blogger, self publishing, Uncategorized, writing

Self-publishing on Amazon, and Skydiving mid-life crisis adventures

Last week I decided to self-publish my short story via the Amazon KDP platform, as promised I have included a bit of information about my experience with it. I will say most of it is very easy and there are step by step guides on how to do everything. I’m pretty computer savvy, but there are a few things that I struggled with;
So, setting up the account I encountered my first hurdle, it wanted my banks IBAN and BIC number???? Erm, what now?? After doing a little bit of digging, I logged onto my banking app and when on the account – the three little dots in the top corner – selected view/share account details – this is where the IBAN/BIC info is. This took me a while to find so you are welcome if you would have struggled like I did lol ((Bet no-one else struggled with it!))
Next sticking point ((Thought you said you were computer savvy??)) I was asked to fill in the tax information – pretty easy until I hit asking for my TIN Value – how do I know how much I am worth in TIN? Probably gazillions… ((I nearly laughed at that joke – just stopped myself in time)) back to an internet search ((Tax Identification Number – NI number don’t you know anything??)) turns out this is your national insurance number! Who knew!!! ((Well you do thanks to me and erm google 😊))
So I’ve filled in all that, now I’m worried that the tax office people are going to descend on my house with full riot gear as I’ve registered as an individual – as I have no idea when I need to register as a business – I suppose if I make more than 2 million I might just have to register – that’s what people do isn’t it 😉 anyways I will cross the self-employed stuff when I get to it. ((She will prob do a boring blog on how to register as being self-employed – when she banks the £2.09 from her books sales, and that’s being generous)) Hey shut it you – at least I can now say I’m a published author – thank you very much.
Then I clicked on ‘bookshelf’ to get this party started… Loads of videos you can watch if you get stuck with any part of the process.
To prepare your book – download kindle create – once download you can then upload your file the kindle create – exciting… you are creating a book which is on ACTUAL AMAZON!
Once you have done this, you can then go through your book/short story and amend to make sure that it fits and make any changes – make sure your font etc is consistent. Also, it has a great feature for showing you what it will look like on a laptop/e-reader/phone etc. Very easy to amend. I won’t go into all this too much as it’s more about having a tinker with it yourself and following the guides.
I then created my Author page – which you do via Author central – there is a link to this in your email, you need to verify your email address before going ahead with this. Here you can add your pic, info about yourself, link to blog or website etc. Easy to use – other than whenever I added any content it kept asking me to log in again and then the information wasn’t there, so I had to do it again. So, make sure you copy and save anything you type in as I lost my first author bio. ((That was probably your fault – Miss IT Savvy – cannot even upload information about themselves! Not that anyone wants to see your mugshot!))
So, in the end, you have your ebook. Sit back and take a moment to appreciate the hard work you have put in to get it to that stage. No matter what happens with my writing, I’ve published my short story, and I’m pretty proud of myself. ((so am i)) ((hey, I didn’t write that – stop writing in my brackets!!)) ((you are the best author in the world – everyone should buy your work)) ((Hey cut that out – the brackets are mine…)) sorry, couldn’t help myself. 😉
Also, just for your info – if you want to be able to have the print function for your book/short story it needs to be a minimum of I think 22 pages to enable this function. If I’d have known this, I probably would have expanded my story so that I could have printed a copy.
So, if you want to – check out my Amazon page – let me know what you think. If you have a spare couple of quid – buy a copy and leave a review. Reviews are so important, even if you just leave a star rating it really helps. As well as Amazon I also have my short story on the showcase platform via the Writing Magazine I subscribe too… check out the link here;

http://www.writers-online.co.uk/reviews/subscribers-showcase/a-night-lost-to-the-past-by-c-l–peache
As promised last week, here is a mixture of fact and fiction story from mine and Karla’s skydive last week…. have a good weekend folks…

How to do a midlife crisis…

Saturday…

The plucky pals prepared themselves. Today was the day, although it turned out that it wasn’t the day. The clouds and rain had arrived the night before to spoil the party. Hoping beyond hope that the weather would clear, the pals arrived at their hotel for the night.

The charity skydive was booked for tomorrow, a tandem leap from 15,000 feet, travelling at approx 120 MPH, with the hope that the parachute deployed. A girl they got chatting to would inform them that she had heard of someone skydiving – their parachute and back up parachute didn’t deploy and they ended up landing on a mound of fire ants, also if the fire ants hadn’t have bitten him then he wouldn’t have been pumped with adrenaline and been dead – so silver lining an’ all that! We prayed that wouldn’t be our fate. Also, the guy that checked us into the hotel said he had done one, “never again,” he said. Yes – thanks for that. Then he thought it would be useful to add that some of the people he did the skydive with, didn’t actually make it out of the plane as they were too scared – yeah thanks for that as well – good job we weren’t nervous!

Checked in we made our way to a pub for our ‘last supper’ which consisted of a massive burger, and a glass of fizz to celebrate our bravery/stupidity?? After watching a film, we slipped off to sleep both excited and hoping that we would get to do our skydive.

Rising early we made our way for breakfast. The pub was deserted… doors locked, lights off, no-one home. Not what you need when you are going to jump out of a plane. A little bit of food was good for settling the stomach the instructor would tell us. The chef was stood outside the pub, he also had no access, after handing him our key card to check out, we decided to head to the venue and get some breakfast there. The constant rain, and dark clouds not dampening our mood. We were still hoping we would be able to do it.

We arrived, and the place looked deserted. We looked at each other and started laughing. No breakfast and now a deserted airstrip. Great day this was turning out to be. After phone calls to loved ones (just in case!) we headed into the venue. Luckily, there was life on the airstrip. We both checked in, having to be weighed (both of us forgot to go for a wee first – standard weigh-in protocol) and filled in the forms confirming that despite both being in our 40’s we were fit and well with none of the illnesses or ailments stated on the forms. I would be surprised if any human being on the planet would truthfully be able to sign that form without crossing their fingers!

