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  • Writer's pictureGreg Stewart

That Awkward First Post!

Well here we go again! After building a new website last year and posting the first blog post with the same title on 23rd September, 2023, it quickly became apparent that the site I had built was not suitable for what I wanted, and so I have started again. The result, here's another awkward first blog post! There is plenty information about me elsewhere on the site so I won't repeat that but instead will give some details of the origins of the Haunted Explorer and what to expect from the site. I started the Haunted Explorer back in 2013 when I first dipped a toe into the murky depths of Independent Publishing. I had a life long desire to write a book, and the Amazon platform seemed an ideal option to see how well things would be received. I wanted to establish a series of books, and as they covered haunted locations which I had personally explored, the name Haunted Explorer really said it all.

Two further books followed in the Haunted Explorer series, until I was then contracted to write for The History Press, a traditional UK based publishing house. Contracts followed from Amberley Publishing, the fastest growing local, general and specialist interest history publisher in the UK, and these took over all my available writing time. More recently I have had a desire to return to my roots. I have fulfilled the goal to write a book, I had written several, and wanted to go back to where it all started and also explore other avenues into the fictional side. The Haunted Explorer was reborn. I am often asked about Independent Publishing. It still has a bit of a stigma around it with people thinking that it is not 'proper' publishing. And they are correct. It does however give the author true free reign to use their creativity to the full. Many publishing houses follow guidelines so that all the books within the same range and broadly similar in size. While the author is left to create their own content, this has to be fitted into the publishers guidelines, which may for example be a maximum word count or minimum number of photographs as illustrations. While it is completely understandable as readers of the range know broadly what to expect, it can be limiting to the author as there may be a story you just feel you can't tell in the same depth you would like to, or side stories you can't include otherwise you would not be able to fit everything into the maximum word count. I also hear comments that independent publishing is the easy route, and to anyone who feels that I would encourage them to give it a go. Not only will you have to write the book, you will need to have it edited yourself and then deal with formatting the manuscript for publication, not to mention the cover design. And once you hit that 'publish' button you will need to deal with all the publicity, and you had best develop a thick skin and reviews can be brutal!

So in summary, anyone considering writing a book I would recommend Independent Publishing as a good route, but you still must be prepared to do the work.

And so ends the first post that wasn't so awkward after all. Over time I will continue to add further posts, whether they be general updates, articles covering some of the tales I have been exploring, or just my general rambling thoughts!

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