You go through a slightly strange period when you finish writing a book. At some point after finishing it, and whilst going through an editing and re-drafting cycle until you’re happy that it is totally done, you actually get brave enough to tell people that you’ve written a novel. Brave enough because you’re worried that they’ll laugh in your face because they don’t think you can string a sentence together, or because you’ve just admitted to spending the last year playing make-believe on your laptop. And yes you do get some mixed reactions – there are so many ways of expressing the word ‘really’. Happily the vast majority of people have offered their congratulations, feeling that it is an achievement to have done it. And having said so to other authors, I suppose that it is.
So you’d think that that was the hard work done then. Oh no. As a self-published author – which is a bit like John Cleese in the Fawlty Towers sketch where he plays the part of lots of different people who run the hotel – the hard work is only really starting. You take on the role of the typesetter and research the popular and outdated fonts for novel writing before getting obsessive about the placement of every margin, the graphic designer for the cover, the solicitor to go through all the legal and financial stuff with Amazon and it’s subsidiaries, the marketing guy to look at campaigns on Amazon and social media, and so it goes on and on.
So I genuinely thank every single person who’s patted me on the back in some way for finishing The Hand of an Angel, but that was really the easy bit compared with the promotional work to get as many folks out there as possible reading it. Roll on going back to the easy part of writing a book again!