I wrote the following article shortly after publication of my last book in 2009 so have included a “note” re:eBooks
These 3 key points are so crucial to presenting the author’s property; so when I did step out into self-publishing I was thrilled at how much more control I had in these areas, and have done all I can to see that each and every angle is covered. It’s a lot of time consuming work, but if you want to keep up with the vast and growing volume of publishing folk, you simply have to keep at it.
I would encourage any writer to drop by as many Writers websites as humanly possible. There is so much to learn and so many offer opportunities to broaden your horizons, even if only to share work it’s still sharing in the talent of another artist and making new friendships while you’re at it!
SET YOUR SIGHTS
Only now, do I see myself as ‘partially experienced’ taking 8 years to reach this stage of my career. I know I still have a long way to go, but I’m hoping what eventuates from my non-fiction project, [a huge leap of faith] with all the support encouragement & optimism is what drives me onward.
My inspiration comes from so many people and so many places. Those who take the time, to invite writers to submit so others can share…this is what really inspires me. But, it’s also other writers / authors who have displayed their work and their own experiences which can be used as a ‘guide’ to those just starting out. When it comes to reading for inspiration, I have truly been encouraged by a number of authors, those such as Janet Frame, Walt Whitman, Nancy Cato, Elizabeth Melton Parson, Robin Knowles and Gilda Radner, actress / comedian who was wife to Gene Wilder. Gilda had sadly been diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, which eventually claimed this young star’s life. Like so many other tragic cases, it was a late diagnosis, a journey in which would lead Gilda to document all the horror and sadness she endured,sharing through her own words in a lovely book entitled, “It’s Always Something“–
This book gave me a new appreciation for a true-tale ,one that somehow, managed to step off the page and into my world. It was as if she were sitting next to me, sharing every moment, every detail of her battle to get the right answers. This added spark to my own ideas, and I set about writing of my own experiences which have since been published through different sources across the internet.
Be sure to consider all options, and if you are a serious writer experiencing the dreaded, writers block, don’t panic! The world of Blogging is one way of keeping the creative juices flowing and are so very simple to set up. In fact, talk to any bloggers today and most often you will learn they either have one or two blogs, (a very handy tool when your thoughts seem to wander off course) one for work, the other their ‘personal space’. Your posts can be shared publicly or privately, depending on your needs, but strongly suggest putting yourself “out there” so that you use the service to its best potential,allowing the feedback via the ‘comments’ which will prepare you for the world of ‘critique’!
Spread yourself further,visit other bloggers and spend time reading various posts, join writing groups and forums so you can tap into your needs/desires. The good old pen-to-paper is still a very respected friend & work-colleague of mine, never far from my reach and that includes carrying a notebook on me wherever possible. Sometimes you find information & ideas when you weren’t expecting or looking, so pays to be prepared…an idea/info shared is always worth jotting down! Ask questions! If you don’t seek, you’ll probably never find so take full advantage of the internet and its search engines to find relevant details for each step of the way. There are also unlimited websites offering upcoming authors the opportunity to have their work published, whether it be a hard copy or the latest trend, ebooks! The latter being a very simple method of having the manuscript saved to a file, then having this file downloaded and ready to print from any home/office printer. It is a much more affordable approach as well as a faster pace. (Fast-forward to present day and you have the aide of new technology with reading apps on Smartphones and/or eBook Readers) Not everyone will want to share their work publicly, and that’s fine! The beauty of self-publishing means you also have the choice of print-on-demand, a simple process which offers the author the choice of the amount of books that they will print out, usually a small run to print, enough to pass a copy to family or friends, but for the more serious writer, a larger amount can be set up. If you want to market your book, the next process will probably require the purchase of an ISBN number, this is for distribution of books to places such as libraries and book stores, a requirement when you want to sell your book to the public. Either way, it is up to the individual and for me, self-publishing was a lot of fun and I would never dismiss as a means to sharing my own work.
MAKE YOURSELF KNOWN!
Don’t be afraid to blow your trumpet! You will find making some noise about your accomplishment/s, the ONLY way to get the attention you crave. It’s self-promotion, but it can give you, great self-confidence as you go.
Never aim small, dare to challenge yourself! Thanks to the internet, we have limitless tools at our fingertips, many don’t ask for money as they use the clever tool of cross-promoting. ie: They’ll advertise your work/links if you do likewise.
Write a press-release, contact your local newspapers, (community ads usually free) to discuss the possibility of a small “blurb” about your exciting news(if you are a local author, they are more likely to be interested in interviewing)visit your library to source other authors in your area and be sure to check out all community ads that might mention writing groups.
Lastly, don’t allow any negative feedback you may receive turn you off…there is no right or wrong in the world of writing but it can be a daunting time so the sooner you accept this the easier it will be to grow that ‘thick skin’!