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...
10 things I Learned Writing My Third Novel: #1 Write And The Ideas Will Come

10 things I Learned Writing My Third Novel: #1 Write And The Ideas Will Come

With less than two weeks to go until the release of my third novel, Close To Home (and yes, I am excited!!!) I’ve been pondering, again, this whole writing business. Starting work on a new novel, I’ve found the same issues keep arising, the same old worries, concerns and obstacles that came up with novels 1 and 2. I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a slow learner but I have found it worthwhile to review my novel writing experiences. So, in no particular order I’ll be doing a series of posts (to be posted each Wednesday, this one is a day late) on that very topic, partly as a reminder to myself and hopefully to help some other writers out there. Here goes with Number 1: If You’re Stuck Just keep Writing. I’m not a planner. I’m one of those writers who starts with an idea or image, leaps into the story and lets the characters and plot develop as I write. With Close To Home I fully intended to ‘correct’ this habit. I sat down, pen in hand, began writing out dot points, managed about six and hit a wall. No matter how hard I tried, how many lists I brainstormed or diagrams I drew, that was as far as my plotting would go. So I reverted to my previous mode of operating – pantsing – and started writing. It was easy, I had the beginning of the story playing in my head like a movie. The character, the place, the initial part of the plot. Words flowed fairly effortlessly onto the page. I sat...
Five Reasons Why You Should Create a Soundtrack For Your Novel

Five Reasons Why You Should Create a Soundtrack For Your Novel

Welcome to the Writing On Wednesdays Blog Series where I’ll be posting an article on the writing process each week. While these posts are targeted more towards writers I hope readers will be interested too. This week’s post is on creating a playlist for your novel. Here’s my top 5 reasons why you should do it: Finding the right songs can help you distill the themes of your book. Often when we write we’re not 100% sure exactly what it is we’re trying to say. Looking for inspiration in song form can help you hone in on the message you’re trying to get across, often through the lyrics but sometimes through the music.       Having a soundtrack for the whole book can help you pinpoint the pace of your story. Sometimes when we’re writing the first draft – or even revising it’s easy to one chapter or scene flows into another without any variation in the pace. When you come up with a soundtrack the songs you assign to each chapter will allow you to see if you need more variation. Maybe you have three slow moving scenes or chapters in a row? Maybe the events in one chapter are too similar to the ones that precede it? Identifying the mood and song for each chapter can help you rectify this.   Song lyrics can provide missing clues for your characters. We learn about our characters as we write the story but sometimes there can be something missing. Songs are one way of piecing together the puzzle. Readers connect to our characters when they can relate to...

A Letter From Loretta Hill, Author Of The Girl In The Yellow Vest

Today the lovely Loretta Hill has sent me a letter telling me all about the release of her latest book The Girl In The Yellow Vest. I loved The Girl In The Hard Hat and can’t wait to read this latest book from Loretta. Thanks for visiting Flying Pony Loretta and good luck with the new book. *** * Dear Pamela, How are you? I’m just exhausted. Christmas plus school holidays plus book promotions equals more work then I thought I’d signed up for. I was actually supposed to be slowing down this month but every time I think I’m going to make it to the couch something else needs to be done.  I wish I could borrow some of my kid’s energy so I could be more productive or at least less tired. Having said that, I did just waste two hours on facebook and email this morning and about ten minutes on twitter. I usually try to limit my social media time otherwise I’d never get anything done. But today is kind of special, so I just went nuts. Why is today special? Well, firstly, I heard that  “The Girl in the Yellow Vest” is now on store shelves. So I just had to tell everybody. As you know, the official release date for “The Girl in the Yellow Vest” is Jan 2014. But sometimes they bring out my books out a little earlier so that people can get them as Christmas gifts.  I’m so glad that this year they’ve done the same. My wonderful nanny who is over today, looking after the kids, while I’m “supposed”...