Part 9: The Publishing Deal

Independent Publishing Houses and the HotHive

During this phase of putting myself out there, I learned of two authors – Louise Claire-Pardoe and Jason Paul Claire – who’d published their book through an independent house called HotHive Books. Given what I was then learning about the book-publishing world, their deal sounded too good to be true. When I got my hands on their book, it was a thing of beauty.

Louise was known to an acquaintance, who introduced us. She agreed to put me in touch with the publisher and the following day I called Karen Swinden, the HotHive’s managing director and the first publishing professional who’d ever heard me pitch.

After that, things moved very fast. I sent her the full manuscript that weekend. We sat down for our first meeting the following week and two weeks after that I was on the train to Worcestershire to meet the team.

Three days later, Simon Cann and I met for a strategy discussion. The next morning, I called Karen and we struck the deal. It was one of the most significant conversations of my life. It took place on 12 February 2011.

(Read further details about that experience.)

The Book


In Summary

In the end, I got everything I needed. Feeling my way into the publishing world gradually brought a more productive long-term result than if I’d scored an early hit.

I didn’t get an advance, but that wasn’t a goal – the key parameter for me was a decent cut of the profit if it were to sell a lot of copies. I also got direct access to the production and design team and didn’t lose control of my vision during the closing stages.

After all, the goal of all this was to produce something comprehensive, complete, intellectually robust and really sexy – not some stripped-down, half-arsed version. Using literature to change the world isn’t supposed to be easy. And I was very happy with the end product. See here for some of the media and reviews it has received.



Final Thoughts

As you will see from the above pages, and associated links, the key things is you want to write and publish a book are extreme dedication and a determination to see things through. For some last thoughts on the emotional considerations: read my thoughts at the time. For some final thoughts on what all that meant for my life: read this post.

If I’d know how difficult writing and publishing a travel and philosophy book would be, I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to take on the challenge. As Mark Twian said: ‘All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure. But in the end, the fact that the journey was so challenging made it all the richer.


Read a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of the finished product > 


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