Working Together to Renovate Publishing–The WANA Plan…

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=wiswor0a-21&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B003VD1EQC&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrNicked from Kristen Lamb’s blog…



I normally dedicate Mondays to talking about the craft, but it’s my blog and here I reign supreme. Mwah ha ha ha! Oh, no pouting, we’ll talk about craft plenty more later on. I think you feel encouraged by what I have to say.


Friday’s blog got a lot of great discussion going about publishing and the sweeping changes we are seeing to the industry. Over the weekend, I watched the movie “The Social Network,” which gave me the courage to share with you my solutions for the problems publishing is facing. People are reading more now than they ever have in the history of humanity, which means there are more readers than ever before. Yay!

So, today I want to give my vision of how those in the publishing world could solve some major problems. Writers, agents, editors could work together for the bigger win. Let’s call it, The WANA Plan, because in my world, we all work as a team. We are not alone.

Yes, call me Pollyanna. You guys wouldn’t be the first.



Reality Check


Any proposed solutions must accept reality. The future is now. Everything is going digital. We cling to the horse and buggy, and we’ll get run over by the automobile. We need to move with change, adapt and reinvent. Those willing to work their butts off and innovate will behold a world of wonders never before imagined.


Think I am overselling? Who would have thought ten years ago that a person could have friends they talked to daily on every continent…for free? Facebook did it. So let’s embrace some of the entrepreneurial mojo and get excited.

Times Are Changing…FAST


Virtually every creative industry has gone digital. I have argued this for years. In music, the record labels were decimated by NAPSTER. Record stores are a quaint relic, and CDs are losing the battle to digital downloads. Photography has also gone digital. Kodak had to reinvent or die. Now movies are going digital. We sit in the comfort of our home and watch a movie from Netflix, or we download one from iVideo or Vudu.


Three years ago, I argued that this was the future of publishing, that eBooks would start to dominate the market in the next five years. I caught a lot of criticism. People loved paper too much. It was too expensive, too technical, etc. They told me, A decade at least!


I countered that technology had hit a critical mass and now innovation was taking off exponentially. Software developments that once took years now were happening in weeks and months. Technology was also getting far more affordable. It was going to happen faster than anyone could imagine. Books, I challenged, were next to experience this mass transformation, and faster than the mediums before.


Then the iPad launched and redeemed me. Nooks and Kindles only reinforced this idea that eBooks would be a force to be reckoned with.


Publishing will be wise to take lessons from other industries and reinvent. Be architects, not artifacts. Either we will define change or it will define us. And we don’t have the luxury of time, either. Change is no longer linear…it’s exponential.

Four years ago, I proposed that it was possible to market fiction. I posited that social media had the power to generate word of mouth and build a following for an author by building a network that could expand exponentially based on relationship. Most agents didn’t believe me. I even had big authors tell me that social media was just a time suck and that it was just better to spend that time working on the novel. Twitter was a waste of time.

You guys have no idea how hard it was to get anyone to take me seriously. I thought, for a brief time, that We Are Not Alone—The Writer’s Guide to Social Media would never see print unless I self-published.

Agents said they couldn’t sell it. In a way, I can see why. First, I was new and unproven. I will grant that. Also, my book was just a bad fit for a publisher that couldn’t get a book out right away.

My book highlighted a HUGE problem that the big publishers are working to remedy, but they aren’t there yet. As things stand, the big publishers are too slow. A social media book would be irrelevant by the time they could get it on the shelves. Also, if the technology suddenly changed, any unsold books would be as good as trash. I was writing about a hot topic, but traditional publishing was not tooled to accommodate.

Click HERE to read further

Submitting a Manuscript – with Echelon Press

Sean Hayden is here to guide us through the submitting process. He is the Executive Acquisitions Editor for Echelon Press (indie press), and has some excellent advice for those at the submitting stage.
As well as an editor Sean is also a writer and his novel, Origins will be out later this month. His author-interview will also appear here to coincide with his books release – be sure to check it out!



Hi, Sean and thank you for allowing me to talk to you about “life as an editor” at Echelon Press. As both author and editor you have an inside knowledge of what a publisher is looking for in the dreaded query letter and synopsis. Is there a magic formula?

