So it begins…Posted: April 9, 2011 | |
I am writing this blog to record my journey in finishing my second manuscript and finding people who want to read it.
I am an emphatic writer. I constantly have ideas of things I would like to write, and I spend a lot of my limited spare time writing. You will hear about my first book every now and then (Times of Trouble), which I was giving away for free for many months, but am now offering for sale on Amazon (for $3.89). Can you call something a book if it’s never been traditionally published? Maybe there’s another post in this. Anyway, my main focus at the moment is finishing my second work of fiction – Conspire, and having as many people as possible read it.
I truly believe that people like me, who are full of words, and love to craft sentences into a story, are motivated by a longing to have their words read. I believe that the only reason why writers want to sell their work is so that they can afford to live while they keep writing. If they are lucky enough to already be rich, or have an income of some kind that supports their writing, they would be more than happy to give their books away for free, as long as people are reading them, and experiencing the story that has been so carefully moulded for their enjoyment. Maybe it’s just me, but I judge my success as a writer on reviews and feedback, which is far more important than revenue earned. This is convenient, since so far I have earned a grand total of zero dollars from my work.
The path to becoming a published author is, bluntly, ridiculously hard. It infuriates me that quasi-celebrities so easily get contracts to write semi-interesting autobiographies, memoirs, or god forbid, cook books, when there are so many brilliant writers out there who are writing incredible novels that may never see the light of day. It seems that unless you are ‘someone’, no one wants to see your work. Without sounding all bitter and twisted, it is fair to say that I’m fairly cynical about the agent/publishing path to traditional publishing. Of course, if I am successful in finding an agent and/or publisher, I will be over the moon thrilled. But I also acknowledge that there are definitely other ways to get my work read. In the digital age, there are many opportunities for authors who have tried and failed to break down the traditional barriers. As I like to think of it, there is no shame in climbing the fence if that is the only way into the party! I will be trying the gate, to see if it is unlocked, easy to unlock, breakable down, or willing to be torn from its hinges. But failing this, I’ll clamber over the fence and gatecrash the party, waving their many rejection letters in their face. That makes me sound a bit crazy, doesn’t it? Sometimes crazy skates a little close to ambitious. Excuse me.
The key to success is a brilliant product. I am a marketer by trade, and will never forget one of my university lectures wisely telling me that good publicity for a bad product just makes it even worse. This is what I’m focusing my energy on at the moment. Finishing and perfecting Conspire. I loved writing Times of Trouble, and have been excited to receive brilliant feedback about it from many readers (including friends and family, as well as fans who have downloaded the manuscript for free online). Conspire is my new obbsession, and with the help of my very diligent, patient mother, Kay, I will be spending the next few months turning it from a very messy first draft, into a conspiracy thriller which I promise you won’t be able to put down.
Welcome to my journey. Wish me luck!