Do It Yourself!

Something like ten years ago, getting a book published was thought a pipe dream for most of us from a ‘non book’ background. The world of the publisher was a confusing and puzzling beast.

Where did you start? I mean, you had your great idea and you were prepared to put the hours in the write the amount of words needed, but what happened after that?

The phrase ‘no unsolicited manuscripts’ was often quoted when you rang to enquiry where to send your work.  It would have to come from your agent they said. Who’s got an agent you said.


Then, with the advancement of the Internet, self-publishing companies began springing up, promising you the opportunity to get your work printed and ‘out there’.

You simply uploaded your thousands of words, designed your cover, paid your fee and bosh, you’ve got your book.

Just a year or two before this, the idea of self publishing had been quickly dismissed as ‘vanity publishing’ and as put downs go, it was one of the highest order.

So, stalemate again?

No, not this time. Don’t get me wrong, I tried to get a ‘proper’ book deal, but after 60 or so rejection letters, I gave up and knew I had to do my own thing. By that stage in 2006, I’ve got to say; I simply didn’t care what people thought. To sit and write over two years 80,000 words and then NOT get it out in the market place, was never an option for me.

I just wanted the book out, in the hands of those who love to read. That doctrine was informed by the old Punk ethos of DIY.

So, I published. Then the fact that you have your 500 copies of the book in boxes in your spare room dawns on you. Your mum and Auntie Shirley and Dave from the pub may have bought one, but you quickly work out, that to shift the rest is going to take some serious hustle.

In some ways, selling them was trickier than getting them printed. For me, giving away a few copies at first brought me a few callers asking for the book their mate had told them about. Word of mouth, always acknowledged as the best publicity you can get, worked a treat for me. Soon I was getting calls from people who quickly told me the last book they had read was one at school, but a mate on their building site, or wherever, had told them they would like my work and so it went.

After 4 years it had gone ok. Something like 900 books had been sold there was interest from a TV/Film company, which somewhat unbelievably paid off. We went on to sell the film rights and finally to get a ‘proper’ book deal for it on the back of that.

In the last couple of years or so, there has been a real flurry of self-published titles and a few of those have ended up in my hands. A few have been the reminisces of the older mod, whether first or second generation, writing about how it all was back in their day, and therefore once again valuably passing on the stories to the new breed.

One of the first of those to come across my desk was  ‘The Influential Factor’ by Graham Lentz, which looked at the world of Mod from its origins and brought it right up to date, upon its publication in 2002.

Recently there has also been a good selection of ‘Mod Fiction’ and among the publishers who have been most supportive of this genre is Jason Brummel of Suave Publishing. Jason also happens to be a fine writer himself.  His own books ‘All About My Girl’ and ‘All Or Nothing’ are certainly worth checking out.

Early October 2017 saw two more books released on the Suave imprint. David Dry’s ‘My Generation’ and ‘Seven Day Fool’ by Jason Disley

Among others who have produced fine work are Tony Beesley with his books ‘Sawdust Caesars’ and ‘Mojo Talkin’.

Personally, I say good luck to all of them and the others out there too. I sincerely hope they find an audience for their work. With the possibility of utilizing the world of social media to its fullest extent, there is no really excuse now.

If you feel you have a book in you, get it written and get it out there!

The Mumper of SE5