Click below for the answer, and more questions:
 

Absolutely NOT. I remember when I wrote my first query letters. The fear, the sweat, the nervousness. You have to describe your manuscript in one short page, try to entice a publisher to want to read it, and tell them everything you hope to accomplish with your manuscript. That’s scary. Then I got my foot in the door and learned something very unbelievable. Publishers are people too! I know right? I didn’t believe it either. If I had to give aspiring authors one bit of advice when it comes to querying publishers it would be: Take your nervousness, wad it up in a tight little ball, and throw it in that trashcan next to your desk. Make your query letter interesting, funny, or different. Don’t use templates. There are a ton of them out there and read like stereo instructions. Be yourself, focus on your manuscript, and for the love of Pete, FOLLOW THE PUBLISHER’S SUBMISSION GUIDELINES! They differ from publisher to publisher, but the results are the same if you don’t follow them. (DELETE)

Is there a best way to edit? I’ve heard that leaving the MS a couple of weeks before editing is one of the ways to successfully edit, but is there another?
Editing another person’s manuscript is very different from editing your own. Editing your own work is nearly impossible. You always miss something because the story is so ingrained in your mind, you see words that should be there but aren’t, misused words make sense, and even spelling errors get overlooked. When editing another person’s you have to focus on the words instead of the sentence, you can’t read like you normally would. Focus is essential. I try not to edit when my kids are around. That’s like defusing a nuclear bomb in the middle of a rock concert. The harder part comes when you get the edits back from the author and have to go through it again. Sometimes things will be changed and not always correctly, but at this point you know the story and can fall into the same trap as editing your own work. It takes patience.

What is the prime difference between indie and traditional publishers?
Mostly in marketing and distribution. Indie publishers do market their author’s works, but due to budgetary constraints, often rely on authors to do much of the legwork. It is essential for an author signing with an indie publisher to understand that their work will not sell itself. They need to get out there, schedule book signings, work to sell their product, and maintain a prominent social media presence. The other difference comes in the distribution of books. Traditional publishers will mass produce their authors books. Printing hundreds of thousands of copies and distributing them to large bookstores across the country. Indie publishers don’t do this. They print smaller runs of titles, and make them available as needed to bookstores. Traditional publishers also print hardcover editions of works. Most indie publishers don’t do this either because of the cost effectiveness of not doing so. Hardcovers are expensive to print, expensive to buy, and the returns on them often aren’t worth it. How many times have you been in a bookstore and perused their clearance items? Nine times out of ten, they’re full of hardcover books that have been marked down to cost just to get rid of them.

What’s stopping someone from starting up their own publishing company, and calling them an Indie Press?
Believe it or not, it doesn’t happen quite often. It takes patience, capitol, experience, and a cast iron will that will keep you going throughout the hardships, difficulties, and stress. I’ve dealt with the owner of Echelon Press for a while. To say she is a strong woman would be one of the most embarrassing understatements of the century. She is one tough cookie and if were one iota less of a tough cookie, would have thrown in the towel a long time ago. She fights everyday for what she has made for herself. She is well known and well respected. For somebody to start up their own indie press, they would have to have contacts in the publishing industry, know authors they could bring into their house, and understand what does and doesn’t work in the industry. Most people who have had negative experience would rather self publish in the future than deal with the headaches of starting their own independent publishing company.

How many submissions do you get on average a month?
We have several divisions at Echelon Press. We have the main Echelon Press, and we also have Quake which publishes YA material. We also have Explorations for scifi/fantasy genres, and Echelon Shorts which publish electronic short stories for Kindles, Nooks, and other eReaders. Each division gets quite a few submissions every month.

In your submission guidelines it says, “All queries MUST include a full Marketing Strategy.” Why is this? Do you not help with marketing? If not, then what is the point of using the company?
This is for the aforementioned reason. Echelon Press DOES help with marketing, but too often in the past authors have put everything on the company’s shoulders to market their book. “I’m too busy writing the sequel to market myself,” is the best excuse I’ve heard to date. The inclusion of a marketing strategy is to let us know what exactly the author is willing to do to help with promotion and sales.

What are the primary mistakes do you see writers make in the query process?
Make demands, not follow the submission guidelines, and compare themselves to other authors. Each story is unique and if you write a plausible query and follow the submission guidelines, chances are we will ask to see your story. If you don’t, or make demands from the company before we even read your manuscript…


With submissions what makes you stop reading and start skimming—or stop reading altogether?
Horrible or unrealistic dialogue. To me that is the most important part of the story. Fascinating characters or even boring characters should be able to tell a story through their dialogue. If they don’t, the story just falls apart. Watch dialogue tags. Having “he said” and “she said” every line is distracting and often takes away from the story. Just as having the person doing the speaking saying the persons name every time. “
“Hey, Jim. Do you want to go to a movie?”
“Sure, Paul,” he replied
“That’s great, Jim! Let’s go!”
“Great, Paul! What do you want to see?”


Skim, skim, skim.

Will you be at any upcoming writers’ conferences where people can meet/pitch you?
Definitely. Readercon and South Carolina Book Fair are on my schedule, but the owner of Echelon Press, Karen Syed, attends almost every conference known to man. She is often a key speaker, or even a sponsor, and is always on the lookout for new talent.

What’s the best way to contact you?
Just go to our main website. http://www.echelonpress.com. All the submission emails for the various divisions of Echelon Press are there. I can always be reached at shayden.echelonpress@gmail.com

Best piece(s) of advice we haven’t discussed?
Never under any circumstance give up. If you have a story to tell, there will be somebody who wants to hear it. If you submit to any indie publisher and are turned down, there is usually a reason given. Very seldom do publishers just say, “NO.” If they do, ask them why. Don’t be afraid. Listen to what they say and fix the problem. If you show that your willing to try to make your manuscript better, often they will read your revisions. Just never give up.

Join Echelon Press on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Echelon-Press-Shorts/100000163383263

Echelon Press being discussed on AbsoluteWrite: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=707

Follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/JFHilborne/echelon-press

Do you home-school your children? Then this series of books could be for you…

 Wright on Time Series
Children’s Author
Lisa M Cottrell-Bentley
 Do Life Right, Inc. 
specializing in homeschoolers of today.

The Wrights travel the USA in an RV. Each month brings them to a new state with a new educational theme to explore and play with. They prove that learning can happen all the time, anywhere, and that being with family is fun!
Meet Aidan, age 7: Boisterous and joking all the time, this sporty boy knows how to have fun! Meet Nadia, age 11: Curious and fiery, this intellectual girl can always find out answers to even the most difficult questions. Meet their parents: Harrison, a writer and linguist expert, and Stephanie, a telecommuting computer expert; ready to adventure with their children. Meet Prince Pumpkin III, turtle extraordinaire: This 50 year old little guy is holding on tight, as the family RV and a mysterious device take him on an adventure no turtle has ever gone on before. Explore an Arizona desert cave with the Wrights as they begin their trip. What will Aidan and Nadia discover? 


Wright on Time – Book 1: Utah.

Explore a dinosaur dig with the Wrights as they roadschool in Utah. What will Aidan and Nadia discover about the mysterious device they found in Arizona?

Wright on Time – Book 3: Wyoming.

Join Aidan and Nadia as they continue their roadschooling adventures in Wyoming! The Wright family visits geysers, tours a hydroelectric plant, flies in a private plane, visits a wind farm, and more! What will they find and what will they learn about their mysterious Time Tuner?

 

Lisa M. Cottrell-Bentley is the author of the Wright on Time series of children’s chapter books. This fiction series is about the Wright family, an RV-living, homeschooling family who travels the USA. Each book is in a different state with a different fun and educational theme.
The first is Wright on Time: Arizona, second Wright on Time: Utah, and third Write on Time: Wyoming. The fourth will be out this spring.

Lisa is also the owner of the Do Life Right, Inc. publishing company, specializing in books for and about realistic homeschoolers of today. She lives in southern Arizona with her husband, and two always-homeschooled daughters. Together they enjoy travelling, creating wild experiments, and celebrating life!

Click for the interview below:


What inspired you to write your books?
My children! When my oldest daughter was seven (she’s now 14.5), she was very frustrated with all the chapter books and short novels she’d been reading. They were school-centric and featured characters who were mean to each other and who had parents who were either absent or dead. As a homeschooler, she wasn’t able to relate to those types of characters. Since I was already a writer (and had several novels under my belt) I was inspired to write my daughter’s ultimate dream series. After months of long conversations with her, my younger daughter, and my husband, the Wright on Time series was born.

What is the series about? 
The Wright on Time series are children’s chapter books geared toward children ages 5-12 and their parents. With a mysterious and sci-fi overall story arc (throughout the 50-book series), the family is in a different state for each book and learns about a new topic. The children, Aidan and Nadia, start out the series as 7 and 11 year olds. Each book makes them one month older. The first book, set in Arizona, finds the family exploring a salted cave. The second book, set in Utah, finds the family on a real-life Allosaurus dinosaur dig. The third book, set in Wyoming, has the family exploring various types of alternate energies. The fourth book, set in South Dakota, has the family at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and exploring how newspapers are printed.

