Announcement! Patreon!

Click here to visit my Patreon ^

Big news, folks!

Today is the two year anniversary of finishing off the draft of The Lowest Realm. To celebrate, I’m launching my shiny new Patreon!

For those who don’t know what this is, Patreon is a way to support your favorite artists. There are writers, video creators, digital artists, musicians, and all sorts of creative folks on there. Fans get to sign up to their favorite creator for a monthly recurring fee, and in return they get access to exclusive content depending on their tier.

For my Patreon, I have 4 tiers available: Neophyte, Monk, High Priest, and Disciple. The features of each tier are listed below:

So if you sign up to be a Neophyte at $1.50 per month, you will have access to the monthly progress video or live stream; you get to submit questions for Q&A, participate in polls, and you get 10% off all books in my online store!

For the monk tier, you get this, plus access to character bios, interviews with characters, you can submit name suggestions for characters and locations. Instead of 10% discount, you get 15%.

High priests get all of the above, plus you will get to hear me read a chapter of one of my stories each month. I will post map images or host a live stream of me drawing them, and an occasional short story. This tier receives 20% off books in my store.

The final Disciple tier is not cheap, but this is Amy-Alex Campbell laid bare (not to be confused with naked – there is no nudity here). You get to read the icky offcut files, those versions that were so terrible they never see the light of day. I will print your name in the back of my next book as one of my supporters, and you get 25% off books in my store.
The biggest deal for this tier, though, is you get a copy of a limited print run version of Catalogue of Disaster. This run is discontinued as the pub mark was incorrect, there is a typo on the copyright page, and there are a few issues through the book which have since been changed.
Why would anyone want a ‘dud’?
I plan to be famous one day, so these copies may be worth something to someone some day – or not.
You also receive a hand-drawn initial map customised just for you. I will post you the map and book to wherever you live in the world.

I’m not doing this just to try and pocket all of your hard earned money. Any money made will be put back into running my website and keeping my Adobe subscription. To me, this platform enables me to directly interact with my true fans and readers, and by that I mean YOU. It creates an intimate environment where YOU get to experience behind the scenes and see what it’s truly like to be a writer. This content is just for YOU, not for Janice to randomly find and share / retweet.

If you have any questions, please email me or leave a message below.

Link: https://www.patreon.com/AmyAlexCampbell

Much love,

AAC <3

Update from Lockdown

Howdy awesome peeps!

I have no idea what day or week we’re in now….week 3 or 4 I think? I haven’t really been paying attention as usual. Since lockdown 2.0 started, I have been working on The Darkest Realm, and oh em gee, I am loving the story as it progresses. We have some awesome new characters, get an insight into the Miscreant and his closest generals, and new plot elements to bring more life to the story.

Each and every day, I update the progress bar with how many words I have written in the last 24 hours. That way, anyone who visits the website will know exactly where I am at, and hopefully can help me celebrate the milestones 🙂

Yesterday was a bit of a rest day. I had to run some essential errands, and decided to retro-fit one of the filters on my axolotl tank. This is such a big job, but totally worth it!

I also got to slip in an hour of gaming with a friend last night, before trudging back to the Chromebook for more writing. I spent the evening reworking chapter 15 and fixing up some of the dialogue, made sure things flowed properly.

Apart from writing, I’ve spent too much time on social media. I’m only human, after all!

Future Considerations

As an author, I am my own brand. I am a business, and therefore I plan for the future accordingly. Some things I’m considering:

