Two years ago today, I received this email from Charlie and Amie at the Six Month Novel programme. I remember doing a happy dance around my kitchen reading it as I realised that there was a good story there just waiting to be told!
And then the hard work began. Four weeks of plotting and planning, four months of writing and four weeks of editing the first chapter. I wrote “The End” around the 1st March 2015.
Then life kind of got in the way. If you read my end of year post ‘2015 – A Bit Of A Year’ (https://insertmonkeyhere.wordpress.com/2015/12/30/2015-a-bit-of-a-year/) – then you’ll already know that last year had a few ups and downs.
It wasn’t until April of this year that I really got renewed vigour for writing. I attended a World Book Night event at Stoke Lodge Hotel, where Lesley Pearce regaled us with tales of her writing journey (and penchant for Sean Bean!). Various self-published authors also took to the floor and shared their experiences of that journey and their relative successes. Which made me think…if they can do it, so can I.
And it was on that day I decided to do it! I said to myself that at World Book Night in 2017 I would be the one standing up and telling people what I’d achieved!
I had already submitted to a number of agents by that point, receiving stock replies of ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and ‘keep writing’. Having heard these self-published authors stand up and explain how they had got their books out there, I was more determined than ever.
I explored the opportunity of assisted self-publishing through third parties such as Matador and also attended a number of workshops by pure self-published authors in my genre at Tiverton Literary Festival. I also met some lovely authors at Urban Writers Residential Retreats, who also provided me with invaluable advice on the whole process.
After sitting down with a pros and cons list of both (plus weighing up costs), I decided to go it alone and do it all myself. I was in a fortunate position of being able to have the time and funds available to dedicate to the editing, cover design and marketing process.
So I did it! Having wrestled with Createspace, Kindle Direct Publishing and Draft2Digital over the last month or so, I am proud of what I have achieved. Not just writing an 81,000 word novel, but taking control of the elements of the process and doing things the way I want.
If you don’t buy the book and therefore don’t get to the acknowledgements, you’ll see how important the Six Month Novel programme and the other super supportive writers were to kick start the idea that had been floating around for many, many years. I’m hoping they’ll continue as I work on the sequel…
Thanks to everyone for their support so far, it is much appreciated.
Now, Book 2!
Love Julie x