Tag Archive | publish

Second Quote

Last Friday I had a meeting with the director of another company who provide publishing services to those wishing to publish their own books. The cost will be about the same as the first quote I received, but there are differences in the services they provide. If I went with the first company I would have to provide my own cover design, whereas if I chose the second, the cover will be designed for me. I think that is quite important as the cover has to look good for both the paperback book and the thumbnail size used by Amazon for sales purposes.

An on-demand book printer at the Internet Arch...

An on-demand book printer at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco, California. Two large printers print the pages (left) and the cover (right) and feed them into the rest of the machine for collating and binding. Depending on the number of pages in a given book, it might take from 5 to 20 minutes to print. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The cost with the first company would give me five hundred copies of my novel whilst the second company prefers a print on demand, so only a few copies. Both methods of printing have their advantages and disadvantages, which it seems to me probably balance each other out.

The big difference is in the approach to marketing the book. Whilst both provide marketing services, the second company provide a much longer and more intensive service and, I think a more personalised one than the other.

I think I’ve decided that the marketing is so important that if I want my book to have the best chance of success, I would be better with the second company, but I’ll wait for the paperwork before I make a final decision. After all, the lawyer in me says, the devil is in the detail.

And just so that I get an idea how the self publishing platform works on Kindle I have decided to publish a slim, in fact very slim volume of poems I wrote while I was doing my MA in Creative Writing. I’m really doing it for myself to try and learn if Kindle and CreateSpace is a good way to publish, rather than to attract any sales. But you never know!!

First Quote

White horse in field

White horse in field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have just received a quote from the publishing company for copy editing, preparing for printing as a paperback, proof reading, cover design, formatting as an e-book, distribution and marketing. The total cost is about £4000.

I would have five hundred copies of the paperback, which is the minimum number for having access to the distribution network the publishers use. I know there are cheaper ways of getting the book published-this is the de-luxe version, but they do a lot of the work and hopefully prevent the mistakes that mainstream publishers point to when they criticise self publishing. The question for me is how much faith do I have in my book to spend so much money on launching it? Still not sure, but it’s still cheaper than the mythical horse- the one I don’t have, can’t ride, don’t pay livery charges for etc.  Anyway I’m off to see another company who offer the same sort of service at the end of the week.

Getting a publisher

I promised myself that if I didn’t get an agent willing to represent me at the Winchester Writers’ Conference I would self-publish. I didn’t get an agent interested but an editor from one of the major publishing houses asked to see the whole of my book.

I sent it off in high hopes that this would be the breakthrough I was hoping for, but she thought there were some problems with the plot and made a few suggestions about which areas she thought would benefit from some rewriting. She ended by saying she wouldn’t take my book for now but she thought I had great potential. So I’m starting again reviewing the plot, the characters and the amount of legal jargon. I’ve begun by rereading the trial passages in Scott Turow’sPresumed Innocent‘ and examining the extent to which he uses technical information about the trial process in his writing. Actually it’s quite a lot and he does explain the legal terms his characters use in some detail, telling and not showing. It is my experience that most people are interested in the legal process and want to know how it works.  I’d really like to know if that applies to readers as well as the people I meet.

Then I have done an analysis of my plot to see where I can improve the tension. There are three different plots that intertwine and I think I need to work on how they work together and when I need to keep them apart.

I think this is going to keep me occupied for quite a while and I suspect this blog will get  neglected in the process.

On another note we are off to France for a month so while I can write, access to the Internet is rather limited so a bientot.

Cathi Unsworth: women and noir | Books | The Guardian

Cathi Unsworth: women and noir | Books | The Guardian.

Cathi Unsworth writes about her novels which are described as noir. Unlike many crime novels she does not write series. In this article in The Guardian she writes about the difficulty of getting published and says her first manuscript was rejected by many editors who wanted her to turn it into a series. In the end she did get a publisher who told her she might have done better if she had used a man’s name as a pseudonym. Really that’s too much. She also says that to get published you must write what the agents say, ‘fit into the Christie corset’ are her words, and accept the compromise or do your own thing and take a chance with e-books. It seems to me she is saying what I said in my last post about making your novel fit an agent’s view of what you should write or you write what you want and self-publish. To use an overworked phrase, publish and be damned.

Winchester Writing Conference

Three days at the Winchester Writing Conference has left me too exhausted to put fingers to keys. I went to workshops, lectures and had the opportunity of discussing my novel Crucial Evidence with a number of literary agents and authors. I know the publishing industry is struggling with Amazon and the supermarkets cutting the price of books and now the rise and rise of the e-book, but their response seems to me to be inadequate. In order to cut costs they us literary agents as gate-keepers, assuming that they as publishers and agents have the same agenda. During my career at the English Bar, I soon learnt that my clerk, the man who took 10% of my earnings, did not have identical objectives to me. I think the same applies to literary agents. They all say they are looking for some amazing talent, but in fact they want someone who will sell books so they stick to the familiar.  I have no doubt that someone will say that it is sour grapes because none of the agents I spoke to wanted to represent me and my novel, but I find that strange when one of the authors whose class I attended described my writing as brilliant, another as marketable and a consultant editor of a major publishing house wanted to read the complete transcript. I wasn’t the only writer with a similar experience. One of the men in the class on ‘Writing a Page Turner’ read out to the class the beginning of his SciFi/Comedy book, which had us all doubled up laughing. The agents he saw told him they found his work incredibly funny, but they didn’t want his book because they wouldn’t know where to place it. Which all suggests thet anything new, different or original will struggle to get published. I think self-publishing is the way forward. Has anyone else had similar experiences

Winchester Writing Conference

As part of my campaign to find either an agent or a publisher for my book, Crucial Evidence, I am attending the Conference run by the University of Winchester. In addition to  workshops on ‘How to write a Page Turner,’ and ‘How to get to Know your Characters’ there is the opportunity to have a ‘One to One’ with a selection of literary agents, editors and authors. I had to choose up to six individuals of whom four could be agents or editors and two authors. I found making a selection from about fifty people difficult. Of course ruling out some-one who has no interest in my genre was the easy bit, it’s not much good sending a crime novel to a poet or an agent who only wants children’s books, but that still left a considerable list from which to choose.  Having made my choices I had to put together copies of a letter introducing myself and my novel, a synopsis and a section of the book. No two of the authors, agents or editors want the same thing. The number of pages of the book varies from two chapters, first ten pages, first 3000 words, first three chapters, first 500 words and first chapter. Making sure the right number of pages went with the right letter took me a whole day. Obviously one hopes that one of the agents or editors will love the book, and want to read the complete novel. I went to the same conference about three years ago and saw one agent who loved the sections I had sent her, but by the time I had finished writing the book, she was on maternity leave and her replacement was not so keen. They were very complimentary about my writing, but didn’t want to take it on. I hope I am more sucessful this time. Has anyone got some good advice on getting an agent or is there a problem with an industry in paralysis.

Perhaps the answer is self publishing.