Intoducing Jack Croxall, author of Tethers

Why I decided to self-publish my debut novel

When I was writing my first novel, I didn’t really have much any knowledge of the publishing industry or of how it worked. What little insight I eventually acquired was almost entirely through sporadic use of good old Google when I should really have been doing other things.

Originally, I suppose I thought that, once my book was finished, I would just send it off to a small-time publisher, wait a few days, finalise a deal and eventually sort out lunch with JK a little further down the line. How wrong I was! Finding agents/publishers, writing query letters for them, writing out synopsis, waiting for replies; all of this takes a huge amount of time and I found it to be pretty mind-numbing process.

After a fair old wait, I did receive interest from a number of places I’d contacted but the next stage of the traditional publishing slog (sending off your entire manuscript and waiting for a response) apparently took even longer! Eventually, I was getting pretty fed up with waiting, and then someone told me about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

For those of you who might not have come across it, KDP is an online service that allows authors to make their work available via the Kindle Store for any device capable of reading ebooks (tablets, PCs, iphones etc). Releasing a novel through KDP allows an author control of price, the book’s marketing and, crucially, means that the author alone retains full rights to the work. Ownership of rights is important because, if an ebook performs well and develops a large following, it can lead to the attention of a mainstream publisher and possibly a full deal without the need for writing hundreds of query letters – hooray!

Sadly, though, I think it’s fair to say that a good proportion of self-published novels aren’t very successful so, with interest from more traditional avenues, it might seem slightly odd that I opted to release Tethers in this way, even when you consider my utter lack of patience. However, interest was no guarantee of anything else and, rather than spending hours writing further submissions, I personally felt it would be more productive to invest my time in promoting the book to potential readers and writing more blogs/articles to get my voice out there.

So far, I have been so very lucky with the success of the book’s promotion; I have had coverage on BBC radio, been featured in local newspapers, magazines, numerous amazing blogs and have even been reviewed by the massive and most excellent website, MuggleNet. On top of that I have made an abundance of wonderful friends and found so many new and great books to read and to share.

I think the genres that Tethers falls into has helped it to attract readers too; the book is a YA tale but it features an ensemble cast, with a plethora of ages and demographics in the central group. This coming together of different aspects of Victorian society is what fuels the group’s initiative and skill set, and, as a happy by-product, I feel there is something there for most readers.

I suppose the point of this article is to say that, if you work hard and have the right book, self-publishing can bring a real measure of success and, perhaps more importantly, to add that, I regret nothing!

A YA Victorian fantasy, Jack Croxall’s debut novel, Tethers follows Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson as they become embroiled in a treacherous conspiracy.

The book is available as an ebook or paperback through Amazon and you can find out more by visiting: or the book’s GoodReads page.

Tethers Blurb

In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, Karl Scheffer and Esther Emerson discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.

The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …

Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set in motion a dark chain of events.

The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.

Praise for Tethers

Reminiscent of the exploration stories of Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome, the kids find themselves on a metaphorical rollercoaster cart racing down the tracks. And the brakes are off. Sword fights, pistols, unfortunate deaths and curious objects, the plot thickens with every twist and turn. Suddenly Blyton meets H.G. Wells, and a brilliantly paced steampunk tale of machinery and science-based magic unfolds. (MuggleNet)

Somewhere between Pullman's Sally Lockhart mysteries and Moonfleet sits Tethers, a rip-roaring debut novel. Sharply written with well observed characters that you can root for, Tethers has you turning pages faster that Ronald MacDonald can throw out burgers. (Sharon Sant – author of the Sky Song trilogy)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Apryl Baker