My Self-Publishing Adventure

My self-publishing adventure led to my work being picked up by a traditional publisher and eventually hitting the bestseller lists. That led to two more bestselling novels.

-Ashwin Sanghi


Taking Charge

The options for publishing are wide open right now. No longer is the writer restricted in their choice of path to publication.

  1. You can submit work to the slush pile, cross your fingers and wait for a response, often for a very long time.
  2. You can publish through a publishing house and pay for the service, often at a hefty price tag.
  3. You can take charge, teach yourself how to do the work you are willing to do and outsource the rest.

It’s not that difficult to take charge. You just have to give yourself permission to fail.


What Cannot be Said

The artist deals in what cannot be said in words. The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words. The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.

-Ursula K. Le Guin



Writing can be a solitary, lonely activity.

Poems, short stories, novels, all are done with the door shut and the phone off the hook.

But at the point of publication, that is when the work is thrown out to the world, when the door is flung open and the connection is made.

Don’t hide your work, get it out there. Talk about it, read it out loud, sell it, give it away, connect with your readers.

If you hide your work away so that no one can connect with it, what was the point?


Letting go of Certainties

Creativity can be described as letting go of certainties.

-Gail Sheehy


What Everyone Else is Reading

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

–Haruki Murakami



A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance. So if you now number yourself among the disenchanted, then you have no choice but to accept things as they are, or to seriously seek something else. But beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life. But you say, ‘I don’t know where to look; I don’t know what to look for.’
And there’s the crux. Is it worth giving up what I have to look for something better? I don’t know—is it? Who can make that decision but you? But even by DECIDING TO LOOK, you go a long way toward making the choice.

– Hunter S. Thompson


Some Thoughts on Royalties

Kindle Book Formatting went to the National Writer’s Conference at the weekend, and learnt, amongst many other things, that the average advance for a debut novel is currently £1000.

If the paperback sells at £8.99 with a 15% royalty rate, that will earn the author £1.35 per book. Which means the advance will not get paid back to the publisher until 741 copies have been sold.

If the author of said book decided to publish independently, with a cover price of £3.99 and royalties of 70% from Amazon, the author would get £2.80 per copy sold and would need to sell 357 books to reach the £1000 threshold.

Another reason to go indie, and take charge of your own career in books?


Original is Non-Existent

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.

-Jim Jarmusch



When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.

-Lady Gaga