Thursday, 21 November 2013

Yes, You Too Can Be An Author


Yes, Luna and I are back to spew our mad rantings. You might want to run now and that’s okay we won’t hold it against you.  Well, maybe I will but Luna won’t she is the nice one. Especially, tonight since she has tea and swiss rolls to keep her happy. I however have a cold so I will be the hateful one.

On to the topic at hand, authors. Authors used to be someone who sat at a desk scribbling their thoughts on to the page but now they are the ones sitting behind a computer screen pulling their hair out. Or maybe that is just the ones we know. Writing used to be a very solitary profession but with the computer it has made authors more accessible. Now the problem with that is that people now get to know the authors. For most this is a good thing but the downside is that people now realize that authors are just like them or so they think. This has put the idea in some people’s heads that since authors are just like them then they too can become a writer. This is where it gets scary.

If you ever talk to authors they will tell you that they have characters talking to them all the time. These are people that live in their heads (why I don’t know). Most people who have imaginary friends that talk to them are put in the wonderful jackets that help you hug yourself. They are then given some really nice drugs too. Where authors let their imaginary friends run rampant on the page so they can share their antics with the rest of the world. This is one of the ways you can tell the difference between an author and a trying to be.
We will separate the authors from the scribblers. Authors plot and plan their tales and adventures and make them into a coherent story.  Most agonize over every word and detail of each sentence. They want this to be the story that their characters deserve and their readers want.  After they finish their books they send it off to a publisher who will give it to an editor. Editors oh how authors love them. They read the story and make suggestions. They are there to help the author tell a better story. They then send the manuscript back. The author will then read over it and work on it some more. Some will then send it to beta’s others just send it back to the editor. Each step in this process helps the author make a better book for their readers. This is very important. This is one way to tell the difference between and an author and a scribbler.

Now after a while these authors are able to do most of these steps on their own. Some decide that for whatever reasons want strike out on their own and step into the world of self-publishing. Some keep beta readers to help catch some of the errors that are going to be made no matter what. For some this is a very freeing experience for others they find that they are not ready to do all this work on their own. Now you say where do the authors go for self-publishing. There are a variety of places, Amazon and places like Smashwords not to mention many others. For some this is the perfect way to get their work out there to the masses without publishers who sometimes delay books or just don’t want to publish them. Some succeed others do not.

Anyone can call themselves an author and publish what they’ve written on these sites that let you post your wares for sale. Does that honestly make you an “Author” or just a trying-to-be wannabe author? Yes people can buy your stories, whether they be short, long or mega sized, but what exactly is the criteria for the title of “Author” when all these site let every Tom, Jane and Mary go about like this? Sometimes the self-publishing can be a good thing. It can help the amateur author who has some rough talent get the platform they need to get their work noticed by the right people. Or it could give false  hope to those who are desperate to be a writer but simply don’t have the talent for it.  We have seen some downright dreadful dreck published. It’s like the unconditional love syndrome when your family tells you that you sing very well, but they just say it to be kind. Just because your friends like what you’ve written does not mean it will be the next great Novel that will be made into a movie franchise.

So what are your thoughts on self-publishing? Do you like it or do you want to hunt down some of the wannabes and beat them with a dictionary/thesaurus?

Sinfully Sarcastic,
Shmuttmeister & Luna

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