GOING with GABRIEL, new novel

I'm in the last throes of self-publishing (under our Pictures and Poems banner) my second novel; amended title GOING with GABRIEL.

This is for anyone who might think self-publishing the easy way out, because it isn't. Having written your novel and edited it umpteen times for content and grammar and have typed the statutory 'the end', you're inclined to sit back with a sigh of relief, gaze out of the window and dream of the Mann Booker Prize, not to mention untold riches.

However, next comes the long process of publisher submissions, long waits and postal rejections. Why in all the great world of business a publisher finds it impossible to respond to an enquiry within a reasonable time I don't know. After all, when you pick up a book at W H Smith and look to decide on whether or not to buy it, it takes but seconds to reject it. We all know that much of the publisher's 'slush pile' won't even get read. However most often the standard letter will inform you of how incredibly busy is this particular pinnacle of literature or how impossible it is for said pinnacle to get into why they rejected you novel, War and Peace / The Day of the Jackal / Harry Potter and the ....

As a member of the mutual appraisal web-site, YouWriteOn.com, I have personally read through the first three chapters of sixty seven unpublished novels. I do know that it takes only a first paragraph for you to know if the writing is any good, only the first couple of pages to know if the story is likely to be of interest.

Back to your novel, still sitting there in dusty manuscript (more accurately, typescript) form, in all its so-far hidden glory. Self publish? Great idea. Oodles of printers out there clamouring for your work and your money. But if self-publishing was good enough for Mark Twain... etc, etc...? Trouble is you then need to learn about book layout and type-setting, so set aside the necessary number of weeks and don't worry about the bald patches where you've torn out your hair. It is NOT easy. Of course you can just send your typescript to one of these printers who will be glad to make it into a book for you in exchange for a lot more of your money. Best to do it yourself then you have only yourself to blame for the miss-spelled 'hunt' on page one eleven. Don't forget to find out about the ISBN protocol. Can you paint / draw / design? If not you have more money to find for the origination of your book's cover.

This is where I hand a bouquet to a firm you've probably never heard of; Lightning Source is the world's primary provider of POD (Print On Demand) which, take my word for it, is, for several unarguable reasons the future for book print and distribution. If they accept you as a bona fide publisher, and if you're prepared to set things up exactly according to their very careful rules, let's go.

A short while later your masterpiece is 'out there' on Amazon, available to WHS, etc etc. All you now have to do is get out and sell the thing. Having it 'available', yes all right, but who is going to buy something that demands a couple of weeks or so of their spare time to read, something they've never heard of, something by this old guy called, what's it say? Bryan Islip? Never heard of him. So you need some media reviews. That's where I am now with 'GOING with GABRIEL'. Wish me luck.

p.s. to this. I have a theory that the minute you stop learning is the minute you start on your own personal final chapter. I'm not ready for that yet, so I'm resolved to keep learning, come what may. I also believe that GOING with GABRIEL is a novel presented well enough and of twin themes important enough to deserve being read by many of my fellow human beings. I just have to give my fellow human beings at least the opportunity to agree or disagree.

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