  1. Patreon. I do a lot of work behind the scenes, such as writing crap that never makes the cut (TDR 2.1 is so cringe, I cringe just thinking about how cringey it is).
    Sometimes I write ‘scribbles’ which are part of developing characters, which then turn into mini stories as to why they behave the way they do. I have a hot scene between Garret and Jake that will probably never see the light of day…. Plus I’ll be writing a shorter story that covers how Tysion and Ashavan met.
    There is also so much work that goes into drawing maps, I can post videos and bloopers too. So there is no shortage of content!
  2. Beneath the Grandstand is my most successful novel to date. Davo Hardy, an Aussie film director, recently read it and loved it. Once I complete the Miscreant series and develop a bit more of a reader base, we’re looking into crowdsourcing the funds to adapt the book into a film. Super excited about this!
  3. Catalogue of Disaster has been receiving mixed reviews. It was only ever meant to be a short story of 40k words, something fun and fast paced. It was my first ever attempt at writing m/m romance in a modern setting. As much as I love this story, I feel like it has the potential to be so much more, especially now that I have grown considerably as an author. Therefore, I plan to revisit this story and flesh it out into a full length story like Beneath the Grandstand. I want to see Garret and Jake doing depraved acts in the archives, making out in the fire escapes, giving them a reason to get in so much trouble. There was going to be a part 2, but now I’ll just rewrite it into one sexy-ass story and bring it to life. I’ll still keep CoD, but the rewrite will be renamed and kick CoD out of the Marsden Park Series. Maybe. We’ll see.
  4. Between the Lines will still be written eventually. I started that project full of excitement, but writing about gangs in Australia is much harder than the United States. We don’t have guns here, and our crimes are nowhere near as extensive as over there. In Western Sydney, we deal with Eshays, which are hardly worth writing about. Therefore I will have to approach this from a different angle.

There are so many exciting things coming up, so make sure you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (or both, I post different content on each) and sign up to the newsletter.

That’s all from me today. Stay safe everyone!

Much love,
AAC <3

Back in Lockdown

Howdy folks!

It’s been a while since I posted last. As always, life has been busy, and I’d been forced to concentrate my energies on my day job and a few other things. As of 6pm yesterday, the Greater Sydney region has gone into another 2 week lockdown following a rapidly growing cluster of the Delta variant of Covid-19. For me, a non-essential worker, I now have 2+ weeks to focus on my writing and bring you some much awaited updates!

  • The Darkest Realm
  • Maps
  • An Announcement!

The Darkest Realm

While I am still around the 31,000 word mark for The Darkest Realm, I’ve been doing a lot of work on the maps needed for this book, plus I’m reworking the ones I used for the TLR relaunch.

I’ve been anticipating the lockdown, so the other day I went to look at Chromebooks to see if they would be any good for my needs. I managed to get a HP model on clearance knocked down to $200 which was slightly better than the Lenovo I was looking at. This means that should I have to go to work, I can bring this along and still type in my break, without having to lug my iPad and keyboard setup which is surprisingly heavier.

The other pro is the lack of distractions. I’ve been struggling to stay focused when writing on my laptop, especially with my games, Twitch, social media and all those fun things screaming for my attention. This Chromebook is purely for writing and basic web browsing. I will not be adding social media on here (except for WordPress haha).

Maps

I recently purchased Procreate for my iPad, and GRI’RAN’S CLAWS, IT’S AMAZING!! For those of you who have followed my map-making journey, you’ll know how much I suck at digital forms of cartography. I’ve tried Inkarnate and Wonderdraft (and I love these!), but having legit OCD I struggle to get everything exactly the way I want it.

With Procreate, I’m getting the hang of drawing maps by hand with the Apple pencil on the iPad screen. It took me a little bit of experimenting, but since I’ve discovered layers and how to do all that fancy stuff, I like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it!

A timelapse of the development of the map of Lorendia. Note the old style mountains down the bottom – I no longer use this style!

Now that my confidence has grown, I’ve decided that it’s time to push myself as a cartographer and take my maps to the next level. I really struggle to get assets like mountains all the right size, and found myself getting frustrated having to start over every time I made a mistake. It was such a long process to get the maps ready for publication the first time around: tracing, scanning, editing, etc.

I’ve had to learn new ways to draw deserts, foothills, mountains and coastlines, but I’ve been enjoying the challenge. When I’m ready, I’ll update the map sections of my website.

And finally……

A Small Announcement!

I’ve been looking at options to include international readers in obtaining signed copies of my books. Unfortunately, postage is super expensive to ship books around the world, something like $50 – $75 depending on location.

