Posts Tagged ‘Ben Galley’

Self Published Sunday: So Now Everybody Is An Author?

At 24, Ben Galley is a young author from sunny England, and a writer of fantasy and tall tales. Author of the epic and dark Emaneska Series, he has two books to his name, and there is soon to be a third. He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge and know-how with other hopeful authors, and is keen to help them turn their passion into their profession. Ben regularly tours the country signing books, pestering bookshops, and searching for dragons. He is a regular speaker, and blogger on everything fantasy and Self-Publishing, and has just launched a Self-Publishing, Writing, and Marketing site called SHELF HElP.
We’re living in an amazing time. A time of explosive change and great leaps of technology. A time where anybody can publish anything within minutes, and sell it to the world at the click of a button. A time of self-publishing. A time of opportunity.

But is that true? That anybody can self-publish a book in minutes and make it available to the world? Yes indeed. 100%. Absolutely. Without a doubt. All you need is a book, a little know-how, and the drive to push yourself.

Self-publishing may not be a new concept – after all Mark Twain was self-published, and so was Edgar Allen Poe, Virginia Woolf, Alexander Dumas, Benjamin Franklin, and Rudyard Kipling… the list goes on. But until now, we haven’t had the infrastructure and the technology to facilitate the affordable, simple, quality, and fast self-publishing that we have today, and it’s turned the industry on its head.

In 2009 alone, 76% of all books were self-published. That’s an incredible statistic. Lulu, one of the big three POD companies, report that they publish something like 20,000 new titles a month. Never before in history has there been so many books and so many authors writing them. I think it’s safe to say that we authors have joined the fray en masse!

But because of this, we self-published authors are now experiencing a new challenge. The problem is this: with self-publishing being so easy, the market has now been flooded with authors, bringing both good and bad books with them. Everybody seems to be an author these days. The new challenge is not the publishing of our books, but rather making them, and us along with them, stand out from the others. We still live in an amazing time, it’s just a rather noisy one.

There are several things that I believe you can do to make sure you stand out of the crowd, and to set yourself above this flood:

Aim for quality:
The main complaint from the industry at the moment is the average quality of self-published books. Due to the ease and speed of the process, many authors feel like they don’t need to make the effort, and often publish without having edited, proofread, or even sourced a decent cover. The sheer number of these poor books can make life hard for us, but what we can do is stand out by aiming high. We need to make sure our books are of the highest quality, and comparable with the books of the traditional houses. This means getting a professional cover made, and making sure your book is error-free and edited to its utmost! Easiness is not an excuse for laziness.

Get physical:
Some people confuse self-publishing with simple e-publishing, ie: simply publishing ebooks and them alone. Well, you don’t have to stop there. Thanks once again to the wonder of technology, we now have the ability to print quality books and distribute them all over the world with a bit of formatting and the click of a mouse. Having this extra string to your bow not only helps you stand apart from the e-publishing horde, but also provides another revenue stream too!

Build a friend base:
Those of you who are already on Twitter and Facebook might have seen them. The authors and writers who incessantly tweet links to their books and nothing else? Yes, them. Personally, I find it irritating and boring, and marketing deserves a little more though than just clogging up Twitter feeds with links to books. I’m keen to push the idea of the friendbase; like a fanbase, but more personal, engaging, and interesting. People are more responsive if you speak to them on a personal level, as you would if you met them at a book fair, or in the street. Be interested in them first, and they will in turn by curious about you, and therefore more likely to invest their time, money, and pass the message on. Good rule of thumb here is to speak to ten new people a day on Twitter of Facebook, be it a retweet, a like, or a reply, simply get engaging.

Get sharing:
Despite the relative ease of self-publishing, it can be somewhat tough going it alone. One of the best things about self-publishing, however, is that we’re all very eager to share and to grow. By forging links with other, similar authors you can grow together by sharing eachother’s blogs and books to your respective friendbases. That way, both parties win and your fans will also be richer for it. As the old saying goes – united we stand, divided we fall.

