The 5th Bournemouth Literary Festival has seen another successful series of events, with workshops, discussions and book signings galore to keep everyone happy.
At the Wessex Hotel last night a panel, David Hay, Pam Fudge and Janine Pulford, discussed aspects of getting into print for a capacity audience. I chaired the discussion and I was delighted with the dedication to the evening shown by the panellists and by the interest of those who turned out to hear what the panellists had to say.
David Hay published his novel, The Fundamentalist, through Authorhouse. He told the audience that this was a bit like going to the 'Specsavers' of publishing. He paid a lot of money for his book to be published, the publisher set the price and he was left to market his book himself.
Pam Fudge has been published by mainstream publishers but still has to do a lot of her own marketing. She does not have to pay to be published and receives an advance on sales.
Janine Pulford had to set up her own publishing company to bring her novel, Aggracore, to the the reading public, after it was rejected by mainstream publishers.
The discussion ranged over the topics of editing manuscripts and the importance of proof reading, the question of marketing (all the writers had been shocked on discovering how much of the marketing of their books was left to themselves to do) and how to go about it, the financial side of publication with its costs and potential earnings, publishing outside the print media on blogs and e-zines, a brief look at copyright and finished with tips for those in the audience who were aspiring to write a book.
'Keep writing and submitting. If you do not, you will not get published,' said Pam.
'Spend a lot of time on the blurb for the cover,' said David.
'Join a creative writing group and accept constructive criticism on your work,' said Janine.
Questions from the audience asked David about his overall experience with Authorhouse, asked Pam what the average word length for a first novel should be and asked the panel if a newspaper advertisement was a cost effective way of marketing. The value of joining writing associations and societies, such as The Society of Authors, The Romantic Novelists Association or The Society of Women Writers and Journalists, came up. It was felt that these groups lent credibility to the writer, in addition to the practical benefits membership offered.
In all, it was an interesting evening, which I hope was of use to those who attended.