All E’ed Out – Swanwick Day Four

I can’t believe I forgot to tell you who our speaker was yesterday….shocking! Seee, brain dead already and it’s only day four *snigger*

Our speaker was the lovely Alan Samson from Orion Books. His talk was very interesting, and my favourite quote? “The book belongs to the author. An editor should be invisible.” which was said by Max Perkins, who is considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest literary editor ever.

So now I’ve got that out the way, what have I been up to?

I spent the early morning, writing, in my usual spot πŸ˜‰


Then after breakfast it was a talk from Rebecca Woodhead which was all about E Publishing. Fascinating stuff, in which she told us the secrets of her success, one of which is about building your “tribe” lol. What that actually means is that you need to build up your loyal following.

After a break for tea it was “Ask the E Panel”. A Q and A session with Alan Samson, Rebecca Woodhead, Jan Davison and Jonathan Telfer (both from Writing Magazine).


One of our delegates asked the question “If you’ve already published an EBook, does that ruin your chances of getting a traditional publisher and agent?” The panel were in full agreement with their response, and the answer was a definite NO and that, in most cases, it actually enhances your chances, especially if the EBook sells well and you have good reviews! OOOOOOOOO!!!!!! πŸ™‚ I kinda thought that would be the case, but it was great to hear from this well respected group. Alan Samson added that he would never take an existing eBook that had been published elsewhere. So remember that people. If you want to go down the traditional route, please don’t post your WIP’s on your blog πŸ™‚

We had the afternoon off, so I spent it catching up with online stuff, reading my book and doing some writing. I had a wander around the beautiful Lakes in the sunshine and actually managed to find a bench in the shade.


The evening speaker was Sharon Kendrick who is a Mills & Boon writer. She gave a thoroughly entertaining speech and i’ll be attending her course today πŸ™‚

The rest of the evening was spent watching plays that were written by, directed by, and starring my fellow delegates. Great stuff! And Simon Hall as the Song Police got my vote πŸ˜‰

So my question today, dear reader, is…..will you be going down the EBook route, in the hopes that it will give you a publishing deal? I still can’t make up my mind lol πŸ˜‰

32 thoughts on “All E’ed Out – Swanwick Day Four

    • I don’t think my quartet of novels set in WW2 (the first, Foxden Acres) would be right for Alan Samson, but I shall be going down the e-publishing route if I don’t get an agent this year. I agree Vikki, it was a great Q&A session and because the panel were so experienced and talented, it was very helpful. Great blog again…. x


      • Thanks Maddie πŸ™‚

        No, I agree, I don’t think you’re MS’s would be right for Orrion….but, I’m sure there is someone out there they are perfectly suited to….you’ve just gotta find them *deep sigh*

        Good luck honey, we’re willing you on!



  1. I’m definitely thinking about going the rebook route for at least one of my projects because it will be no more then a 30,000 word story so it’s not nearly long enough for a full length novel πŸ™‚


    • Awwwww, thanks Carol πŸ™‚

      I’m a big believer in writers supporting other writers. Most of the authors and tutors I’ve met over the last couple of years have been soooo eager to help and support. It’s such a great community to feel a part of πŸ™‚



      • I agree Vikki. And Swanwick more than anywhere else. So many of the tutors and speakers are following us on Twitter and are now Facebook friends. That takes the ‘them and us’ which I have occasionally felt elsewhere, away. Fantastic! x


  2. I wonder what Max Perkins thinks about the before and after on Raymond Carver’s works?

    I’m not sure about the self publishing yet. My first port of call is to try do a quality novel, then go from there.


