Having finished writing my novel at the turn of the New Year, the time since has been spent re-drafting, editing, proof-reading and then going back and doing it all again… a good few more times. Suffice it to say that when I thought I was ‘finished’, so began the seemingly never-ending and fairly daunting task of writing the PR – that is, the dreaded synopsis (that which some say is the most important thing a writer will ever write!), the pitch/cover letter and the book summary/USP (‘Unique Selling Points – back to that in a bit). Oh, and not forgetting – re-writing my first couple of chapters!
Anyway, after so many versions of the synopsis that I’ve now lost count, the weekend past saw me gather everything together and head to the printer and on Monday – the final postal submissions were off to the Post Office! There are of course email submissions still to be sent this week, but I’m almost done and already making notes on my next book! I would just have to mention here that I am extremely grateful to those Irish and UK publishers/agents who accept unsolicited submissions from hopeful writers like myself, as it seems sometimes that unless you know the right people, getting to those with the power to publish is increasingly difficult.
Also, regardless of whether I get published or not (and I know that in reality the odds of that are fairly miniscule…), I would also like to thank all those who have read and given me feedback on my chapters so far, advised on the synopsis and in marketing the book and just chatted with me generally about the writing process – most notably, these include Rosie Johnston, Bernie McGill, Damian Gorman, Felicity McCall, El Gruer, Mark McCallum, Jenny Morris, DJ McCune… I will add in anyone I’ve forgotten!
Another thing I’ve been pondering recently is that of the USP – the Unique Selling Points of my book. Of course, what makes your story special is a thread constantly spooling around in any writer’s head as they create their work but when it comes to being specific about it and doing the ‘hard sell’, sometimes it takes a while to work out exactly the best way of putting it.
Is it the location/setting of the story? The quirky character? The richness of the story itself? Something else? I would like to think I have all of the above covered but then, only time will tell if the publishers think the same…