Hazel Buchanan

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And so the journey begins...

Posted by Hazel Buchanan on 20 January, 2016 at 1:45

As I've already explained elsewhere, I am one of the 'unworthy' ones: one of - possibly a dying breed - of writers who dares to dream of the (nearly) unattainable.


I want to be published.


I am not a former journalist, editor or publisher, my degree was neither in Literature nor in Creative Writing, I haven't even done a prohibitively expensive, six-month, industry-based writing course. In short, I have no 'writing qualifications'. Persona non grata - that's me. Apparently, I am not a good risk.


But why 'a dying breed'? For two good reasons.


Casting a jaundiced eye around the web, I am left with the unassailable impression that, despite a few protestations to the contrary from an ever-decreasing number of agents and publishers, almost no-one, in Australia at least, will seriously consider a submission from an author with no writing credentials or publishing history. Getting a novel into print has never been easy, I know. But just as the current climate decrees that nary a youngster without a degree can lay claim to a career in any white collar business, so the publishing industry seems to require proof that a writer can write. Do they no longer trust their own evaluation?


'Sour grapes?' I hear you ask. Not a bit of it! Well, alright, perhaps a little. I made my submissions…


My second reason is far less emotive and contentious. It is, of course, that, for those of us who have been soundly rejected, getting published is no longer unachievable. Thanks to a burgeoning range of companies and publishing platforms, all made possible by our great Saviour, the Wonderfully Welcoming Web, we can find ourselves in print at the press of a button, in the blink of an eye. Well, perhaps not quite. Which brings me to the purpose of this blog…

 

I've made the leap. Or, to be more exact, I am in the act of making it. I have made the decision to join the ranks of the great unwashed. I am going to self-publish. And for my own interest, if for nobody else's, I'm going to document some small part of the experience.

 

So, where exactly am I at?

 

My eldest son has recently started selling fitness products on Amazon. In Japan, as it happens. And with some success. I have to say, he has earned my admiration. The hurdles he has overcome would undoubtedly have daunted, if not flattened, most adventurers. But Jack and his business partner simply power on, forging their way through the jungle of commerce that is patents, agents, customs brokers, financiers, factories, freighters, designers, intermediaries, translators and so on and so forth. Until the product makes its way to the warehouse of the retailing giant. And then they have to make a sale. And so they do. It seems to work.

 

So, Jack says to me, "Why not publish your book yourself and sell it on Amazon?" And, of course, it's not the first time that the idea has passed through my head. But it is the first time my son, the entrepreneur, has suggested it. And somehow that gives it more credibility. Quite how I am going to market it, is a whole new story. But, as Jack says, you've got to have a product first. Then you can work out how to sell it.


And that's what I'm doing. The book is well and truly written. It's been edited and proof-read to within an inch of its life. But up until this week, it had been formatted as a manuscript to present to a trade publisher. Only when I signed up with KDP and CreateSpace did I realize the significance of that…

 


 

Categories: Getting Published

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