Be creative:
This new self-publishing boom is nothing if not open to change. With the sudden influx of new authors and new technology, the industry is still trying to find its new feet. What this means for us new authors is the chance to find marketing niches that others may not have found yet. This could be anything from new technology, new companies, new mediums, anything. It’s the gift of such an amazing time. Find these niches, and exploit them! Above all, standing out takes a bit of hard work and some determination. It’s a noisy world out there. All you have to do is shout louder and longer.

Good luck.
Post by Ben Galley
You can find Ben lurking on several social media sites. It’s wise not to encourage him.
Twitter: @BenGalley
Facebook: Ben Galley Author
Websites: www.bengalley.com and Shelf Help

Emaneska is crying out for a saviour
The only question is: Can they kill a child to save a world?
Emaneska’s Long Winter remains as bitter as a blade between the ribs. War is fast approaching. Gods and daemons are hovering on the horizon. Long-lost revelations arrive to haunt the lives of three men.
The Pale Kings are rising.
While Farden busies himself digging up his past in the strange deserts of Paraia, the storm-clouds begin to gather for Durnus, Elessi, Cheska, and Modren.
Together with Farfallen and his Sirens, they must fight to survive against the Long Winter, the vicious machinations of the new Arkmage, and the arrival of something much deadlier than both combined. War, deception, and murder are quickly becoming the only paths to salvation…

The first two books in Ben’s Emenska Series The Written and Pale Kings are available to buy from amazon.

Read our interview with Ben here!

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Self Published Sunday: Ben Galley

We are delighted to welcome Ben Galley to Big Book Little Book. Not only is Ben the author of the Emaneska series, he is also the creator of Shelf Help, a site offering advice on the entire self publication process.

At 24, Ben Galley is a young author from sunny England, and a writer of fantasy and tall tales. Author of the epic and dark Emaneska Series, he has two books to his name, and there is soon to be a third. He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge and know-how with other hopeful authors, and is keen to help them turn their passion into their profession. Ben regularly tours the country signing books, pestering bookshops, and searching for dragons. He is a regular speaker, and blogger on everything fantasy and Self-Publishing, and has just launched a Self-Publishing, Writing, and Marketing site called SHELF HELP. You can also find him lurking on several social media sites including Twitter and Facebook

What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m usually asking myself the question: Why am I not writing? But aside from that, I’m an avid reader, amateur cook, I enjoy running, and like to pretend I can surf.

What inspired you to become a writer?
Originally, it was the influence of my parents, and the great books they let me read as a child. Books like Lord of The Rings, Iliad and the Odyssey, the Redwall series, and a huge number of others. It instilled a strong sense of imagination in me, and it was hard to ignore it, so it wasn’t long before I was attempting to write instead of read. I wrote my first book at age 12, and haven’t looked back since.

What was your inspiration for the Emaneska series?
Fantasy has always been a big part of my life and of my bookshelf, so it was a genre I’ve always wanted to delve into, with a bold and epic series. I had recently got back into fantasy and weird fiction, so it was partly that, and the desire to write something gritty and dark too, thanks to getting irritated by the watershed subject matter of a certain BBC series about a certain Arthurian wizard…Aside from that, the idea of Farden, my main character, literally came crashing into my head.

Why did you choose to write fantasy?
From my deep love of everything fantastical and out of this world. It’s a genre with no bounds.

How did you get interested in the fantasy genre?
Thanks to being introduced to Lord of The Rings by my parents and at a very young age. It’s an obvious choice for fantasy lovers, but for me it is the birth of the genre as I know it, and the birth of a love.

