A few years ago now I was simultaneously dropped (abruptly and somewhat traumatically for me) by my (ex) agent and mainstream UK publisher. Rather than let my books fall out of print I went Indie, (which is the accepted term, now, for 'self-publish' but usually refers to authors who use a company to help produce their books, rather than the literal D.I.Y. way of doing things.)
I messed up. I went to a company that I thought was honest. They were initially called BookForce. Then changed to Discovered Authors. Then changed to Callio - and went bankrupt. Although I suspect the previous two 'companies' had previously run out of money as well. Rogues / con men / scammers seem to change names a lot, I have since discovered.
I was fortunate, that the 'publisher' (in hindsight I use the term sparingly and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) kept me sweet because I was valuable to him. I received some (though I suspect not all) of my UK royalties. Never saw a penny (or a cent) of the US sales, but I doubt there were many anyway as the books were rarely in print because printer's bills were never paid.
The staff were not paid either, so they eventually walked out - leaving an almighty mess for the owner to sort out. Good for them!
I was already aware the company was about to go belly-up (I was, and still am friends with some of those lovely staff members who also got conned) so I was prepared for when the lights (literally) went out.
I took my books to Helen Hart at SilverWood Books Ltd based in Bristol. Best thing I ever did!
Helen Hart (it is a tad confusing that we both share the same initials even our middle names; we're both HMH!) describes her personally run assisted publishing company as a "boutique style" enterprise with specific clientele, ideas goods that fit into a homely-feel niche. Indeed, I think most of the SilverWood authors feel as if we are all a part of an extended family.
Soon after the first two of my Sea Witch Voyages were published my editor, Jo Field, and I started getting e-mails from potential indie authors asking for advice - ranging from 'what does P.O.V. mean?' to 'can you suggest a good font to use?'
We soon became somewhat weary of answering the same questions so produced an A4 attachment to send as a reply. That soon expanded to six pages, then twelve. Which then became an article on my website.
Then Helen Hart suggested expanding it still further and publishing it as an e-book. Which then appeared in printed book form. It is only a little book, but it contains twenty-plus years of my writing experience - experience gained, mostly, via discovering how not to do it, plus quite a few year's worth of Jo's expert editing knowledge.
It is called Discovering the Diamond because most novels start out as a mere mud-covered lump of rock which has to be cleaned and polished, and cut, and then polished again and again until it shines.
If our little book can help even just a few writers achieve their dream and produce a well-written, absorbing read that is professionally produced and of a quality standard that matches - if not surpasses - traditional mainstream books then that's all we want.
SilverWood have produced a FREE* collection of samples from ten different authors for readers to browse. It is a blend of fiction and non-fiction to introduce the reader to new "good reads" with an excerpt from my Discovering The Diamond included.
Helen Hart says:
We hope there’s something within this anthology to tempt and excite every reader. Whether your taste is for a political thriller, romantic comedy, historical or alternative history…or for poetry, creative writing, a focus on the suffragettes…or you know you’d be transported by the story of one Englishman’s obsession with a half-frozen, roughly duck-shaped island in the cold North Atlantic…there should be something in these digital pages for you, or your friends. We’re showcasing some bestselling and best-loved authors in this first SilverWood Selection Box. And best of all? It’s free!'*
the Selection Box is also available from Kindle, Nook etc but may not be free of charge.
Paperback : Amazon UK £7.99
Kindle : Amazon UK £1.99
Paperback : Amazon.com $12.00
Kindle : Amazon.com $3.10
Or want to sample a taster first?
Contact SILVERWOOD BOOKS LTD HERE
and they will send you the FREE SELECTION BOX
|(Your free sample e-book |
will not be delivered until after Easter
please allow at least 10 days for e-delivery)
why not dip into some other delicious
blog posts by some of the authors
included in the Selection Box
to taste a sample of the riches
awaiting any avid reader?
Leave a comment below and I will choose
one lucky person to receive a free copy of
Discovering The Diamond
(open World Wide - comments left on my
Let's Talk of Many Things Blog
only count for the competition.
Closes midday 4th April 2015 UK time)
If you have read a book and enjoyed it please leave a comment on Amazon (UK, US & Canada) Four or five star comments can help an author by boosting the Amazon Ranking List. Thank you