I know, I know—sounds like a really depressing blog post, based on the title, doesn’t it? And, I suppose, at another time, the realisation that has recently come to me might indeed have been depressing. However, the truth is, while I have become disenchanted with the whole business of struggling to sell books, it has also been a liberating experience.
It can become something of a treadmill. This isn’t a whinge, of course. I have enjoyed the whole publishing process since the launch of my first novel If I Never. Over the past twelve months or so, however, it has seemed increasingly futile. With the huge growth in independent authorship, the marketplace has become more than crowded—it has become glutted and exhausted and, to my mind, a further expression of vanity publishing at its worst (in many, though not all, cases). To be heard above the promotional hubbub requires something beyond persistence, something I’m not entirely sure I any longer want any part of.
I’ve always known that promotion was a part of the publishing business, naturally. And I have no problem with that. But when it starts to predominate, impact on the writing, and steer one’s creative course … well, something has to be done, right?
So this is how it’s going to be for at least the next twelve months: I’m going to focus almost exclusively on my writing (well, at least as far as my work is concerned; if you’ve been paying attention, you may have spotted that I have other wonderful things going on in my life at the moment—which take precedence over everything else). Promotion will be set completely aside. When my latest project, The Architect, is complete, it will be submitted to mainstream publishers and I will set to work on the next project. More work will be brought out through GWM Publications, but not until 2015. This work will be promoted, naturally, but I will not be spending every last minute on Twitter trying to schmooze people into taking a look at it.
Instead, I’m going to ask my small but faithful band of merry readers to do what they have always been kind enough to do for me and continue spreading the word. Word of mouth is something that I have always acknowledged as the number one promotional method. So, while I get my head down and write the books I hope you will continue to enjoy, please whisper to your friends about me, tell them titbits from my stories, share this blog with them or point them to the free samples on the GWM Publications website … and know that somewhere there is one grateful writer, putting words down, happy in the knowledge that the readers that truly understand what he is trying to do are doing their level best to bring other people on board.
© 2013 Gary William Murning