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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Modern writer in nutshell

With emerging digital technologies and possibilities to share content, this century has started the most thrilling times for writing and reading.
The diminishing influence of classic publishers and established reviewers opened the gate of literature for those who, under older circumstances, would have been sentenced to self-publishing or giving up on writing completely.

Well, not that a self-publishing ceased to exist (such claim would be ridiculous), but self-publishing evolved from embarrassing freakishness to recognized modern way of how to deliver content. 

Twenty years ago, when I had sent my manuscript to publisher with slight chance of response, I had no other proper meaning to offer my work to public audience.
Today as I am writing my blog, I do not care for publishers anymore. Sure enough I have no guarantee of success; but at least I am sure that my work relies solely on my effort . With no intermediator,  entitled to refuse a manuscript on whim, I am completely on my own and I like it.
Why is that? First of all, such shift had not negative impact on me. With help of publisher, I was lucky enough to release my first book and frankly speaking, it was rather cold shower for me. I still remember how the editor told me she stopped to correct one of my mistakes because the same mistake had been occurring through all my text. I was bewildered then, yet gradually I got to understand that I should not have been complaining; quite the opposite, I should have been thankful for opportunity I got as the others were refused much sooner.
Whatever! My personal anecdote aside, let's examine what one can obtain after breaking through the  gate of publishing house and getting a contract. 

One should receive three undeniable advantages: 
  • proof-reading, 
  • promotion,
  • and established distribution channel.
In my opinion, we can safely dismiss the latter two as insignificant in oncoming digital age. To print beletry on paper seems like waste of wood to me while distribution via digital  e-shops is available for everyone. 
As for promotion, from what I have learned, the publishers do bare minimum for their authors, unless the authors are the best-selling celebrities - the geese hatching golden eggs. In that case, I have no reason to doubt willingness of publishing house to invest into proper promotion. 
On the other hand, I wonder whether such celebrity would not be better off on her own, as hiring good marketing agency might be a cheaper alternative.
The same goes for proof-reading. One can find and buy decent proof-reading service if one needs to. Nevertheless, after my bitter (though limited) experience with editors I am reluctant to waste my money here.
Allow me to explain. Being not native English speaker, I would love to have a caring editor as  my command and sense of this language have to be inferior to British, Austrian, or American writers who enjoy natural advantage over me. 
But when it comes to my mother language, the situation differs dramatically. With help of modern text editor I more than capable to prepare my Czech text for e-publishing, no outsourced editor necessary.
After all, this is what I believe in. The true writer has to master his language to such extent that help of proof-reader  should be optional, not mandatory.  

Don't forget to check out this topic from different point of view.

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