How I got a publisher - An interview with author, Paul Mercer
firstwriter.com – Wednesday March 20, 2013
Paul Mercer recently acquired a publisher using firstwriter.com's database of publishers. We asked him about his writing, and how he found success.
fw: Congratulations on your publishing deal, Paul. Tell us a little about the book you placed.
PM: I have two books published. The first is A Tale of The Fisherman's Daughter, which is a powerful novel about a young Italian girl and her rise to the top echelons of power on the back of the Mafia.
The second one, called The German, is a historical fictional novel about a young German boy who overcomes a traumatic experience on his sixteenth birthday to become one of Germany's top fighter pilots during the Second World War. However, his love for a young Jewish girl tries the patience of his superiors with devastating results.
fw: Where did you get the ideas from?
PM: Work and travel in my single days as an aircraft engineer, where I spent ten years living in both Germany and Italy amongst other places.
fw: Did you know back then that you wanted to be a writer?
PM: I think that I have always wanted to write ever since my English teacher once said to me that "anyone who can waffle as much as you can should consider being a writer". However, I did have to wait until I was nearly sixty years old to begin the challenge.
fw: So had you had anything published before?
PM: I have previously been published by an ebook publisher, who unfortunately went broke before I could reap any rewards.
fw: That must have been a terrible disappointment. How did you bounce back? Did you try and get an agent?
PM: Yes. However, agents are like bank managers when you desperately need a loan. They have a vested interest in only taking on those authors they believe might make them money. Forget about moral issues, this market is by far the most difficult one to break into. However, if you are lucky enough to break through the barrier then I am sure agents with their knowledge of the industry could be a benefit, especially with film rights.
fw: Did you try anything else before you joined firstwriter.com?
PM: Before I joined your site I tried just about everything.
fw: So why was firstwriter.com able to find you a publisher, when other options had failed?
PM: You had a broad base of opportunities. However, that did not stop the rejections.
fw: What were the rejections like?
PM: Standard replies, but most never even bother to read your stuff. I know because one time in frustration I left out a number of pages that they had requested and the rejection letter didn't even pick up on it, making me believe that they didn't even bother to look at my work before rejecting it, however no one criticised my work as either good or bad.
fw: So which publisher took you on in the end? How have you found working with them?
PM: Itoh Press. I found that their editing department did a good job and their advice was always useful.
fw: Do you have any tips or advice for other writers trying to get published?
PM: Not really, as getting published in this day and age is all a matter of luck. However, keep on trying, because if you don't it really won't happen.
fw: What are your future writing plans?
PM: I have already written several novels and with luck my publisher will publish them. I live in hope. However, I have one tip for would be writers,
get a website, it is a good form of advertising your efforts. Check out my website at www.paul-mercer.com.
fw: Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Paul, and best of luck with all your future writing endeavours!