I’ve decided to offer signed bookplates in my store! For those who buy a paperback from their local book shops, they can then purchase a signed bookplate from my online store, and I will post it for a much cheaper price.

A faded AAC Publishing star logo printed on a round white sticker, and Amy-Alex Campbell's signature scrawled across the top.

That’s all from me for now. As always, feel free to reach out to me on any of my social media channels or leave a comment on this post and say hi! Is there content you want to see more of or less of on any of my socials? Let me know!

Take care everyone and stay safe.
Much love,
AAC <3

Book Sale!

For a limited time, I am offering signed copies of The Lowest Realm for $15 when purchased direct from my online store (Australia only). For those outside of Australia, you can alternatively purchase a signed bookplate for $5.95 + free shipping worldwide.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

Note: This story features queer characters and relationships (m/m).

Blurb

Life on an offshore oil rig is grueling hard work. For Nika the hard work, isolation and discipline is ideal.
On the eve of flying back to the mainland for a two week break, disaster strikes, and Nika is thrown into darkness.

When he awakes in a strange world, with no memory of his past, he finds himself in the presence of monks, who offer to help, on one condition. Nika must deliver an urgent message to the king, and in return, the mysterious monks will help him recall his memories and find a way home.
Instead, Nika is sent on a long journey with his new friend Freyne, and the spoilt Princess Iryna, to fulfill a prophecy that will restore balance to the world.

Nika must adjust to more than just a new world; as his body undergoes a transformation he does not understand, he must also deal with being hunted, forbidden love, mancery, and gods he’s never heard of.

Alternatively, purchase the eBook here:

I Now Stream On Twitch!

I finally did it! I finally got my butt into gear and set myself up for streaming!

For those who don’t know, I’m a gamer at heart. I draw a lot of inspiration for games like Diablo, Vampire, Borderlands, and even Tomb Raider back in the day. My current addiction is 7 Days to Die, a zombie first person shooter.

Hardcore! I’ve been playing Diablo since #1 was released years ago!
So why I am posting this on my writing blog?

I’m glad you asked 😛 I have been dabbling in making videos of my map making, and thought it would be cool if I could actually stream some sessions. Another author I met through Twitter also told me that some writers live stream their writing sprints, which I thought might also be cool. Mind you, my sprints are more of a slow walk through the field of distractions…anyone watching me write will probably be treated to YouTube, random Google searches, and probably some porn too (just kidding…..maybe).

Follow me on Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/amyalexcampbell

This is all a work in progress, so I’m not going to promise amazing regular content (yet). But I will do my best to keep things interesting, so that those of you who want to, can join me on the journey as I race to meet my 31st July deadline for The Darkest Realm.

That’s all for today. Take care <3

Much love
~AAC

Fantasy Maps and Seasons

As some might know, I’ve resumed my work on The Darkest Realm. Similar to book 1, the map is a work in progress as I write, as some things need to change as I go. I thought I’d do a post regarding those extra things to consider when making fantasy maps / writing fantasy stories.

When working on a fantasy story and map, we need to consider so much more than just forests and the story; we need to take into account science while we’re at it.

Regardless of your type of fantasy world, it is likely to exist on a planet and have a sun. Therefore, you need to consider seasons, time zones, hemispheres and an equator. Basic rules of physics and astronomy still apply, so we have to consider the planet’s rotation in relation to the sun, etc.. Once you have these penciled in, you can start to consider what biomes would exist.

I use our own Earth as a reference so my climates and biomes are more realistic. For example, I wouldn’t find a scorching desert right next to the southern pole…unless it’s caused by magic!

My characters have just finished crossing the Lorendian Desert, and are entering a savanna, which is roughly where South Africa would be in relation to Australia. So today I’ve been looking up to check seasons and all that good stuff. It turns out that the African savanna tends to have a dry and wet season instead of summer, autumn winter and spring. Good to know.

As my characters head into the south / west hemisphere, I’ll have to flip the seasons around and give them appropriate weather and climate. These things may sound minor, but to me they can be the difference between being totally immersed in an alternate fantasy reality, or being jolted out of the experience thinking ‘Wait a minute, that doesn’t sound right!’

