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AIBU?

To feel this gutted about DH and my book

295 replies

Mrsaspiringauthor · 05/10/2022 07:08

I probably am. Just surprised by how hurt I feel.

I’m one of those people who has wanted to write a book for years but lacked the confidence. I loved writing as a child but had a bad experience when toxic mother (now NC) found some of my writing and was so sneery about it I didn’t write again.

I had an idea for a novel years ago and earlier this year found the confidence to start writing it. At first I felt really uncomfortable about it and just imagined my mum looking over my shoulder and sneering at it. But I kept going and after a few weeks and 10,000 words found that I was really enjoying it. I’m now 155000 words into a novel that will hopefully be 450k words (big sweeping saga) and have absolutely fallen in love with writing again, I get so much enjoyment from bot the writing and the research as well as plotting, developing characters etc. It’s so hard to judge your own writing but I think what I’ve written so far is ok.

Have talked to DH about the book as I write it and he’s been reasonably interested. He actually has more of a background in writing than I do in terms of what he studied at Uni and parts of his job. I haven’t told anyone else I’m writing and asked him if he’d read what I’ve written so far. It felt like a big deal to share my writing with someone else and I told him to only read it when he has time.

Anyway he was away for a few days with lots of free time (ended up being much more than expected) and he said he’d read it then.

He got back yesterday and I guess I was hoping he’d bring it up and tell me what he thought. Eventually I asked him if he’d read it and he said, oh yeah meant to say, yeah I really liked it. He’d read only about 40 pages (he is a fast reader so not much for him) and didn’t seem to have much else to say about it. I asked him what he thought of a few aspects of it and he was very positive but didn’t seem to have put much thought into it.

I guess I’m just thinking about how it would have been if the roles were reversed, I’d have made the time to read it all and would have had lots to say even if I thought it was crap. At the very least I’d have said well done for picking up your own again and writing 1/3 of a book.

He has always made me feel as if he always has something more important than me going on so I guess it’s just a sore point. There’s always work to be done (he’s very invested in his job), a cup of tea to make it a pot to watch or a task that needs finished. Even on our wedding day I felt I hardly saw him as he was ‘just going to speak to X Y or Z - a couple of people joked on the day that I’d lost my husband as he was always off with someone else.

No snark please as I just feel really sad, I guess I just wanted a bit more encouragement.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

898 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
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You are NOT being unreasonable
43%
ReneBumsWombats · 09/10/2022 16:16

I'd be very wary of a self-published non-fiction book, as I couldn't be sure it had been properly peer reviewed for accuracy. (Obviously this doesn't apply to things like memoirs.)

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Doingprettywellthanks · 09/10/2022 16:20

i would read cereal packs rather than read a self published memoir

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WiddlinDiddlin · 09/10/2022 16:23

Sorry I am trying to avoid being outed - I have written (co-written) a non-fiction book and there are a lot within my field, in fact what tends to be published traditionally is often dross (mass market appeal, tv celeb fronted etc) whereas self published can be sensible stuff.

Ours is selling better than expected (significantly!).

Fiction wise - frankly my standards are often pretty low, as long as the story is strong, characters are strong, proofing and editing good, I will read crap fiction, I don't need it to be ground breaking, future-classics material, I read for escapism and to fall asleep! So for me, self published doesn't stop me picking it up (metaphorically speaking, I haven't read a new paperback in a long time!) and having a look!

But I haven't written one, and probably wouldn't want to self publish one if I did for exactly the previously given reasons - no existing market, having to push it myself - I would want the confidence that having an agent/publisher brings!

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Doingprettywellthanks · 09/10/2022 16:26

in fact what tends to be published traditionally is often dross

what planet are you on?? 😂

you are Of this view because you self publish.

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ReneBumsWombats · 09/10/2022 16:39

Doingprettywellthanks · 09/10/2022 16:20

i would read cereal packs rather than read a self published memoir

Fair enough, but I'm talking about peer review for factual accuracy. Not such a problem for memoirs, generally (there could be exceptions).

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Doingprettywellthanks · 09/10/2022 16:41

ReneBumsWombats · 09/10/2022 16:39

Fair enough, but I'm talking about peer review for factual accuracy. Not such a problem for memoirs, generally (there could be exceptions).

