Monday, 3 September 2012

NAVIGATING THE WATERS


by Sheridan Winn

It’s an up and down life, this writing business: feast and famine, highs and lows, and the constant pull between nurturing your creativity and producing what pays the bills.

My rights in the Sprite Sister books have been reverted: now there is no Piccadilly Press behind me. I have to navigate my own way. Ahead are the huge, and potentially choppy, waters of digital publishing: few 7-10 year old readers – my market with Sprites – are yet buying e-books. Still, I wouldn’t swap it, this writer’s life, and the freedom of sailing one’s own little boat.

My summer has been spent re-editing the first five Sprite Sister titles for publication as e-books for Kindle, along with a second edition of print-on-demand paperbacks. I have found it a relatively restful experience to focus on stories that are already written, and to further refine them. I have also reconnected with the plots – have been able to pick up the thread once again. That itself is useful with one more title to write. With that I will be done, and bring the Sprite Sister series to a close.

There is a certain satisfaction in this. First, because there is a lot of me in the stories. The experience of writing Sprites has been fun and a way of reconnecting with my childhood adventures. Second, the seven Sprite Sister books will represent a good body of work: over 200,000 hardback books sold in Germany and sales still going strong. The complete series has potential for a children’s film or play. I have my eyes on the Japanese and American markets.

But it is time to move on. Autumn is coming and the air is cool. New stories beckon and I feel the need to write for the adult market. My little boat sits head to wind: I can’t see which way to go yet, but I can feel the pull of a new current. Soon, I will bear away on a new tack and be off once more.

Meanwhile, here are the first two titles of the new Sprite Sisters e-books. By the end of this year, I expect to e-publish all seven books. Just waiting for the illustrator to design the covers! Question: what does one call the image for an e-book – as it isn’t a ‘jacket’?






Sheridan Winn is a freelance journalist and author of the Sprite Sister books
 – see www.sheridanwinn.com

The Circle of Power and The Boy With Hawk-like Eyes are available on Amazon Kindle. The Magic Unfolds, The Secret of the Towers, The Ghost in 
the Tower and New Magic will be available as e-books this Autumn.




2 comments:

julia jones said...

I'm impressed by that body of work and tremendous foreign sales. And do you actually sail as well as sell? I've been reading about the Norfolk Broads which I've never properly explored, only visited. I think that's your area?

Sheridan Winn said...

Hi Julia,
Yes, thank heavens for my German readers! In 2008, Picccadilly told me the children's fantasy market is less saturated in Germany than here. So that was part of the reason for the success. Plus, Fischer Verlag have done a wonderful job on the hardbook book production - complete with illustrations. The German translations hit all the right buttons.
I love sailing, but don't own a boat, so have to wait to be invited to crew!
Sailing on the Norfolk Broads involves a serious amount of tacking, as you're mostly on small rivers and the Broads themselves are not very big. More interesting on the North Norfolk coast, which is a beautiful and haunting place.
Lovely sunshine today, eh!