I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

The Blitz

It's decision time in the corner of my house where a laser head is eagerly awaiting the "print" command, to give life to my undiscovered book.

Do I do a big blitz, sending my manuscript off to one place at a time, or do I respect what seems to be the "desired protocol" of publishers and agents: only send one proposal at a time and wait for a reply before sending off the next? This seems to be a case of "have the cake and eat it too". If they really like it and want to publish it, I am sure they'll be able to deal with the fact that it might also be on someone else's desk.

If I was to send off just one copy of the book at a time, with perhaps a two or three-month wait in between, I may just be able to publish at 104! What joy I would have going to book signings! And oh what a glorious photo for the jacket!

So, I think I am going to charge ahead with The Blitz. I am not willing to sit around and wait for others. I will hit the print key so many times that the laser head may just smoke!

I will send off to publishers to start with, to those who happily accept submissions, to those who seem to be encouraging and optimistic in their call for submissions. I'm tired of agents and publishers who have gone all sour, who have decided to begin their first contact - their 'information for authors' columns- on the negative, with terse messages of warning and gloom. That's not the way to begin what may turn out to be a great, mutually beneficial relationship.

I may just post my novel on the Internet as well, inspired by the actions of a gallant few. If it's out there, it seems there is more of a chance it may be spotted. It could also be good for feedback. It might just be read. This is also something that is threatening the cosy set-up of traditional publishers and agents, and it's about time there was a change.

8 comments:

skint writer said...

It's a tough call. I'm in the process of self-publishing my novel, but if some publisher or agent were to say whoa there, well ...

Blitz the b@"£$"%s I say

Lee said...

I've said it before: be realistic. Publishing on the internet is an either/or decision. If you go that way, you need to stop hoping some agent/publisher/cyborg in shining armour will come along and whisk you away to fame and fortune. Which doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, of course.

Shameless said...

Lee, you're right of course, but getting read is the biggie for me. The idea of fame and fortune doesn't hold water for me. We write to be read, and that means readers, and that could mean the Internet AND traditional paths. The more the merrier, I reckon.

Matt Curran said...

I reckon publishing on the internet is a good idea. If the book is well received it can only boost your confidence for the next writing project and your reputation as a good writer should grow from it (there is always the POD route if you want to make some money out of the book later on).

Change is not always a good thing, but the conservatives in this industry would tell us that everything in the bookworld is hunky-dory (see the recent articles in Grumpy Old Bookman's blog). And it is plainly not the case.

So roll-on change, I say!

(I'm going down the internet publishing route myself for an anthology. I wont get a bean for it, but as you say, sometimes "we write to be read", and we also write for the fun of it (or as a mobile phone promotion says "for the joy of Text").

Lee said...

The real problem with publishing on the internet is how to build up a readership. There's an awful lot of stuff out there, much of it unsatisfactory, and it seems that we may need some sort of middleman to sieve and to connect. The lit bloggers mostly only look at the paper world, and as to reviews from newspapers or magazines...

Minx said...

I'm with Skinty on this one, blitz and be damned!
Ine plopped through the letterbox the other day that had been on holiday at the lit agents for nine months!!

roger said...

Blitz!

Maxine said...

I understand Lee's point about readers and a filter though. I've posted about how it will end up as some kind of ranking/voting system (electronic), like Google scholar for academic articles. On your return page for your search keywords, you get the article that has been most often cited by other authors at the top, and so on. I think that something like this will happen for ebooks -- a hard core of readers to start with, and a kind of word of mouth effect. Analagous to books like Snow Falling on Cedars and Cold Mountain, perhaps.
This isn't the only thing that will happen, I am sure, but it could well be one of them. It is quite similar to how the scientific literature works, where load and loads of stuff is published but quite a small proportion cited (ie read?) even in the top journals. But the Long Tail is always there, in this electronic age.

Maxine.