Why Market Researchers Shouldn’t Read Consumer.ology

The title the ‘International Journal of Market Research’ (IJMR) sounds undeniably impressive.  Generally speaking journals are good things, bringing together peer reviewed papers from people pushing the boundaries in a particular field. But I wonder… do astrologers have a Journal of Astrology?  Google suggests that they do, sort of – it looks as though it might just be one astrologer selling predictions. There’s a National Journal of Homeopathy – I wonder, to paraphrase Tim Minchin, if they’ve had any papers on how water forgets about the wee and poo it’s had in it and just remembers the traces of medicinally advantageous ingredients? My point is that it’s easy to get a false sense of validity from a name.  In Consumer.ology I describe market research as a pseudo-science and, arguably, having an ‘International Journal’ is all part of the industry’s mystique. I must declare a personal interest at this point: recently […]

Getting a Book Published: Countdown to Publication

It’s been a while since I updated my series on getting a book published, partly because I’ve been so busy with book-related activity! The publishing industry works backwards.  That’s not a slur on their approach, just an observation.  They set a publication date based on a number of factors: Is there an event they can associate the book with? If you’ve written a book on space travel it probably makes sense to time the launch to coincide the publication with a large space conference or the intended publication date of the latest Mars pictures, or whatever.  There are two reasons for this: firstly, the human brain works by associations and if the media are developing the neural paths to space-related thoughts your book is going to feel more relevant and is more likely to get noticed.  Secondly, journalists looking to cover the event will appreciate an angle from you that […]

Getting a Book Published: Life is About Moments

The path to writing a book and getting it published is, without doubt, one that winds a lot. On the way there will be plenty of dead-ends and no shortage of obstacles to circumnavigate. However, what makes all the anguish worthwhile, are the moments that result from starting out and that are every bit as gratifying as the writer’s block, rejection letters and suggested revisions are aggravating. I find there are usually three ways to deal with virtually any situation in life: ignore it and carry on regardless, take it badly or use it for inspiration.  It’s no coincidence that there really was something to learn from each ‘bad’ moment along the way. Writer’s block: (which I hardly ever got) you’re trying to hard, go and do something else for a bit, or skip this section for now, it’s obviously not flowing. Rejection letters: there’s always a lot of luck […]

Getting a Book Published: Success!!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve updated you on the trials and tribulations of getting a book into print. Just to recap, I’d opted for the route of getting a publisher for various reasons, and since that time have been submitting my book to a number of publishers and some literary agents. I submitted the book to just three literary agents and three publishers.  With hindsight I think the decision to move from pursuing literary agents to publishers was an astute one: publishers have, by necessity, a broader interest sphere than literary agents.  From what I gather, I have been extremely fortunate in finding a publisher after so few attempts – I hope some of what I’ve learned along the way and covered in previous blogs helps any of you looking to have a book published. No doubt I’ve been extremely lucky. I was lucky to be inspired to write […]