Here at PMW Communications, we're lucky enough to have two successful authors in our midst. We caught up with our PR and Commercial Director, Gina Hollands, following the publication of her first novels, to find out why books are like buses…
It took five years of trying to find a publisher, a year to write and 18 months to edit, but last month my first novel finally came out into the world. Three weeks later saw the release of my second, and in the next three months, my third should be out. Admittedly, the latter two are short stories, but still, like buses, you seem to wait an age to get one, then everything happens at once!
Hopefully, this exciting initial flurry won't be the end of my author days – in fact, I'm hoping it's just the beginning, but I'm definitely not counting those unhatched chickens. As anyone who's ever tried to write a book and find an agent or publisher knows, it can be a slow burn, and there are certainly no guarantees at any stage.
I'm very fortunate that in my job I get to be creative (although as Commercial Director, perhaps not as much as some of my more artistically-blessed colleagues), but it's a different sort of creative than making up a fictitious world with imaginary people, who, lucky things, get to go to exotic location and do all manner of exotic things.
Yes, my books are a tad on the 'naughty' side, which I find to be an excellent conversation starter – or finisher, depending on the company.
If you fancy trying your hand at writing a book, I'd say go for it as long as you possess persistence, patience and a rhino hide for all the inevitable rejections that will no doubt wing their way to you. Thankfully, having worked in PR for many years, that comes as standard!
A career in marketing definitely helped me become an author, as not only have my writing skills being tested and stretched over the years, but I no longer take a great deal personally and, critically, I know how to market my books. And that's another key consideration – if you do decide to go down the road of writing a book, your publisher, whether main-player or small independent, will expect you to do a lot of your own marketing. Your work certainly isn't over when you type 'The End'.
If that sounds like a nightmare, you can always find a good marketing agency to take that side of things on for you. When it comes to the writing though, there really is no other way to get started than just, well, getting started.
Did I say there weren't any guarantees in writing? There is one: if you don't write, you'll definitely never be published.
So, why not give it a go? You never know, it might take your life down a completely different route, even if it does take a while to get there.
Visit my website for more insights into the creative process and some useful writing tips www.ginahollands.com.