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The runaway train has ben sent on it's way....

To borrow Jezza’s catchphrase, “Some say,” some say that life is a journey, a journey dictated by one’s decision making, but sometimes there are too many choices, too many reviews and too much advice. How can one be sure to make the correct decision? The simple answer is that “you can’t”, one can only make a choice based on the information available and then have no regrets about the choice; move on and make another choice if one needs to.

Choosing a publisher was difficult; yes we had a recommendation, but the cost was higher than expected. There were cheaper options available, but all had quite a few negative reviews; we wanted the best product we could get so decided to stick with the recommended publisher, “Publishing Push”, and lit the blue touch paper. The process commenced with many forms to be completed, including a “brief” for the cover designer, something that would be worked upon whilst the manuscript was being copy edited and proofread.

Hours of our life were lost googling the internet and watching videos from self published authors, making notes of all the tips to help make one’s publication a success. This research highlighted several things; firstly, that writing the manuscript was just the tip of the iceberg as far as getting a book published is concerned, and that “completing the manuscript is just the start” - they are not wrong.

Secondly, it was going to be up to us to ‘market’ our book ourselves which, in turn, meant many more hours searching the internet and YouTube for help, and believe me, there is no shortage of opinion on the subject. A few ‘must haves’ emerged, with a website and an Instagram account top of the list.

Oh, and add in the fact that in the beginning Judith and I had very different desires with regard to the success of the book. I was very excited, and would have been very happy indeed, to be able to hold and then put ‘my book’ onto my bookshelf. Judith, on the other hand, will accept nothing less than our book making the Sunday Times Best Sellers list. Judith is a force of nature and I am now firmly in her camp. We are doing everything we possibly can to give our book the best opportunity to be a success.

Social Media. We can just about hold our own on Facebook, although it is a bit like our local supermarkets i.e. one finally gets used to where products are, or in Facebook’s case how to do certain things, when they go and change it all. Bastards! But Instagram! We had heard of it, but did not use it, and more importantly had no idea how to use it. Our ‘social media’ skills were about to climb a vertical wall!

One step at a time; firstly, load the app onto our phones and set up the account, then watch some more YouTube videos. Okey dokey, chose a photograph, add a comment and post. Done. First reply is from Judith’s youngest son, “Where are your hashtags?” he says. “What the fuck are hashtags?” we reply. He tries to explain (mate, you might as well talk to the wall) and makes a few suggestions of one’s for us to use. More interrogation of the internet and video watching. We are losing the will to live.

Taking baby steps, we slowly find our way, adding more posts, following people we think are of similar mind, liking posts, commenting on posts and then we post our first reel. We are elated, even though we know it is not very good. We plan to make them better in the future, promise. This will mean more lost time watching videos! Now we just have to get ourselves a website……..

We had started the publishing process just as we were starting our summer ‘playtime’. Some of our festival tickets are three years old, others two and some we only bought this year. The result is that over two months we spend seven of the eight weekends in our tent at various events, including music festivals, sailing regattas, the British Grand Prix and a weeks holiday, all over the country. Wherever we went, we knew we had to take the opportunity to talk to people about our book, therefore I had to knock-up some home-made flyers to enable us to leave a calling card, pointing people towards our Instagram account and website. I return home from our week in Plymouth with man-flu (covid test was negative) and am bed bound for three days, then have two more days to recover before heading for our final camping festival of the year at Cropredy, where it was debilitatingly hot and shade was in short supply. We were glad to get home and learn that two indoor events at the end of August/beginning of September, had been cancelled as we were exhausted.

All the time we were away, we were in contact with our project manager, exchanging many emails, attempting to get our book cover sorted. First efforts were disappointing and trying to make improvements was not working, so time to stop and try again with a revised brief. Second efforts were so much better and very much to our liking with just a few tweaks required to complete the design. We are excited at being able to reveal the design to everyone soon – watch this space (and our Instagram account of course).

Following a thrilling British Grand Prix, we had returned to our tent and over a nice gin fired up the phone’s and we were delighted to discover that we now had our very own website: Carl, you are a genius. It still seems surreal to us to be able say that we have our own website.

This blog has brought us up to date and our intention is to update it weekly. The publishing and marketing of the book is keeping us very busy; in fact, Judith says she feels like we have started up a new business! It certainly feels that way; trying to market the book alongside trying to get the thing published, is taking over our lives, so it is time to take stock and manage our time better, for although getting one’s own book published is a thrilling thing, our well being is more important. Everything is relevant.


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