Was there anything you struggled with?
All of the Wright on Time characters have been natural and easy for me to write. I can’t say the same for my adult novels; some of them I am still struggling with! The Wright family is similar to my own family in many ways and we all talk about them as if they were real people, so it’s easy for me to instinctively understand their reactions to the situations they get into.

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
None under my physical bed, but… I have about a dozen novel length works written which aren’t published. Most are women’s fiction, mostly speculative fiction. I also have several more Wright on Time books that aren’t published yet, but they definitely will be! 🙂 My head is full of ideas for many more books.

What is Rich Author, Poor Writer all about?
“Rich Author, Poor Writer” is a soon-to-be published non-fiction book about the various options available in the publishing world today, how to pick which option(s) are best for each individual author and their situation, and how to actually make money with writing.

How did you find your publisher? How do they treat you? Would you recommend them?
Since I own my publishing company, Do Life Right, Inc., I think it is fantastic and I highly recommend them! We specialize in books about realistic homeschoolers of today. We offer our books in print, e-formats, and are about to branch into audio and foreign translations. We give our authors a higher percentage than most publishing companies and we work hard to match each book with the right editors and illustrators for that particular project.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
Goodness! I love everything about being an author. I love the ideas and sharing them with others. I love talking with fans and other authors. I love it all!

What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
I do my best work late at night when the house is really quiet. I also enjoy brainstorming with my family while on long walks, swimming together, or on long trips (which we go on several times a year).

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer
It depends. I usually get a spark of a new story idea when I’m either driving, on a long walk, dreaming (day or night), or otherwise out and about. When that happens, I try to find a bit of paper to write down the spark, but I always flesh it all out on my computer. I keep a small notebook with me in my purse just for such instances. I can type significantly faster than I can write by hand, so I definitely prefer typing.

What/who do you draw inspiration from?
Everything! I consider everything in life to be a source of inspiration, but I particularly appreciate the insights that my kid-friends give me.
Kids have a unique way of looking at the world that many adults have become skeptical of.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
Only when I have a deadline. Since I write a lot of non-fiction articles, I’m often on deadlines for those. I also have deadlines for the writing that I edit, too, so I try not to limit my own fiction writing.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?
WRIGHT ON TIME: SOUTH DAKOTA, BOOK 4 is in its last stages of being edited.
We’re also in the process of starting WRIGHT ON TIME: MINNESOTA, BOOK 5’s illustrations and editing process (the manuscript is written). This is a particularly fun stage for me, since the illustrations really bring my characters to life.
I’m even more excited about the other books my publishing company, Do Life Right, Inc. is publishing in 2011. Overseeing the publishing process is extremely rewarding.

How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
I was really excited when I received rejection letters that had actual comments and suggestions. I actually used the information in those to start my publishing company, Do Life Right, Inc. It was with those reasons why I rejected that I was able to secure monies from an angel investor to start my company. Publishers were not interested in publishing manuscripts with homeschoolers as the primary characters, nor did they want manuscripts where parents were actively involved in their children’s lives. I used that information to my advantage and have a ready-made market of the 2.2+ million homeschooling families who live in the United States who aren’t being reached by traditional publishers.

Do you have a critique partner?
I’ve been in a variety of critique groups over the years. I currently have a group of teen readers who read my manuscripts. In addition to them, I have two critique partners that I couldn’t live without. I believe that it is really valuable to have trusted writer friends who give you honest and informative feedback about your writing.

Contacts:

My Diary: My Submission Hell!

May 2009
I’ve finished my chicklit novel
A Proper Charlie. To me it’s perfect and ready to submit, but I’m getting conflicting reviews on YWO.

I’ve found an editor,Johnny Hudspith, who will look at my ms for me. We’ve agreed a price and I’m sending him a couple of chapters a month via email.


June 2009
I’ve four chapters back to work on, and Johnny’s edits are easy to read, and I’m glad to say not that many! He’s picked out silly typos and continuity so far. 


August 2009
The first few chapters of Charlie are polished enough and so submitted to Eugenie Furniss from William Morris Agency in London, which represents romance and general fiction. This agency prefers submissions by post. Going by agents’ standard rate of replying I figured Johnny and me will have plenty of time to get the rest into shape if I get a thumbs up.


I never multi submit. I always give a month exclusivity, so shall carry on with my edits while I’m waiting.




September 2009

Received more edits from Johnny. He’s found a lot wrong with the chapters further in. My sentences are too long, and I use too many “ly” ending words.

