As I said in the first entry, the point of this blog is to pass on some advice that might help others. If you see me make a catastrophic mistake, you can avoid it. Likewise, if I do something that works, I can pass it on. That means I selfishly get to read more good books if you get them published as well!
It’s a great outlet for me to have this blog. You see I don’t really talk about my writing, it is something I tend to keep to myself. Not out of fear of mentioning it or anything like that at all, rather I feel it isn’t always the easiest conversation to lead into. The reason for that is I suppose I am known as a banker and it is a job I see a lot of value in and do take pride in (I will do a blog entry on that at one point). It would seem so out the blue if I turned around and said I really enjoy writing and am trying to make it my career. My friends, who work in other industries, do get to play my dungeons and dragons campaigns to this day so they get a taste of my writing now and then but that is really the extent of it.
Anyway what advice can I pass on today that might save you some time?
So setting up the kindle self-publishing account was pretty straight forward.
- The first part is your personal details. I think it is safe to say we all know our name and where we live.
- It also asks for your IBAN and BIC. That’s your International Bank Account Number and your Bank Identifier Code (all roads lead back to banking haha I can’t escape it). You can get that off your bank statement or online banking, it isn’t your normal account detail. Your IBAN is about 20 numbers or over, your BIC about 8.
WARNING I was surprised by the number of dodgy sites saying they could tell you your IBAN if you provided various account details. No, no, no. I know, internet safety 101, you all probably know this, but don’t do that. You are essentially giving them all the information they would need to make payments out your account. Stay safe please J
- You then have to decide how you will be paid when millions of people undoubtedly decide to download your book (if I get one, I will be pleased haha). EFT is best from the looks of it, an electronic fund transfer. All that means is whenever anyone downloads your book, you get it right away, paid electronically. Check is a bit slow and only once you hit a certain amount and as for the wire option, be careful your bank doesn’t charge you for that. Seems there is a clear winner there.
- Tax information is likewise straightforward. Follow the guide, take your time and keep it all above the board.
That was all a bit dry, back to the fun bits I think.
Here is the cover for my first novella, North Sea Nightmare (to clarify, by first novella, I mean the first one I want to get published, I have written dozens of novellas and even two novels but not really done anything with them).
I paid to have the cover done, they done a damn good job I think and even gave me a few options but this is the one I like best. It is important to know what your strengths are and drawing isn’t one of mine- my little avatar with the green ink was me trying with all my ability. More than happy to get the experts in for that one and only fair they are compensated for doing it.
The story itself is about an oil crew in the North Sea who awaken an ancient creature that proceeds to massacre the rig inhabitants. Our cast of characters need to work together to escape in one piece. The focus is on a pair of estranged siblings who as coincidence would have it were both on the rig at the same time for very different reasons. They had fallen out over the 2014 referendum, something all too common I am afraid, seems like a lot of friendships and relationships were torn apart during that.
The blurb is:
Rig-16 in the middle of the North Sea has just started drilling.
For the men and women aboard, this may be their last day alive.
Dillan thought he was having a rough day when he found out his estranged sister, aide to a government minister, was visiting the rig he works on.
However, that was nothing compared to how bad things are about to get.
In the ancient depths, a prehistoric creature was slumbering.
They woke it.
Now they will be lucky to see tomorrow.
I have written the whole story but I am going over, tweaking and editing. It will be up before December ends, hopefully before Christmas, but 100% before December ends.
Deciding on the North Sea as a setting wasn’t an accident or an off the cuff choice. The North Sea for those not too familiar with Scotland is where all the countries oil comes from. It is always used as a political football during debates between parties as well.
One thing is for sure though, when the North Sea dips, the whole country takes a bit of a hit. Aberdeen is pretty much built on oil with all the big oil companies having offices there. Then you get the associated companies like law firms who specialise in the oil industry, insurance companies who handle the rig workers, the engineers who design new rigs components etc.
I live in Edinburgh which is mostly banking, finance, law and government employees since the parliament is here. However even we feel a tremor when the oil dips.
So the North Sea is somewhere that is pretty important and instantly recognisable to most the people here. I haven’t just assumed familiarity though, for readers who aren’t from Scotland, it is set up pretty quickly how vital this area is for the country.
Above all else though it was great fun to write, at some parts looking at interpersonal relationships strained by recent political issues then switching to horror and action. The temptation of course is to tweak it for the next ten years and never dare release it. It is important to overcame the tendency towards utter perfection. Yes, make sure it is good so you are not wasting your readers valuable time but if you allow yourself to, it is so easy to spend your life editing without ever making a move to get your stories out there.
I spent my morning today walking around the Edinburgh Christmas market, had a glass of mulled wine which was very nice but now I am back home, settled, got a nice quiet flat to myself, time to crack on with the story. Changing one or two parts or beefing up descriptions when they seem a bit lacklustre, cutting out parts that seem a bit excessive, will do that for a good few hours today.
All the best, take care and have a well-deserved mellow Sunday.