It started with me having a good moan about the estate agents signs outside the flats where I live and has ended with me booked onto a radio show to talk about the book I have written! And the very same book is now available for others to buy and read, and they are doing just that and hopefully, from the evidence so far, are enjoying the experience.
Once I finished editing the book last week, I had come to the point where I had to do something with what I had written. I had always thought that the next stage would be the potentially depressing job of trying to find a publisher but delving into the world of publishing was a revealing one. Publishers no longer (in the main) accept submissions from the likes of me. In fairness, they must get them by the thousand so the procedure is to find a literary agent who have, it seems, taken over from the publishers in vetting and trying to search out the next J.K. Rowling. So I did a quick search for literary agents but they seemed to be just as exacting in their requirements as I imagined the publishers would be. A six-week period of reflection seemed to be the standard after the budding author sends off a sample of their work (“just the first four chapters; nothing more!”) for perusal. It seems illogical that after having spent so much time writing the 110.000 words of my book I would be so unenthusiastic about entering the cut-throat world of publishing and having to wait many, many weeks to be probably told (following the statistics) that this publisher or that literary agent were not interested in what I had written.
And that is where Amazon / Kindle enters the scene. It is, admittedly, the modern-day equivalent of vanity publishing but really cuts to the chase. It took me only a day or so after having decided to go down the e-book route to make sure that everything was formatted OK, my front page was looking good & the three prices (pounds, dollars and euros) were fixed. It is almost cheating!
Now clearly the downside of the e-book option is that the book hasn’t been pulled apart by an expert in the field and no one has been able to say “yes, that’s good”, “that’s excellent” but also “that needs to change”, “that’s too long”, “you need to expand a bit more there” etc… But I am heartened by the feedback and reviews which have, in the main, been by people I do not know. I am sure that my book is not perfect, but it seems to be heading in the direction of something that is worthy of being published in book form.
Whether that happens or not, we shall see. I’ll continue to plug away as my one-man marketing machine. The radio experience next week will be fascinating and I’ll no doubt have much to write about on here once it is over and done with. The journey continues…