Thursday, 8 August 2013

Taking the Plunge

When I started writing my novel my dream was to see it in print, a dream that is shared by probably every writer. The idea of e-publishing did not occur to me then, I only saw the traditional route of getting an agent interested in my work and then them getting a publisher interested and, finally, my book going to print.

 It has been a couple of years since then and I have to say that my pursuit of this dream has been fraught with much more frustration than I had expected. I appear to have failed in interesting a literary agent. Forget JK Rowling’s famous ’12 rejections’, I’ve reached 20! And yet I still have faith in my work.

 Of course there have been moments of doubt, times when I have questioned whether or not I have turned out something that is both credible and enjoyable; maybe it really is not that good after all? In answer to this self-doubt I load up a copy of my manuscript on my laptop and sit and read it through, not a proof-reading session, just a sit down and read for enjoyment episode. And I keep finding that I do enjoy reading it!

 If I enjoy reading it why wouldn’t anyone else?

 A story about 1066 might not prove as big a literary hit as one about a boy wizard but that really is not the point; the reason for writing is the hope that someone you do not know might pick up your book and enjoy it! Of course making lots of money would be nice but writing just to make lots of money is not my point of inspiration; I want to tell a story and I want others to enjoy it.

 As following the traditional path to getting a book published has proven so fruitless I have changed tack and looked at e-publishing and I like what I see. I have looked at it closely and I find the level of control that an author can exercise in the e-publishing market is much greater than that enjoyed by all but the most successful of traditionally published writers. There are pitfalls of course, those exist in almost every human undertaking, and there are no guarantees of success, but there is a clearer route to the day when your work enters the literary world.

 It is very inviting but I have not been seduced, that is, I have not rushed head long into e-publishing. I did indeed take a long hard look at e-publishing and then went away and planned my new approach. I reviewed my manuscript to make sure that the format would suit e-publishing for one. Researching the various platforms and what they offer was another area that occupied me. This basically falls into two camps, Kindle and all other e-readers. Which one you choose, if you are interested in e-publishing that is, is of course a very subjective choice, but it is worth reading all the FAQ’s that you can find on the subject; boring sometimes but very necessary.

 So, in September I will cross my literary Rubicon and submit my manuscript for e-publishing. As the date approaches I find myself feeling both excitement and apprehension; that magic buzz! I have put a lot of work into this project, not just the writing and editing and submissions to uninterested literary agents but also the building of a social media network to help spread an awareness of my book. There may be more control in e-publishing but there is also more work required to make a go of it but then if you love what you have created and really believe in it then the long hours should not be a bind, they should be part of the creative process!

 How will I judge if I have been successful? Easy, if one person I do not know buys my book and has the kindness to drop me a line saying that they enjoyed reading it that will be enough, anything else will be a huge bonus!

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