I know the ups and I've experienced many of the downs of a writer getting his work published through an agent.

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Many years ago, in the dark days before the personal computer shone a light on the world of writers, I wrote my stories, books and poems on a portable typewriter. My only aid to writing was reams of A4 paper, stacks of buff coloured A4 envelopes, a jar full of first class stamps, a Thesaurus, a copy of ‘The Writers and Artists Year Book’ and a bottle of tippex fluid. Oh, and buckets full of coffee.

Every chance I had to write I did it. I borrowed my parent’s bedroom to write in as it was the quietest in our home. And I would send query letter after query letter to literary agents and to publishers. Did I get a good response? No, but I did manage to paper my bedroom walls with all the rejection letters I received. Rejection letters, I hasten to add, I had to pay for because agents insisted on a self-addressed envelope with stamps so they could reply and tell me how my story stinks.

I was about twenty-seven I guess when I really started ramping up my writing and querying. What changed that was the release of the Sinclair Spectrum home computer, the Amstrad CPC computer and eventually the Amstrad PC. At one stage I owned no less that six computers and I had given up writing stories for writing software. I even had the very first, probably a world first, cook book almost published. It was called MicroChef and it was, or would have been, published for the Sinclair Spectrum by a company called Logic3 in High Wycombe. The publisher had everything ready and even had a pro-photographer take pictures of me for the official launch. Two days later, Logic3 went bust.

It wasn’t until the advent of the Kindle that I realised I could actually publish my own work. What was sneered at as Vanity Publishing became the way to publish and suddenly the Indie Author was in vogue.

Since then I have published 20 books, 18 of which are still on sale and mostly still selling.

I have even published a book for a friend. The actual process of publishing was straightforward from reviewing, to proof reading, to editing, to beta reading, publishing and marketing. It even sold quite well as a paperback on Amazon, no mean feat I can tell you. The difficulty was the author, who failed to inform me he didn’t want his book on Amazon, he only wanted two paperback copies for his grandchildren. I still have vexed feelings about this person.

I’m telling you these sad tales not for sympathy, but for understanding that I have been through the gamut of publishing. I know how the process works, I know the ups and I’ve experienced many of the downs. All this is not meant to deter you from publishing. It is meant to encourage you to self publish or at least approach a small indie publisher. It would be nice to be published through a major publishing house and have an agent, but most of us will never reach those giddy heights. But you can, and should, seek out help to get your book out there. It’s a lot simpler process if you know what you’re doing and you do it well.

Good luck, and good writing.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020

My Books on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited