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Catching the wrong bus

I didn't, in fact, catch the wrong bus. But on Monday evening as I sat on the front seat at the top of the number 26 leaving Liverpool Street and heading for Waterloo Bridge, I prided myself for not doing so. You see, it's the sort of thing I could have done. Even as I type, I have a vague memory that my parents told me I caught the wrong bus when I went to nursery once. Aged two. What the hell was I doing making my own bus choices at two! I think that needs further investigation with my folks.

Anyway, Waterloo Bridge. The Southbank Centre. What a venue for the Self Publishing Show's only second annual conference.

Having spent the last four years steadfastly trudging my way towards the perceived goal to be traditionally published, and experiencing some wonderful moments of agent interest along the way, at the beginning of this year I decided to seriously think about jumping ship. Or should that be jumping the weeds onto the parallel path that heads towards being self-published.

Certainly this week I have met and mingled with many successful indie authors, and some - like me - just starting out with very little to show for the work to date. Yet I felt welcomed and inspired. So much so, I started a short story yesterday where the first line is Ann has caught the wrong bus. When I saved the document, 402 words later, those first few words auto filled the document title box, as they would, and it amused me not to replace them. I don't yet know the story anyway, so can't possible give it a title.

On the second day a guy with heaps of energy and a love for figures and stats gave an eye-opening presentation on just how big the world of indie-publishing is becoming. Forgive me for not remembering his name. I could go away and find out for you, but then I'd be spending my post-writing minutes not writing this and this is more important. It's about prioritising writing. You see, that's one massive message I came away with. Readers want great stories and will even forgive a prose that may not be considered worthy of a Booker Prize. Hence, you probably accepted that first sentence at face value and pictured a guy sharing insights and weren't in the least worried that I hadn't shared his name.

But just look at that pie chart! I'd like a sliver of that slice and Suzy K Quinn, a keynote speaker and one of the tutors for SPF courses, spoke honestly about how authors can get their hands on that sliver.

I'm not afraid to grab folk for selfies, and Mark Dawson did not escape. A quiet man who knows his worth, I think the world is a lucky place to have benefited from his wisdom and business model. Together with James Blatch (whom I grabbed later on, near the dance floor) they run the SPF and a podcast of the same name. I've no idea why I'm babbling on about them to you as you'll already know all about them. It's me who is newly excited to have found them!

Right. Well, I'll leave the two of you who are still reading and go continue my words about Ann. She's off the bus now, but is late for work and cannot access the floor in her building, so her boss is probably going to fire her, as this is not the first time she's been on the drag.

Speak soon!



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