RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD
It’s been nearly one year since my last blog post and even longer since I last wrote something or had anything worth sharing. Truth be told, I dropped off a cliff when it comes to all things writing. Nearly every aspect of the writing game grinded me to a halt. As a result, I downed tools and went into a hiatus. But, as I slowly merge from my cave, I thought I’d post here in the hope that many of you are still here and are still interested in hearing from me…
I actually published a new novella back in January called, The Swarm. And believe it or not (in my non-bias opinion!) it's my best book to date. However, I did zero promotion for it and it became a ghost very quickly in the fast paced world of book promotion on social media. And I think there lies the main problem for me. I started out writing and publishing back around 2016 and being new to the game, I made some fundamental mistakes. The main one was not balancing my workload between my family, day job and writing. I looked to my peers and others in the Horror Fiction community and felt keeping pace was the only way to be somewhat successful in this game. In my mind, I had to churn out at least one or two books a year, be on social media engaging with readers and fellow writers on a daily basis and lick certain holes to get invited to cons, events and anthologies and I was basically becoming an extremely fake person in an attempt to find my place within the Horror Community. After taking a leave of absence, I can now see how wrong this approach was as it is impossible to please everyone and while it may work for others, it certainly doesn’t work for me. It didn’t bring me joy, only fustration and the worst part of it was my writing suffered. And ultimately, that’s all I wanna do with my spare time. I rushed some releases, one book in particular is way below standard and I think at this stage I’ve completely lost whatever readership I built up.
However, it’s not all bad. I did learn a lot about myself and I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with and been blurbed by some of the biggest names in Horror Fiction. But more importantly, I have made some genuine friends through my writing.
Earlier this year, I pulled all of my books from print. For the reasons above, but mostly because the print costs crippled me. I focused a bit too much on quality over practicality. No point having a great looking book if the print cost is coming in more than what the damn thing sells for. I misjudged this and a harsh lesson was learned for me as an independent publisher. As a result, the imprint I created, Idolum Publishing, is no more and its titles can be found in a graveyard somewhere - I do have a stock of returns that I’m selling off at a low price - list below.
So, now that I’ve brought you up to speed on where I was at, let me tell you about where I’m going… I’m going to re-release my books (No big to-do, same covers, but revised text, cost effective) over the next few weeks and will only be focusing on Kindle and Paperback editions. No AudioBook or Hardback editions… sorry, folks!
To my surprise, I can see The Swarm somehow made it to the recommended reading list for the Bram Stoker Award. And considering I did zero promo for the book, this has given me a little boost. So, if there are any Reviewers or HWA members who’d like a digital or physical copy for consideration, please get in touch for a free copy.
Regarding social media, I’ll be keeping my Facebook, Instagram (Probably the best out there for book stuff?) and X (Gone seriously downhill for book related stuff, mostly use it now to follow football updates) accounts, but only for book related stuff and the odd engagement with writers and readers I have a genuine connection with. My aim is to restart my circle, keep it close and try to build an organic readership. I know this comes off as all about me, my apologies, but you see, I’ve trusted people and been let down by people over the last couple of years, so I think it’s the only way to have a healthy boundary to continue existing in a balanced way. This might change over time, but for now, this is how I plan to go forward.
So, to close this blog post off, I just want to say that I’ve realigned my priorities and will have a stronger focus on my family, day job and mental health going forward, but that doesn’t mean I’m giving up writing or reading. I have a lot of ideas that need to be shat out onto the page and I will be doing that and will continue to release new books, but at a rate that suits me and not what the market dictates.
Thanks for reading this far and I hope you’ll continue to have an interest in my work.
All the best for now,
PS - If you’re interested in any of the books below, get in touch:
Mass Market Paperbacks:
The Swarm (€5 + Shipping)
Keening Country (€5 + Shipping)
The Blackening (€4 + Shipping)
Weeping Season (€4 + Shipping)
The Mongrel (€4 + Shipping)
The Swarm (€10 + Shipping)
Revelations: Horror Writers for Climate Action (FREE + Shipping)
Keening Country (€10 + Shipping)
The Blackening (€8 + Shipping)
Weeping Season (€8 + Shipping)
The Mongrel (€7 + Shipping)