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Surprises!

September 11th, 2015

simon-whaley-blogIn October 2003 my first book, One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human was published by Hodder & Stoughton. I never dreamed that twelve years on this first book project of mine would still be delivering surprises, especially after the surprises it gave me at the start of its life. Its initial print run of 10,000 copies was snapped up by book retailers within the first two weeks, and by December 2003 it was on the UK bestseller lists. Within the space of three months the publishers had printed over 100,000 copies.

It continues to sell today, and l experienced another surprise earlier this year when my latest royalty statement advised me that lifetime sales now stood at over 250,000 copies. And that’s just the UK version. There are also Italian, Portuguese and North American editions. It was certainly a surprise seeing the Italian and Portuguese editions, because when I wrote the book it never crossed my mind that the words I’d spent time crafting and honing would ever be translated into foreign languages.

And now the book has delivered a further surprise. Twelve years on and the rights to another foreign language have just been sold. Soon there will be an Icelandic edition. Who’d have thought? Not me, that’s for certain.

For me, this is one of the joys of writing. When we sit down to create something we never know where it may lead. Write a book and amazing things can happen. If the subject matter is suitable you might find yourself being asked to give a talk to a local community group, or the Women’s Institute (and you can guarantee you’ll get a great cup of tea and a delicious piece of cake at a WI meeting!) You might be invited to talk about your book on local radio. After that, your local radio station may see you as an expert on the subject matter and regularly ask you to contribute to radio phone-ins.

I’ve been approached by magazine editors to write articles on the subject, and I was even invited to sign copies of my book at the Crufts Dog Show.

So the next time you get stuck writing your book, just think about the surprises it might give you, once you’ve finished it. If I’d have known the surprises my book had in store for me, I’d never have believed it. But I sure am glad I finished it and worked hard to get it published. Because none of these surprises would have happened, had I left the idea languishing in my ‘To Do’ pile.

Simon Whaley is the author of over a dozen books, including three for writers: The Positively Productive Writer, Photography for Writers and The Complete Article Writer. More information can be found here. Over 650 of his articles have been published, and his short stories have appeared in Take a Break, Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special, The Weekly News and The People’s Friend.

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