"Welcome to Night Publishing - join the revolution and help us ensure that all great books get published."
Having shunned Authonomy for the sham I had always felt it was, I never thought I'd give my work in to another peer driven publishing website until now.
My friend, writing buddy and all round nice person Teresa Geering suggested AGES ago that I do it and now, after prevaricating for so long on the issue, I finally have.
I have put my first chapter up on Night Publishing to be scorned, ridiculed and despised, (or maybe, just maybe admired?) by other writers, in the hope that it will be voted in to be printed.
Who are these Night Publishing people, I hear you cry?
Mmm, well under the refreshingly idealistic motto, "Good books must be published" and using the POD platform to print them off, Messrs Tim Roux and Bruce Essar started up their Night Publishing project.
At first they used Create Space, the Amazon.com print on demand website but have now branched into other, more local printing houses due to the ridiculously priced postage involved.
However, it was the boom in e-books that really started the ball rolling.
We in Europe prefer our reading material to be on paper. Kindle and all the other e-book reading devices haven't really taken off here yet, however, across the great pond the situation is vastly different. Amazon's Kindle seems to have exploded and with it Night Publishing's sales figures.
But, I hasten to add, it wasn't the sales figures that turned my head on to actually putting my first chapter up, (no, honestly it wasn't!).
The thing I found with Authonomy was that nothing seemed to happen. You were constantly reviewing other chapters for other people, being nice to them in the hope that it would be reciprocated somewhere along the line, sometimes even receiving offers of deals with other writers, "I'll recommend yours if you recommend mine" etc etc.
And I just got fed up of it.
There was no forward movement on the whole thing, it was one big slurry of faceless authors and it quickly developed into me writing more or less the same review, (friendly, encouraging, deal-ready…) for all the chapters I received.
After a while I just stopped answering the mails.
Authonomy left me with a bad taste in my mouth and I felt disappointed in myself for letting myself be sucked up into the whole thing.
Then, three years later, after so many rejections that I felt about as optimistic as Quasimodo's case manager at a dating agency, I decided to post a poem on a website that Tee had pushed onto me, (actually, she wanted me to put my first chapter up so, to mollify her, I sent in a poem).
What I liked best was that the critique came straight away; there was no waiting on an email for weeks on end while someone decides on whether to read your work or not. This put Night Reading, as it was then, in a good light and it felt like the people who actually had read it were interested, (I'm so easily flattered, lol).
This obviously encouraged me to put up a second poem, one that wasn't so well received as the first but still attracted a couple of comments.
Whatever, yesterday, around three in the morning, I decided I'd go for it.
The chapter went up at 0508 AM and can be found at this link:
If you feel the need to drop a comment off, please do ;-)
Right, that's it for now, take it easy and I'll try not to let it take so long for the Blog post.
I like it. The diallogue really flows and the characters are very believable. I'm surprised you've had no luck placing it. Have you tried independent publishers?
Yes, but it's that luck of the draw syndrome I suppose.
Whatever, I'll ty it on NP, see what happens. It's written now, it isn't going away but I've kind of moved on from it, if you get my meaning?
At long last.
Right hot footing it over to NP to do a bit of promo :-)
Just done a promo thread on NP 'And about flipping time' Changed wording to protect the innocent. :-)
What I liked most about it was the way you presented your manuscript there, story-wise.
Now it really shows that you have a better understanding of what your first novel is about (not just vampires), thus having a better understanding of who you are as a writer. To correctly market/present you novel is a crucial step to let the reader embrace it with the correct expectations.
About Night Reading, I have been skeptical about online writing groups for all of the reasons you pointed out about Autonomy.
Honest comments are hard to find because it's easier to be the good guy and we're not really expected to fully justify good criticism - like you have to when pointing faults - so it's easier to be nice than to be honest and clear.
Then again, most people on those groups aren't editors and don't really know how to give proper criticism. We're all just sitting ducks waiting in the dark, and the only good thing about those groups is that we can keep ourselves warm by sticking together. But to stretch that to a professional opinion about what will work in the real world for the masses it's overpowering the purpose of a group hug.
I don't know about on-demand publishing houses. I'm still sceptical about the novels I've read so far come out of some of those. They were poorly revised and the writers don't really seem to grasp where they went wrong - the parts where they loose us as readers - and that's a shame.
I believe with the proper help all stories can be shaped into good novels, but not all writers are born able to do it on their on. (Nor should they have to!)
All first-time writers need editors behind them, (and that's not just to correct typos and formatting...).
Then they also have the writer do his own cover and be his own advertiser and sales man and say he will be successful if he has a good book. So in fact advertising can be done by anyone and it's not really needed, anyway, if the book is really good... right!
The writer, any and all writers, should be just that: the person who writes!
What I've read so far showed me that novels from on-demand Publishing Houses aren't usually that great.
I'm a strong believer that a good book must come from a professional group effort and that the writer is just one piece of that puzzle. The same way that a good movie is not just the work of a good script writer.
On another note, I do think it's a matter of time before the digital novel overpowers paper books. It's crucial for this Planet and more practical for us writers and readers in every way. However, I still prefer paper...
But with digital, the problem of people thinking they have it all in them to created a finished novel, beginning to end, revise it and sell it on their own, continues...
With that said, I can understand that when every other door has closed for you, this is the next best thing to do and feel that ball still rolling. But most importantly, keep on writing that second novel, because I'm sure you'll see you've grown as a writer.
I know I don't fall in the category of nice-people-giving-nice-comments (no matter how many times I said you were great and just needed a break from a caring editor), but I honestly believe in you as a writer and I believe you deserve a PROFESSIONAL team behind you for that 2nd novel, not on-demand babble. ;)
Keep it up!
Ah, V, there you are!!
Where have you been??? I've been worried sick ;-)
Authonomy was a mistake, definitely. The whole peer critique thing is flawed if you're looking for a realistic appraisal of your work, however...
I've decided I need to move on and hovering around for ever and ever, waiting like a prom queen for a yes or no when I now know that my work isn't good enough is zapping my enthusiasm.
I need closure on this whole thing so I can put it behind me and carry on, lol.
I'll see what happens, I trust the people on NP to do their utmost and it feels nice there; does that make sense?
It does though, it really feels cosy and I'm a cosy type of guy, lol.
V, it just feels nice to be moving forward, regardless of what happens.
I'm feeling an itch again in my eye, could that be a twinkle?? ;-)
Yes, I do understand your point-of-view and that's why I agree with what you did for you, because it's you, completely you. The way this bad-ass comment is completely me! :P
You don't take comments that seriously, you just want to feel happy. I'm the manic compulsive here. lol
For that reason, it's great that you have joined such support group and in a way I'm the one at a loss for not having the spirit to be part of one myself. But I still don't agree in being published on those terms my friend... a writer cannot go about it alone or it will almost always be a crappy book. The trees deserve better destiny ;)
You gotta luv those trees V ;-)
No hun no vampires..... ARC is certainly worth getting your teeth into though. Or Poppets 'Seithe' is vampires! If you ask Tim he will send you a pdf to read and reveiw.
I'll have a look and see if i've got 'Seithe' and if so will send by email.
I know you will love it. Review if poss or mention on blog.
Anyway hopping over now.
Okily dokily Tee, I will mention it on the Blog. Having not been published I don't think I really have the necessary skills to review something ;-)
Bollocks (soz)course you have the skills.
Just put your thoughts on the book down on paper.
Sum it up in 20 words or 200 - it just doesn't matter.
You can do it I have faith in you.