Hi, friends, readers, and fellow authors:
Firstly, have a look at the room appearing in the photo to the left here. It’s the reading room of my dreams. I wonder where it is?
On to other matters ….
I have been writing fiction for twelve years. It took me two years before my first short story was published, five years before my first novel, Josef Jaeger, was published, and another two years before my second novel, Tyler Buckspan, was published. I spent the better part of 2015 working on a huge novel, 135,000 words, that I thought was pretty good, but about three weeks ago the fourth publisher in a row turned down my submission. They said sorry, they liked the book’s premise but it was too long. And I think they’re right, so I am rewriting portions of the book to trim them down.
If you follow this site you know I also write erotic fiction for gay men under a pseudonym. I’ve done this since 2007, and I’ve had short stories published in over twenty gay fiction anthologies released by several different publishing houses. I’ve also had about ten novels published under my pseudonym. So I’ve done okay with that genre, but still ….
After twelve years in the trenches I still have not landed a contract with a major publishing house, nor have any of my books made the best seller lists. As a writer I am still pretty much unknown.
Now, I’ve attended a few writer’s conferences, and I spend time reading articles on how to get ahead in the publishing world, and the conventional wisdom these days seems to be that self-promotion is a major key to success in publishing. By self-promotion I mean having a website to promote your works, Tweeting daily, posting daily on Facebook and Instagram, and so forth. I know a lot of authors do this, but I’ve always wondered if they might spend that time more productively by focusing on their writing and their submissions to agents and publishers.
This morning I came across a post by an author named Delilah S. Dawson that addressed this topic in depth. Her conclusion: these days self-promotion is a waste of time. The market’s just too flooded with self-promotion, plus readers find this sort of thing annoying. I know I do. Here’s a link to the article:
Ms. Dawson’s of the opinion that the key to success in writing is to work on making your writing better, and I could not agree more. I think I’ve written some pretty good books. My favorite is Tyler Buckspan. But I also know I can write better books if I just keep working at it. So that’s what I will do instead of spending two hours a day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If I write well enough, at some point folks will take notice, and then I’ll get where I want to go.
Have a nice Thursday, everyone.