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Friday, 30 December 2011

MY BOOKS AND STORIES PUBLISHED!

Over the years, both living on Waiheke Island and before I came here (and wish I had come much earlier in life), I have written a huge amount--millions of words of one sort or another--ranging from professional writing in information technology, business and science, to children's and adult fiction, to legal opinions, to local-body reports, to design descriptions, to blogs, etc., etc. The fiction has covered a very wide range, from fantasy to horror, from romance to humour, from metaphor and environmental activism to classic tales reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Tolkien.

Some of my stories are very short, some are full-length books; they vary in length from a mere 360 words on one page to over 33,000 on 84 pages. But 360 words can be just as compelling as a much longer work. The length should be whatever it comes out to; it should fit the story. The 360-word work is a horror-story, whose brevity heightens the horror (and the black humour).

Creative Waiheke is of course an ideal environment for a writer, so they flourish here, but an unpublished writer is a perpetually frustrated being. And till now none of my stories have been published (on paper, I mean), either because I made no attempt, or as was the case with my first book, a fantasy written long ago called The Wing-Friends, because although the publishers liked it they declined it. They liked it because their reader, the famous Dorothy Butler, recommended it, but they did not think there was a big enough market in my native New Zealand to make it worth their while. The opinions of publishers are the bane of author's lives...

How many times in history have books been declined by publishers, or only published in very limited numbers, because publishers did not think they would be successful, but then were runaway best-sellers, never out of print? The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Lord of the Rings are two of myriads of examples. There must be many books that die in drawers and never see the light of day, but would be very successful if they were published.

To get round all that, the ideal is be your own publisher, but traditionally that has meant a large initial outlay because of the cost of a print-run and marketing. Print-on-demand publishing, in which copies are printed only when ordered, opened large cracks in that obstacle, but although the outlay was not anything like as large it was still not an easy road, especially if you had a number of works to publish.

In the past few days I have discovered, rather belatedly, to my chagrin, that Amazon has swept away all obstacles with free services, both ebook and print-on-demand. The ebooks are published via Kindle Direct Publishing; the print-on-demand are published via a part of the Amazon empire called CreateSpace. The Internet has radically changed the author's world. Yay! No longer do publishers have the whip hand, or any hand at all. Now the author is in charge, and has a direct line to readers. Which is how things should be. Chronic frustration can now be removed with a some uploading and a few clicks of a mouse.

So I have started publishing a number of my stories myself. The shorter ones are or will be in ebook format, for reading on an electronic reader or a computer. The longer ones will be in print-on-demand paperback format.

To find my stories go to Amazon and enter my name in the search box: Nobilangelo Ceramalus, or just Nobilangelo, or click on this link. As the days go more and more will be there. so far I have published seven ebooks. Soon I shall publish my first print-on-demand book, The Wing-Friends. I also plan to publish an environmental book, The Earth-Guard, via print-on-demand, as well as other things in both formats, about a dozen all together perhaps.

The exclamation mark at the end of the title of this posting is therefore an indication of my relief at being able at long last to get my stories out into the world where they belong.

I hope there will be people who will enjoy them.