Friday, November 17, 2006

It's never too young to start writing (and self publishing)

Or perhaps I should title this post '15 year old self-published author makes it big.'

Behold the story of Christopher Paolini at . You all might have seen the movie posters and trailers for 'Eragon,' the latest fantasy movie to come from a children's book. Everyone knows that once you've got your book made into a movie, you've really hit it big time.

Now, young home-schooled Christopher (what is it about these home-schooled kids that make them geniuses?) began writing Eragon when he was 15. It took him 1 year to write the 1st draft, and another year to revise it. His family then decided to self-publish the book. A 3rd year was spent with editing, typesetting and designing.

And then the whole family spent another year promoting the book themselves. Beginning with talks at the local library and high school, they traveled across the U.S. Then Christopher's hard work paid off. The stepson of author Carl Hiaasen read the book and brought Eragon to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf. It was then traditionally published and there are currently 1 million copies in print.

Naturally, the movie script followed.

So learnings from this:

1. It's never too young to start
2. Even if it was initially tough, you might hit it big one day
3. Self publishing is not a tabboo. Just keep at it.

Speaking of which, I've got 3 stories already for Dark City 2, including one from the eminent Tunku Halim and two others from good writer friends. Keep them coming in :)


Lydia Teh said...

Fantastic! I love to read success stories like these. Now that the hols are here, I'm nudging my daughter to put pen to paper. If she ever makes it as a writer, she'd better thank me :) But at the end of the day, she must want to do it and not write because mum asked me to.

TH is a fast writer eh? Does his story need much rework? I'd think not.

Xeus said...

Lydia, is this the daughter who is a good critique of my work? Yes, she should write! She's got an eye for story.

I can let you read TH's story if you like (grin). It doesn't have the proverbial twist, but it's so well written it sent mine and Argus's pulse racing till the end with suspense.

Lydia Teh said...

Xeus, ya, that's the one. She wrote a story for MPH young writer's contest but unfortunately she didn't make the cut.

Yes, please send me TH's story. Oh wow, you've got me all agog with excitement now.

Xeus said...

Lydia, never mind. Tell her to keep on trying. Remember, it's the plot that counts the most.

Looking forward to your DC2 story. Your daughter can submit too if she likes.

TH always has all his readers agog with excitement :)

The Eternal Wanderer said...

Wow, another example of an author who worked at it diligently and became a success story for all aspiring writers to model after. I will definitely be thinking seriously of self-publishing, what with my sister being the director of a printing company.'ve got Tunku Halim in the book too?? DC2 is gonna be a sure hit! :)

Xeus said...

Eternal Wanderer, self-publishing is apparently the way to go in Malaysia. But don't forget to get a good distributor.

Awaiting your contribution next :)