Tag Archives: self publishing

A second chance at a first impression (showing off the town) 

taylor park macrosty park bandstand crieff jack reusen john brayA few months ago I decided to rework ‘Jack Reusen and the Fey Flame’ with the intention of submitting it to a publisher. It’s safe to say the idea of a publisher looking at it is a little disconcerting.

I hadn’t done a full read through of ‘the Fey Flame’ for a long time. I’ve written four more books containing these characters since then and I was surprised to see how many ‘out of character’ things they do/say in the first book (at least from my perspective).

In the course of the other books the characters obviously grew and changed (how dull would a book be if the main characters learned nothing from their experiences?). However, reading the Fey Flame again has made me realise that I don’t know much about who they were before I first met them (if that makes sense). It’s been interesting getting to know this earlier version of these now very familiar characters.

I’m also discovering how hard it is to rework the Fey Flame without at least hinting about what will happen to them. I’m in a constant battle against spoilers.

Once this rewrite is complete I’ll have a shorter, snappier version of the book. (Don’t worry I’m not cutting that much, I just wanted to keep chapter length consistent etc.). I’ve also added a few wee touches here and there in places where I thought it would be nice to know more about some of the characters (Granny Reusen gets a wee mini story about her childhood).

One big change (but one that didn’t take much work to alter) is the fact that I’ve decided to be a lot clearer about the fact that everything takes place in and around Crieff. From the b….. with the W……… at the bandstand, to Jack’s first experience of Fey on Lady Mary’s walk.

All the books are inspired by the (admittedly slightly less extravagant) adventures I’ve had with my family in the town and countryside where we live. It felt only fitting that the books reflect that a little more strongly. If Harry Potter can visit Kings Cross station then it’s only fair that my characters can pop down to walk the Illohound in MacRosty Park.

It’s hugely intimidating realising that the Fey Flame will soon be in the hands of a publisher to await judgement. I’ll be sure to post once it’s been sent through and you can join me in my worries over the following months before I hear back. Wish me luck.

As always thanks for reading, all the best, John

Book sales

Not my image, click picture for sourceI’ve held back from talking about book sales on here. From reading other writers’ blogs I get the feeling that it isn’t really the done thing. This blog is designed to highlight the world of Jack and his friends so perhaps this isn’t the place for this. However, I’d also like this wee blog to give potential writers a real idea about what it’s like to be a self-published children’s author, so here we go.

So far my book sales have kept me happy. They’re nowhere near providing me with a living yet, but as an incentive to get me to write more they’re really fantastic. This week I’ve sold three books (two hard copies and one kindle edition).

That might not sound like much to some people but given the amount of time I’ve actually been able to put into showing the books off I’m finding this pretty promising.

On top of this I’m being asked more about the books by parents, both whilst picking my kids up from school and while working in the toy shop. I get the feeling that people are actually hearing about the books from parents and children who’ve enjoyed reading ‘…the Fey flame‘. Somehow that feels better than a load of sales gained by a big ad campaign.

If you’re a new or aspiring author and you’ve opted to try the self publishing route expect to get sales in direct relation to the amount of effort you put in to getting your book known, and to the reception that your book gets from those who have already read it. I always notice a jump in sales when I do a book talk, show it off on twitter a bit, or simply when (like the other day) someone is good enough to tell others that they’re enjoying Jack’s world.

If anyone reading this would like to know more about what’s involved in the early stages of a self published book feel free to leave questions in the comments section and I’ll give you feedback on my own experiences.

Of course I also welcome comments from anyone who is in the same boat as me or even people a few steps beyond this point. It’s always good to hear how other writers deal with getting their book known. As always, thanks for dropping by, and don’t forget to follow the Jack Reusen account on twitter, or alternatively you can like the official page on Facebook to be kept up to date about the books. All the best, John