Week 8 Blog Post
We had an excellent meeting on the 15th of March at the Rendezvous Café. This will now be our new venue. Thank you to the hard working team at Rendezvous Café for allowing us to have our future meetings there. It was lovely to catch up with everyone and to hear how their writing is going.
We had an excellent talk from Carleton, our writer in residence for this month, about e-Publishing and the various aspects of this. His notes will be later in the blog. Thankyou very much Carleton from taking time out of your busy schedule to present this. Next month we will have M as our writer in residence talk about “Creating a psychopath – getting the most out of the ‘monster’ ”.
Writers Rendezvous would like to extend their congratulations to the winners of the indie book of the year (2017)
https://www.betterreading.com.au/news/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-indie-book-awards-2017/ , and
Congratulations to the winners of the Non-fiction book of the year (2017)
Jane and James are currently taking the James Patterson course for crime writers. We wish Jane all the best with her submission to the competition and with the course as well.
Our homework task is now under the “Current Task” on our website. Please email Vicki with your contributions. Constructive criticism is welcome regarding the homework task or if you wish for someone to read their homework out at our next meeting, please make a comment. Comments can be created by clicking on the brown “Comments” url at the top of the blog. The comments cannot be made in the posted section. I can’t wait to read your homework. Please leave feedback in the comments section on the work. Homework to be submitted by 9am on Wednesday morning so it gives Vicki time to put it on the website and for people to read it.
A Week in Review (from Facebook – this will be over the last two weeks)
Jane is fantastic with keeping us all a little bit light hearted. You can view the page here … and the murders began.
Vicki posted up an excellent link on e-Publishing by Jane Freidman. You can view he page here:
The perfect blurb (in relation to our homework task for this month):
Peta posted up a link on how to write flash fiction. You can view the page here:
Your opening scene; how does it stand up:
Unpublished Manuscript Award:
Five easy steps (?) to writing your book:
Thoughts from an editor on editing fiction:
How to escape the Slush Pile:
Writing Young Adult Novels:
e-Publishing – Presented by writer in residence, Carleton Chinner (15th March)
Let’s begin by asking, why do you want to get published? Take some time to think about this. The answer matters. There are many pathways to the market. Which one you choose depends on why you are publishing:
Use this if you want to:
A book is not just the words you have written. It is a total product with many parts that you need to deliver with as much quality as you can.
Here is why you should consider e-publishing. In 2016, readers bought 1.3 billion of English language books for a total of $3.9 billion. E-Book sales accounted for 51% of these sales. The lion’s share(74%) is sold by Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. The rest is sold by a variety of publishers such as B&N, Kobo, Nook, Apple Books, and Google Books.
Each publisher has an upload facility and will provide instructions on how to format your material. This is free if you do it yourself. Or, for a small percentage of your royalties Smashwords, Amazon CreateSpace, or Direct2Digital can assist you with the process.
Services to create hard copy books from e-books include: Ingram Spark, Amazon CreateSpace, and Lulu.
You will need to consider your cover price and what percentage of royalties to accept. Your contract with the market may vary based on these considerations.
You only need to do three things to successfully sell a book:
Marketing serves two purposes. First, and most obviously, it sells your book. Just as importantly it makes people aware of your book. Purchasers are far more likely to buy something they have seen before.
Ask yourself. Who is your ideal reader? Why would they like your book?
Now ask, how will you reach them? I considered every online community I belong to and that I could tell about my book in a polite, unintrusive message. Here’s the list I came up with:
You will need paid advertising if you want to extend your reach even further. In this category Amazon and Facebook are head and shoulders above other options. Amazon, because you are advertising direct to readers, and Facebook because it provides detailed demographic targeting which allows you to sell to people who resemble your ideal reader.
Other online advertising includes Bookbaby, Goodreads and Google Adwords.
Consider any advertising very carefully before committing. Make sure you understand what you will be paying and whether you could break even on your sales.
A final and very important marketing tool is word of mouth. Either by direct person to person communication or by online reader review. Reader reviews at sites such as Amazon can be very influential.
Be wary of all attempts to do review swaps or paid reviews. Amazon takes a dim view of these and will penalise you in search rankings.
Consider Yourself a BrandFinally, you need to consider yourself as the author. Interested readers will want to know more about you. In particular whether you have any other books published.
This means paying attention to your author profile on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platform you may wish to work with.
Your website becomes a central hub in the web of social media platforms as a means of channelling interested readers towards your products. This can vary from a full professional website to a static Facebook page. You decide how much time and effort to put into your site. Successful authors take approaches that range from flat product pages (Tim Winton, Margaret Atwood) to extremely active blog communities (John Scalzi, Stephen King, John Greene)
Learn More at these Websites
Erica Verrillo – Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity – http://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com
Jane Friedman – Author of “Publishing 101” – https://janefriedman.com/blog
Writers Write – A website by writers for writers – http://www.writerswrite.com/selfpublishing/
(For a graphical copy of the above, please email Carleton or Vicki)
Constructive feedback from homework:
Feedback Etiquette: (taken from Writing Fiction Course Future Learn, 2016)
Here are some feedback guidelines:
• You are asked to focus on the writing for the homework piece. Feedback for other tasks should be given to the author personally.
• If you think an aspect of the writing works well, try to analyse why, but also look for its faults. Usually there will be some.
• If you think an aspect of the writing doesn’t work, again, analyse why. Make sure you look for the parts that might be working better in the piece. Almost always there will be positive things to focus on as well.
• Try to go beyond ‘Oh, I liked that, but I didn’t like that.’
• Always comment on the idea and its implementation, not on the surmised personality of the writer.
• Bear in mind that, often, you will be passing comment on a ‘work-in-progress’, a piece of writing that is not finished. Try to assess where it might go and what tactics might be used in its development.
• Always try to show evidence for whatever claims you make. Evidence, in this instance, is the part of the writing you are talking about. Point out the use of language you are focused on so that the writer knows which part you mean.
• Rather than being imperious in your comments, explain what you mean, point out the evidence – but also freely suggest there may be other opinions. This can be done with little nudging queries: ‘I wonder if anyone else thinks this?’
• Think about how well the writing is geared to its intended readership.
Here are some guidelines:
• When assessing comments you may wish to rewrite the idea completely. Don’t rush into this.
• You may wish to tweak your story a little, rewrite completely or just leave it as it is. Any of these options is possible. There is no correct way of responding to critical comments. You may choose to accept some comments and reject others. Remember: you are the final arbiter; you are the writer.
• If you are lucky and receive more than one lot of feedback, pay special attention to areas where there seems to be a consensus, even though it might be an opinion with which you strongly disagree. Ask yourself: ‘Have I ever had doubts about this before I got these comments?’ Be honest with yourself. If the answer is ‘Yes’, then the area almost certainly needs attention – even if it happens to be your favourite section.
• Ask yourself whether the piece under discussion is going to be developed any further. If so, how?
• If it isn’t going to be developed, what can be salvaged from it? You might wish to use a character, a metaphor, a line of dialogue. It’s important to realise that even if you eventually abandon an idea, there may be some small part of that idea – sometimes just an image, a line or even a phrase– that you can use later, in another piece.
• Remember: your fellow writers are commenting on a piece of work at a particular stage in its development, not on a finished article, and they are certainly not commenting on you personally.
Feedback: (please mention stories name and contributor). If you wish someone to read their story, please also mention that in the feedback.