Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Update to 'Authors Have Feelings Too.'

Thank you to all who posted comments on my ‘Authors Have Feelings Too’ post. I appreciate the kind words of support. I feel I owe you an update.

Last year was a tough year for me on several fronts. My confidence did take a serious knock and hasn’t yet fully recovered. To add to my demoralisation sales of my books have slowed to the point of inertia, as I haven’t produced anything new and in order to stay ahead you have to keep churning out the goods.  I have never been able to handle the conveyor belt method of production.

More and more people have now jumped aboard the indie self-publishing bandwagon, including mainstream publishers who at first scorned it and declared it to be a passing fad. It is now very difficult to get yourself noticed so to speak, especially if you don’t have a big advertising budget. Some of the ebook retail sites, not satisfied with taking a meaty chunk of commission from every single sale, have gotten a wee bit greedy IMHO and have shoved their ad rates through the roof and beyond the pockets of mere indie mortals such as myself.

It seems to me that the day of the true indie author may already be in decline. It was a short-lived reign. Things will go back as they once were with agents and big publishers cornering and controlling the market and calling the shots on what, and who, will be published. I’d love to be wrong. Indie self-publishers have been unfairly castigated and condemned as bringing low quality porn into the marketplace. They have also brought more diversity than has ever been seen and introduced entire new genres to scores of readers.

Anyway, leaving aside publishing politics, to cap it all I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease in November last year and am still struggling to cope with the repercussions on both my physical and mental health. Visits to the hospital to see various consultants seem to take up a good deal of time.

Let’s take a moment to be upbeat, instead of a bloody moaning old misery, and say that I am trying to get back into the writing zone. I want to finish The Postcard series and pen other stories too. I’m trying to discard the notion that high sales are the only mark of success and that reviews (aka personal opinions) somehow matter in the great scheme of things. I’ve accepted that I will never be able to make a living from writing as such, and that’s okay. Writing is about the joy of words, the pleasure of creating characters and taking them on a journey.

So, in between hospital visits and chronic fatigue I hope the muse will be able to pencil in a date to visit and inspire me once again. It would be nice to have the words flowing out again instead of having them crawling like a geriatric slug. Fingers crossed! :-) Take care everyone. 

Fabian Black

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