This page shows some of the thought process and the evolution of the completion of my latest novel, "THE MEMORY REFLEX" It is always an ongoing work in progress... This work helped to colour the entire vision of the projected work of further books.
The finalised cover was created in Cover Creator on the Kindle Amazon Direct Publishing site. This is a fairly basic program and the finished book was perhaps something of a compromise but nevertheless it took a long time. I'm happy with the physical novel itself, it is square in format about 6 inches on each side with a good weight and feels good in the hands. The desire for the finished set of books will be to work with a traditional publisher who will be able to design and market them professionally with the integrity I believe they will deserve.
Having completed several drafts, revisions and edits I've decided I'm satisfied with every element of this novel and that I can go no further without professional input. Below are some of the working titles I used before settling on THE MEMORY REFLEX as the most commercial and appropriate to the story...
99% SYNTHETIC ANOTHER PERFECT MIND EZEE THE SILK KING BLACK ZENITH
MIND STREAM SYNTHESIS AIDE MEM/NOIR THE MIND DESIGNER
ALONE AMONG EQUALS REFLEXISTENCE REFLEX SOUL
My original plan was to submit this work to literary agencies and I have in fact done this to locations in London and in the USA. However they take a long time to get back and I have very little hope of finding an agency who will publish this book. There is simply too much competition, the odds are hugely stacked against this route of traditional pulblishing. Certainly the idea of havin to pay next to nothing for a company to take care of everything and market your work both here and abroad and then to simply wait for the royalities to come flooding in is very attractive. But as a realist I think it is probably at best a long shot at a dream, the pursuit of which could take many years with no success whatsoever.
So I decided to take the other route, to self publish. My experience with Amazon KDP was good, initially, in that I created some nice paperbacks and the cost was very low. However, I was frustrated in my attempts to market my work, for it to reach an audience of any kind. Also on reflection I desired a higher quality product in the first place.
To pay an independent publisher who accepts unsolcited material seemed the best bet. With some research I found a comany called Publishing Push who were about the best value in terms of cost and the service they offer. Still, to proof read was £800 and then to create a paperback and and ebook was another £1600. They did seem however to have a very good marketing strategy which is obviously key. I considered using them to publish a kind of limited edition hardback to get my novel 'out there' I also began designing covers as ideas and affirm in my my mind the way I wished to present the work to the reader. Using shutterstock images, with their watermark.
I finalised my title, a 'detail' that had been evolving and developing throughout the writing of the book, but had grown into a troublesome problem. I also made a revolutionary decision to create a square novel, a book about 6"x6". This isn't a gimmick as such but a creative choice. I have some square format non-fiction paperback books and they are very nice to handle, it's a novelty but I believe it's original and will make the book stand out, even if this goes against industry norms. I'd rather risk excluding some retailers and take a hit there but stoke some interest and create a bit of a buzz... But that's a long way off... Altough these ideas had some appealing benefits agian the cost was prohitbitive. I had to think again.
The only format I hadn't properly considered was an Audio Book. Being caught in the tunnel vision of creating a book, especially a paperback to magically appear on the shelves of Waterstones, I had always thought an audio book was a luxurious add on once a book had become successful. I thought of a voluntary job I once did for "The Talking Newspaper", a local charity where we read and recorded items from the local newspapers. The tapes that were then copied were distributed to a network of blind people. It was very rewarding work for a couple of hours a week. I also used to read on occasion for a blind guy at Uni (see PILOT OF DREAMS - sample chapter above). I once took an adult education course in public speaking and had done some acting too, and some stand up comedy...
I did some research and discovered a lot of authors are narrating their own books and uploading them onto sites such as Audible for sale via ACX. The advantage of reading your own book, if you are confident with your voice, is that you know all your characters, as you imagined them when writing. Also it's a lot cheaper than hiring a professional reader or actor to do the job for you. All you need is a good microphone, somewhere quiet to record, a computer and the appropriate software to edit the files into the finished book with the necessary quality. I'm going to use my MacBook Pro, Garage Band and a "Beyerdynamic Fox" microphone. (£139)
I don't know how long this project will take, but I intend to do it at the very highest standard. My plan is to create the file and place it for sale with Audible and then to hire a PR company to promote it as far and wide as possible. This will still be the lowest budget option to distribute my work successfully and my hope is that if it does well, I wil have a very good chance of getting the novel published as a book in the future. Also I think putting the Audio Book in a primary position is just very cool and I know I'm going to really enjoying the reading and recording.