A spot of premature e-publication

The Buskers' Union cover image

Oh my giddy aunt, I’m on Amazon…

When I published my last blog post I had no idea that within a week I’d be publishing one of my stories too! And yet there it is, “The Buskers’ Union”, available to purchase on Amazon for 99 cents.

Is it awesome to see it listed on there? Yes! Terrifying? Also yes! Planned? Not a bit. You could say I went off a bit early.

But why? I mean, the last time I blogged I was about to start sending stories to horror fiction magazines to try and get my name in print. Was it a fit of impatience? Could it have been a sudden, unquenchable desire to see my (assumed) name in print? Or was I just pandering to a massive ego trip?

In the end it was nothing like that. Instead it was all about placeholders.

You see, part of creating the Lucian Poll persona has involved registering accounts with a few sites, like Twitter and Goodreads. The theory is that, over time, I can use them to build a presence on the web that could attract readers and perhaps help me sell a story or two in the run up to publishing <Title Withheld> next September.

At the moment some of these accounts are placeholders, created simply so I can reserve the Lucian Poll name in advance. For example you can find me on Smashwords here, but at the moment there’s nothing much to see apart from a few words, a teaser for my novel and my calling card. In due course, however, I hope to put some stories on there, some freebies and maybe even the odd review. It’ll just take a little bit of time.

Anyway, next on my list of placeholders to create was a page on Amazon’s Author Central. I was half-surprised then to discover that, in order to create an author page for Lucian Poll, I had to publish something as Lucian Poll. That I did not anticipate.

(A little tangent, if I may. Unless I’m missing something major the honour system that Author Central operates is barmy! Part of the registration process requires you to put dibs on all of the books you have published. You’d never have thought that I wrote Moby Dick, did you?)

The last week has therefore been a bit frantic. I’ve had to pick a black comedy short story that I had planned to submit to Black Static (particularly after they published the very funny “Shark! Shark!” in issue 29). The story, however, needed a few extra drafts and a second pair of eyes on it. Then I had to create a cover in Inkscape (which looks okay, though it must be said the guitar has perhaps the worlds’ shortest fret board). With the story and cover done I then had to upload the book to Kindle Direct Publishing, preview the eBook and then, finally, pluck up the courage to hit the “Save and publish” button.

Bingo! One eBook for sale!

So it’s been a busy old time of late, but totally worth it. It felt blooming marvellous the first time I hit “Look Inside” and saw my cover fill the screen. (Having a humungous monitor helped!) While the story is something of a placeholder, it is nonetheless genuine. Give it a go and let me know what you think. It is my little tribute to all of Norwich’s terrible buskers, and the two or three good ones.

I’m still not sure about the apostrophe though…

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