There are some really useful guides online. Gardening and farming guides are good such as the one below. My dad was a farmer for years before retirement, so I learnt to always trust gardeners and farmers when it comes to the true seasons. Also, check out this video on YouTube to see how our Earth experiences seasons and why.

The final thing I want to add in is the use of a calendar. I know that every writer does things differently, so it may not be your cup of tea. But for my fantasy stories, I have a calendar and track every single day of their journey. That way can keep track of the seasons and ensure travel times and speeds are realistic, etc.

My next step for this calendar is to flip seasons as they prepare to head into the northern hemisphere.

One final point to mention. For those who enable long distance travel in their magic systems, remember that if your person is way up in the north and it’s lunch time, if they teleport to the opposite side of the world, chances are it will be dark there.

I hope this helps in your fantasy work!

For those who have pre-ordered The Darkest Realm, I’m super sorry but I need to push back the date. It wouldn’t be fair to my readers to release a messy draft. I want to make sure this story is well ironed out and as edited as possible, and that won’t be possible if I rush. I’m sure you would rather read something amazing than a scribble on a napkin. Don’t worry, I’ll have it out around August to September if all goes well.

A final reminder that I am now streaming on Twitch. I do both gaming and stream my map making, so if you want to see me live and have a chat, follow me on Twitch https://www.twitch.tv/amyalexcampbell.

Much love,
~ AAC <3

My New Office!

Morning!

I’m just keeping it short and sweet today. Between uni, assignments, and life in general, I haven’t had the motivation to sit down and write. For the last 6 months or so, I’ve been sitting at the kitchen table to write.

Urgh. There are so many distractions, that I just can’t concentrate. So I’ve finally cleaned out the spare room and made it into a proper office!

I now have a space for writing, cartography, and chilling in general. It’s still a bit of a mess, but meh, mess can be cleaned.

I’ve been working on The Darkest Realm – I know the progress bar on this page doesn’t seem to be moving, but that’s mainly because of edits. One scene just isn’t sounding right, so I’ve been working on fixing it and fixing it. Last night I got to start writing the next scene which is from my sexy new guys POV (I’m so in love with him 😍).

Still taking me a while to fully plan Between the Lines. Since I am writing a Maori character, it is only right that I buddy up with some people and have a chat so I don’t write anything that is insensitive, accidentally racist, or just plain wrong. My neighbor is a New Zealander, and has kindly offered to introduce me to some of his friends. It will just take time, that’s all.

Thankyou to those people who have been visiting this site a lot in the last few weeks. I see you, and I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to visit 🙂 Thanks also to those who recently purchased / read Beneath the Grandstand too 💜

That’s all from me for now. If you haven’t already, please sign up to the newsletter. I’m waiting until I get a decent number if subscribers before I start with content. As per my promise, it will only ever be used for upcoming launches and exciting big news, so don’t worry about it being spammy 🙂

Take care everyone! Much love, AAC 💜

Inspiration Board

First of all, Happy Easter! I hope you all had a safe long weekend and didn’t eat too much chocolate 🙂

I’ve been in a bit if a slump lately and haven’t written anything for a couple of months. I’m hesitant to call it writer’s block, because I know I’ve written myself into a wall and haven’t planned this chapter very well. (See my post on this here)

So what do I do when this happens? I think about the scene and play with it in my mind until I have some sort of visual. I also find images help inspire me to get out of the slump.

Currently, Nika, Freyne, and their friends are in the Lorendian Desert, traveling across the Great Causeway. I have totally stuffed up the chapter, so I have been working on rewording parts to make it work. Instead, I have to scrap the entire chapter and start it again.

Here are some random photos I found online that have helped to spark the creative juices. This set includes different types of desert.

This set contains different stone bridges. The Causeway is one long raised bridge across the desert, with regular shelters to protect those who cross.

And of course, the Fens! The character who lives here is awesome, and I can’t wait to introduce you to him!

I’m also hung up on the name for one of my cities that my characters will soon be visiting. If you have any suggestions, leave it in the comments below!

