Tag Archives: Fay Weldon

Different versions of your book – racy and literary.

After contemplating becoming a transvestite in another posting today ‘Self-Publishing And The Sexes’, I’m also pondering the advice given by Fay Weldon.

Fay Weldon


She reckons that we should write two different versions of our book – one for traditional publishing, which is literary in tone, and another dumbed-down racy version for readers who use Kindles and other e-reading devices. This means “abandoning one’s dignity.”

After five years of trying to sell my books, I’m not sure that I’ve got any dignity left – and if I have, it’s probably slipped down the back of the sofa and is beyond retrieval. Fay Weldon has a history of making tongue-in-cheek provocative statements, but I think that she may have a point.

I’ve mentioned in other blog postings that I’ve been giving my ebooks on Smashwords away for free. I started this at Christmas, 2014, as a promotional tactic to help launch my novel. It’s also a basic form of market research, to see what draws readers. I’ve tried changing tags and book covers, to see if this increased the downloads of a title that was being ignored.

The only conclusions that I’ve made, are that people like sad titles, rather than happy (who’d have guessed that?), as well as titles with a name in or that’s in the form of a question. Unsurprisingly, any mention of sex or erotica helps to shift copies – so bear that in mind when choosing your descriptive tags and book title.

This is proved by the success of my first volume of erotic verse, which is called ‘What Do You Like ?’, with the subtitle ‘9 Erotic Poems’. This has been downloaded 2,250 times, as of today, which makes it the most popular of my forty-four free titles.

Fay Weldon’s advice may impel me towards a career writing torrid romances featuring villainous lovers with smouldering eyes, heroines with heaving bosoms + of course, the obligatory randy vampire and a horny werewolf!

Different Versions Of Your Book – A Riposte

Fay Weldon recently asserted that a writer should produce two versions of their book. One for those capable of concentrating enough to understand a literary paper book, and another lightweight Kindle text to entertain those with limited attention spans.

Although she was being provocative, garnering press attention in the process, she has raised some thought-provoking issues. There’s been research that shows how those who use e-reading devices are less able to recall details about what they’ve read, compared to those who have just taken in the same story on a hard copy.

Author D.J. Taylor launched a riposte in the Independent newspaper.

D.J. Taylor


He makes some valid points, but has chosen to ignore the one saving grace about the whole situation – people are reading. As a wise aphorism goes ‘A non-reader holds no advantage over someone who cannot read at all.’

When I worked as a librarian, I sometimes wondered at the choices that people made when borrowing books – but at least they were reading. If they started with something that wasn’t very challenging, then they might move onto a novel that made them think.

Mind you, some readers take their devotion to an author to extremes. I once knew a man who read only Stephen King stories, and he collected them in all of their different editions, books covers and foreign language versions. He had a room devoted to them, with thousands of books lining the walls. It was like being in a sinister temple.

It reminded me of a joke: A man goes into a pub and orders a stiff drink from the barman. He looks depressed, so the barman asks him what the problem is. The man replies: “My wife left me, and all because I like cheese sandwiches.” The barman is puzzled, replying “But there’s nothing wrong with cheese sandwiches. I quite like them myself – cheese and onion, cheese and tomato, cheese and pickle – lovely.” The drinker’s face lights up: “Wonderful – you understand – would you like to come back to my place, and see my collection? I’ve got hundreds!”