Chris Gardner

The joys of self-publishing.

Back to the joys of self-publishing.


I have digressed . . . and will again, but I’m going to discuss self-publishing and I’d love to hear of your experiences. It has taken me quite some time to get the formatting right–a nightmare, but so satisfying to finally have something up. The book covers were another experience, but kind of fun. CreateSpace allows you to use your own photos as part or all of the cover but also gives you options to just use theirs.

I now have seven books on Amazon, most also on CreateSpace, which is their paperback department. Two that are not are only small ebooks, one a short story, ‘Brown Dog’, which I am putting up free for four days, from tomorrow.

‘Brown Dog’ was based in part on my own experiences living on the beach in Queensland in the early seventies, with my husband. We were very young and not long married, which probably explains why living in a tent, or, after we lost that to a cyclone, sleeping in the car, seemed more of an adventure than a hardship. I may be looking back through rose-coloured glasses but it seems we had a lot of fun in those days, walking along the beach collecting cuttlefish, living day to day on whatever we could find. 

The excitement of finding a glass ball, which fishing boats used on their nets, was rare and very real. They were worth considerably more than cuttlefish and didn’t smell anywhere near as bad! Our car, which we were sleeping in, stank constantly and we sprinkled curry powder, among other things, throughout to try to get rid of the stench. The car then stank of curried cuttlefish, which was only a very slight improvement!

We tried our hand one day cutting sugar cane, which was disastrous. I think it’s all done by machine these days but it was a horrible job to do by hand. We didn’t last long at all and I think, from memory, my husband did the cutting and I may have helped pile the canes up or something. Or possibly just stood around looking helpless. I do remember we were covered in black because they burnt the fields of cane before cutting. 

I also spent some time working at The Big Pineapple, a working farm developed as a tourist spot. That was a great place to work, mainly because we were allowed pretty much free access to all the goodies! Tropical sundaes for morning and afternoon tea every day! Probably just as well I didn’t stay there for long.

Here I am digressing again, but that’s what blogs are for isn’t it? Meandering along, taking detours? Have a look at ‘Brown Dog’. It’s only a few pages and I’d love some feedback. If you like it please post a review on Amazon.

Happy reading.



Author: cmsgardnerblog

I'm a writer of fiction and non-fiction, for teens and adults. I live in Central Victoria, Australia and my books are available at

34 thoughts on “Back to the joys of self-publishing.

  1. I saw the first review saying it stopped too suddenly. I disagree, I think the ending was right, but the build up was a little too quick. Still, I enjoyed it, thanks.

  2. They also have a lot of book cover designers. I like you’re cover for the “Brown Dog.” Very nice!

  3. Would you be willing to read 30 pages of my novel?
    Thanks, Roger

    • Are you just after an opinion, Roger? No reason why not. I do work also as a freelance editor but I can just take a look for you if you like.

      • Sure, how can I send it to you? Maybe read the 30 pages, then decide how much it would cost for the whole novel.

  4. Can you send me some contact details and I’ll email you with mine.

  5. Hi! Thank you for visiting my blog – looks like we have a lot in common! Will definitely download your book over the next couple of days – my husband has visited Australia so I am sure that he will love reading it too. 🙂

  6. I think meandering is why blogs are so fun:)

  7. I love the way you digress on your blog, Chris! It’s a great, chatty style you have. Best of luck with your work, Brown Dog looks like my kind of story.

  8. I’ve heard of those that do ‘self publishing’ and at some point might look into it. I don’t do all that well with things online apart from email and my Blog and the Blog took me forever to figure out but one never knows. Thank you for the information.

    • It is a bit tricky although I believe you can buy help with formatting and covers etc if your kids can’t help out. I’m still having problems with my blog and one of my boys is helping me with that.

  9. Self-publishing is the same as vanity publishing, isn’t it? I was asked “Oh, so you’re doing vanity publishing.”

    I think self-publishing is a vote of confidence in yourself and a dare into you. I think it’s great! 🙂

    You might/not know but The James Diary comes out ebook end of May. I haven’t anything to add to the experience of it all yet, but do love to hear what people think of it all.

  10. I have mixed feelings about self-publishing. I’ve seen some terrible self-published stuff. People need editors! But I’ve also seen good stuff. I have no desire to self-publish. If no one wants to publish me, no one ever will, not even me!

    • It’s true there is some awful stuff out there and the lack of editing is very obvious. On the other hand there are quite a few writers, already published mainstream, who are opting for self-publishing, mostly, I think, so they can have some control over their own work. I think there’s room for both but it would be good if all writers would be a bit more careful and at least get a few friends–maybe a writers’ group–to read through their work before they self-publish.

  11. Thank you for the follow, Chris. I look forward to reading your work!

    • I hope you do, Danielle. I plan to have something out free at Amazon at least one day a week for the next month or so, so stay tuned. Good reviews are always appreciated!

  12. I thought it was great. I lok forward to reading your other books.

  13. So far the people at creatspace have been wonderful and the folks at Kindle too. Formatting was a little work but not to difficult. I like your post about the sugar cane. It reminds me of a time in the 70’s when I watched the fields burn and the hundreds of cutters out in them down in BellGlade, Fl. Thanks for your encouragement on my cover. I will check out your books at Amazon. Mine is available for the Kindle and soon in print. You seem to have led an interesting life and I guess mine would seem the same to you.

  14. You lived in a TENT? Very brave of you my dear! Oh and thanks for visiting my blog!! 🙂

  15. Thanks for visiting my site. Let’s keep in touch. I’m on my way to self-publishing a book after a (rather bad) experience with a publisher. More stories to come, Elizabeth

  16. Hi, thanks for the visit to my site!

    I chose self-publishing because I want to do things my way and don’t like being told how or when to do things or what to do. And I don’t know if my kind of quirky romantic fantasy would fit publishers’ ideas of “marketable.” It took me 2 weeks or so to format my first novel for ebook and CreateSpace, but now I’ve got my templates in place and I think I’ve got most of the learning curve figured out, so hopefully my next novel, due out later this month, won’t take quite so long.

  17. Kyra, I admire you for working out a template. Even though I’ve now published several books with CreateSpace and Amazon I’m hopeless at reading directions and each book is formatted through trial and error. I really should have a go at that template thing . . .

  18. Hi Chris, I hope you don’t mind a plug for my blog -I’ve finished a guide for formatting to help my Dad get published. It may work for your readers!

  19. I’ll have a look at that myself, Justine. I could still use some help. Feel free to reblog any of mine.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s