Sunday, 10 June 2012

Wait...there's more; Author Bruce Blake's view on the e-publishing process.

Have you ever wondered how much work goes into e-publishing?
As the Tasha Turner Coaching's Virtual Blog Tour continues I am pleased to present my first male guest blogger; BRUCE BLAKE and his view on the e-publishing process.

Wait...there's more.

Write. Edit. Send query letters to agents/publishers. Cross fingers. Wait for your rejection letter.

Once upon a time, these were the very simple components to a career as an aspiring writer. Throw in a little brainstorming, some research and some proofreading, and you have something that can be reasonably accomplished in a couple of hours a day (depending on how many times a day you check your email waiting for your rejection letters once the queries have been sent). This was my life for 5 years over the course of 2 novels, 8 short stories, and more of those Goddamn rejection letters than I care to think about.

Oh how things have changed.

Unless you are a smarter writer than I, you may not realize how much work is involved once you decide to self-publish. Sure, those pesky query letters are gone and getting rid of the task of distilling the essence of 100,000 words of blood, sweat and tears down to a paragraph or two is almost worth whatever else needs to be done. And not getting form letters telling me my work is not for them? Priceless!

But there are costs.

First, all the creative control rests in your hands. Awesome, right? Okay, how are you with graphics programs? Can you design a cover? You can? Great! Where will you get the art from? How about the font you want? What do you mean it's not one of the ones included in MS Word's font pack? Well, maybe I'll just farm that out to a professional—want it to be the best quality after all. $50-$500.

I wrote the manuscript, then I spell checked it. Then I read it and edited. Then I did it again and again and again. Then I let my wife read it, and my mother-in-law, and as many friends as I could find who could do it in a reasonable amount of time. Some had some helpful suggestions; some said it was good; a couple had no input; one wanted me to put commas in places that had no right even knowing what a comma was. Good enough? Not a chance. This sucker needs a high-quality professional edit to make it the best it can be, not just a read through to ensure I didn't type 'their' when I meant 'there'. $500-$5000. Ouch. Gotta be done.

Alright, so now it's ready to go. A little formatting—not a big deal—and I'm a published author. Cross fingers and wait for people to buy it. Tap foot. Look at watch. Check KDP stats. Wait. Cross fingers tighter. Check Amazon ranking. Get frustrated no one is buying my masterpiece.

Oh, right. How are people going to find my little novel amongst the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of books waiting to be found? Promotion. I blog and use Twitter and Facebook, the combination of which could easily take up the couple of hours a day I'm meant to be writing. And I'm not a good promoter compared to some. Pinterest, Google+, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Shelfari and a whole host of other social media sites lurk out there waiting. But wait; there's more! Being a guest on other authors' blogs (thanks, Anjie); submitting to book review sites (really? More rejection?); book forums; Kindle boards. The amount of work which could be done to make your book successful is nearly endless.


Who has time to write anymore?

Who the Hell Is Bruce Blake?

Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don't take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. Is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn't a pressing issue, and his dog is far too small to pull a sled, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” than he does shovelling. The father of two, Bruce is the trophy husband of burlesque diva Miss Rosie Bitts.

Bruce's first short story, “Another Man's Shoes”, was published in the Winter 2008 issue of Cemetery Moon. “Yardwork” was made into a podcast in Oct., 2011 by Pseudopod. On Unfaithful Wings is Bruce's first novel and his second Icarus Fell novel, All Who Wander Are Lost, is due to hit Kindle in mid-July with a four-part epic fantasy not far behind and many more to come.


  1. Perfect post for anyone who thinks "oh wow, I can self-publish and be an author easy now."

  2. Good post Bruce! "Life gives to us in equal measure, that in which we give to it."