How hard can it be to publish a book?
Well, it turns out it can be very hard indeed. And frustrating. And confidence destroying.
It's four months since I published my first novel Mummy's Girl by Lucinda Fox and I feel like I've been through the wringer ever since...but on a positive note I have learned loads of things. Here are a few of them.
1. It doesn't matter how many times you and your team proof-read. There will always be mistakes! I think they breed in there. I've found (or had pointed out to me) a toe-curling number of errors in the first print of Mummy's Girl. Hopefully this will be sorted out this weekend but knowing that my story is out there with typos in it has done nothing to boost my confidence!
2. I need to be able to do more than just write. In fact, writing the story is the easy bit. What I lack are all the ancillary computer skills. I am totally reliant on other people to do things for me. I have ideas but I can't get them out of my head and into my laptop which places me entirely at the mercy of others. And guess what? I hate it! I need to learn.
3. You have to push yourself forward. Ha ha ha.
4. It takes more time to market the book than it does to write it... always assuming that you know where to start. Which I don't!
But am I down-hearted?!
Well, maybe a little overwhelmed is closer to the truth. But nobody said it would be easy so I shall strive onwards.
I've written the next book in the Kitty Cooper series - Reality Bites which is about what happens when Lydia's family volunteers to be on a reality TV programme. The initial feedback from my team of alpha-readers is fab and very encouraging.
I'm aiming for publication at the start of the summer holidays and I'm going to have a go at relaunching Mummy's Girl before then. I'm so lucky though. I have a small but very loyal body of teenage girls around me and that's what kept me going when I've felt like just abandoning the whole project. They have been kind and non-judgemental and I feel privileged that so many of them have read my book and told me how much they enjoyed it.
So onwards Imogen, onwards.