Behind the Scenes of Indie Publishing with Christopher Morgan
Behind the Scenes of Indie Publishing
At YABC we work closely with a lot of Indie authors. Some are best sellers and some are just starting out, and many more fall in the middle of that spectrum. Today we are excited to introduce you to Christopher Morgan, Author of Joshua and the Magical Forest. He brings us a peek into the world of Self-publishing and the spin-off effect.
Welcome Christopher Morgan!
When I first came about the idea of writing a novel, I never really had the intention of publishing it in mind. It was more of a bucket list cleansing exercise than anything else. Having travelled extensively and lived a rather exciting life moving around the planet, my bucket list has been looking sparse in recent years. Go on safari? Tick. Visit Easter Island? Tick. Sail around the Galapagos Islands? Tick. Learn a second language? Tick. Nearly get trampled to death being charged by an angry bull elephant in musth in the Okavango Delta? Ok, so that was never on the list to begin with but WHAT an experience all the same! Curiously, it wasn’t until well into my late forties that I ever really had any interest in writing. I hated it at school. I don’t think the dysgraphia or undiagnosed mild autism helped. English language – my mother tongue no less – was one of my worst subjects at school. After receiving a meagre D in my final exam when I left school, off I trotted to college to study more exciting things (to me at least) as physics and advanced mathematics. As luck would have it, a free slot in my study schedule allowed me to re-take my failed English. Alas, I left college with a final grade of E – hardly an improvement you’ll agree. Ah well. It seemed that me and the English language were destined to remain bitter opponents throughout life. Because of this, my last significant bucket list entry – write a novel – seemed destined to stay stuck without a tick and it had been gnawing away at me for some years now.
Wind the clock four decades forward, and here I am having published three novels (with a fourth in the works), three short stories and a plethora of travel writing. Now, when I visit schools to talk to kids about writing, I can tell those kids that struggle with writing and English that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel and that I’m living, walking proof that things can turn around.
As it turns out, speaking to students at schools is but one of several spin-offs to my writing endeavours. To date, I’ve visited dozens of schools and presented to thousands of students. It all started when someone suggested that I might share my experience with kids at the local schools. Other authors seemed to be doing the same thing, so I thought why not?
Another spin-off for me has been public speaking. Right about now, my parents’ jaws will be hanging close to the carpet. Christopher? Our Christopher? The shy and reclusive one? Public speaking? Seriously? I know, it was as much a surprise to me as it was for them. What makes the real difference is that writing and publishing is a subject that I have a lot of passionate about. This passion is greater than the fear of public speaking, so it just seems to work for me. I’ve now delivered a range of presentations at libraries and other venues on the topic of self-publishing, a topic I’ve learned lots about in the past couple of years – sometimes the hard way.
When you have a manuscript that you wish to publish, there’s a fundamental choice that confronts you. Do you try to get it published through an agent (or publishing house…if you can) or do you self-publish? In the case of the latter, there’s a potentially lengthy and arduous road of hard work that lies ahead of you. If you navigate that road successfully, it can work out quite well for you. Many self-published authors end up becoming quite proficient in the art of self-publishing. This happens almost by necessity since you are responsible for making everything happen yourself. With no agent to guide you and no publishing company to do anything for you, it means you have to sort out your editing, cover artwork, blurbs, uploading to a POD vendor, marketing, your author platform, website, social media, signings, etc., etc., etc. The list is quite endless – and that’s even after you’ve figured out what to do and how to do it. If you have the time and are prepared to put in the effort, there are rewards at the end of that rainbow…eventually, trust me.
Throughout my self-publishing journey, I hooked up with many other great indie authors – admittedly some less great than others. This is bound to happen. You meet people in discussion forums, arrange newsletter swaps, perhaps co-author books, participate in box sets, or whatever else there might be. The point is that you are going to be exposed to other authors as a matter of course. The indie community can be a very close-knit one at times. It can also be a bit of a battlefield…but that’s a discussion for another time. Anyway, every once in a while, when the moons are aligned just so, you meet someone with whom you just click. You finish each other’s sentences, you ask the same questions, you want the same goals, you’re on the same wavelength, etc. I clicked with just one such other author that, like me, was very often keen to reach out to help others. Together, we wanted to share what we had learned for the benefit of other authors going through the same journey we had and who were stumbling over the same hurdles that we had. After a while, we decided to formalise the arrangement and thus my next spin-off, Dragon Realm Press, a company that provides author services to other authors was born. We’ve just recently expanded the company to become a full publishing company and are now servicing both the indie and trad crowds.
So let’s recap. I went from initially hating English to wanting to write a novel to self-publishing several books all in a relatively short space of time. Not only have I ticked that last remaining bucket list checkbox to within a few pixels of its life, but the whole endeavour has helped me spin off numerous other fulfilling efforts. I have my school author visits, my public speaking, my author services and now my publishing company. In fact, with all these spin-offs, I now often struggle to find the time to continue writing my novels. Who knows? By the time this article is published, I might have another plate spinning.
For me, then, life as an author is as much about all the spin-offs as it is about the writing and publishing. What about you? Have you had any spin-offs from your endeavours? If so, which?
Find Christopher on:
Epic battles, magical creatures and a perilous adventure.
- He’s a young man with burning questions.
- She’s a young woman on a journey of discovery.
- Together they must fight the forces of evil to save their world.
Joshua's father has long since disappeared. Most think he is dead, but Joshua’s dreams are telling him otherwise, and this is a scratch he just has to itch. It seems only The Oracle can help him. The Elder tells Joshua: “There will be many dangers for you ahead, Joshua, but if the answer to your dream is what you desire, you must head east to the Valley of Moross. There you must find the Oracle of Forestium.”
Joshua has never ventured out into the world of Forestium. The young and inexperienced Woodsman is ill-prepared for all that awaits him there. Forestium is a magical place, but Joshua must leave the security of Morelle, to a place where dark forces are looming. Can he face off the evil that is stalking him? Will he know whom to trust?