don’t worry I won’t keep you much longer. I’ve already run a scalding hot bath that is calling my name – what I’m trying to say is that from this point on this website and blog are the chronicles of the success, or failure if you want to be pessimistic so early on, of a man embarking on the challenge to become a successful author. As for my interpretation of success, well, apart from the obvious of not having to get up on a Monday morning with that feeling of dread at having to commute into the office where you know your work will go unappreciated, it is simply to have people experiencing a range of emotions from reading my work. Yes, a $2 million contract would be nice but we will leave that for next year!