At the moment I am reading a new novel by a young British author, published by a small but reputable UK house. It is terrible. OK, perhaps I should qu...
We all know that feeling of elation and excitement in the days, weeks or even months leading up to a well earnt and long overdue holiday. But when it comes to it, do you ever find yourself wondering if perhaps you should try to be more productive with what precious time you have to yourself?
Times are changing. Self-publishing is no longer 'vanity publishing' - a vaguely embarrassing exercise in assuaging one's writerly ambitions by paying large sums of money for a small run of leather-bound copies of a book - but a very real and increasingly credible alternative to mainstream publishing.
Self-publishing is a double-edged sword because, whilst it provides people with a direct route to market, some of the cheaper, automated publishers offer their services to absolutely anyone, regardless of the quality and presentation of the written work. This is where the problem lies, as it's not the content or the idea of self-published books that often lets it down, but the delivery...
My writing straddles too many genres to be categorised. So I turned Indie. However, when my self-published, first novel made it to the Amazon bestseller list, I realised I had a niche: a group of readers around the world who liked what I wrote. They wanted to know what it meant to come of age in a complex environment like India.
When it comes to the cultural choices we make: the films and plays we see, the gigs we attend, the exhibitions we visit, the books we read, no-one really knows what they want. That's what can make cultural life rich and surprising.
Personally, I love to have a glossy book that I can flick through. I've always enjoyed browsing in bookstores. Yet I confess that I also like the 24/7 accessibility of e-books, the speed, the instant access, the lack of clutter in my home.
Rhino Hunt is an honest look at the relationships held between modern middle aged men. Just as the success of the Inbetweeners movie is largely down to its realistic take on teenage life, Rhino Hunt exposes many truths of what it means to be a middle aged man, especially the ones blessed with that innate ability to act like a child, and get away with it.
The most interesting part of a publishing conference is normally the wrap-up session. By then, you have worked out that all the authors are in the same boat: i.e. hoping to be mainstream published, but meanwhile contemplating going Indie.
In the world of words and ideas the diminutive SMS (short message service) can be called the amoeba of new age text. When the god of technology created the virtual world, the SMS found the ideal forum for regeneration and reproduction. It gave birth to what we now know as tweets and blogs. It was only a matter of time before the e-book too was born.
One of my reasons for setting my latest romantic comedy within the publishing industry was to highlight some of its failings, both to readers and fellow authors (independent or otherwise). HarperCollins and Random House need not completely despair though.
I've kicked around the publishing game for a while. In the past decade I've had two books published by traditional publishers, and four by digital publishers. On the flip side, I've collected more rejections than I can count. I've experienced the high's and the low's, and now I'm going to share with you some of what I've learned...
My first published fiction work - sixteen compiled short stories - will begin its dust collection in February 2014. As the writer, I cannot stress enough the personal significance of the work being printed as a real, heavy, tactile book.
Because I am a published author and I have used both the traditional and self-publishing routes my friends often ask how they can get published and is it better to just self-publish immediately or spend a long time trying to find a traditional publisher willing to publish their work?
Crowdfunding, I thought, "what better than to try it myself?" In reality, there were few other options. I could throw away the book and get on with being a businessman; pay to publish it myself or put it on Amazon where it would get a digital sale and no one would really know if it was a success or not - in other words I could avoid losing face. But all three sounded cowardly.
Self-publishing is about staying in control of your destiny as a writer and having a say in how your book is packaged, produced, distributed and promoted. It is about making your own decisions, in collaboration with the experts (and in some cases, fans) to ensure that your work reaches readers in the way that is right for you.