What's all this about? A new type of blogging platform that you can actually EARN on? Surely that's too good to be true.
Of course, being on the internet since God were a lad as they say in these parts, I know that if it looks too good to be true, it's actually Too good to be true - but this time I was WRONG! Not only was I dead wrong, I'm happy to admit to it too.
If you're curious about blogging on a site where you could earn actual money, WITHOUT spending any, click HERE to go to my page.
I came with the notion of sharing my books. I DID share my books! Though my books are NOT self-published - they are small, Indie-press published - to all intents and purposes, at least to the Publishing Industry, they actually are classed as 'self published' and will not be considered unless there has been sales in at least 5 figures (10,000s plus). I'm pretty sure my books haven't sold in those quantities - not even if I put all the sales all together.
So, my four full novels in my Wolf series cannot be pitched - that's a shame.
Dusty the Demon Hunter - Dream Lover - Amazon Link
Penny Dreadfuls - Amazon Link
Ash and the Favour-Man - Amazon Link
From the start of my working life, I've never known what I wanted to do as a career (a little before, if I'm honest, 'Careers advice' at school started a couple of years before we left at 16).
That 'Careers advice' at school was worse than useless. We live in an area of high social deprivation (the town next to us was once #2 on the social deprivation chart and our area was #5 - not good!) the advice for me and my 'career' was:
Office girl, factory girl or shop girl. Then, the hopes and aspirations reached to - get married, have kids and settle for what you can get.
I don't like to 'settle' for anything. I dropped lucky in the fact that Trev and I were going steady by the time I did leave school and he has always been one to want that little bit more, a better life than we could have expected given the social economics surrounding us.
Yes, I eventually went onto factory work - I stayed at that job almost five years and then I set-up my own factory and started producing original merchandise for large PLCs.
When I took a part-time job as Door Security (Bouncer), I started watching people with greater interest. I had some good teachers back then and watching people saved your bacon if you knew what you were doing.
I had a lot of time to think - it's not all fighting and throwing people out, a lot of the time is spent waiting for something to happen. During that 'down-time', I thought and I watched people.
My mind went towards making scenarios for stories and one evening, a slow night at a newly-re-opened club, I watched the full moon rise over the miss-matched rooftops across the street and an image came to my mind.
Someone, coat flapping behind him, leaping from rooftop to rooftop in an agile steeple-chase. I could almost see him in my mind, framed by the perfect full moon.
"Can you imagine someone leaping across those rooftops?" I said to the receptionist, Lolly.
"Ooh yes," she said. "Vampire?"
But Vampire didn't ring quite true for me. I shook my head. "No, Werewolf."
That night, around 3am, right after work, I got home with no notion of trying to sleep. I couldn't possibly rest with all that going off in my head. I started writing.
Trev gave me a year off work to write my book. I stayed at the part-time job of Door Supervisor and did my NVQ (vocational training certificate) in venue security and I wrote my book.
I started sending the book to publishers - I followed the guidelines to the letter and sometimes I received a reply. One particular reply was so promising that I showed another of my writer friends and she told me how awesome the reply was. I followed the advice in the letter and sent it back. That agent had gone - split up, it was no longer there. **GUTTED!**
At 170,000 words, I was advised by a lot of people that it was too big - especially for a debut novel and the Editor in Chief at Gollancz seemed interested in my book. Gollancz published Terry Pratchett and also publish David Gemmell and naive me thought all my ships had come in at once.
The advice to cut it in half was taken seriously by me and I set to work. After all, I had a contact and I had actually 'pitched' my novel to an Editor and she was interested! I found out later (only recently) that is a REALLY BIG DEAL!
I sent off the edited half of my book and I waited.
Unfortunately, the reply came back months later - 'Sorry, not for us.'
I went to another publisher and he promised me the moon on a stick! I signed a contract and heard nothing more from him, despite his 'contacts' with someone high up in Random House (Sister-in-law I think he said) and Gary Oldman (I did tell you I was naive and believed everything people told me). The contract came toward the end of the expiry date and I contacted him to find out if there had been any developments in getting me the moon - or even the stick. Damnit! He'd gone too! What is it with me and agents? Am I a Jonah for them?
Then, as a gift to show how much he supported me in my efforts to get published, Trev paid for a review. I do wish he'd told me he was planning to do that because it's a big no-no to purchase a review.
The review came back. I started reading it. The person had read my bio - at that time I was playing a lot of QII (Quake 2) and becoming quite good (one of the best girls in the UK at one time). It seems that the reviewer had taken the gaming part of my bio and assumed it was one of the role-playing games that were out at that time and assumed I'd written my book around that. The reviewer tore me apart in that review - hardly mentioning the book, story, plotlines, characters, character development at all.
I didn't touch the book for more than a year because of that review. Trev was distraught. He thought he'd ruined it all for me.
Then came the idea to publish the book despite the industry's opinions. We set about researching self-publishing.
Matador came out on top as a self-publishing aid - Vanity Press is the term. I worked out that to get books down to a price that I could actually sell them at without making a loss, I would have to order 1000 paperbacks, with 100 hardbacks for good measure. That was going to cost between £6,000 and £8,000 - back when £8 grand was a lot of money!
That was without professional editing and formatting!
We couldn't afford it, but Trev said we'd do it anyway. The contract from Matador came back, we looked it over and decided to go ahead!
Then one of my friends, Nick, phoned me, he had a friend...
The friend came over with Nick and we chatted about publishing. Phil Gardiner is a published author. He's also a film maker and he is, to date, one of the most famous people I've met.
Phil said, "You can do all this on your own, you know. It won't cost £8 grand and you'll be published world-wide."
Following his advice, six weeks later, I had the first copy of my first novel firmly in my hands! Walking on air!
It turns out, I would have been way off the mark with 1000 paperbacks and 100 hardbacks because my Facebook presence took over and everyone wanted the hardbacks!
The advice from Phil Gardiner stood me in good stead and whilst I've not made much from publishing my books, I'm in profit.
I went on to do a few other projects with Phil, which is why I have an IMDB page too.
Back to Steemit then...
I've written a great deal on this platform. I've made a living from my writing because of it and I'm so very grateful for it. Having said that, my dream was always to publish with one of the Big Six - whether that will happen even now, or not, I don't know, but I really do have to give it another go.
You see, the feedback I receive from the people of Steemit is invaluable. It was the reason I stayed here when I was getting nothing in upvotes and it's still top of the list of things I look for when writing on my blog.
My plan is to re-release the books I have already 'out there', but I also want to give Trad Pub another try. I owe it to my characters.
So, if you're up for it, I'll be documenting my journey in the big wide world of seeking an Agent, writing queries, synopsis, and most of all, more novels.
Here we go then... into the wide, blue yonder!