SHINY SUNDAY... it's been the earliest ~ and coldest ~ Easter in nearly 100 years. I say "shiny" ~ really it's a bright white day. Much of London (apparently) had snow yesterday, though none settled. We've not had serious, Christmas-card style snow to the best of my memory, since 1981. I remember tobogganing down the middle of the road (cars slippin' and slidin' all over so no chance of gettin' mown down and this was on a hill with a dead end up top) aged nine and drest in my first pair of jeans. (I'd been a couldroy kid up till then ~ how very 1970s!)
I went through a memoirs brainstorming session with a close friend last night. And emerged from it feeling less conclusive than ever before...
Also I was advised to publish electronically, online. The thought of selfpublishing memoirs or fiction, either e-wise or on paper, I have to say, leaves me utterly cold. Since starting this blog I have realized the essential paradox of the net: that with well over 100 million potential readers (in English) and all the clamour and confusion for attention, it really is hard to get noticed... without paying massive pounds-per-click to Google to get toplisted... I get only 80 hits ~ and that's on a good day.
I think a blog like mine with its sometimes challenging subject matter demands a level of ongoing emotional investment that most people feel unable to give. A book of memoirs requries such investment for only days... and then you move on. Far more attractive!
If my blog stuggles to make 80 hits, how on earth would I sell a book of 100,000 words ~ and CHARGE FOR IT (because that was the suggestion) and make anything like enough income for a 7-storey double-fronted house off Sloane Square with basement swimming pool? I really don't see this internet publishing thing working.
People go online for FREE information. They go to a bookshop to pay. Books are selling better than ever before (unlike newspapers, which are sinking Titanic-like into the meery gloom...)
Seeing new readers appear on my blog who might have spent two hours or more a day for several days in a row perusing my blabberings... then they mostly vanish. This convinced me that some people were reading my blog like a book anyhow.
But surely most people are still like me. They want a book they can take on the train to work each morning, eat sandwiches over at lunch, take into the bath and curl up with at night before dropping off. It becomes part of them for a week; then goes to a friend, or to the bookshelf.
In these days of pain, the socalled Misery Memoir has become a topselling category on any general publisher's list. These books sell. And I have a story to tell. If it's worth telling, it's worth selling.
My "dream", if you want to call it that, has always been to snag a top agent who will make a deal with a large conglomerate publisher with the power to orchestrate international publicity etc and get my book into every bookshop, airport, railway station etc the world over. I would be willing to play my part and go out promote promote promote on radio, on television (if they'd have me ~ ha!) and in print. Because that's the game, these days more than ever...
Books are showing no sign of any decline in sales in this so-called electronic age. It is worth bearing in mind that of all the massmedia: films, records etc, the printed word is by far the oldest and most enduring. In the last decade the highest sellers have sold higher than ever before ~ 50 million plus on seven Harry Potters and The Da Vinci Code. Distribution systems are more sophisticated than ever before. My blog gets only 20% of its readers from the UK. In other words 80% are scattered worldwide. How can I possibly selfpublish in volume format and arrange anything like such international distribution? Or even worse, e-publish and convince anyone to pay? Be honest: have ANY of you EVER paid any money for an online text-only product? I'd love to hear from you if you have.
First rule of business, as I see it ~ the customer is set in his ways. No matter how good my book might be I honestly don't see that I'd get anything like optimum revenue by putting it online and expecting people to pay ~ when there are reams upon reams of websites offering information on the same subject whether or not it's worse-written ~ for FREE.
Also, no traditional publisher would go anywhere near my work after I'd done this. When blogs have been "published", it's nearly always been on the understanding that the author adds at least 50% in fresh material.
A recent radio documentary on the future of the book surprised me in that even young children, the socalled Harry Potter Generation STILL preferred printed volumes to e-books or reading onscreen or scratting through nasty old print-outs.
I'm not against selfpublishing when it comes to roborovski books and other sideprojects. But I'm looking for a career. And I intend to make one by crafting memoirs and fiction: and by getting well paid for it!
Nobody seems to get it. I don't WANT to be a publisher. I want to be an author. Publishing is a business; authorship an art or craft. And as I said before, my ambition has always been to be an authro of heatwrenching bestsellers and to sell enough books to stretch end on end to the moon and back. Harper Collins or Random House could do this for me. I couldn't do it on my own!
Perhaps this soudns arrogant. To me it's just ambition. As the saying goes: reach for the stars and you might just catch the moon.
EAster has so far passed me by with nary a chocolate egg. All my talk of "trotters" and I've had a dose of the trots myself (yeah: you really wanted to hear that!)
If you're enduring fractious relatives after a ten hour road trip you have my sympathy.
It's a bleary day here. What do people actually do for Easter? I've no idea. I've never done it.
OK: bleary day; cheery day. It's what you make it. I hope all goes well with you.
Easter Bunny Doggie...
Music of the Day:
The Specials: Ghost Town
Hey! Spherical did a furry entertainment yesterday, when she poked her head from the teabox where they all sleep again... the hole is only JUST gnawed big enough to let a tubby robo in or out... so her head, protruding from this teabox, looked moosehead-on-plaque just like a bizarre piece of weary Victoriana ~ she was so entertaining
ADDIO, MAESTRO - *"**When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation", *said Borges and it is true that we still have the works to conso...
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