Allan Mayer’s Weblog

With a little help from my friends.

Posted on: June 3, 2008

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Once upon a time in Fairy Dairy land a man wrote a book. It was a special book because it contained a little bit of his heart and a lot of his soul. He tried to get it published, but no one would believe in the book like he did.

One day he found a bottle, and when he rubbed it a genie popped out, who turned out to be an author. The Genie sent the man’s book to her publisher, they published the book, and the man lived happily ever after. 

Of course it doesn’t happen like that in the real world. I had been reunited with my old friend, Lynn Grocott, who had already published. She got me in contact with her publisher, Lean Marketing, who were very helpful and encouraging, but as a small publishing house only specialised in specific titles and subjects. I got an email explaining that at present they were after books about people making their home in Spain. As ‘Tasting the Wind’ is about people with learning disabilities and a psychopathic nurse, I couldn’t find a single link between it and Spain (although Spain must have its fair share of both,) so gave up on that one.

Lynn passed my details on to several of her contacts in the world of publishing and PR. The publishing contacts didn’t handle my sort of material, but I suddenly felt like a serious writer- emailing and phoning publishers and PRs for advice. After the years of writing and rejection slips I was getting quite a buzz from this.

Now for a bit of name dropping.

The networking in which I was suddenly involved was linked to the confidence coaching process (more on this in a later blog.) Lynn told me of a friend of hers who had become a successful author through using the methods she was teaching me.

Soon I was in touch with Andy Cope. Admittedly I had never heard of him at that point, but if you have children you may have done. Andy is the author of the ‘Spy Dog’ series; he is presently working on Spy Dog 5.

Andy wrote to me with some good advice (again, his agent couldn’t help me because he specialised in children’s literature, but hey, I’m communicating with another published author here!) and he asked if he could be my ‘Critical Buddy.’ I sent him a copy of ‘Tasting the Wind,’ which he is wading through at the moment. His reaction has been very positive and encouraging, although he admits to preferring lighter reading. But thanks, Andy, for taking the trouble.

The main point I want to make here is the value of networking. Writing can be a lonely process, and the struggle to find a publisher can be even more lonely and demoralising. The internet abounds with information from and about writers, and linking up with people who are either travelling your way or who have arrived there can make the difference between carrying on or just lying down in the road.

I was in W.H. Smiths one day. Looking at the childrens’ books I picked out the ‘Spy Dog,’ series. It seemed bizarre that in my pocket was a copy of an email from its author.

I turned around and looked at the adult books. Finding ‘M’ I made a space.

One day my book will be there.

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