And That’s A Wrap!


Oh no it's not!

I have finished my first novel.

I can scarcely believe I’m writing those words…

After four years, numerous drafts and countless hours of editing, the final changes went in on Saturday afternoon. I now, for the very first time,  have a completed manuscript that I’m happy for people to read.

A dream that I’ve harboured since the age of 7 has been fulfilled.

*happy face*

Amongst those upon whom I’m happy to inflict this 86,000-word tome are, of course, a select group of what I’m increasingly seeing referred to as beta-readers (a term a little too software-geeky for my liking). I shall call them guinea-pigs!

Is the book perfect? I doubt it. As one of the characters says: “Perfection doesn’t exist.” Will the GPs come back with changes, plot-holes, character defects, story suggestions? Undoubtedly. And I very much hope they do, so that I can be aware of the shortcomings as well as elated about the achievement.

The fact that it may not be perfect isn’t going to prevent me sending it to the other group of guinea-pigs though. Agents and/or publishers.

And therein lies the secondary source of immense excitement… I have a manuscript that I’m ready to send out to seek a publisher! And that’s something I could hardly have imagined 4 years ago. How my baby will fare out in the big wide world is anyone’s guess. I’m prepared (on the outside at least, sensitive little soul that I am) for rejection, rebuttal and possibly even being totally ignored.

But hey, if that happens, I have a Plan B don’t I? Why, of course. Self-publishing.

The more I see the growing army of talented writers out there (yes, that includes you, and you, and especially you) who are self-publishing, the more I believe a tipping-point has been reached. There is a whole new route to readers.

After all, one man’s reject is another’s bedside-table page-turner.

It’s far from the end my friends, this is just the beginning!

Care to join me on the journey friends and see how Jumping From Cliffs – for that is its name, having been re-christened from Dark Energies a couple of months ago – gets on in its quest to grace the shelves of a bookshop? I do hope so, you’ve all been bloomin’ marvellous so far!

Are you in?


7 thoughts on “And That’s A Wrap!

  1. Another milestone achieved, Jon.
    I don’t know if have already planned this, but be sure to create a spreadsheet of the agents you’ve submitted to, the date, what they requested (I used ‘query letter, query+synopsis and sample as tick boxes, annotating if they wanted something other than the standard 3 chapters), and whether they replied or not, with room for the date.
    I found that some agents simply returned my query and sample with no comment – not even the agencies name, so always make each query letter unique, adding names where possible. Use websites to check for submission guidelines as close to the date of poasting as possible.
    And to guard against those agencies that simply stuffed my sample (without even the query letter) into the envelope, I coded each line of my spreadsheet with A,B,C etc and annotated a tiny A,B or C inside the return envelope where the casual eye wouldn’t see it.
    Sneaky? Maybe, but it’s better than wondering who replied and who didn’t.
    Good luck and all the best with your querying!


    • jumpingfromcliffs

      Great advice as always Andrew, many thanks. I’ll be sure to do all of those.

      Nothing wrong with a bit of sneakiness when called for 😉

      Oh, and I will be picking up on the award nomination, just haven’t had any time at all recently.

      Once again, thanks.


  2. Congratulations on completing the easy part! (Or so I’m told). Self-publishing has had a profound effect on writing, but be wary. There’s a lot of self-published stuff out there that, well, shows why it had to be self-published. There’s something to the legitimacy offered by traditional publishing, to say nothing of the benefit of editorial oversight. As someone well-versed in the art of giving up, I say don’t be in a hurry to abandon the high road.

    This is not to say that all self-published work is bad, not by any means. But I think in the long run it may smooth things out. There was a time when the sheer difficulty of writing and submitting chased away those who weren’t serious candidates for publication. But today it’s so easy for someone to toss off a manuscript and send it off to editors and agents that those editors are now flooded with so much material, most of it sub-par, that they have to be ruthless and can no longer afford to give each submission the attention it might once have recieved. This means a lot of good writers get missed in all the noise. As self-publishing becomes more commonplace and is seen as a viable alternative, I suspect the submission rate at the professional level will decrease, and editors will once again be able to give deserving writer a fair shot.


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