The Invisible College Trilogy: March 2014 Progress Update

With a publisher’s contract for my trilogy signed and two volumes completed and ready for editing, I am keen to complete the final volume. I have a beginning and an ending; the challenge is to resolve outstanding issues and develop the plot in a measured, logical and credible manner. I am looking forward to feedback from my publisher, to avoid making a false start should major changes in plot, characterisation, development, pace, or any other aspects be requested.

I recently emailed my editor to ask for information on her schedule and received the encouraging response that ‘…(the MD) would not want you to rush things as it is a project that interests her particularly and she is working on it personally’. This is one of many good points for a new author working with a small independent publisher. More of this on a later occasion.

There is, however, much work that remains to be done, prior to publication, by way of preparation, including marketing and publicity. There is no reason why a publisher should allocate a large marketing budget to a previously unpublished author. Even the largest publishing houses have few staff responsible for marketing and publicity. More importantly, the author has a joint responsibility for ensuring their book enjoys the success that both parties are seeking.

I have drawn up a marketing plan, yet to be discussed with my publisher. I am working on key aspects, such as this website and blog, with the intention of building a web presence and history of posts, including several that describe travel experiences with my partner, who works in international development, often in exotic places.

Most people are interested in travel; these posts draw in people who would not otherwise be attracted to the blog of an author whose prime target audience is young adults. Travel posts attract readers from overseas, creating an international presence. In the past month my blog has had hits from the UK, US, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Australia, Vanuatu and elsewhere. I will describe my marketing preparation in detail in a future post.

Obtaining permissions is another important topic that takes time to resolve. A key theme in my trilogy is the prediction of a world-changing event, which is predicted in various real-world sources, one being an ancient poem I found by chance in a book. The poem is quoted, in translation, on several websites. It essential, nevertheless, to identify the copyright holder and seek their permission to quote the translation. It would be unethical and hypocritical for an author, who jealously guards their own rights, not to respect those of others. I currently await a response from a publisher who owns another publisher, who owns a third publisher, who I believe ultimately holds the translation rights of the long-dead translator.

The final volume of my trilogy also includes a lengthy quote, although from rights already granted to other parties, I envisage less difficulty, and I have more time to obtain the agreement.

I would be interested to hear the views of other authors on any of the topics discussed here.