So I wrote another book. Just to be perverse, it wasn’t like any of the previous ones. It wasn’t a software development guide. It wasn’t a regency spoof. And it wasn’t a book of short stories either. It was a highly personal piece of non-fiction, almost a memoir but not quite, almost a historical work but not quite, almost a musical biography but not quite. In fact, if you were looking for a category to fit it into, you’d probably come up with something like “not quite”.
The trouble is, the publishing industry doesn’t really like things that aren’t quite. There are good reasons for this, the most significant of which is that the reading public tend not to like things that aren’t quite either. So this isn’t a rant about the failings of the publishing industry.
I like this book. I like it a lot. It tackles an important subject in an entertaining and (I think) original way. I think if you were to start reading it, you’d want to read more. As one of my online friends tweeted yesterday, it’s “something I would love to read, yet never realised I wanted to before now”. Which sums it up perfectly.
So, having failed to find a publisher for it, I’ve decided to blog it. Here are my reasons for doing so. And here’s the first post. See what you think. If you like it, please do spread the word.
There are a variety of reasons why I went down the self-publishing route but one them was that, like you, I was writing something that wasn’t “quite”. And that goes for all my stuff. What upsets me (on your behalf) is that you, more than many of us, have worked hard to establish a bit of a name for yourself and have been rewarded with a commensurate reputation and the start of a following if not an actual fan base and yet they still hedged their bets. I’ve seen it happen to others so you’re not alone but that still doesn’t make it fair. Now if you were John Fowles you might get away with a short, introspective work of non-fiction (as he did with The Tree) but I guess you’ve a wee way to go before you have his clout.
Thanks, Jim 🙂 Much appreciated. Well, no-one ever said that publishing, of all things in life, was ever going to be fair. And I’ve had my fair share of luck, too, so I can’t really complain too much. And in any case, one of the worst things you can do as a writer – or any sort of creative artist – is get embittered about the industry you’re working in.