September 2006 Review

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“The Friendly Ambassador: Changes” has now been published by BookSurge on my behalf. It is already available to order on and on, but I haven't received my author copy yet. When I have I will let you know how it compares to the two previous Publish America books.

If my venture with BookSurge proves to be a success -and I mean by that that the book gets much the same reach and visability as the two Publish America books- then I will consider self-publishing a few more of my stories. Apart from the last part of “The Friendly Ambassador,” I will probably pick the two most successful stories on my website, “An Affair of the Heart” and “The Look of Love.” Doing the covers for these two books will be a bit different as they are contemporary stories, no science-fiction aliens or gun-toting women! It will be a different challenge if I decide to do them myself. BookSurge can do the covers at a reasonable cost, so I might try my hand at some romantic book covers before I decide.

I must say that I never really thought about self-publishing when I started writing. It seemed a far too expensive alternative. However, technology has changed that, and for about $150.00 and a bit of work you can get a book published that you have complete and utter control over. And I don't have to worry about rejections. Of course, none of this guarrentees sales. This is why I can only compare visibility with the Publish America books, as I do and have done very little marketing myself. This is the difference with mainstream publishers who do aggressively market a book they have invested in, that's why it is difficult being picked up by one of them. They don't want to spend their money unless they are pretty sure of getting it back in sales. Publish America has a different approach. They don't go for big sales on a small and vigourously scrutineered book list, although they will take big sales if they are fortunate enough to get a book that is a success, but instead they go for small sales on lots of different books taken on in a less vigourous manner. In this way they give a start to a lot of people who would otherwise never get a look in. They are a half-way house between the mainstream publishers and self-publishing, and in that respect they give a very good service. If I hadn't been turned down by them for my third book I would have been happy to stay with them. As it is, it wasn't to be. But I thank them for their work and involvement in my books so far, and they still remain as my publishers for “The Friendly Ambassador: The Beginning of the End” and “The Friendly Ambassador: A Gathering of Angels,” so our relationship isn't over. Hopefully it will continue to be a good one.

With my relationship with BookSurge just beginning, I shouldn't forget my other new venture: Amazon Shorts. I also have two stories taken on by Amazon Shorts, “A Fine Woman” and “Wagstaff and McClean.” Both stories have been reviewed and I can't fault the findings of the reviewer. As a result I think I will try to stick to writing English based contemporary stories rather than delving into American dialogue! You know what they say, write what you know. Maybe that's why the Manchester based “An Affair of the Heart” and “The Look of Love” do so well.

Gosh! I now have three publishers: Publish America, Amazon Shorts and, er, me.

What do you think of it so far? Email me!

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