Monday, 14 January 2013

The Long and Winding Road - Part 2

My baby steps are following one after the other into the publishing world. I haven't gone far yet but everything I do puts me further ahead. I've created some business cards for my book; usual details on one side, quick hook on the reverse. I plan to use them at the Paris Book Fair in, well, Paris at the end of March.

 I've never been to a Book Fair but I figure I need to learn about this new industry I want to be part of. There will be publishers, translators, legal folks, authors, possibly some agents, digital publishers, all sort of services. I want to learn the lingo and the issues.

The publishing world has gone through major change in recent years. There's online publishing, e-books, kindle which never used to exist. There are decisions to be made as to what type of publishing an author will use. I want to go traditional, even if it's the hardest. For most people trying to sell a manuscript it's impossible. But I want to give it a try, a good try and for that I have to understand the business. I have to have the right discipline and nous. I have to put all my ducks in a row, cleverly, with impact, persistence and balls.

My book proposal is nearly finished. I just need to finish the chapter summaries. My agent query letter is underway. Sometimes my writing is inspired and others it's a confused mess. When the later happens I put it down and do something else on a different aspect concerning my book, such as researching the right publishing houses and literary agents in my target markets.

My target market, and thus publisher and agent, is the U.S. Apart from New Zealand and France they are my top supplier of readers for my blog. It's a big market and if I can crack that it'll help me get started on my second book. Yes, there always was another one, 1955-2008 was to have been written first but I felt To the Ends of the Earth had just the right recipe to get me started. And there'll need to be a third book because readers will want to know what happens after 2013.

Next on my list of things to do is to organise my web-hosting and start building my book's website - scares me as I'm not feeling competent with the later and the former is an investment. It's hard to commitment to bills when i never know how long I can stay here and be employed but I got here on the back of Hope so I just have to keep doing so. Hope told me to register for the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. It's the world's largest book fair and with the Paris one under my belt I should have a better handle on what to do there. I've never been to Germany- hey- it's another adventure.

My book will be completed before that. I'd like to hire a book editor to whip the manuscript into shape (I'm hardly objective) but I have no money for that. I'll just have to do the best I can myself and hope the proposal and a few finished chapters will be enough to gain me a book contract. The publishers would then be responsible for the professional editing. I want this to work. I've no idea how to be successful but I'm going to learn a lot trying to find out on my own.

There are pitfall to publishing everywhere. here's what author and blogger Penelope Trunk's post on the Guardian says...


Delphine said...

Wow!! Good on you Francis!! Very inspirational. Wishing you all the very, very best. HUGS

bloodpressurecorner said...

I've said it before, You are awesome.

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