Sent the first three chapters to Luigi Bonomi agency this month. This is the one. I can feel it!


October 2009
Charlie’s finally all finished and edited. Johnny mainly checked for continuities, spelling and grammar. He genuinely found it funny too, which is what I was aiming at.

I spotted Kate Schafer Testerman, Founder and Agent of kt literary. The submission guidelines said I could enquire by email, which I did. They also specialised in romance and women’s fiction, which A Proper Charlie is.


I wrote my query letter, polished my synopsis and clicked send. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But honestly I sweated blood over the synopsis!


Kt Agency rejected Charlie by return email. Standard rejection, no gloss.


Charlie also came back from William Morris agency today, but even though it was a refusal it was positive – if a decline can be positive!


It was a longish letter letting me know Charlie had been open for debate within the agency – so in that case (to my understanding anyway) it’d NOT been open and read by the junior and turned down by that one person, but passed on as a possibility. A rejection but a nice rejection.


Even though I got two rejections in one month, the latter has left me on a high. Easily pleased?


Sent Charlie to 3 Seas Literary Agency via email.




November 2009
I’m submitting Charlie to Caroline Davidson Literary Agency (CDLA). This has an interesting policy where you send the first 50 pages and the last ten of your ms. They ask for as much detail about the book in the query letter as possible, and want a CV and a synopsis (yeh!!! I LOVE writing synopsis – not!). They also aim to reply within 10 days so that’s good. Fingers and everything possible will be crossed.


S’funny, even though I’ve a box full of rejections (from other novels) I always feel optimistic when I’m pushing the brown envelope into the letterbox.


Had a rejection from LBA (Luigi Bonomi agency) today. A disappointing standard rejection letter. To be honest though, I think I was more disappointed in receiving a poor review from YWO after getting some excellent ones. The reviewer pointed out some errors, which I’ve now put right but then went on to comment negatively about Charlie being a mixed genre. It’s definitely not! Not heard of sub plots? Still the review was constructive and the reviews can’t all be brilliant!


December 2009
Had a rejection from 3 Seas Literary Agency, somehow though (and I know I shouldn’t) I don’t take email submissions as the real deal.


I had a brilliant review on YWO this time. Isn’t it strange how people can read the same story yet have opposing views?


I’ve written to CDLA to follow up on my submission. Just a few lines asking if they’d made up their minds on representing me or not (or had they lost my proposal? Hey, it happens!).


If I haven’t heard from them within two weeks of posting the letter, I’ll start sending out again. Wish me luck!


January 2010
Not heard from CDLA at all. Not sure if that’s good or not, but can’t wait around forever. Sent a submission by email to Makdan Publishing


I received my Writers’ News magazine the other day and on page two I saw Aurora Metro was seeking submissions – very unusual that any agency “seeks”. Had a goosey at their website and it looked very professional and “proper” and so I thought I’d give them a go.


Aurora Metro is an independent publishing company originally set up by a group of women wanting to publish work from their writers’ workshop, and it’s flourished from there. They publish ten titles a year, and seem to be very much a hands-on agency with sounds absolutely ideal for me.


Can’t believe we’re half way through January already. Anyway, not heard a peep out of CDLA. So disappointed as their website boasted they’d reply within 10 days. They haven’t even acknowledged my second letter asking politely if they wanted more time to consider the ms.


This is what riles me. It’s hard enough receiving rejection after rejection, but to have no reply at all?

But this is what we aspiring writers have to put up with; in the end the hard skin grows over our soft malleable one and we become cynical – even to the point where when our work is accepted we don’t believe it and think it’s a windup!


Had a reply from Makdan Publishing. It was by email, but a very lengthy one. I was turned down because they were “concentrating on other genres”. Then they went on to offer advice: While it would be difficult for me to offer specific advice on your manuscript as I have only read a small portion; from what I read, I would recommend working on the flow. While it seems to try and take on a “noir” feel, it gets too choppy in many areas.

Now, critical advice from a publisher is rare indeed, and something a true writer should cherish and learn from. I haven’t re-read Charlie since trying to get it published in October, having wanted to concentrate on my next novel, but I will now.

I shall print it all off, and look through it again to be certain that it’s OK.

February 2010
I printed off Charlie and reading through it I can see where they thought it “choppy”. I’ve re-edited and hopefully put it right.


Should you laugh along at your own work? Is that ethical? I still think Charlie is as funny as it’s intended, but it’s set in the “real world” unlike other chick-lit where the characters are usually rich and famous. I’m not going to send it out again just yet. I want to read through it and try to look through it as though I’m an agent out to sell it.


