So, you're finally here. You've taken the time, and put in the work, sacrificed social events and lived off noodle soup for the past 12 months. But you have it! Your masterpiece is finally here. There were words, squirming and scratching inside your head, denying you sleep and demanding all of your focus. But now those demons are all on paper, out of your head, and meticulously arranged to engage with the world. Well done you! So, what now?
Well, I wish I could say the hard part is behind you. I wish I could say, get ready for BBC interviews, asking you about your struggle through the mud. Get ready for private yacht parties and film adaptations of your hard work. I wish I could say that, but I'd be lying to you, alas you see, your unique arrangement of words, expressing a deep and personal side of yourself, is only the entry ticket in a very long and arduous race.
Fortunately for you, you stumbled upon this blog page. And I say fortunately, as by the time you're done reading this, you'll have a solid good understanding of what it takes to get your manuscript off your desk, and into people's laps. You have three options ahead of you:
1) Give up!
This is the easiest, cheapest and most risk-free option ahead of you. Gets you nothing but regret as a result, but in a comfy way.
2) The Golden Fish Route
So, you might think to yourself: "Find a publishing agency, Penguin should do nicely. Give them your words, accept their compliments and let them figure out the rest.", while you raise your feet up and wait for the royalty checks to roll in. Well, if you're a nobody (like the vast majority of us), you might have already found out, they're not very keen on new authors. If you were persistent enough, you may have found yourself in front of an obstacle course your work is expected to run through. This course would include obstacles such as the feminism score, political association, political correctness etc. And compromising one's masterpiece to fit those hoops can feel like, well, for the lack of a better word, prostitution. Like pimping one's child. Most of the time, the published thing has nothing to do with the original writing. Definettley, not a sensible course of action for a rebel like yourself. You have things to say, and trends be damned! So, that leaves you with only one option.
It may sound daunting, and destined for mediocrity, but one has to keep in mind some of the world's most famous writers, were self-published to begin with. To name a few, Beatrix Potter, Edgar Allen Poe and even J. K. Rowling started by self-publishing. So, no, this path is not destined for failure, it's the trial of fire that separates the wannabees from the real stuff, and it's the only option that will let you walk away with your integrity intact.
On top of that moral nugget, going down this path successfully, will require you to acquire a general baggage of knowledge in the industry, from print to marketing, you'll understand it all. No BS salesman is going to get the better of you, because you will know exactly what is what, you won't just strut. And that resilience is important, as once you do blip on the radar, they'll be swarming all over you like flies over a fresh and warm pile of... genius. At that point option 2 will become feasible, and if you choose to consider it, you'll need to have your wits about you. We've all heard stories of successful people, forced to work for nothing because of a bad contract they signed.
As such, if you've kept reading to this point, it shows that you are indeed serious about publishing your work. What's the point if there's no challenge, right? Well, I will be sharing with you a succinct guide on how to self-publish. Tips on how to budget, what services to hire, and what platforms to engage with.
If you're interested in such a guide, come back next week to read more!