Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My Guest: Seumas Gallacher

My Guest this week started his writing life as an Indie then signed with a traditional publisher, something many independent authors dream about. Yet the story doesn't end there. Ladies and Gentlemen...

Seumas Gallacher


…yeez put yer self-publishin’ bloke in… yeez put yer self-publishin’ bloke out… in, out, in, out, shake it all about…

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…in the past two or three weeks, several fellow authors have been in touch asking why I’ve reverted to full metal jacket self-publishing… during 2015,  Crooked Cat Publishing and I shared the delight/burden of bringing my Jack Calder crime thriller titles to the marketplace… now we’ve agreed to an amicable parting of the ways, and close writing pals are interested in how that decision was reached… ‘quite simply and painlessly’ is the correct answer… but let’s backtrack a wee bit… and a closer look at why, with 80,000+ downloads up to until a year ago, this ol’ Scots Jurassic author should have joined up with a publishing house in the first place… for six years, many of yeez will have been following my journey on the solo trail… developing my market base… ‘building the platform’… honing my marketing and promotional nous… connecting with so many great pals in the quill-
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scraper universe… and LUVVIN IT!... however, as so many of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land will have experienced yerselves, there are only, sadly, 24 hours in every day… and I could have embraced two or three times that had they been available… I reckoned that the download history up until then would have justified at least a glimpse from the elusive large publishing moguls… nada, nil, zilch, nix, none… the opportunity arose to partner up with Stephanie and Laurence Patterson… the prospect of eBooks linked to follow-on print copy production was attractive (and still is!)… and, importantly, getting my WURK into a broader range of distribution outlets than my then only channel, the Great God Amazon Kindle… the aforementioned promotional weight would be shared, (and only ‘shared’—I fully understood upfront that regardless of whether yeez are self-published or ‘housed’, an author must still do the lion’s share of the marketing stuff)…

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…at this point, let me say I met with Steph and Laurence over dinner in Edinburgh, and they are splendid hosts and good people… so why part company?... what happened?...

…it’s more a case of what didn’t happen… the avenues to markets was indeed widened, and my books did become available through the likes of Smashwords and others… but resultant sales were a fraction of my expectations, even on, and I s’pose , especially on Amazon… the over-all total sales across all my titles actually dropped… blame?... no blame… just a realisation of a business truism… selling books in the modern publishing environment is a matter of focus… literature has become more commoditised than ever before… forget the red herring argument of Print versus eBooks… both are formidable forces and both streams will remain gigantic markets… concentrated product flows in the form of more books per day coming to the ‘online shops’ as well as the continued supplies from the print publishers make it increasingly difficult to be ‘heard above the noise’… consider then the good Crooked Cat folks… they have contracts with almost a hundred authors, some with multiple titles… and with the best will in the world, it is impossible for any house to give as much focus (there’s
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that WURD ‘focus’ again) to an individual writer as that writer should be capable of applying himself/herself… many of my Cat pals will be happy with that status, and not everyone wants to be anything more than an author… and correctly so… chacun a son gout… not so Master Gallacher… and here we come to the real, fundamental reason for the separation… I yielded that in-depth involvement in every part of my ‘business of writing’ which drove me for the initial stages of my embryonic novelist career… simple things like not seeing the day to day sales figures online from Amazon… these necessarily switched to the publisher… I missed not so much the addiction to tracking these hypnotic figures, (which is an issue, despite my protestations to the contrary!) but more pertinently, lacking the knowledge of which titles were flagging versus the others, so that I could divert promotional activity toward the hind markers… prior to Crooked Cat, I utilised a cover artist friend in the Philippines and was comfortable with that… this changed to a cooperative process with the publisher… no problem in that in itself, but I missed working alongside my pal on that creative side… the re-launching of the first three books and subsequent de novo launching of the fourth fell into the publisher’s schedule… although they accommodated these in early course, it still didn’t feel the same as when I could launch any time I was ready… not quite typing ‘The End’ and ten minutes later a new masterpiece appearing on Amazon Kindle, but yeez get the picture… I’ve been involved in commercial and financial management all my working life and it all boils down to my personal need and choice for as much control of my own business destiny… so, in summary, let me not discourage anyone from approaching and staying with Crooked Cat PublishingSteph, Laurence and I are on good terms and will hopefully stay that way for a long time… the many friends acquired in their stable will also be permanent pals, as long as they continue to be able to translate my Glasgow version of English… and oh, there’s no earthly reason not to buy my books!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!...

SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance seven years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades.

As the self-professed 'oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’, his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer's need to 'build the platform', and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 25,000 direct contacts.

His 'Jack Calder' crime thriller series, THE VIOLIN MAN'S LEGACYVENGEANCE WEARS BLACK and SAVAGE PAYBACK have blown his mind with more than 80,000 e-link downloads to date. His fourth, KILLER CITY was launched in August 2015.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog three years ago, never having heard of a 'blog' prior to that, was voted 'Blogger of the Year 2013' and now has a loyal blog following on his networks. He says the novels contain his 'Author's Voice', while the blog carries his 'Author's Brand'. And he's LUVVIN IT!

When not penning his humorous blog or writing nail-biting, action thrillers, Seumas can be found here:


Thank you Seumas for showing us that the boundaries that appear to exist between Traditional Publishing and the Indie route are not as insurmountable as some would have us believe. Best wishes for your novels and looking forward to Jack Calder number 5.

Eric @ 
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