Melissa Foster kindly agreed to an interview with me as part of my research into blogging and the value of the typed word. Melissa is a best-selling author and a role model for anyone struggling in the indie and self-publishing market. She has previously written about how self-publishing can have a negative effect on the quality of the publishing industry. Therefore, she proved a very interesting person to speak to with regards blogging and the publishing industry.
You’ve suggested that ‘self-published authors are devaluing the written word’. What impact do you think bloggers are having on it?
I actually think bloggers add value to the Internet world. Everyone has an opinion, and it’s interesting and conversation worthy (most times) to gain insight into many different opinions. I’m personally thankful to many bloggers who have become my personal friends and colleagues.
What do you think is the best course of action for a ‘non-professional’ writer to cross the threshold into the professional world?
The very first step is to write what they want to get published. Then have it professionally edited, then query the right people.
Do you think that bloggers are having an effect on their own personal publication chances through blogging? Or is the greater issue what they are doing to the craft as a whole.
Blogging as a platform for gaining readers really depends on the value of the content they bring to the table. If they’re experts on a subject, for example, and are writing a non-fiction book about that subject, yes, they can add value. However, platforms don’t have to be solely presented in relation to the author’s works, and I personally think if the goal is to gain readership for a book, then the blogger should not only offer content that is book related or writing related, but also personal, and diversify to the themes in the books. No one wants to read “Buy my book” every day.
At what point do you believe that written work becomes worthy of a monetary value?
When it is well written.
What do you see as the future of writing? Will it continue to become deprofessionalised or is quality control due to make a resurgence?
I’m not sure anyone can accurately define the future of writing. I think people will continue to write books. Some will be worthy of larger audiences than others. Some will take the necessary steps to have their books professionally edited, while others will think it’s a waste of time (I’m on the high quality side. IMHO, readers deserve the most well written, professional books we can provide, no matter what the cost). As for quality control, that’s a myth on some levels. Traditional publishers only know what they “think” readers want. Often times we’ve seen that what they think is very different than what readers want. They turn down authors who end up going the indie route, then they come begging for contracts once those authors hit it big. It’s a silly way to do business.
Also if you have any other comments or opinions you wish to share please feel free.
If it’s in your heart to write, then money is not the end goal. Write what you are passionate about. If an income is gained, wonderful. If not, you’ve done what you feel you were born to do, and that’s always a good thing.