Thursday, 21 March 2013

Physician, heal thyself. Author, promote thyself.

I'm pretty slow. People who've read either of my blogs, the old, or this, the new, will have long realised this.

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...

Happy days.

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.