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Sunday, 26 September 2010

In Case You Missed It

Our Second Tentative Steps into the Writer’s World
                                                Andy Evans & Vesna Kovac

Part Two

Our first joint venture In Search of the Displaced Persons had now been self-published. Days of excitement followed and it became a daily ritual of self-indulgence checking to make sure our names were listed on the major online book selling websites. As the tide of euphoria finally ebbed away it finally occurred that yes, ok having your name visible to all was one thing, actually selling your finished product was another. Most self publishing houses do offer to help market but this usually comes at a price far in excess of the initial outlay already exchanged.
Not being National Lottery winners we decided to go it alone attempting to draw in our prospective audience. Websites were created, bookmarks, as a free give away were distributed and book trailers were produced both online and on disc. Interviews with local newspapers took place and the scene was set. Looking back however we ask ourselves was it really worth the time and effort.
There have been success stories with self publishing, however the writer must question themselves whether they have both the time and financial means to chase the dream that is before us all.

Bitten well and truly now with the writing bug we decided to continue. Our own autobiographical story had been told and we now decided to co-write a work of fiction. Four months later When Spirits Break Free was complete.   
Now we were on the professional path of the author. The road had been such an easy route to take but now we were faced with a dilemma. Online research suggested that traditional publishing houses were in decline. Only the master chefs of television, disgruntled and disgraced politicians, or jaded page three glamour girls of yesterday would be accepted for submission.
Literary agents were even harder to entice. Long gone are the days when a hand written manuscript would suffice their backing. Agents now require the finished article with little or no outlay to promote, like the aspiring writer, they too wish for success. After all, who backs the unnamed horse running amongst champions already known.

We decided to take the easy option. Publishers open to unsolicited submissions. The ever ready Google gave us countless options, once again we blindly followed.
Success was now within our grasp. We had learned by now that perfection was the key. Our manuscript had been professionally proof read by Diane Hall of The Writing Hall. Offers of acceptance came. We had finally made it.
Small print however outlined that due to the world wide recession and demise of the book as we know it (e-books) some of the one time traditional publishing houses now seek financial commitment from the author.
$7000 is the average to turn your dreams into realty. However, unlike self publishing the author does receive support and investment from the publisher. Proof reading and editing is carried out and, unlike print on demand, books are actually printed and distributed to warehouses ready to despatch to book stores, demand permitting.
Most also offer a full refund of the authors investment if book sales exceed a set figure. Some publishers also offer an author investment free traditional publishing deal on any future manuscripts submitted and accepted if the first book is reasonably successful.
For those of us who do not financial constrictions this concept of getting manuscripts into print is an option.
Our own experience is that like traditional publishing houses, submitted works are carefully read and the editorial teams are optimistic that the book could be a commercial success before any offer of acceptance is passed onto the author.
As with self publishing, use the power of online search engines. Simply type ‘bad press’ after the companies name and read the advice offered before making the final commitment.

Next week – The E- Book Offers

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