Sunday, 8 December 2013

I'm Now Going To Admit Something - Lynne Garner

I'm now going to admit something. I used to be a publishing snob. By this I mean I used to believe if you couldn't get a publishing deal then there must be something wrong with your writing. My reasoning behind this was:

One:
When I sent in my first non-fiction book proposal it was accepted. When I sent in my first fiction title (a picture book) although the publisher didn't take it I was asked to write something else for them. So if I could achieve this then surely anyone else who could write would be offered a book deal.

Two:
I'd read some self-published work and it was awful. There were either huge holes in the plot, I didn't bond with the characters, there was spelling, grammatical errors etc. etc. This obviously backed up my first reason for my belief.

However as time went on my views changed. I began to realise there are a hundred and one reasons why a publisher will turn down a book and a large percentage of the reasons have nothing to do with the quality of the writing. For example I've read and enjoyed a few books written by members of this team (sorry folks I've downloaded many of your titles I've just got go to reading them). These books include:

'Christopher Uptake' by Susan Price
The Stone That Grew by Enid Richemont 
The Great Rosette Robbery by Karen Bush 
Christopher Uptake by Susan Price 
The Survival of Thomas Ford by John A. A. Logan 
The Fulcrum Files by Mark Chisnell 
Voices in Ma Head by Cally Phillips  

Some of these books were at one time published by a traditional publisher but have gone out of print whilst others have just been self-published. I now believe the difference between todays self-publishing author and those I read some ten to fifteen years ago is attitude. All those on the EA team take great pride in what they publish. They draft and redraft, they ensure the work is the best they can make it. Some pay for the relevant professional to help them in this quest. I know I have. They realise every time their book is sold they are placing their reputation as a writer on the line, so it is in their interest to write well.

Why have I made this admission? Well I know this is unlikely (knowing the subject matter of this blog) but my hope is one or two publishing snobs might stumble upon it and they may be willing to have their minds changed. So if you are a publishing snob please click here, browse our catalogue, download a book and be prepared to enjoy a damn good read. If you're not a publishing snob why not click on the link as well, have a peruse and give a writer you've never read before a try.    

Side note:
As I created the links for the above books I noticed one had a five star Amazon rating whilst the others had a four and a half star rating - which I believe just goes to show what great great read self-published books can be.   

Lynne Garner 

7 comments:

Nick Green said...

I would say it goes something like this. Eighty per cent of all books written today are awful. (I'm being kind.) And there are only enough publishers to publish around five per cent of all books written. That leaves approx. fifteen per cent of books that are worth reading, but 'unpublishable'.
Of course it's not an absolute figure, as there are plenty of traditionally published books that are also awful. Oh, miaow...

Dennis Hamley said...

Yes, Lynne, I was a snob too and remained so for more years than I care to think of now. And I wouldn't even dignify the appalling self-published books I found with the noble term 'self-published'. No, they were 'vanity' books, shoddily produced by crooks for sad people. Oh dear, how circumstancsd change us. How glad I am that that's disappeared and that I can now see the old fruitful years as a sort of constructive fool's paradise.

Dennis Hamley said...

Circumstances. Proof-read, you twerp.

Lynne Garner said...

Nick - I would agree I've read some awful traditional published books but when I've read them at least I got the feeling that some sort of proof reading had taken place for example the correct they're, there and their had been used.

Dennis - Vanity publishers are still out there. I've helped two ex-students in the last year avoid the trap they set.

Chris Longmuir said...

I heartily agree. I'm in the process of writing a non-fiction book which deals with indie writing and I've had to read an awful lot of indie fiction to provide examples. I've come across a few awful indie books, but far more good ones which were in varying degrees from okay through to excellent. There's a whole world of indie fiction out there just crying out for readers.

julia jones said...

I feel that membership of AE has opened a new world of reading to me - full of unexpected delights.

Lee said...

I think Nick is being overly generous!

And now I'm going to admit something. With a very few possible exceptions, I have yet to find the George Eliot or even Hilary Mantel of contemporary self-publishing. Which doesn't mean I believe it's impossible, or that I won't keep looking...