Skip to content
August 16, 2011 / navigatorguild

The Paper Version

Step 3: The Paper Version

Create Space is an Amazon Company which allows indie authors to upload their books to Amazon, where the public can buy them just like any other book. E books are the future but paper books are still by far the biggest market and are not likely to disappear in the foreseeable future. Like Smashwords and Amazon direct publishing this facility does not cost the author anything up front, they make their money on royalties, because there is no middle man publisher/ agent /printer there are more royalties to go around.

A reasonable level of IT competency is required and I found the process a bit tougher than for the eBooks. At each step in the process you are offered ‘paid’ professional help, being stubborn I stuck with it and finally got through the process without asking or paying for help. (Typical man)

THe Printed Book Version Cover

I  published in the following order

1. Smashwords

2.Amazon EBook

3. Amazon Paper book

because it seemed the easiest way to do it. Smashwords have the best documentation including free  ‘how to’ eBooks so I started with them. Amazon eBooks was easy after doing Smashwords. Smashwords are currently working with Amazon to publish directly with them which will make the process easier in future but depending on your price it may be worth going direct with Amazon so check out their Royalty plans first.

The inner-accountant in me is breaking out so I have to mention that non-US residents will have to register with the US tax authorities (Form W-7) or their royalties will be subject to 30% withholding tax.

The paper back version will be available in the next few weeks from Amazon.

Enough about me, in the future I will blog mainly about books and books for boys in particular.


August 9, 2011 / navigatorguild

Step 2 Publish

Step 2: Publish

I went on the web and did some research and discovered that writing a book is the easy bit, getting a book published is where authors really struggle. The system seems to be that authors send of hundreds of letters and sample chapters to agents or publishers and then receive hundred of letters back saying how brilliant the book is but unfortunately not …..etc. Even the great J.K Rowling struggled to get published.

I then started thinking – this is the 21st century, I have an e-reader, millions of kids around the world have e-readers  – why have I started going through a process to get a Publisher?  When indie authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke have already proven that ebooks are a great way to sell books. I did some more research and discovered This allows authors to publish online, provides free ISBN number and distributes their ebooks to online retailers. They charge nothing up front and take commission on sales. I love the business model – If their authors are successful, they are successful.

I followed their instructions on formatting word documents for epublishing, a reasonable knowledge of word is required but you don’t need to be an expert, and uploaded my book. Their software reported formatting errors which I corrected and re-uploaded.

The next stage was a professional looking book cover. I do a bit of photography and am familiar with photoshop so I designed the book cover myself using a  stock photo (see below) from Simon Howden /


Once I uploaded the cover, set the price entered the metadata (basically the bit on the back cover of a book) My book was published and available for the public to buy. It takes a few weeks for a book to be available for distribution etc as Smashwords have to do a manual quality checks first. ‘Contact’ is already for sale in the diesel eBook store and should be up on Kobo, Barnes & Noble etc in the next week or so.

I went through a similar process with Amazon Kindle direct publishing and ‘Contact’ will be available in a few days time on Amazon .com, and .de.

My next step is to get ‘Contact’ in print. For this I am using Amazons ‘CreateSpace’ a free Amazon facility which prints the book on demand. I.e order one on Amazon and they will print a copy and send it to you – more about this  in my next blog



August 3, 2011 / navigatorguild

The Process

A few people have asked me ‘How did you go about writing and then  publishing an E-Book’ so I will briefly explain the process I went through.

Step 1: Write a book

I used to make up stories for my kids when they were small and as I kid I made up stories for my siblings, so making up stories was easy but it took me 40+ years to get around to putting stories on paper. A couple of years ago I was  travelling a great deal for my work and staying away from home in hotels. I remember thinking about the story and maybe writing a book on a  flight from Ireland to Luxembourg. That night I decided to give it a go, I went back to my room took out my laptop and started writing. The Navigator Guild series was born in room 31, Hotel Le Chatelet, Luxembourg. I must have thought about writing a book hundreds of times but for some reason I took the plunge on that day. My advice for someone thinking of writing a book – Start writing now –  if you think too much about it you will come up with a hundred reasons why not to. One word of warning – it may become addictive.

I wrote the first few chapters over the next month and then showed them to Jane – my wife. She looked a bit surprised but said nothing and started reading,  after a few minutes she said ‘ I think you are on to something here’   and encouraged me to keep it up. I next ‘market tested’ the chapters on my kids and their reaction was along the lines of’ ‘you can’t just give me three chapters and not tell me what happens next’ so I was then under a bit of pressure to finish the story. A couple of months later I gave them the manuscript – they loved it.

Jane than proof read it and picked up a huge number of spelling and  punctuation errors as well as giving a lot of helpful suggestions. Anything she missed is my fault. My son Rory was also very helpful in finding  inconsistencies and pointing out the bits he liked and didn’t like.  13 year olds can be very tough critics and he is now putting me under pressure to finish the second book.

I then passed it around some nieces and nephews and after getting more very positive feed back I decided that I had better do something about getting it published. In my next blog I will explain the process I went through in publishing ‘Contact’


July 25, 2011 / navigatorguild

About the book

The story is set in the near future and follows a group of seven young teenagers from different countries who, having discovered they have extraordinary powers, find themselves attending a school run by aliens.

In the early part of the twenty-first century Earth was visited by aliens from the Galactic Confederation. Thirteen years later these aliens reveal that they, and also some humans, have powers which in more primitive societies would be regarded as supernatural or magic.  These powers are known as ‘The Ability’. People with the Ability make up the Navigator Guild who are the de facto rulers of the Galaxy.

Those rare teenagers with the Ability are chosen to become cadets attending Navigator School, where they are trained to develop and use their skills and finally become fully fledged Navigators.The main characters are Ralph and Laura, twins from Ireland; Kani, who is an Iraqi/Kurdish boy; Pippa and her dog Wags from California; Kanyin, a girl from Uganda; Jason, a boy from China; and Jack, a British boy with a mysterious background.  ‘Contact’ covers their first year and I am currently writing the second book which follows them during their second year.

If you go to you can download the first 25% of the book free and if you want more you can buy the whole book for $2.49

The book is aimed at boys from 10-14 but girls say they enjoy it too.


July 21, 2011 / navigatorguild

Just Published ‘Contact’

I have just published ‘Contact’ the first book of the navigator Guild series on Smashwords. It is available to purchase for $2.49 or you can download 25% of the book for free and then buy if you like it.

The bit at the back of the book

“In the newly discovered Earth, Ralph, Laura, Pippa and their friends are seemingly just ordinary thirteen year olds, whose parents like to keep a close eye on them. But they are not the only ones watching them. Why are some of the most powerful people in the Galaxy so interested in these seven teenagers? How would you react if you started developing almost supernatural abilities? What would your parents say if Aliens paid you a visit and invited you to go to their elite school? These teenagers are about to discover all that… and much more.

Click here to go to Smashwords to get free download or buy the book. It will be available on other sites such as Amazon in a few weeks time.

Hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.