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Saturday, 20 July 2013

An e-book journey

How long does it take to write a book is a question I have been asked many times over the last few weeks. Usually for me, quite a long time. I am a slow writer and because I'm not a planner I usually have to re-draft several times.

This week I have achieved a goal which has been on my 'to do' list for several years. I have published a romantic novel under the name of Lucy Cooper.

This story was begun on a whim about 5 years ago while we were holidaying in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.

After our traditional English breakfast I would be hanging around while everyone else got themselves ready, so on the second day I sat in the conservatory at the back of our holiday cottage, picked up my notebook and started to write. I probably wrote, in rough form, the first three chapters that week and over the next few months returned to the story at intervals, adding, polishing and enjoying the writing process. I came to adore my heroine, Kate, and don't tell my husband, but I rather fell in love with my hero Patrick.

Then, when I felt it was ready, I sent the novel to several agents. Here are a few of the comments I  received;-

I was called 'an accomplished writer', which was lovely.

I have a 'good voice'. Again, just what you want to hear.

They liked my writing style and thought the romantic storyline had potential.

One agent told me it was just the sort of book she liked to read.

Several agencies asked for the whole manuscript.

One agent asked to meet me.

So there were a lot of positive responses

Despite all of this praise, none of them wanted to take my novel.

I had a 'but' of my own. I refused to be deterred!
I vowed to myself that once it was the best that it could possibly be I would publish this story myself. Yes, I could have tried more agents but I decided it would be interesting to take matters into my own hands. So I have dipped my toe for the very first time into the e-publishing market and I am so glad that I did. It has been an educational process. Instead of just thinking about the story I have had to consider fonts, layout, blurb and covers. It has made me look at books in a different and more creative way. Despite taking part in a day course six months ago about uploading your book to Kindle, I decided to employ someone to do the formatting for me. Maybe next time if I tackle a shorter book then I will feel confident enough to do that myself. My daughter has done the cover and I am thrilled with it. I love the fresh colours and she has captured Kate perfectly. The uploading process to Amazon Kindle was very straightforward even for a technophobe like myself and the sense of achievement when I got confirmation that it had worked was a lovely feeling. All in all the whole process has been really enjoyable.

So, if you've got precious manuscripts wallowing in drawers and they are stories which tug at your heartstrings, which call to you from time to time, begging for another chance, then give them an airing. Re-work them if needs be and try your hand at e-publishing so that someone else can love them too. What have you got to lose?

And if you ever get the chance to visit Yorkshire, grab it. It is an absolute gem with stunning landscapes, beautiful coastline, awe-inspiring buildings and lovely, friendly people. It really is an inspirational place to visit.

Thank you for reading and have a good week.


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