|Cover via Amazon|
Why? Simply because I have always loathed people who announce they're writing a book. If it ain't in print, it ain't worth a damn, was the way I thought at the time.
Although I had shared the MS of Space with a couple of close friends by the time I found authonomy, I had stuck to my guns. When I finally let the cat out of the bag, I was shocked by people's kindness and supportive response.
Not as shocked as I was by the goodwill and support from everyone around me yesterday. The day started on a high when I heard from the National Media Council that I have the go-ahead to print Olives in the UAE. The team at the NMC have been wonderful - quite the opposite of my experiences of their predecessor, the wittily named Ministry of Information.To come out of that process having won fans for the book was a complete and welcome surprise.
This means I can provide a Middle East edition of the book for all those here who can't easily get on Amazon (because Amazon doesn't support the Middle East). I have distribution sorted out for the UAE, Jordan and Lebanon. All I need do now is finish my quest for a printing press that has stocks of the right grade of paper (booky books are printed on a particular type of lightweight but bulky paper) and I'm on track to be in the shops for the beginning of December. My first job this morning is to go to the NMC building in Qusais and get me an ISBN number for the UAE edition.
But yesterday really hit its stride when I tweeted the link to the Kindle Edition of Olives. My heartfelt thanks to everyone for the messages, congrats and the like. Putting the book on Kindle was the first thing I did when I made the decision to self publish - there's a natty piece of freeware called MobiPocket Creator, which I've posted about before, that renders the process pretty simple. You then sign into Amazon as an author and select your preferred distribution channels and then it's pretty much hey presto!
Now all I need to do is sign off my CreateSpace proof (winging its way to me thanks to Aramex' natty Shop and Ship service) to get the print edition up on Amazon and pack the UAE edition off to the printers.
I cannot begin to tell you how liberating it feels to finally get my work out there. I can't say I regret not doing it sooner, because I think we all have to take our own paths to things. But I'm very glad I've done it now.