For a few years now I have been hard at work in the marketplace of ‘writers and writing’. It’s been an interesting time, and definitely a learning experience. I have come to know many, many people, not only as writers but as friends, and have developed a healthy respect for what writers all over the world are doing.
I’ve also learned to see gaps: gaps in what writers are doing and what they are trying to do. One of these was the ongoing battle with the twin demons of Time and Procrastination, which I tackled last year with my free book Your Biggest Challenge as a Writer, through which I aim to give many writers more hope that they can achieve their dreams over time. From the feedback I’ve been getting about that book, it has certainly had an impact on some people’s lives, though some of its principles are not easy to apply — but the idea was to show others that there is not only a way of living a life centred around writing, but a path to get to that point.
Another gap was the sometimes wide distance between crafted and uncrafted fiction: there are stories which work for readers and stories which just don't. My book How Stories Really Work was designed to help with that, and the five-star reviews over the last four years show that it has certainly assisted some towards mastering the art of fiction.
There are other gaps, though. I have come to see that by far the majority of writers, even those who spend a great deal of time writing, struggle to find the help that they need with certain aspects of the job. Many are not able to afford professional editing fees, cover designers, assistance with putting together blurbs and synopses and so on; and as for the field of marketing, thousands of writers flounder around without direction or distinct aims, hoping that one day they may be ‘discovered’ or that their work will ‘go viral’ in today’s fast-moving world, hopes that are fostered by the social media mirage and the mysteries of algorithms.
I wanted to figure out a way of helping, and I think I have done so — or at least made progress. Therefore, a guide will soon be released which present an array of services and tools offered by Clarendon House. These will range from free gifts through to quite advanced and expensive services, but built into them will be discounts to try to make them more accessible.
I am very aware that the chances of ‘making it big’ in the world of publishing are very low indeed. I am also aware that the chosen few who ‘make it’ are sometimes selected through luck, while those with real writing skill are overlooked. Fiction is such a fickle thing: not only do writers have to combat personal tastes in publishers, they have to play a kind of lottery as far as any progress up the ladder towards commercial success is concerned. But there are ways of playing the game that will increase one’s chances, albeit it just a little.
Please stay tuned for further announcements.