Showing posts from May, 2013

Why I Prefer Traditional Publishing

The ebook revolution is upon us, and with free publishing now available to everyone the landscape for writers has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Anyone, anywhere, with any level of skill can now write a book and publish it, at no cost to themselves, and it will be indistinguishable from a book published by a large, established publisher, like Penguin, HarperCollins or Macmillan.

Many authors, including established authors with traditional publishers, are celebrating and embracing self-publishing. Some are putting out their out-of-print back catalogue in ebook format, while others are eschewing traditional publishing altogether and going for the bigger royalties percentage promised by self-publishing.

And yet I continue to send my work out to agent after agent, publisher after publisher, again and again. I have now clocked up fifty-two rejections for my sci-fi magnum opus, Emon and the Emperor, and despite the regular assurances (often on the rejection slips) that publi…

Writing: The (not so) Lonely Endeavour

The lot of a writer is one of long hours hunched over a keyboard in a dimly lit room with nothing but a cat for company. Shut away from the real world we pull faces and make hand gestures as our characters do, mutter dialogue to ourselves, and live in a strange environment peopled entirely by creatures of our own imagination. Alone we face the frustrations of edit after edit, and the crushing disappointment of rejection after rejection of our precious offspring. It's little wonder that many of us seem to be a little eccentric, if not downright mad.

As least, that's how it used to be. These days writing is no longer the lonely and solitary profession.
Today a dear friend and fellow author is coming to my house to work on her next novel, Race for Eden, and do some pre-publication work on her sci-fi dystopian New Earth: Beginnings. She's coming partly because I have a spare desk and she won't be tempted to do housework in my house (although I've told her she'd be …

Taking Offence at your Edit

I discovered, pretty quickly, that one of the problems with running a group of generous and kind authors prepared to edit other authors' work for free (like, say, The Authors' Editing Co-operative) is that those not used to having their work edited can very easily take offence at what they see as "criticism" of their work.

It's very easy to see why. You send off a manuscript you have laboured hard over, honed and polished until it gleams, filled with characters you love and lines you are, frankly, very proud to have penned. Two weeks later it comes back with every little mistake, typo and misspelling brighly highlighted in bold red. Comments  may say "this sentence is unclear", or "this word is redundant" or (if it's anything like my first manuscript) "POV" many, many times.

It's heartbreaking to see your precious manuscript torn to shreds.

Here's what you need to remember:

Every manuscript has errors. Usually many, many …