Happy Monday, all! Hope you've had a lovely week. I've no idea where mine went!
Today I'm excited to host author Michele Gorman, talking about how publishing times have changed. Take it away, Michele!
What a Difference a Day (or a few years) Makes
In what other profession does one pour her heart and soul into her work, for years, without getting paid? All right, nuns, yes.
But we’re not nuns, are we? Definitely not. No, we’re authors, so we don’t even get VIP tickets through the pearly gates. And yet, there we are, toiling at the laptop, month after month, year after year. For what?
Well, for a lot of things, actually. Because the fact is, we love to write. Every character that we fall in love with, every storyline that comes together makes us happy. Sure, everyone has dreams of writing their first book, quitting the day job, staying in their pyjamas all day to pen novels and watch the cash roll in. But something makes us keep writing, even after that first book doesn’t find an agent or a publisher. We still write, late at night after a long day’s work, without being paid. Why? Because eventually all that writing pays off.
When I started, around 14 years ago, I had the same idea that everyone does when they start. But it took two books to find an agent, and four to find a publisher. I took me six to be in a position to quit my day job to write full-time. I’ve just published the seventh book I’ve written, Bella Summer Takes a Chance, and got to spend months with some of the warmest, funniest characters I’ve ever imagined, exploring the question: does “in love” really exist, and do you have to be in love for a relationship to last? They’re questions that I’m sure lots of women ask (myself included), and it was fantastic to see my characters figure out the answers for themselves…. I think it’s my best book yet.
That’s what I’ve learned from all this – the late nights, sacrificed weekends, knock-backs and rejections. That we get better the more we do it. It never gets easier, because we’ll always push ourselves to perfect our craft, but we get better. That’s good for us and it’s good for readers.
The publishing world has certainly changed since I started. That makes me sound like a rocking chair-bound octogenarian. In fact, we’ve seen an incredible rate of change in just a few years. The Kindle wasn’t launched until late 2007, and Amazon.co.uk’s Kindle store didn’t open until August 2010. Yet by May 2011, eBooks were outselling all other formats on Amazon.com. What a difference a few years makes, eh?
So now we can publish with the Big 5. We can publish with small presses. We can publish independently. We can do all of the above. And as tempting as it is to hurry along the process, we do need all that practice to become the best possible writers. So as tempting as it is, try not to rush it. The more we write the better we become. If it’s your dream to have a traditional publishing deal, then keep going until you get there. If you want to publish independently then make sure you give your book the attention that it, and your writing, deserve: use professional content editors and copy editors, and ensure it has the best possible cover. As authors we have more options than ever before. But at the end of the day we are authors because we love to write. And doesn’t that make us lucky girls and boys?!
man is the best-selling author of the Single in the City series and Bella Summer Takes a Chance. She also writes upmarket commercial fiction under the pen name Jamie Scott. Born and raised in the US, Michele has lived in London for 16 years.
If it weren't for Twitter and Facebook, Michele would be a much more prolific writer, but wouldn't have nearly as much fun, so do chat to her online:
Twitter:@expatdiaries - Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MicheleGormanBooks - Blog: www.michelegormanwriter.blogspot.com
Thank you, Michele!
How have changes in the publishing world affected you?
Have a great week, everyone!