My daughter summed up my biggest fear when I told her I'd spent the best part of three days and four nights on both the Picnik and Kindle Direct sites designing the cover and formatting and re-formatting and loading and deleting and uploading and re-uploading and ... well, you get the drift... she said I was scared of the 'Pity Purchases'. And I was. So, so scared of them. Because I've done it myself. I have writer friends who've published books - proper paper books with print on them and everything.. I know! ... and because they're friends and I've known them years (some for over a decade) when they announce they have a new book out, what's the first thing I do?
Okay, second then... the first is always to check my green-levels, lay a metaphorical damp flannel on my seething, jealousy-consumed parts and calm down. Secondly I fly a reply straight back telling them the news is 'fantastic' (which it is, of course it IS) and that I shall be purchasing said new publication as quick as you like.
Which for me, defeats the point. Because I almost never read them. In fact sometimes I don't even get round to buying them. *shameface* And it's not because I don't like said writer friend, it's just that what they write just isn't my kind of 'read'. And if I bought every book written by every 'virtual friend then my shelves would be full to bursting with guilt-edged paperbacks.
So it was with great trepidation that I finally decided I'd self-publish my first teenage book.
My decision was 'helped along by a number of things, namely:
- a particularly big Birthday looming
- the encouragement and unfailing support of my beloved daughter, to whom the book is dedicated (although she hasn't read it... I rest my case...)
- the fact that the characters in this book deserve to be met. They spent nearly two years with two separate agents, underwent three re-writes (at one agent's suggestions) and three different endings only to be shown the nice but still painful door marked 'Rejection'.
- I loved designing the cover so much I wanted the world to see it.
- a particularly Big Birthday .. wait, have I already said that?
- The pressure of precisely Zero. - i.e. no Agent or Publisher to impress, no sales figures to worry about, no shonky marketing to panic over, no angsting over ranking and certainly no deadline over when/what book #2 will be because I've got that covered.
When I finally pressed 'publish' on the Amazon site, I had a cup of tea and caught up with Sherlock. The only people I 'announced' it to was my daughter, my husband and a writerly friend. One texted me back with a 'whoop! one passed me a biscuit and Fi accidentally sent me her credit card details when she bought a copy* (thanks, our new TV is smashing!)
So, I give you 'Dead Good' (originally born 'Double History' and recently renamed) Also meet D A Cooper. She was me, once. She is still only half me. I'm actually a D.J. but a writer friend said the initials suggested more music than words.
It's here but UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES is this to be 'pity-purchased' - I will be justifiably insulted if this happens and I WILL hunt you down (I'm sure I'd work out how and who and where.... so don't even TRY it :). I want this book to travel the good old-fashioned route to it's 'target' readership which is teenage/young adult based with a handsome ghost bias.
So, phew. Does this mean I don't get to die unpublished? Does it count? I'm still not entirely sure but I am very glad it has the chance of being read by whoever stumbles across it and I'm even looking forward to it getting some wobbly reviews. Any kind of feedback other than 'not for us, thanks' is going to be much better received, I guarantee.