Anywho, here’s hoping I can crawl out of my funk and get this finished in time for the June release!

Take care all <3

~AAC

What an Eventful Month

I thought I would share another quick update just so you know where I’m up to.

  • I’m still working on The Darkest Realm (thankyou to the person who has already pre-ordered a copy!).
  • I’ve plotted most of Between the Lines, I’m just figuring out the actual start of the story.
  • Podcast is getting loads of listens, I’m super impressed!
  • Participating in March on Soldier on Challenge to help raise money for Aussie veterans. I’m walking 96km during March which is the length of the Kokoda Trail. You can check it out HERE.
  • I’ve had a few tech issues with my iPad not syncing with Dropbox. I finally made the switch to a different cloud service until Microsoft fixes the Word apps, so here’s hoping I can get my productivity back on track!

It has been a crazy few weeks. Our car was written off (not our fault, thank god everyone is ok) which meant the stress of dealing with insurance and getting a new car. As of tomorrow we’ll have a nice Kia Cerato to hopefully last us a few years.

My mental health has not been good. I have PTSD from an accident just over 10 years ago, and although I wasn’t in this one, it did bring up a lot of painful memories, flashbacks and graphic imagery. PTSD sucks, and has its own stigma surrounding it. I have a great support system though, whom I love and appreciate. It’s ok to not be ok 💜

This week we are having a rain event here in Sydney / NSW, and today we are seeing lots of flooding in areas. The last time it flooded was in Feb 2020 – I posted about it HERE. During that time we had a visitor, Riley Tortopolous, who was washed up onto the road. Hubby brought him home, and I set him up in a quarantine tank to ensure he was unharmed. Once the flood waters receded, we released Riley back into his pond. I think of him often – such a gorgeous little guy!

Riley Tortopolous, a wild turtle who was rescued from the floods.
Riley Tortopolous

I have the next week and a bit off work, and hope to get some serious writing done. You’ve all been so patient, waiting for the next story, and I thank you so so much 💜

Now, I’m going to eat my pizza, and get some writing done!!

Much love,
~AAC

Where Do I Start?

One of the main questions I get asked by new writers is, “Where do I start?”
You have an amazing story idea in your head that you just KNOW is a best seller, and you’re dying to get it down on paper. But when you sit down at your laptop / computer / notebook, your brain freezes, and you have no idea how to proceed.

One of the first things to consider is whether you are a plotter or a pantser.

A plotter is someone who sits down first and plots out their story. You have a clear beginning, a middle and end, and each chapter mapped out. All you have to do then is sit down and actually write the story. This method is (in my opinion) important for genres such as sci-fi and fantasy where world building is a must. You need to know your backstory, your magic or tech systems, and if you’re a dick-head like me with characters over 1,000 years old, you need your timeline!

A pantser is someone who has an idea of the story, but sits down and just writes it as it comes to them. I used to be a pantser when I was younger, but as I started getting serious about fantasy, it ultimately led me to hitting a brick wall.

There is no right or wrong way. It is a topic that is debated amongst writers, but ultimately, we are all different, our brain processes all work in different ways. You do you.

Writing style alignments diagram.

What software or device should I use?

There are some great software packages out there that some writers swear by. Here are just a couple options to look at before you start.

Scrivener is popular as it allows you to organise characters, scenes, objects etc., but it does come with a price tag. It was primarily built for Mac, but it can be installed on Windows. It comes in at $77AUD, which might be out of some people’s budgets. I have never used it, but I have heard lots of people talking about it. Check out the website here.

yWriter is something I can only assume is similar to Scrivener. I dabbled with it for a while, and it is pretty cool, but I didn’t like that it’s not actually a word processor. I started organising my word count, characters and scenes, but after a while I grew tired of copy & pasting. But still, it’s free, so if you want something to help you stay organised, give it a crack. I do like this program, and will probably use it again in the future for a not-so-epic fantasy. Check it out here.