Yes i got your point

i just don’t differentiate between fiction and non fiction when it comes to self published books - neither will get a look in

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WiddlinDiddlin · 09/10/2022 17:36

Doingprettywellthanks · 09/10/2022 16:26

in fact what tends to be published traditionally is often dross

what planet are you on?? 😂

you are Of this view because you self publish.

No I am talking about the specific topic/field.. which I can't tell you without revealing who I be.. which I don't really want to do much as many here don't.

In my particular field, books on this topic are often published.. but are ghost written for tv celebs-in-that-genre, or written so theres a book on that topic within the range.. but the content isn't peer reviewed and the editor or publisher wouldn't know up-to-date and correct from woo and snake oil... so a lot of the trad published stuff is rubbish.

I don't mean within the whole of non-fiction of course! Just this particular subject!

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WiddlinDiddlin · 09/10/2022 17:45

SO no I am not of that view because I self published, I self published to fulfill the demand for the content in a book format quickly (which is relative as it still took around 18 months to get from deciding to do it to actual book!). The content itself is both peer reviewed and has been available in another format for some considerable time.

We did also have someone within the team who works in publishing, so that makes a pretty big difference.

If we'd been approached by a publisher we might have gone that route but no one had any interest in seeking one out, as we all have other things to get on with and this is a small part of what we do.

If we do another one, I'd possibly push for trad publishing as we have the first one to show sales, market for it etc etc. (and it might be less work!!)

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Alaimo · 09/10/2022 18:01

@Rubiesue my DH self-published a book. It's a while ago now, before I met him. I don't know the exact figures but I doubt he made more than £200 from it.

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FlimFlamFlim · 10/10/2022 09:20

Lots of snobbery about self publishing. I used to work in the publishing sector and there have been quite a few self-published books which have won awards. Some people self publish because it means they retain control and finances. Self publishing is not the same as it used to be.

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FlimFlamFlim · 10/10/2022 09:23

One example of a VERY successful self published book is 50 Shades of Grey. I wouldn’t read it, not my thing, but self publishing isn’t the unsuccessful thing people think it is

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WeepingSomnambulist · 10/10/2022 09:28

FlimFlamFlim · 10/10/2022 09:23

One example of a VERY successful self published book is 50 Shades of Grey. I wouldn’t read it, not my thing, but self publishing isn’t the unsuccessful thing people think it is

The Martian was also self published. It was picked up for a movie and book deal at around the same time. The movie was already in pre-production by the time the audiobooks was recorded and the book was coming out.

Then Andy Weir wrote his second book, and his publisher released it and it was pretty terrible. If Hail Mary had been his first book and self published, he would never have been so successful. The Martian was amazing and self published. Hail Mary was terrible and realised by his publisher.

There are lots of great self published works. Self publishing had a boon a few years ago, because people realised it wasnt just crap. The Guardian used to do a top 10 book chart for self published books. Not sure if they still do.


But yes, self published does not mean junk.

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WeepingSomnambulist · 10/10/2022 09:29

*Project Hail Mary

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WeepingSomnambulist · 10/10/2022 09:34

Doingprettywellthanks · 09/10/2022 16:26

in fact what tends to be published traditionally is often dross

what planet are you on?? 😂

you are Of this view because you self publish.

In the YA genre, when twilight was huge, that's all they published. Publisher and agents looked for vampire and werewolf books. That's what they wanted.
Also anything like the hunger games dystopian world stuff.

That's all they wanted.

There were so, so many wonderful YA books at that time which didnt get consideration because they weren't vampires or kids killing each other.

Shelf space for books has become so competitive, that publishers want to publish books which are guaranteed successes. Books which follow a formula and stick within market trends.

The self published market is much more open. During the bloody awful twilight book years, there were so many amazing YA books self published. I worked in a book shop and we had a chart our booksellers had made hanging in the YA section, pointing them to self published books. Didnt make us any money. Most were self published through amazon. But we wanted to promote decent stories and not twilight shit.

As I said above, the guardian also has a self published chart. Because they recognise how limited publishers are in what they choose.

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LakieLady · 10/10/2022 10:22

Hibernationsetting · 05/10/2022 08:11

450k words… that’s more than the entire chronicles of Narnia put together, or all of His Dark Materials…

It's nearly double the Forsyte Saga, and that's 6 books!

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oakleaffy · 10/10/2022 10:59

ReneBumsWombats · 09/10/2022 16:16

I'd be very wary of a self-published non-fiction book, as I couldn't be sure it had been properly peer reviewed for accuracy. (Obviously this doesn't apply to things like memoirs.)

