My good friend and fellow author Jacob Shelley is in the run up of releasing his first book, so I thought I’d swing by and have a chat! I’m currently sat with Jacob in our local library with a coffee in one hand and a pen in the other, so let’s get started shall we?!
Mel: So, let’s get down to business – what’s the book about exactly? Tell me in… hmm… 100 words or less!
Jacob: Basically, the book is a collection of all of the poems that I have written over the past four or five years. It tends to jump from theme to theme, as the poems were written with no direct intention, just whatever came to mind, or struck me with inspiration.
Mel: Okay, sounds good to me! PUT TITLE HERE is your first project; how are you finding the publishing process?
Jacob: Quite tricky really. The big publishing companies don’t always make it easy to get your work published, so I knew very little about what I was doing at the beginning of the self-publishing process. But with a little help and hard work, I was able to climb out the other side with a book in my hand.
Mel: You mention self-publishing… as an advocate of self-pub, I’m all for the indie approach, but was it an active choice for you or did you feel you HAD to self-publish because the “traditional publishers” make it so difficult?
Jacob: My decision was a bit of both really. I decided to self-publish partly because I knew it would be so difficult to actually get published with the traditional methods, but also I chose to self-publish because it was an appropriate method for me to get my work out and share with people, which was the whole point in the first place.
Mel: What made you decide to release a book now, and not just wait for when you were a bit older?
Jacob: I guess I felt ready, and that I had collected enough work to make a substantial book out of it. Not to mention the support I had from close friends to help jump start the process, and really push things along.
Mel: It’s no secret that I’ve been the one nudging you towards the publishing for a while now, but as a newly established indie author (get used to that term!), is there any lessons you’ve learned along the way that you’d like to share with my readers?
Jacob: I’ve learnt so much along this process, that it would be difficult to pick a few. But I think the main thing I learnt out of this is that patience is key. If the work doesn’t seem quite right, just be patient and keep working: it will get there eventually. That and resilience, as not everything will work first time.
Mel: I hear you might have a second project in the wings, care to give us a little info on what that might be?
Jacob: It’s in the early stages at the minute, so I don’t want to give too much away… but I am going to be working with a close friend of mine, who is also a young author/illustrator. I’m very excited to get started.
(THEN WE NEEDED MORE COFFEE…)
Mel: Cover art is one of the trickiest parts of indie books, because it’s so harshly judged. How did you get the idea for your cover art? Was it inspired by anything in particular or did it just come to you?
Jacob: The idea came to me actually whilst I was sorting things out for university. After discussing it further with friends, I developed the idea to the pin board. The jumble of items on the pin board represents the way the book is written – a train of thought flowing, seemingly unconnected in some ways, but connected in others. I stuck with the idea of primary colours to reflect the idea. These are base colours: and you can create anything from them, much like you can create anything with your mind.
Mel: Is there anything you wish you could change about your book now you’ve got some insight? Or are you happy with it the way it is? I know some people are never happy with their books (myself included) and are constantly changing and adapting even after publication.
Jacob: For now, I am really happy with what I have produced, and feel it lives up to my original ideas. As for the future, who knows? I might find a better design, or find some content to add or adapt, so I really can’t say.
Mel: It’s been great chatting with you Jacob and I can’t wait to read the book. Any final words of advice or insight before I go?
Jacob: Just take the process in your own time, and make sure to do everything carefully… it is too easy to make a mistake and not realise it until it’s too late.
Thanks so much Jacob for chatting with me!