Jack Messenger | Feed the Monkey

Reading | Reviewing | BLEATING INTO A GUNNY SACK | Writing | Publishing

Tag: Self-Publishing

Good reviews of one’s own work are so encouraging. I just discovered these wonderful reviews of Four American Tales on Goodreads, after eighteen months or so during which I have avoided social media etc. for the sake of my health. Thank you to all my reviewers, whether you have liked what I do or not. See the Goodreads reviews here.

Farewell Olympus

Farewell OlympusWriting Over, Designing Begins


I am tremendously excited to have finished my new novel, Farewell Olympus, which was an entirely new writing experience for me. Now it’s time to think about cover copy and book descriptions. I find it difficult to describe my own work, partly because I dislike blowing my own trumpet, partly because I can never decide what it is exactly. Farewell Olympus is no exception: I think it’s funny, but in a dry, seldom laugh-out-loud way. I also think it’s clever and entertaining, but then I would say that, wouldn’t I? It has elements of mystery and thriller, but it’s definitely not either of those. About all I can say with any confidence is that it’s fiction. Here’s what I have come up with so far.

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Authors: If You Want Reviews, Get Copyediting!

I enjoy writing book reviews. They are part of the critical conversation that authors and readers need to make decisons about reading and writing, buying and selling. A good book is worthy of our respect and serious attention even – perhaps especially – if we disagree with its viewpoint or have trouble with some of its assumptions. And, of course, a good book that we also admire is a joy to review – it’s as if the author’s talent has rubbed off on the reviewer! Continue reading

Copyediting for Indie Authors | Cover Reveal

Jack Messenger, Copyediting for Indie WritersHere it is! And I can hardly contain my excitement! What started off as an idle thought, grew into a side-project, then developed into a fully fledged obsession, will soon become a reality. Launch day is fast approaching. Aaargh!

I’ve spent my career in the publishing industry as a writer, copyeditor and editorial project manager, submissions reader and reviewer. I’ve worked for major trade and academic publishers such as Berlitz, Routledge and Wiley-Blackwell, plus major international organizations in the not-for-profit sector. I’ve helped literally thousands of authors on many thousands of books – books of all kinds, from travel guides to children’s picture books to cutting-edge academic scholarship. Continue reading

Self-Publishing: Prepare, Promote, Persevere

EggsPreparing to Self-Publish

Ever since I wrote my post First, Find an Agent, I’ve been having second thoughts, which have since blossomed into wild and exotic imaginings.

Things have changed an awful lot since July 2015, when I announced my determination to find an agent for my novel, The Long Voyage Home. Since then, I have learned a great deal about the Internet, independent publishing and all things online. It has convinced me – as it has convinced many other writers long before me – that it is wrong to put one’s eggs all in one basket. And perhaps my entire strategy could do with an overhaul. So I have overhauled it and arrived at some radically different conclusions. Continue reading