As I mentioned in my previous post, I have got this blog back up an running mainly to give myself some focus and get myself witting fit again.
Well, with my novel complete and yet far too niche for any agents to bite, I will self-publish that, put it to the side and let the millions and adoration come rolling on in. Done. But then what do I do to fill in my time? Another novel? Hmmm (I pondered, whilst watching some series or other on Amazon) And that’s when it hit me POW! Screenwriting! Of course! With this current revolution in the way we all watch TV – moving from network channels to online viewing and box sets – there is a now a huge market for screenwriters. And not only that; it seems almost anything is given consideration, going by some of the concepts inherent in the new shows presently available from Amazon and Netflix Originals (please note that I am not referring here to the Grand Tour on Amazon, which is load of tripe).
So, with a novel that no publisher wants behind me, it’s time to look forward… although saying that, I am tempted to turn my novel into a screenplay, as much to gain experience than anything else. I’ll let you know what I discover along the way.
And so on that subject, I am now going to return to reading my screenplay bible – The Complete Screenwriting Course by Charles Harris – and will be back in touch soon to see where I am going to go with this.
What I can tell you right now, however, is that at first glance screenwriting is a lot more complex than simply churning out a story. But who said this was going to be easy? (Well, actually, the promoters of the book I’m reading kind of hinted at it, but I guess they have to).
Thanks for reading
I don’t know if you’ve heard the story of Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions being submitted to 100 agents and ignored by 99 of them; but if you haven’t, it goes something like this:
“Frustrated at the lack of attention that his manuscript for Swap got from mainstream literary agents and publishing houses, Sam Moffie disguised one of his favorite novels first chapter – Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut – into a manuscript that Moffie called The Perfect Martini, and sent it to the top 100 literary agents in America. Ninety-nine out of 100 passed on the work – a feat that Moffie has used to highlight how difficult it is to get literary fiction featuring satire, humor and conventional culture getting kicked in the tush published.” (wikipedia)
Naturally, my initial reaction was one of shock. I mean if an author like Kurt Vonnegut (Slaughterhouse 5, Cat’s Cradle) can’t even get past the query stage, then what hope is there for me and others like me?
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?
Twice in as many days now, I’ve heard it said that the future of book publishing will involve the publishing houses letting authors self-publish, while they sit back to see what sells before taking on a new author.
A fellow blogger put it rather well in a discussion we had. He said, “my take is that traditional publishers are letting first time authors prove their mettle via self-publishing, letting the market pick the winners, and then swooping in.” The Independent also had an article saying exactly the same thing.
Ok, so here’s a question: Can self-publishing equate to shooting oneself in the foot regarding getting a traditional publisher to take on a book?
Like most writers out there, I am eager to get others to read my work (especially considering this is my first work). I’m also keenly aware that by self-publishing I could put my book out there in just a matter of weeks. However – and here’s my conundrum – if I do self-publish, am I destroying my chances at getting a real publisher to put the book into print? Will these guys only take on work that hasn’t been previously published, self or otherwise?
Part of my wish to get moving on this stems from my desire to mention and promote my work as I speak to the online community. As it presently stands, though, there is nothing for me to direct them too; hence my impatience. I don’t, however, want to jump the gun with this, particularly because my preferred method of publication would be the traditional way (probably because I’m a lazy git and would like somebody else to do most of the work for me, even if it will cost me a larger slice of the profits).
So then, a second question: Is there a halfway house where I can put a body of my work out there, without taking the plunge completely and going down the self-publishing route?
I know that self-publishing is a valid, and even preferential choice for many writers, but I would still rather have my work taken on by a publisher. So, any suggestions or thoughts on my predicament? Is anyone else in the same boat as me? Can I simply throw caution to the wind and go for it?
Thanks for reading.
Photo by Issy Mey