Monday, 10 February 2014

A timely comparison

I have become increasingly cynical of late.  The world made me do it, I have not chosen to be overtaken by the horror, but the horror is there.

It has become necessary to compare two people... Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence

Schapelle Corby and Renae Lawrence are the same age, both were born in 1977 making them only a few years younger than me.  Both of them are Australian citizens.  Both of these young women were arrested in 2005 in Indonesia for drug trafficking.

Schapelle got caught taking drugs into Indonesia, Renae was caught taking drugs out.  Schapelle it was Marijuana, Renae heroin.

Now, I would have assumed that Indonesia would want to crack down more on someone bringing drugs into the country right?  Schapelle was screwed right?

When the two arrests happened the publicity was completely different.  Schapelle was made out to be a victim, the media believed her story that someone placed the drugs in her bags.  The media was full of sob stories and cries to let Schapelle go!  Renae was made out to be a fool who smuggled drugs and got caught, she (with the Bali 9 the others who got caught) was seen as a victim of the system, but a guilty drug trafficker.

Both women were convicted and sentenced to 20 years prison.

Now nine years later Schapelle is free, and all reports imply or state that she was freed because of the publicity from Australia, that she was freed because Australians have put increasing pressure on the government of Indonesia.  On the other hand Renae will be in prison until 2025.  Incidentally, Schapelle has been offered a lot of money for interviews, one can assume she is waiting for someone to offer enough.

So, why the discrepancy between the treatment of the two women?  I remember at the time wondering why the Bali 9 were not being treated the same as Corby, why the cries of innocence and "let them go" were not all over the press.  Well, I didn't wonder that hard, I kinda knew and even now 9 years later I still know.  You see, Schapelle is pretty, blue eyed and cries well on camera.  She makes a good "poor baby" media darling.  Renae on the other hand, is gay.

There is no other reason for the discrepancy.  So remember, if you plan to get caught with drugs in a foreign country and want the media to put pressure on the third world country you smuggled drugs into, make sure you are pretty, blue-eyed and above all STRAIGHT.

The Whats Whys and whynots of going indie

Some years ago, 6 i believe, I completed writing a book that I loved.  Looking at it now I still love it.  Not  many books of poetry have the potential to actually change people's lives but in my deepest soul I believe that I have written such a book.

Not only do I think it brilliant but friends of mine, who I asked to look it over back then loved it as much as I do if not even more.  At the time I was performing works from that book regularly at poetry gigs and open mics and to my surprise I didn't even get sick of them.  It was not until last year that I attempted to get said book published.

While attempting to get my book published, while submitting it and waiting the interminable wait for replies, I published other works both new works and others from my backlist on Smashwords, having little success  but seeing enough to become a believer in the power of independent ebook publishing.

Today, only minutes ago, my beloved book was rejected by my favorite publisher, one that I truly though would love my book.  Yes, I know it happens all the time that most people find it hard to get published but I also know that publishers are only human and they make mistakes.  What if my book is truly as great as I say but the publishers made a silly mistake?

Then there is the other problem, I live in Australia with a population around 20 million.  Even though publishers can get their work distributed anywhere in the world their first thought needs to be "can we sell this on the local market".  Well, my book might not do well locally, it would do better internationally.  Also, I want a lot of people to have the chance to discover it, and a local publisher reduces my chance of that happening.

My questions to myself are, 1) Will I get more of a market if I go indie with this book?
2)  Am I holding on to my life-long desire to see my name on the spine of a book in a bookshop too tightly

Answer to 1) is most likely and 2) is almost certainly

Therefore the answer to "should I make it indie"?  Is probably "stop being a doofus and just do it"

It's amazing how writing it all down helps clarify my thoughts