What are the main aims of our writing to self publish? Are most on-line scribblers obeying the age-old instinct that everyone has a book in them? Are they simply writing to see their name in print, or writing for fun and asking to be judged solely on the enjoyment factor? Or are they seeking to be judged on the same platform as books from a traditional publisher?
What has become apparent through my on-line presence is that there are two book worlds with success stories in both: traditional or mainstream with paperback as the main focus and self-published Ebooks on line.
Mainstream is the most difficult to crack. Few books are being accepted by agents and of those only a handful ever sell. Not because they are not as good, but simply because the bookshops make more money if they stick with titles that offer the greatest discounts. However, the great ‘lure’ of this format is acceptance as a writer. There remains a vast level of snobbishness in the book world, the harbinger for success, especially in the UK I can’t speak for other countries, is still to be formally published in paperback and stocked in shops. Only then can you be recognized as ‘a real writer’ by teachers, parents, and the powers-that-be, and added to their list of authors-into-schools.
However, if we go along the alternative route, second world of writing, a virtual on-line presence and readers en mass, are the four criteria I laid out above still relevant? And does it matter anyway? There is a vast appetite for Ebooks, and incomes to be gained from on-line sales. Does it therefore matter what the book is like, as long as it sells?
Maybe not! But that still doesn’t solve my problem with reviewing.