An author friend of mine, Pam Lecky, asked a question today concerning how authors find readers, which has encouraged me to reissue this post which poses more or less the same question. Does it answer it? No, not really, but it’s worth a giggle!
Once upon a time – back in the days before the world wide whatnot – when I had a proper job, I was an engineer.
‘Oh really,‘ I hear you cry, ‘what did you engineer?‘
Well that’s not really going to be the point of today’s lesson, so let’s for the sake of simplicity just reply to that question – widgets.
Yes, widgets. Of all shapes and sizes. And as a widget engineer I was priviledged to receive, once a month, a copy of Widget Engineering News. In fact anybody who was anybody, and even me, in the field of widget engineering was on the mailing list of this erstwhile publication. Which was great. Because it told us all about engineering widgets. Except, we already knew about such things because we engineered widgets every sodding day! Believe me, when you’ve seen one widget you’ve seen them all. Let me tell you that widget engineering was not the glamourous occupation it was cracked up to be!
Meanwhile the people who really needed to know about widgets and where to put them – in the politest sense – were not within this elite circle and therefore remained blissfully ignorant of the benefits that a widget might bring to their product.
As a result the widget manufacturing industry in this country contracted, amalgamated and was eventually sold off lock, stock and barrels full of widgets to the Chinese who made them much cheaper; although of dubious quality.
Widget Engineering News could not handle a change of this magnitude – it did not have the financial clout to invest in a Mandarin font – and decommisioned its presses soon after.
And so to my point – you just knew that we’d get there eventually, didn’t you – I’m now trying to write. In fact I’ve written, so keep your eyes on this website there’ll be a kids book along shortly.
As a prelude to this event (I was going to say notable event, but you might not agree!) I’ve joined a couple of writers groups. We read bits of our work to each other and congratulate each other on our wit and originality.
I also signed up to ‘wanna be a writer’ on Facetubebook, as well as some similar sites. So I’m now posting my work to other writers!
Now I’m not doubting that writers do read, but, am I in danger of following the Widget Engineering News’s business model?
Or, is there somewhere that I can showcase my undoubted literary talent to people that actually read?
Sorry? – Oh, the name of the kids book. It’s working title is:-
Or however they pronounce it in Beijing!