I am over the moon to welcome one of my favourite people in the publishing world to Creating Perfection to share her writing journey.
Who are you and when did your journey begin?
I’m Emma and I’ve been writing since I learned to hold a pen! I wrote a lot of poetry as a very young child and invented stories for my many cousins. I knew for sure I was a writer when I was ten and read the Lord of the Rings.
Tell us about where you are on your self-publishing journey right now in terms of books published, where you publish etc.
I’ve just published my fifth novel and my sixth should be out around May this year. I originally self-published through Lulu.com but moved on to Amazon. My latest novel is the first one for which I have been able to employ a professional editor and cover designer. (NB. I’ve heard the editor you chose is pretty spectacular!)
Why did you choose to self-publish?
A long story so bear with me. I started, many years ago, by submitting to agents for traditional publishing. The third agent I submitted to ask to read all of my manuscript. After about three months she wrote back to say that she was sorry to have taken so long, but she’d asked a few of the others in the office to read it also, but that they’d decided that my work needed more editing and wasn’t quite ready. At the time I didn’t realise how fabulous a response that was. I decided to complete the trilogy before re-submitting and then go back and re-work the first book. I was in a bad relationship with an abusive alcoholic during that period and so my writing became very hit and miss. By the time I finished the trilogy, any kind of professional editing or cover design was a dream well beyond my means. I escaped my abusive partner but had to sell belongings to even afford to eat. I did make a few attempts at submitting my work, but I had no confidence in myself and was appallingly bad at writing cover letters to try to sell myself and my work. Sadly, when I felt I was ready to re-submit to the same agent, I discovered that the lady who had founded the agency had recently died and I felt it would be inappropriate to bother them about my book. It was not long after that period when I was introduced online to a lovely man who wrote and self-published horror books. He encouraged me to go for self-publishing and I did.
What’s best thing about self-publishing?
Ha ha, not having to write a synopsis! Seriously, I would say it’s having control over my work and not having to be restricted by word count or publication dates.
And the worst?
Not seeing my books on the shelves in bookshops and having to do all the advertising, promotion, and networking myself.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known before you published your first book?
Self-publishing was in its relatively early days when I first did it and I myself very naive. I foolishly thought I could just publish my book and people would find it and love it; I didn’t realise that to get anywhere I’d have to do a huge amount of self-promotion. It was lack of resources really that I wish I could have changed and most importantly lack of a support network.
If you could change one thing about your self-publishing journey, what would it be and why?
I wish I’d had the money to get professional edits and covers done.
Do you have any advice for those who might be looking in to self-publishing?
Find yourself a support network of other writers, bloggers, beta readers etc. There are great writing communities on Facebook and Twitter where you can get help and advice, encouragement, recommendations, and the benefit of other peoples’ experiences. Also build yourself an online presence and following, you need to start promoting yourself and your work before your book is available.
Thank you so much for sharing with us, Emma. What an incredible journey. You are such a talented author and have a wonderful way with words and deserve so much success!
Readers, if you’d like to share your journey, click here.
Emma’s first book in her Fire-walker series is The Raven Tower …
Here’s the blurb …
What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement? The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.
You can keep up with all Emma’s news by following her on social media:
About the author …
I presently live in the stunning county of Dorset where I’m a cat slave to Wolfe and Piglitt I spend as much time as I can outside in nature and love exploring and learning about new cultures and languages. I’ve visited Greece, Serbia, Transylvania, Sicily, and Norway as well as making several road trips around our beautiful United Kingdom. I paint, sculpt, dabble in photography and do a little archery but most of all – whenever I get a chance – I write.
My writing started from a very young age when I often found myself being the one taking charge of and entertaining all my younger cousins. They loved to hear my stories and although they mostly called for ghost stories it was fantasy I fell in love with when I read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten. I went on to write stories and short ‘books’ for my friends through school and college; then one evening whilst I was waiting for my aunt and uncle to visit an image came to my mind of a boy sitting beneath a bridge. I didn’t know who he was or why he was there, but from exploring those questions The Wind’s Children trilogy blossomed and grew with roots going back into his far history as well as stretching out to his future.
The boy’s name was Tobias. I have since left Tobias’s world of ‘Naris’ to explore the Valley with Feather in the Hall of Pillars which is now available through Amazon. I am now presently finding my way through Elden, the beautiful Fulmer islands, the ravaged Borrows and haunted Chem with Kesta Silene; a shamaness of sorts with a big journey ahead of her. I hope you come along to share her story and join her adventure; she needs you and you won’t regret it.