2022 has been quite the hectic year already, but a productive one.
On 28 June the new version of my debut novel Glenrowan launched as a print-on-demand title through Ingramspark and Lightning Source. After much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth while getting it over the line it managed to finally hit the deadline. The new version of the book was originally intended to be released in 2021, but Covid-related issues and life in general got in the way. Time and again new deadlines had to be set as old ones were unable to be reached. To call the process frustrating is a tremendous understatement.
The new version is revised and expanded, meaning that there are portions that have been tweaked or added to match my original vision for the book. There’s also a slew of new illustrations and supplementary material, including an essay I wrote about Ned Kelly. I view this as being akin to a “director’s cut” of the book. I am pleased with the final result and I’m sure Kelly enthusiasts will as well.
The second book I’ve produced this year was originally meant to have come out before the new version of Glenrowan, but for similar reasons was delayed. Aaron Sherritt: Persona non Grata is my first proper non-fiction book, a biography of the man murdered by the Kelly Gang for supposedly being a traitor. I have previously published an eBook anthology of some of my articles from the first year of my website A Guide to Australian Bushranging, but this is the first time I have produced a book with the deliberate aim of releasing it as one, rather than just being a spin off of something else. It did start life as a a print version of an article of the same name that I had written for the site, but I soon changed my mind and realised there was potential for a great book in telling Aaron’s story more fully.
Writing a non-fiction book is definitely a daunting process, and it can be intimidating to realise that you have a major responsibility to check your sources and be accurate. No doubt this is why so many non-fiction authors rely on others to do the research or simply regurgitate what has been written before. That pressure is magnified when the book is self-published on a tight budget as you can’t afford to pay people to research and fact check for you, it’s all on you. It’s a challenge worth taking up though.
Both of these books are available as print-on-demand and eBooks (the eBook version of Glenrowan that was previously available has been updated so that the text in the chapters matches the new edition). It pays to shop around approved varies wildly from one retailer to the next. I get the same amount regardless of the mark up the retailers put on, so I have no desire to preference one over another. I will say that for Australian customers the best prices are from The Nile and Book Depository so it’s worth checking them out. Waterstones in the UK is cheap, and the USA can go to sites like Barnes and Noble.
The next title I’ve got coming out this year will be a book about the bushranger William Westwood that is mostly comprised of his autobiography and letters written while he was in prison. I am also working on a book called Bushranging Tales, but more on that later.
In terms of narrative fiction, I will resume working on The Widow when I have finished Bushranging Tales, as I have new ideas that will change a lot of what I have already written (in a good way). At present that is all I have to talk about project wise but I will update when I can.