Tag Archives: A Simple guide to self-publishing

I don’t have Writers Block!!

31 Jan

I felt I needed to write another post in response to a comment about me suffering from writers block in my last post, Reflections of the toffee type.

Maybe I am in denial, but I really do not believe I have writers block. Let’s roll back the clock somewhat and see what I have achieved in the past 12 months.

Now I know many busy people have children so I am not saying ‘look at me, I’m a mummy’ but I do believe it is a valid point to be noted when we look at work levels.

So the first half of 2011 saw me completing my degree, which resulted in a first class honors and I am immensely proud of what I achieved. During that time, I completed A Simple Guide to Self Publishing, and tried real hard to promote it blah blah blah.

I also had a ten thousand word creative writing project in which I started my first novel. The result was the first three chapters and a full synopsis. Eager to continue I worked out full character bio’s, and a ‘post it note’ scene breakdown. Shortly after completing my degree, my computer died and I temporarily lost my work which by that time was at 20 odd chapters. Several months later when the work was recovered, I had lost heart in the story. If I am honest, during this time I didn’t have writers block, just writers depression. The part where you decide you cant do it, feel the effort is not worth it and wonder why you ever started.

Being sensible, I didn’t dwell on it, just chose to take a break.

During this time, I had started acting as editor for several writers, a role which I continue still.

By the end of August, I had found employment, and other than those precious hours of an evening, I didn’t get time to write.

It was at this time that ‘A Cuppa’ came along. Spotting a worthwhile project, I grabbed it with both hands and worked non stop (at least three hours every evening, on top of the kids and my day job). This finished in December and I think it is fair to say I collapsed. I had done too much, too quickly.

But I still wasn’t writing. Now we are on the eve of February, and I still haven’t put pen to paper.

That doesn’t mean however that I have writers block. Far from it. The recent posts that have been based around food (unintentionally) have been more about me getting back into writing, blogging, just testing the water. How much time can I commit? What should I allow my limit to be? Am I ready to go again?

Take a deep breath, yes, yes I am. And I am really quite excited.

I have two projects burning away, just waiting for me to say go. This time I have had has provided me with some fantastic thinking time, without pressure, and the stories and ideas have developed gradually.

The first project will involve you. It is still formulating, and I need to gather some more research and prepare a study plan. But it is looking promising. Whether it will work only time will tell but I am rather quite excited.

The other project will be a script, a series for TV. It is based in a uni, think the Inbetweeners but older, but from the staff point of view. If my idea continues to develop as it stands, the basis of the uni will become less of a factor, as the characters really do tell their own story.

Am I mad sharing my idea? Will somebody steal it? Well, if they do then I will take it as a compliment. As they say, no idea is original, it is the way you tell it that’s important.

I haven’t been a writer for the past six months or so, and this does not worry me. Sure I have had wobbles, slight panics that the dream was sliding out of sight, but there is always more to be had. Writing takes time, but it isn’t just the telling of the story, it is the formulating, the preparation, the time to watch the world.

Anyway, I am here, I am dipping in and out but I am thinking, always thinking. I hope you are too.

Self – promotion. Are we allowed to sleep?

10 Oct

Today is the final submission day for a Cuppa and An Armchair. I am sure you are all aware of this as many of you have already sent me your shorts.

So far this project has been a real learning experience. You would think, having done a book before it wouldn’t be anything new, but you would be very wrong.

A Simple Guide was a massive flop. One simple reason, I didn’t follow my advice. That book focused on how to do it all, but I wrote it without having experienced it, I had just completed months of research. Now, I will say, my learning was very thorough. I have applied everything I learnt during those months of research, and the bits I have picked up on since, to promoting the submission process of A Cuppa and An Armchair.

What I suspected, but didn’t really understand, was the hard work that promotion involved. I have spent on average two hours every evening trying to get the word out for the project. I have hopped online at every given opportunity throughout the day also. This would have been easier for FB status update and tweets had my Blackberry lasted a bit longer. Since being dropped, I think it had survived longer than could be reasonably expected. All the same…

So what is this promotion?

Well obviously there has been this blog. I have been very wary about just writing project related posts but I am not convinced I have provided enough variation. My main consideration was about not wanting to annoy my regular readers. There is something known as too much promotion. Personally it drives me mad when I am reading other writers blogs and it is all about their current WIP. Don’t get me wrong, this is fine if that is all your blog has ever been. What I’m saying is I don’t want my blog to be about one thing only. That is not where I am at the moment and I don’t want to lose readers because they may think I am.

