This week I met up with my good friend and fellow glam-fiction author Nigel May. Four hours, a bottle of Prosecco and who knows how many raspberry cocktails later, we’d gossiped about everything under the bonkbuster sun.
Nigel publishes his books through Amazon, and does phenomenally well with it. Our conversation got me thinking about how many avenues there are into publishing these days: if you’re an aspiring writer, you’ll know that the traditional route can be tough going. Writing a book is a hard slog, and to face rejection by agents and authors when you start to show your work can be disheartening. I’m ready to admit that as well as talent you also need a hefty dose of luck to secure that life-changing deal. More and more I’m seeing gifted writers take the reins themselves, strike deals with online distributors, design their own book covers, run their own PR tours, and sell shedloads of copies along the way.
How do they do it? With guts, a staunch determination to succeed and a refusal to put their manuscript in a drawer and say, ‘Oh, well, at least I tried.’ Nick Spalding, Kirsty Greenwood, Kristen James, Mel Sharratt – just a few names that spring to mind when I think of the flood of self-publishing success stories over the past couple of years. Interestingly, the figures raked up were then quickly noticed by publishers – I believe all these authors now have, or are soon to have, their physical books on the shelves.
That’s why the traditional route appeals. If you’ve poured a year or more’s work into something, you want that object you can hold, pages you can turn and the weight of that achievement in your hands. But if you’re struggling to snag that deal, or catch that agent/editor’s attention, you could do worse than to put your book out there and test the water. There are some truly wonderful writers who just haven’t had their lucky break yet, and the point of self-publishing is that you can try to create that luck yourself. It’s no longer just about that one person reading and loving your work – if you can make your book stand out, thousands could be reading and loving it. If this is a road you’re considering, good luck! The sky’s the limit.