With the rush, and the reading and the writing and glorious Ireland (see Postcards from Ireland: 1-10 below on blog) I didn't get down to actually reading it until I was on the plane from Ireland. It is a great book with a great voice and in it (the book is very successful ) the medium is the message.
And here on the plane was this distinctively witty Irish voice giving me very savvy advice about the self-publishing process. Catherine takes no prisoners, she dismantle's myths, scorns self-pitying writers who blame publishers, agents and the world of publishing for their lack of presence in the world of books. She scorns lazy writers who think typing is writing. She spots so many things which seem obvious but which haven't been articulated in this way before. You need to read the book to get the full flavour and advantage of her eminently practical advice.
The very best thing about this book is its tone - the joyful sense that this is an exciting, even privileged, world in which to work and we should make our own success by our joyful professional attitude and focused professional work..
Now! I thought I knew something about all this. I have self published on Kindle six of my novels and they are selling fairly well, bit by bit. However Katherine R Howard has shown me I need to do more than just publish them on Kindle. There is serious (and joyful) follow up-work to do. She has a great philosophy about this and some great suggestions. Inspiring is a cliche these days, but this book is just that.
And now - halleluyah !- next week from 19th July, the whole back-list of my novels will be live on Kindle, published by Headline.So my self published books have to sit well alongside them.
So I have to say that the best (but not the only) thing I took from Catherine's book was how much serious professional work you should do on your self published book and Kindle covers. Her mantra is they must, must look professional, not home made. This sent me back to my own covers with a critical eye and since returning from Ireland I have done some concentrated work on two of those.
Here they are. What do you think?
|New Mary Ann cover for Kindle|
|New Cover for Paulie|