print on demand - self publishing

Neglect can creep up on us throughout many aspects of our lives. We can perhaps feel neglected from love ones that we have been in a relationship with for many years. We can feel neglected by friends that we may not have spoken to for ages. On the other side of the coin, self- neglect is just as devastating and can severely impact our lives. This is where the individual disregards basic needs such as personal hygiene, eating and living conditions.

Neglected

/nɪˈɡlɛktɪd/
adjective

suffering a lack of proper care.
“some severely neglected children”

not receiving proper attention; disregarded.
“a neglected area of research”

But neglect can also affect our lives in another form, that of putting off or completely disregarding the various tasks we assign ourselves. Maybe they are fairly large tasks that seem overwhelming or we just don’t have the motivation to begin or even to continue. So, they get pushed back and pushed back.

I have seriously managed to neglect my blog since I launched it back at the start of the year. I was adamant that I really wanted to keep on top of it. As the whole idea of Start Flourishing is to help and inspire people. It seems that my blog has not been the only object of neglect. I am ashamed to say, with the exception of the occasional short run or a 20 mile orienteering run, my fitness has also suffered.

Although there really are no excuses and I’m not even going to say that I’ve been too busy because there is always time in the day to be working towards your goals, whatever they may be. That time spent watching a TV programme or all those minutes snoozing would probably add up to a lot of hours. Any justification is really always going to be an excuse.

However, even though my blog and fitness has been, wrongly, placed on the back burner. The first quarter of the year has still certainly been one of action!

I can certainly say that my motivation for the road to financial independence is well and truly on the move, yet there is still a monumental way to go! So, what have I achieved?

1st Achievement – A Print on demand, self-published book

print on demand - two moors wayFirstly, I’m very happy to say that I finally got my first self-published, print on demand book out into the world, which is a walking guide on a wonderful long-distance walking path titled A trail guide to walking The Two Moors Way: from Lynmouth to Ivybridge. This is now available on Amazon and a lot of other book stores and can be reached from the link.

Overview

This whole project turned out to be an extremely massive learning curve! I learned some very valuable lessons with this project. It is something that I put a tremendous amount of effort into, literally blood sweat and tears. Firstly, by walking the entire 100 mile route back in the spring of 2017, then going back out re running, on average 20km segments, taking pictures and refreshing my memory of sections that I might have missed, to be able to write up about the entire route; often in atrocious weather, but thoroughly enjoyable none the less.

Initially the project started in March 2017 and moved along at a snail’s pace. Trying to find the motivation to actually sit at a computer to write, felt like an absolute chore. I’d write a paragraph and feel mentally drained. It became a case of write a paragraph, have a nap, leave it a few days, maybe write another sentence, come back a month later and carry on a bit more. In total it took me a year to create this book and it really shouldn’t have.

During this time, I realised I probably suffered with some sort of chronic procrastination. Those very dangerous words “I’ll do it tomorrow” became the thought process. However, I managed to chip away doing small bits here and there and eventually as the final sections grew near to completion I found that my motivation started to pick up, which in fact turned into a snowball effect. I actually looked forward to sitting down and writing until it was completed. I also outsourced sections that I found difficult and to speed up the process. This in turn also lead to me generating even more ideas, for lots more projects!

Once the manuscript was finally completed I was overjoyed. At approximately 20 000 words I couldn’t believe I had conquered such a feat. Moving on to the next stage of actually getting it designed and printed was an entirely different matter and was filled with delay after delay. Partly down to my own fault when it came to getting it listed and printed on IngramSpark, which didn’t help my morale or motivation as I was so desperate to get it out there, due to the sheer amount of effort that I had put into it. But, after all the setbacks I finally released my first print on demand book on the 09/04/2018.

2nd Achievement – Print on demand book, No. 2

print on demand - learn how to become a bloggerAnother book! As January came around I wanted to hit the ground running so I set myself a 31 day challenge, starting on the 1st January and ending on the last day of the month. The challenge was that of creating an eBook to sell on Kindle Direct Publishing. So I thought what better topic than setting up a blog using the WordPress platform. The month of January saw me juggling two projects at once, who says men can’t multitask?

The title for my second print on demand book is Learn how to become a blogger: An EASY step by step guide to starting your own blog and can be found on Amazon in both paperback and eBook format. It’s also designed by myself which I am especially happy about as I had a lot of fun doing it. It’s filled with lots of tips, a few exercises and has checklists at the back of the book that you can tick off as you follow along with each step.

Overview

This was another exercise in print on demand publishing and the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. I found this project a lot easier with my new-found motivation and enjoyment for writing. It goes to show in the fact that this book is roughly the same amount of words at 20 000, yet it took me one month to write the manuscript, with the exception of outsourcing the introduction. A vast improvement from the first one!

Summary

For many these achievements are probably quite ordinary as I’m sure there are many, many people out there who have created a book/s, as there are undoubtedly millions of books on Amazon alone let alone all the other bookshops that are around. But for me I feel a great sense of achievement in getting something out available for people to buy and also completing a project that involved doing something I very much enjoy.

As previously mentioned both of these print on demand projects were to a degree, exercises, it was all about learning the process. I made many mistakes and the costs were heavy. But that tends to come with new ventures, as you’re always going to find ways to improve your workflow after going through the processes. In this case of learning how the available print on demand platforms such as CreateSpace and IngramSpark work, as well as Kindle Direct Publishing for eBooks.  Of which I shall write a more detailed account on the process, which will follow.

I have also added to my skill set since completing these projects. As I have now taken on a lot of the designing myself I have learnt how to use Adobe InDesign. Which now gives me the big bonus of cutting out very expensive design costs. Although, this does take up a lot more of my time I do thoroughly enjoy it.

If you get the chance to view either of my books I’d love to hear your feedback, good/bad and what could be improved. I have lots more projects in the pipeline and I shall ensure there will be no more neglect in any areas of my life!