Hi, book lovers. This is my first blog. I’ve been busy re-shaping my first novel, so I want to share with you the highs and lows and trials and errors of what used to be the loneliest vocation on the planet till Twitter and blogging came along.
Let’s be honest. I set out with the normal dream of seeing my masterpiece on display in Waterstone’s, maybe even Barnes & Noble. In the event, I didn’t send out queries or writing samples to all that many literary agents – less than 20, I reckon – and came within an ace of being taken on by one (but that’s a story for a later blog).
Okay, I don’t exactly win a gold medal for persistence but I had begun to wonder if traditional publishing is now the best route for a new author. It can take years from finishing a novel to seeing it in print. You lose control of editing, design, the whole caboodle. Royalties are much smaller than for ebooks. 90% of published novelists don’t make a living from their writing. To cap it all, publishers can’t afford publicity budgets these days, so you have to do the bulk of the marketing yourself.
An ebook can get out there quickly. As for its content and presentation, you remain the boss and may even have a say in its pricing. It’s down to you to drum up interest and sales but no more so than if you had a contract with a legacy publisher. You may not head the best-seller lists but, as first-timers like E L James and Kerry Wilkinson have shown, it can be done.
It sounds so great that I plan to give ebook publishing a go. Why, then, do I still have a few nagging doubts? Does the Hay Literary Festival’s revolt against the Kindle signal the start of a backlash against the ebook? Is my summary of pros and cons unbalanced? Am I being unfair to traditional publishing? Should I approach another barrowload of agents before settling on the ebook route?
As a blogging newbie, I’m looking for friendly feedback and I’d love to hear what you think.
Jeez, I just realised I’ve told you zilch about my novel. It’s called The Girl with the Haunting Smile and it sits astride two genres – Young Adult and Romance. As for what it’s about and how it came to be, that’s for future blogs. I hope you’ll come back.