Publishing The Author Speaks

The Author Speaks: Update 26/07/20

A roundup of the most recent news related to pre-orders, release, press and distribution among other things.

The past couple of weeks have been very eventful (to put it mildly.) Pre-orders opened up and the immediate response was overwhelming. In a week we got almost 200 pre-orders. As I write this the pre-orders are only open for about a day or so. Once they close it will give me time to double-check the bookkeeping and prepare for the release date.

A success

The books are currently with the printer and I’m expecting them to be shipped to me on Wednesday, which means I can get started on signing and packaging by Friday. If the proof copy is anything to go by then it will be a really nice book to read (not just in terms of its content.) It’s a great size and weight and the pages are very crisp and high contrast. Easy to read, easy to hold, just the way I like it.

The press proof

In other news, my interview for the Wangaratta Chronicle resulted in an awesome write-up for which I am very thankful. Trying to get media attention for a self-published book is almost impossible. You can have the most professional approach and highest quality product, but unless you know somebody with connections you’ve got no hope of cracking any of the major outlets. I have approached the big papers and of the ones that bothered to respond the reply was “we don’t deal with books that aren’t from major mainstream publishers”. Even my local rag didn’t show any interest. One thing I will say, however, is that the press in regional Victoria have always provided a voice for the Glenrowan project right back to its roots as The Legend of Ned Kelly so it’s encouraging to have support from them this time around, and much appreciated too.

I got nearly a whole page to myself!

Similarly, getting the book into stores is extremely hard without being with a major distribution company. The chain stores like QBD, Collins and Angus and Robertson all have a “no independents” policy that means small publishers and self-publishers are locked out entirely – again, it’s all about having connections. Luckily I have been in touch with some independent book shops who have agreed to stock Glenrowan once it is officially launched. The current lockdowns make it impossible to visit stores in person to discuss having the book stocked there, which seems to be the most normal way to make progress on that front. Hopefully soon I can get the book stocked somewhere in Glenrowan, which is sort of part of the dream. Visit the place, get the book.

The big Ned doesn’t look so big here

The majority of the pre-order rewards have arrived and been bundled up. Some of them are being held up because, unbeknownst to me when I placed the order, they are coming from Singapore of all places. So I’ve had to order the same product from a local business that does a faster turnaround to make sure they get here in time. This isn’t such a bad thing, just an annoyance.

I’ve also been making plans to do an audiobook version and have made enquiries about securing some very exciting talent to lend his voice to my words. Let’s just say, for now, that when I can get the dosh together to go into production on that then I will have something exciting to announce.

So now all I can do is wait for the next step. Pre-orders close on July 27 and the official release date is July 31. That brief breather in between will allow me to make sure that everything is ready to go. It’s only a matter of days…

By AJFPhelan56

Father, writer, artist and bushranging historian residing in Melbourne, Australia. Author of 'Glenrowan' and the popular website A Guide to Australian Bushranging.

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