OpenOffice is a free package that is similar to Microsoft Office. This package by Apache is fantastic if you don’t have the luxury of Microsoft, but need something that is useful and powerful. I have used it many times over the years in workplaces and on spare PCs that didn’t have Microsoft. The UI is probably different, but it pretty much gets the job done. You can download it here.

Word is my go to. I am lucky enough to have a free subscription through my university, so I have the full package installed. This means I can log in on any of my devices and access my files instantly. I have my files stored in Dropbox, which means I can write some of my story on my laptop, save it, then go into the lounge room and open it on my iPad or phone and pick up where I left off. Good old Word is still (in my opinion) the most powerful word processor, and it will always be my go-to.

Dropbox? Why bother?

I am going to point out right now that you need to BACKUP YOUR WORK! At least once a week, I see writers have lost their entire book or collections due to catastrophic hard drive failure, fire, or theft. While I am still not 100% sold on cloud technology, I use Dropbox to keep up to date copies, plus I email myself my draft on occasion just in case. I also back up my work files to an external hard drive – this includes my book interior setup files, covers, artwork, and anything important. Some of these files are expensive, for example book covers, and if you lose them you may have to pay for a whole new one. So BACK UP YOUR WORK!

Ok, what now?

I’m not going to go into actually writing your book. That’s up to you. You will find that at first, your writing my be stiff and not flow as well as you’d like. Don’t worry. As you progress through your story, your writing will develop and you’ll get into the hang of things. Don’t do what I do and spend hours trying to edit one paragraph – if it doesn’t work, highlight it and move on. Eventually when you go back over it, you’ll be able to fix it up and make it amazing. Focus on getting that story written down, worry about fixing it up later.

I’ve finished my draft. How do I publish it?

There are a number of things you need to do from an admin perspective. Once you finish your manuscript, you need to go over it with a fine tooth comb and check that it’s ok. If using Word, do CTRL F and do searches for and and, to to, they they etc. Also do one for two spaces – you’ll be surprised how often we leave gaps in our work. When you are 100% sure it’s ready, it’s time to look for an editor.

Editors are expensive, but given the amount of hours they pour into our work, it is justified. However, it can be hard finding an editor within our budgets. I spent $200 on one on Fiverr, and that didn’t go so well. If you have read The Lowest Realm, you will see that first hand. I now have my amazing editor/ typo hunter going through it to prepare for a re-release.
You can ask around in writing groups or on Twitter, and most will edit 1,000 words for you so you can see how they work. But choose wisely. If you honestly think your writing is super good and doesn’t need an editor, skip this step for now. We’ll come back to it.

Beta Readers are like test readers. You may prefer to engage with betas before an editor, or after. I go with them before, so if there is a major issue, I can catch it before I waste the editor’s time. You can find betas on Facebook in dedicated groups, or on Twitter using the right hashtags. More recently, I’ve been working with readers who I have built up relationships with, so I get honest feedback from them.
Don’t ask your friends or family to do this! Friends and family think we are amazing, and no matter how crap our work might be, they will say it’s good. You need someone who will be honest and point out the plot holes and parts that don’t make sense.
This also brings me to another point: be prepared for negative feedback. You are a first time writer, not Stephen King, so be prepared to take on the feedback. This doesn’t mean all of it – I collate the feedback, then pick and choose which points I’ll change. I usually have around 3 betas, but the more the merrier.

Use these hashtags on Twitter to help find beta readers there.
Try some of these groups for recruiting betas. You will need to join the groups and abide by their rules.

If your beta readers point out some major issues, or even small ones, go back and fix them. Read your story again with fresh eyes, and make sure you’re happy with it. My number 1 hot top for this stage is to invest in a text to voice app, and spend time listening to your story. I use an app called Natural Reader (on my iPhone). It cost a few $$, but was totally worth the investment. I can catch any typos as they come through as weirdly pronounced words, and catch any double-typed words.

Once you have beta’d and edited, it’s time for a proofreader. Even if your typing is immaculate and you skipped the editor, I highly recommend you hire a proof reader. This is soooo important, a step I missed on my first book (hence why I’m doing it now). I have a friend who I hire for mine (whom I met on Twitter). You can find someone online or check out Fiverr, but make sure you vett them first and are sure you work well together. Be careful.

