Monday, 31 December 2012

Guest Post: Resolutely Writing into the New Year - by Die Booth

   Authors Electric are grateful to Die Booth for stepping in at the last minute, when the guest blogger booked for today failed to provide a post, despite being reminded several times. (Something we do not appreciate.)        So, with thanks, we hand over to Die...


          It’s that time of year again - the Resolutions time. The time when writers everywhere - regardless of experience - start to make those bullet-pointed to-do lists for the new year. I’m making mine now (right here, in this blog post!) so let me share it with you.

          Things I learned in 2012

Re-Vamp
          2012 was another steep learning curve for me as a fairly new, self-publishing writer. I spent 2011 writing for and co-editing the Re-Vamp project with fellow author LC Hu.
         This was an initially online project that took all those done-to-death horror tropes right back to their traditional roots, in the form of artwork, video clips, poetry and choose-your-own-adventure, but mainly short stories.
          The online nature of the project let writers from all over the world take part and allowed for an unlimited amount of audience interaction. It also gave us a very real lesson in the amount of work it takes to run a project like that - reading competition entries, controlling sock-puppet votes, editing the stories that were chosen for the final project anthology, print layout, e-book layout, promotion - the list goes on.
          The amount of work involved was immense, yet at the end of it we were exhausted but had produced an anthology that all the contributors can be really proud of.

          2012 saw me talking about Re-Vamp and my experience of self-publishing at The Chester Literature Festival. The reception I got for the book there was fantastic and the main thing that everybody said was ‘you self-published this? But it looks so professional!’ To a one, they all expected a self-published horror anthology to be poor quality and littered with mistakes.
At the Chester Literature Festival
          This is a misconception that is still widespread about self-published books and in particular e-books and sadly it’s not entirely based in fiction. The ease with which it’s possible to publish your own books these days is a double-edged sword; it gives authors more control, but it also gives the readers little quality control. So what’s the solution?

          This year, determined to get some ‘legitimate’ publishing credits under my belt, I started sending stories off to anthology open calls. Not being a complete novice I attempted to exercise a certain amount of discretion in choosing my targets. Reading examples of previously published work where possible, avoiding dodgy cover-art and brand new presses whose submission guidelines were riddled with typos - that kind of thing. I thought I was being pretty savvy, but still managed to end up with a story in a professional, successful and highly advertised anthology from a prolific (should’ve tipped me off a bit!) publisher, in which I counted no less than 326 errors.

          Comparing my experiences of the past two years, Re-Vamp, although much harder work to produce and much less successful in the profit and reader circulation stakes, was by far the more rewarding.

          So, what have I taken from all that 2012 threw at me?  I could say in summation that you’re better off working alone and avoiding being reliant on anyone else at all when it comes to writing because at least then all the mistakes are your own, but I think that a more positive spin on it is that as self-publishing authors, these days we have the facilities available to write and produce our own work entirely on our own. And there’s no greater satisfaction than taking a project from conception to finished book having completed every detail to your own personal specification.
          My 2013 New Year’s Resolutions

          * Do not get side-tracked by ‘legitimate’ anthology calls - your self-published work is every bit as legitimate as small press releases (and in some cases probably more thoroughly edited!)
           * Finally get that novel edited, formatted and published!

           *Write a piece of flash fiction every day. It’ll be a challenge, but also great writing exercise.

           *Enjoy what you’re writing. Because if you don’t, then you can’t expect your readers to.
            *Read the Authors Electric blog every day for insights, tips and musings.
          Best wishes to all readers of Authors Electric for a happy, peaceful and successful 2013!


          You can visit Die Booth here: diebooth.wordpress.com



          And buy Re-Vamp online at:

Ebook:
           Smashwords: (ePub, PDF, mobi, pdb, lrf and more) 

          Amazon Kindle

Paperback:

          Lulu:







4 comments:

Saad Ali said...


Very well explained. I would like to say that it is very interesting to read your blog. . .
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madwippitt said...

Another one to add to my reading list for the new year - I love anthologies as apart from being in small enough bite size pieces to read each story at a single sitting, they have over the years introduced me to some great authors I might not otherwise have stumbled across, and which has sent me in pursuit of more of their work.
As an ex-magazine editor I can understand the frustration of working with others on a project like this though!

julia jones said...

Thanks - write fiction every day (and read AE) What good advice

diebooth said...

Hi madwippitt, thanks for your interest and I hope that you enjoy Re-Vamp if you read it. I agree on anthologies - they're like lovely taster platters to help you decide on future main courses!