Home » Uncategorized » Letting off steam, and full steam ahead.

Letting off steam, and full steam ahead.

“You can’t expect to become a good lover if you only have sex vis yourself, dear.”

Mildred Gottlaid

And some might say a similar analogy could be drawn with writing and self-publishing.

If you don’t have a ‘proper’ publisher your writing isn’t worthy of being in print.

It was certainly something I used to think was probably true: of both examples. But while I would wholeheartedly agree with Frau Gottlaid I’m not so sure these days about self-publishing.

Does the flood of amateurs using  digital cameras diminish photography?

Personally I don’t think so. I believe it has unleashed a creative  flood. A quick romp around blogville will reveal an abundance of breathtaking photographs which means somebody is behind them. And most, from what I can gather, are amateurs. Not all are Lichfield or Bailly but there are some damn good photographers out there, make no mistake.

“Writing a novel without being asked seems a bit like having a baby when you have nowhere to live.”

Lucy Ellman.

Maybe not any more, Lucy.

Digital publishing has allowed the means for writers to publish and offer their work for sale in a market that has traditionally been,  well, a closed book.

Sure, not everything that goes digital is going to be a Hemingway, or Dickens. But there might just be one such talented writer out there who, having been kicked in the metaphorical teeth just one time too many by agents and publishers and is about to throw in the towel, is handed a lifeline in the form of digital self-publishing.

The only issue that remains constant, whether one publishes traditional or digital is marketing.

And what is good marketing?

This is the grey area. All fifty shades of it. And no matter how good the story is, (or bad) if it isn’t punted noone is going to read it.

”Publishers have been having hard time of late. They are desperate to find authors who can break through the barrier of inertia  that surrounds the book trade but they are more worried than ever about risking their money on unknowns. ”

Barry Turner

This sounds so familiar. But this quote makes me smile broadly  and I try to take the whole thing with a pinch of salt.

Why? Because Turner wrote this in 1987.

So, while I recently let out a huge sigh of relief after overhauling several of my books that I intend to self-publish I got a heads-up from a publisher that another of my books is now under serious consideration for publication. Guess who’s smiling?

Funny old world, isn’t it?

19 thoughts on “Letting off steam, and full steam ahead.

  1. Though if I consider how we’d have to edit Charles Dickens… the lengths, the dramatic lulls… the cost of publishing a paperback of that width… all the issues of traditional paperbacks, it would have to be a hardcover… I suspect we would have to turn him down. We like faster-moving stuff. 😉 (Oy I can hear the English world howling in disgust. But Shakespeare, now – him we’d gladly publish!)

      • Well. Yes I do remember reading Dickens, there must be a reason so many people read him (other than, prescribed books in schools). He’s very deep, and what he did was highlight conditions in England at that time that desperately needed attention. Not like in today’s “entertain me” world. He wouldn’t sell… then again back then, there was no TV.

      • Look, Dickens has depth. And he highlighted desperate conditions in England, e.g. fixing people’s attention on the tuberculosis and diphteria in the English boarding schools and orphanages which was basically due to underfeeding the children. But say nothing, ol’ Will is pithy! Robin had to do an abbreviated, dumbed-down “teen” version of “Romeo and Juliet” for school, so I downloaded the original for her, and we read it aloud and cracked ourselves. He is subtle, pithy and very sharp-witted.

  2. Funny old world indeed Douglas! Well done and congrats my friend. You deserve to have all your books published. 😀

  3. I’ve written two novels that were unable to find agents. (Some people take this kind of thing personally, not realizing that the same agents that rejected them probably reject 250 others every week). So anyway, I’m sort of working on a third. A friend of mine who has had off-and-on success in the entertainment biz insists, “The third times’s the charm.”

    We’ll see.

    • I could probably wallpaper a fair amount of the wall in front of my desk with “No Chuff you” letters from agents.
      And trying to find genre agents is even more difficult.
      I have never taken it personally as I have a feeling the vast majority of agents treat submissions with a fair dollop of indifference.

      Barry Turner’s comment above just about personifies the publishing world.

      And getting published is only half the journey. Less than half I can say
      But if JK can do it, why not me! 🙂
      My SA publisher is very small but expanding, if you fancy a crack, Eric, you could always submit to her?
      Follow my book link to the site and look for submissions.

  4. My oldest daughter has tried for several years to get some of her works published and just a month ago a publisher contacted her with serious interest. You never know. My oldest brother always says, “Luck favors the prepared” You seem prepared. The best of luck to you.

    • Kudos for your Daughter! That is an achievement in itself, Ken. That first spark of interest.
      She must be very happy. Over the moon I shouldn’t wonder. What does she write, if I might ask?
      And give my best regards.
      And get behind her writing too. Every writer needs someone to read their stuff and cheer them on.

      Gary Player has a similar anecdote. “The more I practice the luckier I get.”

    • Thanks, John..
      Early days yet, though… the way the publishing business seems to be, what with reading editing, cover, contract, etc, it might be a while before it sees light of day.
      But it was a very pleasant surprise.

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