If you could change the world, would you?

Perhaps I should have called this, You can change the world, will you? Theoretically – I am sure science will back me up – we can all change the world. We all do – philosophers will back me up on this one – every day.

Or maybe I should have called it FREE X-BOX IF YOU CLICK LIKE AND SEND TO FIVE FRIENDS..

Any wannabe writer starts with the rules, the must-do’s, can’t avoids and suck it ups. Very few of them have much to do with grammar, not losing sleep over that, but they also have very little to do with storytelling and everything to do with marketing.

I don’t want to be a marketer. I don’t even like the word.

If I self-publish I am my own everything. If I traditionally publish, I am my own everything.. .. no, apparently if I make it far enough they will handle the film rights. Ignoring the slight over exaggeration, which I like for the rhetoric, it still feels that how you market yourself matters more than how well you write. The query, the genre, the timing, the platform..

Getting picked up by a publisher is at least partly out of your hands, but a self-published author can theoretically suit themselves, cross genres, break conventions; a very good reason to self-publish.  Can you however suit yourself when it comes to marketing?

A recent article recently claimed that the huge outpouring of new self- published novels has so completely flooded the market that the vast majority were greeted by resounding silence; a thought that haunted me. All those books, piles upon piles of books stacking up, stretching out into the dim and infinite recesses of the internet, where only the dry echo of dust shifting is ever heard; a line that leads straight to purgatory, it might be purgatory… ( I try to stick to the facts I do.. but I can’t help looking for the story.  Geography class was a nightmare –  all those exotic locations and we were supposed to concentrate on population growth… )

But it doesn’t feel dim or distant. It feels close enough to scratch my eyes. Not just because I know writers who are already in this situation, but because the option is sitting there waiting to be taken; it could be me.

I don’t want to be a marketer. I don’t want to be your marketer; I don’t want to be mine. There is no doubt it is easier for some than it is for me… or others like me. A good friend of mine works in marketing; her job mostly involves going on free holidays. I still don’t want to be a marketer. Then there are those that think on the outside. They would sell you their left over frosties, a subscription to their gym (that they’ve never been to) and some tealights – you can never have too many tealights – all before breakfast and probably not even know they were doing it.

I’m not being entirely selfish though. What’s so wrong with the right people in the right job? Writers writing, marketers marketing. I don’t expect my friend to whip up a nice sci-fi dystopia on her lunch break. And if she did, a woman who needed the Adjustment Bureau explained to her, would that book be read because of her undoubted storytelling genius or because she shouted the loudest in those dim recesses?

You could put your book out. Let it stand, let it fall, just let it be, whatever it is, to be discovered by those who are looking, those few like you, searching for the right words, able to hear them for what they are, even if they are almost silent. On Amazon there are currently 288, 890 titles listed under contemporary fiction, 227, 856 under crime, 138,730 under fantasy…

If you can change the world, should you? If you don’t like the way things work are you obligated to make a stand or for forever hold your wheesht?

When does selling out become giving up?

When does not selling out become giving up?

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