Sticking with the blog I have tried to spend time reading new blogs, commenting, trying to spread the word. I haven’t been as successful as I would have liked, mainly because I haven’t done it anywhere near enough. promotion scares me, I don’t want to be a spammer…

On Twitter I have become a spammer lol! This was most obvious the day I discovered the problem with the email. Ahem, the day Charlotte told me about the problem. I just had to get the message out there. The only way I could do this was to keep posting the same thing over and to ask for others to retweet. Other than that I sent DMs to many tweeters, and attempted to join in with the conversations. Twitter is definitely my weak point, I’m not sure I fully understand it. Either way I gave it a good go and I am pleased with my progress.

Now Facebook i dreaded. How many times have you been told that Facebook is not the place to promote? Well, sure, the amount of effort I put in, hunting down writers, being inventive with updates and such, may not have been reflected in the ‘likes’, however, we have still managed to get up to 61 likes as of this evening. Bearing in mind A Simple Guide sits at 57, I am certainly not complaining. Now I know many writers have a higher following on Facebook, but I have been at this for a little over a month. We haven’t even put the book together. If the page grows at this rate, by the time the book is released, I shall be ecstatic.

I have dabbled at Google+, thought about LinkedIn and many others, but I decided to concentrate on my three main areas. I am glad I made this decision. I think I would have spread myself too thin otherwise.

So I guess I should get cracking with organising the shorts for the panel to read, plus a little last-minute tweeting and FB updating. I am hoping to take a week off from here, just to re group, and consider the next stages in full before we jump straight in. After all, not only have we had the problem with the email, the submission date has got somewhat muddled also, whoops! It will never run smoothly when you are doing all the running, but I guess a few rocks keep you on your toes. I am just very grateful that I have my Simple Guide knowledge to help steer me through this process.

As always big thank you to all of you who have shown your support, submitted, or just wished us luck.

When an Opportunity comes Knocking

29 Sep

Sometimes opportunities come knocking on your door when you least expect it. This is what has happened to me of late and I wanted to share with you what I am up to.

Now don’t get excited, its nothing more than many of you are probably doing, but for me this is all new and exciting and I am throughly enjoying myself.

Obviously I have the #cuppa project happening. This was put to me through a friend I had been to University with. It was one of those things that was mentioned briefly, and then went quiet for a few weeks, and then bam, next thing you know it’s happening. It is great fun, and great to have so many of you supporting us.

As many of you will be aware, I have also been reading through Gav’s work for his novel ‘Reset’. I am still following this up, and have even started setting Gav deadlines for getting the next chapters to me. Why? Well, I want to read the ending obviously! But seriously, this has been a fantastic experience for me. It has opened up another world to me. I will point out the occasional grammatical error, but I am working more on the flow of the story, the characterisation, hunting out the flaws. It has even got to the point now with Gavs work that I don’t even tell him the lines that are exceptional. I don’t need to. My role has been established, and it is something that is working for both of us.

I shall be starting a new book project for a local company that visit schools. They show a variety of reptiles to the kids. As a teaching tool they use stories to give an insight into the animals natural habitat, and I have been asked to get these stories available as a ‘real book’. This is another opportunity for me to continue gaining experience and confidence.

Finally, the last thing I am doing related to the writing world…well it would seem I am handing out advice to writers. Not just on self-publishing, but they are asking me to read their work, just snippets at times, but they want my feedback. There is still the element of publishing information, but mostly it is looking at the best way of preparing to get started in either self-publishing or traditional publishing. Where do you start? Who to trust?

Uh….

I reply as honestly as I can, and to date, I don’t believe I have offended anyone. Likewise though, if I have, I never actually asked, or promoted myself outright as a go to person. Namely because I don’t have the self confidence to say, ‘I know about this…’ So if they haven’t heard what they wanted to hear….nah forget that, if you didn’t like what I said, get used to it, that’s the industry.

I may waiver at times on my knowledge, I may scream self-doubt, but I do know it, I know more than I often care to admit. I have not asked to be paid for any work at this time, and it is unlikely that unless I start being asked to the point I can’t escape my computer, that I will. You see, I believe we should all be there to support one another, through good and bad, and I know without support I wouldn’t have the knowledge I have now.

So, if you have anything you want advice on, want me to read through your work, or even would like me to host your guest post, then please do contact me.

I’m off to get cracking on another story that has been sent my way…