This time last year, I did a wild and reckless thing. I wrote and self-published an e-book. I’d completely taken leave of my senses and gatecrashed a world I knew NOTHING about. The Lockwood Echo was only 4 months old, so I had started to get the hang of where all the letters could be found on a keyboard and what happened if you didn’t press ‘save’ once in a while. ‘I’ll write a book’ I thought, ‘How hard can it be?’. Well, quite hard actually. But I was buoyed on by a very surreal experience. One that led to a little voice in my head urging ‘Go on, ‘ave a go’…….
I had a piece of writing published by Dawn French. Let me just say that again. I had a piece of writing published by DAWN FRENCH!
When I started my blog, I partnered it by joining Twitter. Being one of my comedy heroes, Dawn was amongst the first few people I followed. So I happened to see her invite for written advice and thoughts on ageing. She was approaching her 60th birthday and publishing a new book; ‘Me. You. A Diary.’ The chosen entries would be published, as a prelude, in a free e-book; ‘You. Me. A Diary.’ Catching details of the project only days before the submission deadline, it was a month’s wait to learn if my piece was included. I kept it a secret from everyone. On publication day, I held my breath as I downloaded my copy. And there I was. One of 20 inclusions. The whole thing was funny and daft and poignant and full of heart. And I damn near burst to see myself in there. In a book with Dawn French’s name on the cover. Alas, as a piece of publicity, the ebook is no longer available, though you can read how it came about in this newsflash, and my contribution can be found here, in a post I put together once the e-book had shuffled off this mortal Amazon coil. My writing damn near finished there and then. I felt I’d peaked. A streak of luck that was unlikely to befall me again.
The reasons for The Lockwood Echo’s existence have been documented. Notes From The Editor (that’s me) will offer some insight. But the whole, what I now refer to as ‘The French Connection’, made me realise that I could put together a small e-book and it didn’t need to be a huge epic affair. I could do something diddy and fun. And I just so happened to have the bones of the perfect thing.
I had been volunteering for an organisation involved with dog rescue. YOU WILL HAVE TO BUY MY BOOK TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THAT! I celebrated my 3rd anniversary with them by putting together a Facebook album of all the dogs I’d helped transport. I named each dog; ‘The Smallest One’, ‘The One With The Longest Legs’, The One Most In Need Of A Bath’, you get the idea. And so was born ‘The Rescued One’. My book.
I jumped through hoops. I twisted myself inside out. I learnt what ‘Page Break’ meant. I registered with the IRS in America for tax purposes. I sold my soul to Amazon. And Kindle picked what was left of my flesh.
I once hurled myself out of an aeroplane. Apparently for fun. But being not completely stupid, I did pay to have a qualified skydive instructor strapped to my back, for the duration, just to be on the safe side. Anyhow, hitting the ‘please review my little offering and if it’s ok please go ahead and publish it Mr Kindle. Pretty please with a cherry on top’ button equalled it for nerves, the crashing flood of uncertainty and what the heck do I think I’m doing-ness.
But there it was. My book. Wot I wrote. In electronic format. All I had to do now was tell some people. I started thus;
I understand that it’s all in the marketing, so let me give that my best shot;
It’s only a wee thing. No big deal. 5000 words, 2000 of which are really superfluous padding; acknowledgements etc. There are photos too. Which are mostly shit. Apart from the ones not even taken by me. And it doesn’t quite look how I’d hoped, but hey, I’m a book-publishing virgin. Oh, did I mention it’s for CHARIDEEEEE. And it’s about dogs. It’s quite cute.
And to think people employ publishers and literary agents to get the publicity and promotion just right. Who needs that? (You do Lockwood. You need that.)
A year on and I’ve updated my offering. After Kindle took my carefully crafted construction and dispensed with most of it, I decided to jump through some more hoops to improve matters. The images are now visible with the naked eye and my chapter headings no longer look like the words have all fallen out with each other. Hence this post to give it a bit of a push. How best to do that?
Well, if my marketing skills above have not done me any favours, maybe I could tempt you with some statistics;
- It’s 48 pages long (remember it’s an e-book, so that’s give or take).
- There are 23 photos. Some are not too bad.
- It’s currently ranked 700,504th in the Kindle Store’s Paid chart.
- And ranked 1858th in Kindle Store’s Dogs chart (via Home & Garden : Animal Care & Pets).
- It’s on page 27 of the above search, if you sort by ‘Price: Low to High’.
Some giddy numbers there. But if none of that tempts you in, perhaps I could just simply say;
It’s a book full of HAPPY TAILS! Because it is.
I could offer an excerpt. Many chapters are very short like this;
THE ONE THAT WAS UNEXPECTEDLY BOUNCY
Knowing that this boy was an older chap, I was expecting a sedate passenger and a quiet journey. But he was very young at heart, full of beans and such a happy chappie. Wherever he is spending his autumn years, I’m sure he is a joy to be around.
But there are a couple of longer
tails tales and throughout, an explanation of how the rescue world works. I will be expanding on one of the tales to feature in the series ‘Then There Was That Time…….’. A story of a 7 hour journey with a strange dog, some motorway mayhem and the band Public Enemy. So stand by your beds for that one.
Well, I think my work here is done. All that’s left for me to do is provide a link to an e-book that has fewer words than this post blabbering about it. If you have been a star and already downloaded my offering, the updated version can be distinguished by taking a peek at the Copyright Page where it will state ‘Revised 2018’. If you still have the original, you should be able to update for free via your e-reader. The link here is for Amazon UK, but it is available worldwide for those of you…….errrr…….worldwide. Hopefully easily found in your local Amazon Kindle Store. It is what it is and it’s not what it’s not.
Anyone who has their own book published will know that the royalties are but pence. I’m only charging so that I can offer those pence (both of them) to the organisation that…….wait for it…….kindled this book. Did you see what I did there? DID YOU SEE? Although my logistics no longer give me the opportunity to transport rescue dogs, I try to get involved in other ways, helping to spread the word, share the inside story, and appeal for help. Although not a registered charity, the whole shebang is run solely by volunteers. Ain’t that peachy?
Here you go poppets…….