5 Things You May Not Know About Book Publishing

5 Things You May Not Know About Book Publishing

For most people the only thing they need to know about the book publishing industry is when their favourite author is releasing their next book. Sometimes they have other questions. Since the release of my first book I’ve been asked by both readers and other writers about how the publishing industry works and what happens once your book is out there in the big, wide world. I’ve narrowed this down to 5 things you may not know so here they are in random order. 1. Writing Is Only Part The Job It’s now 8 months since The Crossroads was released. Hard to believe all that time has passed! Although it still feels like last month to me, 8 months is quite a long time in the publishing industry. In any given year around 20,000 book titles are published in Australia so in industry terms many, many books have filled the shelves since my most recent publication. So for an author, the period of time they spend under their publisher’s spotlight is necessarily brief. That’s why most authors today, certainly writers of commercial fiction, spend time on their Facebooks, Twitter and Instagram accounts and other social media platforms. Traditional publishers expect their authors to actively market their books and for Indie (self published) authors the time spent on marketing is even greater. It’s how we try to find new readers, remind our loyal readers we’re still around and stay connected to our audience.   2. Authors Only Get One Piece Of The Pie Whether you’re traditionally or self published, you are paid a percentage of the profits from your book...
10 Things I Learned About Writing From Novel Number Three: #3 It Doesn’t Get Easier

10 Things I Learned About Writing From Novel Number Three: #3 It Doesn’t Get Easier

You’d think by the time you wrote your third novel the whole process would get easier. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. Or at least it didn’t for me. Each time you write you’re plagued by the same insecurities: What if this isn’t good enough? What if my publisher doesn’t like it? What if the readers don’t like it … blah blah blah. I still had the same self doubt I had with my first novel – in some ways it was even worse. Once you’ve successfully published the pressure is on. The pressure for this book to be as good as the last one (or even better), the pressure to make sure you earn back that advance, the pressure to sell as well as others in your genre. In some ways this is a good thing. It pushes you to write better, to raise the bar for yourself, not to slacken off. The trick is not to let it cripple or block you. I find it harder now to just write and not question the quality of each sentence and paragraph. At times I do let the nerves stop me from writing. I have to force myself to sit there and let the words flow reminding myself that I can revise and improve later.   “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L. Doctorow I’ve read stories about multi-published authors who say the same thing – every novel is as hard as the last...
10 Things I Learned About Writing From My Third Novel: #2 Talking It Out Helps

10 Things I Learned About Writing From My Third Novel: #2 Talking It Out Helps

The thing about writing is that it’s a very solitary process. You sit down and pour the ideas from your head onto the page without anyone filtering them or commenting, at least in the first draft stage. And that’s how it should be. You need that alone time to create your characters, build your story and bring your vision to life. But one thing I learned this time around is that talking it out can actually help. Many of us are very secretive about our ideas and our writing. Sometimes that’s because we need the time to work things out for ourselves but often it’s because we fear judgement. What if I tell someone my idea and they think it sucks? What if they walk away and laugh at me behind my back? What if I realise how lame my story is when I actually try to explain it to someone? And yes, all those fears are absolutely valid. That’s why, if you do decide to speak up and talk your ideas through, it should be with someone you trust. A writing buddy is the perfect choice. I brainstormed ideas for Close To Home with my awesome writing group which helped me throw some plot points out the window and develop others. They’re the people who are most likely to tell you openly and honestly what will work and what won’t. And that’s a good thing. Another great sounding board might be an ‘ideal reader’. This could be a friend you trust or someone you know who reads and appreciates your writing. This person will be looking at it...

A Year of Writing Coming Up In 2015

Hopefully you managed to catch my last post about the writing year that was 2014. If not you can read it here. In summary, although I managed to complete a novel it was a bumpy process and one I hope to improve on in the year ahead. So here’s what’s coming up for me in 2015 … Starting Monday I’ll be doing the copyedit on my new novel Close To Home. As always, the final stages of a book are a crazy cocktail of attention to detail, nerves, excitement and relief. I’ve had a few trusted readers give me feedback and will definitely be doing some tweaking on this next edit but hopefully the process won’t be too onerous. By the end of January the novel should be visiting the editor for the last time before heading off to the printer. It won’t be released until July but advanced reader copies will be sent to booksellers and distributors for a sneak peek in the next few months. I’m absolutely in love with the cover Hachette have come up with and will be revealing it here soon! In previous years I’ve taken the turning of the final page of the proof read as an opportunity to put my feet up and bask in the glory of having finished a novel. But this time things will be different. Really, they will! I’ve already started nutting out ideas for my next book and once Close To Home is gone I’ll be starting a new manuscript. Unlike my last three novels I’m going to attempt to do a little more planning – but...

What I Wrote and What I Learnt About Writing In 2014

Well, it’s that time of the year again – the time we look back over the year that was and ahead to the year to come – so today on the blog I thought I’d fill you in on what I’ve been up to and what I’ve learnt writing wise. And tomorrow, what I have planned for 2015. It’s been a busy last few months finishing the draft of Close To Home. When I last blogged I gave a brief outline of the story and while it hasn’t changed in essence I’m pleased to say the plot and characters have developed. Overall I’m pretty happy with the novel. The day I submitted it, I spoke to my publisher, sharing my nerves about the final draft and how hard I felt the process had been. She reminded me I’d said the same thing about the last two novels! So, that’s one thing I’ve learned after completing book number three: each book is different in terms of the process and how it comes to you, but it never gets any easier and the anxiety we have about our writing never goes away. It’s just part of the job and something we need to accept and not get caught up in. There were quite a few times I hit what I thought were major roadblocks in terms of where to go next with the plot. In my usual style I opted for avoidance and spent weeks on end doing anything but write. When I finally sat down and forced myself to face the page – to write anything at all rather than...