Life in the obscure lane

I’m often amazed by the volume of people who strive to write books and carve a niche for themselves in a very busy entertainment market. The number of authors or soon-to-be authors on social media vying for a moment of air time or a review for their life’s work is both encouraging and frustrating in equal measure. That golden ticket, where momentum builds and the general public feel compelled by their peers to buy a book by a certain author, is what every author is searching for.

I can now put myself in the category of published author, but inexperienced publicist. Three books in two years ain’t bad, and the feedback is starting to have substance. At the outset, it was friends and family providing the feedback. It was sometimes brutal but overwhelmingly positive. Now that the books have entered the consciousness of the football general public, the comments starting to filter through are more considered. They tend to be written from the point of view of someone who has just invested several hours and a few dollars in the expectation of being entertained.

Contrary to what a would-be author may think, any royalties from sales is not slushing around in a Swiss bank account, earning high interest and giving the author a life of luxury. On the contrary, as of this week I have invested the entire author income from sales of the books into spreading the word, ie sending out a huge amount of books to people around the world who I think would like to read them and who would be able to give them a thumbs up. Of course, in the vast majority of cases, the books end up in a pile of other unread masterpieces, awaiting the next Covid-19 style lockdown when Netflix has been exhausted. But I keep sending them in the hope that one person might have a read, enjoy it, and tell people about it. As my publisher, Fair Play Publishing, tells me frequently, books are slow burners.

The Unashamed Football Novel series, featuring the lead character Jarrod Black, is poised for a new adventure. The writing process is consuming, but enjoyable. Therapeutic even. But when life gets in the way and the bills need to be paid, writing is considered a luxury item and is the first to go. The editing and proof-reading phase is daunting, and in the case of Guilty Party, has taken almost as long as writing the book. The result is worth it though : a good flow, a relatable story line with a real-life feel and a reading experience that draws you in and keeps you flipping the pages.

The golden ticket is out there somewhere. After a brief taste of publicity generated by a giveaway on Newcastle United’s premier fan website I can see how momentum can build. With the right audience for the right product, and with a real endorsement from someone who people listen to, I’m sure these novels, tucked firmly into a tight niche of Football Fiction, can go on to establish themselves as a go to source of a ‘bloody good read’. Until then, you’ll find me on social media, spruiking my wares like a market stall holder.

To all new or aspiring authors, I salute you. Good luck!

*If you have read one of the Unashamed Football Novels, please, please, leave a review where you got it. If you didn’t buy it yourself, you can find the books on Football Book Reviews where anyone can leave a review. There is also Goodreads, a popular spot for book reviewers. Or you can even comment on here. Book reviews are so important, and to read a book without leaving a review somewhere is criminal!

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