Francis Ellen has been mentioned on this blog a few times, not least in his appearances as a commenter: e.g. in relation to my post of 25 October. He is certainly a successful author in my estimation, and in that of many others. And, although there are those who think I should not be encouraging anyone to write novels (they really don't need any encouragement and it will only end in tears), I think we can reasonably regard Francis as an example to us all.
In his most recent comment, Francis mentioned an interview with him on the Screenbiz web site, so I went to investigate. I wasn't expecting all that much, frankly, but in the event I was highly impressed.
I don't agree with all of Francis's ideas but his interview is absolutely crammed with valuable observations about the writer's lot. He clearly has a very low opinion of front-line publishers -- even lower than mine -- and he is quite sure that things are going to change. So am I. I would say that Francis's interview is essential reading for anyone who is contemplating getting involved in the book world; and even more essential for anyone who is struggling with the first, or twenty-first, novel.
The bit which caught my eye is Francis's suggestion that self-published writers should not think of themselves as self-published but as independent; as in, independent film-maker, or independent record company. This is the smartest piece of thinking I've come across in a long time.
If you never click on any other link from this blog, click on the one to the interview with Francis Ellen. And, while we're about it, here's a link to his novel The Samplist on Amazon.co.uk. Or, if you prefer, you can go to Francis's publishing site and read more about the book first.