Forms and briefing card in hand we went into the main area to wait for our number to be up (well we hoped not literally!) aiming straight for the café we munched on bacon and sausage sandwiches with a coffee (or cappuccino in Clair’s case coz she’s a coffee snob) We spent our time networking and trying to raise more money for our chosen charity. Our friend that we were raising the money for wasn’t feeling well and that was playing on our minds since we were raising money because of the fantastic job Sheffield hospital had done looking after her during her illness. We totally wished we had done a bake-off instead, but what can you do. We are in the middle of a mid-life crisis – who does a bake-off over a skydive! Please.

Finally, we were called in for our briefing; we watched a video about what was going to happen to us. How were supposed to arch like a banana, not puke, and make sure we lifted our legs when landing, so we didn’t snap our legs. At this point, we decided that we should have worn war paint like on the Predator film when they went in the helicopter. Afterwards, we googled cool things we could say as we were about to jump out. We also practiced the Mission Impossible theme and practised the music from the predator. ‘Ohh Ohh baby…’ something like that, and ‘Sexual tyrannosaurus’ put us into hysterics or hysteria – no definitely hysterics. Also saying Arnold Schwarzenegger, “get to the chopper” actually we didn’t say that, but we should have done – deffo going to say that on Thursday! Karla wanted to pretend to be MR T and not get in the ‘damn plane’ until I made her drink her milk.

Anyone bored yet? No, okay good, to continue. So, after the briefing, the instructor said the weather wasn’t looking good. After hanging around from 8.30am, we finally gave up the hope of doing the skydive as after another briefing late afternoon they said it was unlikely to go ahead. So we sadly admitted defeat and booked to do it again on the Thursday when the weather looked better.

Thursday…

The plucky pals set off once again, this time no overnight stay and no last supper together. The weather looked good, even if it was a little windy. Clair stated that if they didn’t go up today – she would fly the plane herself – Karla rolled her eyes. Clair cannot even drive! Arriving at the venue they had to be weighed again (once again they forgot to go for a pre-weigh-in wee!) Heading into the café they waited to be called. Karla was stuffing her face with a crumpet when their names were called. This was it. Time to see if they would survive the dive.

We made our way outside to lots of confident looking blokes waiting for their next victims. Banter ensued, things like “Oh we are not supposed to use that parachute, its broken”, and various other comments to try and scare us. But we were not falling for it and enjoyed joining in on the banter. Karla wandered off to have her pre-skydive interview filmed. After she came back we got some pics of us looking utterly ravishing in our skydive outfits. This required lots of tugging and pulling to get our 40-year-old middle aged spread into the harness – man alive it was a bit tight – but I would rather it be tight, than be dead. After the dive, we would compare chaffed thighs – well worth it.

So this was it, the moment of truth. Would we make it? Would we puke? Would we jump out? Clair went in first as Karla was at the front so she could be filmed. The plane climbed to 15,000 feet, the instructors were amazing – so calm, telling us at each step what would be happening. We were both so excited and still not scared at this point. At the right height, the door opened… time to do this. Karla went first plunging into fresh air after she would realise that her chute had got a little tangled, so she was spinning a little bit – but after years of getting drunk – spinning was nothing new to Karla. Also, she was more interested in being strapped to her hunky instructor Brad, which was her favourite part of the jump.

So shaped like more of an old bendy carrot rather than a banana, we both jumped out. What a rush, the feeling of plummeting is just indescribable, such a rush. Then when you even out with your arms out looking like windblown starfish, wow, what a feeling. We both kept our eyes open, taking in everything – not wanting to miss a thing. The instructor pulled the shoot and up we went. The speed is incredible. So far we hadn’t wee’d ourselves or been sick, so things were going pretty well. When you settle into the sky after the shoot has gone up, it is truly breath-taking. We felt jealous of every bird and every person that gets to do this. It’s simply awe-inspiring. Due to the clear weather, the view was just beautiful. The wind was a little strong but no problem to the fab instructors. We even got to have a go at steering it – how cool is that! After what seemed like an hour – in reality only about 5 minutes we started to descend. We had practiced a leg lift for landing. All went smoothly, and we landed as planned. Clair was really worried about snapping her hip again – but thankfully no body parts were broken 😊 What a rush. What a brilliant experience. If anyone has ever thought about doing it – go for it. This was our reason for doing it;

We have decided to combine our midlife crisis with a worthy cause! What better way than to jump out of a plane!! 18 months ago a good friend of ours Lindsay was very suddenly diagnosed with a tumour called a Plasmacytoma, a type of Multiple Myeloma which is a rare form of blood cancer. She has endured operations, very tough treatments and ongoing recovery. Throughout all of this Sheffield Hospital have been absolutely fantastic.

We decided that we wanted to recognise the wonderful job they’ve done and raise some money for them. We feel so lucky that Lindsay has had access to such amazing treatments and care. Please help us by donating some pennies (preferably pounds!) to a worthy cause.

Thanks for taking the time to visit our page: 

http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/howtodoamidlifecrisisbykarlaandclair

So, what happened after? Well, we have smashed our target and have three more weeks to get in any last minute donations, but so far we have a total of £1,197 which is amazing, and we thank everyone that has sponsored us.

What else happened next… Karla and Clair went on to do many more skydives. Karla accepted Brad’s proposal of marriage from 15,000 feet, and they went on to open their own skydiving centre (Clair was allowed free skydives for the rest of her life) They had joint hen do/stag do’s – you guessed it – jumping out of planes.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed this little taster of our experience. Feel free to donate our page is still alive, as are we 😊

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