- We don't like to run around naked.
- We don't like to run around naked outside.
- We're not even sure what sex is (and we've no idea where these 3 kids came from. Anybody want one?)
Big Publishers like to keep it all mystical. Big Authors add to the equation. There is something so secretive about the whole publishing thing. Masonic handshakes, secret codes, conspiracies, etc. Agents on their blogs reveal only 2 kinds of manuscripts; the crap they don't want, or the great stuff they do. But as writers
we know that none of this is actually true.
Manuscripts start off as so much crap and go through various stages of revision, becoming work that an agent will fight for. All the shit of the slush pile could (perhaps) be revised in its entirety into something an agent will fight for.
Why keep all these stages secret? If you're indie, you have the final say in what gets published. Announce your synopsis up front, post early drafts on your blog or website. Don't be cryptic (J. would make a great villain. P. is in love with S but I'm finding it hard to write). Be completely and utterly open and honest, from the start, about your W.I.P.
This idea might be destined for failure. It could be the worst move you've ever made. Or it could cement your readers to you, give you reader loyalty like nothing you'll ever experience. The fact of your honesty, coupled with your readers realising just how much effort goes into producing a finished novel could make them love you. Blog exactly what your editor says. Let them know how much your cover cost. Have them witness every step of your journey.
We think we're going to do this, at least once.
Look, you're not a NY Publisher. Stop thinking like one.
Of course, the other way is to lie. Lie about everything. Lie through your teeth. You're a fiction writer, so live the fiction. Blur the lines between truth and reality. Scathach Publishing is One Man Alone yet we write in the royal plural. If you have a problem with that, take it up with our queen.
People are interested in your books, so brand build around that. Give them what you promise them. If you offer drama, author some drama. If its sex you do well (writing about it, obviously, you gutter whores) then give them passionate steamy sex. That you write about. Don't imbed your home vids inside the blog, cos that's just TMI.
You don't have to bare your soul to connect with your readers. You don't have to run naked through the internet wilderness. Most of you probably wouldn't do it in RL. So why do it online? By all means, though, flash the flesh (or the soul) if you feel it will help. And if you do something and it is a complete fuck up, stop and do something else.
Hope this helps. Now you tell me, do you live the lie or embrace the soul-baring nudity?