Desireable Traits

I received an email informing me that I now have a follower.  For my WordPress blog.  I had forgotten I had a WordPress blog and so this served as a timely reminder to submit another post.

 For those of you reading the google blog, don’t worry, the two are exactly the same.  You might ask the point of this but I would rather you didn’t.

 Where have I been? I hear you wondering.  What have I been doing? Why have I been so lackadaisical blogwise? 

 Actually none of you would use the expression blogwise, so please count the above as an internal monologue rather than a series of rhetorical questions.

 The answer is: Writing

 The best excuse in the world.  Normally I write this blog as a sort of distraction from the real job of getting on with my novel.  Recently, the novel has sprung into life and demands to be written.

 Writing a novel is a lot like reading one.  The first twenty thousand words or so are relatively hard going.  New characters have to be learned about, new situations have to be adjusted to.  Then, when enough time and effort has been invested, the whole process becomes much less effort.  There is a point where the story takes over, we care what happens to the characters and we have to keep turning the page.

 I’m 30,000 words into Proceeds of Crime, about a third of the way through if I measure it with Due Diligence.  Believe it or not, the end is now in sight and I am accelerating towards it.  Great fun.

 The debate still rages about what to do with Due Diligence.  One major publisher is reading it, one small publisher has asked to see it and I have sent it to an agent.

 Even if one of the publishers wants it, that will probably mean 18 months before I get published.  Time, as I keep on remarking, is not on my side.

 There is also money to be considered.

 Take a conventional publisher.  They would pay me about 10% royalties.  On a £5 book, that would be 50 pence.  If I sell 10,000 books I get £5000.

 If I self publish, I would typically get £1 per book based on the profit on a paperback print-on-demand cost.  Electronic sales would earn about £2 for every £2.99 copy sold on Amazon.  To earn £5000 with an e-book I would have to sell 2,500 copies.

 You will appreciate that the big number in all this is the copies sold estimate.  Will a conventional publisher sell four time the copies that I could myself?

 The answer is yes, probably, and more besides.  As my primary aim is to be read, rather than maximise income, the conventional route seems best.

 So, this is my plan.  I’m going to finish Proceeds of Crime then publish Due Diligence myself if no credible publisher grabs it first.  This way, if I manage to create a readership I have another book for them while they’re still receptive.  So DD will be out before the end of 2012.  In time for Christmas!

 Let me know what you think about this.

 Another thing:

 There’s a website called I Write Like where you paste in some text and it analyses who you write like.  I suppose the name of the site gave that one away.

 I put in the first chapter of Due Diligence and it came up with: David Foster Wallace

 I put in the second chapter and : Margaret Atwood

 Third chapter: James Joyce

 I rest my case.


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