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Comment from the book world in June 2013

June 2013

A bestselling author's view of self-pubishing

24 June 2013

'I've enjoyed my work self-publishing, and I will never rule out the possibility of self-publishing something again in the future, but right now, I'd rather focus on my writing instead of stressing about formatting and pricing and book covers and finding editors.'

Amanda Hocking, who has just sold a new series to St Martins' Press, in Bookbrunch

'I wasn't even into vampires.'

17 June 2013

'Most of the time, I'm just like, "Ah, you're right, I'm horrible: I should just quit now. But for a long time, y'know, I heard nothing but positive. At the very beginning, in fact, it was my sister who pretty much bullied me into sending out letters to agents, and it took me maybe only two months to get one - and then, a month later, to get a book deal. So it wasn't the normal paying-your-dues kind of thing. I got my negative later. And maybe it's better that way around, because I'm easily discouraged. It's hard for me to believe compliments, and very easy for me to believe insults. I don't know if that's just me, or if women are naturally more critical of themselves.

I wasn't even into vampires. It was this weird, fluky thing where the story really possessed me for awhile. It was also actually a huge relief to have something to do with my brain. I had all these little babies, and I didn't really talk to people any more - I was just physically caring for people, all day long.'

Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series in The Times magazine

'How to use the crime novel differently'

10 June 2013

'It was a bit unimaginable when I began that I'd ever get to 25 books. But it was also unimaginable how much crime-writing would have changed. In hindsight, I can see that several things happened at the same time. Literary fiction in the UK became very interested in critical theory and lost its relationship with narrative and, to some extent, with the reader. It stopped taking them on a journey from a beginning to a middle to an end. But there were still a lot of young writers who wanted to tell those stories and a lot of us turned to genre where the narrative arc still held true. And these writers also wanted to keep themselves interested, so there were lots of ideas about how to use the crime novel differently.'

Val McDermid in the Guardian

From a 'pathetic saddo' to a published author

3 June 2013

'The publication of my first book, The Cry of the Wolf - still in print after all these years with Andersen Press - turned me overnight from a pathetic saddo who wrote reams of stuff no one ever read into a published author. It's a narrow line.

Fifteen years! It goes to show what a hard thing good writing is, Sometimes writers do fall from the sky complete, like a shower of frogs - although it is usually frogs that fall, and not, say T S Eliot - but most of us have to work at it.

That's the bad news, but there's good news too, which is that it's not hard - like you have to have a huge brain or even be all that talented. It's hard like you have to practise...

The good news for writers is, we don't have to spend all our hours actually writing. We practice when we read. By the time you're an accomplished reader, you're probably already a quarter of the way there. But the rule remains. Practise and you'll get there. Don't and you won't. I've known many wonderfully talented people who were desperate to write but failed simply because they couldn't take the rejection. That's something else- you're going to need a skin like a rhinoceros.'

Melvyn Burgess, author of The Hit, in The Times