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Nightmares & Egos

 

This coming Monday (The 12th September if you're reading this in the future) I will have been writing and sharing Echo Valley with you guys for a month.

 

For those of you who don't know, Echo Valley is a cathartic project in the form of a short horror novel that I started as a way of capturing my nightmares onto paper. At the time, I had also been working on another novel but more on the sci-fi epic scale for the past two years. So I took a break from that and eventually, I convinced myself to share the first chapter of Echo Valley for fun and then return to the much longer novel I had been working on.

But since then, I've received really positive feedback from people. I'm not exactly drowning in fan mail, but there's enough nice words to put a smile on my face. Words from people I didn't even realise were reading it; a colleague at my work, friends I haven't seen in years have all taken time to contact me with the smallest of things like "Just wanted to say good work on Echo Valley, really enjoyed it!" and my personal favourite "I even spilt pasta on my shirt". It's been awesome, right down to the notification of my first ever blog subscriber. (i'm looking at you, Pixie. Muchos Gracias <3 ) All of this, has spurred me on to write and build more on the world of Echo Valley and make an effort to share it beyond just my friends and family.

 

But for unpublished, unheard of writers of the web, there's a darker side to getting people to read your book...

 

The Soulless side of Social

The downside to authors who's work is not traditionally (or in this case) nor self-published is that in order to get their stories read online, you have to be quite "salesy", whether you're aiming to make money or not. In internet terms, #hashtagging. I know it has to be done in order to get found initially, but Odin's beard, do I hate it.

I'm not a salesman, not by any means. I don't think many creative people are. When I get to the publishing stage of Echo Valley and if I decide to go with self-publishing, I will look forward to setting up stalls at cons, soaking up the atmosphere, meeting new people and having fun providing my book to people like me who go "That sounds weird. I wanna read it."

But there are things I'm not looking forward to and am not enjoying. You probably notice on particular Instagram and Twitter accounts, the phrasing on posts doesn't sound genuine, Especially with #hashtags #throughout #almost the #entire #sentence.

I try my best to sound as authentic to myself as possible, even though I do cram in all those Hashtags at the end. It's just unavoidable for someone trying to get something noticed online.

On the bright side of self-publishing, you do get to keep and be in control of most things, including your earnings, which tends to work out as more money in comparison. Which is or should be a bonus for writers, not the main motivation.

 

On the other hand, traditional publishing do all that work for you. They do the selling whilst you get to keep most of your soul as a creative. But from what I've discovered recently, means that even award winning authors, get paid what sounds like essentially pennies.

I'm not judging either of the publishing options, don't get me wrong. I'm just weighing up the facts. Currently, self-publishing it's what i'm leaning more towards, solely because I think it sounds more fun and involving. It's just the initial selling yourself bit I cringe at as I type out those hashtags.

It's a double edged sword: More hashtags means more views and likes, but it can also mean that you're only going to get likes from accounts like xXG3tFolLow3rZN0WXx and monetize.your.blogg , which lets face it, haven't actually read a single word from your novel. They just want you to go to their account and follow, like or pay them for god knows what. Sometimes it feels like a look-at-me warzone out there and you're no better.

But what's important is to remember the reason most of started out writing this novel or any art form be it music, drawing, acting, whatever- for ourselves. I want to make Echo Valley discoverable to people, but I don't want to force it down peoples throats. But I also need the time to be able to do it well as well as working a full time job and being a good Dad.

Eh, we'll probably be fine. But if you want to help, we can buy each other coffee?

P.S

(Pssst! If you're a creative not making money and not on Patreon, what the hell are you doing?!)

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Drifting

| 21st August 2017 | Echo Valley

And now folks, it's time for a little backstory...   *Vision fades into blurry waves to reveal a small, coffee and man scented flat in Paignton, Devon.*   We're talking a good 5-nearly-6 years ago now, before I had any inclination to write, before I had any real idea of what I wanted to do in life other than a small handful of things. One of those things was going for a jam every Thursday evening with my brother-in-law-to-be.   We'd write songs. I'd bring my knock-off Fender Squire imposter (God knows how that thing still worked; it was £30 off ebay and held together with electric tape and a bottle opener i'd stolen from Travelodge) and Lee would sing or join in on his acoustic.   I'd record the sessions with an old Sony cassette player and we'd forever talk about how good this song and that song would sound when we eventually start a band (turns out you need friends to make a full band- who knew?)   This may seem insignificant, but (prepare for cheese!) I ended up asking Lee to be my best man for my wedding. I'd only really “known” him for about 5 minutes. But the guy who was originally best man, someone I'd known for a good 10 years I ended up falling out with big time. And the other friends who I asked instead for some reason or another couldn't make it to my wedding. So i'd asked my fiance's brother as a last resort- not that I thought in any way he was a bad guy, quite the opposite. I just imagined the best man for my wedding being someone i'd known a little longer.   Anyway, the year leading up to the wedding that followed turned out to be one of the best. We had an amazing friendship form and he became one of my best friends (except for the stag due. I've still not forgiven him for that.)   It's these reasons that I included 'Drifting' as the song I wanted to be in Echo Valley. When I was writing it, it was originally going to be a better known jazz song, but then half way through the chapter something happened where it was like it had to be Drifting; A song me and Lee wrote together and recorded back in those days in the man and coffee scented flat.   The song isn't an amazing song. It will never hit charts or be on every car advert, but it means a lot to me and it felt perfect for the scene in Echo Valley. I've managed to dig out the old recording on tape and transfer into digital. Lee's voice sounds like he's wearing trousers that are slightly too tight, but that's merely the tape's quality. In celebration of my dear Outlaw-inlaws birthday, you can listen to it here or download it for free.       *Blurry waves return, returning you to present day*   We jammed together for a good 4 years . We practiced in an old spare room with an obscene amount of dead flys landing on our equipment. We eventually found friends and they joined with drums, guitars and basses. I had went on to have 2 kids, the band didn't.If you want to hear what Lee's voice sounds like now in non-tight-pants tape quality, you can check out his band Deadfly's EP. And you should do, really. Because it's his birthday. They also released their first music video for their new single Demockary, which I'll link you to as well because people do nice things when there are birthdays. Happy Birthday, babe xoxoxox     Photo Credit to our lovely wedding photographer Holly  (Link version incase the embed fails)  Happy Birthday, babe xoxoxox     Photo Credit to our lovely wedding photographer Holly   ...

Happy Birthday H.P. Lovecraft

| 20th August 2017 | Echo Valley

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Bristol Horror Con 2017

| 15th August 2017 | Events & Appearances

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| 08th August 2017 | Echo Valley

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