Long ago, I wrote
rubbish stories. I loved writing rubbish stories and, in occasional fits of madness, I’d send them off to magazines in exchange for rejection letters. On one occasion – and it was only once – a book publisher decided they’d publish one of my short stories in an actual book. Obviously they’d made a mistake but I wasn’t going to tell them. Millions of years later I was posted a copy of the book – Hurrah! I read it and spotted lots of inconsistencies – Boo. I could do better than that, I thought. And, funnily enough, three of my friends – yes I kid you not I have three – had recently self-published their own book (one wrote, one illustrated and one did the rest).
So I investigated and realised publishing was pretty easy! I then spent a year putting together two volumes of early science fiction dating back two thousand years, before publishing them on the self-publishing platform, CreateSpace. Then I just waited for the money to pour in.
I’m still waiting. (But if you want to but the first volume…)
Daunted Undaunted, I decided to recruit authors. Many authors expressed an interest, and as soon as I told them how little much I’d be investing in their books (around £0) and how many shops their books would be stocked in (approximately none) they told me, one by one, where to go.
So I published the works of long-dead authors where the copyright had expired and every idiot and his dog could – and seemingly did – republish popular works by deceased folk, who would probably be turning in their grave. Unless they were cremated.
This method of publishing dead authors’ works made me hundreds of pounds a year.
Then I hit upon the idea of “differentiating” where I made my books different to other versions by publishing large print, dyslexia-friendly and other – less successful – formats.
These versions made me a few thousand pounds a year.
Then I noticed that on rare occasions certain books would suddenly sell a hundred copies. These books, I realised, were being bought by schools. So I researched which books schools used as part of their curriculum, and I began to email schools, and sometimes they’d email me.
By now I was earning just enough to quit my day job. This took me six years (in my spare time).
So here I am, running my little business. And what of the future? Well, I’ll foist all that on you in another blog.