Play the game, below, to find a title for your memoir. Mine is French Kissing, Fate and Other Natural Disasters. I knew the title of my first memoir, My Beautiful Psychosis, before I started writing it. I didn’t even have to think of one because it just came to me and stuck. It contained the word ‘psychosis’ which is especially… Read more →
What is the Secret to being an Amazon Best Seller – without spending ANY money or doing ANY extra promotional work? First you need a well written book that has a good title and an eye catching cover…obviously. Once you have that… …the SECRET is to put it in the RIGHT category. By ‘right’ I don’t mean the most appropriate… Read more →
Eight years ago I went to see a psychic. Don’t judge me. I needed some reassurance at the time. This is what the psychic medium Dorothy Chitty said: I started writing when I was first discharged from hospital way back in 1996. But, like psychic Dorothy said, I put it aside. It sounded self pitying and nothing I could feel… Read more →
Click on this link to go straight to the Crowdfunding Campaign. I have written ‘My Beautiful Psychosis’ to help change perceptions and de-stigmatise psychosis. It is due for publication on World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2019. I want it to go as far and as wide as possible. An eye catching book cover is essential to achieve this.… Read more →
Hybrid publishing is controversial. My memoir My Beautiful Psychosis; Making Sense of Madness has been offered three publishing deals. I not jumping up and down with glee because they are hybrid publishing deals. What is hybrid publishing? In traditional publishing the writer gets an advance and receives a small percentage of the book’s profit. A traditional publisher pays the author… Read more →
I wanted Dr. Russell Razzaque, author of ‘Breaking Down Is Waking Up‘ and Consultant Psychiatrist responsible for introducing Open Dialogue into the NHS to write a foreword to my book. I was thrilled to get this response from him: “I just couldn’t put it down. It took my breath away. Your prose is so captivating it just draws you in… Read more →
Editing is an important part of the writing process. That’s why I sent my manuscript off to someone in the publishing industry. I don’t have an agent or publisher and I didn’t want to put something out there that wasn’t credible. My editor was to be my gate keeper and a window into how my book is seen by the… Read more →
I sent a total of 34 proposals out: 18 of which received rejections and 16 I never heard back from. The standard response went something like this:
“Thank you for sending us this material, but I’m afraid it isn’t suitable for us. I’m sorry to disappoint, and wish you luck with your future writing.”
Only one agent gave me feedback as to why they didn’t go for it:
“Thanks so much for contacting us. I’ve read the sample material with interest. While I liked the chapters I wasn’t sufficiently swept along by the narrative to know that I’d be the best advocate for the book. Sorry! Best of luck elsewhere.”
The email I cherished the most, which I devoured like a drop of rain in the desert, came from Cara at the HHB Agency:
“Dear Emma, Thank you for your submission to HHB. I enjoyed reading your work, you write well, with intensity and style. However, as a small agency we are only ever able to take on a limited number of authors and I am afraid in this instance, we were not able to take you work further. I wish you all the best. All best, Cara”
One of the reasons I wanted to find a publisher was because I felt I wanted support to get the book out into the world. It is an entirely different process from writing the actual thing and requires very different skills. I’ve come to accept that I’m going to have to climb that particular mountain alone.
Thankfully there is help online at every step of the way.
The first thing I’ve done is to learn about cover design. I had a meeting with a graphic designer friend who very humbly said she wasn’t up for the job. I found a designer online, called Derek Murphy, who shared the secrets to designing a bestselling book cover. I’ve talked with bookshop assistants to find out what they think. I’ve played with different ideas and now, with a drum roll, I unveil the cover of my first book.
A huge thanks goes to artist Adriane Vinter from Norway for permission to use her image ‘Straight Jacket’.