While you wait for your proofreader, it’s time to sort out admin and publishing options. I’m going to speed ahead and assume you are publishing ebook with Amazon, and paperbacks with IngramSpark. I don’t use LuLu or any of the others, but I highly recommend Ingram. Ingram (again, my opinion) are THE most professional self-pub option out there. Some writers don’t like the strict setup options, but if you want your books in the local bookstore, it’s the way to go. This is what you need:

  1. Your blurb. This thing is the most horrid thing to write, but you need to write it.
  2. ISBN. In Australia, buy them from Thomas Bowker. Get yourself a 10 pack, and DO NOT BUY THE BARCODES!
  3. Book cover design! I highly recommend thebookcoverdesigner for pre-made covers. You pick one you like, buy it, and the designer will work with you to add your title, blurb, etc. Check with them what attribution they will require (they should be credited on the copyright page of your book),
  4. Internal setup. If you are handy with inDesign, great! get yourself over to IS and download their file specs, and have your way with it. If not, you will need to hire someone to do it for you. There is so much to consider here, so check out this post for some design considerations. You can also contact me at my publishing page if you wish to hire me for this. The best way to contact me is via email. Once you have this file including your trim size, you can relay this information to your cover designer (along with your ISBN).
  5. Uploading files is where it might be a bit confusing. You need to create an account with IngramSpark and do your paperback there. DO NOT use their ebook conversion service, this was a $300 mistake I made. You will only upload your paperbacks here. Check to see if IS are running any promo codes at the time – sometimes they have free setup and/or free revising of files. There are enough video guides on doing this, I’m not going to post the how-to’s here. You will need to fill out tax forms and financial stuff too.
  6. For ebooks, you will need to create an account with Amazon KDP. There are lots of forms to fill out for tax purposes. I also recommend using a major bank account such as the Commonwealth so you are not charged transfer fees for royalties. Download the software called Kindle Create, and import your clean manuscript into the software. This will create your Kindle file for free. The file output is what you upload to KDP.

Congratulations! You’re now a published author.

The hard work doesn’t stop there. You will get some sales for the first month of publication, but after that, your sales will flatline. You will need to promote your work at all times to ensure people will see it. No matter how many times you post your links to your social media, your friends will rarely buy your work. You now have to start building your brand – you, as an author, are your brand (especially if you write under a pen name). You will need:

  1. Author website. Build it in WordPress and pay to upgrade to the $10 a month option (charged annually). This removes WordPress branding and gives you your own domain. The commercial option which I have for this website is closer to $300 a year so I can have my own web store.
  2. Social media. At minimum, Twitter, Facebook Page, and Instagram. Some writers have reported success on Tik-Tok, but that’s not for me. (Ok ok I have a Tik-Tok, but it will be used for booky-type vids and my maps.)
  3. Amazon Author Central profile. Make it here. This is tied in with your KDP account and is important to maintaining a professional image on Amazon.
  4. Jump on Goodreads and create a profile there as well. You will need to go to the author section and apply to be a Goodreads author. Once approved, you can then add your cover work and book details, so readers can find you and leave reviews. Hot tip: NEVER respond to reviews! It is poor etiquette and frowned upon in the community. Reviews are for the readers. You can use the feedback to improve your future work, but never confront a reader.

There is so much more I could say, but for now I think I have covered the basics. If you want to learn how to market your work and make money, you can find the group 20Booksto50k on Facebook. They have some amazing tips on there, but be sure to do the readings first.
Other groups worth joining:
Writers helping Writers
Fiction Writing
Writers group Australia
Australian Self Published Authors

And of course, make sure you follow me on Facebook, my blog, Twitter, everywhere. I’ll be making more guides on writing soon, so stay tuned for more! if you have ANY questions, please reply to this blog or shoot me off an email (or message me on FB or Twitter).

Final note of the day: You are NOT an aspiring writer. You ARE a writer! Remember that, always.

Much love,
AAC