Never giving up!

Bing…buzz. Bugger I forgot to put the phone on silent, and it’s 2 am, only two and a bit hours until my alarm goes off to go to the gym and to work!

“Daddy, I think I’ve had a nightmare.” Oh great.


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Never as close to the cliff-edge as it seems!


Fix that with some little mantra we do to get rid of nightmares, and he trundles back off to bed leaving me in silence to stare at the ceiling. Oh yes, the phone.

An email from a publishing house. I half read it knowing it’ll be a “No thank you Mr Unknown author, thank you so much….blah….blah.” But it’s a little different, sure they can’t recommend the book for publishing (as expected) but they are keen and take some time to offer me some advice. Although it’s early I honestly just read the “no thank you” and went into a midnight sulk.

Then when the alarm goes off and I decide to read the email and that’s when I got to the crux, the feedback (and of course the offer to edit for me at a cost of $1,000 – yeah sure I’ve got that in the sock drawer with three kids, a car, a house, two cats, a wife, gym membership and subscription to Muscle & Fitness….I’m not made of money!) But instead of it being No but pay me and it’ll be a yes this guy offers me some pointers and even offers an edit of the Prologue.

He edits a LOT! I’m offended and dejected at first and then I see what he’s done, see what I have missed and probably how amateur I really look. He even says if I choose not to pay then I can do it myself and resubmit as they “like the story”. Really…..someone other than friends and family LIKE the story.

Maybe this isn’t a crazy wasted venture.

So attack I do and hammer the hell out of a new draft. I loose a fair few words and correct grammar and punctuation I had read and re-read so many times but missed. Going back to my psychology background I can explain that but I’m not writing a dissertation of linguistics or scotoma right now….no I’m writing a mickey take of myself.

So really after all this, it’s a week of rollercoaster emotions being ups and downs. Yeah, I have had rejections but even this sole glimmer of hope actually tells me there may be something in this.

Really what I’ve learned this week is to NEVER GIVE UP.

Nothing more to add to that really.


Marketing and submitting

Well I have spent a lot of time perusing all the different ways to advertise and I have decided to “go it alone” and do the best I can with my skills (or perhaps lack of) and alongside creating ways to market my books I have also decided to do a few submissions to Agents/Publishers in the process.

Of course I have already had one or two rejections (the joys of electronic submissions means the rejections come back faster). I’ve also had some “we will think about it” so that can only be a good thing. No matter though I can;t do any more than I am doing to promote The Magdon at the moment.

Once such idea was to create a book trailer.

A book trailer? How on earth would I go about that with just me and my absolute zero experience of filming anything. Of course I’ve said before, I see what I write in my head as if it were a film so perhaps it’s something I could do.

So I thought what would work….I can’t afford actors, I can’t afford camera crews and everything so what did I have that would reflect a bit of a teaser?

Then I started to pull together all the things I have made and built as part of making the Magdon story real for my children.

A sword here, a skull, a diary, some maps, letters, bandages……

The pile grew.

Then I had an idea and quickly grabbed my digital camera. We aren’t talking some all singing all dancing fandangled device. It is a bog standard piece of kit.

Down into my cellar I went and pictured in my head what I wanted to do and how I wanted it to look.

It was simple. I did a few “takes” as it were and then got what I wanted with a few adjustments.

Straight onto the laptop and I know the music I wanted – promptly pointed out by my darling wife that copyright and royalties would be an issue. Damnit. Free source music and a powerful enough track was found, not nearly as good for what I was planning but it would do.

Using software installed on the laptop I did the best I could with the resources I had and do you know what……………..I’m rather pleased with it.

So really what have I learned this week? If you have an idea then run with it. If you have ¬†vision then see it. If you believe in your “product” then promote it. As I have learned there is only one person who truly believes in what I have created and that’s me – I am slowly converting people to my vision but it takes time and I am doing everything I can to self promote and gain some momentum with this.

Here is the link to the finished product!


Alongside this I am running a standard Goodreads competition but have also done my own “like & share” style Facebook competition for a signed copy of my book. It’s all working to slowly but surely expose The Magdon to more and more people. Who knows if it will work, all I know is I can honestly say I am¬†trying.

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