Guest Post: Royal Flush blog stop by Scott Barttlett

Hello, Cro’s Nest readers! I’m Scott, another Newfoundland author. I’m writing this guest post as part of the blog tour for my humour novel Royal Flush, which strikes me as a good opportunity to discuss my experiences thus far as an indie author. Hopefully this will be useful to anyone who’s considering becoming one.

 

I chose to self-publish Royal Flush, you see, and I’ve been promoting it for a few months, so I feel like I’m in a good position to tell you that self-publishing is a lot of work.

 

My printer is Lightning Source, and so I was responsible for virtually everything except the actual printing—including writing, editing, cover art, formatting the book, turning it into a PDF, and promoting it.

 

Royal Flush is about a man known only as the King, who rules a land known only as the Kingdom. It asks the question: can a man who throws his dates in a dungeon succeed romantically?

 

Five years ago or so, I wrote the first draft in the 18 days leading up to a competition deadline. This was the Fresh Fish Award, a local prize. (I didn’t win that one.)

 

I then spent several years revising and editing, ultimately going through ten drafts. I wasn’t alone in this, though. I’m lucky enough that many people have taken an interest in my writing, and I would estimate that over 100 people read Royal Flush during its various stages of pre-publication. This includes friends, family, coworkers, and users of Authonomy.com, all who provided valuable feedback. You might say I crowdsourced a significant amount of the editing.

 

I approached a local artist I went to high school with, Susan Jarvis, with a concept for the book cover, and she made me something very close to what you see today. I was immediately very happy with the cover, and I requested only minor changes.

 

Formatting the book was a headache. I spent hours researching how to do it. Hyphenation was especially troublesome. I’m glad I invested the time, though, because I think the finished print book looks pretty professional. (Formatting for eReaders, of course, wasn’t as big a deal, since it looks different on every device anyway.)

 

To promote the novel, I’ve turned to Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and local venues such as Chapters, Coles, Afterwords, Books R Us Plus, The Never Ending Story, the Farmers’ Market, Sci-Fi on the Rock, and the Regatta. I’ve been interviewed in local newspapers and on the radio. And then there’s this blog tour, after which I plan to record the first part of my book as an audiobook and give that away for free, to try and pique interest in the rest of it.

 

I have an 8-page marketing plan, which never seems to shrink no matter how many to-do items I delete from it. This is because I’m constantly adding new things—both new ideas and things I’ve realized I need to do. If you’re like me, you’ll underestimate just how much work self-publishing is before you go into it. A lot of it is unglamorous logistics. But based on my personal experience, I consider all of it well worth it.

 

One advantage associated with being self-published (and with being published electronically) is that your book is always ‘in print’. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge push immediately after the book is released, and then little to no activity afterward. Since my book is available for as long as Lightning Source, the ebook sellers, and I are all solvent, I can promote at my leisure—mind you, I don’t feel very leisurely. I am having lots of fun, though, and I consider that extremely important!

 

Scott Bartlett has been writing fiction since he was fifteen. His recently released novel, Royal Flush, is a recipient of the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize. Click here to buy the ebook ($3.99) or to order the print book ($12.99).

 

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2 Comments

  1. Good luck with your book, Scott! Sounds like a whimsical and zany read that should be a lot of fun.

    Pat


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