From my cold, dead hands…

No, there’s nothing to worry about!

In the ongoing delight (and I’m not being sarcastic!) of pre-novel-launch excitement, I received a small parcel of ACTUAL PAPERBACK COPIES of my novel this week. I mean they weren’t free or anything, I had to pay for them, so you know, it cost me money. But… here’s the thing. If I was publishing in the more generally understood usual way (otherwise known in the community as ‘trad publishing’ which makes me wince a little, why not use all the syllables?) there’s no such thing as a free lunch in that environment either.

Unless you get very, very lucky, via the traditional route you are still expected to market your own book, very heavily. Your advance is not going to be Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell stratospherically huge. And your royalties? Pfft. Let’s not talk about that. The average wage for a novelist is… small. Especially when you think of the hours and months and not unusually, years, that go into crafting a manuscript even before the author gets even close to the agent/publisher stage of the process. And then it’s a massive lottery. The author is hoping that an agent somewhere will like the manuscript well enough to take it on and market it out to publishers. And then the publishers have to be in the right frame of mind too. Fair enough, it’s business. But it depends on many, many ‘what ifs’. Traditional publishing is a tricky process. (I may yet try it one day though because why not?).

I’m not complaining. Nobody forced me to write and dream of being an author. It’s all my own fault! And nobody made me choose independent publishing either. I like control (anyone who knows me, knows that!). I like that I learn knew things. It keeps my brain ticking over. I went into this with my eyes wide open. And it’s been a wonderful fairground ride of fun and oohs and aahs. So. Many. Firsts.

Holding a physical copy of Anti-Virus in my hands, seeing the cover (and feeling it!) in all its glory, admiring the stellar job that has been made of the formatting inside, even the simple joy of the front matter (copyright, ISBN and so on) – these are the firsts of firsts. As one of my wonderful ARC readers wrote in her review on Goodreads (five stars, thank you so much!) ‘TO RULE THEM ALL’ (she used shouty uppercase too!).

So yes, if everything goes up in flames and I am nothing but a crispy corpse when all’s said and done, you’ll have to pry Anti-Virus from my cold dead hands. Once the burning embers have died down. Otherwise they won’t be cold at all…

Reviews and… release date!

I’m beyond delighted to announce that Anti-Virus is available for pre-order on Amazon.

30th August is the official publication date.

Yes, for those of you here in the UK, that’s Bank Holiday Monday! What better way to while away the day than sitting in a comfy spot, cup of coffee in hand, reading dystopia?!

In all seriousness, I am delighted. I have heard of people struggling with this final stage of the process, getting their cover and their manuscript uploaded onto Kindle Direct Publishing. I am at least 100% certain that if I hadn’t paid for professional cover design and formatting, I would be crying over my keyboard right about now. But I’m not, so I am more than grateful to the wonderful Becky and James at Platform House Publishing for their brilliant services. I will definitely be using them again!

In equally fabulous news, my fabulous ARC reader team (Team AV!) have been posting such amazing reviews over on Goodreads I’ve been quite blown away this week. I am beyond delighted.

So, this week has been pretty wonderful. It has spurred me on to keep writing. Not that I was planning on stopping, but this concept of publishing a book has been such a dream of mine for so long, and here I am, with a novel available for pre-order on Amazon.

It’s surreal.

Certainly not dystopian.

Welcome to the world of Anti-Virus!

Dog days

It’s been a while. Longer than I realised, to be perfectly honest. Where does the time go?

I haven’t been doing nothing, although the frenzy of writing, editing, cover design perfecting, book blurb fretting, wrangling with new stuff such as ordering ISBNs, setting up my first ever KDP account for publishing on Amazon and all that jazz has passed.

Now is the season of dog days. As I wait for my ARC readers to read. As every now and again I receive a comment or question from one or two of them. As I think ‘hell, reviews will be happening soon’ and ‘I really hope I haven’t oversold and under-delivered on Instagram’… you know, the usual doubts that creatives indulge in when there’s nothing else to distract them.

But – here we are. The last day of July. Only a few weeks until I publish. I’m not convinced past me ever thought I would get to this point. Actually, I’m convinced that past me thought I wouldn’t get to this point. It’s been a long old road, with life throwing a fair few spanners in the works. You know how life is, right?

I was going to redesign my blog into more of a website today, but having thought about it and taken a look at a few other authors’ websites. I’ve decided to wait until Anti-Virus is published. More for the sake of efficiency than anything else. I don’t want to revamp it now and then have to revamp it again once my novel is out. That seems like a waste of time to me. And time is precious.

Anyhoo… I am now set up on Goodreads as a Goodreads Author and Anti-Virus is on there, marked as ‘to be published’ – do look me up, Freya McMillan is the name! That’s exciting, because my ARC readers can post reviews on there before publication, which is great from a marketing point of view! Goodreads also kindly linked me to Jessica, for which I was one of the contributing authors back in 2014. I hadn’t forgotten about that, but it hadn’t occurred to me I would be linked to it on Goodreads, so that was a lovely surprise. I am still proud of the piece I wrote for Jessica, called The Magpie’s Tongue. It’s dark. There’s death. And destruction. No surprises there.

It’s time for me to have some lunch. I’ll sign off now and leave you with the cover of Anti-Virus, created with the design skills of the fabulous Platform House Publishing – thank you James!