Well, things went a bit more smoothly than I expected, and this has caused everything to move forward. So The Dreaming Demon is now published and available to buy on Amazon and on Smashwords. I put it in for upload to Amazon, expecting there to be some formatting issues, but it sailed through and before I knew it, it was up and available in the Amazon store. What's even better is that it got its first independent download too, which is quite an exciting moment. Amazingly it also got accepted into Smashwords Premium Status in under 24 h, rather than the seven days expected, so is now available to download in all formats (epub, pdf, rtf etc) from its Smashwords page. If you don't have access to a Kindle you can get hold of it from here. Of course, if you want to purchase from Amazon but you don't have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle app from Amazon or an app store onto any tablet, phone, or PC, allowing you to view the Amazon mobi file. As its achieved Smashwords Premium Status, it should soon be available from Apple, Barnes and Noble (Nook), Kobo and Sony stores, and hopefully from most others that you might want to get it from. So, now we need to work on publicising its availability and getting people interested in committing their 75 pence to buy it, and hopefully leave some nice reviews! Of course, that's where you can help! And please share with your friends!
OK, so I hope you had a chance to take a look at the trailer for the Dreaming Demon. As usual, I'll concentrate my posts on the ins and outs of the publishing process and the planning. So, we've decided to self-publish this one, partly because it's a great story, but at an awkward length to get published in a magazine. It's also a slightly unusual genre for the mainstream fantasy magazines, which seem to concentrate on alternative world "high" fantasy stories primarily. Getting them to take a chance on a long story from a previously unpublished author in a genre that is a departure from their usual material would be a big ask. Our strategy is to publish on Amazon, and also use Smashwords, which is one of the biggest distributors of independently published e.books. Amazon goes without saying, as the largest publisher of e.books in the world. Smashwords allows you to upload a single file for conversion into multiple e.book formats, and distributes them to all of the other major e publishers (Barnes and Noble/Nook, Kobo, Apple, Sony etc.) This seems to be the easiest and most efficient option for the first dip of the toe in the e-publishing waters. The first task was to get the manuscript formatted in the correct way for the Smashwords "meatgrinder" program to accept it. Smashwords publish an extensive free guide on how to do this, which takes a while to wade through, but having followed all the instructions as closely as possible, the upload to Smashwords has gone smoothly so far. No dreaded "Autovetter" error messages, which seem to be the bane of many an author's life. Having passed the autovetter first time it should now be in the expedited queue for manual review, which should take around seven days - fingers crossed. The story now has its own Smashwords page (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/450369), with the first 25% is now available as a free sample on the Smashwords website, but I have already noticed one or two issues with the "Read online" and pdf versions which we'll need to try and iron out. We've pencilled in a release date of Weds 2nd July, but this may depend on how smoothly the manual vetting process goes. Next steps are to try the Amazon upload process, and to publicise the release on as many different platforms as possible. Of course you can help by placing a pre-order, encouraging anyone else you know to place a pre-order, putting links to the website, trailer, or Smashwords page on any websites, blogs you may have. If you have any other marketing advice, we'd love to hear it - either by comments to this blog, or by direct mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a hiatus of several weeks through an amazing trip to Peru, followed by a week of intense back pain, I'm now starting to be able to walk again, and to start planning our exciting next step - publishing Alex's 14000 word novella, the Dreaming Demon. This is an excellent story harking back to the classic adventure tales of H.Rider Haggard (KIng Solomon's Mines, Alan Quartermain adventures), Robert E. Howard (Conan stories), and H.P.Lovecraft (Cthulu Mythos). To whet your appetite, I've put together a short trailer using www.animoto.com. Please take a look on the Dreaming Demon page, or here on Youtube. More details about the release of this novella will follow shortly.
Alex Avrio is an author of Fantasy Adventure stories.