In September 2015, I was on cloud nine. 6 months after self-publishing my first novel, One by One, I signed a contract with an independent publisher. Not for that book, but for DOORWAYS, the first in what is to be an ongoing series about ‘The Otherside’, a world that exists in the corners of our own, governed by a secret organisation. I sold the idea to the publisher on one sentence alone and in October 2016,
Doorways was in my hands and available for people to buy. In April 2017, I was sat in Waterstones, signing books and seeing it sat in their charts. A contract for the follow up was signed and ready to go. But I just wasn’t happy.
There was a moment of clarity I had, not long after having coffee with one of the UK’s biggest selling indie authors, where I re-evaluated what I wanted as a writer. I realised that being published wasn’t the actual goal. Now there are some phenomenal examples of publishers doing things well and having phenomenal success. I speak with authors and publishers relatively frequently and it’s amazing to see the success. My goals changed when I realised I wasn’t enjoying writing anymore. Let me tell you, it’s amazing to see your book sit in the top 100 sci-fi books on Kindle. It’s even worse when you see it tumble down and know that it hasn’t sold a copy in months. That was when I realised, I wasn’t happy.
My publisher was very understanding and relinquished the rights back to me and now I am relaunching the entire thing. From my books, to my writing career. It is an amazing feeling to be this excited about writing again and I have written near 20,000 words on the prequel which I will be releasing later this year. I’m also really excited about sharing this book once again and hopefully getting a whole new batch of readers, especially after a successful day at the amazing Darker Side of Fiction (I blogged about this on my website. Link below!)
I’ve had people question my decision, especially as now I have to pay for the costs that go into having a professional book. But I’m willing to invest that money and I always say, there are people who spend however much a month on a golf membership! This is my membership.
One of the biggest issues I had with my previous edition of Doorways was the negative reviews (which were few and far between) were all centred round editing. I had the book re-edited, with over 600 corrections needed. That’s massive. There was even a half finished sentence! I have had to get a new cover, which fits more into the genre I am pushing it in which after doing the research, I realised it was being marketed as sci-fi when it actually falls into Urban Fantasy.
Now that I am not sitting waiting for someone to do those things or make those decisions for me, I have made so many wonderful new contacts within the book world, many of whom are involved in this relaunch tour. They never want anything for their help, they are just genuinely amazing people and I can’t thank them enough for their support. I met a number of them at Darker Side, including the wonderful Tony who is sharing this post today. I am sure I will meet many more at the Bloodhound party in March (contact Sumaira Wilson if you need tickets!!)
I don’t really know what to expect from the relaunch. The book is up for 99p and hopefully, I can attract a number of new readers. Maybe I’ll get none. Maybe I’ll get a 1000! Who knows? But it feels so much better knowing that atleast I am trying. If we didn’t try, then it would NEVER happen. Give it your all, and there is always a chance.
Thank you very much for reading. I am always happy to chat books, writing, self-publishing or anything else on social media. I want to thank Tony for being such a gracious host and I hope you pick up a copy of Doorways, which is 99p for this week only!!
Let’s see what this week brings!
Note from Tony: Best of luck to Rob, and let's hope his brave decision pays off. I also want to thank him for appearing on my site.