I’ve sent a reminder to Aurora Metro, because I haven’t heard from them. A polite email asking if they need more time to consider my proposal.


I think Charlie’s ready to go again. I’ve made a few changes. Tightened the flow, and I could see what Makdan meant when they said, “choppy”.




March 2010
Sent Charlie off to Marjacq Scripts, and was careful to follow their guidelines.


A quick rejection from Marjacq Scripts. Did they even bother to read it I wonder? The cover letter wasn’t removed from the envelope and the rest looked untouched. But at least they replied!

Was going to do this anyway even before the rejection, but I’ve decided to send Charlie to Cornerstones for a review. I’ve been thinking about it for some time, and I’ve heard only good about them. They also double up as agents, and only take you on if you’ve potential.

OK, so I packed it off with the synopsis to an assigned reader. Now to sit back and bit my nails… no, I cracked on with my next novel.




May 2010
Charlie came back with a six-paged report. Basically, my chapter endings aren’t strong enough (lots on openings being strong, never endings!), apparently mine doesn’t keep the reader wanting to turn the page. I’ve a strong storyline, it’s funny, characters are strong and likable and my dialogue is excellent so said the reader. Part of the book was a little too slapstick and Charlie needed to be less ditzy. Also, I’d mentioned the Spice Girls (in the opening main character Charlie was going to a fancy dress party and she and her friends were going as the Spice Girls) and was told this dated the story.


But she also said: “I think you are a gifted writer and would like to keep an eye on anything else that you write. However, as I’m not 100% convinced that I would be the best salesman for A PROPER CHARLIE I will have to regrettably pass. But you could submit yourself. I think it’s strong enough to catch an agent’s eye who might fall in love with it. Thank you for waiting for my response and please do keep in touch.”


June, July, August 2010
I’ve pulled Charlie to pieces, and am ready to submit again. I’ve given myself a deadline. If I haven’t found an agent by November 2010 I’m going to POD Charlie with YWO.


I want to get on with my new novel, and I can’t with Charlie still lingering about. Time to draw a line, but not defeat. Charlie doesn’t deserve to be banished to the cupboard-of-rejected-manuscripts. She deserves a cover and an ISBN number.


September 2010
Charlie’s gone to Patrick Walsh, at Conville and Walsh. He agents comedy romance, and so I hope he’ll like Charlie.




October 2010

I’ve gone to America. Not literally, but Charlie has been sent to Wendy Sherman Associates, Inc. in New York via email.

But I’ve a feeling that I’ll be PODding in November.
November 2010
Not heard a peep from September and October’s submissions. What is it with agents and their inability to reply to an email or letter? They’ve no excuse when return postage is enclosed, and they can’t be any more busy than any other organisation!
Anyway, Charlie is with the typesetters so POD here I come!
December 2010
YWO have sent me the finished book of A Proper Charlie, although it’s not “published” as such. I’m reading it as a reader, and trying to find any mistakes or typos.

January 2011
YWO have sent me the finished article of A Proper Charlie for approval. So, I take a red pen and sit down and read. I found a huge chuck unsatisfactory and rewrote it. I found a typo and corrected it. I also rejigged the ending.

Happy with my edits, I sent them the PDF.

During all this process, I’ve become a media whore and blogging all and sundry about my new novel. I’m also organising a press launch and book signings.
February 2011
Once I made up my mind that I was going to POD again, I thought it’d be a quick process, but this has taken longer than I thought. You can quite understand why authors don’t like to write about anything too current, because by the time their book is in a shop it’ll probably be out of date!

Self-Publishing snobbery

There’s a lot of snobbery in the air when someone mentions self-publishing. A lot of pursed lips and tut-tutting. It’s the last resort of a poor writer having been rejected by countless agents and publishers, isn’t it? .

Many think so, sadly.

I’ve read a few SP books and loads of “ordinary” books and have found errors in both. Funny, they are called spelling errors in SP books, but printing errors in books with a publishing house behind them.

The Pros and Cons of self-publishing can be found in the links highlighted. But, at all costs, make sure your book is the best it can be if you follow the SP route (by any route, really). Pay for a detailed edit/proof-read. Pay an artist for a good cover: these don’t have to be expensive. Shop around.

But be prepared to sell yourself; pimping on Twitter, Facebook etc. You’ll also make a lot of friends from all over the world, as I have found. I may not make my fortune from Eden but I’m sure going to have fun selling it!