Blog on the Bus pt 62 (fed up of flat pack)

People bang on about this do-it-yourself mumbo jumbo like it’s a new religion:

“Broken appliance? You should look it up on YouTube and do it yourself…”

“Want to know how to make a perfect choux pastry? You should Google it…”

Whatever happened to inviting an expert into your home to take care of these things? You think I sound old-fashioned? Well, why should I attempt to fix my broken toilet when a friendly plumber, who has trained tirelessly for years (and knows his U-bend from his U-boat) is more capable of doing it for me? What if I mess up the job? What if I can never do as Mother Nature intended because I’ve botched the bog?

I understand that we’re in a world where we need to be more frugal and it is this that is driving the do-it-yourself cult (I’ve heard a rumour that those on the inside refer to it as D.I.Y.), and I’m all for cutting corners but most of us wouldn’t imagine visiting wikihow to learn how to build their own house, would we?

No dear reader, the proper practice should be to let the experts do their thing.

Well, that’s what I did think…but things are changing.

I won’t pretend to be a D.I.Y. officianado (I really do hate flat pack) but I’m starting to be won over by the merits of taking on certain self-assisted projects. I am, of course, referring to the practice of online book publication.

Gone are the days where you required a PHD in Literary Mastersism or a family lineage linking you to the great William Shakespeare. Now, it’s as easy as…well…writing a book. There is a wealth of information out there on that thing called t’internet and to be honest you don’t even need to be a rocket scientist to find it.

It’s true that publishing to the different online platforms (Kindle, Kobo, iBookstore, Nook) requires patience as each platform wants you to dot your i’s and cross your t’s in a totally different format, but it doesn’t matter because there are hundreds of friendly indie authors out there who’ve been in your position and will guide you through the maze.

Historically, I wouldn’t have dreamed of writing a novel and independently publishing it, not when you consider all the publishing houses out there, yet here I am, about to publish my sixth novel Trespass!

So, whilst I would still recommend you allow a qualified electrician rewire your house, I would urge any budding book builders to step up to the plate and embrace the indie author revolution!

Until the next time, happy reading,

Stephen

(Stephen is the author of Integration, Remorse, Redemption, Snatched and Shadow Line. Find his work here, here or via stephenedger.com)

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Blog on the Bus pt 52 (If I ruled the World)

In life, there are those who have the power to make life-changing decisions: doctors, bank managers, hit men (you see my point). What about authors?

Or singers?

Or actors?

Do they possess such power?

Of course not. I mean, I’ve written five novels but what I think, say and do has no bearing on anybody else’s life, does it?

Well?

Have you ever been sat in a room / car / kitchen / restaurant (delete as appropriate) and heard a song that just grabbed you? It captured your mood perfectly or the lyrics summed up the way you were feeling? Or have you watched a film (Dead Poets Society springs to mind) that has made you think about changing your life?

You have?

Me too.

I have enjoyed reading crime thrillers since before I know when and it was reading the works of authors like Simon Kernick, Stephen Leather and Mark Billingham that inspired me to begin to believe that maybe, just maybe, I could give this word-typing-book-writing lark a go. I figured my imagination is twisted enough, what have I got to lose? Five books later I can’t say I’ve lost anything. If anything I’d argue I’ve gained.

I’ve met some wonderful people as a result of the literary leap I took three years ago: great undiscovered authors, fans who think I’m wonderful (I do appreciate you both!) and people who just love talking about books. My life would be less sweet if I hadn’t given it a go.

So, maybe one day my own writing might inspire others to follow suit. After all, someone must have inspired Bill Shakespeare to put quill to parchment, right?

Of course, if I did rule the world, things would be pretty different:
1. Cider would be on tap in every household (you’d have hot and cold running water and the third tap would pump cider).
2. Stephen Edger’s Mark Baines Trilogy would form the basis of the National Curriculum.
3. Arsenal would win every game (you’ve got to have a dream, right?)
4. Man Utd and Spurs would be relegated (don’t ask!)
5. And Heinz Tomato Ketchup would be the only condiment on sale (there is no other!)

Of course, these things probably say more about me than the current state of the world but I don’t care, for, in this blog I am King and what I say goes.

Now, if you’re sat reading this thinking there’s something you ought to be doing (curing cancer, killing terrorists or maybe decorating that spare room) then my order to you is: just go and bloody do it! Sadly neither you or me will ever rule the world or have the power to make life-changing decisions.

But…

If we can change the life of just one person…it’ll be all worth while.

Until the next time, happy reading!

Stephen

Stephen is the author of Integration, Remorse, Redemption, Snatched and Shadow Line. Find his work here or via stephenedger.com)