Blog platforms like WordPress and Blogger and social media platforms, bring writers together along with the all important ‘readers’.
Writing can be a very lonely art, especially if those you know (in real life) are not avid readers, or your subject matter, is of no interest to them.
I’m so grateful for the people I know and those I’ve recently met, who have a passion for writing.
Last year I went on a few test drives, my appointment was overlooked by one dealership but due to the reliability of the cars and a ‘gut feeling’, I decided to give that dealership another chance.
To my surprise, the salesman who took us out, had more in common with me than I initially realised.
At the time, my writing energy was at an all-time low but the flames were fanned, after spending nearly 2 hours driving, while talking about Honda quality and reliability, writing, publishing, God, faith, life issues and life experiences.
The salesman (Graeme Armstrong) is also a writer and expectant published author in waiting, his book ‘The Young Team’ is being released in the first few days of March 2020.
Meeting Graham (in my opinion) was a God-incident, as he, Lois and I were speaking, I could feel the enthusiasm flooding back and with it a desire to see the project I started (back in 2012) through.
A lot has happened in that time, family deaths, mourning, a child leaving home and the true colours of relatives being revealed.
I haven’t purchased the car yet (finances) but I have to say, it was the best test-drive I’ve ever been on, so good that Graham’s colleagues actually thought he was kidnapped along with the vehicle.
I quit all other SM platforms barring Twitter and at times, I’ve wondered whether Twitter was worth it but I’m glad I stuck with it.
I’ve met some good people on the platform, they may be shy and reluctant to come forward and leave comments on the blog posts but they’re still good people.
A couple of new Twitter buddies have encouraged me to see myself as a traditionally published author, which rubber-stamped Graham’s advice, to go the traditional route.
I’m not adverse to going the indie publishing route, however, without arrogance, I do believe, that the traditional route is more for me.
Rejection, a word often mentioned, Graham shared his accounts of his countless rejections, I admire his tenacity and it’s paid off for him.
I’m not afraid of rejection, if you’ve read my ‘Too Much’ post, you’ll be able to make an educated guess, that I’m conditioned and experienced in overcoming obstacles.
Yes, it’s an extra expense, but along with book cover designers and photographers, I’m humble enough to know it would be better for my books to be professionally edited, before they go to a publisher.
I’m not interested in hiring (an enemy of the work) for the task, as with any part of the process, I want to work with people who have vision.
An editor must be able to ‘see’ the direction I’m heading and what I’m trying to achieve.
I give plenty of clues via this Blog and Twitter.
In addition to seeing the vision, they obviously have to agree with the majority of the vision and not be offended by it.
Honesty and integrity is paramount, I’m entrusting parts of my life to someone, I would like to feel confident that, as they “improve” layout and grammar etc. they preserve the authenticity of the text. The objective should be to improve and enhance, keeping it mine, without making it theirs.
All the other obvious conditions apply, they can be single, married, male or female and of any ethnicity.
A literary agent
I’ve read that some publishers offer the services of a literary agent, eliminating the need for an agent.
That maybe the case and that will only happen if a visionary, radical publisher makes the initial contact, to snap me up.
I’m not saying that can’t happen but I do believe that the majority of published writers (going the traditional route) have agents.
Requirements are much the same as an Editor, with a few additional requirements.
I don’t mind being with a super agent, just as long as I’m not being represented, so that other (more dedicated agents) can’t represent me, that’s the same as being an ‘enemy of the work’ in my opinion.
I’ve heard about the percentage payment levels and I have no problems with them, if I’m represented by an agent who believes in me and my work.
I would personally rather be with a competent ‘regular’ agent, who will fight for the best deal for me, as opposed to an super agent representing other ‘preferred writers’ who may be trying to occupy the same space or opposition space to me. No conflicts of interests please.
It should be an obvious but I have learned to state the obvious because it seldom is that.
As with an Editor, honesty and integrity also have to be strong characteristics, along with feeling that your clients (the writers) achievements and victories are also yours.
