After the best part of two years researching and crafting a storyline I could be happy with, my book ‘Jack the Ripper: Threads’ is now available to buy on Amazon!
So what happens now? Well, now the marketing begins and I will share my tactics on that in a later post, and hopefully with some positive results to share.
How it began…
I always wanted to be a writer. As a kid, I dreamed about being a football (soccer) writer. I kept notebooks of match reports I had written with scraps of newspaper photos to accompany my story. I was quite lucky that at the age of 17 I was working for the team I supported as a child. Through this, I became the club’s youngest ever editor of the club newspaper and had my own page in the matchday programme for a season. I then progressed to writing content and match reports for the newly-launched website. From there my career progressed into the world of online and writing became secondary.
As I write this, I am now in my 40s and I feel I have done all I can or wish to do in that world. I have been lucky to have been super successful at times, and not so successful at other times. Now I want to return back to my passion for writing. Can I do this as a full-time career? Will people enjoy my work? How do other people make it work? I guess I will soon find out.
How do you self-publish?
Thanks to Amazon self-publishing is extremely straightforward. Pushing that ‘publish’ button is all too easy. Actually, had I been a little less trigger happy, then my launch would have been a bit more coherent. Still useful lessons learned!
If you have a plan on self-publishing you will need to be prepared to do at least two jobs. That is the role of the author of course, but you will also need to be an internet marketeer. I designed my own cover, and generally, the reception has been positive, but you must be prepared to invest in delivering something professional looking as it could seriously damage your sales.
Equally, if not more important, is having an editor. I paid a premium for mine, and not everyone will have that kind of budget, but you should under no circumstances consider releasing any titles without a professional editor looking at your manuscript. People are far less likely to spread the word of your book if it is riddled with typos and grammar issues. I use Grammarly to help in my drafting, but I absolutely then put my trust in a professional editor.
USEFUL LINKS (TO GET STARTED):
- KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing is your gateway to selling on Amazon and self-publsihing
- Amazon Author – This is where you manager your author profile for Amazon
- Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula – I would urge anyone serious about self-publishing to sign-up to Mark’s course. I did. The investment is around $300 for the 101 course – but it will be the best investment you will make if you are serious about self-publishing. He also has a fantastic weekly podcast where his friend and colleague James Blatch interviews peole who have had success self-publishing or interesting figures in the industry willing to offer great advice. The podcast is FREE.
- Scrivener – You will need software that can format your manuscript in the optimal way for Amazon. Paperbacks and Hardbacks use PDF format and Kindle uses the ePub format. This is the tool I use and am comfortable with and produces digital and print-ready manuscripts.
- Reedsy – This marketplace is how I found my editor and it really took away the uncertainty of whether you were investing wisely. You can also find PR people, marketers and cover designers here.
- 99Designs – If you are on a tight budget for a cover then 99Designs offers an array of options to keep your costs down.
NOW FOR THE MAGIC…
Even after you have the manuscript perfectly formatted and edited, a cover that catches the eye and a gripping story executed – there is so much more to do. The launch. The marketing. The profile building. This is where I am now on my journey, and as mentioned earlier in this post, I will post updates on this over the coming weeks and months.
I would urge anyone who has grappled with the idea of being a writer to at least get this far. The sense of accomplishment of seeing your work translate from a computer screen into an actual physical book is quite rewarding in itself. Go for it!
JACK THE RIPPER: THREADS
Think you know Jack the Ripper? Think again.
What if ‘Jack the Ripper’ was a cotton merchant from Liverpool? What if the diary or watch, purported to be James Maybrick’s, is genuine? This gripping fictional tale is a circumstantial exploration of James Maybrick being ‘Jack’.
Using a mix of fact and fiction, actual events and characters are brought to life in this gripping story.
Did one of his family members murder him in 1889, ending the reign of terror in London’s Whitechapel?
“Jack the Ripper: Threads” is the debut novel of Jay Hartley.
A historical crime thriller that will challenge everything you thought you knew about history’s most famous unsolved serial murders.