Britain’s Next Bestseller

I’m being taken advantage of

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Oh how cunning people are!

In the last post I said that I was addicted to checking how many pre-orders “Entering the Weave” has got. It not a very fun game, but it’s compelling and I’ve almost managed to wean myself of it by restricting my viewing to between 7 and 8 o’clock in the evening.

I am not being helped by my nearest and dearest.

My daughter insists that I should tuck her in to bed every night. Some people might say this is cute, but she is quite capable of tucking herself in. And if you had to haul yourself off the sofa, drag yourself all the way upstairs, tiptoe over the mess that she’s made and then give her numerous cuddles and kisses, you’d know how annoying it is in reality.

The other annoying thing about it is that she’s never quite ready for me when I get there. She’s still pottering about in her room, or organising her teddies or rooting around for some pyjamas. This is literally minutes after she’s been sent to bed and then called out that she’s ready to be tucked in.

I usually shout at her for her lack of organisational skills. Or berate her for not being in bed quickly enough and if she’s not ready for her cuddle in two seconds then she can’t have one for that day. And it’s her own fault for being so selfish.

So, last night we went through the usual rigmarole which ended up with me shouting at her because she couldn’t find her stuffed rabbit.

She looked at me and said, “Dad. Why don’t you go into the study and see how many pre-orders you’ve had for your book. And when you come back I’ll be ready for my cuddle.”

Obviously, that’s just what I did. And an hour later she was ready.

Diversionary Tactics

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I feel like an addict.

I’ll just have a quick look to see how many pre-orders there are for “Entering the Weave”. And I’ll refresh the page a couple of seconds after I’ve arrived just in case someone has ordered one in the few seconds it took me to read the number.

At home, on my way to the bedroom or the bathroom or sometimes for no reason at all, I’ll detour into the study and have a quick look. At work, sitting in front of the computer all day, it’s hard to keep the checking down to once every ten minutes.

I have determined that this must stop. But it’s hard. And it’s made harder by the fact that I should be actively trying to promote it. With one half of my brain I’m dreaming up schemes to fool people into buying it. With the other I’m now trying to not think about it.

So, I need something to divert my attention. Some thing or things that will use my entire brain and be just as exciting as checking my progress of pre-orders…

Here is my plan. This month, October, I’m going to finish “Charlie’s Worries”. Then in November I’m going to try and break my record in NaNoWriMo. (I wrote 661 words out of the required 50,000 so it shouldn’t be hard) I’ll write “The Book of Lies”. Then in December and January I’ll get as much of “The Motley Life of Edison Swift” onto paper as possible.

During this time I shall only allow myself one hour of social media promotion and pre-order checking of “Entering the Weave” at 7pm every day.

The diet starts tomorrow… wish me luck.

Pre-order Launch Day

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I have moaned before, and at length, about how distracting it is when you’re waiting for news about a submission. To recap: it’s horrible. Every email is a potential dagger through the heart, or, less likely, the news you’ve been waiting for since before you can remember.

Now, I have discovered a new torture – a new way to waste my time.

Britain’s Next Bestseller launched the pre-order page for “Entering the Weave” today. This is undoubtedly a good thing for me. Excited does not come close to describing how I feel. You’d have thought that being an almost published writer I’d be able to think of exactly the right word, but today, and probably every day for the next sixteen weeks, I can’t think about anything other than whether someone else has pre-ordered it.

Kind, clever people have currently pre-ordered 10 copies. Hang on. No. It’s still 10. And this is brilliant! But until that number edges over 250 my life of fulfilment and active enlightenment is over. I’m going to be spending every waking hour counting. Really, really slowly.

Another unbelievably exciting thing happened today regarding the book. I discussed the possibility of going to a local school and talking to the kids about it. The headmaster was incredibly positive about it and said there were many facets of the process that the children would find interesting. Not just the obvious literacy angle, but also the real life process of someone actually writing a novel, and the various routes to publication. Hopefully this will happen during the week beginning 10th November.

This, as much as seeing “Entering the Weave” available for pre-order, has made me feel like a real writer.

Day one almost over, and do declare it to be a success.

Entering the Weave – Promotional Video

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Finally, after many, many changes of direction I’ve finished the promotional video. It’s much more light hearted than I had originally thought, but hopefully it’ll do the job…

Thanks to the people at GoAnimate for this. It’s so simple even an idiot can use it. Obviously…

Teaser Trailer

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Another of my jobs is to put a video together that will sell the book. This is not what I’m going to use, but it was a useful exercise, practising how to use video editing software.

I know, I know… it’s a loving homily to HG Wells and Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds. I hope it doesn’t offend anyone


Signing my life away?

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After a week of fretting the contract for BNBS finally came through. It’s now official…

I’ve got loads to do. Create a promotional video, write various blurbs, somehow construct an author’s photo that looks vaguely presentable, write an author’s bio and inspiration for the book. Plus, find some favourable reviews for the book. This last one is going to be hard because not many people who aren’t close friends or family have read it. And apparently none of them carry much weight in the literary world. Some friends they are…

Anyway, the contract was pages and pages long. It wouldn’t really have mattered how many children I’d have had to sell, I still think I’d have signed it. I fully understand now how guitarists might go down to the crossroads and make a pact with the devil for something they want so badly.

One step closer… perhaps

Someone has accepted me…

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I received an email from Britain’s Next Bestseller today accepting my proposal to promote “Entering the Weave” on their website.

I was at the cinema and I just happened to check my emails. Reading it the first time I thought it was yet another standard rejection. So I turned my phone off and enjoyed the film. It wasn’t until later that I read it properly…

Dear Simon,

I trust this email finds you well.

Thank you for submitting your manuscript, Entering the Weave, to Britain’s Next Bestseller.

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you – we have been inundated with submissions. We have finally had a chance to review your manuscript. We think it has potential, fantasy books have been popular on BNBS and would love for you to promote your book on our site with a view of landing a publishing contract.

I have attached some more information about how Britain’s Next Bestseller works and what we offer.


Makes me feel like a professional writer at last… Now I’ll start to worry that I’ve misinterpreted the email.