August 17, 2008

Why Are You Writing?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:24 am by ricsavage

Why Are You Writing?


It is a question I have asked myself.  Along with, do we just right for ourselves?


I guess what prompted sole searching was this….  I have a friend, actually a life model from my art class that has written a rather nice book. It is a good story, a rather nice romance. I thought of BVS and had her pass it along to Laurie Sanders.  Chatting further, the life model told me that she didn’t want to do revisions, that as far as she was concerned the book was finished. I knew there and then that the book, unless vanity published, would not see the light of day. It is not enough to write, even if you write well. The stories need to stand on their own in the market place and they need to be commercial enough to sell.  It makes sense in my opinion to make the stories you write as market driven as possible by aiming at the market. Writing for your self is great fun, but writing with a view to publication is quite a different matter. 


I’m sorry if that turns our life passion into a commodity, but it is a commodity when you stop and think about it.  If you intend to get your words in print.


If our books were a can of beans with an interesting label and a pretty picture people might stop and look at it. They might even pick it up. But when they read that the beans were strawberry jelly and curry flavored, they would put them down again. I wouldn’t advocate making the product bland just for it to fit in. I am more in favor of individual, unique, thought provoking, and challenging writing. However, it makes sense to cut out the things that don’t work from the outset.   If you are told that wimpy beach bum heroes just don’t sell, and that rugged dependable types do sell  it kind of makes sense to do more of what the consumer wants (rugged dependable type heroes) and less of what they do not want (wimpy beach bum type heroes). 


I suppose as I have asked the question I should answer it for myself.


Why do I write?  I love it..  it is as frustrating as heck but I love writing and drawing, it is my life.  And I suppose I am optomistic enough to think someone might be interested to read and look at the work I do


Happy writing and make every word count




August 1, 2008

Ask not what your publisher can do for you.. but what you can do for your publisher

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 2:38 pm by ricsavage

I know I am preaching to the converted here. 


I was in a writer’s forum the other day and I was struck by the general attitude the writers took. The attitude of many of the authors was, “Well.. I spent all that time writing the book, the least the publisher could do is ALL the promotion.”  I found the attitude strange.  It was almost the writers were washing there hands if the project.  The publisher can’t autograph the books or set up signings on my behalf writers, even if they wanted to. The best the publisher can do is to send out some direct mail pieces to their readership or to bookstores. But they can’t promote the book in the same way I can as an author.


I really can’t see what authors expect to gain from taking the stance that publishers should do all the promotion.


From my prospective, and I might be on my own with this, though I hope I am not, getting a story into print has been one of the proudest moments of my life.  I have been writing without success for years. Finally hitting the right combination of story and the help of an editor that believes in me I am in print.  That story took about a year from concept to print.  I wanted the whole world to know..  I can’t understand a writer who wouldn’t.


The writers in the forum seemed to think that, with the book in print that is the end of the process for them, that once the book was published it was just a matter of sitting back and waiting for the royalty check to pop through the door. 


As JFK put it “Ask not what your publisher can do for you.. but what you can do for your publisher…” or at least I think he said that.  I see it as a symbiotic relationship between myself and my publisher.  I want to get the book out there.  They want to get the book out there, book sales being the result, hopefully.  So surly everyone is on the same team rather than a “them and us”  we all want it to be a success, surly that’s why we wrote it..  right?? 


I was struck by the irony that many of the authors didn’t seem to see royalties as being connected to promotion and promotion leading to sales, like the “Royalty Fairy” was mysteriously popping a cheque in the post. There was kind of a “not my problem” feeling to it.. 


It all goes together as one circle.  Promotion leads to sales and readership which leads to more sales and a larger readership.


For the actual promotion, I have a little list of ten things to promote that I try to do every week.  My list isn’t just for promoting my writing but is for promoting my erotic art as well but the principal is the same.  The top ten is an aspiration list, with the most important tasks down to less important tasks.   I rarely do all ten, but I feel if I have done at least two or maybe three of the things on my list, then I have done something and one piece of promotion is better than no promotion. It all adds up.


I’ll get off the soap box now