    • Hi Patsy. I’m a friend of the lovely (talented-blogger) Vikki – and I’m at Swanwick too, which is wonderful. I’m going to e-publish if my first novel isn’t taken. I don’t think e-publishing is likely to get a trad publishing deal, but it can’t hurt when trying to get an agent for a second novel to tell them how many people have downloaded the first. All the best… Maddie


  3. Cool! Someone got a pic. Mind if I put that on my main site? ( I’ll credit you of course. Thanks for the mention.

    A tribe’s a bit more than a loyal following though. A ‘following’ implies the communication and benefit goes one way. A tribe is more than that. Everyone’s invested in it, and all the members benefit. When you build a tribe, you spend as much time looking for ways to help THEM as you do looking for ways to help yourself. In fact, if you’re doing it right, you’ll put between twelve and fifteen times more effort and content into helping them. It’s less about follower numbers and more about engagement. Hope that clarifies things. πŸ™‚

    I had a fabulous time at Swanwick. What a wonderful group of people. Thanks again for the mention.


    • Hi Rebecca, thank you so much for visiting my blog πŸ™‚

      Of course, yes, by all means use the pic!

      Thanks yes, that does clarify things. I do spend a lot of time encouraging and supporting other bloggers/writers, so hopefully I’m on the right track πŸ™‚

      Swanwick is FANTASTIC! πŸ™‚ I LOVED your talk, and I really hope you decide to pop by next year! πŸ˜‰

      You are very welcome πŸ™‚



  4. Reading over this post just gives me that feeling like I want to point at something across the room and ask: Did you see when…?

    To answer your question: I don’t think I’ll be doing the so-called easy self-publishing thing.


      • In many cases that I’ve read, self-publishing usually results in the author spending the full amount to publish the piece, and then more on top of the thousands in order to advertise. Let’s face it, social media can only get anyone so far. Contracting an editor, working with artists for any cover art, and the list goes on. I’m an author; I’m interested in writing. I’ll let someone else worry about what I have no need to worry about. β€” …are my current views on the subject of self-publishing.


    • Having gone into it at some length, putting your novel on Kindle isn’t easy. You need to do exactly the same amount of work as you would if a literary agent, or publisher, had taken it. More actually, because you have to make sure the book cover is as good as it would be if an agent’s designer had done it. Someone told me the other day that it could take up to 16 years to get a literary agent. I had to laugh. The first of my four books, set in WW2, is written and ready to go. I’m 60 now and would like to see them all in print. I intend to live to be a hundred, but do the the maths. x


      • Hence the β€œso-called”.

        Congratulations on finishing your manuscript. I’m sure it is a lovely piece. If you’re not ready, be sure to put on a thick skin. Once you have it zipped, buckled, and buttoned, send a copy of your MS to any and all publishers (so long as you’re able to get away with being non-exclusive), and hope for the best.

        In all honesty, it could never be published. Of course, we don’t usually hear in the news that [Name] wrote a book but will not be published.. It’s definitely a possibility, but without the time and effort of writing and the push forward to submit your work for consideration, you will surely never find out whether it will be accepted or turned away. If it does happen to get rejected at any time, be sure to wrap it in another envelop or box and send it to the next. I’m sure you know that proverb: If at first you don’t succeed…


      • Say it as it is, why don’t you, C.A? I’ve been published as a music journalist and in regular newspapers in the past, but not yet in fiction. My first novel will be published, so with the others in the quartet. It’s hard out there, but I do hard – bring it on! All the best, C.A. P.S. 60 is the new 40! x


      • I believe it’s better to tell the truth of the matter, even if the truth is likely to hurt feelings. In my experience, it’s better to hurt one’s feelings than to crush their dreams by continuously lying to them.

        Sounds like you’re buckling up and getting ready for a wild ride. Would love to hear more of it. β€” Age is nothing more than a number. It’s the wisdom that’s been gained through the course of life that tells more about a person, rather than the crazy old number called β€˜age’. Best wishes.


      • Now, C.A., old is a four letter word, well it was when it was spelt, olde. So yes, I feel ready for the journey, however bumpy the ride is. Can’t believe I’m saying this. Swanwick did me more good than I realised. And I agree, we should be truthful, but no one has the right to trample on someone else’s dreams. May yours come true.


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