Last year I decided to enter the 21st Century and put as much of my writing as possible onto Kindle. That was easy: I had short stories that weren't included in my collection The Ice, and I had children's books that hadn't been published. I learned to transform work for publication on Kindle in the course of an evening: I who am a self-professed Luddite, as practical as a slug about the most common or garden tasks.
I sat back and waited for the royalties to pour in, and after a month or so of dedicated checking to see how my 25 pieces of work were faring, I grew despondent. The fact was that stories and novels and literary essays were remaining unexplored: my royalties would have managed coffee and cake in a local restaurant, but little more.
I realised in time that creating a collection of work on Kindle is a little akin to building an extension to a library. People have to know it's there. It has nothing to do with the quality of the work: it's all about people knowing it exists and going to find it.
Therein lies the problem if you don't know how to make people aware of the presence of your writing. Unless they stumble across it by accident, they're very unlikely to seek it out. So at the beginning of this year, I'm asking via my website that you go and find short stories like The Ice and Kalili, that you get download a whole volume of selected poems like Second Nature, that you seek out my children's novel The Novemberland for your class. And that you might be generous enough to spread word of the existence of this work on Kindle: that's the way it'll be discovered. Tell your book group, your reading friends in the library, the people who run your literary society.
Kenneth on Radio 4
Kenneth's story "The Punch", read by Iain Macrae, will be broadcast on Radio 4 on
Kenneth on Kindle
Kenneth Steven now has more than 20 short stories, novellas and writing guides available for download from Amazon Visit Amazon
Glen LyonThe new novel out from Birlinn.