I am new at this. For some 40 years I wanted to write the story of a great-aunt of mine, Flora Shaw, as I was brought up in a family who often spoke about her success and adventures as the Colonial Editor of The Times. How she broke the glass ceiling to become one of the world’s leading journalists in the 1890s is what this book is about.  I have spent three years gathering information for this book and another two years writing it. Not all the time of course, mainly at weekends as I still have my ad agency to run and I am helping build my son’s new business Longtom Foods – a mobile catering company in Johannesburg. So when I was on about my fifth draft, I hopefully but naively sent submissions of my book (now called The Journalist) to South African publishers. Needless to say nobody was interested. Then I tried about 20 literary agents in the UK of whom about three were encouraging but the economic conditions were not right. Ditto for literary agents in the US. So then my former advertising colleague Neel Muller, who now lives in Malibu Beach pointed me in the direction of CreateSpace, an independent publishing company in the amazon.com group.  Before I knew it I had bought one of their publishing packages, paid in US$ and at the end of November my book went live on amazon.com and Kindle. Wow! I had finally succeeded in getting my book published!  But little did I know. All of this is nothing more than STEP ONE I’ve discovered. STEP TWO is to try and get all your friends, family and anybody you have ever known to buy the book. Not easy when everybody is rushing around for Xmas and about to go on holiday and British Empire history, especially their colonial history, is not everyone’s cup of tea! So STEP TWO has to start again in earnest in January, to be followed by STEP THREE which is more serious marketing. Now I will be using this blog to track my success, or lack of it, the ups and downs,  and will keep everybody posted. The score to date: 18 paperbacks sold of which six were bought in the UK and 5 Kindles – all bought in South Africa. So we will see what happens and whether I will be able to break through the plethera of hundreds of thousands other new books out there. This is a whole different kind of challenge.

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