One year on

At the end of June 2012 I self-published my first book, “Tearoom Delights”.

Since then I have come into possession of two more self-published books which I’d like to mention.

The first was spawned, like my own, from a blog.

The blog, which ran for a year, was written by fellow blogger, Noemi, and was entitled Desayunos Veganos 365 (365 days of vegan breakfasts). It documented Noemi’s breakfast every day, 365 different breakfasts for the whole of 2012, with beautiful photographs of her delicious looking food and drink.

As someone who rarely deviates from her pint of Darjeeling, toasted bagel and bit of fruit, I was utterly astonished by this feat.

At the end of the year a book was produced, and having enjoyed the blog so much I felt I had to have a copy to drool over. Here it is:

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The cover of a beautiful book full of inspiring breakfasts by Noemi Iza

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The back cover is as beautiful as the front.

A selection of pages from inside reveal some of Noemi’s wonderful fare:

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One of the photos even features my wee book (thank you, Noemi!), very fittingly sitting next to cinnamon spiced tea and cranberry scones:

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Noemi’s delightful book can be purchased, here, in both hardback and paperback format.

The second book comes from closer to home and was written by John Palfreyman, a cycling enthusiast who lives a few miles away from me in the town of Coupar Angus.

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John’s admirable little book with a lovely view of the Sidlaw Hills on the cover.

In a way, his book is similar to mine, in that he’s written about cycle routes in the same areas as I wrote about tearooms.

He’s passionate about cycling, and about the area in which he lives, and his book is a little treasure for cyclists and non-cyclists alike. I like the cartoons he uses to symbolise how hard each route is:

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I feel exhausted just looking at that chap on the far right.

The book is packed with lovely photographs, details 25 different routes of varying lengths and levels of difficulty, and includes a list of cafes, restaurants and inns in the areas covered (as well as mentioning my book for further reading – thank you, John!).

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You get lots of great little photographs along with the text, all beautifully reproduced throughout the book.

It also has an excellent map tucked into the back:

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The map is folded up and slotted into a plastic tab at the bottom right hand corner of the inside back cover and is double-sided showing two different scales.

At £5.99 for the book and map, I think “Adventures on Two Wheels” is an absolute bargain.

It can be purchased from Waterstones in Perth and Dundee, Stewart Tower Dairy, the Post Office in Stanley, the Joinery Coffee Shop in Meigle and the Beatrix Potter Centre in Birnham, as well as various places in Coupar Angus. It will also soon be available from Tourist Information Centres in Perth, Blairgowrie, Pitlochry and Dunkeld.

Considering the book was only published last month, I think John has done an amazing job getting it into retail establishments and I wish him all the very best with future sales.

As for me, I don’t have any plans to self-publish another tearoom book any time soon, but I have written my first novel and am currently working on the second.

All I need now is a nice agent or publisher to take me on, but if that doesn’t happen then I might consider self-publishing the first novel as an e-book.

To everyone out there who’s already self-published (and I know there are one or two amongst my regular readers), I take my hat off to you. I know how much work it is and it’s great when you have something at the end to show for it.

To anyone thinking about self-publishing, I doff my hat to you, too, and encourage you to do it. It may not make you much money (initially, it might actually lose you money) but it is a satisfying thing to do, and can bring you a nice sense of achievement.

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Categories: Angus, Books, Perthshire, Scotland, Vegan, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “One year on

  1. Both of these books look great, Lorna. I keep hearing about self publishing but wouldn’t know where to start. I’ll be coming to you for tips if I ever get around to it. :)

    • Thanks, Jo. You’re welcome to any advice I can give you, I’m no expert but I’ve made a few mistakes and that’s how you learn. :-)

  2. Congratulations on your one year aniversary of publishing that wonderful little book. I cherish mine and so does the friend I gave one to as well. My publisher is Michelle at http://www.centralavenuepublishing.com You may want to contact her about publishing your book. It is a small publisher but very professional and I have been treated extremely well. You never know…….
    The two boks you mentioned look great!

    • Thank you, Darlene, that’s very kind. I’ll certainly have a look at that link, it’s great to know that you have a good relationship with them. I haven’t gone to any publishers direct yet, but that’s my next plan.

  3. BTW, I love the cowboys doffing thier hats. One could have been my Dad.

  4. Well done on finishing your first novel Lorna, you must have enjoyed it if you’re beginning your second. What are you writing about? And where do you get your inspiration from?

