DIY publishing gets mother into print

SIX-YEAR-OLD Nico Connors loved his mother's story, The Worm, so much he thought it should be turned into a book.

Publishers thought otherwise. After eight rejection slips, Nikki Connors decided there had to be a better way of getting a book published. This week - nearly four years later - she launches it.

Her brainchild, Citron Press, is the answer to writers' prayers and will consider works of fiction from any genre. If the work is good enough, the writer can join its New Authors' Co-operative for a membership fee of pounds 399.95.

The manuscript, which must be on disk, will receive a basic edit and the author will get 20 copies of what the company claims will be a stylish, good-quality paperback with a pounds 5.99 retail price.

Mrs Connors says the venture differs from conventional vanity publishing in that all authors will be promoted through a readers' club with a new catalogue every two months.

The whole idea was made possible by using a rapid turn-around printing operation which would be unsuitable for major print-runs, but which makes it as easy to print a single book as printing 200.

"Publishers and agents simply do not have the time or resources to read the 25,000 manuscripts which cross their desks every year, despite the fact that some are bound to be written by potentially best-selling authors," said Mrs Connors.

There were many examples of classics originally rejected, she added, including The Time Machine by HG Wells and Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.

Potential authors can get details about Citron Press on 0800 0136533.

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