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 Getting them to take a chance on a long story from a previously unpublished author in a genre that is a departure from their usual material would be a big ask.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.
Alex Avrio is an author of Fantasy Adventure stories.