“…just as a paroxysm of nausea swept over him,” I finished, looking up from my exercise book. My schoolmates looked bored, and somebody flicked a chewed-over paper ball at me. Paroxysm. Not a word you hear used much in everyday language, but I’d read it somewhere and decided to shoehorn it that week’s chapter. My English teacher was thrilled though. Every Saturday I was persuaded to stand in front of my class and read the latest instalment of a serial adventure I was writing. One month it was Doctor Who, another it was my version of a James Bond yarn. No sex, just gadgets. Not that I needed any persuading. I loved storytelling. Being an only child, a lot of my time was spent drawing comics and poring over books while my idea of heaven was taking the bus to the local library and just trailing my hand along the shelves. Continue reading
My previous posts about writing have proved very popular, so I have asked Morgen Bailey – blogger extraordinaire and talented author – to offer some words of wisdom on the craft of writing.
American science-fiction novelist Jerry Pournell is reported to have said “I think it takes about a million words to make a writer. I mean that you’re going to throw away.” I started writing for fun seven years ago and more seriously four years ago and with three NaNoWriMo novels, one-and-a-half novels in between, three NaNoWriMo story collections (a cheat on doing a novel November 2011 but I still made the 50,000-word minimum), part of a script, some poetry and loads of short stories under my belt, including one and a bit 31-story collections for Story A Day May, I’m pretty sure I’ve reached that target. How much of them I’ve thrown away I couldn’t tell you but it’s only a fraction, and if like me, you’ve dabbled before really knuckling down, you’ll feel better for it. It’s all about practice. If someone sat you in front of a piano, would they expect you to play a concerto? Would you expect that of yourself? Continue reading
Part I : WHY AM I BLOGGING ABOUT THIS?
Since reaching the coveted number 1 spot in the Amazon charts, I have been asked on an almost hourly basis for tips by other indie authors. I have tried to respond to these, but it occurred to me that the best thing that I could do would be to create a whole series of blog posts on the subject, and try to get feedback from other authors too.
Can I start by saying that I am not an expert in any of the fields that will be discussed. I am an amateur in every sense of the word. So I will be talking about the process that I went through – without any guarantees and in the sure knowledge that there are people out there who know more than I do about each and every step in this journey. I will reiterate this every five minutes, so that nobody is under any illusions!
So was it a fluke, or was it careful planning?
Something else to think about …
I recently wrote a few blog posts to help some of the people that I had met on forums to get to grips with Twitter. I said from the start that I am no expert, but over the last ten weeks or so since I launched Only the Innocent I have learned a lot more about Twitter which I’ve tried to share with other indie publishers. I got some great feedback to the earlier posts, and some very interesting comments – which have cast a slightly different light on things.
I have concluded (and am happy to be disagreed with) that as authors, we have to wear three hats.
- The writer
- The ‘brand’
- The salesman
In terms of Twitter, these are almost mutually exclusive.
It’s taken me a long time to get round to writing this post, because it is complicated and I want to make sure that I get it just right for everybody. When I had finished my novel Only the Innocent, I wanted to get it uploaded as quickly as possible – but I also wanted it to look good. I read so many bits of advice all over the web, and much of it was conflicting. But in the end, I managed to pull some different strands together that worked for me.
So in this post, and possibly one or two more to follow (as this takes some explaining) I will explain which bits of advice I used, which I rejected (and why) and my ultimate conclusion. I really hope this helps.
Just to reiterate some of the information from the last post, there are several stages to getting your book ready to publish. It’s not just a matter of writing it, and then uploading it. At least, not if you want to be successful (and I have yet to discover how successful I will be!). The main phases are :
- writing a good book (obviously);
- proof reading until you are blind – some notes on this below;
- preparing your social networking sites, at least in a rough format so that you can add links within your book – you don’t want to be doing this later. This is covered briefly in the previous post, but there will be more on getting the most of your social networking sites later;
- preparing all the other stuff you are going to need – photos, blurbs, book cover images – more below;
- formatting your book so that it can be easily uploaded;
- choosing your channels to market – Amazon, Smashwords, etc;
- uploading your book, and correct any problems – then publish!
- writing a marketing plan, and then implementing it.
So there is more to it than meets the eye!
Continue reading …