Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Triskele Trail

(Or what other self-publishing guides won’t tell you)

Author collective Triskele Books published their independent publishing story this month, entitled The Triskele Trail.

As they say: “It’s not a How-To book. It’s How-We-Did-It”.

Here the authors share their Ten Top Things (two each) about the book, the collective and being part of a team.

1. Collaboration. A Top Thing about being part of the collectiive and a Top Thing about the book. Having a pool of well-informed connections prepared to contribute has made the content richer and more varied. (Catriona Troth)

2. Putting the book together reminded me of how much we’ve actually learnt, and how much we’d forgotten. It acts as a handy checklist for all those little things I’ve been meaning to get round to. (JD Smith)

3. Mistakes. We’ve made a few. We’re open about our foul-ups in the hope that others avoid traps such as losing a website, forgetting about VAT, omitting to Reply All and outing your secret source in the acknowledgements. (JJ Marsh)

4. It’s a template. When I come to publish the third in my series, I’ll be using The Triskele Trail as a reference. Because as soon as your book is out there, you forget so many details about the publishing process. Now we have all our information in one place, for others and ourselves. (Liza Perrat)

5. For me, the Top Thing about The Triskele Trail is how excited I get when I read it. Until we wrote it all down, I don’t think we realised how much expertise and experience we’d gathered. It fills me with enthusiasm and convinces me I’ve made the right decision by going indie. (Gillian Hamer)
6. The advantage of the collective, which directly affects the Trail, is that we each have different kinds of knowledge. It’s impossible to master finances, marketing, design, social media, hold down a day job AND write good books. Two heads are better than one, but five is totally brilliant! (JD Smith)

7. Trust is the foundation stone of Triskele Books. We have found five minds who will tell each other the unpalatable truth. That makes us all raise our game because we don’t want to let the others down. We’re honest about every aspect of what we do – otherwise Triskele couldn’t function. (Catriona Troth)

8. Compromise is one of the Top Things about working as a collective. Not on quality, never. Quality of writing is one of Triskele's USPs. But if one of us is outvoted on an option, we accept that and all of us put our backs into making it work. Good job there’s five of us, so we always reach a decision. (Gillian Hamer)

9. Another Top Thing about the unusual make-up of Triskele Books is that two of us live outside the UK. This means we take a broader focus across Europe, assessing other markets and disseminating information on what works in other countries. Many guides tend to have a narrow focus on either the UK or US. (Liza Perrat)

10. Variety, as Kat mentioned, is essential. We write in different genres: literary fiction, crime, and historical fiction. Through my Triskele colleagues, I’ve discovered great writers I might not have otherwise picked off the shelves, such as Liza’s recommendation, Karen Maitland. The other great thing about the collective is that whenever we meet, we all bring different kinds of wine. Now that is truly a Top Thing. (JJ Marsh)

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