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Posts Tagged indie publishing

To Study or Not To Study?

Goals setting for year resolution and new project

A Masters degree in creative writing.

Advice on whether to study this is mixed at best. The verdict is that people simply don’t know whether you need some formal study to become a writer or better writer.

A nice piece I found on the Guardian.com describes what a lot of writers think about writing courses, that

A. That is cannot be taught

AND

B. That a course can only enhance what talent the writer naturally has, to begin with.

This might be so but there are other merits I believe to studying a writing course, whether it be taken in a University or otherwise. Firstly a formal course will expose you to other forms of writing and teach you how to work with a variation of the craft. By this, I mean writing poetry or script writing or non-fiction. Using the course I plan on taking with the Open University in Ireland as an example, I have the option to choose two different styles of writing. The choices are fiction, script, poetry, and non-fiction. Having the choice to tackle two styles teaches new techniques and perspectives on the craft itself. Pushing one’s skills into another area may change their writing, in general, for the better.

Another benefit to studying a course is the access you gain to not only a community of like minded people but experts in the area too, in the form of lecturers and tutors. Using the resources at hand on a writing course can only help when it comes to shaping the craft of writing and pushing it to the next level. Critical analysis and critique of your work can be tough to take. It can be even harder to find people to do it sometimes. Having assignments and people paid to read and work through them in depth can only help a writer become an even better writer.

There are other benefits to studying regardless of the subject. It can be liberating to feel you are gaining knowledge about a particular subject and bettering yourself in the process. I, myself am a life long learner and would happily study anything but, from now and for the next two years it’ll be the Masters of Creative Writing (o;

Two preparatory books I’ve been working through are recommended for the course I’m about to start. The first is Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings and the second is Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings . I’ve found both books to be very comprehensive and the readings in each are excellent pieces to teach with. I’d recommend them to anyone who writes or is thinking about writing.

So, that’s it on the Masters in Creative Writing. I’ll update on how it is going but as always let me know what you think about writing courses below.

Until next time (o:

 

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Promoting Book 1, Writing Book 2 and A One Star Review

Blank notepad over laptop and coffee cup on office wooden table

Okay to start with I’m still having an awesome time floating around the sea of self publishing. It’s a wonderful place to be but has it’s ups and down like everything else we do in life.

First to promoting book 1. I’ve found some really good places to promote The Vanishing. Bknights, who came to me as a recommendation from other writers was great. The result was nice and again were a very easy place to do business with. Pixelscroll were just okay. I sold some but not a lot for the price I paid for them.
Overall though the book has been within the top 20 and top 50 in it’s categories which I’ve been incredibly happy about. The enigmatic Amazon algorithms Gods have picked it up and advertising it here and there.
I also did an Author interview with R J Madigan over on her blog. If you want to check it out head over to http://swordofair.net/blog

Writing book 2 is a tough one. I seem to be taking my time with it. I had a decent 15k done but scrapped it when I felt it just wasn’t what I wanted for book 2 in the Dean Cornell series. I went back to the drawing board. Rewrote the outline in it’s entirety and started the book again. It’s sitting at 4,237 words and I’m happier with it. Not sure what the upper word count is for this one but it’ll be in the 65k to 75k range again.

Now to the one star review. I know this happens to all writers and believe me I’ve now started reading other review of writer who I love to read. Some of the one and two star reviews are just plain mean. Now when I saw mine on Amazon I felt a little shocked, mainly I think because it’s the first but I needed an analogy. Something to compare it to and here it is.
…Do you know when you’re on holiday or it’s been really humid day and mosquitoes decide your exposed skin looks like an all you can eat buffet. Some people spray repellent on themselves. I lather it on because I hate being bitten. So most of us know the feeling that comes from knowing you’ve been eaten alive by the little pests even though you’ve covered yourself in repellent. It’s a feeling of pissed off combined with ‘why me?’…
That’s my analogy. I knew it was going to happen but I still had the shocked feeling of ‘why me?’ Now the next phase (the scratching of those bites) has comes from reading other writers reviews and writing this post but I knew like all itches it’ll pass and I’ll be bitten again someday. I’ll take the One Star on the chin, write the next book and laugh off the next… or buy stronger repellent.

Now lastly I want to let people know what I’m reading and what I’m going to read next as well as links to find these great books.

Reading:
The Witness by Zach Bohannon. Grab a copy on Amazon.
Black Star Canyon, Season One by C.C. Wall. Also available on Amazon.
The Dream Engine (Audiobook) by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant. Amazon link here (o:

Gonna Read:
On Writing by Stephen King. Think I need some inspiration.
Sixth Cycle by Carl Sinclair and Darren Wearmouth. This book is smashing the upper end of the Amazon charts and the authors are really nice guys.
Super Charge Your Kindle Sales by Nick Stephenson. This man is obviously some kind of Indie Author genius and if I can learn something from him I’ll sure try.

Anyway, that’s me.

How have things been going for people out there?

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Finally released my Debut Novel The Vanishing

The Vanishing by David J Delaney
Okay, if you follow my Facebook posts you’ll know that I’ve had a disastrous 48 hours with a computer that decided to retire without telling me and taking half a book of edits and dropbox uploads that didn’t seem to work all of which resulting in a missed pre-order upload date…. I am sure glad it’s over. Luckily I had a print out of all my edits so took a notebook computer I never thought I’d use again and wrote like a maniac. 11 hours later I had them done, another read through and I was finished.

Not wanting to tempt fate any longer I decided to publish. I had no reason to hold the book back any longer.

