Leigh Russell – on being published

My experience is not typical. I submitted a manuscript to three publishers and received a phone call after two weeks. Three months later, I was signing a contract for a three book deal. I was lucky. Many talented writers don’t find a publisher, because competitors are legion. Agents may receive as many as fifty unsolicited manuscripts every day. They simply don’t have time to read them all. My advice to aspiring authors is to work hard, persevere – and be lucky. Finding a publisher is often compared to climbing a mountain. On reaching the summit, you see an even higher mountain range ahead: book promotion. I’m out every weekend book signing, giving talks, appearing at festivals, giving radio interviews – it’s never ending. My advice is the same: work hard, persevere, and be lucky. Above all, remember, however exciting the experience of being a published author, the real buzz is in writing. Lose sight of that and you might as well look for a different mountain range to climb.




Matt Lynn: Getting Published:

As any author will no doubt testify, how do you find a publisher is the question most frequently asked, and the one that’s hardest to answer. Even after you’ve done it, you’re still not quite sure how it happened. In my own case, it was via ghost-writing. I ghosted seven books for Random House, on military themes. They did really well: there of the books hit number one, and most of them were major sellers.

It’s a pretty good way in: probably the closest to an apprenticeship that the publishing industry can offer. By ghost-writing fiction, you get to craft your skills. You can work out how to construct plots, create characters, blend action and story development, all the tools you need to create a successful thriller or crime story. At the same time, you build up a track record you can sell to a publisher. A writer who is already selling tons of books has to be less of a risk than one who has never written a book before.

That said, Random House weren’t interested in my own work, even as the books I was ghosting for them were selling by the hundreds of thousands. But Headline could see the appeal, and signed me up to write the ‘Death Force’ series about a group of mercenaries fighting their way around the world.

But how do you get started as a ghost-writer? Don’t ask me – even now I haven’t a clue.

You can sample the ‘Death Force’ series of books at: http://mattlynn.co.uk


Am currently enjoying the whole promotion process for my dark thriller STOP ME. There’s a great quote about thinking you’re seeing the light at the end of a tunnel but it actually being someone with a torch bringing you more work. As a writer everything you achieve is a gateway to another challenge. First of all it’s writing the book which leads to search for an agent which leads to a quest for a publisher which leads to a campaign of promotion which leads to writing the difficult second book. Basically, however successful you are – there’s always work to be done. However dark it is in there though, try to enjoy being in the tunnel.



Alan Clements

Rogue Nation was published by Mainstream in Edinburgh who have a strategic link up with Random House. Although it was my first novel, I had written a factual book (on Scottish politics) for them before so I guess they were kindly disposed to start with. The trade paperback has cleary gone well as the paperback is due out in April next year

Cyrus Moore

If you’ve got an original story that you know has never been told before, don’t ever give up. Publishers hate taking risks. Like many successful businesses, they stick to proven formulae. When I wrote “City of Thieves” – a murder thriller set in the banking world – in 2002, I was told by an army of literary agents that a financial thriller would never sell in this market. But I knew they were wrong, because I knew that greed, corruption and excess would one day lead to a full-blown scandal. So I kept fine-tuning my manuscript, waiting for the right moment to re-submit it. Then the whole credit crunch thing happened, and suddenly my moment came. Yours will too.

Cyrus Moore, Author of “City of Thieves”

“City of Thieves” by Cyrus Moore was released by Little, Brown Book Group on 2 July 2009. The first edition was sold out within two months.


More from Cyrus Moore on CrimeTime http://www.crimetime.co.uk/mag/index.php/showarticle/1308

Cyrus Moore: The Official Author Site: http://www.cyrusm.com/

Synopsis of “City of Thieves” from Little, Brown Book Group: http://www.littlebrown.co.uk/Title/9781847442956

City of Thieves on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/City-Thieves-Controversial-Thriller/dp/1847442943/ref=ed_oe_h

Clem Chambers –

There is a vast wall of noise in the modern world which means that any work however brilliant will be drowned out on every level.

This goes for an unpublished writer when trying to get a publisher or for an established writer trying to get promotion or a publisher trying to get distribution.

There is no easy answer apart for the expenditure of effort and money.

A new author simply needs to be prepared to be rejected a thousand times. They need to send out their book and keep sending it out. Over and over and over again.

People find publishers for the first time because they are insiders or lucky. Bad books get accepted and good books never get published; it’s a lottery you buy a ticket too every time you post off a copy of your book.

Don’t read books on getting a book published, don’t talk about it to anyone, just stick a manuscript into an envelope and post it to another publisher. Then keep doing it. Send it to anyone you think has even a 1% chance of reading it. Meanwhile start writing the next book.

(NB. Publishers say “don’t send us your book” on their website. Take no notice. I know at least one author who got their first book published by such a snooty publisher who just mailed in the book unrequested.)

JFDI (just flaming do it)

Check out my latest book The Armageddon Trade: http://tinyurl.com/r569dg

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