Tuesday 3 May 2011

Adventures in Self-Publishing

Despite my intention to blog more often, the observant among you will no doubt have noticed that posts here have been, at best, infrequent. Part of the reason for this is that I’m now working full-time again, but more recently I’ve been putting whatever spare time presents itself towards a new project.

As my workshop at the Guernsey Literary Festival  draws ever closer, I’ve been conscious of the fact that if somebody wanted to read a collection of my stories I’d need to direct them here, or give them a list of URLs to work through and a few photocopied pages from magazines and books. Fine in some respects, but not really something that fits with my intention to present myself as a professional writer (if not in terms of how I make a living, at least in the sense of my attitude towards my writing).

There’s nothing wrong with stuff being online, it’s just – even in these days of mobile internet, wi-fi hotspots and horseless carriages – sometimes it all feels a little remote. So, with the intention of having something glossy to brandish in front of my workshopees, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks pulling together a selection of my stories that have been published, online or in print, those that have done well in competitions, plus a couple of tales seeing the light of day for the first time (Yes! Exclusive bonus material!)

Having gathered all this together, it was then a matter of using Lulu.com to fashion it all into a book. This process was pretty straightforward, and I was impressed by the user-friendly set-up Lulu operates. I did hit a couple of problems, but these were mainly due to me trying to avoid anything that would howl “Self-Published!” at anybody who picked up the book. This involved much messing about with typesetting, trying out different cover designs, and a lot of agonising over the ‘correct’ running order for the stories.

It was good to revisit my back catalogue and the search for suitable stories unearthed a few that I’ll be revisiting in the future. And although I’ve only seen it in PDF format, I’m very pleased with the finished result, too. It looks – dare I say – just like a proper book.

Have a look for yourself and see what you think. Note that the preview image quality is pretty ropey on the Lulu site – the actual cover and text are far sharper.


Patsy said...

Good luck with the anthology, Dan. I'm sure your workshopees will be impressed.

Dan Purdue said...

Thank you, Patsy. It's been a useful experience putting it all together and I'm very pleased with the response the book's getting so far. Thanks for the mention on your blog, too - much appreciated.

Patsy said...

I've just nominated you for the versatile blogger award - partly to make you feel obliged to make more posts (I'm mean like that)and partly because the posts you do make are so interesting (see, only a bit mean)

Dan Purdue said...

Many thanks for the nom', Patsy. I appreciate it and will take the hint - honest! I'm not entirely sure I can really claim to be all that versatile, though. I try to keep this blog focused on writing so it's quite narrow in its scope. However, if bits of it are interesting, I've achieved my goal. Thanks again!