Today’s guest blogger is Mike Lord who shares with us his writing process and why he decided to self-publish his books…
People often ask me when I prefer to write. With me it’s not like that at all: When I think of a story I work out the plot and an outline of the characters in my head, and that is usually about two or three o’clock in the morning!
Sometimes I get out of bed immediately and start writing, and I’ll often use a spread sheet to list the characters and their roles and details, chapter by chapter and the number of words written, and then I’ll probably write about 3,000 words a day.
The next day I’ll read what I have written and correct the typos that I spot, but that is not editing. Most of my stories are from 25,000 to 30,000 words, probably novellas, and each will take about ten days writing all day and every day.
You can just imagine the domestic problems this creates! But my wife does bring me mugs of tea during the day, and makes me stop for dinner every evening.
Then we come to the editing:
I have to read the manuscript carefully now, and often have cross reference details in chapters, like blonde hair suddenly becoming red or auburn, but I have already made a note of these details in my spread sheet. I’ve often made a mistake with the names of characters, mainly the men, where Roger suddenly becomes Tony!
This editing process can take a month or two, so I’ve developed the technique of having each chapter as a different Word file. At this stage the version of MS Word doesn’t matter – I can change that for the complete manuscript later.
I’ve stopped submitting manuscripts to agents and publishers. Some take weeks to reply to even a simple email, and one vanity publisher even tried to charge me $3,000!!! So I decided some time ago to be my own publisher – ButterflyBooks.
I will already have started to select a picture for my cover – usually a pretty lady – and then I get my artist to make it into a cover page. I prefer to ‘bleed’ the cover pictures without a border around the edges. We will have already decided on typefaces for the book title, the author name and the publisher.
Self publishing is then easy. I usually go to Smashwords first, and get from them an ISBN, which I have to include in the inside cover page, and be careful to get enough pixels into the actual cover! Amazon comes next and with both outlets I have to decide release dates and book prices.
I then develop a pre-release date publicity campaign – sometimes free – but usually at a very low price for a few days.
I won’t mention reviews.
Mike Lord has worked for over 50 years in what is called “developing economies”. Most of the time Mike’s work has been with the thousands of small scale farmers, who have appreciated sustainable livelihoods, so that they now have enough food to feed themselves, and also some to sell so that they have a cash income. That is why most of Mike’s novels are set in these countries and especially in some of the remote locations.
Five years ago Mike finally retired and started writing, and has now produced 39 fantasy romance books and all but one self-published at Smashwords and Amazon KDP.
Mike only writes about places he knows: