At last! After six long years of drafting, writing, editing and rewriting, my memoir, “Does it wet the bed?” has finally been released on the Kindle Store. When I started the book, it was a day I didn’t dare to even dream about. I wasn’t convinced that my writing was good enough to be published.
In June 2014, as I began approaching agents and publishers, my confidence dwindled further. As the “Thanks but no thanks” emails took over my inbox, I began to wonder if I should just give up – put down my pen and just focus on my day job – being an Equality and Diversity Trainer.
Then after doing some research, I made a decision. If I hadn’t secured an agent or a publisher by December 2014, I was going to self-publish my book. With almost 40 unsuccessful applications, my fate was sealed and I made myself a promise: “Does it wet the bed?” would be released by the end of 2015.
I had a lot of work and many decisions ahead of me! My first task was to get an editor on board. A Facebook post put me in touch with Norman who, as it turned out, had attended one of my Equality and Diversity courses a few years previously. Norman had experience of self-publishing and proved to be more than just an editor, guiding me through the process and offering invaluable advice on everything from legal issues, formatting, pricing and marketing. Once Norman had completed the editing, he put me in touch with a colleague who helped me format the book. I began to realise that the world of self-publishing wasn’t about what you knew but who!
Whilst the final touches to the book were in progress, I attended a Self-Publishing Conference at the University of Leicester. I had no idea what my next steps should be and without the backing of a publisher, I knew I’d have to work hard to publicise the book once it was released. It wasn’t going to just sell itself! It was at the conference that I met Helen Lewis of Literally PR as she gave a workshop on organising a successful book launch. I decided that whilst I could do a lot, I wasn’t a marketing genius and so I commissioned Literally PR to publicise my book.
With everything slowly coming together, I could finally look towards setting a release date. I decided to stage my book’s launch by releasing the kindle version on 31st August, with the paperback following on 30th November – just in time for those Christmas Stockings! Then I decided that all my hard work was worthy of a celebration and so I’m hosting a Book Launch Party on 17th September at the Holiday Inn, M6, Junction 7, in Great Barr. With a canapé reception, magician and live music, it’ll be an opportunity to really appreciate what I’ve managed to achieve. For my guests, it’s an opportunity to buy a paperback copy ahead of its official release in November.
I woke up on Monday morning, able to say, “I’m a published author.” After so long and so much hard work, it’s a great feeling. I set myself a goal and I didn’t stop until it was achieved.
Who knows what I could achieve by the end of 2016?!