Why do Writers …
Hello Dear Reader
I recently had the honour to give a presentation to the Keele Creative Writing society on magazines. In my many years, I have given numerous presentations to a variety of people on a range of subjects. There have only been a few times when I felt really connected with the audience. Presenting to the KCWS was certainly one of them and it gave me a positive feeling. To stand up in front of any group of people takes more than just self-confidence. Not all writers can do this or in fact need or want to present.
So why do some writers put themselves at the mercy of such events? There are, of course, many responses to this question, many of which can be put down to the simple one of ‘my agent made me do it’. Now this does happen and in this media driven world, there is a huge demand both from the commercial side and the fan base, so long as your book has one. And here can be an interesting problem. Take the following fictitious example. The man in the café has been working on a new book, Matches of Seats. It is just about to become popular but before it does only a few people have read it. How then do you make something popular? By using social media and talking about your book or more to the point, the world you have created. Now starts the game of how to get readers to sell your book or sell your book to get readers.
You want to pitch not just to the agent who will attempt to sell your book but to the, at first niche fan base that might want to enter into your world. Matches of Seats has a number of streams it taps into, dragons, mythical worlds, blood, gore and soap operas on a grand scale. It can rise quickly if not quicker, if it becomes a television sensation. That may cause the writer to be in demand to talk about his book, so more presenting and less time writing. Each book takes time to write and there is that balance between promotion and creation.
There are however other forms of presentation. For myself, giving my presentation was both enjoyable and fulfilling as I was talking to very like-minded writers. It also gave me the chance to talk about an article I had submitted to a magazine and how I had to think about what I was writing. Many writers share their knowledge through their books this way, you need this, otherwise how will others become engaged both in reading and writing. It is difficult, I can imagine, these days to become popular and remain away from the social network.
In the café we find our writer pondering what possible success could bring him. Fame? Money? Maybe the pressure of another successful novel? Success breeds success or so they say. So why did it take one writer nearly 50 years to publish another novel? Others just keep on publishing book after book without what appears a moments breath. It certainly is a diverse universe writers live in not just in what they write, why they write but how they tell others.
As for me, well I certainly was glad of the chance to talk about my magazine article and in turn my book while hopefully giving others ideas.
Tagline: “Read the mag! It’s out in December!”