Monday, October 08, 2012

Art for art's sake - e-books for God's sake

It is interesting and perplexing to be a writer in these times of e-change. I have touched on this subject before, but how the e-book revolution is affecting publishing makes decision-making an art in itself. Anyone who is taken on by a publisher must reconcile themselves to the fact that their work will be edited to the extent that, in reality, the writer should not take sole credit for the published result. The upside of this is that their work will be edited and they get to take credit for it all. That's how it used to be, of course – you had to sacrifice a little Art, for a shot at some money. But the balance in print has swung more towards ensured profit and damn the creativity, unless it can be used to sell more copies. Sales and marketing have a bigger say than they ever did and they are being robust and clinical in their conclusions. You don't make mega-bucks first time around? Well, that's a bit tough – try elsewhere and we wish you luck.
So you do.
You realise you can put as much, or as little, effort into self-publishing an e-book as you want. You can let the world see your Art as revelled by your latest e-book upload without any troublesome interference by those who just can't see your Art for what it is. The trouble is, at the moment (gauging by the standard of some e-books I've perused) it's most unlikely you'll take the time or stamp up the money to have your piece of Art edited by a professional. Which would be a mistake. True, the world of print is littered with tales of superb and best-selling novels which were initially passed up by editors, but have you any idea of the sheer amount of egotistical crap they have to put up with on a daily basis? The odds are that your piece of Art is not going to enthral and entertain as much as you are convinced it will. But now you can put it to the test and create another e-book to add to the vast pile of e-slush and let the public decide.
I wish you luck.
I write, therefore I am. But, I have to admit that, just like you, the lure of the e-book and that lack of interference is devilish attractive.  But bee warned, there's not always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Most times it's just a puddle of muddy water.     
On Saturday I celebrated my fifty-fourth birthday. Perhaps this achievement may go some way to explain why I had to don my reading glasses this lunchtime so as to negotiate the bony minefield of a tasty smoked kipper. Still, I cycled over thirty-four miles this morning while managing to avoid a zombie in a white van overtaking me on a bend as another vehicle was approaching; another zombie who only just succeeded in stopping on a roundabout instead of hitting me; and a dog which took great delight in chasing me up a hill and only gave up when I snarled at him.
It appears another week has begun ...
Don't do stupid – it's just not clever.   

No comments: