The World According to Renee

Views, Reviews, Short Stories and More…

To Write and To Publish

I’ve been doing a bit of research about self-publishing in a digital format, i.e. Kindle e-books. Turns out, it’s ridiculously easy and not too expensive. This is great for writers because it means they can become a published author any time they like. Whether or not they sell anything is a different matter, which brings me to this post.

You don’t have to be a good writer to be successful
Confession time: I read the first book in the Twilight series. Everyone was talking about it and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. No harm in doing that. It was awful. It read like it was written by a dyslexic thirteen year old who had been locked underground her entire life. The entire canon of vampires was re-written to fit within a love story genre, with terrible grammatical errors. It was never going to be a winner for me, yet it’s outsold Harry Potter and, in some markets, the Bible. No one can argue with wasn’t successful, but you can argue that it is badly written.

You don’t have to have a new or unique concept to be successful
Following on from Twilight came Fifty Shades of Grey. The two are related: Shades began as Twilight fanfic. For those who missed the memo, fanfic is fiction written by fans using established characters from any media. There’s fanfic about Star Trek, Harry Potter, Dr Who, My Little Pony… and anything else you can imagine (Slashfic is a subset and is sexually explicit fanfic, often between same-sex characters who aren’t gay, canonically speaking).

Of course, erotic fiction is nothing new. It’s been around since storytelling began. But what is it about Fifty Shades that struck a chord?

Self-publishing: Curse or Blessing?
How many people move to LA to find an agent and become a working actor? Writers do the same to publishers and literary agents. The market out there is tough and I’m under no delusions that I will be picked up. Besides, I kinda like that I have complete control over my work. But first, I have to write something.

Whenever I do write something, there’s no shortage of people who I can turn my work over to and they’ll read it. Some will always give a glowing review, some will be critical, some won’t like it. All of these form a necessary mix in order to get something out there. The other thing is, plenty of people are willing to read it for free, would they pay for it? There are tons of websites that give marketing advice to new authors who have chosen to self-publish. Marketing requires a lot of time and effort but the rewards are obvious.

For me, the advantages of self-publishing outweigh traditional publishing… assuming that I could get through to a publishing house in the first place. Whatever happens, the first novel I publish will be an experiment, but one that I am excited to get started on. And the best thing about publishing? You’re never too old: Bryce Courtenay was in his fifties when his first novel was published.


January 7, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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