Did anyone with more than two brain cells actually think that the world was going to end today?
On the down side, the fact that the Earth continues to rotate means that I need to get on with working on my second manuscript.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing – like most writers, its a vocation and a compulsion – but I’m now really coming to terms with the realities of what it takes to sell a manuscript to an agent or a publisher. I’ve been getting some invaluable help from the nice people at Brit Writers on what I need to do to polish up my cover letter, biography, synopsis etc. I lucked into my current publishing contract and so all of this is still new to me. It’s the necessary but less enjoyable side of trying to be an author.
One of the other things that struck me is the insistence that I’ve heard repeatedly from various sources that potential authors should do some market research before submitting their manuscripts. That they should look around to see what is marketable before bothering to approach a publisher. Now this is probably very sensible and pragmatic advice, but I do find it problematic as someone who writes simply because he must. If publishers are only interested in satisfying current trends, from whence comes originality, risk and innovation?
I assume that it’s much the same in the other sphere that I’m passionate about, that of music. I can see where the record companies only want to sign ‘artists’ who regurgitate whatever the current market demands. Hence anyone with any originality having to go down the independent route and to self-publish. Only, in that regard, self-publishing is seen as a positive and liberating thing, whereas in the literary world, self-publishing still has a stigma attached and is conflated with vanity publishing.
But it’s no use ranting. This is the way of the world and where we find ourselves as aspiring authors.
And now I need to crack on and get my cover letter finished…