Published: 05/10/2012 16:25 - Updated: 05/10/2012 16:42

eBooks light up Inverness writer's life

Written byby Margaret Chrystall

Writer John Logan. Picture: Alasdair Allen
Writer John Logan. Picture: Alasdair Allen

 

IT’S month nine of Inverness writer John A A Logan’s rebirth as an eBook publisher – his first “baby” has just won an international epublishing award, his second has just emerged online.

And the future is looking bright since John turned his back on the traditional world of publishing which had generously praised his writing, but failed to give him a book deal.

Now John – who also juggles caring for his mum and running the family farm at Croy – has become his own publishing company, White Butterfly Press.

He is also being called on as a pioneer to talk to other writers who fancy moving into the ePublishing world themselves.

And though John confesses to being a shy man in real life, he has also learned to embrace the world of social networking to help online readers find his work.

Winning the special award for best twist in the plot for his first eBook novel, The Survival of Thomas Ford, in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards 2012 also put him in touch with some fellow winners.

And they have just united to promote their books to new readers who have yet to discover them.

Any lingering doubts John had about seeking out the new, emerging world of online publishing last year were quickly set aside over one week in April.

John said: “My only expense was £2.50 to licence the cover image for (italic) The Survival ... and I made £1000 in seven days from downloads.”

That’s not to say the whole exercise of getting his work up online for readers to download has been a bowl of cherries.

On his blog, John revealed that there was a point he didn’t believe the book would ever get as many as 40 reviews from readers.

But having written seven books in 22 years, John knew that previous disappointments as his agent got glowing reports for the titles, but no deals, was unlikely to change.

So he has learned to think “like a publisher”.

His blog carries a funny story about the three stages he has been through.

Bumping into an old friend and telling him about his publishing woe, John barely listened as his friend revealed his publisher sister in Canada believed the future was: “One word – eBooks.”

Stage two came when John started introducing himself as an eBook writer.

“What’s that?” people said.

“I write books and sell them on the internet. Americans buy them, and they sell in the UK, Australia too. People read them on computers or phones, or on those Kindle ereaders.”

And finally, the rest of us caught up, this time when John said he wrote eBooks, the reply was not so surprised.

“Aye? My daughter’s got one of those Kindle things. Couple of people at my office have as well. Write down the book’s name …”

But a bigger milestone came when John realised – having learned everything from how to market his books to finding someone to format the text for online reading – that he was making some money back.

His first cheques from sales to American and Australian readers came in at $625, which came in the same week an Amazon UK transfer of £627.

John now plans to self-publish his other four novels and has just republished some short stories previously put out in paperback by Picador and Vintage as 10-story collection Storm Damage, his latest eBook title.

Though he has come so far, John is realistic: “I still feel I have only learned about four per cent of what I will need to know. It’s still like two worlds that haven’t come together fully yet.”

But John has earned his place in the advance party.

John has just released new eBook, Storm Damage, which is available now for download on Kindle at Amazon. For more information go to www.johnaalogan.com

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