All this negativity, it’s just so… negative

So, to begin with, my apologies for not posting for a while. I’ve been working solely of the first edit of my book, which (unsurprisingly) required a lot of work. But it’s finally back in the editor’s hands now, looking a lot more lean and muscular than before.

Hence, I now have time to connect with all my followers in the blogosphere (hi, you two).

And, in true-to-form fashion, I’m going to start with a rant… well, a little moan, at least.

While I may not have been writing my own blog posts recently, I have been reading a few. And in the time it’s taken to edit my book, I’ve began to question whether this is even a worthwhile experience due to a host of negative articles on why certain forms of publishing are worse than others. Ironic, eh?

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 17.03.04What I hear about the trad-publishing industry is that authors get treated like dirt; they are dumped at the first sign of bad sales; they fight to make themselves heard within these lumbering companies; their books are torn apart by vindictive editors with nothing better to do than alter stories to fit their own inflated egos. Oh, and apparently you earn a pittance for your work.

On the flip-side, I’m led to believe that many people don’t want to read self-published books; that if you do self-publish, you need to quit your job in order to spend 23 hours a day blogging, tweeting, commenting, reviewing, posting, blogging, connecting, tweeting, emailing, newslettering and any other ‘ing’ you can think of that’s required to get your book even noticed – let alone sold. I also hear that even with all the great self-published novels out there, self-publishing still has a smelly stigma having over it.

Odd then, that as my novel approaches the publishing stage, I’m feeling a little down on the whole process.

It’s my own fault, I suppose, for reading the wrong kind of articles, but I’m a sucker for headlines such as, “10 things those sneaky publishing houses don’t want you to know,” or “Why 1 in 5 self-published authors end up in the nut-house.”

All in all, it’s made writing seem like a pretty rubbish choice.

I will admit, however, that the self-publishing lobby certainly seem to be a more upbeat bunch. Far more positives are spoken about this process than its traditional counterpart. I’m guessing (cynically) that this is because they’re all over the social networks more than the trad-published authors are, because they have to be. It’s what self-published authors do.

I suppose this is all academic anyway. I know my initial route is going to be an attempt at trad-publishing, followed by an imposed self-publishing endeavour on the happy day that I receive my 100th rejection letter.

And yes, I am aware that I’m complaining about negativity while writing a negative blog post, but that’s how this war of attrition between the two approaches to publishing has made me feel.

I promise my next post will be more positive.

Thanks for reading.


14 comments on “All this negativity, it’s just so… negative

  1. Hi Gareth! It’s good to have you back 🙂

    Yes, it can be very frustrating. I attended a writing conference last weekend and left filled with many emotions and continued uncertainty about whether to self pub or trad pub. Like you, I plan to query agents first and then go the self pub route as a second option. The whole thing can be a little discouraging sometimes, but I know the one thing I truly love to do is write, so that is what I will do.

    P.S I’m a sucker for those headlines too. They really know how to grab your attention, don’t they?

    • gpeynon says:

      Thanks Jenny.

      You’re right about the writing. I too love the process, but I must admit that if I thought nobody was going to ever read what I am writing, then I think the affair would be over.

      How is your book coming, by the way? I know it’s something to do with modern day vampires and a girl called Libby. Correct? I’ve enjoyed all of you excerpts so far. I can recommend a great editor if you’re going that way. He’ll give you a free sample before making a choice.

      • Ha! Very true. I wouldn’t be so dedicated if I thought it was going to collect cyber dust on my hard drive. Nope. I’d be spending my days lounging on the couch or at least making mini top hats – another moneyless making venture 🙂

        It’s coming along much better now. Thanks for asking. I was in a bit of an editing/revising slump for a bit there, but now I’m back into it. I’ve been using Scrivener – have you tried it? It’s been a huge help with my organizational issues.

        Hehe. Yes, mostly modern day with a historical element – the main character is compelled to uncover the fate of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island. There are ghosts and vampires (including Libby) and other paranormal elements.

        I’ll certainly take your editor’s contact info. Not sure if I will be hiring one at this point – I definitely will if I self pub, though 🙂

        So, what’s your book about? And where are you in the process?

      • gpeynon says:

        My book is called The Heroic Adventures of Horatio Lee. It’s what I have nicknamed swashbuckling sci fi, where I have taken Nelson’s 18th century navy and dumped it in space along with the ships, the colourful language, the Georgian values and even the smells. It follows Lt. Horatio Lee, a rising star of the spacebourne Royal Navy, as he is stitched-up by a fellow officer and sent off to hard labour. In a nutshell, the novel revolves around his bid for redemption and revenge.

        I have had the first line edit completed and now Jon has the book back for a second run through. I cannot overstate how great his support and knowledge have been. He really knows how to improve a manuscript. The company is Editing for Authors

        If you do nothing else, do get them to give you a free sample. I know you’ll be impressed. 🙂

      • The book sounds fascinating! I’ll check out the website. I’m sure there are all sorts of little problems lurking my manuscript.

        So, you’ll be querying soon?

      • gpeynon says:

        Yes, I hope so. But the query letter is proving far more of a headache than the novel itself! But again, Jon, the editor is helping me out on that front.

  2. sjoycarlson says:

    I’m kind of in the same spot you are. Finishing up a *temporary* last edit before sending it to an editor. I’m going to give traditional publishing a go even though, as you say, even if you get their attention, it still can be a pretty crap deal. I’ve queried on other pieces with depressing results, learned a lot, now mentally preparing to get back on the proverbial horse. Anyway happy editing and best wishes!

    • gpeynon says:

      I would like to say thanks for commenting, but what you say rings of exactly the depressing truth that seems to be out there at the moment 🙂 It would seem that this is very trying time to get a book published… no, to get a book even read.

      But still, thanks for commenting and best of luck with your next round of queries.

  3. Congratulations on getting to the final stages with your book. All the best finding a publisher and/or an agent. Mine are all self-published but I have had some published traditionally that I co-authored. The best thing about that was the upfront cash and, strangely enough, the professional editing. Oh and the professional covers as well. I’d certainly accept a trad contract if one was offered but I’m pretty happy now with self-publishing–no deadlines and I can write what I like. Some sell really well and some don’t but it’s all experience.

    • gpeynon says:

      Thanks for your comments: most enlightening.

      Yes I have to agree that I’d love to have a cover done by a trad publisher. But then again, would that mean I have to sacrifice putting exactly what I want to on the cover? Ahh, it’s a real game of swings-and-roundabouts, which in some cultures I do believe is called six-of-one-half-a-dozen-of-the-other. Experience, however, is a commodity i cannot argue with and whatever way I go, I’m sure to gain loads of it.

  4. Kate Loveton says:

    Glad to see you back. I like your wit, and I look forward to reading your published book. Try not to let the negativity get you down (hard, I know). Hang in there!

    • gpeynon says:

      Thanks a lot, Kate. I’m hanging in there, but I just want to get off and start querying, begging for reviews and generally getting the whole process rolling now, as opposed to just reading about everybody else’s experiences. Not long now…

  5. There does still seem to be an element of ‘us vs. them’ coming from both sides. It’s stupid really, considering that all writers have one very important thing in common; they want to share their stories with people. Regardless of the method someone takes to get their work out there, it shouldn’t alter the incentive behind it. We’re all in this together, I say.

    • gpeynon says:

      I agree completely: it’s all about the incentive and always should be. It’s just all this flak getting in the way that gets my goat.

      Thanks for your comments.

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