As I languish in limbo, while deciding whether to go ahead with self -publishing, which I’ve been preparing to do for seven months, or to wait for a reply from The Future Bookshelf who are contemplating if my manuscript is worth publishing, I came across an outspoken answer on Quora.
The question posed was What are the hardest aspects an author has to deal with when trying to get their book published?
Michael Davies, an Australian writer, publisher and writing teacher, who answers first, doesn’t pull any punches!
Although I’ve self-published 45 titles online, I’ve yet to be offered a traditional publishing contract. I’m still chasing literary agents and publishers who open a submissions window, but this is starting to feel like buying a lottery ticket…it’s always some other lucky blighter who wins!
I’m not downhearted, being stubborn/tenacious/determined/downright stupid, and it recently occurred to me that there is much to be thankful about in not having to kowtow to the demands of an agent, editor and publisher. At the moment, I can do what I like with the novels, novellas, short stories, poetry and song lyrics I’ve written, including those uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon, which are readily editable.
The five crime novels I’ve written are so highly polished that they’re visible from outer space, but all the same, there’s still room for improvement. My brain works in weird ways (God was drunk when he made me), coughing out ideas even when I’m asleep. My grey cells recently offered a suggestion of how to improve a sentence that I’ve reworked several times since it was written three years ago. This wouldn’t be possible had the book been gathering dust on some shelf.
Several famous authors have confessed that they never re-read their earlier work, embarrassed by the mistakes they made. Not being in the public eye, and held to account, has its charms.
‘There’s a marvellous peace in not publishing… When you publish, the world thinks you owe something. If you don’t publish, they don’t know what you’re doing. You can keep it for yourself.’