I just finished reading this article which talks about how many books a person should write. By the way, the answer is how many they want.
But it was in response to this article about someone saying that writers shouldn’t write four books a year. Reading through her article I can see her point. What is your end game? Be known for producing a few top quality novels? Or maybe churning out more but lesser quality ones? Or maybe you just want to pump up your catalog?
In relation to me, my books and stories are beginning to seem like they might be shorter works. Not like the contracted 100,000 words a publisher wants. I don’t think I can write a novel that long. They end up the length they end up. I don’t have a word limit goal in mind when I start them. And I’m not going to pad up the story with things that aren’t needed.
Thank people for creating self-publishing websites and platforms. It’s them that have allow people like me to achieve my dreams. I don’t think I’d be able to do it with traditional publishing houses. And maybe that’s a good thing too.
Every so often I head over to the bookshop that is around the corner from me and have a look at the titles on offer. But I’m not interested in any of them. It’s like the stories contained in between those pages are not interesting to me. And slapping an award on it doesn’t tip the odds in their favour either.
I think it might be because I’m becoming a story snob. I spend so much time thinking about my stories and how I want them written that when I read a book I can only nit pick it to how I want it. That includes the story itself, how’s it written, where certain parts of information is located.
God damn my craft is messing up my leisure.
Am I the only one or are others suffering like me?
You’ve got a story all written and edited? Is it just sitting there next to your computer all printed out? Or is it safe on a usb with copies save in numerous internet storage locations? Thought that because you love your stories so much that publishing houses will feel the same. Did you want to off yourself when you were lucky enough to get a response rejection letter/email etc? Or maybe you were in the group that simply didn’t get a reply at all?
Imagine what you can do with all that time you have spare after you have stopped:
- Chasing after agents that run a mile from you,
- Waiting for that inevitable rejection for that wordy baby of yours. (cause believe me you ain’t getting shit),
- Envisioning publishing houses will like you and your book (they’re a business, not a friend and they’d ditch you at the drop of a hat or worse sell your book to another company and you can’t do shit),
- And have finally pulled your head from the sand and realised that you are not the only writer out there, you are competing against all others for mass market publication (most money from one thing) and knowing that no matter how hard you work, someone else better or OMG worse than you will be published instead. Shit happens and it’ll happen to you.
Then have no fear you can ditch those bloody shits and self publish! God forbid, it’s not like publishing houses know a good quality book when they see it. Vintage Books I’m talking about you!
The other day I came across an article that asks the question ‘Are Self-published Authors Really Authors or Even Published?‘ I must admit I spent more time reading the comments as people had diverse and fascinating such opinions on it. While people talk about the difference between traditional and self publishing routes, one comment by Peter_Kenneth_C_Bicknell stood out: readers determine if we are legitimate authors or legitimately published. This reminds me that it is readers not publishing houses that control how books are viewed. It doesn’t matter where it is published all that matters is how the reader who holds in their hand views it. If they think this book is poorly written then it is most likely poorly written.
It is pretty much established that in the world of self-publishing there is a lot of crap out there, but it is the same with traditional books. Or as Eric Cartman stated (think of books as friends) ‘This is the way the world works, if you want to find some quality friends you have to wade through all the dicks fist.’ Sometimes you have to wade for quiet a while.
I have to admit about a year ago I submitted some first chapters to a few Australian publishing houses, knowing that I wouldn’t get picked but hoping nonetheless, only to receive nothing. And after going to Melbourne Uni I began to realise how unbelievably difficult the publishing industry is to break into. In terms of employment and publication. I kind of wished that I never submitted because then I wouldn’t be just another rejected book. But now that I know what I’m up against then I’ll just bypass it all together and self-publish as I see it as a more attainable for me to become an author.
For people that go the self publishing route please put effort into your books. Better quality does sell because readers leave reviews commenting on how good it is. Both in the editing and story structure. And if you think you are ready to hit upload on a self-publishing website, then I’d advise you to do another edit.
And for the love of God don’t begin your story by misspelling to word ‘prologue‘ as ‘prolog‘, readers will start your story, if they do, with a low opinion.
The other day I was just surfing the web when I decided to look up not people who were successful writers, but people who were failures at writing. It was the first time I’d looked at writer and the publishing industry from that perspective before.
It’s probably a good thing I did because I came across some pretty interesting stuff. One site has a funny description on 6 types of fail writers, which made me a bit scared because I have a few wisps of them in me. The site even has counter article of 6 types of successful writers and when reading it I’m like Victoria Mixon you know my soul.
When evaluating what is success and what is failure in terms of the publishing industry and writers, the terms can be a bit blurry. A publishing house accepting your manuscript is a success, but that manuscript only sells a few copies out of the 3000 (yes that is around the average print run in Australia atm) printed is considered a failure. A person writing and editing their own story to the point where they self publish it on and sell a few copies is considered a success to them. While others feel that because their story was rejected from a traditional publishing house then they are a failure. Having a best selling book is considered a success, but if readers look at it and pick up numerous errors over and over again then that in itself is a failure.
When I was younger I once read an author note in a kids book saying how the author, who had been published before, was not satisfied with the end product for her first book. My first thought was that was interesting, you don’t hear that every day. And my second was ‘well you can’t complain because the fact that you were published in the first place is quite an achievement’, but now I think ‘hmmm, this author’s idea of success was not meet’. And while there are a lot of other things that went into that statement like loss of control etc. the fact remains that what is failure and what is success is relative. Your success is another person’s failure and another’ failure is considered a success.
Remember that you should plan your success, but also plan for when failures occur because they will happen.
I came across an article called ‘How To Self-Publish A Bestseller: Publishing 3.0‘ by James Altucher. It talked about his recent success with his latest book ‘Choose Yourself‘, but that is not what I was mainly interested in. What I was interested in was that he mentioned today’s publishing isn’t divided between self-published and traditionally published books anymore, but divided between professional and unprofessional.
It got me thinking at how the industry has changed in recent times. While I’ve only recently come into it (last couple of years) I have not had the opinion that self-published books hold the stigma that seemed to come with self publishing simply because I entered at a time when there are good quality self-published stories that can be accessed by a large amount of people.
In the past people had the idea that the way a book was published dictated the actual narrative quality inside. But any person who reads a lot of books will come across traditionally published books and think ‘how did this piece of shit get published?’
I know I have.
It amazes me that such poorly written/expressed/edited or just plain terrible stories ever make it past the first round in a publishing house. Did everyone involved have a brain aneurysm or something? Come one guys! You have access to more resources than a single individual, and yet you somehow end up with dribble.
But in today’s world it is not where you publish or the platform that you publish on. It is how you publish it. Have you done it professionally or unprofessionally? Have you taken you time to edit and re-write bad sections of your novel?
Overall people now look at the quality of something, not where it came from.