I finished writing my novel in March, after three years (on and off) of writing, editing, deleting and adding a new ending. Excited and nervous, I crafted some queries to literary agents and also a few publishers who accept non-agented submissions. I knew that very few unknown debut authors get picked off the ‘slush pile’ (ugh) – especially if they aren’t already in some way connected to the literary world (I’ve noticed that quite a lot of recently published novelists are from a journalism or publishing background) – yet I did have a little hope. So it’s not too surprising that two or three months later, I’ve had a handful of rejections and a lot of silence (it’s like applying for jobs – sometimes you don’t hear back at all, unless they’re interested in you).
I suppose I could keep on looking for more agents, or trying different query tactics, but I really want to get my thriller out to readers this year. So this means I’m starting to investigate self-publishing! I know a lot of people do it but as a novice it seems pretty scary to me. I need to do some research. I especially need to consider:
- Book cover design – confident enough to do it myself or should I pay for a pre-made or custom design?
- Formatting – again I could do this myself but many authors pay for a formatting service.
- Distribution – should I sell through Amazon only or should I explore other channels?
- Writing a blurb for the back of the book – why are these so tricky to write?!
- Bits and pieces such as author bio, acknowledgements, copyright information, ISBN.
- Re-branding my blog and social media to reflect that I’m a published author.
- Putting together some kind of marketing strategy (eek).
I’ll update you later in the year when I have made some decisions. Don’t worry, I won’t turn into one of those bores who only posts to boost their own book. You can still expect lots of reviews, discussion posts and random things as usual.
Thanks for reading, my friends.
N S Ford – your new favourite author 😉