The walk around one of my shooting permissions this morning was later that usual. The crows laughed at my tardiness and most of the grey squirrels had gone back to the dreys to sleep off breakfast. Not that I was worried. I stole through the wood with a grin like the proverbial Cheshire cat. The first thing I had done after finishing my poached egg on toast was to check my e-mails on my phone. Both my print book and e-book has been approved for publication by Amazon / Kindle Direct Publishing and were available online. They had only been submitted for approval at 9pm last night, after a day wrestling with matching my own formatting with Amazons and my book being rejected (for technical not ethical reasons) three times. Let me explain.
As a self-publishing author, I am in total control of most aspects of the publishing process. I decide content. I take and select my own photo’s, which I format myself. I pick my preferred text format (following Amazon’s recommendations). If you’re a fiction author, I’m sure life must be far easier. My books demand photo’s. As the man said, a picture speaks a thousand words. Therein lies the challenge. To produce a book which balances text content with printable, quality photos yet keep the cost to the reader minimal. There are quality specifications to stick to with KDP and they are there for a reason. If you get it slightly wrong (and KDP’s upload system is both simple and brilliant), your submission will be rejected. Yesterday, all my issues were around print margins. No problems with pictures or text content. Just in sizing the text document to have suitable margins to allow it to be printed professionally. I played with it all day. As every reload and approval can take an hour or more, it is a frustrating process. Yet I got there in the end. Helped by reminding myself that the first book I had approved by a mainstream publisher took nearly two years to go from submission to publication.
I had just written, formatted and published a book within three months. The publishing element taking just 24 hours. More importantly, I’m pleased with the finished product. I haven’t had to put up any money to publish the book, nor have I had an ‘advance’. The book will be printed on demand for the reader (or uploaded to their digital device).
I’ve been writing about shooting, about wildlife and about the countryside for nearly fifteen years now. For some, writing is a labour. For me, it is a love. I may not be the most eloquent scribe in the countrysports arena but I believe I have been one of the most consistent. In terms of output, certainly one of the most prolific. Hunting is my escape from the mundanity of the workplace and as I approach my official retirement age it’s in the hope that one day my eulogy will describe me as ‘an author’. Not that I’m planning to go anywhere yet! So here it is.
The Complete Airgunner
(How to Hunt, Shoot and Cook)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1710911476 Print copy
Copyright Ian Barnett, Wildscribbler, November 2019