Saturday, 26 January 2013

To Self-Publish Or Not To Self-Publish?

Hi everyone. Hope you are all surviving the snow and the thaw. When I was out in my garden this morning, the snow was literally melting before my eyes and all you could hear was the sound of rhythmic dripping. Very atmospheric!

Well, I'm really pleased to say I've almost made it to the end of January without falling off the writing wagon again. I've had one or two low moments but on the whole, writing is going pretty well for me at the moment (possibly because I'm only doing it one day a week!) and I certainly feel in a hugely better place with it (and other things) than I did this time last year.

I feel I definitely did the right thing in taking a lengthy "Sabbatical" as it has really cleared my mind and helped me focus on what I really want to write. I think I've known for a while that the end was in sight regarding my freelance journalism and indeed, magazine work in general but it's taken me a long time to accept that, having had a relatively successful career as a freelance journalist in the past.

Now I'm ready to look forward and the future is definitely books. The question is, what sort of books? "Real" ones ie ones made from paper and shiny cardboard or the "cheat's" variety, namely e-books.

I think I mentioned in my last post that I had come to a decision about the whole self-publishing/e-publishing situation and I can now officially announce that I have gone over to the dark side. After months and months of coming up with all the arguments I could against publishing an e-book and, if I'm totally honest, maligning those who were already doing it, I can't hold out any longer.

The main reason I've succumbed is because I feel very strongly that I need a "product" to take to market. Having just spent the last two months creating and marketing a crafting website with an online shop (www.melissalawrencedesigns.com) I've become very focused on selling and marketing and realised that I should be applying the same strategies to my writing.

Although I fully intend to keep plugging away with the traditional agent/publisher route for some of my books, I hope that e-publishing a book (once I've worked out how to do it!) should provide me with a definite product that I can promote, try to sell and hopefully be reasonably proud of, for little or no cost. Also, I can get that product to market considerably quicker (I hope!) than if I had to wait for a traditional publisher to take it on.

I've decided (I think) to go with my collection of poems for teenagers as I've had quite a good reaction from the small number of publishers it's already been to and I'm hoping it will attract the sort of readers who would be easy to reach through blogging, social networking etc.

So, I'm just off to Amazon's Kindle Store to see how many books of poems for teens have already been published. I may be gone sometime!

Keep warm, dry etc and whatever you do, keep writing.

       

Friday, 4 January 2013

I'm Back!

Well, here I am again after a very long absence and first of all, I'm really sorry for just disappearing like that! When I last put up a writing-related post, I'd never have believed it would be nearly 12 months before I blogged about writing again. What I thought would just be a month away from my desk actually turned into a 12 month (almost) "sabbatical", the first one I've ever had in 18 years of freelance writing and journalism.

I'd like to say that I've travelled the world, set up a commune in the back garden, had a tattoo, got married (or at least engaged) and been performing in a one-woman play on Broadway. The truth is, I've mainly been setting up a new crafting business (www.melissalawrencedesigns.com) and trying to get my act together in my personal life which, judging by the posts I put up this time last year, was something that urgently needed doing.

Anyway, here I am at the start of another new year (my favourite time) and full of hope and optimism (it usually lasts until around January 7) about writing, crafting and personal dreams and ambitions.

I've spent quite a lot of my "sabbatical" trying to work out what I actually want to write, especially as I'm not going to be writing "full-time" now, in fact just one day a week (or night in my case) at the moment.

I think I've come up with a plan at last (I've also come to a decision about the whole e-publishing/self-publishing malarky but more of that another time) and I've just checked it against my 12 Year "Vision of Success" goals which I set this time last year and it still puts me on track. However, one of those 12 years has now gone (gulp!) without me getting much closer to where I want to be in 2024 so it's probably time to stop blogging and get down to some actual writing. I have to keep telling myself that I've done this before and I can do it again but it still feels very much like my first day at school!

However, I'll endeavour to keep writing and to keep blogging. The posts may be less frequent than before I went AWOL but I promise not to fall off the face of the writing cliff this time!

I hope all your own hopes and ambitions begin to reach fulfilment in 2013 and I wish you all a Happy New Writing Year. Remember to "Wish it, dream it, do it" before another 12 months has gone by in a heartbeat.