Why readers’ opinions matter
A couple of years ago I accidentally self published my memoir of growing up with undiagnosed autism. Yes, accidentally. It could only happen to me! If you want to know more about this fiasco then there is an full length article about it in the November 2010 issue of Writers’ Forum.
Much to my delight my memoir From Zaftig to Aspie got many favourable reviews from readers. However, once I realised that I had self published I was overcome with embarrassment. I felt that I had inadvertently sold my readers the literary equivalent of damaged goods because my book contained a multitude of typos and other mistakes that any editor working for a real publisher would have picked up.
So, I withdrew my book from publication and was astounded at the numerous comments I had from readers who said it was better to have it available with all its typos than not available at all to other readers. Thank you to everyone who voiced their opinion, you made me feel wonderful but I was still convinced that I had done the right thing by taking it out of circulation. That was until I met a managing editor this year who had somehow heard of From Zaftig to Aspie and showed interest in it and dismay when I explained that it was not available anymore.
This experience coupled with readers comments got me thinking seriously about my memoir again. I spoke to my agent who agreed to read it to see if she is interested in representing it for me. I’ll let you know what she says…