I collect a specific type of toy, and someone wrote a book about one of these who ''Came to life''.

I was expecting something as powerful as ''Theo'' {Radio 4 drama} that was superb, even on the fourth listening, about the life of a Steiff Teddybear.



I ordered the book online, and when it arrived, I knew by reading a couple of pages that it was self published. [Plus the look and feel of the book..they seem to use a different type of paper]

It was so slow, and never got going, one didn't care about the characters.

''It didn't know it's audience , and was as if written by a Fourteen year old'' was the comment of another purchaser.

It was being heavily pushed on Facebook by a friend of the writer, and as such, has only 5 star reviews, but it is absolutely weak.

Those who read it and were disappointed didn't leave reviews out of fear of looking 'mean'.



However, the writer has come out with a 'Sequel', so maybe she makes some money on it.

If I could leave a review, I'd say ''Weak storyline, needs an editor, the characters need to be more believable, nice illustrations, but the story itself sputters along like a generator on half a cup of diesel''


Self publishing tends to be ''Vanity publishing'', I think?

I'm very wary of buying anything self~ published after buying them in error online.

A legitimate editor/ publisher at least will ensure the books are up to a basic standard as regards 'Plot'.

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MogandBunny · 10/10/2022 11:59

I’ve got some amazing books that have been self published. Yeah the look and feel of the book is often crappy but that’s because it costs a bomb to publish. The content has been good and I’ve really enjoyed it.

I’ve also read some absolute crap that was trad published, like really awful with obvious mistakes from top publishers.

it’s swings and roundabouts, you can’t section everything into good because trad and bad because self. That’s like the person saying that only classics were any good.

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WeepingSomnambulist · 10/10/2022 12:04

oakleaffy · 10/10/2022 10:59

I collect a specific type of toy, and someone wrote a book about one of these who ''Came to life''.

I was expecting something as powerful as ''Theo'' {Radio 4 drama} that was superb, even on the fourth listening, about the life of a Steiff Teddybear.



I ordered the book online, and when it arrived, I knew by reading a couple of pages that it was self published. [Plus the look and feel of the book..they seem to use a different type of paper]

It was so slow, and never got going, one didn't care about the characters.

''It didn't know it's audience , and was as if written by a Fourteen year old'' was the comment of another purchaser.

It was being heavily pushed on Facebook by a friend of the writer, and as such, has only 5 star reviews, but it is absolutely weak.

Those who read it and were disappointed didn't leave reviews out of fear of looking 'mean'.



However, the writer has come out with a 'Sequel', so maybe she makes some money on it.

If I could leave a review, I'd say ''Weak storyline, needs an editor, the characters need to be more believable, nice illustrations, but the story itself sputters along like a generator on half a cup of diesel''


Self publishing tends to be ''Vanity publishing'', I think?

I'm very wary of buying anything self~ published after buying them in error online.

A legitimate editor/ publisher at least will ensure the books are up to a basic standard as regards 'Plot'.

Self publishing and vanity publishers are not the same.

As already evidenced on this thread, self publishing is not what it was 20odd years ago. There are plenty of really great books which are self published. There are of course, lots of crap. But self published does not mean crap.

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Doingprettywellthanks · 10/10/2022 13:20

MogandBunny · 10/10/2022 11:59

I’ve got some amazing books that have been self published. Yeah the look and feel of the book is often crappy but that’s because it costs a bomb to publish. The content has been good and I’ve really enjoyed it.

I’ve also read some absolute crap that was trad published, like really awful with obvious mistakes from top publishers.

it’s swings and roundabouts, you can’t section everything into good because trad and bad because self. That’s like the person saying that only classics were any good.

Care to share? Some free marketing for them after all

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ReneBumsWombats · 10/10/2022 13:58

Self publishing was good enough for Virginia Woolf and William Blake and we have had some gems (The Martian has been mentioned), so let's not dismiss it entirely. But it certainly does come with pitfalls.

It might help if you are a genre reader. You might get involved in online communities and learn about self-published writers within your field of interest who have a good reputation within the group. Although there can be a lot of circlejerking going on there. Nothing is failsafe.

I sometimes wonder if the rise of online self publishing (ebooks) makes things easier or harder for writers. Of course, now everyone can put a book out there and it's never been easier. On the other, has that made it even harder to be found?

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