Since 2017 I’ve been working on a flash fiction collection, which I intend to self-publish. This book will be available as an e-book and as a printed book.
The purpose of the book is to help me build a fan base before I try to get my novel published. I also wanted to experience self-publishing for myself — there are many ways a writer can get their stories out to readers, so it’s a good idea to try them all.
So, that was the plan, but then I realised people won’t necessarily want to buy a self-published book from an unknown author. This led me to research deeper into building a fan base. You can read what I found out on my ‘6 Tips for Building a Fan Base’ blog post.
So, I started working towards building a fan base, using the tips I found. Then I noticed writers were giving away free e-book short story collections to readers. One of those writers (I should say author) is called Nicole Luttrell (I know, another Nic). She has an e-book of horror flash fictions titled Spook, which you can download for free. It’s a good read.
After reading this e-book, I wondered if I should do the same. So, I decided to do a free e-book preview of my flash fiction collection. However, in December 2018, I noticed the number of unpublished drabbles (100-word stories) I had, and a new idea popped into my head — I should make an e-book of my drabbles. It was a crazy idea. I already have so much work to do, but once I had the idea, I couldn’t resist it.
So, I gathered the drabbles I had and wrote some more to give me an even number of stories — I aimed to have twenty drabbles. My drabbles are a mix of genres. I have horror, crime, fantasy stories and some are mixed genres. Some of the stories are humorous, and others are sad. Many of them have a twist in the tale — I love writing twists. My drabble e-book is simply Nicole J. Simms the writer.
I will be using Smashwords to publish my e-book. It allows you to sell your e-books for free, and they also distribute your e-book to other sellers. To format the e-book properly, they recommend you read their Smashwords Style Guide. It’s not a quick read. The e-book has 117 pages, but the page number is mostly due to the number of images included, and the information in the guide is important.
It’s a lot to take in, and formatting your e-book will take time and patience, lots of patience. But hey, no pain, no gain. And, I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end, even if I lose a bit of my sanity during the process.
So, what stage am I on now? Well, my fabulous beta readers have read my e-book and given me some great feedback. I have to do some little tweaks, but nothing major, and most importantly, they didn’t think it was crap. So, that’s a good start.
I also have my cover to design, and then it’s time to format the thing. I wish I could say I will be calm during the process, but I would be lying. Don’t be surprised if you start seeing ‘Damn you, e-book’ tweets and Facebook posts, ha-ha.
At the moment, I still think this is a good idea, and I can’t wait for people to read it, but I’ll let you know if I still feel that way in a couple of weeks’ time when I try publishing it.
I am aiming to publish the e-book at the end of March. I will let you all know when it’s out for the world to see. I hope you like it because I do. You know, I think I might pat myself on the back for what I’ve done so far. I don’t do that enough.
Have you tried self-publishing your books? Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear if you still have your sanity.
Keep writing, folks!
Oh, and before I go, if you want email alerts of my latest posts, then please subscribe. And don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter, or like my Facebook page. I’ve also created a Nicole J Simms YouTube channel. On my channel I will be sharing videos of my performances, trips, writing group adventures and my stories.