Sunday, February 11, 2007

Now what?

You may remember a couple of months back that I asked for help in writing a synopsis and a query letter for my novel A Half Life of One. As a result I did indeed receive a lot of help and good advice and subsequently I put a proposal together for the book and e-mailed it off to eight agents, split equally between the UK and the US. Four eventually said "no", and the rest didn't bother to reply.

Even though I believe the book could be a modest commercial success I find myself surprisingly unperturbed by this lack of interest. The fact is, I think I can have more fun, and gain more satisfaction, by publishing the book myself. So that's what I'm going to do. I want to do it properly though, and it's important to me that the final result (a paperback) is as professional and attractive as possible. This is, after all, going to be my first, best shot at immortality. In fifty years time when the rare first edition comes up for auction at Sotheby's I'd like to think it will fetch a good price, right up there with Fitzgerald and Hemingway and, er Dan Brown (not that Dan Brown, this is another one who's only just been born - we're talking about the future here, don't forget).

So, first off I'm going to commission a cover design from a designer I admire. I'll publish the result when I get it. I also think I should have the book professionally edited - both for typos and for content (although the Publishing Contrarian has already done a lot of work on this aspect). Any suggestions, or offers (paid, naturally), or advice on this, or any other aspect of self-publishing, will be very welcome.

The book blog for A Half Life of One, incidentally, still gets around nine hits a day which may not sound like very much but if I could convert even a tiny fraction of those visits into sales I would be a very happy man indeed. I've got some ideas on how I might best accomplish this but I'll save that for another post.


  1. Didn't know you had this book blog, Pundy.
    Do publish it, yes...
    All the best!
    (I've added it to my blogroll. Let me know if you rather I didn't.) :-)

  2. Errr - can I be of any assistance in the editing dept? I've just done a report on a novel for the consultancy I'm freelancing for. Report was supposed to be a minumum of 3000 words - I did nearly 7000!

    The consultancy described it as 'a model of its kind' and the author's response has been extremely positive ...

    Email me if you think I can help.

  3. Don't do it, Pund! She has an evil red pen that turns your novel into something worth reading.

  4. I protest!

    Let's get this straight - first off, my pen is not red. In fact, it's a pencil. The point being that any scribblings can be erased! Never forget, whoever edits your book - it's your creation and you always have the last word!

    Secondly - my pencil is NOT evil. It's benign, it's loving, it's caring. It's virtually cuddly.
    It's your FRIEND!

    Right, hope that's clear now ...

  5. According to most, you should have queried at least 3 times that number, before throwing in the towel.