How to get published: Six first-time authors tell their stories
PUBLISHED: 16:27 14 October 2010 | UPDATED: 11:55 28 February 2013
Ever thought about writing a book? As a keen football enthusiast, Roger Hermiston embarked on his study of Brian Clough and Don Revie with relish. Finding a publisher wasn't easy but persistence paid off!
Ever thought about writing a book? We asked six local authors how they went about getting their work into print
Clough and Revie The Rivals Who Changed the Face of English Football
My book is called Clough and Revie The Rivals Who Changed the Face of English Football. Its due to be published in April 2011 and is already cited on Amazon slightly unnerving, as I havent quite finished it yet!
Its the story, over 50 years, of those two, great if flawed football managers, from 1927 (the year Don Revie, the elder, was born) to 1977 (when Revie abruptly left his job as England boss and Brian Clough attempted to succeed him).
It will chart their joint background growing up in Middlesbrough (where my own family, on my fathers side, hail from) through their playing careers, and then on to their bitter rivalry while managers at Derby and Leeds. A sports book, yes, but with plenty of interesting social history along the way.
The writing/publishing process
I decided to try and find an agent who liked my idea and would bat for me. One of my published colleagues on the BBC Today programme put me in touch with his; he was interested, but said I first needed to write a sample chapter (10,000 words or so) and also submit a detailed breakdown of what would be in the rest of the book.
I researched and wrote the sample chapter (while at work) last September and October, conducting eight or nine interviews in Leeds and London. I sent it to the agent; he liked it, and said he would work in trying to find a publisher for me. A great moment!
There was definite interest in the book, but finding a publisher who would give me an advance wasnt easy, partly because there was a weariness about another Clough book, partly because of the economic climate.
Eventually, though, Mainstream decided to take it on, and I signed a contract to deliver a manuscript of 90,000 words by September 30. Ive been researching and writing in my office-shed full time since the beginning of May (Ive now left the BBC), typing anywhere between 500 and 3,000 words a day. Im on course to meet my deadline!
Roger Hermiston is a former producer of BBC Radio Fours Today programme and lives at Cavendish