Repulse: Six months of #Gratitude

4

February 28, 2017 by ChrisJamesAuthor

repulsefrontfinalmediumSix months ago I published Repulse: Europe at War 2062-2064, and those of you who know me well, also know what I saw when I looked at that word “Repulse” on the cover, and therefore why its modest success is just a mite ironic. Altogether, this little book has managed to get itself over 3,000 readers, including more than half a million pages of it read by Amazon Prime members, and I’m grateful for each one. There have been good reviews, bad reviews and mediocre ones, too. A conversation still drags on under the one-star review in the US which I thought I’d terminated in a friendly-yet-pithy-authorly way, but which the reviewer would, it seems, like to keep going.

Last October, I had an offer from a small press to take Repulse on, which I declined. The reason I told myself at the time was the small press’s slightly ropey contract. With over 17 years’ experience working in the legal industry, I can recognise a dodgy contract when I see one, but contracts can be rewritten. No, the real reason was the prospect of someone else telling me what to do with my story; someone I didn’t know. After six years of battling away as an independent author, constantly struggling to “prove” that I know how to write, the abrupt potential of some kind of small-press “legitimisation” produced a barrage of mixed feelings in me which distilled, after much consideration, into a reaction of: “Nah, bollocks to that.”

Many artists talk about how they need a muse to be able to create. I’ve never bought into that. To write a novel, you need a functioning imagination and an excellent understanding of English grammar and vocabulary. Then, it is merely a case of application: put the hours in, get the words on the page, and you’ll write your novel. Or, as a literary agent once told me years ago: Just Write It. But editing your novel is a different thing altogether. That’s another reason I turned down the contract: I already have my editor; several of them, in fact. I already have level-headed people – friends – who read my stuff months before I publish it and flag up where the story isn’t working and which characters could be clearer. They point out clumsy and awkward paragraphs, sentences and phrases; they highlight missing-word typos, poor word choices and tame my atrocious overuse of semi-colons (*sigh*). I might write the book, but they give it the spit and polish it needs to look good out there. So thanks not only to the readers who have given Repulse a try, but also to you friends who got it in good enough shape from the beginning: 3,000 thank yous to you!

4 thoughts on “Repulse: Six months of #Gratitude

  1. acflory says:

    Congratulations on the contract offer, Chris, but thank god you turned it down! My heart almost missed a beat as I began reading that sentence. That ‘bollocks’ at the end was very welcome. 😀 I truly believe that if you know what you’re doing – and you do – then there’s no value added by a publisher, especially a small one. No offence to all the great small publishers out there, but with so many small presses going to the wall and leaving their authors high and dry… 😦

    Anyway, happy 6 month anniversary to Repulse. Bigger and better things, my friend, bigger and better things to come. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, A. C. Heh, I’m still scratching my head at how it all started in the first place, last September. But yes, I think now it’s only in certain situations and genres that the traditional model will, not so much in niche areas like military sci-fi.
      And thanks as always for your support *hugs*

      Like

  2. […] via Repulse: Six months of #Gratitude — Chris James’s blog […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: