I’m currently reading 13 Curses, the second book in Michelle Harrison’s trilogy of dark fairies books. She worked for an Oxford-based publisher at the same time as I did (although I never actually knew her) and recently I read this interview with her about how it felt to be find out that she was to be published. It pretty much echoes my exact wishes and dreams that I’ve had for close on thirty years (really, that long?) about what it would be like to receive that letter or that phone call telling me that my book would be published by a proper, recognised publishers.
This has got me thinking. I am currently revising The End Of All Worlds with a view to self-publishing it as an eBook. I can imagine the squee factor coming into play the first time that I receive a notification that it has been bought and downloaded by someone whom I don’t know, indeed there will be probably be various levels of squeeness ranging from the moment my Mum downloads a copy – I hope that she may even though she doesn’t own an eBook reader(!), through to friends, and various members of the public. But I can’t imagine any of that comparing to the joy of someone else telling me that they would like to publish my book. If I self-publish, then I have written it, I have revised it, yes I may have got someone else to edit it but, I have made it available to buy. It’s not the same.
Of course, the eBook might sell. It might, I guess, sell very well, and I might get a publisher contacting me saying that they would like to pick the book up and publish it as a printed book – maybe even offer me an advance on my next one. That would be wonderful. That would be what dreams are made of. But then, here’s another thing, if it were to sell that well that a *real* publisher was interested, then surely it would be popular enough for me to go the whole hog and publish a real book too, myself and keep all the spoils for myself.
An interesting conundrum…