Going to Europe soon. Should be in touch but maybe not as frequently. Lessons from the internet & the world of independent publishing
MORE THAN LITERARY MERIT
Well. I’m going to Europe soon so may experience security issues with Yahoo and Google who expect me to be working from Thailand. Before I get myself embroiled back “home” I feel I need to summarise what I think I’ve learnt over my short life-span with the internet, self-publishing, web-sites and lots of other new stuff. (My school never had a computer as far as I can recall.)
Short & sweet – keep it short and sweet.
Needle in haystack – I’m a needle in a haystack.
Twitter is great.
Scriggler is great.
For a novel to do well it needs more than literary merit.
Don’t expect reviewers to review – some will, some won’t.
Amazon might answer a query but there again don’t hold your breath waiting for it to answer.
When I published my novel “Collected Selected Words” I thought I knew the sort of person who might not like it but number 8 is : Don’t underestimate your critics.
Here I need to write :
“The world is narrowed to a single sound :
Your crying in an empty room.”
which concludes a poem I wrote many years ago. And here is an email I wrote just this morning:
"Hi, me again,
"Collected Selected" is not just one chapter & I happen to live with a lady who brushed with Thailand's sex industry nine years ago. The book also establishes why sex tourism thrives, & explores the girls' views & the misfits' views. The "phenomenon" is not just confined to Thailand, of course, but Thailand’s “poverty”, social ills & corruption join hands with the seven deadly sins to waltz and tango to their hearts’ content. The developed world looks on, leers and sneers.
Thanks for being frank with me, though. Much appreciated.”
I hope it is clear my novel is being shunned because it goes into detail about a go gos but the narrator’s views change, too, as the novel progresses. Moral force is the narrator’s father who is selfish, and flawed, and the developed world sneers through an article “Investigation : Bar girl and the expat : a killing foretold”. The book tries to explore many other topics, for example, ageism.
But why the quote from the poem “The world is narrowed to a single sound”? It’s there because I wrote that poem just as I wrote the novel which is coming in for stick because of graphic details about Pattaya a go gos (as well as a slow beginning).
When you go to Amazon’s top 100 you see the sort of fiction which really appeals but you also know that today’s best seller is unlikely to be tomorrow’s. There’s something absolute about change.
I hope to continue to use the internet without problems in Italy and the UK. My thanks for now to everyone I have “met” in the world of self-publishing. Thanks as well to the retweeters. My critics? Of course, thanks to you, too, because as an acquaintance mentioned only last week, “Jon, if I review your book I won’t give it five stars. Anything that always gets five stars is looked on with suspicion!”