Actually it’s an old Paxton book. My daughter, Annabel, wrote it over the first year of her life. With a bit of help from her Daddy.
Nothing quite like it has been written before as you will soon discover.
This is both the book’s strength and it’s commercial undoing.
I did the usual. I sent synopsis, sample chapters, author bio etc. to various agents and publishers. And they did the usual – nothing much.
It’s a little disheartening trying to get a book published. You send out your stuff and then wait. You then wait a bit longer. And then you receive nothing.
Forget bothering with the “I enclose a stamped self addresed envelope” routine. After not getting any replies after several hundred SAEs hadn’t come back I decided that somebody was simply steaming the stamps off the SAEs for personal use or was just bunging my submissions into the ‘slush bin’ en masse without even opening the original stamped and addressed envelope.
I am, by nature, an optimistic sort of fellow. And as book after book failed to receive a response I bore in mind (and still do) the fact that JRR Tolkien sent Lord of the Rings to fifty or so publishers before he was rewarded with a reply to the effect that ‘it was a good story but it will never sell.’ Beatrix Potter got the universal cold shoulder and resorted to self publishing. A lot of globally famous authors did the same. And Mozart died penniless and was buried in a pauper’s grave. I believe that to this day nobody is sure where his remains lie. Although Steve Hollier probably does.
Self publishing nowadays is largely a fool’s game. Yourself being the fool. Vanity publishers may promise the moon, but they charge the earth and that’s what you’ll hit with an arse shattering bump as well as a bank account battering bill. Skip it!
‘Tis sound advice!
But back to Abbot Buggly. The manuscript did receive some responses and some publishers went so far as to send copies to readers for review. The comments were warm, flattering, encouraging and one word was consistently used.
But the book slots into no known publishing niche. Nobody knew what to do with it. Where it would sit in a bookshop shelf. It was risky. And although everybody enjoyed it, nobody published it. They expressed regret (which was nice of them) but Abbot Buggly remained and will remain a financial non-starter.
I earlier advised against self publishing. I’m now going to contradict myself. In a way.
I will publish it. In serial form on Hugh Paxton’s Blog. Last night I thought, “Hugh Paxton, what is the point of this book waiting in limbo in your computer? Bring it forth! Annabel’s column for Air Namibia’s inflight Flamingo magazine (written along similar lines) was tremendously popular. So share Buggly around! It’s a good story but it will never sell!”
“So don’t sell it! Stop being a literary miser forget the cash and give it away in this limited form as a freebie …”
It was one of those three in the morning thought processes. So I’ll spare you the rest of the ramblings.
A chapter every two days. I retain copyright of course. This edition is intended to be read on screen from this blog only, all other publication rights are strictly reserved until a deserving publisher signs me up on a lucrative contract!
Starting as of tomorrow. Hope you find it charming!
Hugh and the Abbot.
PS: Every book should have a cover. I have asked my brother to design it. I have every confidence that it will be totally in tune with the initiative! The WebCat makes web site and cover design walk and talk!