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Budding authors find there are many routes to publishing

By Barbara Henderson

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Lindsey Stirling the Inverness based author.
Lindsey Stirling the Inverness based author.

How do you even go about having a book published?

Some people ask me this question, under the misapprehension that I might somehow have all the answers! The truth is that the path to publication is never straightforward – but there are many diversions.

Take Sheila Averbuch from Lothian. She began writing seriously in 2002 and her tech and social media thriller Friend Me was published this month – after 17 years of submitting to literary agents and publishers, learning and honing her craft, producing many manuscripts and garnering many, many rejections.

A recent awardee of the Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, she is a poster-girl for tenacity and I hope her book, which kept me up into the small wee hours last night, does exceedingly well. As a former tech journalist, she really knows her stuff, and the story of middle school bullying and cyber-friendship is gripping and terrifying in equal measure, sure to connect with young people where they are at – most likely in front of a screen.

Friend Me.
Friend Me.

But hers is not the only way. Today I was lucky enough to have coffee with local archaeologist and fantasy author Lindsey Stirling, whose route to publication could not be more different from Sheila’s.

I first met Lindsey when she delivered an event on world building in fantasy fiction during NessBookFest, the local book festival in Inverness.

"If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up at primary school, I would have said an author," she admits. Throughout school and university, she wrote stories, some finished and some still waiting to be completed.

"More recently, I had finished the manuscript for Eagle’s Guard when someone I knew though an online creative writing group contacted me. He was starting a self-publishing business, helping authors to get their books into print.

"It came at the right time for me as I was just getting ready to explore how to submit my work."

Together with Lindsey’s brother, a talented artist, they set to work finalising the cover, editing and typesetting the story and creating the finished product in 2017. The second instalment of the trilogy, Eagle’s Path, is out this weekend.

Lindsey juggles the demands of a full-time job with writing and marketing her books. Her fascination with Viking and Celtic cultures is evident in her storytelling, and she has a clear vision of what she wants to achieve: "I think I’m someone who really appreciates having control of all aspects of the book. The cover, the text, the production – I have a say in all of that.

Eagle's Path.
Eagle's Path.

"It is a steep learning curve, but such a buzz. The downside is that it can be harder for the book to be stocked in bookshops than if it comes through an established and trusted publisher, but I am lucky that family and friends are incredibly supportive and will spread the word!"

Lindsey’s book will be launched on Zoom on Saturday, December 5, at 7pm. You can join in from your own home, simply sign up to attend at https://lindseystirling.uk/news/ and support a local girl.

Over the Christmas break, Lindsey intends to plot out the final instalment of the story.

What will you do with your time off?

If you do write, just remember: There may be more than one way to skin a cat, and definitely more than one way to bring a book into the world.

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