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Sunday, April 15, 2012

(I want to be a) Paperback Writer

Paperback writer
paperback writer
writer, writer...

Dear Sir or Madam
will you read my book?
It took me years to write
will you take a look?
Based on a novel
by a man named Lear
And I need a job
So I want to be a
paperback writer
Paperback writer

I'm sure most of us have heard the Beatles song...

Well, when I was growing up I wanted to be a paperback writer. I still do. There's something special about holding a paperback and thumbing through it and smelling it. And then turning the pages as you slowly read from start to finish. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing bad with electronic versions of books, be they Kindle, Nook or iPad. It's just that there's nothing quite like a paperback. I'm sure as authors we all love that feeling when we get to hold one of own books in our hands. It's a real sense of achievement.

I first wrote Xannu - The Prophecy in 2002, over a three month period. It was my first novel. It was a 125,000 word epic fantasy masterpiece. Of course it was, I wrote it! At the time, self-publishing was in its infancy and so I went the 'vanity publishing' route that was available at the time. I spent something like a thousand dollars and got my book published. I even received a stock of hardback and paperback copies to sell  myself too. Over the years as things in the industry changed, I continued to try to sell my book. I even wrote the second one in the series and spent money on that one too. Then a few years ago I stopped and my writing laid fallow.

Then ebooks made the news. Suddenly there was another way to sell published books. So last year I dusted off my old paperbacks and republished them as ebooks. They have sold fairly well, certainly hundreds of times better than my paperbacks. But there was one thing nagging me. The publishing rights to my book were with someone other than me. So I changed that. I took them back, and for the last year it has been impossible to buy a paperback version of any of my Xannu books. I kept promising myself I would revisit my books, re-edit them and publish them again anew. But time passed.

Then I wrote the third book in my Xannu series and laid it to rest a little before I edited the draft manuscript. That was a year ago! So two months ago, I pulled out my old Word versions of Xannu - The Prophecy and Xannu - The Healing, and I set about re-editing them. I finished that task a few weeks ago. I also edited the first draft of Xannu - The Portal, the third book in the series and sent it out to beta readers. Then I set about a few cover redesigns and jumped onto Createspace (where I have successfully published other paperback books) and set up my project for the second edition paperback of Xannu - The Prophecy. Finally, yesterday the book was approved and now I eagerly await a proof copy (paperback of course) to arrive so that I can make sure it's 100% ready for the market.

The second edition of Xannu - The Prophecy is all set for launch as a paperback (and ebook of course) on May 1st. I have gone through the original manuscript in its entirety and tightened up things that needed tightening, changed a few things I never was quite happy with, and finally just injected the knowledge of a further ten years of writing into the book. I am very pleased with the result.

So watch out over the coming couple of weeks as May 1st approaches. Very soon I will be a paperback writer all over again. Life has turned full circle.

...It’s a thousand pages
give or take a few
I’ll be writing more
in a week or two
I can make it longer
if you like the style
I can change it round
And I want to be a
paperback writer
Paperback writer

1 comment:

  1. Okay you've hit a soft spot or maybe a sore spot with this one. I love to read and over the past year I have met some wonderful new authors and discovered e-books, but I still prefer the paperback. I don't have an e-reader, but have the Kindle and Nook apps on my laptop, but find that after spending hours on my computer writing,reading an e-book on here just isn't relaxing and enjoyable. On the flip side, e-books are more affordable and I can buy more books a year then I normally would. I have Xannu here on my computer, but would love to read it in print!