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Friday, 24 June 2016

Sliding back into the groove

I've had a slack couple of weeks from a writing point of view; the day job and life generally disrupting the yet to be achieved ideal habits of creativity. After I had spent April punching Gone to Earth further towards a conclusion and suffered an impromptu plot twist that threw me off course for a while.

Set the clock to do a bit of digging around on twitter yesterday, 23rd June, inevitably the referendum generated some amusing traffic and hashtags including #dogsatpolingstations and after the Internet poll to select the name for the new survey vessel,  eventually named the RRS David Attenborough, in honour of the Naturalist and broadcaster who recently celebrated his 90th birthday. The public vote wanted BoatyMcBoatface; the name was given to the small remotely operated vessel on the "Attenborough." Inevitably the referendum threw #voteymcvoteface into the mixture. 

Skipping past all that I tracked down some of the people I follow, and have done since I started out as an author. David Gaughran always come close to the top of the list here. I began reading his blog before Iceline hit the digital shelves and have found his book Lets Get Digital a valuable reference. It's currently on the updated second edition, and now free, maybe forever!

David has been grinding an axe against the machinations of Author Solutions for as long as I can remember and his twitter feed has been busy with traffic regarding the attitude of the big publishing houses and their relationship with authors. Go for the fifteenth of June and work your way back.

The sub-title of David's book, Let's Get Digital, is How to self-publish, and why you should, goes a long way to explaining the choices I made in my personal journey to authorship. 

I was tempted, honestly, before I took the plunge with smashwords, the adverts were very tempting especially to an Internet newbie. What saved me, what held me back from the promised honeypot? Cash was tight, there was no spare to throw away, and so I kept my wallet in my pocket and looked deeper. The shadows behind the glittering facade were deep and dark like the spooky cellar in the haunted house that you just know  the dumb ass hero is going down to their fate.

I had to find another way, and David's blog is worth following, for his dogged persistence, he is not alone, Victoria Strauss at WriterBeware weighs in with her own research, valuable stuff for the newbie and the more experienced. 

Finding David Gaughran still working the case for the self-published author against the vanity presses and their relationships with the big publishers rekindled a spark somewhere, breathed life on to an ember that seemed to be cooling. 

The past few weeks have been a reflective time, ideas percolating at the back of my mind have found their way forward and hopefully a resolution. Realistically, the end product may be a classic English compromise. Cheekyseagull, the name again, and I have been over this before, weighing up the pros and cons of sticking with it, well, the solution may be found in the header of the website. Reconfigured over the past couple of weeks, the tag is now cheekyseagullbooks.co.uk. The familiar cheekyseagull.co.uk is tucked underneath, just below "home of the Grange Thrillers by Martyn Taylor." 

The next question, where to go from here, and in the spirit of the re-ordered website, the new About Me page I have to make the journey myself, independently. I may have to rejig one or two other things before I'm happy with the result.

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