We should be a team working together to achieve more, maintaining an excellent working relationship which will obviously, over the course of time, lead to being professional friends/associates.
All the other obvious conditions also apply, they can be single, married, male or female and of any ethnicity.
I know there is a process to follow, submission letter, email etc. but this is a unique project, one which doesn’t necessarily fit into one place, therefore it will need a versatile agent who is not afraid of pushing the boundaries.
There’s nothing stopping an agent from contacting me as soon as you’re comfortable, in the knowledge that I’m legit, you don’t have to wait for me to approach but I will when I’m ready.
With regards to publishers, I’ve heard the good (usually from authors) and the bad (usually from rejected writers, who go the Indie route) and yet, I still hold out hope that a bold visionary company exists out there for me.
As with the lit agent, I don’t want to be a ‘suppressed signing’ and let me explain what I mean about that.
I don’t want to be taken up by a publisher who actually wants to give me a deal, to keep me quiet by not pushing, publicising and promoting me to their companies fullest capabilities.
That would obviously mean I would be unable to work with publishers who would be a better fit for me, as I’ve previously said, that amounts to being an enemy of the vision and the work.
Signing me should equate to having the vision to see where we can go together, believing in me to produce the work and trusting me to represent the work and your business to the best of my ability.
To quote an expression, ‘It’s never too late for a shower of rain’, I may not be a fledgling twenty-something writer, however, this work is not something a twenty-something writer could produce.
That point needs to be taken into consideration, along with the fact that the work is aimed at everyone, not just those with Christian beliefs.
The publisher who signs a deal with me, is one who understands that there is a middle ground which can be walked and successfully navigated.
Non-faith based publishers need to be comfortable enough to know that some mentions of God will not deter the reader, due to the overall content.
On the other hand, faith-based publishers need to be comfortable in knowing that the initial book and the rest of the planned books of the series, are not about promoting any particular religious organisations or religion, they are all about promoting relationships.
I see a clear distinction, having lived in all camps, the non-religious, religious and now the relationship camp.
Clarity can easily be found by reading the posts on this Blog and if needed, sending me Twitter Direct messages or emails, with any questions you may have.
I believe the company (who wants to do right by me) will be a comfortable fit, naturally, without force.
It would obviously be easier if the Publishers are based in or have offices in the UK, however, if the right company for me, is internationally based, I’m not averse to travelling, to ‘make it happen’.
Book tours, signings and speaking events, to promote the work is also not a problem, no matter which country/region they happen to be in, I’ll be there.
I’m ready for you, if you’re ready for me and as with the lit agent, I know there is a usual process but when you interact with me, you’ll see I’m not the usual writer/prospective author.
The same applies to publishers, you the publisher, can control the narrative, you could come and get me, whenever you’re ready.
Online presence with the Dot Com
I initially registered www.forsinglesandcouples in November 2012 and (as with my previous business of nearly 14 years) with the .com .co.uk and later the .blog domains.
There have been “copy-cat” domains which have popped up over the years but I have experience in knowing that they never last.
Originators with vision, who’s online names are original and belong to them, usually last the test of time.
That being said, I have decided to let the other variations go and stick to the .com domain, as the books and project are for both the UK and international markets.
If you see forsinglesandcouples.co.uk or forsinglesandcouples.blog know that they were originally our domains, along with the original www.forsinglesandcouples.com.
Anyone using them are simply wannabe imitators who (I suppose) are indirectly paying us a compliment, in trying to piggy-back off our original name and the presence it has on the internet.
There is a simple reason for using the .com domain, it represents an entity which provides a world-wide service and can be situated anywhere in the world, for now and the foreseeable future, it’s situated in the UK.
However, if we are loved and appreciated elsewhere in the world and the work and book tours etc. become heavily single country specific, we would not be adverse to moving and living in that particular part of the world.
Phil Gayle – © Copyright For Singles and Couples, All rights reserved 2020.
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