Tell us more about your books?
My books – The Written and Pale Kings are books 1 and 2 of the Emaneska Series, an epic fantasy trilogy that follows the cold and pseudo-nordic world of Emaneska and its troubled inhabitants. It’s a land caught in the middle of a vicious winter and an uneasy peace. They’re primarily about Farden, a dark character who is a powerful mage and soldier for his people the Arka, but a man with a great many problems. The books follow him as he is dragged into a malicious plot to not only destroy him, but Emaneska as a whole.

What research did you do for this series
Only a little. The beauty of fantasy is that the author is the world-builder, and therefore is responsible for its history, its people, and its aspects. However, as I wanted to include a lot of Nordic tones, I went back to a lot of the Scandinavian myths I had read as a child.

Are any elements of your books based on real life experiences/people?
Again, very little. Once again, with fantasy, it’s hard to transfer real life experiences directly, but they do percolate through and transmute into the concepts that I use, and also to power certain scenes. Love, loss, anger, greed, and all the others I may have experienced. In regards to real life people, I use that a lot for describing appearances, but I can’t name any names 😉

What are you currently working on?
The third and final book in the Series – Dead Stars.

What is your writing process ?
I write every day, without fail. It’s a habit I think you have to get into to keep your book moving along, to keep your writing sharp, and to make sure you stay on track with plots. I write on my laptop or on my phone, and if I’m not writing at home, I like to go find a river or a beach or a hill for inspiration.

Do you use anything to sustain you during the writing process? Coffee? Chocolate? Music?
It used to be coffee, but now it’s just water and a little music every now and again. And plenty of exercise.

What prompted you to self publish?
The fact that I knew I could publish my book once I finished it. No questions asked. On my terms. Without having to face rejection or a lengthy wait.

Can you tell us about the challenges in writing and publishing your first novel?
The first challenge was writing it whilst working full time at bars, clubs, and restaurants. I had to write most of the first novel on my mobile phone. Once I finished it, the second challenge was getting it edited, and that took even longer! In publishing, I researched extensively before going ahead, so I avoided a few pitfalls but not all. The main challenge for me there was sourcing a great cover and formatting for eBooks.

Do you ever experience writers block? How do you overcome it?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block, just writer’s uphill struggle. I think you have to go for a jog, make some lunch, or just work on something else, like another chapter, or leave a note and move on.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
It takes hard work and time to write and publish novels. Whatever happens, just keep going 🙂

What books have inspired you?
Lord of The Rings, once again. All of Neil Gaiman’s books. Mythology as a whole. Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy, and also John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Charles Dickens’s entire collection.

What was your favourite book as a child/teenager?
Any of the Redwall series.

What are you currently reading?
A rather non-fiction book called UXB. It’s a WW2 book.

What was the last book you recommended to a friend?
Way of Kings Part 1 and 2, by Brandon Sanderson.

What/Who inspired you as a reader?
Neil Gaiman.

Just for Fun

If your book had a soundtrack which artists would feature on it?
Many a raucous one, due to its fast-paced nature and action. But I have quite a varied music taste, so I think the Series would reflect that too. Audioslave, Incubus, Killswitch Engage, but also Helios, Thomas Newman, Sigur Ros.

Paper, Audio or eBook?
Paper.

Tea or Coffee?
Neither. Doctor’s orders 😉

Slippers or barefoot?
Barefoot.

Shower or Bath?
Shower.

Marmite: Love it? Hate it?
Despise it.

Email or postcard?
Can’t put an email on your fridge. Save the fridge magnet.

His name is Farden.
They whisper that he’s dangerous.
Dangerous is only the half of it.

Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options. Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn t want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await. Breathtakingly vast, chillingly dark, brooding and dangerous, The Written will leave you impatiently waiting for the next adventure Welcome to Emaneska.

A huge thank you to Ben for taking part in our Self Published Sunday feature. Check out Ben’s Guest post So Now Everyones Is An Author? where Ben provides us with the benefit of his self publishing experience.

The Written and Pale Kings, the first two instalments of the Emaneska trilogy, are available to buy from Amazon.

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