It took me a while to get a publishing deal, because I didn't know what I was doing, rather than because I'm crap. I figured out how to write a synopsis, how to write a book, where to submit to...the bones of a writer's job, I guess. Not much point in writing a book for no one to read, I think.
It's taken me a lot longer to get to the point of actually getting out there and helping people discover my books. When I wrote my first book, I submitted it to all the agents in the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook.
I did that for about four years.
What a tosser.
Turns out that it's pretty much a waste of time, postage, paper...and saps the will to live a bit, too - as most writers/aspiring writers no doubt know already.
So I put myself out there. I spoke to people on the internet, made some contacts, DID MY RESEARCH...found a market or two. Got a couple of books published...
But, bugger it, turns out the vast majority of writers don't get a whopping great advance against royalties. What nobody told me was that being a writer is actually fucking hard work. It's not (GASP!) about sitting in your shed writing beautiful prose...well, not for a working writer. It's about knocking them out, getting them out there, and publicising yourself and your books...
I didn't get this, until the kindly crew at Crowded Quarantine Publications pointed it out to me, with simple diagrams because I'm a bit slow. You need to get out there. I did. Went to Cardiff. Had fun, but it wasn't earth shattering...because I'm not very famous. Got a few readers, yes, sold a couple of books, yes...but I'm not a superstar.
Writing is easy. Being a writer (one that makes money, at least) is actually WORK.
Bit of a ramble, I know, but here's the point I was trying to make:
I'm not famous because I haven't really told anyone about myself.
Simple, really, eh?
And the surprise is - people are interested! People really do want to know about you, your work, your books...they want to hear your stories! Weird. Came as a bit of a shock.
It really drummed it home. These last few days I've approached the library, the local paper, a chain of book shops, convention organisers...everyone's been amazingly helpful, interested, and have all said a big fat YES.
Well, that'll do for today. I'm buggering off now. Love you! x
Ah, nearly forgot the pictures:
Exhibit A: Me, in my natural habitat.
Exhibit B: Me, Rich Hawkins, and Adam Millard in the wild.