So if you’re interested in checking it out please follow this link here http://goo.gl/qn3M6Y

It feels good to finally publish ‘The Vanishing’… now it’s time to start the next book…

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Ups and Downs Before I Publish my First Book… so far

publishing

So as some of you know I have my first book coming out soon. It’s really exciting and so much work has gone into it. Here though I thought I’d write a short post about the good and the bad as well as the in between of the journey so far.

 

The bad first )o:

It has to be getting your head around setting up a platform. Nearly a year ago today I set up a blog. I had no idea where it was going but knew I wanted to make some kind of contact with like minded people. Setting up the individual aspects of a platform isn’t very difficult but trying to keep all of it going is. Creating the blog, website and setting up an account on various social media sites is a simple thing to do, the hard part is using them effectively while juggling them all at the same time. I still haven’t done this and from what I can see everyone struggles with some aspect  of this process.

Next is the sheer work involved in the edit and rewrite process. With my previous short stories it was as simple as write, self edit, send. If it is picked up then the editors of the magazine will edit it for you and publish. Now this isn’t everyone’s experience but it has been mine and I got used to the routine. My editor Jennifer Collins did a great job and pushed me in the write direction in terms of story and writing ability but it took a lot of work to get there and I am nowhere near where I want to be… yet. As I have been finishing up the last few edits on my book I took a look at how different it is to the first draft. It’s like its cousin 12 times removed. Not quite chalk and cheese but near enough. It’s a lot better.

 

The good (o:

Working towards a greater goal. This goal for me is becoming a full time or near full time writer. Getting the first book finished and eventually out there is both full of anxiety as well as hope. I’m sure there will be a readers base out there somewhere but its still a frightening prospect. The goal is to have at least 4 titles out there by year end. Unless you nail that breakout title early on, writing seems to be a gradual process.

Next is making connections. I’ve spoken about the indie writing community before but in the last few months I’ve made connection with both indie and traditionally published writers. Everyone has been willing to offer advice, discuss strategy and help out in any way which has been great. I’ve never been a person to network very well but I’ve come to realize it is more about meeting like minded people and offering to help out in any way you can. Generally you’ll get a response and mutually benefit. It really is a great feeling.

 

The Inbetween /o:

I’ve found there is none. I either feel fantastic or completely down in the dumps. It’s peaks and troughs but I still love it. Writing is something I do in my spare time that may or may not lead onto something bigger and that’s exciting. Even if I never make much from my writing I still enjoy creating and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

 

Let me know what you’re experiences have been? I’d love to hear them.

 

Cheers,

 

David

 

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Who wants to be the Next Top Beta Reader (o;

beta readers

This is a quick shout out to anyone who would like to beta read my work in the future. I haven’t put it out there until now but I can see the massive benefit it adds to a project which leads me to this request. My next book should be ready for beta reading by April/May. If you’re interested email me at daviddelaney7034@gmail.com

Thanks…

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Too Many Fish in the Water? A Writer Saturated Market.

overcrowding

I watched a recent YouTube video with Joanna Penn and her discussing her reading habits. She explains how she predominantly buys and reads eBooks whereas print, she’ll only buy something a little more special something with a greater meaning for her. A comment she made during the video made me wonder about something that often causes me a little anxiety and apprehension about becoming a writer at all. It’s the vast amount of writers out there vs the potential readership one can gain among the crowd.

The first thing I did was look at myself as a reader. I don’t churn through books like some but I get through a book a week with a maximum of four on the go at the same time. My book shelf has a meager 20 books on it but in the past I had many more. As I’ve moved from place to place I cull my collection as they simply take up too much space and are too heavy to cart around. So I buy them and sell them off to second hand book store or donate them where I can. My kindle collection is different. I’ve a couple hundred books on there. Now I only buy books I’ll read. I have pangs of guilt when I grab a book whether it’s free, 99c or anywhere up to $10, and I haven’t read it. I still like the hunt for a good book which is why I browse reviews on Amazon and have become more active on Good Reads in recent times.

Before I ramble on much farther with my uninspiring insight into my reading habits I promise there is a point and the point is that as most of you know if you read this or if this is your first time, I am also a writer. I write fiction but I also read fiction. You got to read a lot and write a lot. Most of us listen to the one of the many Kings of fiction Stephen King himself when he said and wrote that. Whether you’re trying to make it in the industry with fiction, non fiction, poetry, journalism or any other writing endeavor there is a chance you read within that field and spend money there too.

Every writer is a potential reader too. Rather than saying that the market is saturated maybe we should say it’s inhabited by readers and reader/writer hybrids (o:

Let me know how you feel about the current influx of writers given the digitization of the publishing industry?

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Editor…. I’ve Finally Hired One… Finally

editing, editor

When I decided to first put words into my MS word document I was overcome with excitement. I had grand dreams of one day making story telling my full time career. I have to be honest when I say I was completely naive and didn’t fully appreciate how difficult the industry is for indies and traditionally published authors but I went along for the ride anyway. This led to a 20 months journey where I’ve had short stories published, finished two full manuscripts and started a third. The excitement waned but the love for creating didn’t.

Now I have to admit the initial excitement I felt all that time ago in March 2013 has come back a little because I’ve finally hired my first editor. The conversations we’ve had have been great. It all sounds to be exactly what I wanted and it’s the first professional I’ve have look over my work with a critical eye. I’ll be keen to know where I’ve faltered and where I can improve. In my eyes it’s taking the next step in my writing career.

This is my first experience with editors but let me know what you’re experience has been?

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