On and off for nearly two years those words from Bad Apples by GnR have been worming around in my brain, taunting me. This year it got even worse, so just to quiet my inner Axl, I made a real effort to start selling oatcakes. And lo, it turns out Mr Rose might even have a point.
Now it’s seems to have started something, because I’m suddenly working hard towards fulfilling some of those teenage fantasies I put aside to be a responsible parent, as well as making oatcakes. Fun and exciting things are afoot with my musical aspirations, of which more will be revealed later (some hopefully very soon!).
Today, I had to take stock of where I’m going because I had to write a cover letter for my book, Pearls On The Road. It’s about selling yourself, of course. The writer is as much a product as their novels. Think of writers like James Patterson, Stephen King and even Terry Pratchett, they are marketed brands that people strive to ape when they write and people want to read or read facsimiles of. Do you know how many times I’ve seen George RR Martin cited on the back of books in my library over the last 6 years? Look what happened to the children’s fiction market after JK Rowling became so wildly succesful. There’s a thousand Rowling mimics on my library shelves now. But the marketing doesn’t just hinge on a writer’s writing style. A writer like Neil Gaimon, whose life is as interesting as his books, is what every publisher really wants because they are easier to sell. Neil is active on twitter, part of an alternative power couple with Amanda Palmer and seemingly effortless at self publicity. He seems pretty happy selling that part of himself, and it surely works for both him and his publishers.
So, dutifully, I wrote about how terribly interesting I am. I bigged up my small achievements, threw rock n roll and librarian into the same sentence and hoped that part of me is exciting enough to sell. And yet, it’s made me reflective on my own talents, and made me think a great deal about what confidence and hard work are capable of achieving.
I have no idea if my pitch with Pearls will work, but what I am realising is that I might actually be starting to be interesting. Maybe that’s something that comes with age!
Ps, I kinda wrote a wee song about this sort of thing a few weeks ago. It’s just called Sunday Morning for now.