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Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Welcome To The World Of The Self-Published

I've now reached the stage where I feel it’s time to analyse what I've done over the last few years. I don't intend to write any more - not because I've run out of ideas but because I've run out of energy. Believe me, that's what you need to write. To misapply Edison's alleged comment on genius, writing is '1% inspiration & 99% perspiration'.

Although I’ve dabbled with writing, especially short stories, most of my life, it wasn’t until 1992 that I really got stuck in. It started as yet another short story, expanded into a novel and finished up as a trilogy called ‘The Wanderer’. It’s about a Saxon, falsely accused of killing King Edward in 979 at Corfe who flees into exile and travels throughout the Viking world for the next twenty years. As I could only tackle it now and then it took me 16 years to bring it to the publication stage. I had to do extensive research and the results I included in detailed End Notes so the reader, if they wished, could learn about ‘the facts’. This later horrified one reviewer as near sacrilege for a novel. It also didn’t help when it came to interesting potential publishers.

These days for 99.9% of would-be writers there’s a major barrier called the Publishing Industry. They’re keen on certain books by certain people but otherwise you can, more or less, forget about getting anything published. Fortunately this situation is being drastically changed by e-books and companies like Amazon.

I wasted months emailing many publishing houses, going through all the hoops required to actually submit my work, & found that 90%+ couldn't even bother to send an email acknowledgement. So, after looking at ‘Vanity Publishing’ and not being too impressed, I decided to self-publish. It’s not difficult & you’ll find there’s a lot of very helpful people out there. I arranged for the printing, the purchase of 10 ISBN’s etc.etc. The one factor I did little about was marketing - a BIG mistake.

Even so, having enjoyed the whole experience, I got out a half-written novel on Henry VIII and his wives. I expanded it, added the End Notes and passed through the SELF-publishing process again. I made one major mistake. As it’s all about CHANGE – wives, Ministers, religion, laws – I took a legal term meaning roughly ‘Change What Must Be Changed’ and called it ‘Mutatis Mutandis’. With hindsight, NOT a crowd puller.

So I switched to e-books, because I don’t like seeing unsold books lying around, and that’s what this series of blogs is MAINLY going to be about. Details of all my books can be found at

See you next time,

Bob Hyslop

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