All in all, it took me about a year to write Love, War and Ice Cream. Now that I’m lucky if I have an hour’s stretch to sit and type, it doesn’t seem possible that I could do so for a whole day at a time…
I showed my manuscript to a friend, let’s call her Susie. “Too good to keep it just in the family—get it published,” she urged, all warmth and cups of tea. You should know that she’s very kind.
I talked to another friend, who had, before children and grandchildren, been someone in publishing. “You’ll never get that printed in time for the party,” she said, let’s call her a sensible name like Edith. Edith is kind in the realistic kind of way.
My face must have been expressive, or maybe it was the tears dripping onto her polished floor. Edith threw me a bone. “Traditional publishers take forever, but you can self-publish.”
“But… but… but… the cost! And… and… and… where do I start?” I can be pathetic sometimes.
She smiled at my reaction but patience isn’t Edith’s thing “Don’t be silly,” she boomed. Her dog cowered in a corner. “It’s easy and it doesn’t cost as much as you think… and you can use the resulting book to approach an agent about future work. Sprat to catch a mackerel, you know.”
She certainly caught me. I stopped submitting precious fragments of my manuscript to agents and doubled down to investigate self-publishers. I found a whole new world I never even knew existed.