One of the annoying things about being a self-published author is that everyone I talk to knows someone who’s just published a novel –usually a proper one - you know, a real book with a cover and pages. I’m resorting to a few well rehearsed phrases to explain why I haven’t published a proper book. These come
down to three main lines of reasoning:
Traditional publishing is dead. E publishing is much more exciting and modern.
I’m just trying my novel out. Once I’ve got all the feedback I need I’ll appoint an agent.
I want to keep control. I don’t want to be exploited by an unscrupulous publisher.
Of course all this is rubbish. If an agent knocked at my door I’d bite his or her hand off in my rush to get signed up. But it does provide a good conversation piece for dinner parties, country walks and that sort of thing. I think I’m developing some expertise at expressing the pain and trauma of being an author. Good lines include:
I had to re write my novel once I had discovered my true writing style. (implies dedication and
I didn’t know how the novel would end. I had to let the story unfold naturally. (implies a reckless
My characters are based on true people, but I’ve changed the location to hide their identities. (implies
a moral dilemma)
I’ve already had some tentative (i.e. not firm) suggestions that I address various book clubs. Maybe this is where my true talent will lie, not in writing but in wandering disconsolately from book club to book club in search of an audience.