4 July 2017

Publishing, self or otherwise


I was looking for an image that best represented much of my writing. This is stuff I had to write, stuff I enjoyed writing and stuff that helped me to get a better handle on the process of writing. All good stuff, as far as I'm concerned. Do people lie awake at nights longing to read this stuff?
Neither would they thank me for offering it to them. In the unlikely event that they did read it, they would be mightily irritated. To the extent that they'd shun anything and everything I might show them in the future.
And I don't blame them. It's what I do.

Self-published books

This is an image representing self-published writing. The notice on the bin bag hasn't been edited or proof read, something that 99% of self-published writing has in common. Anyone that reads the label can see that what's inside is rubbish.

Write, by all means. Write as often and as long as you can. Write everything that comes into your head. But try to resist the impulse to publish it until you're absolutely sure it's the best thing to do.

Otherwise, when you do come up with something worth reading, any readership you might hope to attract has long ago written your name on their reading list and crossed it off with an indelible marker.

I was very fortunate. I wrote what I considered to be a cracking SF trilogy. Everyone who read it said it was awesome and brilliant. The problem was that my friends and family weren't professional writers and, worse still, are usually inclined to be kind to me. Neither of these factors was helpful in determining the merits of my novels. What I needed was an objective and knowledgeable opinion from someone used to giving one. A professional critique, to give it its proper title.

My first critique was very difficult to take. It took me years to get over my anger and disappointment but I did come to terms with it eventually. My writing got better, much better. I became conscious of things I do that get in the way of the story and learned to avoid them much of the time.When my first novel was published, I'd improved enough to tell a good story without annoying the hell out of most of my readers. This proved a good marketing ploy because many of the same readers went on to buy more of my work, which gets better all the time. As it should.

photo credit: Mink When will people start to recycle? via photopin (license)
photo credit: garryknight Heavy via photopin (license)