Writing a novel is hard. Getting said novel published is even harder. Authors need to do everything they can to polish and perfect their story until it leaps off the page. Of course, you can pay for a professional critique, but it's also possible to learn how to edit your own novel.
That's where the 6-week online Self-Edit Your Novel course comes in. Emma Darwin and I designed the course for The Writers' Workshop and wrote the tutorials together, though I now do all the detailed feedback, with Emma coming in at the end of the week with an invaluable round-up of the topic.
But does the course make a real difference, in practical ways? Can it increase your chances? Is there any way of proving that it does?
This should convince you: the self-edit course in numbers.
The first course was in April 2011, and it runs 4 times a year.
As at April 2016, we have had 19 courses and a total of 215 participants.
I recently asked on Facebook and the Word Cloud how many of our alumni now have books 'out there'. Most of these come from our early courses, the authors having had the time to edit their drafts and go through the next steps towards being published. I'm sure there are many more in the pipeline and probably several I've missed.
So how does that figure compare to the industry average?
A top agent will receive about 2,000 submissions a year, of whom they will sign maybe 2 authors - a hit rate of .01%.
The hit rate for our alumni is 34 out of 215 = 15.81%. (I will be editing this figure as new deals are announced.) Some of these have self-published but I know from the signed books on my shelf that they are as professionally presented, and as well-written, as the trade published novels they sit next to.
In case you don't believe me, here's our Self-Editing alumni roll of honour, with links to their Amazon pages and other sites when the novels are forthcoming. Oh, and we've sneaked a poetry collection in there too, though I'm not sure how much credit we can take for that.
In no particular order, hearty congrats to:
G D Harper
Sally Miller (writing as Sara Bailey)
E S Rollett
If you know of anyone I've missed, please shout in the comments and I'll add them to the list.
To see details of forthcoming courses, click HERE.
As at April 2017, we have 263 alumni. The above percentages refer to people who had taken the course at the time of the original post.
Sunday, May 01, 2016
It's Mayday 2016.
To pagans, this is Beltane.
To lefties, it's International Workers' Day.
And, to me, it's LAUNCH DAY for De Nada Nirvana!
No party, no booze and nibbles and signings, no cards and flowers, but this one is just as meaningful as the previous ones. So here's a photo of me and my dad at the launch of Trading Tatiana in Jan 2005. Dad was 90 in this pic, and had crossed London on public transport from Edgware to Crystal Palace to be there. (Londoners will get the enormity of going from NW of the city to SE.)
DE NADA NIRVANA IS NOW AVAILABLE HERE IN THE UK AND HERE IN THE US
NIRVANA BITES AND TRADING TATIANA ARE STILL ON SPECIAL OFFER AT 99p EACH. Check them out here (UK) and here (US)
Massive thanks to all those people who have encouraged me to make this happen. You know who you are.