Just a question as I am at the early stages of writing my own short story collection and being an obscure writer I have little if any chance of being picked up by any sort of publishing company.
So I have one option to get my work out there and that is to self-publish on a meduim such as LULU.
My question if you do self-publish can this has a negative effect as to how people see you as a writier,could they see it as some sort of admitance to the fact that you don't feel good enough for a publisher to pick up?
It's not something I personal put much stock in but at the same time I can't control what others think.
I know some people who think because you self-publish via a medium such as LULU you can't be good enough for a proper publisher.
I know some here have gone the way of self-publishing and I can't stress to you guys enough how I do not comply with idea that self-publishing means lack of talent.
Hell no I have seen how good some of you are...like Lurker In The Shadows.
I guess for me it's important to build a worthwhile profile so that I may flog more than five copies of the book I wish to publish lol.
Post by Craig Herbertson on Mar 14, 2010 19:08:34 GMT
It's a very difficult question with no easy answer. Firstly publishing has changed. if you suggested this even ten years ago i suspect the answer would be don't do it. But then again, here's some advice I was given after getting a novel published. 'Just publish the next one yourself and use Lulu.' Slightly different scenario but leaning towards DIY.
What I would suggest is that you get someone who is not going to say 'why this is just wonderful!!' - not your partner, best mate, guy who owes you drink down pub - to proof read it and bear in mind that proof reading can take ten re-edits. If you do do it yourself make sure that they can't accuse you of not giving it your best shot. Also, accept the fact that unless a miracle occurs, you are unlikely to sell more than about twenty copies and one of them will be to your nearest and dearest.
Advice taken Craig I think it's possible that readers may be a little more willing to accept that self-publication is a valid way of a writer to get his work there since horror publications are harder to get on the highstreet all the time.
I will also take heed of your proof reading advice,thank you
I've been muttering in emails and messages last night about the next FC possibly being the last one, so as this thread deals with a question rising out of the lack of markets, I think I should comment publicly here and put things in perspective.
First, have you tried some of the 'main street' publishing companies yet, whether UK or US - or, for that matter, the smaller online-only publishers? Or other small-press magazines?
I'm my own worst example of a writer who doesn't try hard enough to get published.
Incidentally, I was sent a collection recently from an online-only publisher which includes stories first published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (I'll be covering that here soon).
The proofreading comment - yeah, definitely important. When we all used typewriters, editors used to insist on not more than three corrections per page.
Whether FC will continue after issue 6, well - put it like this - like everyone else, I'm prone to spells of gloom, and occasionally go on massive downers when I just can't see the point. Had one of those not too long back. But I started putting FC 6 together last night - I've been contacting writers on the quiet, over weeks - and as I started the DTP work, it all felt easier than expected, so I'm more optimistic again now.
Eventually I'm going to have to go to an online-publisher when I decide to put together a collection of my own stories. I definitely don't see anything wrong with that - these days we don't have much choice. But I think all of us need to raise our profiles by looking around for other markets. And I definitely include myself!
I will be honest and say as far as mainstream and quite well known publisher go I am intimidated by them,I have to take a lot of time to work up enough self-esteem to believe in my own work quite a lot and that mean I constantly feel invalid in a feild of talented validated writers.
However that is my own nerousis and not a good enough reason to not try it,it will deffently be something I will give a go when i feel it's right for me.
The whole mutal support of small is press I think can help with the profiles of writers like myself and everyone who writes at our level. This is one reason why I want to start reviewing and focussing on other writers because publications like yours Rog have given me a presence.
I think if I can do my bit in helping the small presses and small press writers in my little way it's good for the whole scene and myself.
Rog I totaly understand gloom moments and you have more than most on your plate,you have indeed achived a lot considering how streached your resoruces and attention is. Should F.C end at 6 then think of it as an achivement that it got to number 6,the sheer amount of small press collections that don't even make it past number 3 is pretty high and you doubled that figure.
Another thing to think about is the BHF Book 3 isn't even out yet but that hasn't stopped Chris from being determined to publish it. You may want to take a break for a year or two from F.C and return to it later it would still be a viable publication in my eyes even after a hiatus.
Hang tough Rog as The Kids On the Block once said you have the talent to make all the stress and sweat worth it
Post by Craig Herbertson on Mar 15, 2010 22:22:26 GMT
I endorse your view about Rog. Rog, you've done a great deal under a lot of pressure. I would love you to carry on but maybe a break is better than an out and out no. You have great talent.
Regarding yourself cc. I say go for it. Belief in what you write is an enormously difficult thing to sustain. Very few writers couldn't plaster their walls with tons of rejection slips and also recall bitter moments of absolute despair. It's a dark lonely path. I wish you luck with it.
Post by The Lurker In The Shadows on Mar 16, 2010 21:20:42 GMT
I'll echo what everyone else is saying to Rog, that he's done a great job with FC, often under extremely trying circumstances, and it would be great to see it continue but that he shouldn't feel obliged to continue with it and should only go on with it if and when it feels worthwhile - and I speak from the perspective of another who's prone to troughs of thinking 'What's the bloody point?'
I'm another one who doesn't try hard enough to get my work out there. There have been a few points where I've decided to just go for it, like with the first radio script or putting "The Mound" up on the Vault's FC board, but there are also lots of things I've written where the writing of it has been the fun part and the focus and thereafter it's been seen by no-one. And if folk like Rog, Chris, Charles Black or Joe Morey at Dark Regions hadn't got in touch, I might still just be jotting down stuff for the amusement of myself and maybe a few friends. So I've got huge admiration for anyone who is willing to put their stuff out there and let it be seen, rather than have it gathering dust.
Corpsie, every story of yours that I've read has shown great talent and imagination, so I would love to see a collection of your work. Whether that's through you publishing it yourself, or by approaching a small-press publisher (and I think it's only the small-presses who even look at short story collections these days) I think it'll be a marvellous collection. I'd follow Craig's advice about having someone give it a brisk proof-reading/read-through - I've generally given stories to several friends simultaneously to read, as they've spotted flaws, anachronisms and bits where I've begun to repeat myself from previous stories. I no longer need to ask them to be totally honest, as they'll tell me if something isn't right since they no more want me to make an arse of myself in public than I do.
I have to admit I have never read anything you posted . I'm not sure you have to many on the site realy . I did read all of Craig's stuff here recently (aparently the critique was so harsh for him he couldn't even find words to respond to it ) , so I could give yours a try .
Do you have any stories you are thinking about including finished ?
Corpsie, every story of yours that I've read has shown great talent and imagination, so I would love to see a collection of your work...
I want to agree with this bit before anything else.
Like I said, I did go through one of those phases, but the positive attitudes and reliability of people here and at the Vault soon jogged me out of it. Coral was saying just the other night that we should get the new issues of FC and TTMC printed at the same time so that we can send them out together.
Another conversation we had when we were trying to contact a voluntary organisation prompted the spell of gloom. I'd said "We can't complain, they're volunteers after all."
She replied simply: "Yes, but you shouldn't offer a service if you don't provide it."
Which started me thinking harder about the endless delays that crop up here. Things get done, but obviously, in the long spells of silence, people end up waiting unreasonably long periods for posts, emails, comments on stories.
There's no real answer. Basically I like what I and others do, whether here or at the Vault, and just wish there was time to do more of it. But if wishes were horses, I'd probably own a few stables by now.
One thing I'm making a point of doing is reading more fiction just for relaxation and posting my jottings on it at the Vault. Mixing 'work' and 'play' a bit more than previously, if you like.
Post by Craig Herbertson on Mar 17, 2010 20:23:33 GMT
Doom and gloom - every year at some point I plummet. This is probably going to sound ridiculous but this year I read a fair bit about depression - I basically thought I was an expert looking for confirmation that my case was hopeless - and I went on a bit of a regime which involved (Don't laugh)
cold shower A lemon every day A grapefruit every day
Bingo - not as depressed as normal.
Someone pointed out to me that the depression kicks in around my birthday which is gloomy January when the sun's been gone a long while and it could be a chemical reaction.
While I don't think eating a grapefruit is going to solve universal dilemmas I can only say that I definitely wasn't as cheerless - and I can do a bloody good cheerless.
I sat in on a panel discussion of agents at the WHC and asked the question about self publishing. Three of the four said it made no difference to them whether the author had self published or not, one said he wouldn't touch the author with a barge pole. One of the three (John Jarrold) said the only positive benefit it would gain you with him was if you had put in a lot of effort and sold lots of copies - this then proves to them that you know how to market yourself and are prepared to work hard to promote your work. With marketing budgets nearing zero for new authors, self promotion is very important, even after being picked up by a publisher.
So, the low down is you're better off (IMO) subbing tirelessly to mags who will actually get your name out there than putting all that work into self publishing a book that maybe only (as said above) twenty people will read. If you're going to put out a collection, let it be one of reprints, after you've had them published elsewhere. Otherwise, what's the point?
Well , that depends on how many copies he would produce , but I think it is quite easy to get the word out over the net to let at least 100-200 copies sell . I know I would probably buy what you would publish if I had free cash at the moment .
Thank you for all the feed back,encouragement,wise words and any other bits and pieces it all helps and so long as you do write you have more than zero chance I guess.
As of now I am putting togther a review of the latest F.C for my blog,other reviews will follow but that is how I am kicking things off. I am going to try and put real effort into reviewing the small press so that not only am I sheding a little light on others work but people will see my name and maybe feel more familier with,hopefully picking up something I write.
As for my stories on here lobo,maybe so in the near future I just get tangled up with a lot of other distraction and fail to put stuff on here but I think I should at least put one or two things on.
I am working on a number of tales so I shall post one real soon