It doesn’t take a theoretical physicist of Sheldon Cooper standard to work out that much of what we see from Hollywood tends to stretch the truth a wee, tiny tad – well, okay, stretches the truth a big, fat, over-wieldy lot. When it comes, however, to tale-telling about the beleaguered and aspiring writer, that stretch can take on cosmic proportions of imprecision, lending an unfair and unfeasible rosy glow as to the prospect of finding instant, international fame and recognition. You know the story: a closet and hampered writer foregoes a life of high-flying success in the city, to up sticks to some country retreat (usually Wisconsin), therein, through great stress yet personal, inner reward, goes about penning that book they’d always had inside them, and that the world just must hear, which – three nanoseconds after completion – attracts the attention of a big-wig New York publisher (on first submission might I add), and the final scene sees multiple bookshop windows populated with the books and beguiling, cardboard cut-out face of our much-loved and vindicated author.
Now wouldn’t that be nice?
I’ll not go into any depth about how far from reality this scenario might be – as writers (in reality) we all know where this radiant picture tends to miss the mark. Not that this hasn’t happened for some authors, but most I know, who have found fame and success, got there the hard way too – which, in a convoluted way, brings me to the point of this blog.
With my book, The Silver Mist, and even under its original working title, on completion of the eleventh or twelfth draft I set about the arduous task of securing an agent and/or publisher. This pursuit, as with my other publications, met with varying degrees of enthusiasm but, sadly, no offer of representation or contract. With each attempt, I went back to the manuscript, worked it a bit, and set off again in hope of starry lights and bookshop windows populated with copious copies of my book, and cardboard cut-outs of my own beguiling mug (well my mother might say so). It was at this point that a best-selling author friend flagged up the suggestion that, by only submitting to agents and publishers in the UK, I might be doing myself and my title disservice. He also mentioned that, having a particularly Irish theme, the US market might be another option, along with the advanced number of small press publishers that have sprung up there in recent years.
So I did – I submitted to a selection of agents and publishers in the USA, securing, a short while later a contract for publication. Now, my publisher is a growing small press, and comes without the big, swinging publicity stick of one of the big six, but they have supported me, edited and helped me hone my work, got it onto bookshelves, and into eBook stores – both here and in the US – have raised my profile with a major media campaign (radio and newspaper – USA & UK), secured a guest blogging spot with The Huffington Post, and mentions with The Times and Irish American Post, gained The Silver Mist a number 10 spot in Amazon’s ‘Bestsellers in Metaphysical and Visionary Fiction’, and made it possible for people all over the world to buy my book and write reviews about what they thought of it.
I mightn’t have paparazzi blinding me with flashes and poking furry microphones in my face, and I mightn’t have my name and works discussed at diligent length by famous critics on late-night review shows – but (and it is a massive but) by moving away from the traditional routes of submission, and taking a chance on a smaller and not so influential publisher, I have a growing band of people who like my work and who want to see more … that alone, is worth it.
By the way – this avenue to publication requires the tenacity to market your own stuff that verges on the double-glazing, or used car salesman’s determination.
Happy hunting – and may all your books sell kerzillions.
Author: The Silver Mist; 2011, Better Karma Publishing, USA (ISBN: 9780982842683)
More information about the Martin and The Silver Mist can be found on his website: www.MartinTreanor.com.
The Silver Mist can be purchased in paperback and Kindle/eBook format via both UK and US Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Waterstone’s, Foyle’s, WH Smith’s, KOBO, iTunes, Sony ebookstore, and many other UK/US/International high street and online stores.