19 January 2016

Things to Remember.

When I published Journeyman on Kindle, a month ago tomorrow, I felt a litle nervous about how people would take to my style of writing; when one writes something - whatever it is - one is baring a significant part of themselves to the world. How they think, how they feel, how they perceive the world around them. It's almost like sitting on a psychiatrist's couch and allowing their mind to be observed by whoever is prepared to look.

As the book has started to sell reasonably well, I've been drawn into something of a false sense of security, especially given some of the positive feedback I've had. I've forgotten to remember that people aren't always reasonable, and will judge parts of the work on other parts which are irrelevant. I've had negative reviews, from people who didn't finish reading the book, complaining about now openly and often I've used naughty words, and about my "irritating characterization."

I know, I know - you don't need to say it. That's what I get writing a book and putting it out there. And you're right. But I still can't help feeling a little disappointed that people are going to judge the whole on a small detail. Yes, I don't have a problem with people saying they don't like how much profanity I've written into the book; that's a matter of personal taste, and if you don't like it that's upto you.

But when my writing is being judged on a character's flaws, I can't help wondering if people can tell the difference between a character acting badly and me writing badly. Yes, it's probably unreasonable of me to think that, given that it's a book for an audience and not simply for my own amusement. But there we are.

So, from now on I have to remind myself that Journeyman is the book I intended to write, and if people want to decide that I'm a bad writer because the protagonist did something they don't agree with, that's on them.

In the meantime, my coffee's getting cold. L'chayim.

17 January 2016

Beginning at last...?

First post of the year, and it's over two weeks in. Not much has happened, really.

Except my book, Journeyman, has been selling fairly well. In America, at least; my sales rolled past 160 this afternoon. Personally, I don't think that's a bad start for a self-pubbed book by an unknown author, whose only publicity has been a small handful of Facebook groups. OK, it's not made me a millionaire, and I'm still looking for work, because I understand that any given sale could be my last.

But the figures have shown signs that there's a bit of quiet growth going on in the quiet. I hope that's what's going on.

So, what does this mean?

Well, for a start it means that Journeyman isn't shit, as I had been worried it might be. My parents and my fiancée had said it's good, but they're kind of supposed to, especially given my predeliction toward neurosis and self-deprecating behaviour. But maybe they were right on this count; their comments weren't actually biased.

However, it's making almost no headway in my home country, England. Seriously, I've sold about five copies over here. Which makes sense in a way, because in many ways we English prefer subtlety, quiet, and pretty much everything else that Journeyman isn't: there's swearing, there's people crapping their pants, there's nothing really sanitized. That's mostly for realism (were there such a thing in a fantasy novel), so I'm ignoring the negative review I got (from someone who didn't even finish the book) and getting on with life.

So, I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that maybe I should be writing to US literary agents to try and get it published, rather than to UK ones - especially since the UK ones have shown almost no interest.
Which makes me wonder... maybe this year is, at last, something of a new beginning for me, career-wise.