Sunday 23 September 2018


Louise and I returned yesterday from our Greek vacation on the island of Patmos in the Aegean - and there will be a post on that regenerating experience in a few days. This post is designed to widen the circle of those who know what happened with respect to my yet-to-be published biography of Jago Stone in the fortnight before we left for Greece at the beginning of September - and to whet the collective appetite for more updates. Here is what the subscribers to my September Mailchimp Newsletter have read:

At the beginning of last week - on Monday August 20 - I dispatched Submission No.28, the last in the long list of attempts to interest first literary editors and now publishers that I have been conducting since March of this year. Six months of frustration. Now it would be self-publication - not ideal but at least the story of Jago would see the light of day.

  Monday afternoon, an email appeared from the Chairman of Unicorn Press - the recipient of Submission No.28 - saying my proposal looked interesting - please send 'what I had got'. A WeTransfer sent him my completed biography - 'Jago'  - in a file. He downloaded early next morning, did a publisher's read on a train journey that day - and emailed me at teatime. The communication was headed 'Jago Lives'. I opened and read: ' enough to see … it is a good story well told, and I like the use of images and the cyber angle … No reason for it not to do well if marketed properly.'
We arranged a meeting in the cafĂ© at Waterstone's in Piccadilly, London, for the following Tuesday. Thus,  two 

days ago I met and discussed publishing and marketing with the Chairman - Ian Macpherson, Lord Strathcarron - for an enjoyable hour in which I learned a good deal about his world of print. I had travelled for seven hours for this meeting from Cornwall; he had just flown back from Chile taking fourteen hours mostly in the dark after travelling there for a photoshoot on behalf of the firm.

He had added an attachment with the first email sent the previous week which explained how Unicorn operate. I am into stage three of possible acceptance as a Unicorn author. My book is now being read more carefully by an editor who will make an appraisal. We shall see. It has been, without doubt, a very encouraging sequence of days as we prepare for our Greek holiday. More updates to follow in October's Newsletter.

Unicorn publish around 50 titles a year. Ian gave me a headline figure of around 145,000 books published every year in the UK. If Unicorn do accept 'Jago', it won't be a coffee-table-type book as I had envisaged because there are not enough plates of paintings. He has a picture of the hard-back biography with plenty of images that he would like to see as the book on the display table in the book-store in the future. His description sounded good to me.

We were talking the language of trade fairs in London and Frankfurt; Unicorn have offices in London and Chicago. Unicorn never talk just about publishing. It's 'publishing and marketing'. If things do work out, I will be fully involved in that marketing.
There's many a slip between the cup and the lip - but I do hope we can work together to see 'Jago' reach the widest readership possible. Hard-back first; then two years later, the paper-back version.'

 Fingers-crossed, everyone. Jago Lives.

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