Thursday, 25 February 2010

An End To Those Pesky Rejection Letters?

Amazon has produced a Digital Text Platform to allow anyone, and I mean anyone, to upload and sell their written work to the public as a downloadable e-book for Kindle. The author receives 35% of the the price as a royalty, and can check on how your book is selling on their website. You don't need an ISBN, but any copyrights have to be purchased by the author.

A great opportunity for writers? Or a carte blanche for anyone who has a laptop to churn out a novel and offer it to the public? As my writing buddy who sent this to me says, how will anyone be able to tell the sharks from the bottom feeders if anyone can get any book published? Good question.

One of the major complaints of all writers is that the publishing industry have too tight a hold on the type of novels they will accept. They stick to well tried formulas and are resistent to new formats. But is opening the market to ANY novel the answer?

Amazon policy is that the best literature will rise to the top naturally by a process of elimination by customer review. But what about us hard working authors who have spent years learning the craft of how to write a commercial novel and who still get rejected by the mainstream publishers?

We all feel that either our work isn't up to standard, in which case we rework and study harder to get it right next time, or we are good enough but somehow our stories don't fit what the current market demands. All reasons for multiple rejections. If and when we are accepted it will be on merit, and due to a startling piece of work honed and polished after several incarnations and a determined agent who believes in us.

Not because we jotted something down and uploaded it to Amazon without anyone telling us what PoV and passive voice is?

I feel readers expect a certain standard from modern publishers and trust their judgement about what they produce, so when they go to a bookshop, they are confident they are buying something that has been edited, corrected, even manipulated a little to make it saleable. Is leaving the selection process entirely to the reader a good idea?

Then again, we have all bought books where the publisher has thrown money at a large publicity machine to convince us a book is a major work, when the final product proved disappointing. What do others think? And which hyped up books left you cold?

Friday, 5 February 2010

On The Trail of Nell Gwynn

Through my recent post at Hoydens and Firebrands Blog, I have come into contact with a new 17th Century author named Gillian Bagwell. Her novel about the life of Nell Gwynn, actress and mistress of Charles II entitled, 'The Darling Strumpet' won't be published until next year by Berkley Publishing Group, but as they say, you cannot start promotion too early!

I hope to review the book when a copy is available, so watch this space, and the HNR Blog. As this is my favourite era for reading and writing, I eagerly anticipate the novel.

If you would like some information on the subject of her book, Gillian has produced a blog for the novel at On the Trail of Nell Gwynn with some fascinating 17th Century facts, including that Charles II planned to make Nell Countess of Greenwich, but died before he could do so.

Gilian's website is still under construction, but will be available soon.