I haven’t read any Stephen King books because I’m not into the thriller/horror/mystery genre, but I decided I wanted to read his On Writing, and I’m really enjoying it. The man values the literary arts more than I had expected. His turn of phrase is entertaining and delightful. I particularly love his humility in sharing an excerpt of his own work, unedited and then rewritten, for the reader to see how he goes about the process of refining his work.
But when he gets to the heart of his book and states that while he believes an incompetent writer can become competent, a good writer can never be great, I cannot agree.
I was recently contacted by a new author who has had a rather frustrating experience since publishing her first book, and so thought I'd share some of her story in the spirit of 'Buyer Beware – Publishing Traps for the Unwary'.
This highly qualified writer – she's a PhD and lecturer in literature – was inspired to write a book on self-esteem for youth, and when finding a publisher seemed too difficult, she signed up with what is known in the industry as a 'vanity press'.