Wow, it’s been a while since I last updated this blog. It’s not that I’ve been lazy. Honest! In fact, I’ve been working flat-out to the complete the final edit of “Eladria”. I’ve learned that writing a novel is actually the easy part; the hard part is the endless rewriting, editing and polishing that’s necessary in order for it to be as good as it can possibly be. In my experience, that’s what takes most the time. I spent a year writing the first draft, then another two years doing the successive drafts and edits.
But it’s all paid off! For I’m delighted to announce that I was offered and have accepted a publishing contract! “Eladria” will be published by Cosmic Egg books, a brand new imprint of John Hunt publishing and should be available to purchase in paperback and ebook format toward the end of this year. Between “Eladria” and my first, as yet unpublished novel, I’ve spent a total of nine years looking for a publisher. So it just goes to show that persistence and perseverance do indeed pay off!
In that time the publishing industry has changed immeasurably. There’s been an explosion in the field of self-publishing, which was once prohibitively expensive for most, but which is now readily accessible due to the advent of Amazon’s Kindle. Having weighed up the pros and cons, I was considering self-publishing myself. There are certain advantages (such as complete creative control), but also disadvantages too (to put it bluntly: because absolutely anyone can self-publish, there’s a high percentage of genuinely terrible stuff out there. As a result, a number of people simply refuse to read anything that’s been self-published). If there was some way to issue a quality-control seal on self-published works — something that would assure potential readers that what they’re purchasing is of a certain standard — then I believe this just may be the future of publishing.
But I’m glad that my first novel is being handled by a publisher. It takes a certain weight off my shoulders. Now that I’ve handed over the manuscript they take over the process, including editing and design, assigning ISBN numbers, preparing press releases and promotion and listing the novel where they deem appropriate.
Of course, as is the case with virtually any publisher now, most of the marketing and promotion will be down to me. I suspect this is going to be a challenge, because it’s not something that comes naturally to me. I like doing the work; I hate having to market and sell the work. I don’t know whether this is due to a lack of self-confidence, or because the marketing industry fills me with a certain disdain. It often seems as though it’s largely based upon manipulation and deceit. I promise that I will employ neither. I’m going to find my own way in this regard. I only want people to buy my book if I’m certain they’ll enjoy reading it and would get something from the experience.
When it comes to marketing I’m going to be honest and straight-up. It is a book that’s been designed to be quite accessible and which may appeal to people who aren’t regular fantasy or science-fiction readers. Iinitial feedback seems to indicate that this may be the case. But still, it’s not going to appeal to everyone and I’m not going to try to force it on everyone. I’m going to do what I can and allow the rest to take care of itself. It’d be wonderful if it became a publishing sensation (and frankly, if “50 Shades of Grey” deserves to be, then my novel certainly does!), but that’s nothing an author can plan or count on. It’ll find it’s market and reach who it’s meant to reach. I live a very Zen approach to life and I’ve decided that this area should be no different.
Anyway, after a month of working tirelessly to complete the final edit, I’ve handed it over to the publisher. It’ll now go to a copyeditor who will work through it and then pass it back to me to approve any changes. I’ve uploaded my own cover artwork, but it remains to be seen whether the publisher uses this or whether they want to use their own design. I hope they use mine: I like it and think it looks good, but I’m always open to new possibilities.
In the meantime, I’m finally going to get back to the series of short stories I’ve been working on. These stories will be offered as free preludes to the events of the novel. The first, “Artan’s Night”, will hopefully be released in the next couple of weeks. I’ll keep you updated. I’ll also endeavour to blog more often! I have a number of topics I’d like to cover and insights that I’d would like to share. Until then, take care and speak soon…