Phew. I think I’ve finished everything for the writing group’s two collections. Tomorrow it all goes to the printers. It has been hard work and stressful and to be honest I’m glad it’s done and over with and that I can get back, properly, to doing work for me.
Glad I can get back to being a writer.
I’m not, and would never pretend to be, an editor or publisher. And doing what I’ve been doing over these past few weeks has made me realise (or maybe reminded me) how difficult those jobs are. (Writing’s difficult as well, of course, but in a different way, and in a way I’m familiar with.)
Anyway. Back to the question. At the meeting last night we were trying to suss out how many books we’re going to need. We already have orders for the one we’re doing for the British Legion, so that’s kind of simple – we just have to guess how many we’re likely to sell at events. The other one, the one which is a collection of the group’s work, is a little trickier. Some members want to give it to people as presents. Some we’ll sell at readings we’ll do. Some will be on sale at local outlets (library etc).
So, it got to the question of how many we’d each like to order for our own use. When I said that I thought I’d need no more than 2 I saw a few pairs of eyebrows raised.
I think that people thought that, being a writer, I’d know loads of people who’d want to buy a copy. Truth is, I don’t. Truth is, I know plenty of friends who haven’t bought a copy of my book. And why should they? Just because I’ve written one? Don’t think so. Sure, it’d be nice of they did, it’d do my sales no harm at all but (and it’s the first time I’ve really thought about this)…
And I think this is the point.
I don’t write for my friends or my family. I write to be read by people who’ll buy or read my stuff because they like the look of it, because they think they’ll enjoy it.
I’m not suggesting for a minute that the only people who’ll read my writing group’s stories will be doing so out of pity or obligation. And I don’t think I’m being a misery-guts in not sending a copy to everyone I know. I didn’t do it with my book after all. And I certainly didn’t intend my comments to be offensive. I’m very proud of what the group have written (I wouldn’t agree to put the book out if I wasn’t). There are plenty of good stories and poems in there.
So I’m curious. What do you guys think of this? When or why do you buy books? Who would you give books to? Am I being a great big meanie?
(And just so there’s not any confusion: I love my writing group and think they’re all fab people and writers; and I ended up agreeing to buy more than 2 copies of the anthology…!)