Before I actually was a published author, reading other people’s stories about their own paths to publication and book deals was something of a hobby. Sometimes they filled me with inspiration, and sometimes they filled me with despair, and I’ll admit a little jealousy at times – would I ever be lucky enough to be talking about my own? The one thing I did learn however, above all else, was that everyone’s path to publication was different, that there was no set formula to follow, and this gave me hope that my own endeavours might one day bear fruit. The other thing I learned was that these paths to publication were never smooth, they contained rejection, disappointments, but usually hope too, a degree of luck, and always, always, a belief that one day, following hard work, dogged determination, and never ever giving up, success could be just around the corner.
So, one quiet night in June 2014 I pressed publish on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing page and my debut novel, Letting in Light was born. And there it sat, quietly languishing among the shelves of a million other eBooks, not exactly alone, but pretty much unread. And so I asked myself a variation of that age old conundrum – if a tree falls down in a forest and there’s no one to hear it, does it make a noise? Only in my case the question of course was – if a person writes a good book but there’s no one to read it, is it still a good book. The answer of course (if you want to make a career from writing) is that of course you have to start with a good book, but if no one reads it, the fact that it’s a good book is immaterial. I realised very quickly that I had done everything wrong…
I had written a book, but I knew nothing about marketing, and publishing, social media and book bloggers, and so I had sent my book out into the world without friends and completely unprepared for any eventuality. I quickly embarked on one of the biggest learning curves of my life. I made it my mission to find out everything I could about how other people were selling their books, and then I tried to sell mine.
And it took a year, of really hard work, of chasing down every opportunity to get my little book seen, and then read… Having self-published, I made the decision very early on that I wouldn’t submit to publishers or agents until I had an idea whether the book was any good – before I published it no one else had read it, and it had begun to sell. Until in fact, I had something to shout about. And fortunately, little by little, the reviews began to trickle in, encouraging reviews, heart-warming reviews, and the book began to sell too. Almost exactly a year after publication, Letting in Light hit the bestseller lists.
At that point I began to think about the next steps on my journey and tentatively began to send out enquiries to a few agents, and that’s when I got my stroke of luck. An agent had seen my book on Amazon and read it on her commute to work, and then she emailed me… It’s a day I can still remember vividly. My wild shout when I read her email brought the whole family running! From then things really began to snowball. I met the agent, loved her, and after she offered to represent me, she explained she had a publisher in mind for me. After an agonising couple of weeks, I learned that they wanted to offer me a two-book deal and so I had my first book deal, with Lake Union, an imprint of Amazon Publishing.
They wanted to republish my debut novel, after an extensive edit and make over of course, and it was re-released exactly two years to the day that I first self-published it! Its follow up, Turn Towards The Sun was released in February of this year, and both titles have become top twenty bestsellers.
Around the time that Turn Towards The Sun was published I had nearly finished the first draft of a new title which I wasn’t sure would be a good fit for Amazon. I also had an idea for a series of four titles which I knew wouldn’t be right for them either, so, continuing on my journey I submitted my ideas to an editor at Bookouture and in June of this year I was offered a five-book deal with them. It is of course, an absolute dream come true. My first title with them, Lucy’s Book Club For The Lost And Found is all about making dreams come true, so if you have a dream to write… you know what to do! And don’t ever give up…
(c) Emma Davies
About Lucy’s Book Club For The Lost And Found:
Twenty-four-year-old Lucy needs a fresh start. Forever single, frustrated with her studies and dreaming of writing a novel she can’t start, she gives up everything to run a little library in the leafy village of Tilley Moreton.
Lucy loves reading books almost as much as she loves fixing other people’s problems, so starting a book club seems like the perfect opportunity to do both. As she meets her new members, it’s clear she’s going to have her work cut out for her. Handsome but silent Callum is the biggest puzzle of them all…
But Lucy’s meddling begins to cause more problems than it solves, and she starts to think she should have kept out of everyone’s business. No one is more surprised than Lucy when Callum steps in to help. Could there be more to him than people think?
Callum secretly dreams of escaping his family and starting one of his own. Is Lucy crazy to think she could be the one? When he goes into business with her brother, is it the sign she’s been looking for? Or is he using her to get ahead?
As inspiration for her novel finally begins to flow, will Lucy follow her head, or her heart to find the happy ending she’s been longing for?
An utterly uplifting, emotional page-turner that will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan and Milly Johnson.
Order your copy online here.