Firstly, thank you to those who e-mailed me this weeks asking if I am OK because I haven't blogged since ....oh a week or two.
I'm fine, though not much is happening on the writing scene, for me anyway-other than I am slogging away at my 17th Century novel. It has become clear that there is so much happening in the second half, I am going to have to go back to the beginning and start trimming the first half!
Word count rules! Well it does for us unknowns anyway!
Being an historical fiction writer is not a route I would recommend to anyone in this current climate - mainly because I cannot stand the competition! Then again, it isn't the writing that's the hard part, but getting published.
I have spoken to several this week, care of Skype - thanks only to technology that provides free trans Atlantic conversations - and a surprising number of them are considering Self Publishing. Not as a last ditch, 'I have worked so hard on this if I have to publish it myself, I will', but as a serious, considered business move. The logic being if they can make some sales and get themselves recognised as authors, maybe a publishing house will notice them too - and if not, maybe the sales will do the work if sufficient hype and promotion goes with it.
These ladies, and so far they are ladies, I don't know how the men feel, agree that today you are expected to do 90% of your own promotion, no matter who publishes you. Editors don't edit any more, you are expected to present your publisher with a one hundred percent perfect novel ready to go to the printers. Although there are some self-published authors out there who are doing very nicely thank you.
For myself, I am still hoping for that call from my agent saying a publisher not only likes my work, but wants to publish it. It's very demoralising to be told I have written a 'promising novel', but they still won't publish it. Where does that leave me?
What angers all of us in our 'waiting to be discovered and working hard to learn the craft while we do so', circle, is that we all read plenty of mediocre or even plainly badly written books that are on Barnes & Noble and Book Depository websites - we have even reviewed some of them for review blogs! Publishing fiction is apparently about time, place and a lot of luck - and personal taste.
One thing we all agree on, is that no matter what comes of those manuscripts gathering dust on shelves above our computers, is that we will continue writing - because there isn't an alternative. It's what we do and who we are. We are doomed!