Well, my first novel Barry has had rave reviews – thank you Mum. No, but people have been very kind about it really. I got to work on it in earnest as a personal goal when I was going through tough times there in the early part of 2010. I’m pleased that I finished what I set out to accomplish.
When it came to putting the final product together I learnt that presentation has much to do with how a book is perceived. Chris Lake – who’s doing a lot of editing for me – pointed out (for example) that people don’t want to read paragraphs that are two pages long 🙂 Also, a well-designed cover and the professional impression that it gives are well worth having. You can still grab your free copy, just click on the Barry, the Novel tab above ^^^.
So what now? Well the next one’s due out very shortly! It’s entitled A Jersey Midsummer Tale . Part 1 is set in 1935 and Part 2 in the modern day, with little threads and arcs playing between the two parts. It took a bit of researching but I thoroughly enjoyed the writing process with this one. I think it’s good though I’m frustrated that I could have done better.
I should be looking at images for the cover rather than blogging, but really that will be it done and dusted. And this time I’ll try to sell a few though I’m still flying very much solo.
And there’s more! I’m 31,000 words – about 1/3 – through Tess of Portelet Manor. This is a sequel to Part 1 of Midsummer, picking up my main female character and following her through the thirties, the German occupation of Jersey and beyond. I’m already liking it a lot.
It’s a problem though finding time to write whilst holding down a 9 – 5.30 job. By the evening you’re mentally tired. I took a block of holiday recently to concentrate on it, and I’ll get a bit more done over Easter and the May public holidays. I’m really looking at the end of the year for a finish though.
And neither can I afford to go on self-publishing. I’m absolutely aware that few writers make money. You need to be both good and lucky, with lucky being the main ingredient. I’ve read stuff by well-known authors that I think anyone could knock out. But I think I should try to explore what possibilities there are.
So, what path do I take? Do I hawk my stuff around literary agents? I guess I could get steady sales in the local market for Midsummer and Tess but it is a small market.
Anyone out there in the blogosphere with any thoughts on this please comment away!
I’m about 100 pages into Barry at the moment, started it on the Plane heading to Scotland for the Easter holidays. Enjoying it so far, but then I’m a runner so I understand and enjoy that side of it. My wife is more of a reader (and not at all a runner) and will be able to give a fair appraisal of what she thinks compared to the hundreds of other novels she reads a year.
Can you get a self published novel onto Amazon/Kindle? That way you have access to a much wider audience and if you can get some local readers to add ratings and reviews that might help.
Roy McCarthy said:
Thanks Dave. ‘Barry’ reviews always welcome. As a first shot I wasn’t expecting much from it.
Sure, Amazon will happily throw it up and relieve you of 60% or something similar in the process 😦 I’ll certainly be considering it though. I suspect most writers just like to, well, write and often don’t give the selling side much thought. Once you get exposure and onto a roll then it seems you can get away with murder.
Thanks for your input.