Being a writer is generally a fairly solitary existence with only the people in my head for company. However, today I found myself surrounded by lots of writers. Real writers with real books. Glossy and tactile things. And they had bookmarks and key rings and all sorts of promotional stuff. It was pretty cool - or it would have been if more buyers turned up.
I do have an actual hard copy of Echo, which I've managed to repossess from my Dad, but hard copy is a route I've been hesitant to go down as there's capital outlay and you need to spend several hours sitting at a trestle table waiting for the hordes of book buyers that, unfortunately, weren't able to find Authorcon in Manchester today.
Now I've no problem with sitting at a table ready to sign my stuff. It shouts I Am An Author, rather than I am somebody who's got his mates to part with a couple of quid for an e-copy of his stuff. I already have the tee shirts and a key ring (please don't take it, otherwise I can't get back into my house). But, to get to that stage, I need to have real books, preferably without having to devote half the garage to storing them.
I met some interesting people today. Dave Weaver runs a writers group in St Albans that has been spectacularly successful in getting published and a conference in Hertford that offers the opportunity to make a pitch to an agent or publisher. Sort of Dragons Den for writers. That sounds very exciting and I think I'll go to that next year.
Chris Nuttall sells thousands of books. He bangs them out at a rate of knots (3 months !!) and yet they're quite good. I've just read Ark Royal, expecting it to be a war story. But it wasn't. It was a story about people at war. I wasn't quite HMS Ulysses, but it was on the right track. I suspect Chris is very very focussed when he writes.
So, it's been a fun day, discovering that part of the enjoyment of being an author is holding your own with people who are also authors and generally realising that you are not alone (where have I heard that before).
I wonder if there's a writers group round here?