October already…

In just a few hours September will be over (in some parts of the world it’s over already, which just reinforces the relativity of time!) and October has rather too often been a very important ‘creative’ month for me in terms of publishing, so I feel I should put September ‘to bed’ before embarking on what will be a series of posts about my ‘long journey to publishing freedom.’ 

This journey started 10 years ago on 3rd October 2003 when I ‘launched’ my first novel. There’s been a lot of changes since then both in my life and in publishing. And anniversaries get you reflecting, now don’t they?

So watch this space and I’ll fill you in on some of the historic detail in the days to come – when I started planning this blog (yes, I do plan my blogs!) I thought I’d be writing about publishing that first novel in a 2nd edition to mark the 10th anniversary, but on further reflection I may be going to write about why I’m NOT going to re-publish on the anniversary.  See, I’ve learned a lot in 10 years, not least of which is to think more than twice before you act. 

But what’s happened in September? Seems like nothing to you people as I’ve been so quiet on the blogging front, but believe me, behind the scenes it’s been fast and furious.  I’ve hit ‘target one’ which was to finish the first stage read/note of ‘the collection’ but missed ‘target two’ which was to have all 32 titles copyedited. I’m still some 7 volumes to go which represents nearly 700,00 words out of a total of some 3.5 million words. Suffice it to say my copyediting skills are well advanced of what they were 6 months ago.  But in October I have to move onto the second stage of publishing.  While ‘catching up’ with the copy editing in my spare moments – and if anyone can find one of these elusive spare moments I’d be happy for them to send them my way.  They may have found (though I’m not sure they really have) the Higgs Boson, but no one can find me a spare moment in which to copyedit!

In other news this month I became something I’ve tried to avoid my whole life, which is ‘an award winning writer/publisher’  – I won’t be putting it on my business cards or plastering it over all sorts of promotional material. But I’m actually quite proud because it’s not just about the writing/publishing (I think) but about my own ‘innovative’ spirit (in the context of writing/drama/publishing)  What is the award? Well, I got a special recognition Innovation Award from the Scottish Fair Trade Forum for my writing/work on Fairtrade. (More about this on the Guerrilla Midgie Press site if you’re really interested, but I haven’t got time to repeat myself, or even go searching for links. 

And the biggest (or perhaps smallest) news of the month is that I think I’ve achieved the smallest merger and aquisition known to man.  The nano publisher HoAmPresst Publishing ( est 2010) (it’s too small to be a micro publisher) list has been acquired by Ayton Publishing LImited. What difference to the reader? None.  The HoAmPresst imprint still exits and that will be the one the reader engages with. But behind the scenes it’s all going to be part of Ayton.  As will Guerrilla Midgie Press. This is a quite normal feature in ‘business’ – I don’t need to list all the various companies which are in fact parts of other BIG companies. I’ve just done the same thing on a much smaller scale, and probably for different reasons.  Certainly not for the money, but really to try and cut down on paperwork.  Jury is still out on that one. 

The consequence will not so much be a rebranding as decisions about distribution – again totally boring to most people (except indie writers perhaps) but something which gains great importance when you are trying to subvert the standard ‘model’ of publishing. Which I have to do.  I can’t afford to pay 55% discounts to booksellers or retailers. If I did that I’d be paying people to read my books (now I know that’s actually not as daft as it seems in the world of ebooks where it’s de rigeur for indies to both give away their ebooks and pay to advertise that they’re doing that!)  Instead, as  I have been for the last 10 years, I’m trying to find a way that works FOR ME that means I don’t have to sell out on principles and don’t have to sell my body to medical science before I’m even dead. 

You know that saying ‘Buy a man a fish, feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for life’? Well, that’s one that I feel quite strongly about, but I’d add my own spin to it –  understand WHY we learn to fish for ourselves and you achieve true freedom.  

That’s what I’m striving for in my writing and publishing endeavours. I’m happy to do it myself, in terms of taking responsibility for my actions/publications and learning the skills I need to in order to present my ‘fish’ to the market place. I’m not happy to adopt the rules of the supermarket or the free market however. So I have to find a way for my three steps to personal enlightenment (John Lennon and I both know there’s  no heaven in 3 or more steps. Though we both appreciated Eddie Cochran, we think he might have been being metaphorical in his usage of the phrase.)

Anyway, here are my three steps: 

Step One: Be creative

Step Two: Accept that creativity is not an industry

Step Three:  Give readers/consumers ‘informed choice’ allowing them to both decide and have access (at a reasonable price) to said creativity. 

That’s what I spend a lot of my not spare moments working on and will continue to do so. 

But that’s enough for today. Tomorrow I’ll start on PART ONE of my ‘long journey to publishing freedom’  But now, I’ve got to go and cook the dinner.  

As the old self sufficiency bible says ‘first catch your moose.’  (I may explain that another day, maybe not!) 


About callyphillips

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