My book and publishing

13 Jul

I am sorry if anybody has turned to this blog in search of English Language teaching tips or methodology; there are none in here, because there are so many blogs out there talking about these two things, while I prefer to use this blog as a way of talking about my hobbies and interests, and, alas, methodology is not high on the list.

So, what have I learned about self-publishing my book, a novel set in Bydgoszcz, Poland, a thriller combined with a crime story and a love story? On the positive side, it has been a great experience, and I have enjoyed learning about so many aspects of publishing. Secondly the feeling of having achieved something just by completing something was great. I don’t pretend to be a 21st Century Le Carre or Graham Greene, though these are both writers I admire. So now to the book.  Well, the most important thing is that in the first edition of the book there were enough typos and howlers to remind me to proof read much better, and so I adjusted accordingly and went through the book with a tooth and comb and still there were one or two typos, and so it went on. Now I understand the difficulty even the most experienced proof reader faces.

The second thing about the publishing process in this case is the fact that you have to do your own marketing. You can’t pretend that everyone on your Facebook account is going to want to buy the book, or even read it, or even your friends and family who are not out there in cyber space. But this is where you begin, without shoving it down their throats. So, what to do. Word of mouth is not enough, especially if you want people to part with their hard-earned cash. I know people who have publishing launches in bookshops. But my book is set abroad, and I’m selling it not just on feed a read and amazon, but also trying to sell it in Poland.

That’s the thing I’m coming to. I thought, since the book is set in Bydgoszcz, surely the English language bookshop in Bydgoszcz would be interested? Given the fact that not everyone in Byd speaks English and certainly doesn’t read it to the standard of the book, and they’re hard pressed enough as it is, I suspected a no and I got one. If I’d published another version of it using a Polish printers it might have been possible to do something.  I also tried the tourist office with the rebuke (after considering it) (justified) that they didn’t sell fiction, they sold guide books and leaflets.

So I’m thinking of other routes: the radio comes to mind. I used to know the person who ran a TV arts show in Bydgoszcz, but she’s moved on. So I will from now on occaisonally issue bulletins about various aspects of this. But do get it if you’re interested, it’s on the amazon.co.uk and other amazon websites, and it’s also available from feed a read. Soon I will be talking about why I wrote the book I did.

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