What a palaver! You've typed out your novel and you need to do something with it. You need letters to agents and/or editors, a synopsis, sample chapters and in some cases copies of the full manuscript and then you join the longest queue in the world - the would-be debut novelists trying to find a well-known mainstream publisher for their work. It seems too as if the older you are the less chance you have. You examine all avenues and there's the warning lurking in the background. Don't fall prey to Vanity Publishers. Self publish at your peril and forever feel ashamed. Then you meet all these writers of a 'certain age' who've been trying for years and years - and more years - to publish. A friendly phone call comes along eager to publish and you say, 'I'm waiting to hear from blah di blah,' internationally renowned publisher (but you don't know you're number twenty eight thousand on the list.) Eventually you hear and it's a rejection - and you think of that friendly phone call. 'Yes, we do publish any old rubbish as you say but it's up to you, the author, to make sure it's not rubbish,' he says and, 'No it's not horrendously expensive because it's POD.' 'POD'? 'Print on Demand'. Wonderful. Abandon the carefully targeted letters, the synopsis and the long waits. In comes the website information, cover design, author information and back page photo and blurb. What fun! It's all happening and the novel could be ready for sale in weeks. I've swallowed my pride and invested a bit of my retirement lump sum. Life is too short for the long wait and there's a danger of running out of steam at my age. Also there's a very special lady in Nairobi who is now ninety four and I want her to read a tribute to her life's work - very soon. Thank you Darren in Oxford, Raphael in Canada and thank you Trafford.
A huge lorry arrives with a tiny first proof copy. Gerry, marketing manager par excellence, leaps for the camera.
Image: The first proof copy arrives
Image: Marketing Manager Gerry
Image: Scan of first proof cover
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