Saturday, February 26, 2005

Confession 2 Publication worries

'Getting published is like farting at a party.'

Philip Larkin

It's an odd experience all round, especially the first time.

My first publication worries in ascending order of sleepless night panic:

  • The estate agent from Chestertons, Tower Bridge Road will recognise herself and sue me. Changing hair colour isn't enough.
  • Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr will both read the book all the way through, see "coo coo ca choo" as their copyright and immediately get on the phone to each other to discuss lawyers.
  • The sex scenes will be read by my mother, the vicar, the man in the sweetshop and my daughter's headmistress. This is excrutiating. Including graphic detail in cheap, tawdry desperation to get on publishing ladder now seems like a very bad idea indeed.
  • Somebody will want to interview me.
  • Nobody will want to interview me.
After the high of the launch party, organised with the help of friends and the local bookshop, I drifted around in a bubble of love for my friends and relatives and high anxiety dictated by what everyone I bumped into said. Everything in my tiny author mind was categorised by whether they mentioned the book or didn't mention the book. The don't mentions were excrutiating, why weren't they saying anything? I know they've got a copy so they must have hated it. Acquaintances were the worst, like the mum in the playground who came up to say she'd read it but didn't give any comment.

Like every new author I grumbled about the big bookshop sales policies, publishers pay hefty sums to get their favoured books on those tables, and I checked the reviews from The TLS to Heat. I worked hard to promote the book, getting a short story into Woman's Own and a travel piece in The Sunday Times. There were mentions rather than reviews in a few women's magazines, a piece in the local paper and one interview with Radio Jersey. This live down-the-line phone interview was so terrifying I realised the lack of publicity for my book wasn't such a bad thing after all. So, all in all a strange cocktail of emotions. Feeling loved by my friends and family, neglected by the big wide world of publishing and deep relief because of it.

Bye bye, speak again soon and thanks for visiting.

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