Tuesday, 19 March 2013

A Year in the Life... more perspectives

Last week, five independent authors shared their experiences of getting published. Today, two more writers join the debate. Triskele Books author Jasper Dorgan and ALLiA member Dan Holloway tell us what they've learned since they took the leap into independent publishing.


An author’s lot is a lonely one. The writing can’t be done by anyone else but you. Some human contact of kindred spirits, who are not always necessarily kindred, can be found in the best peer review sites but they are still distant and for the most and inevitable part of the roller coaster processes of writing a book you are on your own.  But of course it’s not a book yet, it’s only a manuscript. That’s what I had a year ago. 90,000 painstakingly crafted words on paper, or rather hidden away in the cyber caves. I didn’t have a book.
I would not be published without the help given by my fellow Triskele authors and friends. In the last year I have learned from them about script editing and typesetting and cover design and ISBN licensing and POD and e-booking and most of all I have learned that  it takes a person to write a book but it takes a team to make it. A real, live book. My book. There are scant few thrills to compare to it. Apart from writng the next.



I made the decision to write “seriously”, in the sense that I thought it’d be cool for someone other than me to read what I wrote, in 2007. By 2008 I had decided that I was going to self-publish because no self-respecting (or shareholder-respecting) publisher was going to go near my weird and quirky bits of literary fiction. By January 2009 I had started a collective of like-minded individuals and we had an absolute ball, pushing each other to new levels of weirdness and quirk, exploring form and the boundaries of media and genre with absolutely no one to be answerable to. The self-publishing community seemed to be full of creative anarchists and refuseniks and I loved it. Then along came Kindle and very quickly that changed. Self-publishing was flooded with entrepreneurs, people who wanted to make more bucks by by-passing those in the middle. The media got interested in self-publishing – because it was financially making waves. For those of us who’d set out in 2008/9 it felt like our skateboard park had been bulldozed to make room for yuppie winebars. And then in the last 12 months, things changed again. Quickly. More and more small presses seemed to be popping up doing exciting, uncommercial, experimental things, the kind of things we’d loved doing when we set out. I feel almost like I’ve come full circle, and am seriously considering submitting my work for the first time in years. Self-publishing is no longer the creative frontier – it hasn’t been fro two or more years. But now we have such a frontier again – with small presses.

Dan Holloway (http://danholloway.wordpress.com) runs the small imprint 79 rat press (http://79ratpress.blogspot.com) whose first 6 titles are coming out in June of this year.

No comments:

Post a Comment