I have just taken delivery of the first fully printed Mervyn Bright novel, and I can’t keep the grin off my face. No, I haven’t landed a printing contract – this is a self-published, print on demand, version produced though Lulu.com. Working on the basis that some of my younger reviewers are more likely to critique the manuscript if they have a proper book to read, I set it all up last week on Lulu and ordered four copies. The feeling of excitement when I opened that package, even though I know it is not the real thing, was incredible.
I keep taking a copy out of the package, and turning it over and over in my hands – suddenly I understand why people vanity publish. Curiously, the reaction from family and friends for a manuscript that looks like a real novel is far more positive than when presented with the same work in a folder. I keep reminding myself that this is not the objective towards which I’m aiming – the end game is when a commercially published version of the book appears in the best sellers list. This self-published version is just a tool; a step on the way to success.