Monday, 26 September 2016

The Story So Far...

There follows a long overdue update. 
Are we all well?  Did we enjoy London 2012?  Congratulations Kate and Will on the birth of Prince George.  And isn’t it great that Brad and Angelina have finally tied the knot.

Yes, it’s been a while.  But in that time, I have not been idle.  Instead, I have been slaving away on what I have come to regard as my baby.  Not a teeny tiny new-born, but rather my fifteen pound, massive-headed-baby, who’s taken three years to push out, with zero pain relief, resulting in excessive stitching to my lady bits.  
Let’s just say it’s been a struggle.  But Readers, I can now say my novel is finished.

               This is definitely my novel.  It is not a ream of blank printer paper.

I say finished, but that’s not strictly accurate.  I could edit, rewrite, and titivate the manuscript forever.  I mean, FOREVER.  Each time I read it I find alternative words for perfectly acceptable ones, and a shed load of typos, missed punctuation and Americanized (see what I did there?) spellings emerge that didn’t seem to be there at the last read through.  And yet, I need to call time.

So as promised, here is an update.

At the end of last year, I engaged the services of Claire Dyer at Fresh Eyes.   She gave me a bunch of suggestions as well as a ton of reassurance, and I cracked on with the changes she suggested.

Next I let some people read it.  Not real people obvs, – only my parents, some siblings and the in-laws that showed an interest.  As a focus group it wasn’t ideal but better than nothing.  Feedback was positive, albeit brief in some cases (*cough* my sister, Lucy) or, resulting in pages of emailed notes at the other end of the scale (*cough* my Dad).

I then spent the past year pursuing a traditional publishing route whilst at the same time becoming aware that this was fraught with its own problems.  Mainly, it seems impossible and fruitless in these cash-strapped competitive times.  No agent or publisher wants to take a risk on an unknown author.  The more frustrating this felt, the more I became open to the idea of doing it all myself.  Because at the end of the day, I’ve written an ace book.   It should be read.  You should read it.  Defo. 

And so to self-publishing.  There is quite the community online.   When I started to research this, I was directed to link after link of information that never seemed to end. I am still working through it, and trying to focus on the specific issues I need as they arise.  But hey, let me share the wealth.  If you need to know how to obtain an ISBN number, click here.  Or if a handy guide to completing Amazon’s tax interview is what you’re after, here you go.  It has been a steep learning curve, and I am still about a month away from publishing.  I envisage there is much more to digest.

However, after spending a looong Friday last week converting a Word document into a HTML file, into a Kindle friendly e-book (zzzzzzzzz) I am looking forward to the next steps.  I need a front cover.  That is my task for the week ahead. Obviously my GCSE Art and Design C grade won’t cut it, so I have the happy task of looking at the portfolios of the many designers and artists that offer such a service online.

So, to recap, sorry about the years of silence, I’ve written a book and its great, and I am looking forward to watching Brangelina’s relationship flourish over time.   As you were.

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