Big White Shed… venturing outside into the world of publishing

A few years back I wrote a novel… you know how it goes… it lay finished, I lay exhausted and a tiny bit bored with the whole thing. Then came a flurry of activity involving spread-sheets, emails, cover letters, sample pages, stamps, large brown envelopes, rejection letters, no letters at all. Then came the ‘getting on with everything else’. Then came a re-write. More activity. Encouragement in its many splendoured forms, nestling on a bed of discouragement in the guise of NOTHING HAPPENING.

So what to do? Publish it myself? I can’t just park it in a file on my laptop and forget it ever existed can I? So, I have looked into self publishing every now and again. The costs of producing a reasonably good looking book are quite high, there’s a variety of companies offering a service from basic printing the file you send them, Print On Demand options, to graded packages, Gold, Silver, Bronze, offering book design, cover design, full edit, copy edit, no edit. I didn’t have a spare £1000 to spend and have a stack of books languishing in a box in the spare room. I have also been very aware that some of the companies don’t produce the finished product that I would like. I have also seen professional services offered where their own material is mis-spelled or clumsily laid out.

What about an e-book? That’s probably the next step… again there are companies offering the service to convert files to e-books but when i see typos in their advertising and marketing I’m loathe to hand over my hard earned cash.

Then I went to Karlsruhe on a writing trip with a crowd of English ne’er-do-wells and met a young man called Florian Arleth who runs a small publishing company called Brot und Kunst. He publishes local spoken word artists, poets and performers, and the books are like REAL books. What’s more even for a small print run of 100, the cost is easily affordable. He uses a company called Booksfactory who offer a minimum order of £50. For the style of book I would like to produce I could print as few as 20 books and pay only £50.

So where am I now? I have a final manuscript which I am about to send off for a copy edit. In my case I have had a lot of creative input, critical reads, full manuscript reads, sample chapter assessments, I don’t feel there’s much more can be done with it, but I do know it needs a professional eye put over it to catch all those glaring errors that my eye just doesn’t see because I’ve read the damn thing so many times.

I am about to buy a batch of ISBN numbers, have an artist working on a cover design and logo. Logo? Ah yes, most importantly I shall be launching this novel as a Big White Shed production… and what is Big White Shed? It is a creative space which will be gestating new and exciting creative things from now on… first up, publishing my novel.

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4 comments so far

  1. Ruth on

    This is all very exciting. I can’t wait to read the next instalment or indeed the PUBLISHED novel.

  2. anag7 on

    Awesome! Stories like these inspire me more to keep pursuing my writing and getting published dreams. Good luck!

    • anneholloway on

      Thanks! We all need to keep on at it. Good luck to you too.

  3. […] been up to as part of my Publishing Internship with Mouthy Poets. I’ve written about it here on my blog, so please do follow the link to read more about […]


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