Another interesting thing is how writers used to care more about status and reputation whereas now the focus seems to be more on money. With the likes of Jordan and Britney Spears taking to writing books, and everybody and their dog having an E-book published, the whole idea of being a published writer is taking on a completely different meaning. A few years back, only being published by a reputable publisher counted as the real thing. Now not so much. There are successful E-books out there, and successful self-published books too. Although what constitutes success at this point is becoming less and less defined. Is 50 Shades of Grey a success? Some people would say no, but then it has sold – as a trilogy – over 12 million copies in the UK alone. So is it all about sales? Is everything about sales nowadays?
On the X-Factor the other day, the biggest compliment seemed to be something along the lines of ‘you will sell a lot of records’. Is this our only measure of success? If so, then no wonder that some authors would rather spend their time writing fake reviews for their own books or bad reviews of their rivals’ ones than actually get on with writing.
A few years ago, someone told us, a group of creative writing students, to work out what success means to us. Being published, I thought then. Earning a living from writing. I still think these things are important. But the very core of that success is not in money, or sales figures. I doubt that this is what a writer would think about on their deathbed. The most important thing for me is to say what I have to say, in the best possible way, and hope that it would reach those who are supposed to read it.