The Pre-Publication Revelation

Ten days and counting until The Almost Truth, my debut novel, is published on the 8th April. This is, if you like, the final push in an experience that has had peaks and troughs of action and silence, while so much work has gone on behind the scenes.

The whole notion of  the 'pre-publication' stage has been a revelation. There was a lull after the edits and the proofreading, and suddenly it was action stations for all the extras that make a novel that I'd never really thought about. 

First of all, it was all about endorsements: who might read the book and offer a quote for the front and back covers, for social media, and editorial reviews. As a Dream Author, Sophie Hannah was one of my first choices, and thrillingly she said yes - so you have it from her that The Almost Truth is 'a gripping and brilliantly written novel from a huge new talent'. Well, all I can add is a huge thank you to Sophie.

Other authors were equally generous with their time and words: Clo Carey (who will forever be 'the Canadian correspondent); Jane Labous; Becky Hunter; Paul Soye; Caroline Moir; Olga Wojtas, Elissa Soave. That all of them are writers I admire makes it so much the sweeter. Thank you to everyone here.

The next layer was sending out of advance review copies to bloggers and readers and it was here that trepidation set in - I had to get used to seeing my book cover pop up unexpectedly on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram often in a feature about 'book post' received from the publisher. It was at that time I realised the lack of control authors have once their books are grown and flown! Anyone, anywhere could choose to read The Almost Truth, or choose not to; they could decide they loved it, hated it or just felt meh. Help!

Promotion and marketing is not my strong point and when it's essentially me, me, me, it's all the harder. But I believe in the novel - why is it so hard to talk about it? It's clearly a challenge lots of authors face because the lovely Olivia at Legend Press sent me a batch of promotional postcards with the advice just to hand them out everywhere and anywhere. Definitely they're an ice-breaker, and great evidence of the book ahead of it.

What I didn't reckon on were the sublime-to-ridiculous encounters even an introvert like me would face. It began in the old graveyard where I walk the dog. We often see the same tall, thin man in a suit who is, he tells everyone, looking for his ideal spot to be buried. He's offered to buy a copy of my book and have it buried with him... Then there was the woman on the bus who heard me talking on the phone, tapped me on the shoulder, and launched into a spiel about her novel. Before the next stop, she'd pitched and given me a QR code and an extract. I dnd't even have time to get my postcards out of my pocket.

At the other end of the scale, it's been ta great way to reconnect with old friends and with authors I work with but have never actually met - and the promised pre-orders are a real bonus.

So, by my next blog post, The Almost Truth will be out there, in paperback, in eBook and on audiobook. I don't know whether to shout it from the rooftops or hide my head under the blankets.

In the meantime, please would you pre-order my book The Almost Truth here?

Anne x



On the Shoulders of Giants
Publication Day: The Almost Truth


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