How does it feel to have my first novel published?
by Marie Marshall
At last my first novel Lupa is published. It was taken up by an independent publisher in South Africa who offered me a commercial contract. It feels as though the novel has had a long gestation period – it was my first work of full-length fiction and I completed it in 2004, and so it is in some senses a ‘young’ work. I have doggedly resisted the temptation to self-publish or even to accept an ‘author-subsidised’ deal. To my mind conventional publication does still confer legitimacy on a written work. This is not to say that there are not some excellent self-published works out there, nor that conventional publishing exclusively promotes works of great literary merit. We can all point to the exceptions. Nevertheless – I have to tell you – this feels good!
At present the book is available in print or in Kindle form via Amazon. My SA publisher is currently struggling with the problems of printing in both SA and the UK, so a bookshop launch in either country is not imminent. But as so much of the book trade is now on-line Lupa will actually be available internationally before it hits its domestic markets! Who knows – it may end up being printed in China.
Another aspect of being taken on by an ‘indie’ publisher is that such a lot of the publicity and marketing will have to be do-it-yourself. I am going to have to plug it via this site, via social networking, and so on, hoping that people who say they like my writing will actually prove it with a purchase, will recommend it to friends, will write favourable reviews, and so on. Over to you, I guess!
I would like to thank my agent, my publisher, my friends Lucy (who insisted that I wrote this book in the first place) and Joey (who gave it its first critical read-through back in 2004) and everyone who has made this possible for me.
just ordered a copy on Amazon. amazing thing…
Thanks Angie, that’s wonderful. 🙂
Am happy for your publishing! I know how grueling this is really is as I am currently setting up my publishing on ISSUU in order to become ready for the, as you say, contractual market. Most of my work is either poetry or non-fiction work, so there are few takers and the layouts have to be perfect before trying to entice a publisher.
Reading Lupa will require some time and I shall make it a personal interest project of mine ASAP; your writing has always fascinated me and the texture of your work is pleasing to the eye and mind, so when I have done ‘the deed’, I shall make some critique of proper essence and send you…DW
Thank you kindly DW, I look forward to receiving it.
Congratulations, how wonderful! 🙂 If it makes you feel any better, even people in the US who get published in the traditional way (legacy house) have to do a lot of their own marketing now, too, from what I’m seeing.
And a lot of us who came out of academic programs for CW still harbor what is becoming perhaps an irrational clinging to the idea that traditional publishing is somehow more legit. In other words, you’re in good company. Try not to fret. 😉
Best of luck to you!
Oh I have my reasons for thinking that way – nothing irrational about it. 🙂
Even though I maintain what I consider to be the minimum ‘presence’ on-line, I have been discovering that even via blogging and social networking there is only so much self-publicity one can generate. I find myself begging people to re-blog my blog posts, to share links on Facebook, to post favourable reviews on Amazon, and so on (that’s a broad hint, by the way, Angelique 🙂 ).
Today I was at the local train station, and my eye was drawn to the six-foot-high adverts for the latest blockbuster novels – spy stories, romances. That is the place, outside of bookshop windows and the internet, where the book advertising is most prominent here in the UK. It also demonstrates what I mean about the commercial clout of the big publishers. I stood there imagining what a large advert for ‘Lupa’ would look like…
Does that count as fretting? 🙂
Hmm…maybe we should discuss some reciprocal promotion? 🙂 Let’s discuss it off the comments section.
Click on ‘Contact’ above to find my email address. 🙂
Congratulations, Marie! I ordered an e-copy on Amazon and look forward to reading it real soon!
Thank you, Eilidh, on both counts. 🙂
just bought it on my kindle and will review 🙂 I love your poems
Well firstly thank you for the compliment about my poems, and secondly I hope you enjoy the novel. 🙂
(really confusing how WordPress picks and chooses which manifestation of myself answers the comments. I can’t figure it out!)
well, I for one learned never to question the ‘personae’ 🙂
Och, that’s just as well, I suppose. I’m so awkward with IT that I set up my web site and my poetry blog at such arms length from each other that it’s a wonder I can have any interface between to two at all. Or rather, someone else set up the web site for me – I’ve just tinkered inexpertly with it and run back to her when I needed help. 🙂
Finished the book last night and reviewed, as promised. I took my time with the first thirty pages or so (a matter of pure circumstance) but I was astounded at how furiously the reading began to flow as soon as I got to meet your Lupa. It was a worthy experience, Marie, thank you! hope to see your name on many bookshelves soon! my very best wishes, Maria I.
Oh that was yourself was it? I happened across it before I noticed this comment. Many, many thanks. I think this is the first time I have ever been mentioned in the same breath as Hesse.
Oh yes, Haller sprung to mind quite early in the story. Seeing as how Hesse is at the top of my ‘golden gallery’ I wouldn’t have made the comparison gratuitously. It was actually refreshing to see the arena through the eyes of a wolf so very much in touch with her nature. And it was equally enthralling to see the wolf ‘exorcised’ by the human’s ‘rite’ of suffering (the darkening ceiling metaphor was just perfect).
Admittedly, the drama seeker inside would have loved to get to know Moloch a bit better but there was no place for such things in the She-Wolf’s field of vision. Odd how it was precisely the lack of conventional melodrama that we somehow all crave (not unlike junk food) that made me love Lupa…
Thanks for “lack of conventional melodrama” – that was precisely how I was trying to pitch it. I was aware throughout that I was sailing close to the conventions of ‘sword-and-sandal’, and I wanted to avoid cliche.
I have nominated you for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.
Best, B Elizabeth NS
Thank you, that is very kind indeed. I doubt if I am going to get the opportunity to pay it forward, but I do appreciate the compliment.