It really is becoming as stark as that. I decided over the weekend, after interviewing James Ellroy, that it is actually immoral of me to steal time to write fiction when I could be writing freelance material that will actually earn real money. And that’s not even factoring in the time I steal away from my family on the ‘writing’, a catch-all word which includes, these days, reading and blogging too. Someone who liked my books asked me over the weekend, rather facetiously, how come I haven’t sold a million books. I said, rather facetiously, that it was because no one put a million dollars worth of advertising spend behind them. It’s not quite that simple, of course, but there’s a significant element of truth in that.
I can’t argue with his priorities in this post.
However, he acts as if he’s some obscure bloke no one has ever heard of.
Hell, I haven’t read him yet — but I’ve heard of him. I’ve seen him cited or mentioned by writer after writer in that genre!
Sarah Weinman beat me to a post about this, so I get to link to her too: On Giving Up the Fiction Ghost
Like her, I hope he’ll change his mind.
This is a tumultuous time in publishing. People such as myself won’t buy print any longer. I want digital. So do all those others out there who have spent lots of money on Sony Readers, abominable Kindles, other crappy eInk devices, as well as the sleek iPhone and iPod Touch. We don’t want to have to decide which damned paper brick to lug around. And we’re too smart to be suckered into paying exorbitant print prices for lightly-tarted up text files under the guise of ePub for Seniors. This is seriously hurting many writers who are innocents in the crossfire between the pearl clutchers of print who won’t publish most writers in e at a reasonable price and a new marketplace with demands that are bound to change very soon.
For all writers who are contemplating throwing in the towel: Just keep writing. It will all work out.