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IMG_0172Something exciting has happened. I am beginning to get taken seriously as a writer. (Uhm, should a writer of humour be taken seriously?) First off, I got a promotion. I was chuffed to bits about that. Indies Unlimited invited me to take up two regular slots a month, one of which will be a tutorial. I was so excited about my promotion, that I had to post my photo of me wearing my IU uniform (t-shirt) so you can see how seriously I am taking it all. Actually, that’s not the best “serious” photo of me but it’s a huge improvement on some of the other photos of me that are flying about cyberspace, and at least you can see what I shall be wearing when I sit in my garret, writing my posts for the site. Make sure you check them out every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. (Next week’s is well worth a read. I reveal some top secret marketing techniques.)

Next, I got a request to speak at a huge Self Publishing conference at Leicester University in March. This is a big deal for me. I’ve spoken to small groups of writers before, but to be invited to such an event is massive. Of course, I accepted, skipped about the kitchen in excitement, and then realised what I’d let myself in for.

The people attending this conference have paid jolly good money to get sound advice. I know about self publishing, naturally I do. I have learned the hard lessons that all us self published authors learn. I have grappled with Word documents, social networking sites, and Animoto. I have made excellent contacts and also been conned by lousy editors and scam publishers. I have learned how to tackle the meatgrinder at Smashwords. I’ve discovered how to make covers for my books using Paint, and who to use to do it professionally. I have cried over sleepless nights, worn out the letters on my computer keyboard typing novels and endless emails to promote my books. I have battled with Amazon algorithms. There isn’t much I haven’t had a go at.

I have, like many of you, succeeded in self publishing my eBooks and have also held the paperback versions, cradling them with love, when they have finally, after months of effort, been delivered to me. I have also been fortunate to find wonderful publishers who have run with my efforts.

You learn quickly or you drown in this game. I am wiser and much better qualified than when I started out in 2009. However, there is always something new to pick up and rules are often changed.

In summary, I think I am qualified to talk about self publishing, but we authors are a wiley bunch. We like facts. we want details and we love to trip up speakers at these events. We need to know the answers to all sorts of obscure questions. And today I discovered that I am not just giving a talk to these people. I am doing a Q and A session.

So, in an attempt to become genned up before the big event, I need you to throw me questions and maybe even throw in some curve balls. Please leave me a question in the comment section that you’d want answered if you were at the event.Β  If I can answer it, I shall. If I can’t, I’ll find someone here who can, and reply to you.

There might be a short delay in my responses thanks to the time difference between us, but be assured I shall respond. However, no heckling please at the back of the room!

I’ll let you know what happens and if I learn of anything new while I am there. One last thing, do you think I should I wear the t-shirt to the event?