After years and years of getting nowhere with my novels, trying all sorts of different routes to publication, I decided to do it myself. I had sent manuscripts to publishers and agents, I’d had some interest, paid some fees, but ultimately was let down. Agents took my money and did nothing – yes, I know the ides is that they get their reward when you get yours but the fact is they want you to pay up front for expenses etc… I paid and got nothing. I had at least four agents, maybe more, I can’t remember. I once had a publisher interested in a novel I’d written for reluctant readers, ‘THE STORY OF RUFUS REDMAYNE’ but she became more and more difficult to contact and then I read that she’d given up publishing leaving other people in a similar position to me.
I considered what used to be called vanity publishing which is now called indie publishing… but I never quite had enough money up front. There are some great publishers, and POD is a wonderful idea (publishing on demand – your work is printed as you have customers to buy it.) A friend mentioned the fact that Amazon will publish for Kindle… I investigated.
It really is very simple… well ok, it’s not that simple if you want to do it properly. You prepare your manuscript, editing it yourself, you create a cover, you upload it, fill in all the bits and pieces required, press submit and there you are! It is more or less as simple as that… however…
I found it difficult to self edit; it is hard to be objective enough about work you are so familiar with, it’s difficult to spot silly mistakes – I confused the names of two characters even though I had read and reread the work. It was pointed out to me by one of my readers (one of my readers!!) I had read my story careful, I had read it out loud to myself, I had someone else read it for me… and yet there were still errors because I am not a professional proof reader.
But it is published, ‘Farholm’ is available on Kindle. But I want people to buy it… I want an audience and I have to do that myself. I have to publicise my book, promote it, get it noticed.
The first thing I did after telling my close family and friends was to post it on Facebook together with a picture of the cover. The second thing I did was to share my exciting news with the wonderful friends I have made on Raul Malo’s forum (http://www.raulmalo.com/forum)
I then posted the news on other networking sites and emailed all my contacts on them, for example friendsreuntied and linkedin. How to get a wider audience? How to get complete strangers to find my book and buy it? If I had an agent or a publisher they would do that… I have to do it myself.
I emailed our local newspaper The Weston Mercury; they ran my story with a photo of me.
I emailed BBC Somerset; they interviewed me on a prime time programme.
- I have emailed the local newspapers from where I used to live, The Oldham Chronicle and The Cambridge News… I await response.
- I am going to email BBC Bristol and BBC Points West.
- I have started this blog, and thank you to all of you who are following me.
- I am going to start my own website.
- I have ordered business cards and other promotional items.
And while this is going on I am editing my next novel ‘The Stalking of Rosa Czekov’ which I hope to publish in June.
Waiting in the wings is another completed novel… maybe ‘The Double Act’ or maybe ‘Night Vision’ … and I have plenty of work to do on the first draft of a novel I am currently writing about the Portbradden family… oh and there is the unfinished novel about Frederico Milan… oh yes, and the other ideas I have for completely new novels… It’s a busy life being a writer!