While all writers dream of seeing their books published, few actually see that happen. Perhaps the process of finding a publisher can be daunting, or maybe they think they don’t have what it takes. Whatever the reason, the dream of becoming a published author remains out of reach.
However, some authors choose to self-publish their own books, which includes Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). The publishing platform publishes books in print and digital, and even does some of the marketing for you.
Although self-publishing platforms can be a bit challenging, one Marion man was able to work through the kinks to see his dream of becoming a published author realized.
John Buckeridge recently published his first book, The Diplomatic Spy (under the pseudonym, Shawn Callon), through KDP. John looked at the options of self-publishing and decided KDP was the best way to go.
“You know where you stand with KDP,” he said. “Some of the information they provide, though, can be overwhelming. My interests lie in creating content and marketing my publication, but not in working my way thru Help pages on layout and formatting. Having said that, my plan is to make the book available in print later this year.”
“I think KDP provides an excellent platform for the novice writer like himself, and probably for the established writer, as well, if minimizing costs is the goal.”
John said he and his wife have been using Amazon Prime for many years and have been subscribers to Kindle Unlimited since 2015.
“We used to buy and borrow books but now most, but not all, of the novels we read are e-books thru Amazon. Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) seemed the way to go since it appears to be the market leader. They offer a lot of flexibility and support to the author; if you can’t find an answer in their Help section they will respond by email to you within 24 hours or they will call if you prefer.”
John was born in the UK and moved with his wife and two sons to the US in 1994, where John worked as a director and VP at LeFebure.
“The British company who owned LeFebure at the time wanted to transfer me again, but we decided to remain in the CR area, and we started our own executive recruiting company,” he said. “My wife and I had always talked about owning our own business.”
After 12 years of success John retired and started volunteering with SCORE, and afterwards with the McCauley Center, where he is currently a tutor teaching English as a Second Language to adult immigrants.
“In 2002 soon after our sons left home, my wife Elizabeth and I moved to Marion. One of our sons lives in Marion not far from us and our elder son lives in Portland OR. All of our four granddaughters live near us.”
John has worked in international sales and marketing for 40 years and has visited and conducted business in over 40 countries.
“I’ve always been interested in international current events, culture and languages, and still am. I studied English Language and Literature at London University. I did some writing then, but nothing was published. In my early business career, I did some copywriting, proofing and graphic design, as well.”
John and his wife, Elizabeth are prolific readers – novels, newspapers, journals and social media.
“I have always had a love for the written word and a passion for languages. One day back in 2017, I thought, why not write a novel drawing upon my experiences and interests? My first attempt was not successful. I got bored with it and rushed the ending. The Diplomatic Spy is my second attempt at a novel and my first published work.”
John said he got the idea for his book from the characters in John Le Carré’s novels.
“I love John Le Carré’s novels. I’ve read all of his books, some of them more than once. What I find gripping are his tortured characters, his complex plot lines and his surprise twists. So, Simon Montfort is a spy who works in France (I’m a Francophile, speak the language and lived there when I was a teenager). It’s strongly political because I love politics. Many of the characters I describe I have come across in my years of conducting business in Europe and Russia both before and after the Berlin Wall came down (which I visited in October/November 1989 and helped to destroy). I have many more similar 'colorful' characters I can draw on for my future novels.”
John is planning to publish Book 2 in the Simon Montfort Series in late 2020, as well as a third and final book in the series.
“I have not started writing any text for Book 2. I am still at the planning stage, but this time, I will write out the structural development of the novel rather than make a few notes; write a few chapters, revise the plot, and make a few more notes.”
The Diplomatic Spy is now available at Amazon.com.