John Tyson-Capper recently published his first book and so is relatively new to self-publishing. Read more about his book and his experiences.
1. Tell me briefly about your book.
My book Hodburn Wood is set in Northeast England in1798. It’s an historical mystery focusing on half brothers, one rich, one poor. The wealthy character, Hillary, was inspired by Beau Brummel. He is incredibly beautiful, vain and something of a rake. The story picks him up on his return to England after a four-year exile in Europe and the the Near East. His promiscuity is a kind of compulsion that, whilst leaving him unsatisfied, drives him on in an endless circle. He cares little for anything that doesn’t immediately concern him, and though he is aware of his vacuity, he turns it into a self-pitying badge of honour, as if it is a burden to bear. In contrast, his half brother, Martin, of whose existence he knows nothing until Martin confronts him, is poor, brought up in a brothel and then later by gypsies. He has a truly terrible burden to bear, with which he confronts Hillary and which in turn drives the plot pitching the two characters against one another.
2. How have your sales been?
Although I have uploaded the book to Kindle, I am in the early stages of marketing. I want to elicit reviews, interviews and the like whilst I am waiting for the paperback to become available in the UK (probably after Christmas). Once the paperback is out, I will launch the novel in Newcastle. Having said that, I have gained a few sales from the states and the UK.
3. How have you liked self-publishing so far?
Self-publishing is time-consuming, and there is a lot to learn, particularly regarding marketing and distribution. I went with Creativespace, their books are great quality products, but from a UK writer’s perspective they only offer distribution to Amazon.co.uk through what they call an expanded distribution channel which just about wipes out any profit. That’s why I went with Kindle ebooks as well, though online marketing is a whole new ball game to me. To get around the problems with Amazon.co.uk, I will sell books directly through Amazon’s ‘Market Place’.