I like the new cover designs above, they are simpler, starker, and grittier just like the books. They highlight the mystery nature of the novels. Creating an atmosphere of tension in the cover is no easy thing to do, so I am pleased. (Thanks to Leila ) There is one image missing, I haven’t started writing The Wicklow Boys yet.
The books tell the story of a network, individuals who leave Wicklow for Garston, and become part of the story not only of a new family, but a district and a city because the story is not of one individual, but of the journey our parents and grandparents took.
I am still querying Under The Bridge with agents and publishers, with rejections mounting. It feels like a catch 22 situation if you self publish agents won’t touch you, but if you wait for an agent you might never be published. I am getting a bit tired of seeing stories about people being published after ten years, and how they are happy they waited. I am not waiting ten years, so am taking the step of self-publishing the first book this summer. All the books are related but are also stand-alone novels.
Technology has progressed, the world of publishing is changing rapidly. COVID 19 will increase the reliance on ebook and online sales of printed books. Bookstore retailers are struggling under the lockdown conditions, Amazon has been monopolising the market, while various online ordering systems attempt to compete with Amazon and distribute some of the online income between retail stores. https://bookshop.org/
I have a few friends who are authors, some published by traditional publishers, some self-published. It sounds surprising but a well-marketed novel can earn the author more than a traditionally published book with an independent publisher. I have read emails from at least two (there are probably many more) independent publishers who have asked for contributions from supporters, and have thanked the Arts Council for grants saving them from bankruptcy.
The bottom line is they are not selling enough books to support themselves. Writers are like actors, only a very few manage to make a good living from their activities.
And yet whole industries are built on selling the idea that you can be the next Stephen King or JK Rowling, just buy our course, or join our club, pay for our workshops. Agents not only make money from the earnings of authors, of course, they have expertise and experience, they are in the club. They also make money from would-be authors by teasing their access to editors and publishers, for access. They would hate this description because they see themselves as nurturing and developing talent. No doubt the best of them do that, but it remains the case that they control access to most publishers. There is not much point moaning about this system, its how it works.
The only question is what you do about it. So for me, the strategy is to self publish one book this summer, while continuing to query the other. The Morning After should be available for pre-order on Amazon soon. So don’t wish me luck, or all the best…
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