Thursday, 31 January 2013

Interesting Article on E-publishing by Alan Kholer

Thanks to Fleur McDonald for posting this link on Facebook. Alan Kholer delves into the e-publishing market and opened the post to receive some interesting and informative comments.

Here is the link to get you there:

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Wordsmiths of Melton are back for 2013

Had a great day today catching up with a few of the gang from last years writing group. It was interesting to hear about everyone's holidays their writing and plans for this year.

Thanks to Les, Julee, Caitlin, Sonia and Tracey for you company at lunch today. I will miss you guys.

As a few of us won't be with the group this year, there are a couple of places available for anyone interested in writing. From a personal point of view, I found the fellowship of other writers a great benefit to me, and they encourage you when the words won't flow. The group has planned a few workshops to support their critiquing meetings for the coming year and you can get more details from the Melton Library of if you wish to contact me I will get Julee to get in touch with you.

Have a successful year Wordsmiths

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

To Self Publish or Not? That is the Question.

Having finished my novel KUNDELA I have sent out samples to different publishers. Having religiously followed their submission guidelines in the hope that someone would chance upon my masterpiece, I have checked the e-mail inbox daily with dissapointment. Weeks of waiting and with response times now passing I have to face the possibility of not being picked up on this first round of enquiry letters.

I have been through most of the self publish websites and now have would be publishers from all over the world willing to publish and market my book for a fee, in some cases a rather large fee. I don't have that kind of money to spend, and I'm not sure that Francis from Frisco can be bothered with the marketing plan my novel needs. I think it's an opportunity for them to make money from the author rather than the other way around.

Taking the view that I'm a trades person with a commodity to sell takes the marketing of  KUNDELA into an area I know well. I've spent all of my previous career in sales and marketing so I have the skills. What I don't have is the contacts, therefore I will need an agent or at the very least the contacts an agent has. The first question raised now, is how do I do I gain that knowledge. Therefore I started to research the people who have been in a similar situation to me and gone on to become successful and published authors.

From my research I find that it is necessary to embrace rejection as something that teaches you a lesson, and to learn from it. Another point I found helpful was to create a business plan for your proposal. To sell anything you need to know everything about it, what it is, what products it competes with, the strengths and weaknesses of both yours and your competitor's product.

Now I am on a quest to structure a business plan for KUNDELA, complete with a marketing plan, sales strategy and finance plan. Now I find that I'm on familiar ground with a product to sell.

Proving that writing is a business.

One of the sites I found helpful was a Youtube Interview  by Stacey Cochran with John Fuhrman as his quest. It is over 50 minutes long but contains some wonderful information.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Time to start tapping into my inner teenager.

Writing Toby Farrier has caused me to rethink many things not the least of is the way we talk today. I guess any novel sets the time and place by the words that the characters use and Toby has thrown up the occasional challenge as I don't spend a lot of time with people of his age.

Maybe I should get out more, I have plenty of contact with those either side of their teens but with Toby I'm having a bit of trouble with dialogue used by the modern teenager. If it wasn't so hot today I'd park myself on a bench at McDonald's or one of our many other fast food outlets and scam some of their dialogue with some selective eavesdropping.

Writing tends to make you question everything we do and say. Sometimes when words like AWESOME,  EPIC and LIKE outnumber the nouns in a sentence I realise our language is a changing thing and I need a different approach. Just trying to understand today's young people speak made me think about the way we speak within in our different groups. Often for the same people this will vary and the use of swearing is demonstrative of this.
Among a rough group of mates out fishing or hunting I will find myself swearing along with the other members. Believe me we can fill the day with profanities that would make a shearer blush. IN another instance I might be with the very same people at a seminar or similar and we are all contained or restrained in our speech, demonstrating to those around us that butter wouldn't melt in our mouths.

There lies my conundrum I need to picture time, place and people as I write dialogue. Not easy but can be done.

Hang on McDonald's do ice-cream and I can justify it with research. Now where are those
keys to the air conditioned car.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Pat Baird's Story

Check out today's interview with Pat about his time in the tractor industry by clicking on this link:

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A Well Deserved Kick in the Pants

You have to keep your readers happy.

While attending a friend’s coming of age party today her husband pointed out to me that when writing for the NaNoWriMo challenge I asked everyone to keep the pressure on and let me know if I was falling behind. Alan did just that. It seems he got caught up in the adventure Toby Farrier was on and is hanging out for another chapter or two. Better still I was told to finish the book.

I must say it has been on the back burner for a couple of reasons.

One, I’m stuck, I have Arthur and Charlie winning a major lottery prize. They have won enough money to take them to all of the places they have wanted to see since they were kids, Gallipoli, France, and Egypt. Charlie is not well and his doctor has told him to take the trip now, while he can.

Two, what can I do with almost 16 year old Toby while they are away. I know it’s absurd. I can change the storyline and rewrite the whole chapter or maybe I can recycle it with a few minor changes.

I’m open to ideas to get over this hump and finish Toby Farrier, if not for me for my mate Alan.

Oh and by the way his suggestions were of no help.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy time for a writer

Following advice during the novel writing courses I attended this year, I started to build a spreadsheet to log names and contact details of publishers agents and anyone who is connected to the literary world.

Putting my previous life skills to work I dragged up an old mailing list and applied a mean resolve to edit it. transferred the data to our desktop and then went through the e-mails to remove all of the old useless ones, upgrade others and remove those who requested it.

Suddenly after removing the ones that had been recorded twice my list is down to about a quarter of it's original list. Ah well I can always work through my old contacts and ring them and rerecord their details. Nah, I could here the broadcast of the cricket coming from the neighbour's shed.

Time for another plan, the cricket was calling.

Fast forward to today and then I steeled my resolve. I had to get into the thick of this spreadsheet today would be the day. New headings, new pages all copied pasted and edited to reveal infinite detail. Vic Writers magazine open I began first with the publishers, sorting those who were traditional publishers ad others dedicated to self publishing. This is going to be a great reference for all of my other writing and required dedication perspiration and application. Then it happened, I opened the window and heard the neighbour's TV again and the cricket was on.

At close of play the Australian cricket team still has a lot to do but not as much as me. I guess I have been busy on research, it will come in handy if I ever need to use a day at the cricket in one of my novels.

So as you can see, I have been busy, busy, busy.