January Resolution Wrap-Up

February 2011

I’m taking a leaf out of Erin Doland’s book over at Unclutterer, and trying out small, monthly resolutions. Monthly resolutions aren’t as scary as those huge, potentially life-changing New Year’s resolutions that nobody ever manages to keep. All I really want to know is, “If I work hard and smart, what can I realistically hope to get done in the next thirty days?”

My January resolution (which I kept private, not wanting to spoil the surprise) was to publish Quiet City, a themed collection of short stories I’d written over the course of 2010. I spent the first few days of January scrubbing away stubborn spellos, and my spare time over the next fortnight working on illustrating, laying-out, and formatting the stories for print and ebook publication.

I launched the ebook in mid-January with a fun little gimmick: you “pay” for a copy by posting a link to your Twitter or Facebook profile. This harebrained marketing strategy got me an author spotlight over at HTMLGiant, and a few nice reviews, which was really wonderful. (Thanks are due, by the way, to everybody who’s read, tweeted, and responded to the stories – it’s been incredibly gratifying). I’m going to be writing more about the economics of online self-publishing in a few weeks, but I’m just going to say for now: this is a really exciting time for savvy, as-yet-unpublished writers who want to take chances. I’m entirely with Ryan Carson when he says that “something insane is happening in the creative industry and all of you need to know about it.” Mark my words: we’re entering a golden age for independent creative types.

Yesterday, my print proofs of Quiet City arrived in the post. I’m absolutely chuffed. My intention was to create a short story collection that wouldn’t look out of place on the coffee table: something which succeeds not only in terms of content, but as a tangible object in its own right. Physical books should embrace their physicality.

For those interested, the print edition launches February 26 in Adelaide at the Format Zine Fair. From March, it’ll be available at Sticky (Melbourne), Format (Adelaide), and Bird in the Hand (Newcastle) for a meagre $AU12. You can also purchase online starting today.