Like so many budding authors, I have had my fair share of rejections. This comes with the territory. More wounding were the acceptances which turned out to be false dawns. A few years ago, I had a manuscript accepted for publishing by a seemingly respectable house, a specialist in New Age topics and alternative therapies. As my novel was firmly based in that milieu, I thought it had found its home. The first inkling that the publisher might not be all that I thought was when they asked for a contribution to the costs of editing and preparing the first edition for the press.
Vanity Publishing, screamed a voice in my head, but when I looked into it further I found that many smaller firms engage in “collaborative” funding of unknown authors. I bit the bullet and handed over the cash. And waited…. And waited some more. Things were complicated by the fact that the publisher was in the West Coast of the US and I was resident in the UK, so chasing them up was a little impractical. They ended up going bankrupt, to cut a long story short, and left a lot of otherwise mellow New Age practitioners saying some very uncharitable things about them.
.. Fast forward a few years to find me browsing my newly-gifted Kindle to see what catches my fancy. One of my first reads was the free brochure from Amazon themselves about how to publish on the Kindle. Amazingly, almost all you need to do is create an account, tidy up your text (the fewer fancy bullets and text formatters the better), upload it and decide on a price (I went for the minimum of 99c and 99p). The review process is pretty quick – before I knew it I had two novels published, both of them made available to the masses on Christmas Day.
In fact, it was like a Christmas present to myself – when people asked me what I had done over the holidays I could say “oh, well, I published a couple of novels I had sitting around” to dropped jaws all round. One thing I didn’t appreciate at this point was that you don’t even need a Kindle reader to read books distributed via Amazon (meaning that your potential audience is even wider than the Kindle user base). I now have very usable free Kindle readers installed in my PCs and iPhone.
They all sync up wirelessly and seamlessly behind the scenes, so that whatever point I may have reached in my current book on the Kindle is where I’ll be taken when firing up the PC or iPhone version. So, where does that leave me? I have two published works in the Kindle store and an author page on Amazon (look for Mark Kelly or Mark Kelly Alpha Lab on either the US or UK website). My second novel (Obsession) was very different in style and was a more caustic and humorous look at relationships.
It was actually written as my entry to the National Novel Writers Month competition, which takes place every November, and requires a full novella length entry to be prepared from beginning to end within a single month.
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