May 2013 Review

Web Site Anniversary News

May marks the beginning of the fourteenth year of this website. This is interesting for a number of reasons, not just relating to writing or the internet, but also to the 21st Century and growing up in general.

Why is it that when you look back it feels like the time has gone by so quickly? And yet it took so long to actually live it at the time. I grew up in the Sixties as an avid viewer of all the Gerry Anderson puppet series, from Supercar to Captain Scarlett. In a way these shaped my interest in Science Fiction as much as Star Trek or Dr Who, maybe more so. As a result they instilled a wonderment and an excitement in the very idea of living in the 21st Century where all these stories were set. I am now into the fourteenth year of the 21st Century and unfortunately, it isn't that exciting after all! No Zero X and no Martian Rock Snakes. Even Gerry himself has left us. I am very sad and disappointed. I also feel immensely distant and disconnected from that time, almost as if it wasn't mine, but someone else's life.

Despite my sadness and disappointment, this century contains many successes, including all of my active publishing. I did do quite a bit of writing in my early years and after I was made redundant from work in the Nineties. But it wasn't until I switched from a typewriter to a PC that I really started to write in earnest. That resulted in my first publishing experiences at around 2005.

Like many aspiring writers I am very familiar with the reject letters from publishers. And although I got to know some of the editors at some of the large publishing houses, and got good feedback from them at the time, I never got any further. Then along came Publish America.

I didn't know much about Publish America when I first contracted with them for The Friendly Ambassador, and I won't go into any of that now. All I knew at the time was that they had said yes when all before had said no. It was because of them that the book was split into four volumes, as it amounted to over thirteen hundred pages all in. I had a good experience with the publishing process with PA, I was involved in the interior layout and the cover design and was very happy with the end results. It was also at this time that I entered into 3D Graphic Art in order to be able to create the cover images used on this book and nearly all of my other titles. In the end, Publish America contracted two volumes from The Friendly Ambassador, but then declined any further volumes, mainly I think because I am based in the UK, but I suppose I will never really know. But by then my teeth were well and truly cut. I knew exactly how to format the interior files for a book and how to set up the cover with a specific spine width. I also knew how to create images to go on that cover using cutting edge CGI figures and props from DazStudio, Poser and Bryce. By the time BookSurge merged with CreateSpace I had ten books published, all formatted and set out how I wanted them with covers I had created. I had complete control, Mr Bond. Sorry, that just came out because I couldn't help it.

Seven years is a long time for a publishing contract, but both books are now back with me. And now I find that the emergence of digital publishing means that the paperback editions are secondary. Does that mean that the traditional publishing houses will go the way of those Martian Rock Snakes? Maybe, maybe not. But it was something I would never have considered when I was reading all those reject letters back in the last century. It also didn't occur to me while watching Thunderbirds either.

See you next time.

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