So, I was going to brace myself for the rejection letters and keep on trying. After all, being taken on by an agent means external recognition; it’s like a rubber stamp that your work is good enough.
In January 2014, I received a phone call from Barry Cunningham to say that I had been long listed in The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. I was absolutely stunned. In fact, I think I asked him if it was a hoax call! I nearly hadn’t sent my manuscript into the competition because I only finished a draft two days before the closing date, and I knew the draft was still in need of a lot of work. So when Barry rang to tell me that he loved my book and I’d made it into the final 16, I was in shock. Happy shock.
I spent the next few months editing and improving Mr. Nobody and getting feedback from friends and fellow students from my MA course in creative writing. I was confident that the draft I now had was of a much higher standard than the draft I had submitted to the competition so I was ready to start contacting agents.
I still expected rejections but I thought after five or six, I might strike lucky, especially with the endorsement of the competition long list. After around ten rejections, I decided I’d had enough. I probably wouldn’t have considered self publishing, if it hadn’t been for three things. Firstly, the external recognition I’d been looking for had already come in the form of the competition long list. Secondly, self publishing was becoming more accepted as a professional means of publishing with the advent of well known authors self publishing their own works, often backlists or short stories. It’s come a long way from its roots as vanity publishing. Thirdly, my husband, Adrian, would be able to help with the typesetting, design and formatting challenges, all things that I knew would drive me crazy!
Yesterday, we quietly launched Mr. Nobody onto Amazon as a Kindle edition. It really has been a team effort. The book itself has been through many iterations with the feedback and help of friends and writing pals. Another friend has been my proof reader, another has designed the book cover and Adrian turned it from a manuscript into a book. I would love as many people as possible to read and hopefully enjoy it, not just for me but for everyone who has helped me to get it this far. So, soon I will start to shout about it. I’m waiting for the paperback version to be ready before I do that so that I can introduce it in all its glory. It is a children’s book but I also hope it will appeal to adults, especially those who are coping with a relative suffering from Alzheimer’s.
This is just the beginning: I’ve written a book and published it on Amazon. What happens next is down to how I market it. I’ll keep you updated on how that goes. In the meantime, if you have read and enjoyed Mr. Nobody, please write me a review on Amazon and spread the word. Thank you.