Is a frequent question – a nice one to hear, but also a little frustrating. Is it worth waiting? Read below and tell me what you think.
Robert Turley has written a moving and interesting memoir about a family tragedy in Canada and his relocation to Liverpool, the original home of his father. He records his early life in Liverpool, including the ‘tennies’ in Garston. I really enjoyed it and was glad that Robert was able to self-publish his book online. As Robert says, “This is my 1st and only book, i have produced it without any professional help..i have revised it many times and will continue to do so to make clear, and i hope although not perfect, easy to read.”
Robert’s book wouldn’t get within a hundred miles of a publisher or an agent. Yet it is now available as a Ebook on kindle or a paperback through Amazon. It is a story of working-class life, not varnished, not rags to riches, not some moral tale to tell us to pull our socks up, or how we can make it if we really try. Just an honest account of a difficult life, not without its happy moments, but difficult.
Leila Kirkconnell is a new friend based in the USA who has written and published three books online and is happily selling them on Amazon while continuing to write. Leila has a great eye, and attention to detail, has cleaned up (proofread, edited, suggested revisions) to a lot of my writing, she has even designed the mock up book covers. Leila has never wanted to be published by the traditional route. Today, she is in complete control of what she produces, and where she sells it. She wasn’t interested in waiting months and even years for a publisher.
Neither has followed the ‘trad route’ to publishing, but finding an agent and publisher is the only realistic way of getting your book into bookshops.
So why am I trying the ‘trad route’? Firstly, because I think my writing is good enough. This has been confirmed by industry professionals who have told me it is worth waiting. Secondly, because I think it is commercial and can make money. Thirdly, to prove I can.
Although I might be wrong on the last point and will be happily selling my books through Amazon next year if I am. You can help by recommending this blog to your friends and family. Or just click the like and share buttons below. Do you think I should self-publish or wait?
My books are of a world that not everyone likes or understands. The characters are flawed, the communities are working class, and the stories are dark. Mainly because working-class lives are dark, they can be full of love, and funny as well, but the shit is there, and not hidden. We are not saved by the police or professionals and live and die by our own wits, and the solidarity of others in the same boat. These are not messages near to the heart of the publishing industry. But hope springs eternal (or at least for 2020), so I will continue to try and find an agent or publisher.
Just in case anyone out there reading this is looking to write and publish. One golden rule is never to pay a publisher. That is vanity publishing, and although you do end up with a printed book, it will cost you an arm and a leg. There are a few people who don’t know the difference between vanity and self-publishing, but as technology moves forward, they are dying out like the dinosaurs before them.
PS I am back in Liverpool next week catching up on a few people and places. Garston and Speke will be on the agenda, and no doubt, a couple of pubs in between.
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