As you've probably gathered I've finished writing the first draft of this book. And it's been edited and had a degree of 'as you go' proofing courtesy of spell or grammar checks which are, of course, not entirely reliable, whether or not you're sticking to English English or American English. I'm lucky in that my professional background was in print and web publishing for the public sector and so I use all the fancy desktop publishing software necessary to get this novel looking like a 'proper' book. So I'm now in a fairly enviable position as to being able to pick and choose how to get Safari Tales 'out there', once it's been given a really thorough final dusting down edit and review - which is where you, dear reader, may already be involved...
With the core writing work completed, I'm currently off on a traditional publishing route hunt to see if I can get some savvy and perceptive professional support, so it's submission or query letters time (are they the same thing? They seem to be more concise in the US ><) and I've currently been to 3 literary agents to get a definite
'no thanks, not with us - but good luck anyway!'and have emailed 2 more who're are considering my 130K+ package and ought to get back to me sometime towards the end of June.
I have 3 more literary agents shortlisted to approach through snail mail, but am now seriously considering not bothering with that at all, not just because it's probably a waste of postage, but because there is a much less fraught and controllable trail to follow in this, not necessarily enlightened, digital age. Self publishing sounds really scary until you start looking into it and have some minimal expertise in how to use Word and export in PDF format. There are outfits out there, including the esteemed Amazon.com, who'll happily take your opus, along with an ISBN and help you turn it into an ebook or even a proper hard or paperback book.
There's also the warm and comforting thought that once all writers were self-published and even after commercially mass-produced publishing was possible some of our greatest classic and contemporary authors, among them Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway and even Stephen King, all toiled alone at some stage of their respective careers to get themselves 'out there'. Without a kindly literary agent or adventurous publishing house giving them editorial support while they made their names. Or taking their cut - although of course you do need to add your local tax collecting body to that list, even if you're doing it all yourself. The latter is certainly enough to send most people screaming to the professionals, so they don't have to worry about the financial vagaries of being able to successfully string some words together creatively. So all they need to do is concentrate on the writing for hopefully the next book, and the next.
But that's in fairy tale land again isn't it? They say everyone has a novel in them, but of course when it comes to getting that novel out and available for reading by the general public for £10 or thereabouts, not everyone is going to do it. Or even be able to do it.
So, having made it this far I'm not about to give up within sight of the 'kill'. By the end of 2013 Milele Safari will be well on the way to being 'out there', in production, or, hopefully, for sale. Watch this space for more happy ever afters!