Regrets in life are quite normal but we should keep in mind that they’re rarely fruitful.
You know the kind of thinking… I wish I’d done this or If only I hadn’t done that.
Clearly it is better to live in the present and to affect our future rather than dwelling on what went before.
That said, regrets are inevitable and mine are arriving with abandon as I proceed through an on-line independent publishing course.
You may know that I have written and published a number of books although you’d be forgiven for not knowing – given what a horror-show my independent publishing has been.
One of my books is called Eclipsed…
The story of how a kid who was never cast in a school play should end up becoming Spider-Man. This is quite a tale and is by some distance, the best-selling book in my literary canon of seven books and counting…
But how successful might it have been if it had been properly published?
Prompted to see the visibility of the book, I completed an Amazon search – “books about Tom Holland” – fully expecting Eclipsed to rank highly.
Quick as a flash, Amazon – the world’s largest book retailer – provided lists of ALL the books associated with Tom Holland and in descending order of prominence…
My book about Tom Holland, the popular actor who just so happens to be my son – does not appear until the fourth page!
And compounding my misery is that according to Amazon, the no.1 book on TH (my son) is a flipping notebook.
Let me tell you, this is some reckoning.
A book (mine) recounting the discovery and fledgling show biz life of TH – over 100,000 words, lovingly written by his old man – is deemed less notable than a notepad.
A book with NO WORDS AT ALL.
It could be that the ‘author’ of this notepad has paid Amazon for its prominence but also it will be due to my rank amateurism. Spending all my time writing and no time on publishing/selling and for the past decade, scratching my head about why Tom’s ascending popularity is not commensurate with sales.
No doubt the same errors apply to my other books – in what can only be described as my wasted decade, which brings me to a memory and a significant regret.
In 2012, as I lay in a hospital with a snapped leg having fallen off Paddy’s scooter (his fault then?) and waiting for my second operation – during the night, on a ward of old men with broken hips and no bowel control, I sobbed quietly in pain but mostly in frustration at my self-inflicted injury.
Facing months of being unable to work, in this dark moment I resolved to become a master publisher. Finally, to get with the program and embrace the internet and E-commerce. You know, really get ahead of these lucrative curves.
Scroll forward a decade and here I am – being outgunned by a Tom Holland book with no words. An empty book eclipsing my tome, years in the writing and my entire adulthood to observe.
But catastrophic (and pathetic) though this is, I can still see a positive spin. Firstly, it’s funny and I am excited to share this with Nikki. But it is also exciting because it explains my moribund sales. So, if I make the required corrections, click the appropriate boxes and add the required words to satisfy the hallowed acronym of SE f****O…
At this gust of enthusiasm, Nikki rolls her eyes. It’s a look she has down by now. Her ‘here-he-goes-again’ look.
But you see my point…
Nowadays, I can’t lie in a certain position in bed because of a pain in my left ankle. A pain which used to remind me of my foolishness. But forthwith it will be a happy reminder of when I resolved to crack independent publishing which now post lockdown is my new thing.
It starts here people. I am getting my shit together and anyone reading my blog or any of my books, you are do welcome aboard this noble cause.
The world needs books that make people happy and I know a bloke who has written eight such books and counting.
This weekend sees this new plan in action – I have uploaded the new edition of Eclipsed to Amazon. To keep the old reviews, I have been unable to call it a new edition. Although it remains the same story, it is significantly longer with some new anecdotes, author footnotes and observations. But to be clear, this is not a plea to any old readers of Eclipsed to pony up again. This new improved edition of Eclipsed is for the millions who have no idea that TH even has a dad, let alone one who happens to have written the definitive story on how this kid became so flipping famous.