Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A critic can only review the book he has read...

A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

I must interupt my daily musings and bringing you up to speed on my novel because I have just come across an article of rejected famous authors - this has made me feel much better about my 14 rejections. Of course most people (let alone writers) know the  rejection J K Rowling faced but here are just a few others: Stephen King’s Carrie , William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, John Grisham’s A time to kill was apparently rejected by 16 agents and 12 publishers, Rudyard Kipling, Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the wind (38 times rejected) and D H Lawrence. 

It is sad that publishing is so subjective based on what a few people like, how many books from unpublished authors are going untold due to the views of others? To me it seems unfair, completely unreasonable. I suppose many industries are the same, such as musicians etc, anything creative really. I have read some really bad books in my time and I wonder how did they get published? – maybe it is who you know or that once you have one best seller it doesn't matter what you write. That aside I am grateful for self publishing and I think that although it is described as “vanity” publishing, which I am not denying it is, maybe there is more to it. Maybe it should be up there with the traditional routes. But most of us don’t have that kind of money to spend of advertising etc. This is going to be my experiment, I want to see just how popular I can get this book. Lets open up self publishing to the world so that everyone can tell their story.  Let us not be restricted to what publishing houses think we should read. 

So let me get back to where I left of. Yes I decided to self publish – there were a couple of big names out there that had good reviews  for a couple of hundred pounds you could publish your own book! But I needed some hand holding so yes I have gone for a company where the reviews were mixed. 

I have signed up! It was an exciting first phonecall as I held the manuscript in my hand and was ready to send it in immediately, or upload it because that is what you do, but I knew that I could not just send it as it was it needed an edit. My grammar as you can tell from this blog is atrocious. I blame the English education system. Grammar was never an important part of our curriculum and therefore it was never important to me. Now I am a writer I suffer. English Language for Dummies is on my Christmas list. 

So I needed an editor and my friend who happens to be one was very busy so that was a no-no! and editing is so expensive you are looking at about £21-£25 an hour, I can obviously see the benefits of the traditional publishing route. So I paid the vanity publishers to edit my completed novel, and this is where I am in this journey now. Two days ago I received my edited manuscript! 

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