Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Prophets of Baal

Some readers may have noticed that my novel, The Prophets of Baal, is to be electronically published on 25th November. It will be available in formats suitable for all popular e-readers as well as for PC and home printing. It should be nicely in time for the Christmas market, but for me one of the main advantages of a long lead-in to the day itself is to ensure that I had as many bugs as possible out of the published version. My wife very kindly helped with proof reading.
Independent publishing does cut out the middle man, which means that authors no longer have to appeal to agents and print publishers in the hope that someone will choose to put their work before the public. We are familiar with the horror stories about how many times famous writers and famous books were rejected before becoming best-selling classics. This knowledge consoles us when we receive the same sort of rejections ourselves. Of course it was not only good writers and good books that used to be rejected. The modern e-market obliges readers to sort the wheat from the chaff themselves and some people reckon that there is an awful lot of chaff out there.
Even when you have written a good story and expressed it in good language, your responsibility as a writer who intends to publish independently is not finished. You will not have the services of a publisher's editor. Naturally you are attached to your own work and you do not like to feel that there is a surplus word in your manuscript.  Well, of course you can follow the plot; you know the plot already. What about the reader who may become lost in your digressions and sub-plots? I decided to do my own editing, in the process of which The Prophets of Baal was reduced from over 200,000 words to under 164,000. I couldn't find very much more to cut. I re-wrote some of what remained in the interests of clarity and I hope that what I have left for you is a good read.
I don't mean to say that what I cut was not interesting or even that it was not relevant. I did feel in retrospect that it was not necessary. It did not contribute substantially to the plot or the characters and therefore it slowed down the development of the story. Sometimes as a reader myself I feel that I lack some information and I am usually happy for an author to give relevant information at that point. At other times I feel that I am suffering from information overload and I want to know what is actually happening to the characters. That sort of passage is what I was looking for when I did my editing.
Another advantage of a long lead time was to allow prospective purchasers some time in which to download a free sample of the book. My free 20% should amount to over 30,000 words, which is beyond the half way mark of a standard 50,000 word novel, so I hope no-one feels they are buying a pig in a poke, even though this is my first published novel.
I do hope that you enjoy it!
Pre-order from B&N  or Apple