I am taking part in the 5 Year Project, and my aim is to get a novel written and published.
As regular readers know, I have partly succeeded, because I have written two novels. The first one is historical fiction, set in the Tang Dynasty, China. Sadly the novel remains unpublished. I have been unable to get an agent interested, despite good feedback. Either agents don’t “feel passionate” or it’s “not the type of thing we’re looking for.”
I can’t find any other novels set in the Tang era, apart from fantasies and mythologies, and so I guess it would be a commercial leap to invest in the book.
In the meantime, I’ve written a sci-fi space-adventure novel, for the YA market. It doesn’t have the literary merit of the first novel, but is full of action, excitement, and a considerable amount of violence!
One agent was interested. Very interested. But that was nearly 6 months ago and despite several chasing emails I have heard nothing since. I haven’t sent the novel to any other agent because, to be quite frank, I’ve had enough of writing grovelling letters and waiting months for the rejections to come in.
Last year I wrote and self-published a non-fiction book, ‘Walking the English Coast’. I enjoyed the freedom self-publishing gave me. Of course, I worked with editors and proof-readers, and had a professional cover designer. Now I get a significant pay-back in terms of royalties for every book sold, and I know I can republish, re-edit, re-launch and generally do what I want with the book, because it is MINE.
A couple of people have read and critiqued the latest draft of my sci-fi book. Both are writers and avid readers, and I trusted them to give honest feedback. Which they have done.
Now it’s time for the final major edit. After that is done, I will need to tidy up grammar and sentence structure, organise proofreading, lay out, cover design, blurb-writing… and then get stuck into the dreaded marketing.
Despite all the work involved in self-publishing, I will have the intense satisfaction of knowing the novel is mine, all mine, and every single aspect of its production was instigated and owned by me.