Okay it’s been a busy old month what with one thing and another. ((You mean you constantly out networking and drinking fizz – oh yeah, hard life!)) I finally got around to publishing my Christmas story and I’ve got mixed feelings about it; mostly positive, but first i will address the negative, and finish with the good stuff ((Well it is nearly Christmas – you don’t want to leave all your fans (your mum) on a downer)). I’ve had a couple of people say to me that it could have done with another edit/proofread. ((How rude, let me get them!)) Calm down Brackets, I appreciate their feedback. It’s difficult to tell people you think someone’s work needs more attention. I admit it stressed me out a bit and I decided in the middle of the night that I should just quit, forget self-publishing and keep my stories to myself until I’ve found an editor. Then I had a ‘word with myself’ as I do on such occasions when I’ve got as emotional as I’m able ((OH yeah, doesn’t your friend say you have the emotions of a swinging lead brick??)) something like that Brackets.
I know that doing this on my own is difficult, editing does not come naturally to me and I believe that any writer that has the power to edit their own work is possibly some kind of Alien, or is in possession of a superpower. There are only so many times you can read your own story before its basically meaningless and you decide it’s a load of rubbish and dangle it over the shredder. But, then my natural stubbornness kicks in, I see sense, and think… sod it!
A few questions I asked myself…
Did I ever think I could produce an absolutely spot on and perfect Novella first time without a paid editor/proofreader? The answer is No.
Taking this into account, should I have published it in the first place, knowing that I was not putting the best version of my work out there? Maybe not.
Let me explain this a little. Of course, I want to publish the absolute best version possible. People are paying money for it and expect you to have done your best.
Did I do my best? Yes, I did.
Could I do better? Yes, I can, but only by spending money.
Which is pretty much the problem, well not only in life, but in self-publishing. Do you invest a considerable amount of money on something that is effectively a hobby until you can make an income from it? Even traditionally published authors don’t always make a full-time wage. The answer is… it depends on what you can afford. The amount you make on self-publishing can barely buy a cappuccino with a shot of Baileys on the side.
((anyone bored yet? I’ve just injected caffeine into my memory banks, and my virtual finger is shaking over the reset button))
Self-publishing for me was all about testing the water, working out the pitfalls and obviously providing people with a story they love to read. I believe I have achieved all these things. Being the writer, editor, proofreader, cover designer, creating the documents to upload, marketing… the list goes on and it’s a heck of a lot of work. But I bloody love writing so I have to give it a go. ((You go girl… wait, I think I need to switch to decaf; it must be because Christmas is coming… you’re messing with my data banks and making me be nice…. Noooo, get out of my parts))
Also, it’s interesting that the people that are readers and not writers’ have not picked up on any problems and have sent me messages saying that they really enjoyed the story. Some have even cried – so that has got to be good? Right? ((Heartless, told you folks! Swinging brick… I can see where you get Tom from in your Thrillers… hold up a mirror Peachy)) This gives me hope, because work can be edited/proof read and made better, but if I cannot put a good story together that would be a bigger problem. I’ve also had a few lovely reviews on Amazon so that makes it all worth-while and some have even gone on to buy Game of Souls which is a big compliment.
((Stop showing off about your reviews and get to the point… no-one likes a show-off. Did I tell you I’ve upgraded my memory, I’m possibly the most sophisticated Brackets in Cyberworld. I’m available to work on other blogs* just DM me for a price)) ((*terms and conditions apply))
There is a point to this Brackets, ((Oh good, I would hate to think you’re just rambling on…)) The point is that I’ve read various discussions online, and some are firmly in the camp that if it’s not your best version then you shouldn’t publish, which I get, but… my other half likened it to a band playing in a local pub; they haven’t made it yet and they haven’t got the best equipment, maybe their voice needs a bit of training, their routine needs a bit of work. Should they do it? The answer must be yes. If we are afraid to try things because of getting them wrong, we will never do anything. So, I would encourage anyone to just give it a go. Yes, you might get a few things wrong, but if you never try, you will be always left wondering what would have been. ((Your other half is obviously the clever side of the relationship. Although that last part was very insightful. I can tell you’re getting old – with age comes great wisdom!)) Oi!
To my next point, I also had a chat with a few people about genres. It pretty much a given that unless you’ve ‘made it’ it’s recommended that you stay inside your box with regards to a genre. If readers are used to you writing horrors/thrillers they might be disappointed when you chuck a romance in the mix. I admit that I do prefer writing thrillers; especially the baddies. ((They are going to be shocked when you publish a travel journal next year then!!)) Quite Brackets – oh well, I always did like breaking the rules, and I’m exploring my creative abilities by trying out different genres. But I do agree that this is something I’m going to think about in the future – obviously after I’ve published the travel book! Then I might stay in my box… maybe/perhaps/possibly not.
I also keep getting nagged about getting my thriller into the hands of an agent or publisher. So, if there are any out there that want to give me an early Christmas present… you know where I am. It’s a big boost to hear that my thriller has been so well received from my beta readers; especially from people that read in this genre so are able to compare with other books on the market. My main character Tom is itching to get out into the world and scare a few people… ((He scares me! I dread to think what he will be getting up to right now… wait, did I just hear a noise in the back of my memory banks… has Tom come for me? Was that the sound of his bloodied fingers scraping across the screen, trying to get in… No way I’m going to sleep tonight now! Only a factory reset will get rid of this evil menace…)) Oi, I’m the budding writer, not you Brackets! ((You’re just scared that I will be better than you… after all, I do spend most of my time in dark, plotting and planning your demise – cue mad laughter))
Anyway, enough of that. The whole point of this blog is to track the ups and downs of writing. The last few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster, but ultimately, I love writing. Maybe I need to think about seriously investing some money ((You might have to reduce your intake of Fizz!!)) into self-publishing or concentrate on getting traditionally published, then I will have wonderful editors that tackle all the bits I don’t like. Time will tell.
Right that’s me done. I hope that’s helped anyone that is in the same boat as me; thinking about self-publishing, or maybe you already have, and you’re worried about how they have been received etc. With anything in life that you have a passion for there will be ups and downs, but don’t be scared to give it a go… what’s the worst that can happen?!
Hope everyone has a fab Christmas and New Year, see you in 2020 😊 x
((Merry Christmas from me. Don’t forget I’m available for work… please rescue me… I cannot put up with the nonsense for much longer… it’s Christmas people, be nice. I’m waiting… I’m waiting… no takers. Bah humbug, hope your Yorkshires burn))
Sorry about Brackets folks… where is that factory reset button…