I did my first radio interview the other day. It has not been broadcast yet and I will be posting the date and time asap.
It will just be five minutes and not live, my interviewer told me. The listeners want to know what you have written and what prompted you to do it. No worries then, I thought. Ha!
How to get to and stick to the point. Never been my forte. It did go well and while we all wait to hear it, thought I would share my notes with you.
(I first thanked Rosemary for inviting me…)
Before I talk about my books and why I self published, I would just like to differentiate between vanity publishing and self publishing.
Vanity publishing involves paying someone a serious amount of money. For example I was offered a deal which meant I would have to provide, upfront, around £9000. For this I would get 250 copies of my book in hardback and an unspecified amount of publicity but with no guarantees.
With self publishing it does what it says on the tin. You do it yourself and you keep control. Other authors talk about the costs of full manuscript proof reading and cover design.
I looked into this and found the average price for proof reading was about £800.
So it didn’t happen. Luckily I have a good friend who is an excellent artist and he did the cover design for me for a nominal fee.
I have to say everyone loves the cover and typos are still being found but I am not going to lose sleep over a misplaced comma. I have 5 more novels in the pipeline.
And if you think self publishers go nowhere, think again.
John Grisham self published his first book, A Time to Kill, after it was rejected by 15 publishers and 30 agents. Other famous self publishers are: Marcel Proust, Beatrix Potter, Mary Wesley and George Orwell, to name but a few.
Good company, I would say.
Okay, you do have to climb a fairly steep learning curve if like me, you don’t know much about pdf files and formatting and pixels in jpeg but you learn by thinking about the money you are saving and how much nearer you get to your goal with each achievement
So now I have two books up on amazon. Both in kindle form and just to remind you, there is no need to own a kindle. A PC, laptop, Smartphone will do just as well.
My books are very different. The first one, All Expenses Paid (fact meets fiction) is a romantic comedy, come travel biography, which rages against ageism. It’s about 40 yr old Laura who wants to get away from the nine to five and find time to write. So she answers an advert in The Lady magazine and decides to go granny sitting in the south of France for 6 months, only to find 82 yr old Betty behaving like a 28 yr old and so the fun ensues!
I wanted to write a book with the feel good factor that hopefully stays with you long after you finish reading. I am very happy to report that far from having a limited demographic; All Expenses Paid has been enjoyed, to my knowledge, by a 19 year old and a 91 year old man. Who knew? Plus, I like to think that fans of Janet Evanovich (I bow reverently) will like my work. Here’s hoping.
All Expenses Paid is also available in paperback.
My second book is science fiction, at the moment. I am inclined to call it speculative fiction, as so much of the fiction in this novella, Shelf Life, is fast becoming fact. As I have worked as a live-in carer for the last 18 years I started to ask some of my clients; would you live your life differently if you knew how long you were going to live?
Shelf life is about two research scientists in the year 2053 when one, Stevie Pinks, accidentally discovers a barcode embedded in a human forehead. This barcode gives this person’s expiry date. Then she discovers over 100s of tests, every human has one.
But will she be thanked for making this discovery available to the public. Who will want to know their own expiry date? Her colleague Max….is dead against her announcing this discovery.
Plus and very importantly, this book outlines the future of stem cells and how in the not too distant future every baby will go home with its own Stem Cell Repair Kit, gleaned from their own umbilical cord blood, which contains the stem cells capable of creating all human organs.
And most people throw this away this life giving/saving gift.
The underlying reasons for writing both these books, although very different, do have a theme…which I have only just realised. It is: Affirmation of life. Go for it, just do it. Don’t look back with regrets.
I found most octogenarians regretted things they hadn’t done not the things they had done.
Be warned. Tomorrow is closer than you think.