I am not a multi-published, award winning, best-selling author. I once won a school prize for a 500 word essay on taking care of your pet cat, but that doesn’t seem to count for much in international literary circles.
Here is what I am. I am a new writer who believes he has something to offer, who learns fast unless it’s anything to do with IT – I have the attention span of a goldfish and the comprehension of a biscuit when it comes to anything electronic or wwwebby. It frightens me more than werewolves / vampires / zombies combined. But, I do have determination, and what I do not understand, I will either persevere with until I do, or (preferably) pay, bribe, extort, bully, or as a last resort, ask nicely for someone to help me.
A disturbing and rising phenomenon I have observed is a new breed of ‘publisher’ who will do work that you can mostly do yourself, then take up to half of whatever money you may earn. Be afraid, be very afraid. I have seen the results of some of these companies.
I am sure there are good ones and genuine people doing this who will make sure your book is well-edited, has a great cover, and will put a good cover on it – then spend time, effort and money in promoting it.
However, I have seen published books – with a ‘publishers’ imprint – that would embarrass a proverbial monkey at a typewriter. The aim of these organisations seems to be to (sometimes) take money from you, do as little work as they can to squeeze you into kindle/amazon – then sit back and hope your book makes money.
My advice ALWAYS to first time authors now is to do as much work as you can. THEN – PAY for a professional EDIT (even if you have three MFA’s and a couple of Pullitzer prizes, you are STILL unlikely to spot your own mistakes) and get a PROFESSIONAL cover designed. Your cover is your first hook to catch a reader – a badly designed cover will put them off straight away.
Don’t be tempted by the cheapest services (especially editors) – you should expect to pay $3 a page upwards – and to pay $100 upwards for a good cover.
That’s the lecture over for this week. I am happy to give advice, recommendations, assistance – all you have to do is ask – please register for my newsletter – over there on the right ->
Now - check out my book - or else!
Finally, you can see the results of my long and painful journey to my first published book Deadly Election – I hope you will read and enjoy (and review) – please let me know what you think.
Here are the cats – they are back again, due to public uproar at their absence. I have learned my lesson – Pussycats Rule!!! See you next week.