Monday, 21 November 2011

Getting noticed for your heartbreaker novel: ePub or publisher

Bard raised a good point on my last post that publishers may not be willing to take on my novel if it has been released for free on the web.

It's a good point, and one I have considered very seriously.

For me the decision worked like this.

1. The chances of publishing an unwritten novel is 0%

2. If I don't find new ways to motivate myself (20 years remember) the chance of the novel being written is 0%.

3. Therefore I need to find new ways to motivate myself.

4. I found the feedback from writing my blog, motivating.

5. I will try to harness this motivation and use it to write my novel.


6. Putting my work online risks someone stealing my work.

7. Anonymity is a higher risk for new writers then theft.

8. There are legal avenues to address theft, if it were to occur.


9. I am a fantasy lover, I want to write a trilogy or more.

10. Publishing Book 1 online may just get me enough to be noticed and read by an 'important' person who will pay me a lot of money to write book 2 and 3.

11. Since I don't yet have a written novel I will publish what I do have as a serial in the hope I can use 5 to achieve 10.

Ummmmm...... yeah right.

Dreams, dreams, dreams


  1. Good points -- especially the ones on motivation!

  2. You've seen Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, right? An out-and-out unpublishable fanfic that just happens to be brilliant and has spawned a bunch of cottage industries and fanfics of its own? It also happens to be the best ambassador for everything else its author is trying to say.

    Sometimes giving it away is the best thing to do - if it means you'll write it and even get encouraged to write more. The worst that can happen is that someone gets to read it.

    OTOH, is it possible that your problem is not writing or motivation but perfectionism? Sounds like you have at least one complete draft out there somewhere - offer it to a publisher as-is?

    (That would be my wise wife's advice: I never want to publish anything because to me it seems trivial or trite or just not well-researched enough yet - it's really a kind of armouring against disappointment)
    (Also, I think Stieg Larsson's books suck and that he was right to keep them in his drawer without exposing them to the public gaze, but apparently lots of people disagree and find their lives enriched by his work. Objectively, I am wrong because the value they get out of the books outweighs the effort it costs me to ignore them)

  3. It's a tough one. Some consider the work already published if you do it, some don't consider it published.

    And while that is a true concern, I think in your case, your motivation to continue has to come first.

  4. Thanks for all the positive support everyone. And thanks Happy Whisk - your blog always makes me smile as it is so positive. :)

  5. Happy to make you smile. Keep writing. And come by anytime you lose motivation.

  6. I'm not a novelist. But my experience is this: writing a (complete) book, while satisfying, is not the same as making it available for readers (i.e. publishing) and have someone pick it up and read it. Art, in all its forms, is meant to be shared.

    The great dream is, of course, to be a paid "professional" artist. Keep the dream alive in the back of your mind, but by all means share your art with others.

    [and I'd belay any fears of "theft;" putting something on the internet gives it a date/time stamp that can be used to justify your copyright, if such ever becomes necessary]

    : )

  7. Thanks JB

    Sound advice and a good motivator. Chapter 1 within two weeks.