Inkwell Success Stories

Alex Thomas

War & Piste with Alex Thomas

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My debut novel, War & Piste, was launched five weeks ago in London. That this ever came to happen was in no small part down to the ideas and experience shared at one of your workshops, as well as the regular insights of the your informative Inkwell newsletter. So I’d like to thank you!

One of the things that was said that day back in 2009 was to expect nothing to happen quickly, and to see the sometimes glacial pace of publishing as a good thing. It certainly was for me – over the past two and a half years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn a vast amount about the publishing industry and the market I was trying to approach, not to mind the chance it gave me to invest proper time with my agent and editor to make the manuscript the best it could be. It also gave me the chance to build that all important Twitter contacts base that has been so crucial to the book’s success. At times, it seemed as though the launch date would never come, but now that is has, the reviews and sales statistics reinforce overwhelmingly the good sense of taking time over these things and getting them right.

You can read extracts on the book’s website warandpiste.com and a longer one on Goodreads.

War & Piste has been published by one of the ‘new wave’ of small independent publishers that are piquing the interest of many industry types here in London with what is being termed “Collaborative Indie Publishing.” It is a story the Guardian Books asked me about recently, so it may well be running soon. In essence, it refers to small publishing companies of fewer than ten staff pooling their resources and/or contracting in outside expertise on specific areas (e.g. design, legal, IT and sponsorship) from invested individuals, rather than hiring a large permanent staff. The lists are small and the resources very flexible. From an author’s point of view, it means getting very involved! I was consulted on all aspects of the book’s production, from cover art and blurb text to marketing strategy, website design, launch sponsorship, sales avenues and more. It has been a wonderful experience

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