Tuesday 26 November 2013

Createspace and Orphans in the Social Media Storm

My recent sceptical post (scroll back two posts) about the use of social media in selling and promoting your fiction has drawn quite a lot of attention. Some people thought I rather had my head in the sand; others applauded my desire to keep the fun in these processes, reflecting my determination that writing has to be a joy in itself and anything that takes away from this joy is a negative for a creative writer.

And then I attended a talk in London by Richard Foreman of the excellent  Endeavour Press.  He is clearly very positive about the function of social media in the selling process for fiction and sees it as important in the present and the future for writers. His rational, pragmatic approach to the whole thing made me think again. He had evidence of successfully selling novels through Endeavour. I would trust Endeavour with my work.

Richard certainly made me think again about the whole thing. An open mind has to be one way to make progress in this approach to selling and promotion.

So, home from London with my mind wide open I clicked into my Amazon account to see what I could do for the five independently published novels on Amazon. These novels trickle out consistently without making any big splash. Suddenly these favourites seem like orphans in the storm who need some care to flourish.

And then, with my independent publisher shades on, I sat down to think of what I can do for these five orphans of mine, and came out with these intention: 

I will take my orphans and dress them in new clothes. My version of this is to revise them again, re-jacket and re-issue them. Make them into sharp children.

Then I will republish them independently as Kindles and Hardback using the excellent Createspace processes. (I had already done this recently with my novel Paulie’s Web – already on Kindle but now launched in paperback.)

I am now working on my novel Cruelty Games. Here is the new cover (much better now designed with the Createspace Cover Creator) and I am halfway through the re-edit and revision of the text. Four more to go...

At the end of this,  with the new versions all in place on my Amazon list I will work on the Kindles publications, following Richard Foreman’s excellent advice:

I will ensure the prices are all very keen. I now understand at last that the level of pricing is important, particularly so  as it now rivals the second hand price of my novels. The fact is that interested readers can buy my full length novels second hand for as little as a penny, plus Amazon postage. (One part of me is still happy that people are evidently still reading my novels.) I see there are some first collectors editions out there for rather more than a penny, of course...

One by one I will go through my Amazon novels and apply the Amazon Special Offer  and Free Day process,

I will keep an eye on the Amazon Rankings, to which I have never before attended, as it seemed an impossible dream to be up there. But now, when I apply these processes to each book this will check out whether my actions have had any impact  on the rankings.

I will try to let people know about my progress using my social media, although I will feel impelled to avoid the in-your-face sell that put me off in the first place - that is before I heard Richard Foreman’s wise words.

Of course all this might come to nothing in terms of getting my orphans out there into the world and giving them a good chance in life. But at least I won’t be sitting there on the sidelines wringing my hands and saying if only I could give my babes a real chance in the world.

After Cruelty Games I will work on A Woman Scorned, then Where Hope Lives  then Lizza, then a fresh one called The Real Life of Studs McGuire. It's not at all like writing. It's a  bit more  like embroidery. It fills in the dark nights of winter and you end up with something beautiful. And your orphans are well clad,

I will report back on this process from time to time here on the blog. I thought it might interest other writers who have their own orphaned novel that they wish to nurture and send out into the world,


  1. Good luck Wendy! I've just begun the Create Space process with The Sun's Companion, for the first time. It will be interesting to see where it goes, but at least I'll have a paperback as well as an e-book. No good at promotion though.......

  2. I think the process is great fun in its own way. I am trying to think through some ideas about promotion, in which case I'll pass on the ideas. Or not! wxx

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    1. So glad you're enjoying the blog John! I hope you' keep visiting! More stories to come.... w



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