My writing career started in a somewhat circuitous way with writing stories for an audience of one for many years until a story emerged that ran through to become my debut novel, Across Time and Space. It was then that the decision to publish emerged with some coercion from those closest to me.
My journey was a cart before the horse situation as all that I am about to outline to you happened after my debut novel was in the process of being published through a publisher.
It is for this reason that I decided to write this post to pass on what needs to be done, in the initial stages, before the process of writing begins.
As a writer, aspiring writer or fully-fledged published author we all need additional writing tools to sharpen the craft for an enjoyable and less stressful writing journey.
What do you do? Where do you go to set yourself on your merry, enjoyable writer’s journey?
Here are a few questions:
Before you begin writing:
- do you have a plan for your writing journey?
- are you following influential writers?
- are you reading extensively in your preferred genre?
- are you attending book festivals and conferences?
- have you started creating an online presence?
Before you publish:
If you self-publish you should consider all of these and if you are going the traditionally published route some of these steps have to be undertaken as marked by my asterisk
- *do you have a Goodreads reader/author profile?
- have you set up your Amazon account and author profile in the countries you hope to sell your books?
- do you have a Kobo account?
- do you have an iBooks account?
- do you have a Draft2Digital account to have it all done for you?
- do you use Ingram Spark/Createspace/Smashwords or all publisher/distribution channels?
- *do you belong to writing organisations online or groups in your hometown?
- *do you have a Facebook Page where you create an engaging presence?
- *do you have a Twitter Account with an active profile?
- * do you have an Instagram account?
- *do you have a website or blog site?
- *have you started blogging and have an engaged audience?
- if you are self-publishing do you have a freelance editor and cover designer enlisted?
- have you bought your ISBN for your book?
- have you registered your title?
- have you lodged your book with the National Library (Australia)
- if your books are in public and school libraries- have you registered for PLR and ELR?
- do you have proof-readers?
- are you able to enlist legitimate reviewers?
While you are writing
What software do you use?
- do you do a handwritten first draft?
- do you use Microsoft Word to type up your manuscript?
- have you sourced other software to write and format your manuscript?
- would you dictate your novel? do you have the software for your audio needs for dictation?
After you’ve published your book:
- How do you market your book?
- Even if you are traditionally published – you have to do your own marketing. The onus is upon you to get your book out there.
- Will you have a ‘live’ book launch or will you have a Facebook or website launch of your book?
- Will you be open to giving talks to aspiring writers?
- Will you engage the media?
- How much will you invest in marketing your book? Consider the ROI and check all options.
- Do you want your books in bricks and mortar stores only?
- Do you have print and eBooks published?
- Have you considered creating an audio version of your book?
After my roundabout entry into writing and publishing, I am trying new tools for my third book and will report back in a few months on how I fare with my new researched tools.
I encourage you to continue pursuing your writing dreams and hope you can take something away to begin your writing journey.
The world will be a dreary, sad, isolated place if our stories were not written and shared. – Mala Naidoo
Please share where you are in your writing journey and what works fantastically well for you in the comment box below. If you are thinking of starting out, let’s begin the shared conversation today.
Happy Reading and Writing!