Happy first birthday to Potholes and Magic Carpets. It is the first book that I ever published on Amazon. It was swiftly followed over the next day or so by the Mug Trilogy, comprising A Slice of the Seventies, The Lying Scotsman and Straws. All four books had been written over the previous few years. As I realised that I was not getting any younger, I decided to self-publish rather than waste time looking for an agent and publisher. I took control of my own destiny and became a full-time indie author. I am relieved and proud to report that I never paid for anyone’s services throughout the whole publishing process, even if I could have afforded to pay anyone.
All of my books started off as Kindles. I never thought I’d manage to teach myself how to publish them all in paperback, but the paperback editions followed the Kindles on Amazon a few months later. My twenty years as a graphic designer helped me to design them. Over the past few months, I have also made audiobook versions of Her demonic Angel and The Hostile.
The past year has been a concentrated whirlwind of writing, editing, designing, publishing, redesigning covers, republishing and marketing each of my eight books. It’s been an enjoyable juggling act. It shocks me to think that it has only been 365 days since my first book was born. So much has happened in that time. Thank you so much to everyone who has encouraged me and given much needed moral support as I struggle on. It has been a successful year, but not financially. It has been a fulfilling twelve months in so many other rewarding ways that have nothing to do with money.
As it has been a year since I first became a self-employed author, I will take this opportunity to recap on how I became a published writer, for those who do not know. Many people are probably unaware of what led to my present unusual circumstances. As a single working woman in her late fifties, I developed a chronic back condition in 2011. I had developed a permanently slipped disc that specialists say cannot be cured. They told me it would be too dangerous to operate on my spine. I was medically discharged from my job. I did not want to claim disability benefit as I have never claimed benefits. I wanted to see if I could survive unaided. I hasten to add that I have nothing against anyone who does claim benefits. If my books fail to find readers, maybe I will have to claim disability benefit in years to come. I just wanted to see if I could survive unaided.
Instead of claiming disability benefit, I decided to sell my small house in Kent in 2012 to move north, where I knew nobody. I now fund my writing solely from the difference between the cost of my old house and my new house in Oldham. I believe I have the talent and certainly have the determination. I just need a lucky break, just as every unknown author needs. If I fail, it certainly won’t be due to lack of trying. Whatever the future holds, I will never give up writing, designing, publishing and marketing my books all day and every day. Writing is in my blood.