Thursday, 10 September 2015

Don't give up!

I don’t have time to go to forums all that much (or indeed blog, mores the pity), but it seems that recently whenever I have I’ve come across writers throwing in the towel. There seems to be a common assumption that poor writing / storytelling is the reason for poor sales. In truth, it could be any of a number of factors why you’re not selling as well as you would like. Everything from weak covers to switching genre too much or not spending enough time marketing can leave you struggling for sales. Also, as you publish more your perceptions change, and I’ve seen people giving up in disappointment at failing to meet their expectations when they’re actually selling more per day than I am, and I have no intention whatsoever of giving up (to be honest, I’m too busy writing and publishing to think about it). The goalposts are constantly shifting, and you’re going to take a lot of knocks. I’ve come across people who couldn’t take a word of criticism without acting like it was a knife in the gut, and the answer might be that if you really can’t handle such criticism then perhaps you shouldn’t be doing something that’s in the public eye. In short, though, we all get slated at one time or another. I’ve had plenty of bad reviews, but I’ve had plenty of good ones too.

Bad reviews are part of a writer’s life, but remember, that one man’s junk is another man’s gold.

Here are some I’ve had for my short story The Cold Pools, which really seems to polarize opinion. You have:

It was short so the fact that I wasted my time is balanced out against it
 being free is some Karma. I have put the author on my "do not read" list.


… the author must hate his life situation. There must be some glimmer of hope
 for the world which is lost in his vision of the last days of humanity. 
I feel sorry for him...and that i read this book.


This was a traumatically beautiful short story.


Heartbreaking and beautiful. You couldn't write more with out ruining the story.
A masterpiece of a short story. Thank you sir for writing it.

Which illustrates how two people can love and hate the same thing. As long as you’re getting more good ones than bad, you’re doing okay.

Don’t give up!

Chris Ward
11th September 2015