I'm currently working as a relief GP in Mosman Medical Practice in Sydney NSW. It's a great place to work and the people who work there are very special too. If you're ever feeling a bit off colour whilst visiting the north shore of Sydney, then I recommend you give them a call.
But that's not the topic of this weeks journal entry.
I received two parcels at the practice this week: one was a VERY big parcel, and one was a much SMALLER parcel. Guess which one I was most excited about?
Well, the VERY big parcel contained two brand new suitcases which we will be using later this year when we travel to Europe for a holiday. Now you'd think that was fairly high on the excitement scale .... and it certainly was. But in the VERY small parcel were 24 copies of pre-release paperback books of Mr Dickens - my new book. It just goes to confirm that sometimes the best things in life come in small packages.
The books look beautiful and so far I've given some away - to family, friends, the local library and to Pages and Pages in Military Road, Mosman. Some I want to pass on to you.
I'm looking to give away to the first six people who contact me by email, a FREE copy of the book! You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org giving me details of where to send the book to.
The book is for everyone, but in particular I really want young people in grades 5 to 7 to read it so that they can enter the amazing world of Charles Dickens, one of the best storytellers of the English speaking world.
I'm very excited and I want you to be excited too.
Back in the 19th century, Charles Dickens wrote most of his books in serial form for his weekly publications. It was only later on that he published his great creations - David Copperfield, Great Expectations etc - in book form. I have no doubt he used up a lot of energy in the writing and publishing process as there were no computers back then, everything was hand written which then had to be manually "composited" before it could be printed!
I've written my novella Mr Dickens for young adults and have followed the self-publishing path. For the novice, it's quite an intricate process and I've no doubt that many authors have put it in the "too hard" basket and maybe some great manuscripts have been lost forever.
The great news is that I have finished the process! Now Mr Dickens is not only available as an eBook but also in hard copy.
I have learned a great deal and I have great respect for the process. But the reason I persevered is that I believe that my book not only has some great insights for young people, but that it introduces them to a fantastic author from the 19th century. Not only that but he was an author who worked hard to change some dreadful social conditions. Charles Dickens was a giant and I have to say that the view from his shoulders is just amazing!
Like most newbie Authors, it's par for the course to make mistakes. For many, it's forgetting to get a great editor to go through your manuscript and make sure that it's ready for publication - I was blessed to find Kerrie Schurr! Then you're face with the decision as to whether you should approach the publishing houses and dangle your brilliant manuscript before their over-worked eyes.
With my first book, Rosso, I thought I had struck lucky with a Publisher in California who agreed to publish my book .... after it had be edited (at a cost) by one of their 'recommended' editors. Then, their 'in-house' graphic designer would work on my book cover (at a cost) to get it ready for printing. Finally I was encouraged to buy some of my books to help get things off the ground!
Unfortunately, after going through all these processes, communication with the so-called publisher suddenly plummeted. To cut a long story short, they defaulted on the contract and I was forced to sever the arrangement - as per contract - so now I am a FREE agent!
But there was one final hurdle to overcome. That was asking Mr Amazon to remove the previous edition of my book from their catalogue. After some initial "Sorry buts..." (which caused a small spike in my blood pressure), Mr Amazon and his/her team have confirmed that they will do just that.
So, take a bow Messrs Amazon and Kindle: you 'did good' and I really appreciate your help.
Now it's over to my genius Publicist Beth Justino, book cover illustrator Jenn Reece adn book designer Colleen Sheehan to help put the finishing touches on my trilogy - The Renaissance Brothers.
Watch this space!!
Amazon is a Giant! It's doing great things for millions of people worldwide and it's helping me get my new book - Mr Dickens - out into the big wide yonder. So thanks Mr Amazon for helping make it happen.
But Mr Amazon, I have a problem too.
I need you to remove a book from my author page (it's complicated thing but essentially the Publisher of that book has failed in its contractural obligations and therefore voided our agreement), but it appears that it's far easier to publish a book than to have that book removed from Amazon. I have pointed out that I wish to replace that edition with my own self-published edition, which would mean that the book is still available, it's just that my ex-Publishers wont be creaming any royalties which they patently do not deserve.
Maybe there are others "out there" who have similar challenges in regaining control over their own products.
But in the bigger scheme of things, I'm one happy little Vegemite - it's an Aussie saying and means that I'm really happy. I have my new book published, three more ready to print and two in the process of being written.
Why am I doing all this?
After 40 years of helping people as a Family Doctor, I know that there a too many people who are "doing it tough." I want to reach as many people as I can and offer a light to those who are living in a dark place.