Category Archives for "Self-publishing"

Good news and bad news

The good news is that the staff in Pret a Manger have finally learned to understand what I mean when I say ‘Bakewell’. They’ve been selling Bakewell tarts for over a year now, but – until today – whenever I asked for one the person serving me (in my Pret, they’re almost exclusively girls from South America) would always just smile or giggle in a confused and polite way, as though I were making a joke that she didn’t understand, and then not give me a Bakewell tart. I got used to just pointing at what I wanted and maybe doing a small mime. But then today I was too far away to point, so I had to ask for it by name. I got it on only the second asking. Perhaps it was because it was a man serving me. I don’t know. Whatever the reason, this is good news.

The bad news is that yesterday’s good review of my book has unaccountably disappeared from Amazon. At least I have been able to console myself with a legitimately ordered Bakewell tart.


On the 19th of May, I launched the Kindle edition of Perpetual Astonishment with an apologetic message on Facebook. On the 1st of June, I celebrated the paperback launch with an embarrassed line on Facebook. Since then, I have sold seven paperback copies and sixteen Kindle copies. I’ve also had two of my five Kindle giveaway days, which have led to 212 downloads. Oh, and I’ve given away about seven paperback copies, for diverse reasons.

This is far from being a runaway success, but – more importantly – it’s also quite far from no one reading it. And of the people who are reading it or have read it, I would say that about ten have unequivocally convinced me that they like it. This is ten more than I feared.

All in all: a mixed bag, but one containing some plums and no rotten apples.

And I have the approval of a stranger, which is strangely important and moving.


8. Adapting your InDesign files for the Kindle

Putting out the Kindle version is much easier than the paperback – I just adapted my InDesign files. It’s important to remember that the Kindle will flow your text however it wants to, depending on the size of the Kindle, the size the user has chosen for the fonts, and the settings you specify. In other words, you have much less control over how it looks than you did when setting up the paperback. Continue reading

3. Buying ISBNs

The minimum number you can buy is ten, which costs £118.68. To do so, go to, download the application form by clicking on the link at the bottom of the screen and fill it in. You need to answer easy questions about your new publishing house (a breeze after Lightning Source), give them credit card details and also fill in a page about the first book you will publish. There are two slightly tricky things here. Continue reading