Monday, 18 April 2011

Out of the doldrums

Monday morning, and a good one at that. It should not be long now before "77" will be in the market place as a Print on Demand book. You never know, I might even sell one. That much at least is assured. I will be ordering a few for my own use. Not that I will read it; I am quite familiar with the story. It has been a part of my life for many years  before I ever thought of putting pen to paper.

There is a small part of the story that is more or less factual. This part is autobiographical. I wonder if readers will be able to work out which part.

Would it be possible to offer a prize to the first reader to spot the autobiographical part(s)? I would need to lodge details of this with an independent person or body first, but it should be possible. I wonder ...

I have done all I can for the moment to market the book, although I will be coming back to that one in time. For now I can return to "Harry". I really look forward to that.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Vanity or persistence?

Well! Smashwords have approved my application to go on their premium list. I'm away. Or am I? I really have serious doubts about the value of writing a book, which involves an unbelievable anount of effort, that will more than likely languish along with goodness knows how many thousands of others in some remote corner of the net. Even when I have done all I can to spread the word I have to wonder if the rewards will justify the sheer effort. I can't even say that my vanity is satisfied. It is not.

Faith, self-belief, talent and so on and so on matter. Of course they do. They are all in the melting pot called motivation, which is another important quality. But! The best writers can be the worst self-publicists, and vice versa.

I write from compulsion. I believe there is a lot I should write before the grim reaper visits ... but I can't write while I'm doing the rounds of marketing an earlier work. Frankly, I resent the time doing what I like least - publicising myself and my work - when my next work, "An Angel called Harry", which will be the most important book I ever write, is being frustrated by all the fancy bits a traditional publisher would do on my behalf.

Sure, the net enables me and a lot of others to expose our work to the risk of being bought by someone, but I would far sooner see it on the shelves of Waterstone's and Smith's. I might then even be able to see someone buy it. What a thrill!

Sorry people, I feel in a somewhat cynical mood at the moment. No doubt I shall recover. I might even manage to get "77" some acceptable publicity, which I very much hope will not just be down to the rather saucy sex scenes to be found in it.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Three muted cheers

Well, I suppose there might be space somewhere for a very muted cheer, or three. I have finally managed to get "77" on the Amazon and Smashwords websites and for sale. Why, though, does the process have to be so complicated? And why, in the end, was it more a matter of luck than judgement that the desired end was reached? Now comes the job of marketing. Again, the question: how the hell is it possible to make one book stand out from the rest ... and with the message, "buy me", emblazoned across it? Is any effort justified by the result? Or is it nearer the truth for me to say that I am far more interested in the writing than the selling? I dunno.

I know how frustrating it can be to have a book turned down by the mainline publishers time and time again - I've been there - but, on the other hand, is it really desirable that anything can be published on the net regardless of its value? The reading public are bound to find it ever more difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Will the end result be that readers return to books that have been published in print my the mainline publishers ... and in an e-format?

At the moment I can, if I am vain enough, bask in the glow of having my favourite work available for purchase online but what, really, have I gained? Surely nothing but a sop to my vanity and an anodyne to appease the anger and frustration of repeated rejection. Somebody please tell me that I have it wrong ... that recognition is just round the corner.