On the 29 October 2012, and after nearly two years in development, I published my novel, “Collision – A Sci Fi Romance”. It took less than an hour to actually publish the book on Amazon. Even for a technophobe like me, the process was simplicity itself. I simply followed the input screens on Amazon and uploaded the file and cover. The following day I got an e-mail from Amazon telling me it had been published. I went onto the site, and there it was. Amazing.
Does this mean anyone can self publish a novel on Amazon Kindle? The answer is ‘yes’; but of course there is the small matter of actually writing the book in the first place. That means you need an idea for a book and a great deal of will and determination to follow it through. Many, of course, start to write with good intentions, but after a few thousand words give up in despair. It is not as easy as it seems. Some might even finish the first draft and then despair at the thought of editing the draft; a process that can be as long as the process of writing itself.
In my case, I had a slight advantage; I had written two non-fiction books before, one of which went through six editions, and I had acted as editor of a technical newsletter for one of the largest firms of accountants in the world. I had also contributed chapters to a number of other publications and published a lot of articles. I knew I had the basic writing skills; but could I write fiction? As I was to discover the world of fiction was a totally new experience for me.
At about 25,000 words I started to falter; I had concerns about the plot, about the characters, about dialogue, and about virtually everything. And I realised that I needed to do much more research about how to write fiction. So I did, what I suspect most newbie writers do; I read dozens of ‘how to write fiction’ books. I have quite a library of them now. Most of them are very good, and will help you identify what you are doing wrong. But don’t expect them to turn you into a Stephen King or a Dan Brown. They won’t. At best they will get you to look at the way an author is telling a story in a different way.
I said earlier that it had taken almost two years to produce the book. It’s taken longer than I expected; but there was a lot to learn during the process and I am still learning. Perhaps the next will take far less.