Guest Blog by Victoria Watson

Editor’s notes: This is a guest post by Victoria Watson, writer of “Letting Go“. She’s a self published author who kicks ass and takes names. Mostly kicks ass, and sadly, very little name taking. 🙂 – L. Vera

As the weeks roll on, the hype regarding JK Rowling’s first adult novel continues to grow. ‘The Casual Vacancy’ isn’t due out until the end of September but bookshops and online retailers are battling it out, offering all sorts of special pre-order deals.

The woman who is known worldwide for the Harry Potter series is now branching out into the world of adult fiction and the media have had a field day. Why, though? Harry may have been written for children but it surpassed all expectations. It was widely accepted that you might see adults on the train or by the pool reading about the adventures of Harry and his friends. Bloomsbury Publishing even reissued the books with adult covers but, let’s be honest, the covers hadn’t put too many people off.

Why is everyone getting so excited about the release of an adult book from Rowling? Because everyone likes writers to be pigeon-holed. JK Rowling has been known as a “children’s writer” but now that she is writing an adult book, it’ll be much harder to define her.

As a writer, one of the first questions people ask you is “What do you write?” I find that one difficult as I write all sorts of things. I’ve tried my hand at chick lit, brit grit and all sorts of s**t. My collection ‘Letting Go’ is available on Amazon worldwide now. I decided to put together a collection because I had eight short stories waiting to be read. The only thing these stories had in common was that they all have a twist in the tale.

‘Letting Go’ hasn’t been published in the conventional sense. It’s only available as an e-book at the moment, I don’t have an agent nor do I have a publisher. “How is this so?” I hear you ask. I self-published my collection. Some people think this isn’t a bad idea. The opinion that only losers or failures self publish is fairly common; but the e-book and e-reader revolution means that self-publishing is actually seen as a great way to establish yourself as a writer. It’s acknowledged in the publishing world that self-publishing is a great way to build a fan base and increase recognition of you and your work. If you then approach an agent with impressive sales figures, you are proving yourself to be a valuable asset. If you can demonstrate an ability to make money, any agent will want a cut of that!

I self-published my short stories because it gives me independence over my work. I don’t write in one particular genre at the moment and going through a traditional agent and publisher route often means you have to be “classified” in one genre or another. I haven’t quite found one genre I want to write in – maybe I never will – but at the moment, self-publishing allows me more freedom to experiment with genres, voices and topics. I see this as an opportunity to hone my craft, gather reviews, feedback and hopefully one or two people who enjoy my work. What I also like about self-publishing is the control I have over the end product.

Being defined by a genre helps a writer because it makes a pitch easier when writing to an agent and then when the agent pitches to a publisher. However, why should a talented writer be pigeon-holed? Why not take every idea that appears and run with it?

I think JK Rowling’s foray into adult fiction may blaze a trail for the rest of us.

If you’re in the UK, you can download ‘Letting Go’ here.

In the states, ‘Letting Go’ is available here.

You can also read more of my work on my blog.

You can catch me at goodreads.com and twitter @vpeanuts 

Advertisements

4 Comments

  1. Go for it, Victoria, and don’t let anyone snub either your intent or your work. I’ve been down the main publisher route. Only a few hit the big time; for most it is a lesson in disillusionment. Being an indie is a huge learning curve and is not pathed with the gold that some imagine, but as a writer-publisher you stand by your own decisions. The sense of control is wonderful, the sense of achievement vast. And the cheques each month aren’t bad, either.

  2. Really interesting article, Victoria. I suppose pigeonholing is an issue for many authors. That’s why they turn to pseudonyms when they need to break away from their “brand.”

    Whatever choice you make with your publishing routes, just make sure you stay true to your creativity. There’s not enough money in this game to do otherwise.

    That said, if you get a $1 million advance to write “ketchup” 80,000 times, take it.

  3. Hey watsovvvvvv I’m so pleased to see you are doing really well for yourself. By any chance is Letting Go available for download on android phones? You always were more teccy than me lol. Xx


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s