During the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature I filmed an interview with BBC World's Ben Thompson, intended to be part of a 'package' on self publishing in the Middle East. I'm joined in the piece by various luminaries of the Middle Eastern publishing scene including distribution guru Narain Jashanmal, translator and e-publisher May Habib and author Dania El Kadi, I do an excellent impersonation of a slightly more careworn and dissipated Alistair Campbell.
As you'd expect, I used the opportunity to point out that authors are Doing It For Themselves as publishing houses become ever more risk averse. That's certainly the case for me, saddled with a book that has been thoroughly enjoyed by the hundreds of people who have read it so far and yet which 'traditional' publishing feels is too risky and not a commercial proposition they could invest in.
That book would still just be a load of charged particles on an oxide-coated aluminium platter if I hadn't decided to self publish it. After some 80-odd rejections from agents (and my own agent deciding he couldn't sell it), I am very glad I took the plunge.Olives has given a great deal of enjoyment to many people and every sale, review and Tweet of 'I enjoyed #Olives' adds to my delight and conviction that it was the right decision to take.