Friday, April 22, 2011

On The Road To Publishville # 7 - "Not letting go, but moving on..."

# "Movin' on is a chance 
you take any time you try to stay... 
together..." # - Billy Joel

"2 years down the road..."

"The time has come, my friends,
to talk of other things...
of shoes and ships and sealing wax,
of cabbages and kings...
and why the sea is boiling hot,
and whether pigs have wings...
Calloo, Callay, come run away...
with the cabbages and kings..."

I recently went to hear a certain author talk about his newest book to be published and he mentioned the fact that the first book he wrote as an aspiring author was actually not published until 6 books into his published career.  This was a shocking fact to hear at first, being an aspiring author myself and being so attached to the book I've written first and have hopes pinned on being my debut novel as a "proper" published author, but it's also a sobering thing to know, and nicely coincides with a slow-burning realisation that I'm still at the beginning of my writing adventure and this journey "On The Road to Publishville"...

It took Mr Fforde 7 books
to get his 1st published
I guess, for that successful author I mentioned above, the luxury of hindsight, looking back across the years and reflecting on how things have turned out, is a nice thing to do - but for myself, I'm sort of at the stage where I need to have a reverse-hindsight to drive me onwards and keep me keep on keeping faith in my own creative scribbles...  I almost need to invoke some sort of cosmic writers foresight to extrapolate where my own writing career might go.  I certainly want to be more than just a "one-hit wonder" author (that's why back in February, I began the process of laying out a "5-year plan" to get 5 new novels off the ground… and more beyond that…) but I've also begun to feel that things have come full circle on this initial journey towards "Publishville", that mythical city with high-rise tower blocks made of books where "successful" authors reside, peering down on the wannabes from above...





# "Down the Road... that's where I'll always be..."
It's been 2 years since my first post in this occasional series and I think it's time I drew a close if not a pause to proceedings until I've got more "new" things to say on the subject.  My final thoughts or "top tips" in this series are ones which I’ve been using myself recently, in that the classic "3 chapters" submitted to agents as a sample of your book don’t necessarily need to be the first 3 of the novel... I'm not sure why this didn't occur to me earlier, but depending on if an agency stipulates that they want the first 3 only, you can select your BEST 3 chapters to send in – these could be the most action-packed or the ones that show off the best of your writing style the most.  The cold truth is that a new writer isn't always into the flow of the narrative at the beginning of a story and your first 3 chapters might not be the best to use to “sell” your book as a whole concept…  Whichever 3 you chose, though, make sure they're 3 consecutive chapters in themselves, wherever they appear in your book - whoever reads it will appreciate some sort of continuity so that they can follow the story for a short while at least... 


As to any other advice, I suppose the only other thing I'd mention is my own "attitude" to the emerging ebook phenomenon being an aspiring author, armed with the wondrous tools of the internet age can simply "publish themselves"...  First let me say I ADORE ebooks - I love the idea of them and the vesratility and the fact you could carry so many books with you without a huge backpack or trailer on your car.  But I also LOVE traditional books, the physical touch and fill of the senses that comes with collecting books and how they look on your shelves at home... So I think there's enough room in this big old literary world for the two of them and I do have an open mind on this subject (as Jon Bard asks in his video above) AND I see ebooks and physical books as working for one another, giving readers extra features and added insight into the main bodies of work of a published author... BUT I still remain very wary of "vanity publishing" (see my other posts in this "Road" series, in particular #3 for more on this prickly writing subject) and have to reaffirm my resolve not to go down the route of vanity presses for my first novel, despite the long period it's taking to get it published traditionally – yes, I've begun "digitally remastering" my older short stories into NEW 3-D versions of their former selves, online and free for readers to enjoy but these are my first forays into this writing life and journey I find myself on, and ones which I don't mind sharing to build up my "writing CV" (the novels are different and remain hidden and hinted at, saved for a later date and the traditional route and road into the publishing world).

The look of my Official Writing Website for 2011 -
complete with "iconic" images & NEW hints to my NEW stories...
Incidentally, the first of my "Featured Fiction" pages across at my Main Writing Homepage is now up and running in glorious 3-D!  (to find the page, click onto my site and you'll see the desk top picture above - locate a desk object that looks like it might like to chase birds and click it - you'll be taken to a page where you can read the tale of "Kyle the Kittiwake" and his first flight...)

If you're an aspiring author yourself, reading this post, and want to find out what ideas and experiences I've had up to now on my "Road to Publishville", you can catch up with the 7 posts on the subject so far by click on the list in the right-hand sidebar of this blog (or searching for the "tag" of posts called "getting published" here too.)  So a 3rd draft of my 1st novel beckons and the boulder rumbles ever onwards down the road, gathering pace...  This will probably be the last time I mention "Moon Crater"TM for a long while on the blog or my Twitter page but the manuscript will continue to be tweaked at and sent off to potential agents and I'll keep you "posted" on it's progress...

Indyeggy Jones adventuring off again down the dangerous road of creative pursuits this Easter...

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