Hands up if you’ve ever heard of self-publishing referred to as vanity publishing.
I studied Creative Writing at university, and it was always, always referred to that way. If it was discussed at all. It was pretty much expected that you’d get traditionally published or not at all. Even blogging was looked down on.
You know how many people from my BA are published, ten years later?
Three of us.
One has a publishing contract with one of the Big Five, after years of building her brand. Another now works on Neighbours. And then there’s me.
I chose to ignore the judgement from my peers and go it alone. Yep, that’s right — I dared to self-publish! That was five years ago. Since then, I’ve published nine books with at least two more on the way this year. It was a difficult decision, though. Self-publishing isn’t for everyone. …
Ah, readers. Every writer wants them, but few know how to actually find them.
“How do I get more readers?” is one of the questions I see the most in writing and publishing groups. And it makes sense. After all, more readers = more money. More money = more freedom.
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that building your readership will take time. Nothing happens overnight. Particularly when it comes to building your readership organically.
The truth is, there’s so much noise out there that you’ll grow faster if you pay to build your audience. Does that mean that you have to? Of course not! I’ve never paid to advertise my blog, and it has a readership of over 45,000. But if I hadn’t paid to advertise my novels, I wouldn’t have hit #19 on Amazon UK three years after I published my book. …
You see that guy there?
Do you know that creepy way he says, ‘my preciooooous’?
Yeah, that’s how you sound when you talk about writing.
I get it.
It’s your baby.
You poured your heart and soul into it.
Why shouldn’t you be precious about it?
When you’re precious about it:
Feedback is the only way you’ll grow as a writer.
When you publish traditionally, you’ll inevitably get it from agents and publishers.
If you don’t, there’s a high chance that they don’t like you as much as they make out.
Agents and publishers will always have feedback on your story if they want to publish it. …
WordPress is the biggest, most popular content management systems (CMS) on the internet. It has 75 million users and publishes 70 million posts a day.
It’s divided into two parts: WordPress.com, which is where they host it for you, and WordPress.org, where you host it externally.
The latter may look more expensive on the surface, but that’s because you pay upfront.
If you go for a free plan now and later want more flexibility, you’ll have to pay for just about everything other than basic posting functionality and generic themes from WordPress.com.
The initial set up requires more work. You’ll need to install WordPress on to the web host of your choice, but most now offer a free installer as part of your plan, meaning that even if you’re not very technical, you can still get up and running quickly. …
A few weeks ago, I put together some content about voice and tone for my day job. This included information on what it is, why it matters, and how to come up with our own.
To most people this probably sounds pretty boring.
But to me, as a student of writing, it was fascinating.
It’s reinforced things I studied at university and helped me to learn how to explain the theory behind writing to people who are new to it.
Make no mistake — your voice and tone does matter.
And it influences everything.
Ready to find out more?
Voice and tone are how you sound when you speak or write. …
There are lots of courses out there that claim that anyone can write a book if they do this or that.
I’ve never agreed with those kinds of courses.
They take pretty much all of the fun and creativity out of the writing process.
Not to mention they oversimplify it and are completely useless if you’re on a budget.
Those kinds of systems only work if you’ve got a ton of money stashed away to spend on editing, proofreading, cover design, etc.
When you’re just starting out, there’s no way you can write, edit, proofread, typeset, publish, and advertise your book in three months all by yourself. …
NaNoWriMo is HUGE event in the literary calendar.
You have 30 days to write 50,000 words.
To writers just starting out, this sounds terrifying.
But it’s only 1,667 words a day.
You’ve probably already written that much in emails, text messages, and social media posts already today.
So why can’t you write that on your novel, too?
The more I write and publish, the more I value a good plan.
When you have a lot of characters to juggle, your book is part of a series, or it’s in certain genres like crime, having a plan is imperative.
I thought I’d planned my NaNoWriMo novel last year, but a crime novel without a murderer falls kind of…
Every time I talk to fellow writers about technology, someone will whinge about how Microsoft 10 auto updates. And every time, I bite my tongue. But this time, I’m not going to.
Auto-updates are for your own good. If you’re losing work because of them, you need to switch software and use something that auto-saves, or remember to save your work in the first place.
Hackers work by finding vulnerabilities in your operating system. Security updates block these vulnerabilities so that hackers can’t get in. …
We’ve all read the articles about how Barack Obama and Tim Cook and numerous other influential people get up at 4am (or some other ungodly hour).
And you know what?
Good for them.
But I’m not doing it.
Most days, I have to be dragged out of bed with a crane.
My body is so stiff my joints feel like they’re made of led and I’m so tired I crave caffeine from the minute I wake up until bedtime.
I don’t eat that frog, nor do I intend to.
If I did, I’d be finished by lunchtime, and you wouldn’t even be able to pick me up to move me out of the way — I’d be in too much pain. …
It never occurred to me until I was in my late teens that being ambitious and having a vagina weren’t socially acceptable.
I was never outwardly rebellious. But I’ve never not done something because a stranger told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t. If I didn’t do something, it was because it was either a) dangerous, b) could hurt someone, or c) I wanted to watch Charmed instead.
A lot of females aren’t as headstrong as I am, though.
I’ve seen many talented females fall into the trap of being too afraid to have or show ambition, so they end up achieving very little. …