A New Adventure

Hello. My name’s Tim Vicary and I live in the countryside near York, England. I am a grandfather, 63 years old already, but excited because I’m just beginning a new adventure on the internet.

If you poke around on this blog you’ll find links to various books that I’ve written – three crime thrillers, three historical novels, and a large number of graded readers for foreign learners of English, a couple of which have recently won prizes. I’ve also co-written a few textbooks for schools. In fact I’ve been writing, off and on, for most of my life, and although I’ve never been able to give up my day job – as a university teacher – I suppose I’ve had some modest success at it. Over the years my books made a reasonable amount of money and I’m very grateful to the editors and publishers – particularly those at Oxford University Press – who enabled me to do that.

But like many, many thousands of other writers, I never quite had the international bestseller I secretly dreamed of.

I know, I know – it’s a dream I didn’t just share with thousands, but millions and maybe hundreds of millions of people out there! Let’s face it – we can’t all be John Grisham or J.K. Rowling. By the time you get to my age you’re pretty used to that idea.

Be grateful for what you have.

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

That’s what I told myself, until a year ago, and I was pretty content. I have a good life – a secure job, a loving wife, nice house, two daughters, dogs, horses, grandchildren – what more do I need?

Then I opened a newspaper last June and read an article about a man called John Locke. A lot of you reading this will know exactly who John Locke is, but in case you don’t – well, this article told me that John Locke was the first author to sell a million books on the Amazon kindle. A million books? My jaw dropped. And he’d done it without using an agent or a publisher at all!

I’d just bought a kindle and loved it but this idea had never entered my head. He’d published all the books himself and sold them for $0.99 which netted him $0.35 per book and … well, we can all do the maths.

But how did he do it?

Well, since then – like lots and lots of other people – I’ve been trying really hard to find out. Or, more exactly, to find out if I can do it too. Well, maybe not sell a million, but a few hundred thousand would do. Ok, ok, let’s get real – maybe one thousand? two? three? Is that possible?

Probably not. I’m not John Grisham or J.K. Rowling, remember? But it’s certainly fun trying. The key thing is: you don’t need a publisher. You can do it on your own. And that makes all the difference. This is a totally new world.

On later posts in this blog, I’ll note down a few of the things I tried; what worked for me, and what didn’t. But if you want to know NOW, here are a few things you should look at, by authors who are lot more enterprising than me. People who are way ahead in this new game, but amazingly, out there trying to help others. (Now that’s a new thing)

John Locke, of course: his book How I sold 1 Million ebooks in 5 months.

And these blogs: David Gaughran; Derek Blass; Michael R. Hicks; Jeff Bennington. There are many more, but these are the ones I’ve found most helpful.

There you are! You can read their blogs and find much more useful information than here! But thanks for reading. And I’ll write another post soon, to try to catch up.

Even though I’m terribly old!

About Tim Vicary

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6 Responses to A New Adventure

  1. Tina says:

    I only want to congratulate you on the novels already published, especially the graded readers. They have blessed several thousand of readers and learners of English. I have purchased one of your books recently for a student of mine, the language really flows, there is action in the story, to attract even the most fluent learner of English like me.

    • Tim Vicary says:

      Well thank you, Tina, that’s really nice to hear. I hope they have encouraged a few people to read and learn English, that’s the whole point of them. Which book was it, by the way?

      • Tina says:

        -The coldest place on earth. It is very well written in my opinion. I believe my student will like it and find it interesting to read just like me.

        I have read a number of graded readers and sometimes I find them not so exciting because of the repition of words or themes in the stories. But this one is exceptional (I haven’t read any of your other novels yet) in my opinion.

  2. Tim Vicary says:

    Thanks Tina, that’s very kind of you. I enjoyed writing that book and I’m glad to hear what you say about it. As it’s a level 1 book and a true story, your students might be interested in Titanic, a similar book at the same level. Let me know if you read any others.

    • Tina says:

      I thought about getting that book for my student and it is not to late. I will up date you if I purchase that one or any of your other graded readers.

  3. mr. vicary:
    just stumbled upon you on my twitter page and followed to your blog. the one about ‘game of proof’. i definitely want to read the three courthouse/cop books but i’ll have to bookmark your blog and hope i get back to it in a few weeks. i’m an an indie (self published) author pushing three books on barnes and smashwords and amazon and i pretty much am locked into reading and reviewing others’ books to hopefully get a few of mine read.

    but i do want to read them becuase our interests do seem on the same wavelength. two of my books are in the ‘when we were married’ series and they are crime/courthouse legal stories, with an amalgam of modern marriage/divorce and some sex thrown in,. They’re set in the courthouse in jacksonville, fla.focusing on the State Attorney’s Office (the prosecutors).

    i was a newspaper reporter covering cops and courts for more than 10 years back in the 80s. i talked to cops and prosecutors and know 50 times more than i could ever write because i could keep my mouth shut and I got them to trust me, which is the biggest hurdle for any beat reporter. I also sat through a lot of trials where i was friendly with prosecution and defense attorneys and at least half the time i’m convinced people guilty as sin walked away and people that should have walked free ended up behind bars. it convinced me to NEVER EVER allow myself into the clutches of the criminal justice system.

    anyway, i look forward to reading your crime novels and will let you know if and when i do.

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