This is a guest post by Simon Fairbanks. Simon’s first novel, The Sheriff, was released in March 2014. The following month, The Sheriff was chosen to participate in the One Big Book Launch organised by CompletelyNovel and Literally PR.
Simon was also one of ten writers who participated in the Ten To One project. Their collaborative efforts resulted in the novel Circ which was launched in November 2014.
Here is some good news for new novelists: the One Big Book Launch
is being run for a second year!
The competition, coordinated by CompletelyNovel
and powered by BookMachine
, invites writers to submit their novels for consideration. Ten of the best will be chosen to participate in the collaborative One Big Book Launch event in London.
My debut fantasy novel The Sheriff
was chosen for the OBBL last year. It was the perfect platform to launch my book and something I could not have done myself. Here are five reasons why…
1. The Pomp
The OBBL was a proper book launch.
There was a stage. There was a photographer. There were people pouring glasses of wine. My front cover was projected onto a wall. It was real. It was professional. Check out my photos
Better yet, it was hosted in the Free Word Centre
in London. Without the OBBL, I would probably have been launching The Sheriff in a function room above a pub in Birmingham. Instead, I was in a literary institution in the publishing capital of the UK.
2.The Guest List
The OBBL does not simply provide a swanky venue with all the trimmings. They also fill that venue with agents, publishers and book bloggers.
When I walked onto that stage and spoke into the microphone, I was addressing people who can make a big impact on my writing career. I found a glass of wine beforehand really helped. You can read my speech here
3. The Other Nine
Nine other lovely authors launched their book alongside my own. We were the ten most nervous people in the room so a friendly camaraderie was soon established.
I arrived a bit too early but so did authors Tracy Elner
and Julia Johnston
. We grabbed a coffee and chatted about writing, self-publishing and getting our names known in the Twittersphere.
4. The Selling and Signing
Before OBBL, I had sold copies of The Sheriff to friends and family.
But OBBL was the first time I sold a copy to a stranger for hard cash. It was a surreal, wonderful feeling. The realisation hit me: I might actually be able to do this for a living
I was even asked to sign the copies I was selling. I had never felt more authorial.
5. The Afterglow
The OBBL is just the beginning. Not long afterwards, I saw a bump in online sales and some fresh reviews of The Sheriff appeared on Amazon.
I have also stayed in touch with several of the OBBL authors. We all swapped books on the night and I have since reviewed the novels of Catherine Bruton
, Tracy Elner
and Julia Johnston
. Authors have to help each other out and now I have nine of the best in my corner.
Looking back, the OBBL was more than just the launch of The Sheriff. It was also the launch of my writing career.
So, new novelists, enter without delay
and get your own writing career started too.
Simon studied MA English Literature at the University of Birmingham. He has been a member of the Birmingham Writers’ Group since 2011. Simon’s debut short story collection, Breadcrumbs, was released in October 2014. It contains twenty-one short stories, including a new adventure starring the characters of The Sheriff.
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