Today I'm delighted to welcome Ellie Holmes to my blog. I read her book, The Flower Seller, ten years ago and thought it a wonderful read. However, like many new writers, Ellie was unable to find a traditional publisher for this book even though she had a top agent on her side. Therefore she has decided to go the indie way and I'm sure she'll be very successful.
THE ROAD TO PUBLICATION
Ten years ago I dreamed of being published the traditional way, vanity publishing aside, it was the only option available. With the ink still wet on my contract with a London literary agent, I was full of optimism.
The Flower Seller came close to securing a deal with a couple of publishers but ultimately I lost the slot to other more established authors with proven track records or the money men shook their heads. Other near misses with future novels followed and then the world started to change.
I read “Self Printed The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing” by Catherine Ryan Howard and decided to leap into the unknown. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly. Burning bridges is never pleasant. But in my heart of hearts I knew it was the right decision for me. How much longer did I wait for a trad deal? What if it never came? Better to regret the things that I have done than to regret the things I never had the courage to try. And so I began my journey through the dark forest of self-publishing. It was an unfamiliar and scary place full of traps for the unwary. There were so many new terms to learn, so many new skills to acquire, so much knowledge to soak up and try to retain.
What have I discovered on the way? That the self-publishing community is a friendly and encouraging group of people. I have found the Alliance of Independent Authors http://allianceindependentauthors.org/ phenomenally supportive and informative. The blogs and articles so generously written by Alli’s contributors have been invaluable to a newbie like me.
I wanted The Flower Seller to be the best quality book it could be so I took time to get the edits right and I hired a professional editor, proofreader and cover designer. I particularly wanted an eye catching cover that would appeal to readers and stand out and Berni Stevens certainly delivered
The Flower Seller finally went on sale on 2nd June. It’s been a long time coming but all the more sweet for that.
Many years ago I thought the road to publication ran in a straight line and for some it does. My route was a little more circuitous - more country road than motorway. You could say I took the scenic route! I am glad I did – I am a better writer as a result.
And just to prove you never know what might happen next, as I was putting together The Flower Seller for publication, I sold my first piece of work to a trad publisher. I’m used to those kind of kinks in the road now.
Ellie Holmes writes full length commercial women's fiction with a touch of romantic suspense and romantic mystery novellas - books that have heart and soul with a dash of danger. Ellie takes her inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. Romantic and engaging, Ellie's style of writing will draw you in and keep you turning the pages. Heart-warming stories and compelling characters will stay with you long after you close her books. The Flower Seller is Ellie’s debut novel.