Questions, questions

Just completed my latest online interview. I once objected to ‘obscure personal bloggers from Scunthorpe’ as a means of disseminating one’s work, but now realise that appearing on their sites is a way of getting yourself and your work known in, well, Scunthorpe. My last one was for writer Christoph Fischer, an Austrian who now lives and works in Wales, and it featured in his ‘Welsh Wednesdays’ slot. It encouraged a few re-tweets on his Twitter page. The latest interview, for copywriter Salina Jivani’s writer-interview page, followed the same format as the others in offering a series of questions from which one was allowed to choose seven, or make them up oneself. Having now completed a brace of these interviews, including two for my first publisher, Parthian, I’m now obliged to check that while hopefully duplicating myself I’m not contradicting myself too. Nothing worse for the record. The more you get published, the more your view of publishing changes – or not. Views do alter. Fischer originally took exception to my remarks on self-publishing. I’d said that work should only be published after it had been endorsed by a third party, and properly edited and set out. If I wanted an embodiment of sound self-publishing practice, it would be Fischer. He not only gets most of the basic things right, but also streamlines the peri-publishing activities of marketing, advertising and promotion, and makes them look professional. But in the main my objections to self-publishing are unchanged. A book, however, is a book; how it appeared in the bookshop or on websites for buying and downloading is, or soon will be, immaterial. Still, it would be gratifying to be interviewed because the book one had published had prompted serious and widespread attention.


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