Someone’s moved the goal posts. The Holy Grail has shifted. It used to be that writers dreamed of being published, because ‘being published’ meant something.
Now, thanks to Indie Publishing and services likes Amazon’s KDP, lulu, IngramSpark etc., getting published is a piece of cake; having your words turned to into real physical books (or virtual electronic ones!) is not the big problem it used to be. Anyone can do it.
Today’s biggest challenge is being read…
There are lots of reasons probably, but the major one is, I think, that the market-place is flooded with books in a way it has never been before, and so navigating between what’s good and what’s not is almost impossible. As a reader, how do you take a chance on someone you’ve never heard of? Maybe 30 years ago, being published – through a literary agent etc. – was more of a guarantee that you might be read; someone had already done the filtering for you.
Today, as a ‘published author’, the thing I seek more than anything else is to be read. Not because I want to be a mega-bucks JKRowling-type superstar, but just to know there is someone at the other end of my literary handshake. Which is why I’ve tried giveaways, reduced prices, all sorts…to virtually no avail.
Just occasionally you get lucky:
This is a beautiful book, slow-paced but deep, about some very believable people who come to Maunston Quay, an undistinguished seaside place, with its suggestion of ‘mourning’, and find the possibilities for hope and change. I really liked the way the story takes the characters on a genuine emotional journey, without melodrama or forced plot twists, so that you get the impression of having met real people, flawed but trying to do their best.
[Amazon.co.uk review for “At Maunston Quay”]
And I want to see more of these because they prove that I’ve brought something new to someone else’s life – and because they validate me. As a writer. Almost as a life.