In 2008 Jemima was persuaded to try to get her trilogy of stories, The Princelings of the East, published so that more people could read them. Up till then they had been read and enjoyed by friends and online contacts on the Rodents with Attitude guinea pig lovers forum. So Jemima looked into the traditional publishing route, got a copy of Writers & Artists year book and set to work. She tightened up the stories, corrected the editing, printed the manuscript, wrote the synopsis and blurb, and set out on her quest to entice an agent who would represent her to a publisher. She admits that she didn't wait for as many rejection slips as Stephen King or J K Rowling say they had. These days you often don't even get a rejection slip. The ones kind enough to email said the same sort of thing "difficult to place in today's commercial market."
Well the one thing Jemima knew from the start was that these were not commercial books. As Readers Favorite said in their five star review
It relates a completely new idea in a medieval fantasy setting. The plot will be enjoyed by all the inventors or thinkers in your home.Not exactly what seems to be commercial hit material, then.
Nothing daunted, Jemima went on a Writers & Artists workshop for children's authors looking to get published. One of the options discussed was self-publishing. After a couple of weeks further research, Jemima, who has a wealth of business experience behind her (albeit not in publishing) decided that e-publishing was the way to go. It not just because of the ease of doing so, but because of the control it gave her over her books, and the lack of waste when a print run of books is pulped weeks afterwards if it doesn't fly off the booksellers' shelves. The workshop was the first weekend in November 2011, and by the end of the month, The Princelings of the East was on Amazon. The first copy sold the same week.
One of the pieces of advice gleaned from other independent authors was to have more titles out, to create confidence in the reader and help market your work. So the second of the trilogy came out in February, and the third in May 2012. After publishing the fourth book (already written before any thoughts of publishing had been considered) Jemima finally sat down to write some more.
New titlesThese days writing takes up around one third of Jemima's time, publishing, marketing, promotion and management the rest. New stories are emerging, for example those starring Sir Woebegone. The Princelings books are generally published first on kindle, then on other online platforms. The Viridian Series comes out in all formats and on all platforms simultaneously. There are now paperbacks of all the Princelings books, fulfilled to your preferred bookseller via Blurb.co.uk
- the non-fiction memoir White Water Landings was published May 2015 as an ebook, paperback and hardcover book
- the second edition of The Perihelix #1 the new Viridian System series starring asteroid miners, Big Pete and The Swede is due for reissue in summer 2017.
Follow Jemima and the booksYou can follow Jemima Pett on her blog jemimapett.com, on twitter @jemima_pett, on Facebook facebook.com/princelings, on Pinterest jemimapett and on Goodreads Jemima Pett. And of course here on Google+.
- The Princelings official website is princelings.co.uk and a Facebook page. You can see the latest posts from the blog and the website on the right of the screen.
- The Viridian System series has the website viridianseries.uk and a Facebook page.
- White Water Landings has a website and facebook page. The Twitter handle is @J_M_Pett