Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Writing: A Quandary

I don't usually like to put up stuff that's too much in the real world, partly because my real life is quite dull (one thing about writing is that it takes time and that cuts away from the time you could spend bungee jumping, delivering mysterious boxes of chocolates and having torrid affairs). As a result my quandary is actually writing related and is this...

I'm unsure of whether I should push ahead with completing my trilogy of novels and see if I can find an agent (or pay for a professional editor and the self publish via Amazon or Smashwords or something like that) or if I should build up a good set of short stories that I can then turn to an agent when the trilogy's done knowing I'm in a position to say that I've had work in magazines x, y and z and am known and therefore hopefully it's more likely that my longer work will be picked up.

I'm not sure who reads my blog but all the same, if you've got any answers, I'd love to hear them. :)


  1. Steve, my two cents- if it's important to you and you haven't published any of it on the web (that counts as using your first pub rights), go the professional route.

    I self published because I had already published my poems to my blog, in varying forms. I've had one sell (and I'm fairly certain that was from one of my editors). It's not a way that pays the bank or gets notice. Back in ye old days, we would have called self publishing "vanity press". Now, it works if you have a good base readership, if you're already marketing the hell out of yourself.

    I've never gone the agent route, or the grown-up editor route, but I think it would probably lead to a higher profile. Also, one of the benefits of using an editor who doesn't know you is that they can give you the occasionally brutal truth, if they need to. I find this an indispensable gift.

    Fiction is probably a little bit of a different beast, though. I have a friend who self publishes his books through Amazon and he loves it. He's quite prolific, though. I think he's on like book 5 or 6.

    Good luck, love.

  2. Hey K,

    Thanks for replying. The novel in question hasn't had anything for it put up online at all, aside from things on Facebook with me asking what are probably elementary questions about stuff (and things). The fact that it's just turned into a trilogy does help with this as it gives me more of a product to take to an agent.

    Not sure any writing pays the bills in all but the most prolific cases (King, Rowling etc) unless you have so many contracts that you always have small streams of income flowing in - otherwise it seems to be that thing of having homework every night when you get home from work. :)

    But yeah, it's important to me and really it's all I've ever wanted to do - it's just stuff keeps getting in the way. Admittedly that stuff is usually me because I can be hideously scatty and unmotivated... Must try harder. ;)