I have heard it said that a writer should never include chapters of their novel on the web, especially at their website. I have also heard that self-publishing is the kiss of death for a novel. Many old school editors and writers profess that agents and editors will not consider that which has been published online or is self-published. Worse yet, self-published novels do not sell. Perhaps sometimes these things are true, but I am sure they are not true in all situations.
Seth Harwood recently spoke at the Redwood Writer’s Club on how to podcast your novel before it had reached publication. In other words, produce a chapter each week for others to download and listen to on their MP3 players. This way, your writing gets out there and you get an idea on how well your work is received. Mr. Harwood said that he actually sold his book by giving it away. You can read all about Seth here: http://sethharwood.com
J.A. Joshi is a self-published writer who I greatly admire. She participates in the Writer’s Digest online forum. Ms. Joshi also self-published Follow the Cowherd Boy through Trafford. In her mid twenties, she followed her own intuition about how to publish her book, went on a marketing spree across the country, and has shared many of her adventures with the writing forum. She now has a wonderful blog: http://jaijoshiz.blogspot.com/
As a writer, I think many of the rules to selling your work are timeless. Spelling and grammar should be impeccable, story should be well crafted and in line with what sells today. Read writer’s guidelines and follow them to a tee. Read the type of stories we like to write. However, I think that the acceptable manner of publication is changing as the internet becomes more predominant in our lives. Change is important, and it is even more important to move with the changing times.
In my own writing life, I am proud to say I am working hard on my novel. I am on chapter 11 (no, it is not about bankruptcy). While I was on vacation a few weeks back, I wrote anywhere from two to four hours a day. My goals are to write one to two hours a day on my novel, as well as write and sell more short stories.
What are your writing goals?
Happy writing to all!