This was a first for me, I’d never been to a literary festival before so decided to attend this year to see what it was all about and bought a ticket for a Masterclass: The Modern Publishing Landscape with Rebecca Swift, co-founder of The Literary Consultancy, the UK’s longest-established editorial assessment service & Debbie Young, author of Sell Your Books! and co-author of the forthcoming ALLi handbooks Open Up to Indies and The Author’s Guide to Blogging.
It all went very well once I’d passed a couple of hurdles. Firstly the parking, now I don’t know Cambridge at all well so I’d pre-checked out the car park I needed to head for only to find on entering the city it was already full so ended up at the Grafton Centre and had to hike across town.
Which leads me to my second issue, now more than a little pressed for time and unable to find Divinity I grabbed a passing steward and explained that I was due in the Lightfoot Room in 2 minutes for a Masterclass. She couldn’t have been more helpful and escorted me there herself, however something must have got lost in translation as when I arrived at Divinity my excellent guide passed me over to the stewards there introducing me as being the speaker due to give the Masterclass in the Lightfoot Room – never have I felt less prepared to do anything! Fortunately for those who had bought tickets Rebecca and Debbie had already arrived so they didn’t get me foisted upon them!
The Lightfoot Room
There is a huge amount of support out there from companies, such as Rebecca’s, who provide a wide range of services to Indie Authors to help them get their books into as good a shape as possible before they are launched onto whatever selling platform you opt for. As the publishing world changes, and it is in a huge state of flux at the moment with everyone trying to see how things work with the rise in self-publishing, Rebecca very much sees her type of company as the ‘gatekeepers of quality’ something that used to be done by publishers when the traditional route was all that was on offer.
The companies that offer these editorial assessment services offer a huge range of differing levels of support and you can pick and choose what you need, obviously cost comes into it but having spent so long writing I feel very strongly you should launch your book out in the big wide world looking as good as you can make it.
Debbie is also advice blog editor for ALLi who again are there to guide and support Indie Authors in becoming as professional as they can be. I am pleased to say I already have Debbie’s book, we follow each other on Twitter and managed to meet and exchange a few words at the end of the talk.
I came away from the afternoon feeling that as an Indie Author anything is possible nowadays, with a little bit of work, maybe a lot of work – it was very positive!
Currently reading ‘The Reluctant Jesus’ by Duncan Whitehead