Out and about

Last night I had the opportunity to talk to a gathering of writers about Self-Publishing, both the good and the bad of it. It was only then that I realised just how much work you have to commit to make anything of it. For me, I’ve struggled, mostly its been a battle with depression which now thankfully has passed. So, I’m going to push a bit more from now on and try to fit in a bit more of the marketing side which I know nothing about.

I would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to Lesley Hart at Colleyer’s School in Horsham for the invitation and for hosting the event, which was her first. The evening was a great success with a lively group of budding writers all keen to learn about what comes after the writing bit. To be honest, marketing comes before the book is finished, especially if you are going to self-publish.

I can see that there is a huge market for people needing help with self-publishing. If you have no technical knowhow then preparing your manuscript and cover art is going to be difficult. So, if any of you reading this would like some pointer or help drop me email and I’ll see what I do.


On 26 June, Collyer’s Adult Education Creative Writing course invited its past and current students, together with their friends and families, to a published authors and publisher event.
Initially, ticket sales, at £5pp, were steady. But, a mad flurry of interest from the weekend onwards saw ticket sales almost double in numbers. Many of the, adult education, creative writing students have been on the course for the entire academic year and had asked if a publisher might come in and speak to them about the process. After a lot of investigation, I managed to book three different published authors, of different genres, and local hybrid publisher RedDoor.
Our authors were generously happy to speak about any aspect of publishing, which enabled us to build an evening around their different areas of expertise – with no overlaps! The evening began with a presentation from Anna Burrt (https://reddoorpublishing.com/), from RedDoor publishers about, the different routes into publishing and how to pitch your story. Local writer Mathew Bridle (https://theonesagacouk.wordpress.com/) enlightened us on the different methods of self-publishing. He spoke authoritatively about writing software, using knowledge from his thirty years of self-publishing for his own benefit, in addition to guiding other’s careers. Sam Leeves, is an ex-student of Collyer’s and has popularly spoken previously about his work to our full time students. He was able to offer advice about how to complete a story and the seemingly impossible hurdle of knowing when you have reached the point of a final edit. Our final speaker was Andrew Crofts, a published author of non fiction; ghost writer and more recently fiction whose, more than 80, books have been published by the ‘big five’, garnering him more than a dozen places for best sellers on the Times number one best seller lists. More recently, Andrew has chosen to publish through RedDoorand the beautiful coverwork on his books is testament to their investment in their authors. Andrew regaled us with hilarious tales of agent auctions and the importance of self promotion for any author.
Some members of our audience hadn’t met previously. Nevertheless, they all came with a positive attitude, which made for a lively and engaged evening. Our question and answer panel, at the end of the evening, overran, as everyone was keen to learn more about their individual field of writing.
There has been a huge learning curve in planning this first event, but its enormous success has meant that it will definitely be something we will be considering as an annual event. I am happy for anyone interested in future author events, to email me: admin@collyers.ac.uk with the subject: Published Author Event. This will ensure that emails reach me through our central inbox.

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