And since I’ve been busy writing, reading, editing, publishing and whatnot, I didn’t have time to do much else, therefore I shall leave you with these words of wisdom, writers on writing, whatever you want to call themm for the weekend! Enjoy!
When things get tough, what can you do?
Focus on the positive feedback you’ve gotten in emails, in blog comments, on Facebook, and through other avenues. Reminding yourself that people out there do like your work can really help you get through the rough patches of bad reviews and lack of sales. If you have some writer friends you can talk to about the ups and downs of the business, you’ll remind yourself you’re not alone. Sometimes it helps to know you’re not the only person going through the downside of this business.
Ultimately, though, it all boils down to whether you (as the writer) like the book? Would you write the book again if given the chance? If you enjoy the book, that book was worth writing, and it has value.
Living in Edinburgh, I know a fair few writers to talk to, and most of them are pretty ordinary middle aged folk who spend a lot of time at a screen. Some of us belong to weird-to-outsiders sub cultures – gamers, sword folk, bikers, tech-heads – but then we’re weird because of the subculture, not our writing. Like most vocations, ours requires drive and self-discipline, so there’s not really much room for scotch-bottle-wielding craziness in our day-to-day routine. And if our conversation is sometimes… specialised, it’s no different than if you listened in to some microbrewers talking shop… and our specialism is where the books come from, the books people read, which leads us to…
By definition, professional authors can’t possibly be all that weird because people read us. If books with minimal connection to modern reality were what sold, then Sumerian creation myths would top the charts.
What do you love about the writing life?
I love the freedom of the lifestyle. On almost any given day, my schedule is my own. Being able to do what I do on my own time is hugely liberating.
More substantively, I love writing. It’s great to be able to do what I love. My definition of success is finding something you love so much you would pay to do it; and if you can get someone else to pay you for it, that’s success.
That’s what will happen with traditional publishing. It’s already happening. Blog after blog after blog appears at nearly the rate of one per week by writers who started indie and who went to traditional and who are now returning to indie for the control. Even more blogs appear from traditional writers who have become fed up with their treatment from their traditional publishing “partners” and are moving to indie.
Within the next five years, or maybe ten, as the word gets out (writers are slow on the uptake), traditional publishing will find itself in the same position as the Big 4 TV networks. The Big 5 traditional publishers will get the clueless and the one-shot wonders.
Writers who have actually learned business, writers who want money, control, and yes, eyeballs, will go indie (or start their own small press). It’s already happening, and it’s starting to speed up.
The publishing industry is probably where TV was in 2005.
Here’s the future, folks: The traditional publishers aren’t going away. But they are becoming irrelevant to anyone who cares about doing their very best work and getting paid the most for it.
And those eyeballs—well, they will find you. Just not in the first month.
We’re going back to word of mouth, which is always the best way to sell anything.
For those who are not writing all the time, who let their critical voice into their offices, who let what others say about their work into their offices, writing is a painful thing at times. So it is easier to focus on promotion of what you already have done.
I have seen a lot of writers in the last four years get all caught up in promotion and almost stop writing.
The one thing you really should have in your office on your wall if this is your problem is “Your Next Book Is Your Best Promotion.”
Very few people after the learning curve time get lost in production.
But wow can the focus get lost in promotion.