I am a crime author residing in South Africa. My first novel was released a number of months ago through a company called Raider Publishing, a USA based publishing company.
I have since created a website (www.jackhanger.com) and I have submitted the book for local reviews.
Anyway, now I have a series of problems hindering my growth and I really need some advice. My publishers have refused to use local distributors, so the book won’t make it to shelf space unless I can get it there myself. As a new author, this is not doable. Also, I may not distribute the book as the publisher holds the rights. So now Ingram is the distributor and SA bookstores hardly ever purchase through Ingram because of a Rand/Dollar conflict.
So, I figured the book could be released on e-book/kindle format for the overseas market. As this was a feature my publishers introduced into their services after publication of my book, I now have to pay for this service. Again, I’m not allowed to do it via someone else as they hold the rights.
Because of the slow progress, I have lost out on a possible movie deal. I now realise I have to promote and try to sell the book in the UK and USA because there the people are more active readers and more appreciative of crime novels than SA locals. My finances are depleted, so marketing it to UK and USA readers is out of the question.
What to do? Please give me some advice on how to generate sales, so that I can finish my second novel. Also, I want to avoid the pitfalls encountered with the first book. Any advice or help will be appreciated.
Thanks for the feedback, Jon.
You set a high standard to which authors should measure all agents. Any idea which agents fall in this description you have given? Some names would be appreciated.
I need to start approaching agents soon. I urgently need someone overseas as the distance between SA and USA/UK is making it very difficult to do anything.
Write that second novel and never look back. My first novel was contracted with Shadow Line Press, which wasn't vanity, but also wasn't run by people who had a clue about publishing. They pushed the release of my novel back SEVEN months. So I jumped ship from them and landed at Trestle Press, where I am very happy and work with a great crew.
There's no shame in my experience or yours. We were naive. In the end, the experience will make us both better authors. Sometimes what comes after the bad stuff is better than you expected in the first place. Just remember this one golden rule the next time around:
"Never pay for anything. Ever."
Like everyone says, move on. Write the next one. The world is full of writers like us who made early mistakes. Just don't let this one error be the end of you.