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A Bit Of History

April 27th, 2018

It’s 17 years since I completed the Writers Bureau course. Much has happened in those 17 years. I have become a Writers Bureau tutor myself, I have ghost written one book, published a couple of my own, and as of this month, I have finally, after all these years, published the book I worked on for Assignment 20 of the course.

As a tutor I enjoy reading the book proposals people write as part of the final non-fiction assignment. I like to encourage students to take their plan forward and give them advice based on my own experiences. I hope that a few months, or even years, down the line they will come back to me with the news that their book has, in fact, been published.

My own journey to publication of my book – The King with the Iron Belt – has been a slow one. While I had the idea firmly in my head long before I had reached assignment 20, life got in the way, as it often does. Within a year of completing the course I was making a living from writing, mostly journalism. Finding the time to write a book was not easy.

It was a few years before I started it, and even then it was not plain sailing. I would write a chapter, my workload would increase, and it would be put back down for a few months. I researched agents and publishers and set my heart on one agent who was a big name in the business. Unfortunately when we got to speak I immediately knew he was not for me. I was not impressed and this was confirmed when a couple of friends who had been taken on by him after big promises, found that he failed to deliver.

About four years ago I approached some publishers and one came back interested and wanting to know more. Everything was looking good, we discussed word length and photographs, and then, suddenly they decided it was not for them. I wasn’t too disheartened. The reason they gave was that they felt that it was too big a project for them. I agree that it was.

In that time one of my friends decided to self-publish and is now a well-established author, published internationally and making a living from writing fiction. With her as my role model I decided that this was the route I wanted to take.

My last book Alzheimer’s: The Essential Guide has recently been discontinued. Self-publishing will allow me more control over matters such as this. In addition, like many authors I have found that the marketing budgets of publishing houses  have been cut dramatically and that authors are expected to do much more marketing themselves. The self- publishing route means that I am in charge of this and making the decisions, as well as doing the work.

It is early days to know how the book will sell. I am confident that the subject matter is good and that there is a gap in the market. Taking my time about this project has meant that I have had time to think and rethink.

There may be a book idea in your head that you just can’t get rid of, one that keeps coming back to you and which you feel needs to be written. My advice would be to conduct your research thoroughly, take your time and then go for it. I can’t deny that I would love to make lots of money from it, but to be perfectly honest this is not the main reason for publishing the book. It is about following my heart, fulfilling my dreams and not living with the regret of wishing that I had.

 

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About The Author: Diana Nadin

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