Publishing your first book: Some very broad advice

Salvete, readers!

Since the publication of The Way Home, a few people have asked me for advice on how to get published. To be honest, though, I’m still finding my way in the industry and my journey toward publication is by no means conventional. I started out publishing academic work in ancient history. Building on that platform, I’m transitioning to historical fiction. My path is an atypical one. Of course, I’m not actually sure there is such a thing as a typical path to publishing a novel. There are so many different ways to get your work out there, especially in the age of indie publishing. I love hearing authors tell their stories of how they started their careers. That said, I question how some well-established authors speak as though theirs is the only way. Serendipity is always a factor in publishing. Just because it worked for one author doesn’t mean it will work for all. It’s also worth considering that publishing practices vary a lot from country to country: advice that works in the US or UK may not necessarily work in a smaller country like Australia.

The best advice I can give is fairly broad.

Embrace every learning opportunity. Learn from multiple sources and be willing to try different things. Go to writing conventions, talk to agents, listen to interviews with people who know what they are talking about. Don’t be half-hearted, jump in with the enthusiasm of a space cadet. And don’t give up. It’s a hard road and can take a long time. I also think it’s really helpful to engage in self-reflection and be honest with yourself about what your goals are as an author and what kind of career you want. Being clear about your expectations is an important step to realising them.

I think I’ll follow this up with a post sharing the process Matt Wolf and I used to come up with the amazing illustrations for the Ashes of Olympus trilogy. In the meantime, The Way Home is available via the online store of your choice!

Until next time,

Valete

PS. I’m offering a free short story exclusively to followers of my newsletter. Sign up here for your copy! Fear not, I won’t give away your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Newsletter adventures

Salvete, readers!

Wow, it has been a little while since I last posted, hasn’t it? I’ve hit 2018 running, as ever. Guess what, though? I’ve got something exciting to share… I set up a free monthly newsletter for followers!

I’m really excited about this. The newsletter will be a great way to keep in touch and share cool free stuff with like-minded people. I can interact with readers in a more meaningful way via correspondence than social media. And I’ll be honest, the recent changes to the Facebook algorithm gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start a mailing list. There’s never any guarantee with Facebook that your posts will ever find your followers. Unless you pay a small fortune, of course. Likewise, interactions on Twitter are fun but fleeting. The good old-fashioned mailing list remains the most reliable and cost-effective way to get messages out to readers.

Right now, if you subscribe, you will get an exclusive prologue chapter for the Ashes of Olympus series, my upcoming historical fantasy based on Virgil’s Aeneid. This chapter won’t be included in the book. It’s an exclusive free gift to followers. You’ll also get a special glimpse at the blurb for the first Ashes of Olympus book! Huzzah! Over the coming months, I’ll give subscribers the first look at the development of the book. You’ll get the sneak peek at the cover and read the first extract before they’re released to the wilds of the internet. Over the next few months, I’m going to share with my subscribers the early sketches for some illustrations I’ve commissioned for the book, so you’ll also receive original artwork based on Virgil’s Aeneid. In the long term, I am going to update the newsletter about once a month with my writerly updates. It’ll be a hoot!

What you won’t get is spam. I might send out an announcement about releases of my books. But I won’t clog up your inbox with advertising. Nor will I give anybody your email address. That would be an awful thing to do, quite simply.

I hope you’ll join me in this wild ride up to launch day!

Here is the sign-up page!

Until next time,

Valete

PS. Don’t worry! I’ll still keep up the blog. Regular posts resume now.