I have a love/hate relationship with computers.
I love how accessible they make information. I couldn’t imagine trying to do historical research without the internet. Need to know how long it would have taken to go from Amsterdam to Paris in 1888? It’s not the most straightforward search, but not only did I discover the answer, I also found a menu for the food served on board the first class carriage.
I hate learning new programs. Perhaps this makes me an ancient curmudgeonly stick in the mud, or maybe this is normal. The beauty of being traditionally published is that my publisher did all the uploading of my book to all the different platforms, and all I had to do was share the links.
It has now been a year since my first book came out with Escape Publishing, and six months since the second arrived on the shelves. In the past two years, I’ve written six books. Looking back on these achievements, and trying to figure out what to do next, I realised that I needed to take the time to understand the publishing industry a bit better. To leave it all up to my wonderful publisher is a passive choice, and one which didn’t give me as many options as I wanted. In order to become more active, I decided to indie-publish a short story as a two-pronged attack on my learning. One, to learn how to indie-publish, and two, to create a short story I can use for marketing.
The short story, The Bluestocking’s Legacy, is about the great-grandson of Josephine from To Charm a Bluestocking and is set at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Writing the story came easily to me, but uploading it has been a crazy battle of me vs technology. I lurked in a few indie-publishing forums on Facebook, listening to all the different scenarios (and basically freaking myself out at the complexity of it all). In the end, I decided to use Draft to Digital to publish my story. Their system is easy to use, and I can also connect the short story to my other books via their universal links page. The only downside was the time it took to upload to Amazon, and in the end, I decided to upload it separately to the ‘zon. This also allowed me to learn their system (omg, my poor brain), and supposedly give me more control over pricing.
Yeah, nah. The Amazon terms and conditions with respect to free books have broken my will to fight them, so the short story will remain at $0.99 until I find the energy to work this out. I’ve added this as a note into my newsletter email.
Did I learn anything? Yes.
Was it worth the agony? Yes.
Learning new things is a good brain challenge, and I’ll happily learn about all kinds of stuff. Learning about computers, and new programs, and all that jazz, makes me want to rip my hair out.
Computers – can’t live without them, so the only alternative is to embrace the pain.