Author Ian K Pulham writes a very honest account of publishing his debut novel through Eventispress:
“Let’s get one thing straight from the start. Having my first novel published by Eventispress is in my world, the finest ‘professional’ type achievement of my life. Nothing in my forty years in the transport industry came anywhere near the thrill of seeing my work in print. And my friends and remaining family members, as well as people I know around Dunstable and beyond, have been supportive, and I believe a little shocked by it all. It’s actually quite funny. I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen in a while, and after the greetings and ‘what have you been up to’s, I hit them with the ‘I’ve had a novel published’ line and watch their reaction. Usually a mixture of confusion and curiosity. My words make grammatical sense, but they take a while to sink in. Does make me chuckle, every time.
And now my book has been available for three months, so friends will naturally ask me how the book is going. My stock reply is ‘It’s ticking along’, which it is. I get sales, here and there. I’ve got fantastic reviews, mainly on Amazon. So grateful to those people for taking time out to support me in that way. It is a real confidence boost.
However, it begs the question, if my book is good, how come it seems to be such an effort to get people to read it?
The answer to that is, I need to work harder. Visit more book shops. Post more stuff online. Send more emails. Build up contacts. Do more talks. The list goes on. And in my defence, I am focused on all those things. But it is not easy to get people to read your stuff. People I know, mainly blokes, always say they are too busy. They’ll read it on holiday. And I know of at least two guys who are reading it on foreign beaches, or airport lounges maybe, as I write this.
It’s a frustration, but then I remember back to when I was working. I’d sometimes go a year without reading a book, and when I did, it would be on holiday. Unless it was a chap’s holiday that is. Didn’t read much of anything on those.
Ladies appear to read more, though they probably rate strong characters above monsters. Judging by my reviews, I’ve got both of those in my book. If I could go back, I’d probably gear the cover and the blurb up more to highlight my lead characters and their interactions. Even the love angle. That’s a lesson learnt. To say all blokes are drunks and all ladies spend their lives buried in romance books is obviously a massive exaggeration. Even for Dunstable. But the truth is, I didn’t really know who I was writing for when I wrote this. And you need to know your audience. Categorisation doesn’t help you either. I would say just about every lady who has read my book, has commented that they don’t usually read these kinds of books. Sci-fi, dystopian…whatever. And I’m sure it’s put guys off too. I don’t know how you get round this. I wouldn’t normally read detective novels, yet I enjoyed Rod’s book. Largely due to the portrayal of the characters within. So, I’m just as guilty.
But to wind this up on a positive note, a fair amount of people have read my book and enjoyed it too. I really couldn’t ask for any more. The truth is, my life is considerably better now having written a book, and then had it published by the wonderful Eventispress. It’s more a spiritual improvement maybe than financial, but in honesty, that was what I was searching for when I began all this around three years ago, so my prayers have been answered.
Therefore, my manta for all this would be – Improve your life: read a book. Improve your life considerably: write a book!”
Thanks so much Ian. Here’s Ian’s novel Ticket to Eden.
Ian, your post raises some vital issues which we will address in the next couple of posts and we’ll finish the series with ‘What Eventispress does to support authors in the marketing of their novel.’ Not a straight forward task or certainly a panacea!
4 thoughts on “‘Ticket To Eden’ ~ Three months on from publication”
Ian and Diana
Thanks to Ian for a very perceptive comment on the joys and low points in collective publishing. I heartily agree with all of this especially the words of gratitude to Eventispress
One comment is that the book trade in the UK is a bit of a minefield and thanks to Diana for helping us to navigate this without too much damage, The other thing to remember is that 188,000 books were published in the UK last year. If we add books published elsewhere the number of books all seeking a reader is very large and finding a small corner of this market is a challenge.
Also, the remarkable thing is that big publishers trash millions of copies of unsold books every year and ‘remainder’ the rest . This is within their business model and they still make a profit. So, if they get it wrong so often in over printing or commissioning we should not be too disappointed.
The market for readers is fierce, there is no magic way to spot a best seller, and thanks to Eventispress we have managed not to lose our shirts. This does not mean we should give up on self marketing but in the wider world of publishing we are small and should not be downcast.
Just a few thoughts
Thank you for your comments Brian. All authors find it hard to ‘self promote’ but the majority have to. I always say, ‘cherish each reader, celebrate every success and gradually you’ll build up an appreciative audience, if you believe in your book enough. Keep believing! Diana