I’ve seen this trend more and more today; a person thinks he has a story to tell, wants to write a book, and haphazardly puts it together to get it out for the world to read. After that much of said person’s energies are concentrated on marketing activities, from social media to cross platform blogs, web ads, and much more.
I call it the Chetan Bhagat syndrome. No, really, I do. For all his success, Chetan Bhagat’s writing caters to the masses and his stories are written like readymade Bollywood scripts – and hey, if it works for him, then more power to him. And his success has been tremendous. But because of that we have a number of people trying to follow in his footsteps, many of them with barely half the talent and more love for being ‘published’ and ‘famous’.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of Chetan Bhagat’s writing by any means, but I do respect his success. From IIM to writing, and succeeding as well as he did with it, that is something which has to be respected. And though his writing reads like a simple story from start to end, he has delivered for his target market and become a hit with them.
With the advent of self-publishing and vanity publishing presses ready to publish whatever you write – for a fee – the market is littered with sub-par books filled with numerous grammatical as well as typographical errors. It seems that in the quest to become a ‘published’ and ‘renowned’ author, most people have forgotten the essence of what it means to be an author, and hence, despite being published, they are further from the true essence of being a writer than ever before.
Most of these faux-authors write a book, do not bother with editing, create a Facebook page for it, and invite people to like it or make sponsored posts, while putting it up on e-commerce sites to get a wide reach. In fact most of the times instead of getting opinions of editors and proper beta-readers to go through their work with a fine-toothed comb, a lot of them hurry forward and put it out to get the ‘published’ tag, not realizing that having their names on sub-par works only reduces their credibility and is harmful for their writing career – which won’t be long if they continue in the same vein without learning from their mistakes.
Self-publishing if used rightly is a wonderful tool which gives more power to the creator, but only concentrating on the marketing and advertising aspect of it to the exclusion of the actual writing is detrimental to the writer’s interests and should be avoided at all costs. You may be a decent writer and an excellent marketer and get some amount of success, but if you are an excellent writer then your words and your story will stand on its own. Your work will be judged on its own merit, and the readers will themselves spread word about your novel.
So if you want your words to stand the test of time, be a writer at heart first and a marketer second.
Image Courtesy : http://www.bnlug.org/How-To-Market-Your-Book-With-Social-Media-710×597.jpg