Who Will Read Your Manuscript? Would You Ever Pay?
I suspect this post will have more questions than answers but, hey ho, here we go.
Over the years I’ve received many manuscripts from writers, some terrific, some good, some really awful, and I can honestly say every one had some merit, even the absolute worst manuscript I ever read. And it always set me thinking ‘I wonder if I am the only one who will get to read this work before it is published and my opinion will be the only one the writer seeks?’‘
Now that is a terrible burden for anyone. But it happens. However, I would guess that it happens far less today than it did say ten years ago. It’s much easier these days to send manuscripts by email (no cost involved), or to print them out yourself at home and hand them to friends or relations for their view. (home printing costs only)
But this in itself raises a tricky situation…are your friends and relations the right ones to comment on your work?
I think most of us, as writers, would realise that ‘relations’ are possibly the worst people we could ask. Not all, I grant you, but most?Not that they don’t know their stuff, I have a relation who has read more books than I’ve had hot dinners (a literary term) and she certainly would know if my potential blockbuster was any good or not. But would she tell me if it stank? I doubt it.
So here come the questions. Assuming you’ve just finished re-writing and editing your next ‘self-published’ novel/children’s book….who do you get to read it and comment as to whether it’s any good or not? And how many readers do you contact? Any relations? Friends? Work colleagues? Mates down the pub? The lady next door? The chap you say hello to every morning in the paper shop? Tricky? You bet.
I’d be glad to know the answers to the above questions if anyone cares to tell me. It’s not easy.
Then we come to a very thorny question. Would you as a ‘wanna-be best selling author’ ever pay anyone to read your work and comment honestly on it? Have a good think about that. And who would they be? Who could you really rely on or trust?
Answers please on the back of an old white five pound note.