Category Archives: Digital Books

State Of Play

The situation is in a state of flux. Everything always is, said a friend. Metamorphosing he said. I dislike saying what I am going to do because it might not happen. As Spike Milligan said, I have no plan so nothing can go wrong.

Be that as it may Shinobu has said she can lend me 500 euros towards the publication and printing of my proposed book, which exists in the ether of this computer on which I write. Politics has been described as the art of the possible.

I texted my solicitor, Gus Cullen, asking should I buy an ISBN number for it, which is not a legal requirement. Mainly this book will be sold locally, perhaps through one bookshop and two hotels of a friendly nature, but 50 or so individual people have said they will buy. They need no ISBN, those individuals, of course.

ISBN numbers cost 100 euros plus VAT for one or 250 pounds sterling plus VAT for ten. I may self-publish on Amazon, not the book I am proposing getting printed locally, but a variation of it, of a higher page count. As a POD and also digitally, if I get around to it. I like to keep my options open, but not forever.

I would not have to borrow if I was not broke. There is some kind of Arts department of the local county council which apparently give grants in some circumstances. I spoke with their representative after a poetry reading I gave at Arklow culture night and she said they would give a grant towards the cost of bringing out a book.

A visual artist I know said they are no good, they promise a grant and fail to keep their promise.   My sister, who knows that artist, said that is just him. I said the silly bitch did not have a card. My sister said if I call her that I won’t get any money. I suppose she’s right, my sister.   She sometimes is.   I am trying to avoid being annoyed with the world and all its works and pomps but am having difficulty doing that. Restraint is a virtue at which practice makes perfect.   I’m not there yet.

Maeve Binchy said she does not agree with subsidised art, neither do I. Beggars can’t be choosers. There’s no harm in trying. They can only say no, although I foresee having to jump through many bureaucratic hoops before achieving a result, positive or negative.   Bureaucracy and me are not good friends. A bureaucrat thinks rules are more important than people.

I was never too proud to be on the dole. If the county council come up with the goodies I could return it at a later date. There is always that possibility. Bob Dylan took some time deciding whether to accept the Nobel Prize money. I myself walked to the dole office on foot, not barefoot. Through the snow.

That then is the state of play. Situation normal, all fouled up. A solicitor I worked for said to a client “We will wait until the situation clarifies itself”.   Situations don’t clarify themselves, you have to clarify them.   Or in this case, me.   I must be the clarifier. With help from my friends.

Thanks, Shinobu. Also to others who would blush if I mention their names.   Humility is the greatest virtue. But you know that already.

I will work it out as I go along, crossing my bridges as I come to them. That is my plan. But what did Spike Milligan say? “I’m walking backwards to Christmas”.

And so say all of us.

Tich Ennis

10th August, 2017

Full Stop

My best friend Michael O’Brien agrees I should stop giving my stuff away for nothing on my blog. I have written various things and not put them there recently, too busy.

I have only 75 or 76 followers on my blog. My nephew said people liking and following other people’s blogs often only want a like or a following in return. I don’t want those likes and followers. I know at least one is genuine, the only one I wrote to and who replied. Thank you.

My plan is to have a book printed and sell it locally, quite a few people, maybe 43, have said they will buy. I will sell it for almost nothing, the printer will make more than me.

I ordered a book on self-publishing from Amazon today, by Rick Smith, which seems the best on the subject. So my work may be available as a print on demand book (POD) and also electronically when I can get my head around how to set up writing for those and uploading and all that.

That way is known as going over the heads of the gatekeepers, who are very good at slamming doors in people’s faces and ignoring them. Going direct to the public.

25 per cent of the top selling books on Amazon are self published, usually half POD and half digitally. Digital books have a 65 per cent market share, and growing.   People buying digital books buy more books, presumably because they are cheaper than on paper, as well as instantly delivered and other advantages.  Being old and traditional I prefer paper books and do not own an electronic book reader. Also being broke.

The paper method costs more, including to me to get my book printed locally for which I will have to borrow.   Selling as a self publisher through Amazon involves a steep learning curve, hopefully I get to the top of that hill!   But no cost to the writer, except time and know how.   The know how I do not have but hope to learn.

Of course not every book sells, I am well aware of that. Today I heard I failed to win a short story competition. A friend of mine said, when you’re starting you have to do everything for yourself.

Contrary to my title here, this may not be my last word ever on my blog. Look forward to Full Start.

I’m a crazy mixed up old man, not a crazy mixed up kid.

Tich Ennis

4th August, 2017