We writers are an insecure bunch, but perhaps that’s not surprising. The average development of a book goes as follows:
1. I’ve had this AMAZING idea!
2. Oh wow, this book is going to knock the world’s socks off!
3. Er, this isn’t coming out how I thought it would.
4. This is awful.
5. I’m going to give up writing and herd yaks in Tibet instead.
6. Oh, it’s done.
7. Hmm, maybe it’s not so bad after all.
… so a little bit of emotional volatility is perhaps to be expected.
As a result we crave feedback. You’ll have seen writers on twitter and facebook saying how much they appreciate reviews because it helps with their books’ discoverability. Yeah … it also helps with the writer’s desperate need to feel that someone else “gets” what they’ve written.
But it’s not just insecurity. Writing a book is a big commitment which can take 6, 9, 12 months, or even longer. We want to know all that time and energy hasn’t been in vain.
Which is a long preamble to get to my point of saying how very delighted I was to hear this week that The Last Gatekeeper has received the endorsement of a BRAG medallion. The indieBRAG organisation exists to discover and promote high-quality self-published books. This makes them sound like a lot of commercial promotional organisations but indieBRAG won’t promote a self-published book just for the asking – books submitted to them are assessed comprehensively to check their quality – covering fundamentals such as copy-editing and proof-reading, but also examining plot, characters and writing style. Books are read by three readers who have to agree that they would recommend the book to a friend in order for it to gain a BRAG medallion. 90% of books submitted don’t meet this high standard, which makes gaining the honour that bit more special.
Featuring on the http://www.bragmedallion.com site (scroll down to “newest honorees”) and gaining the indieBRAG endorsement should help The Last Gatekeeper reach more readers, and I hope it does. But I have to confess – it’s also reassured my own, insecure inner critic that I haven’t wasted my time writing The Last Gatekeeper because, actually, it’s a little bit better than not so bad after all!