Going from a self published author to a traditionally published author
Let me start by saying that I never set out to be a writer.
By day I work in the music industry, and have spent the last ten years hanging around with rockstars. I have a lot of weird and wonderful stories that I want to tell, but I can’t. When you’re in the inner circle you only get one chance to break the trust of your friends and then you’re out. There’s no way I’d ever go to a newspaper and sell a story, partly because it would affect my job and my social life, but mostly because I would lose my friends. Still, it seemed a shame for these stories to go to waste.
I don’t even remember when I decided to start writing, but the idea was to pen a novel using my real experiences with musicians to create something as realistic as possible. My insight into the biz is oddly unique. I started out being friends with these people, and only found myself a job in the industry as a way to keep up the lifestyle I had come to know and love. I didn’t work for the bands and I wasn’t some journalist trying to get dirt on them. They knew that they could trust me, and that gave me a kind of access to some of the world’s favourite stars that many people just don’t get.
So I started writing in between tours and eventually I had these books. Self-publishing made sense, and doing so with Amazon is actually quite easy. The reviews started coming in and they were really encouraging – that’s why I decided I might be able to do something more with my books and I started sending them around.
I was delighted when Carina UK offered me a book deal. I don’t know if it helped, but I don’t suppose it hurt that I had already received a lot of great reviews and shifted several copies of my books by the time I submitted to them.
There are pros and cons for both traditional and self-publishing. When you go it alone you have more control over what you’re doing and any money you make goes straight into your pocket. However, with a publisher behind you, you get support. Having an editor going over your book and telling you how you can make it better is fantastic, and nothing beats the excitement of seeing your book covers for the first time. I am also finding that reviewers and bloggers are much more obliging when you are published.
I’m really glad I have been able to sample both, but for me the support of a publisher is invaluable. Having a publisher makes it feel more real, and less like a time consuming, anti-social hobby. I have three more books coming out with Carina UK this year, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Portia MacIntosh’s Between a Rockstar and a Hard Place is out (via Carina UK, Harlequin) on 12th February. For more information visit www.portiamacintosh.tumblr.com