I will never be not published again.
That may seem obvious to people reading this right now because I am on the doorstep of having my 11th and 12th publishing project hit the shelves in 2011 and the truth is, my publishing wares have never been more popular.
As an author, that’s everything you hope for. (A line pointing upwards, that is.)
But the thing that is remarkable to me about my opening sentence is that I spent 14 years trying to make it as a professional writer being rejected, cutting my teeth, learning my craft, being forced to improve my work, and so on. Clearly, that made me a better writer. (Reluctant as I may have been to admit it back in the day, my skills still needed work before they were fit for making the grade.)
However, with the advent of ePublishing and eReading upon us, there are no more barriers to entry in a way and thus curation – via agents, editors, copy-editors, acquisition teams and so on – is a bar being lowered… if not downright removed.
To me that means that lower quality writing is certainly on its way into our eReading devices.When it’s too easy to do something and too many people are attempting to do it, an overload of crap ensues. (Doubt me? Think expansion in Major League Baseball.)
Becoming known for quality should, theoretically, become a leg up in an upcoming onslaught of wordy white noise and publishing sludge.
To the aspiring writer I’d would offer caution. Why? Because first impressions, once created, are really hard to shake.
Just because you can publish something doesn’t mean you always should. From half-naked photos of doing tequila shots on Facebook to poorly constructed, non-edited novels that ramble, have thin characterization and holes the size of craters in the plot, remember, the internet has a long, deep memory and a bad review of your work will hunt your writing like a shadow for years and years and years.
Interesting times, these are. And some people are clearly going to be given enough rope to hang themselves.
Always remember, quality counts.