Tuesday, 14 August 2012

4th Place For Writers

Is the worse position in an Olympic final 4th place?  So near to a place in the history books and the admiration on non-sportspeople and yet so far you might as well have come 8th.  It's a bit like sending your novel to an agent who replies along the lines of 'I loved your book, but not quite enough to offer representation.'

Close, but not close enough.

As a writer there used to be only two choices for what to do next: Give up or carry on sending your work out to agents.   Now two more have been added to the list: publish via a small independent publisher or self-publish.

There's a lot of turmoil in publishing at the moment with change coming from several directions at once, and I think there is much for a writer to be concerned about this brave new world.  But one of the big plusses is that there are now more choices than settling for fourth place.  The medals are within your grasp.


Giles Diggle said...

They' changed the rules in publishing. They changed the rules for Olympic cycling. Team GB were still successful. Adapt and thrive.

Jim Murdoch said...

Yes, I’ve said this before, in many ways it really is both the best of times and the worst of times to be a writer right now. All these options are great but there are so many people jumping on the bandwagon that it’s really hard (i.e. almost impossible) to get noticed. So, yes, you may get published but only sell a handful of books. I always get some (cold) comfort from the words Beckett stuck in Krapp’s mouth: “Seventeen copies sold, of which eleven at trade price to free circulating libraries beyond the seas. Getting known.” This was before fame found him (or “damned” him as he put it). This is what publishing is all about unless you write populist fiction. I have the key to next door’s flat and I was in there today letting a plumber in and there on her bedside table was a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. I just sighed.

Sarah Duncan said...

Giles - Yes! And weren't they brilliant!

Jim - I couldn't agree more. Love the Beckett quote. I think I'm going to have to read FSOG, just to make my own opinion, but I'm v reluctant to waste valuable reading time on it.