Messenger to Managing Director, Mentor to Author!!
Tom O’Hara (account manager at f1) has a father-in-law who didn’t just reminisce about what it was like ‘when he was a kid’ he actually wrote a book about it. So here is the story how Carl Sims came to put pen to paper, well finger to keyboard actually, but you know what I mean.
Carl Sims. Author of ‘Ahh! Sims’
I was created in Catford and born in Lewisham.
This probably means nothing to those with little knowledge of London; actually it’s not a big deal – in respect of miles, very little, however for a Londoner it’s important, it designates you are a south London boy.
After Lewisham I lived in the Old Kent Road. Most of this area was wrecked by the war; being so close to the docks, stray German bombs were dropped haphazardly. My early life was spent playing in derelict houses with wallpaper flapping and broken stairs took you to where a room had once been…
I’ve not gone far. I still live near south London.
However, my book is about a time when I was neither there nor here.
It’s a collection of tales, hopefully amusing and sometimes poignant – dealing with the traumas we face when trying to grow up, and not being sure about, well, anything. Whether it be girls, bullies, teachers or indeed friends – most were a mystery, so I thought I’d share my confusion with others in the hope we can make sense of it – hence the book.
It’s called ‘Ahh! Sims’, because as a young boy, I was on numerous occasions sent to the headmaster for one innocent reason or another – on seeing me he would always adopt a pained expression and sigh
I never fully understood why I of all children was singled out, after all I was a perfectly natural lad – undisciplined, uninterested, uninspired, uncaring and any other ‘un’ you can think of. I spent my free time being as obnoxious as possible – I created havoc where peace once reigned and constantly advised teachers why they had got the wrong boy.
Should you read ‘Ahh! Sims’ you’ll see despite my best attempts, things never quite went according to plan…
It’s said everyone has a novel in them but what if that novel wants to come out and dance around on the page? How would you get it published? This was my dilemma when I completed ‘Ahh! Sims’.
Publishers have a massive unsolicited post load on a daily basis; hundreds of authors send manuscripts and await response. Most will get a ‘Dear John’ response or in my case, ‘Dear Carl’. Don’t be put off – now there’s a way for you to see your inspiration in print, or rather, on screen.
You may not be an e-book reader – doesn’t matter, millions are! The phenomenon is relentless – many people download books onto their Kindle, iPad, Kobo, phone, android, even their laptop or computer and it’s growing! Let’s take a look at what you could do.
You can send your manuscript to numerous publishers – you never know, it may work. Or you should do what I did with ‘Ahh! Sims’ – self-publish with Kindle/Amazon, and it costs – nothing.
Ok, it’s not quite as simple as that – there are a few things you’ll need to consider: Just how do you actually upload your book? How can you make sure it is, at the very least, worthy? Can you get it reviewed anywhere? Where do you find somebody who can produce a professional cover? And how do you market your book?
You love your book/story and have agonised over every word but you must get an objective opinion and painful though it might be, need to accept some criticism. Try www.youwriteon.com – this site has budding plus published authors who’ll critique your prose – take most of it on the chin! Either way, you’ll have the opportunity of reading their efforts – that’s the way it works – you read theirs, they read yours.
Once you have considered various critiques; adopted some, ignored others, you’ll then want to get it read by those who might actually pay for the privilege! Kindle is the answer! Go to mine http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ahh-Sims-ebook/dp/B005MRAZII – scroll to the bottom of page, you’ll see ‘self-publish with us’ click and follow instructions.
Wait! You’ll see you need a cover for your book and yes; internet users will judge a book by its cover. I’m sure people reading this might just know a graphic designer… Be realistic about pricing your book. At the moment you’re getting nothing for it, so price it low.
Once it’s on the internet it will not sell itself. You need to let people know about your wonderful work – don’t be shy. Try Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, local press/library. With Facebook you can set up your own ‘fan’ page’ which generates massive interest – see mine for example; http://www.facebook.com/ahhsims Give it a go, you never know, it may just work…
Carl has four children and always worked in the ‘creative businesses’. His first job was as a messenger in a commercial art studio and trained as a typographer. He progressed to the dizzy heights of studio manager. He ran his own design studio but was drawn to a new progressive agency where he became a director. Headhunted to be a Managing Director, Carl started to realise he had more to offer and eventually became a Business Mentor and has been helping creative companies for the last eight years http://www.creativebusinessmentor.co.uk However in that period he found time to write a book. There we are; somebody’s life in 99 words!
Here’s someone else’s thoughts, well tweets actually…