Tag Archives: judged

The End of the Beginning or, The Beginning of the End

Brazil's Luiz cries after his team lost to Germany in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Mineirao stadium in Belo HorizonteThe first draft of the next novel, Blind Faith, is finally finished. This sort of news could even cheer up a Brazilian this morning but you need to calm down. It’s only the end of the first draft. In my experience, the other books have taken four drafts to get right so maybe it’s not even halfway.

It feels tighter than its predecessors but I suppose they all do until you lift your head once more into reality and then plunge back in with a new breath. The embryonic story is delicately being pigeoned to the beta-readers and I await their feedback, like an expectant gladiator looking up at Caesar.

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Why I’ve Decided To Start Again

Job-searchI’ve decided, after some painstaking deliberation, to start again from square one with my new novel, Blind Faith. It was a hard decision to make because I’ve already completed the first draft of 80,000 words. All those words, just sitting there, taunting me from their glowing white screen.

I didn’t know what to do but I knew there were a lot of changes which I wanted to make and I wasn’t sure if editing was going to be the most efficient way of doing it. I’ve obviously continued to read up on ‘the craft’ and I always want my next book to be the best thing I’ve ever written so, when it came down to it, I knew I’d just have to accept the inevitable.

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Bestsellers Don’t Make As Much Money

episode_05_960x540There was an article in The Observer last weekend called ‘From Bestseller To Bust’, once again lamenting over the crushed publishing world. This time it’s from the angle of those lucky authors who were bestsellers in the eighties, enjoying huge advances and royalties.

Sadly, their income has been slashed and embarrassingly, they can’t expect the same lucrative contracts which they once had. This is terrible, a tragedy, and their plight can only be compared with Syrian orphans.

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A Masters in Self-Publishing? It’s Not Rocket Science.

PictureSo, it’s finally happened, I must be an academic after all. Nottingham University have introduced a Self-Publishing Masters Degree. For those of you in the US (and beyond) it’s a post-graduate degree in the UK, I’m not sure of the equivalent across the pond. However, it’s seen as a mega-academic qualification here and it’s one level below a doctorate.

What? We’re talking about self-publishing. It’s not a subject to be philosophised about by people wearing cravats and holding cigarette holders. (I don’t know what this has to do with it, by the way, I guess it’s just my idea of an academic) It’s a process. It’s a step-by-step process which you follow and complete. It’s not complicated.

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Be Realistic – Most People Aren’t Bestsellers

howey3I read an interesting post today from Hugh Howey’s website. Now, in case you don’t know who he is, well, he’s the guy who’s just made a load of money out of self-publishing and is having his book series converted to film by Ridley Scott. So, read his blog if you don’t already.

His post, written on Sunday, is a sobering reminder to all of us who get carried away with the success stories. He simply echoes a few voices out there at the moment who are attempting to introduce more realism into the industry. Just because you can self-publish your books it does not mean that you can sell millions.

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What Do The Earnings Statistics for Self-Publishers Mean?

statsRecently, a Digital Book World survey has released results showing the current state of publishing and, especially, the earnings of authors. The headline figures are: 54% of Traditionally published authors make less than £600 a year, that figure moves up to 80% for self-publishing.

Wow, you might say. At £50 a month, I reckon I could even sell my arse for more than that each month. It certainly looks bleak when you look at it from this angle (the statistics, not my arse), however, I share Hugh Howey’s optimistic point of view.

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The Fear Of Art

Scary face in the DarkThis is going to be a no-nonsense post. In the past I’ve been guilty of over-romanticising the process of writing. I’ve written posts on how to conjure the muse, I’ve talked about inspiration and the deeply profound effect of words. I’m now at a place, with a few books under my wing, where I can categorically state, in no uncertain terms, that it was all… bollocks.

I’m not saying that all of this stuff doesn’t exist. It does. There is inspiration and there is a deeper meaning to what we all do, but it’s not really for me to say. You can get lost in the pseudo-spiritual world and actually never produce anything. Then what are you? Are you a complex artist who suffers terribly with the pain of expression and you’re still working on your masterpiece. No, you’re not. You’re just wasting your time.

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