In The Plotting Shed

In The Plotting Shed
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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

#selfpublishing thoughts

A fellow writer, who lives in Tasmania, has asked me for my thoughts on my experience of going 'indie' as a writer of historical fiction. Prue Batten ( http://pruebatten.com/blog ) has been asked to sit on a panel at  the HNS-Australasia Conference in Sydney in March 2015 and talk about self publishing. She wanted to represent the views of other writers too, so this is mine:


 "I did try and go the traditional route and then I got bored with waiting for replies! The rules at that stage were that you could only submit to one editor at a time and each one took six months to respond in the negative. Meanwhile my life was slipping by and, having come late to writing, I couldn't afford to waste more time. I joined a peer review website, run by the Arts Council in the UK, called www.youwriteon.com. Encouraged by the anonymous reviews of my work on there, I decided, with the assistance of a writing friend met via the site, to go 'indie' and self publish. Having taken the plunge, I met another set of authors on Facebook who helped and supported me in my endeavour. In some ways, calling it independent publishing is a misnomer, as I had so much assistance from unpaid wellwishers. I've since earned money from my two books, The Twisted Vine and Daffodils, money I would not have otherwise had and have therefore realised my personal dream of being paid for putting words in print. Learning to accept reviews on the chin at www.youwriteon.com was a great precursor to the same process with the general public, who have, on the whole, been kind and receptive of my work. The feedback has spurred me on to write a sequel to Daffodils, Peace Lily, and I have absorbed their comments and know this has improved my writing further. Being 'out there' in the public eye is both brave and foolhardy but readers are the best judges of whether a book works. Agents and publishers, as far as I can see, want books that sell. Indie writers have more freedom to write stories that move them, where they can bare their souls, reach out to kindred spirits and touch hearts, if they can, without trying to fit a particular genre, and it gives me immense satisfaction to know that I have achieved that. It is here that genuine exploration can occur, without the mercenary ties of making it pay (though very welcome!) and I think it is here that future great writing will be found, not exclusively of course, but the licence of independence gives creativity an unfettered playground in which to chase that elusive muse. The whole experience for me has been very positive and enjoyable. It is the future."

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