OK, here’s the last part of the writing process. Just to recap: I managed to embrace the idea that I’m an author and have started to learn to recognize that whenever I surrender to what wants to happen great things happen right away. A great starting point for the period that followed, finishing the revised second edition of the manuscript. Several friends had given great feedback on the first draft and soliciting their feedback was quite scary at first but morale boosting when they actually told me in detail what they liked about it and how it resonated with them. But OK, I had revised the first draft and now it was time to send it out to a different audience.
As it is in English, I had given it some thought how and where to find a publisher. The UK seemed to be my best bet and quickly I found out that publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. That’s the role of the literary agents. They act as a buffer for the publishers and their task is to separate those manuscripts that they believe have commercial potential from those that they believe that don’t have that. And from the sheer numbers of manuscripts that are being sent out each week alone, that makes a lot of sense. After having researched the agents I made a list of some 20 of which I thought they might be interested. It was actually great fun studying what each of them wants to receive in order to be
able to judge whether or not my manuscript is something they would want to work with. Or in other words: to make the decision whether or not they would represent me. In spite of all the warnings about the unlikeliness of finding representation at all I felt confident enough to start sending off whatever it was each of them requested. What I hadn’t expected is that they would react at all (as some of them had mentioned on their websites). By far most of them wrote a mail or a letter, giving me the impression they had actually looked at the material. Which means that real agents had read something I had written as they would read something real authors would write! And although no one felt they could offer representation it boosted my self-confidence enormously and further amplified my belief that the novel would be published. What I had not anticipated is how fast that would go. Half June I got a mail from Shaker Media that they would be delighted to publish the novel. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read the mail. At first I read the words ‘unfortunately’ and ‘I’m sorry’ which sounded as a standard rejection. However as I re-read the mail it said “I’m sorry that I can’t continue reading your manuscript as, unfortunately, you only sent the first 50 pages. It should be
clear by now that we would be delighted to publish ‘The Glass Dome’. “ I nearly exploded for joy. Immediately I though back of what JK Rowling wrote in the 2011 Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook about seeing this message from her agent about wanting to read the balance of her manuscript. ‘The most magical words I have ever read’ as she had put it. And boy, could I relate to that!
What I thought would follow was a week or two (at max) of calmly going through the manuscript. Yeah, right. What really followed were six weeks of intensely working round the clock completely revising the manuscript. I had gotten some feedback in January about some weaker parts in the story. I could understand that feedback but, strange as it may sound, I couldn’t see it back then. But now I saw it and I radically changed most of the second part of the story while improving the first part. Then there was the cover design, deciding on the size of the book, the colour of the paper, the quality of the paper, page layout. contracts, what not. A very intense period at the end of which I had a sense of achievement and….. a feeling that I was not sure if anybody should actually read the story. Fortunately that feeling vanished in seconds after it had surfaced 🙂
As we speak, the book is being produced and should be ready for distribution sometime in the second week of September. One of the great things of working with Shaker Media to me is that we’re co-creating the success of the novel. It’s not that they take it out of my hands and I just sit and wait what happens. On the other side, there not one of those printing-on-demand suppliers either. It is an interesting mix of a traditional publishing house and modern printing and distribution techniques. I’m sure our relationship will intensify over the coming months and I’m looking forward to that.
Having (almost) finished the writing and production phase a new phase has started: getting it to the market. That’s going to be an interesting experience in itself but as it was with finding a publisher: I’m fully confident many people all over the world will just love to read it. So, yeah, by all means: if you want to pre-order your personal copy, with a personal dedication just drop me a message. For now, I’ll be engaged in marketing the novel and…..starting to write the second one, which will be related somehow to The Glass Dome. Stay tuned!
Love and Blessings,