August 2004 Review

Writing Progress

No progress on the writing front this month as usual. This time I have an excuse of sorts. My relationship with PublishAmerica, a small independent publisher who I told you last month had accepted “The Friendly Ambassador”, has moved on a bit. I have now signed a contract with them and the details of what will actually be published are being thrashed out. As “The Friendly Ambassador” is a very long story, they have shied away from publishing the whole thing. I can understand this as it does come to nearly five hundred thousand words. Even I didn't realise it was that big until I did a word count. So it will be split into four parts, much as it appears on the List Page. The first book will encompass the prologue and first twenty chapters. This comes in at about one hundred and thirty thousand words. I have been preparing it this past month. So what does that mean?

PublishAmerica want the book in as near as possible to the final edited version. They want me to send them a file with it looking as I would like it to appear on the page. So I have been doing just that. I have re-edited and re-formatted the document a number of times now, ironing out things I wrote over a year ago. I have chosen Times New Roman at font size 16 so that it does look like it would appear in a typical paperback book. This would give about four hundred pages, so it isn't going to be a short book! I have also followed their style guide and written the back cover trailer with a short biography. I am also looking into the possibilities for cover art. PublishAmerica provide this but do allow my input, so I have been having a think about it and doing some research in bookshops. One illustrator has caught my eye so I have been in touch with him and his agent. I'll let you know what happens (and if I can afford it!).

Having never been involved in all this before it does seem a bit like a do-it-yourself way of working. It isn't what I expected at all, but PublishAmerica are a small publisher. At least I am more involved and I now have an idea of what my book will look like in the end if it all goes well. PublishAmerica produce what are known as trade paperbacks. These are a bit larger than the normal paperback. I have seen a few on their website and on and they seem alright. The problem is going to be whether the book will sell, and if PublishAmerica can produce enough books to meet the demand if it does. I know that they won't produce thosands of my book straight off, they are a small publisher and I am an unknown. I accept that. No one else took me on, did they? But it's in their interest to make money, so I don't see why they wouldn't produce that many if the demand was there. My worse fears are that the book won't sell at all and that they will be left with unsold stock.

My original euphoria has now descended into mere anxiety, and I still haven't finished “A Fine Woman”.

If you would be interested in buying a copy of a real book version of “The Friendly Ambassador” when it is published, email me with your details and I will contact you when it comes out.