Welcome to my adventures and experiments in creativity. Where writing is like running: sometimes I know where I'm going, and sometimes I see where the mood takes me.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Vanity Publishing (POEM)

You’re So Vain, I Even Wrote A Poem About You

You went ahead and did it.

Wouldn’t give sight of the manuscript to anyone,
sought no opinion, remained convinced: “One draft, I’m done.”
The Monopoly-tour of publishers yielded no results,
and vanity publishing offered no criticism or insults.

To your craft, I mean. So you went ahead and did it.

Perhaps I’m no judge – I just write a largely un-read blog –
but I’ve devoured a lot of books and, TBH, this one was a slog.
The amount you paid and what it returned appears variable and hazy,
while none of us doubt the effort needed to write a novel is crazy.

(I know, because I’ve tried it and failed).

Within your pages of prose, plenty of promise does lurk,
but please ignore the comments of the lady who hailed your work.
We don’t doubt the effort, so it’s not hard to understand why you were smitten
with her praise that described it as “one of the best books ever written.”

For the sake of some spit and polish, though, this is the sad truth:

Competent it may be (at times), but a work of art it is not.
The printer has run and you’re stuck with what you’ve got.
Did you even proofread it for errors or look for mistakes?
Tautologies, adverbs; and all those uses of ‘almost’, for goodness’ sake!

No doubt you think me almost over-zealously harsh…

You published a book though, to be judged by that standard.
Were you deluded enough to think yourself at the fantasy vanguard?
And really so confident as to believe the publishing houses were wrong?
Another sad truth: they know of what they speak (they’ve been doing it this long).

You’re probably penning a sequel right now; will that be the same?

A drive and desire to see your work in print is admirable,
and turning to those offering the world is understandable.
If you’re content, that’s great; I’m not trying to be funny.
Just hoping you still believe vanity was worth all that money.

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