Tag Archives: short story journal

The Business of Writing

The creative output of writing is very satisfying. It might be fraught with challenges but once completed, the writing project has substance to it that can then be shared with the world. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a poem, novel, memoir or self-help book, there will be a place for it to live.

What many don’t realise is that this is just the start of the book journey. Once the thing is written, it’s time for the writer to take off the creative coat and put on the business coat. There’s no way to avoid it no matter which way you publish. Even if you’re lucky enough to land a traditional publishing deal, you will still have to be involved in the promotion and marketing of the book.

The Art of Self-promotion – and how to teach it to your authors with Karen Andrews, Angela Meyer & Blaise van Hecke (photo by Les Zigomanis).

Last week I attended the Independent Publishing Conference at the Wheeler Centre and immersed myself in all things books and publishing. It doesn’t matter how many years I’ve been doing this, there’s always something new to learn and the industry is changing constantly due to changes in technology. I was also part of a panel called ‘The art of self-promotion – and how to teach it to your authors.’ I don’t pretend to know everything about promotion but I know more than some. I also learned a lot from the many other sessions throughout the two days.

Here are my top three take-aways:

  1. Metadata is king – make sure that your book has as much data attached to it as possible. This starts with your ISBN registration and can be added to through TitlePage (you need to be a member of the Australian Publishers Association) and the data required if you are using print on demand. Ensure that you add as much information as possible including a cover image, author bio and reviews if you have any.

Why is data important? It helps with discoverability online as well as by bookstores and libraries if a customer asks about your book.

  1. Audio books are popular – thanks to platforms like Audible they are becoming more accessible and consumers love them. This has created another income stream for the book. Many traditional publishers are starting to include them in the contract of a book along with the print book and ebook. Companies such as Bolinda create audiobooks but at this stage they are not cheap to produce. This won’t stay like this for long as people realise that this is a gap in the market and solutions are created.
  2. Marketing is tricky – this remains the hardest part of the book journey (just like marketing any business is hard) but thanks to social media, there are many new opportunities out there. There is a definite gap in the market here, which is a great opportunity for people to fill. The best way to get your book out there is by word of mouth and book reviews are vital for this. Check out bookbloggersaustralia.com.au for opportunities to have your book reviewed, and check out Goodreads to set up your own author page and ask people to review your book.

There were of course many more great things that I learned at the conference but these three things are really important to have in place for the success of a book. I highly recommend you attend the conference next year to learn more.

As a writer, you may not like the business of writing. But you know what? If you don’t get down to working on it, your book will not get into the hands of your readers and it may as well sit in a box in obscurity.

Blaise the bookchick

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How do you tell people about your story?

Telling your story

Humans have been telling stories for as long as we have been able to communicate. From early cave drawings to oral stories around the fire. Stories are what bind humanity, allowing us to be connected, nurtured, entertained and educated.

Modern technology allows us to share our stories in so many amazing ways – some good, some not so good. Because there is so much out there for us to consume we can actually start to feel disconnected by so much white noise. It can be overwhelming. There is so much information, so many stories, that it becomes hard work to sift through everything.

For the person with a story to tell, there are so many ways to share it that this also becomes overwhelming. Do you write an article, a book, blog, create a video or podcast?

It always comes back to your intention, what you want your story to accomplish. If you want to write a novel, that is obviously a book. If you’ve overcome adversity that could be a book, a documentary, a series of blog posts or all three.

At our last Publish for Profit session, we had Peter Helft, from Jongleur, talk to the group about using video to tell your story or to promote your book. Peter gave us some amazing statistics about social media platforms that really make it a no brainer in terms of sharing information to the wider population. The reach is huge, it’s easy to implement and free or cost effective (paid ads).

When you think about how most people consume media, visual platforms outperform everything because the majority of us are visual communicators. If you want to find out more about the different ways we communicate, or consume material, have a think about whether you are auditory, visual or kinesthetic in your preference. This site may illuminate things a little for you: http://visualteachingalliance.com/ OR you can google it!

So what does that mean for writers? It means that we keep writing but we can use different platforms to make our audience aware that we even exist. We need to do this because we need to cut through all the noise. When you think about the fact that people buy people (no matter what story you have), we need to connect with them. This is where the whole ‘author platform’ comes in. The upshot is that visual communication should be a BIG part of your marketing plan. Share photos and videos, live stream on Facebook and you will be able to reach more people and get your story into their hands.

At the next Publish for Profit, we’ll be learning about how to blog. Go here to find out more.

Blaise the book chick

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