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Ok, I should be writing a blog entry about how wonderful travelling in India is and of all the places I’ve spent time in, the weather of course (cos I’m English), the food and the resulting stomach problems I’ve experienced from eating said food stuffs – and the holiday applications of the Bristol Scale!

But you know what, I’m in fact gunna bitch about my feeble and soul destroying attempts to get my most recent book published by anyone other than myself!

My ‘agent’ recently emailed me a recent reply from one of the twenty publishers they have sent a submissions package to, and I enclose it here. It reads as follows….

Dear Catherina Dunphy

Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to consider your client’s novel, which we have looked at with interest.

However, I regret that we have reluctantly come to the conclusion that we could not publish it with commercial success.

But thanks in any case for thinking of us, and good luck with your search for a publisher.

Yours sincerely

Helen Armitage
Publisher’s Reader

Now, the question remains, how the hell can a new author get anything published if a prospective publisher is only looking for safe, commercially viable books, that will turn a profit? Forget originality, or concepts or anything that might be a little weird and wonderful.

In a vid I have on disk somewhere, the noted hairy genius Alan Moore suggests that new authors should self publish, which I have taken to heart (cos lets be honest, The Great Beardy One knows what the hell he is talking about!), but self publishing does have its limitations and getting the work out there is a real pain if you don’t have the contacts or networking skills, which to be honest I don’t….I have ideas, I illustrate them and write stuff….I’m not into the whole running about from bookshop to bookshop, pleading for space on shelves.

To illustrate this, I had two copies of Hell & Hugh Waters in Lion Books in Colchester. They might have sold, I have no idea cos I’m travelling now and don’t use the phone whose number I gave them to tell me if I had a sale. To be honest I really don’t care. Just having the books out there is so much more important than making 5 quid a copy.

So, as a new author, I have to contend with writing stuff that a publisher can guarantee a financial profit on, which probably explains why the bookshop shelves are crammed with shite or the work of established authors, who can write anything they like cos they have a fan base that makes publishers feel secure.

Getting your foot in the door is a nightmare!

I have had a generous offer from someone who has read my last book, to set up a website and I think that on my return I will be heading in this direction, but, I do get the feeling that putting stuff on the net can be a voice in the wilderness, as the net is so vast. Its worth a try I guess. Its either that or become addicted to diazepam and cultivate a morose and generally despondent attitude to something I enjoy doing.

Which to be honest I am not willing to do!



  1. I say give it a try – if you don’t self publish you will never know.

    • In fact I’m on my second self published book, the most recent being a third edition reprint….but as I noted, shifting them is a drag, though to be honest, just holding a freshly printed copy of my own work, with my own cover design makes it all worth while..thanks for your comment

      • In that case, I admire your courage and tenacity. I have just published a children’s book on Kindle. I know it is a slog shifting them but I would be more annoyed with myself if I had never tried. I hope your books do well.

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