I spend so much time wondering, hoping, despairing about how good a writer I am.
I have to stop this.
Why? Well, with four one-to-one appointments looming at the Winchester Writers’ Festival next month I have realised that it’s really not worth dwelling on. These people will read my work, they will decide for themselves.
There is, however, one question I should be pondering: Am I potentially profitable?
What is it about me, about my work, that can make an agent and publisher money? Where will my book fit into the thousands of other books that are published, and already have been published? Who will buy it, why?
These are the questions I have been asking this week and they are important ones. My goal is not romantic or noble, certainly not altruistic, but it is the same goal that agents and publishers will have: to make money from my book.
In my previous life, before my two beautiful children came into existence, I worked in recruitment in London and then corporate sales (selling wicker coffins, would you believe) in Somerset. I am lucky that I have experience of holding hundreds of meetings with clients, with customers, have attended trade fairs and events. I used to refer to the persona I adopted as “putting my business head on.” And it always did the trick, I was successful but, more to the point, I was profitable.
And it’s this business head I need to adopt now. I need to show agents that I can not only write a good book, but that I can sell myself too. I can hold my own in a room of people, I can stand up and talk to a crowd (which, God help me, I’ll be proving at the open mike night at Winchester!) and that I take the promotion and sales of my book seriously. Essentially, that I see publication as a long-term business move (which I do) and not just a hobby.
Now I just need to find an agent who can see that too!