    Respect!

    • Thank you, Finn. At times I find writing an enormous struggle and wonder how I’m ever going to progress, but thankfully there are other occasions when it all just flows out somehow. On the whole, I enjoy writing fiction – as you say, I must be if I’m onto the second novel!

      I’ve been putting off trying to explain the books so far but perhaps it’s time I made myself do it. Both books are sort of adventure stories, following the life of a 27 year old called Diana, who lives and works in Edinburgh. There’s another primary character called Edie, who’s dead, which makes it a challenge to get to know her, but that’s Diana’s mission. There’s no gory stuff, violence, swearing, sex or horror in it, my aim is to make it light, easy reading, with (hopefully) a feel-good factor. It’s not chick-lit but it’s not harsh reality stuff either. I suppose you could say it’s a bit old-fashioned (and there are plenty of cakes involved). My inspiration for the first book came largely from my own life, which I believe is very typical for someone writing their first novel. I did wonder about trying to write something very distant from my life, to avoid comparisons being made between me and my protagonist, but then I thought I should stick to what I know and that might make it more convincing.

      I realise it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, although tearooms are a bit of a feature of both books. Some people might think there’s too much mention of food, but I like writing those bits. :-)

  5. Both look lovely books, Lorna. I can’t even imagine a month’s worth of different breakfasts let alone a year! Those meals look lovely, and photographed beautifully too. And the cycling guide looks like a great idea – although I am not a cyclist, I can see how useful it might be. I can’t believe it’s a year since you published the Tearooms guide! I take my hat off to you too, for all your writing ideas and projects since I started following your blog, which is a constant source of pleasure. PS I have no idea where you find these random pictures from, but they’re excellent! :D

    • Thanks very much, Jo. That year of breakfasts really astonished me; every day I’d go to the blog and be amazed by yet another new creation. It was a fantastic effort. There was nothing like that cycling guide for this area before, so it certainly fills a niche, and it’s been very nicely produced. I got the cowboy photo by typing something like ‘hats off photos’ into Google and it came up with a whole load of images, including this one. If you put anything followed by the word ‘photo’ or ‘image’ into a Google search, it’s amazing the things that pop up.

      • I also meant to say, well done on starting your second novel! I think that writing one was an amazing achievement, let alone two. I’m not sure yet what to think about e-books – I can see the draw for new writers, especially fiction (i.e. no pictures involved!) But as someone who sits in front of a screen all day, it’s quite a welcome relief to go and pick up a book. Difficult! (Doffs hat once more!)

        • Thank you! The thing is, it sounds impressive, writing my second novel but will anyone ever want to read any of this stuff?! I sometimes think it might be so awful that no-one will ever publish it, it’s very hard to tell when you’re so close to it yourself, and when the people who give you feedback are naturally biased.

          I feel the same way as you do about ebooks, I don’t own an ereader and I’ve never read a whole book online, but I know quite a few people who love their kindles and they do buy new books that way rather than as paperbacks. I find it hard to believe that paper books will ever go out of fashion, but I do think ebooks are going to become even more popular. Did you see the article about the Fife farmer who self-published ebooks because he was fed up of being turned down by publishers and now has a Penguin book deal? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-22447175 He writes crime, which is probably the most popular genre today, but even so his story is inspiring. This link tells a fuller story: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/celebrity-interviews/scots-farmer-became-internet-sensation-1414034

          • Goodness! I’ve just looked at both of those. Well done to James Oswald. I think I might be about to change my mind! Perhaps e-publishing will do for writers what YouTube is doing for a lot of singing talent. I think that you should take a great deal of inspiration from his story!

            • I do find his story inspiring, although I wonder how many people have tried similar things and not been successful. Perhaps his story stands out because it’s an exception to the rule, but nonetheless it is amazing.

  6. Hi Lorna, I wonder if many folk could ever be as brave as you! You’ve achieved so much on your own and your a champion when it comes to promoting what you want and (showcase) others incredible achievements too. Bravo!

    In regards to your future work and novels I think it’s true what people say of good work. That when you’re passionate and believe in what you want to write or create, hopefully that enthusiasm can only continue to others!

