I am delighted to have the lovely Ali Bacon sitting round my pool sipping bubbly whilst talking about her new novel, A Kettle of Fish and her new publishing contract with Thornberry Publishing. Cheers Ali, the stage is all yours….!
First of all a big thanks Pauline for inviting me to your blog. Like so many others I’ve been enjoying your sun-filled Tweets and I whizzed through Satchfield Hall on a flight to Dubai. A great read. But however much I envy you your climate, I still have a lot of affection for my home town in Fife - grey skies and sea mists make sunny days all the more special, and childhood holidays spent on the coast were a big inspiration for A Kettle of Fish (my second novel – the first is getting very comfy in its drawer!) due to be published in October.
The book has been a while in the writing, first of all I had to decide exactly where the story – and my heroine - were heading (yes, I’m of the ‘pantser’ fraternity!) Then there were the redrafts and changes to satisfy my wonderfully perceptive writing group, but eventually – maybe a year ago? I was pleased enough with it to send it out to agents and publisher. With agents I wasn’t optimistic, because I sensed the omens for a new writer of mainstream fiction were not good! However I did have lots of encouragement, particularly from small publishers who liked it a lot but couldn’t fit it into their current lists.
By this time I had learned a lot about self-publishing and armed with a new Kindle was becoming a devotee of e-books. While I dithered over the decision of whether to go it alone, I gave my MS to a writer friend for proof-reading. She liked it a lot and suggested I submit to Thornberry (her own e-publisher) which I did, and they liked it too - so much that they didn’t ask for any changes! – a great bonus and boost to my confidence. I briefly considered still going it alone, but not for long!
I was already impressed by the Thornberry ethos and the other writers on their books and when we got down to business in a face to face meeting (another bonus) they were very open to discussion. The contract is even quite comprehensible! From now on all I have to do is provide the final MS. They will format it and let me see ‘page proofs’ then deal with everything else, including cover design – and royalties of course. In fact they will also accept cover art from the author if it’s up to standard, so I’m currently having some fun looking at designs with my daughter who is a graphic artist. This is more work (or self-indulgence?!) for me, but it’s nice to feel a hands-on, safe in the knowledge that if it doesn’t work out, Thornberry will do the job. (And Ellie and I will still be friends!)
They are also very supportive of my issuing the book in print (the contract is e-book only) and will provide me with necessary files. However much I love my Kindle I know there are lots of people out there who prefer a ‘tree-book’ and then there’s the whole vanity thing of seeing my book ‘in the flesh’.
Publication is due for October, which seemed a long time ahead but is now whizzing towards me very fast and I’m trying to give some thought to my online launch. Earlier this summer I was recruited into the Love A Happy End team who have already been fantastically supportive. Otherwise expect to see me Tweeting and blogging like mad from now until Christmas!
Ali’s website: http://alibacon.com
An excerpt from A Kettle of Fish at http://loveahappyending.com/ali-bacon/
Thornberry Publishing: http://www.thornberrypublishing.com/