I’ve been reading a great series of posts by CE Flores which explain how to self-publish a book.
I know nothing about this subject or the process and have never really thought much about it but after reading CE Flores’ blog, I thought I might dig out an old ‘book’ that I wrote a while ago and try self-publishing.
About a Horse
The story is entitled, ‘By Jingo’ and it’s about a horse. Well, they say ‘write about what you know’ and so I obviously wrote about horses. I certainly know about horses. Horses have been my obsession from the age of two. Well, possibly from birth but I can’t remember that far. It took me 21 years of wishing, followed by hard, determined struggle and sacrifice to finally achieve my ambition of owning a horse. This was followed by a further 21 years full of struggle and heartache that owning horses brings….. but also full of the joy of sharing my life with a beautiful noble horse.
It’s a children’s book narrated by a horse so, it’s a completely original idea. Well, I believe someone called Anna published one along the same lines a few decades ago, but I don’t know if she had much success with it.
I love trying new online money-making ventures such as self-publishing a book, so last weekend I searched for the manuscript of ‘By Jingo’. ‘By Jingo’ does not exist electronically; it’s not on my computer and it’s certainly not written in a cloud. I won’t say it was written pre-computers because I’m not that old but it was typed on a word processor (look it up, children) saved onto a floppy disk (3.5″) and printed out in double line spacing.
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A Word about the Word Processor
The word processor lived on the top of my wardrobe for many years, but was eventually sold on Preloved to a man who lived hundred of miles away and, before the sale, he sent me effusive messages to say he was ‘so happy’ and ‘overjoyed’ to purchase it for his 80 year old father whose own word processor had bitten the dust. I carefully packed it up and sent it by courier but I never heard another word so presumably his father wasn’t so happy and overjoyed when he unpacked the box.
Actually, I’ve just been struck by the terrible thought that his father may have died during the box’s journey to him.
Now I feel terrible.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Give Up
I sent a printed copy of the double spaced manuscript through the post (pre-email) to a publisher who sent it back with an ‘it’s not what we are looking for at this time’ letter.
Now, being one of those people who give up at the very first hint of failure, I hole-punched the manuscript and I remember putting it into a blue cardboard folder and storing it away somewhere.
That’s the problem. I can’t find it. I have searched every inch of my art deco moderne house from the flat roof to the front door and I can’t find it.
It’s not with the copies of newspapers containing my published letters. (‘Indignant of Surbiton’ – that sort of thing.)
It’s not with the printouts of the other five books I have written. (All unfinished.)
It’s not with my Writers’ Bureau coursebooks. (Again, course unfinished as I got discouraged by assignment no. 3.)
It’s not in my various boxes of letters, birthday cards, bank statements, diaries, pay slips and useful newspaper cuttings.
It’s not mixed up with all my art portfolios and art materials.
It’s not in my bookcases with my hundreds and hundreds of books.
I came across a blue folder and thought ‘this is it’ but when I opened the folder, it contained notes on a double-entry bookkeeping course I attended for work in the 1990s.
The Search Goes On…
When I say that I have searched every inch of the house, I should point out that there are several inches, well maybe feet, well maybe whole rooms that I can’t actually access owing to my path being obstructed by clutter.
So the self-publishing is on hold until I clear the clutter. (Or it might be easier if I just moved into another house and used this one as a self-storage unit.)
Or I could finish one of the other five books that I started.
Or I could just finish any of the other 45 incomplete blog posts in my drafts folder.
Or I could just make a cup of tea and eat a biscuit.