Yep, I’ve done it. Finding Our Way Home is now available on Amazon. Only the kindle (ebook) version so far, but the paper copy will follow soon.
I feel like I have looked at thousands of websites to do with publishing and self-publishing. They all seem to have pretty much the same information and very similar expectations. Some of the self-publishing sites seem to hark back to the old “vanity press”, who would publish anything for a fee. Some seem to be more aware that not everyone has any money to put up front.
The thing is that the profit margins on most publishing are pretty slim, and getting slimmer. Conventional publishers are still trying to find that next international best seller. They don’t seem to remember that a surprisingly large proportion of publishing houses started because someone believed in an author that none of the existing publishing houses would take a chance on.
The years when a new creative talent would be encouraged and nurtured are long gone, not just in publishing but also in music, and, I suspect, in all the other creative arts. All these “creative” industries are no longer in touch with creativity, they are focused on the bottom line (money).
My bottom line is, I don’t have any money, I have very little time, and I don’t want to be a media superstar. I just want the chance to have my voice heard by a few more people than I can reach from my front room.
I was talking to someone the other day who has to claim JSA. They aren’t happy about it, but they can’t find a job. They’ve been put on something that bears the title of a course, but it isn’t a course, it’s a series of meetings where they are coerced into producing their CV in a variety of different formats.
From what they were describing it seems to be an exercise in duplicity. The CV that they are expected to produce does not bear any resemblance to their real experience or even personality. They are supposed to sell themselves, not to be honest.
I find this disturbing. How about young people with no experience and poor education? How are they supposed to sell themselves? They have no experience to inflate, so they will have to lie outright, rather than exaggerate (which is bad enough).
Those with poor educational results can’t make them look good without lying. And a mismatch between claimed skills and educational attainment is going to raise a red flag for any potential employer.
Worst of all, if someone does get a job using one of these misleading CV’s they are unlikely to be able to live up to the expectations of their new employer. This means they are unlikely to keep their job. Also they will not get a good reference when they try to get their next job.
The whole exercise seems to me to be a waste of time for both the person I was talking to and the person they have to meet, as well as being a complete waste of money. It also reinforces my belief that our British government thinks that we are all liars, and that they think lying is an acceptable thing to do.
For most of us they are wrong on both counts.