Saturday 9 January 2016

Author feature ~ Mary Cavanagh

Calling All Authors

A Seriously Useful Guide to Becoming a Successful Author

by Mary Cavanagh

ISBN 978-1-78507-547-1

Mary Cavanagh

Thank you, Jo, for giving me the opportunity to write about Calling All Authors, and most especially for contributing your article, outlining the enjoyment you get from writing Jaffreadstoo. Although I’m pretty sure that most of your readers are looking for good recommended reads I wonder if any of them have ever wondered what it’s like to be an author in a very competitive publishing world; something they will probably find very interesting and revealing.

Being an author today, even with huge talent, is a terrible struggle, and even though I’ve have a modicum of success with three novels, I’ve also come up against huge disappointments and let-downs. Therefore, my aim with Calling All Authors is to produce a seriously useful guide to professional manuscript production, understanding the jungle of the book industry and selling that book!

So why did I take a year out of my life to write it? The answer is simple; as a novelist I’ve ‘walked the walk and talked the talk’ for nearly twenty years, and I’m rather fed up with similar books being produced by corporate know-alls who (although they are well connected to the publishing industry) have no idea what its actually like to burn the midnight oil whilst juggling work and family life, fighting a way through all the publishing options on offer, and throwing oneself into the hurly burly of the commercial marketing place. Thus, I’ve tried to ‘tell it like it is’ by including not only sound advice, but every caution and alert I can.

Over the last five years, with the advent of self-publishing, on-line booksales platforms (like Amazon) and social media marketing, publication is actually easier, but it’s infinitely more difficult to get a mainstream contract. Even if you do become one of the tiny minority to win that much-prized accolade, publishing houses are doing less and less to help you with marketing and publicity. A serious much-favoured option is self-publishing; a method that actually leaves you without ‘handcuffs’ and (if you are successful) a much better monetary reward. Thus, with so many octopus tentacles being offered you have to have focus, determination, and as much information as possible to survive the book industry. I hope that this is what I have provided in Calling All Authors.

I hope that this ‘in a nutshell’ article gives a flavour of what’s needed to be a published author. I aim to demystify all the necessary processes in a concise, lively, and highly readable way, with some very useful contributions from a wide range of other successful authors and book trade specialists. 

I will be really pleased to hear from anyone who would like to contact me with questions, or suggest any ideas for inclusion in further editions.

Mary Cavanagh, Oxford, 2016


Twitter @MaryCNovelist

Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Mary for taking the time to come and talk about Calling All Authors and for her kind invitation to Jaffareadstoo to feature in this informative and interesting book. I don't consider myself to be a writer, merely a recorder of my thoughts about the books I love to read. However, I found the book to be extremely useful and it really helped me to understand the writing process more and to understand all the ins and outs of the fascinating and competitive world of the both the aspiring  and published author.


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