To self-publish or not to self-publish – that is the question.

I keep forgetting how healthy, filling, easy and quick jacket potatoes can be.    Tiny sprinkle of salt as they cooked, then that butter again (my poor arteries).   Yum.

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I am very excited as this Saturday I shall be attending a conference in Leicester run by Troubadour.

Of the many things I’ve been attempting to teach the children over the years; an essential life lesson, is gathering information or researching options thoroughly when there is a choice to be made.  About anything.

An informed choice can only be made when you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of each option .. and there may be more than two options at some crossroads in life.  However,  I refer here of course to the route writers can take in order that their stories may become available to the outside world and not simply staring back at them from their Word file, or Scrivener document.

I’m old enough to enjoy the notion of thinking I ought to prefer the traditional route.   Submitting to agents or publishers listed in the back of the Artists&Writers’ Yearbook, sitting back and hoping for the best.  Praying that someone will like my ‘voice’, my ‘style’.   I’m prepared of course for a file full of rejection letters; everyone says it will happen.

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Writing a novel is not an GCSE Maths exam paper where there is a right answer and anything else is wrong.   The readers on the receiving end are humans, like you and me, with likes and dislikes, beliefs and opinions (What the hell is that word I’m trying to think of which means different people are entitled to their different perception of something) Even though they are presumably taught somehow to read through any obvious ‘beginner errors’ or typing mistakes (if someone chose to skip a professionally edit), I’m pretty sure it will feel like handing your newborn baby over to the Head Misstress of St Trinians.

Nowadays there is the option to self-publish.   To throw that newborn baby onto a High School stage, pushing it gently forward with nurturing nods of approval and then standing at the side of the stage, wringing your hands as its parent, waiting for the audience to clap, or show even the slightest bit of interest when they in actual fact have no idea what the hell the act is about.   Many get up and leave because the art department are selling scones this week, and the baby is left flailing about on its blanket staring up at the bright lights.

Well I’m hoping this course will teach me all about the Hows and Whys of self-publishing and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a better understanding having attended and will be able to share that knowledge with you next week.   Maybe putting the baby in a flying suit and attaching it to some overhead wires, some great music and pre-warn the audience with eye catching leaflets on their chairs is what will be needed.    Anticipation.   Warm-up atmospheric music.   A big opening and ‘will the baby fly or not’ banner at the back of the stage.   I think audiences like to know roughly whats meant to happen.   That’s what a trailer does for us after all, when we go to the cinema, we are usually going because the trailer wetted our appetite, right?