    • Thanks, Alice, but I think it’s more boredom and the need to try new things rather than bravery, but nice of you to say so. :-)

      I agree that when someone has passion about something it can be contagious, your cookery certainly has that effect on your readers!

  7. Two beautiful looking books Lorna. I am no vegan but I like the look of the Vegan breakfasts.

    • Thanks, Heather, those breakfasts look amazing don’t they? I wouldn’t have guessed they were vegan if I hadn’t known. All manner of exciting things popped up in the year, including chocolate cakes, pastries and pancakes. Delicious!

  8. It’s so wonderful that you finished your first novel! I hope to see it in print soon and thanks for mentioning the other books too…

  9. I’ve probably mentioned it before, but this is one of my favorite quotes: “I hate writing; I love having written,” (Dorothy Parker). I have to say I admire your discipline because when the words aren’t flowing out, writing is one of the most exasperating things to do on earth! But here you are with 2 books and another one in the making in only a year’s time. Pretty darn fabby. I’m also intrigued by self-publishing and e-books. They open up a whole world of possibilities for authors who otherwise might never be published. I’m so looking forward to reading your novel. Do you have a “drop” date for it yet?

    • That’s a great quote! I’m not sure that I am very well disciplined, because some days I feel I can’t write and I don’t even try. Other times I feel I’m only not doing it because it’s easier to do something else, and on those occasions sometimes I do manage it eventually (after a first few agonisingly slow sentences).

      Is a ‘drop’ date a date of publication? If so, I don’t have one because I haven’t yet managed to persuade anyone to take my book on. I’ve only tried agents though, not publishers, and in the UK it’s quite normal for authors to go direct to publishers. I’m waiting to hear from one more agent before I try any publishers, or perhaps publish an ebook myself. The plus side of having an agent is that they sort out your contract and make sure you’re getting a good deal from the publisher, but they’re notoriously difficult to procure and I believe quite a lot of authors give up or just go straight to publishers in the first place. My difficulty is in staying patient and not just going straight to making my own ebook because I don’t want to have to wait for more responses to submissions. It’s only been a couple of months since I started sending submissions to agents, and it can apparently take years to get an acceptance. I don’t know that I have the patience for that though, I doubt it somehow.

      • A few months can feel like a life time, can’t they? Especially when it comes to something like this. But I think your strategy is sound…and you never can tell…look at all that’s happened in just one year. :0) xo

        • Thanks Lucinda, your encouragement is much appreciated, and you’re right, you never can tell. This time last year I wouldn’t have believed I’d have finished a novel and be writing the next. I had no intention of attempting to write fiction, strange the way things work out.

  10. Ditto asking for self-publishing advice… perhaps your next book!?! Thanks for sharing btw, both books look quite informative, and the breakfast book delicious! Always glad to see a post from you… xxoo

    • Now there’s an idea, although I don’t feel at all qualified to write a book about self-publishing. Thank you for your lovely comment, Moira. :-)

  11. Congratulations with your first yesr anniversary! The breakfast blog looks delicious, and how nice that you got some extra publicity through her book! You are a true inspiration for many of us bloggers! :) keep it up ;)

  12. Wow, those pictures in the first book make the food look like it’s sitting right on top of the page! And I would definitely read the cycling book if I saw a chance to get to the right part of the world to enjoy it. Might happen yet! Thanks for the introduction to these gems.
    I helped a friend of mine self-publish, and print-on-demand is a good way to go. That way the distributor handles shipping and there isn’t any stock taking up a ton of space. I know I’d read your novel, it sounds great…good luck!

    • I know, those food photos are amazing, aren’t they? So delicious! The cycling book is excellent, a lovely little guide for anyone wanting to wheel themselves around a quiet bit of Scotland

      I almost wish I’d done print on demand, then I wouldn’t have boxes of books to store, although it’s handy having them sitting here if anyone wants one. Thanks for saying you’d read my novel, it’s slightly worrying to think of anyone reading it, I might have to go into hiding for a while when it comes out…

  13. Congratulations! One year… time flies!
    And thank you very much for mentioning my book, I am so happy you like it :)
    I hope I can read your novel soon!

    • Thanks Noemi, time does fly, it’s a bit worrying!

      It was an absolute pleasure to mention your book, it’s such a beautiful creation and every time I flick through it I’m amazed all over again. I hope you can read my novel, too, I’ll certainly be posting about it when it’s available. :-)

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