What a great response to my poem. Thanks, folks. Also, now I have updated my website, http://www.juliecround.co.uk I have more people looking at it. I do need to email some of my readers to tell them about it but , most of all, I hope it will bring in more invitations to speak as I don’t have any for 2018 and I know most groups organise their speakers a year in advance.
The poetry book is under discussion but until I am sure of the layout I can’t ask Joan for more cartoons. I wish I had kept a list of everyone who bought “Honey and Humbug” but I didn’t. That’s a lesson, folks, keep a list of all your readers. It seems cheeky but it helps when you write the next book!
Hubby has made a database so I can track all the stories I send out for competitions. That will be my next task, when this hot weather breaks. At present I don’t feel like doing anything!
Poems chosen, I now find that I need a new title for the anthology. It was going to be “Birds, Blues and Bygones” which gave an idea of the verses about nature and nostalgia that we started with. Now some of the more simple poems have been replaced by darker ones about loss and change and I need to check the balance of moods to ensure the whole thing is not too depressing.
I also need to look up ways of designing the pages myself to avoid having to pay extra for the printing. It is a good job there is no specific date for completion.
As for the pantomime, I think I have found my two main characters. These two activities mean I am not writing but I am reading and ,I hope, learning!
Being an editor/publisher as well as a novelist means I get the opportunity to select and revise as well as create. At the moment I am choosing poems for the second anthology by four local writers and they have come up with some very good work that is more serious than the rest of the verses I had selected.
I think, maybe , that this book will turn out very different from ‘Honey and Humbug’ our first anthology, which made people chuckle and is now out of print as all 100 copies were snapped up in a few months. I did not ISBN it as I was warned that not many people bought poetry books and, actually, a lot of them were given away as presents. It did prove that our efforts were appreciated and hence the new book.I do sometimes include a poem or two in my talks to the WI so my copy is very precious.
I am now researching local printers to find the most reasonable way of producing the anthology as I do not want to use Print on Demand.
In the middle of editing the poetry anthology. Poems from four very different writers and I am wondering whether to keep the two different set ups. Some are written from the left margin and some centred. I quite like the variety but I’ll have to talk with my designer. I’d also like a border of some sort. I looked at some on line and I think I have found one I like but should it be the same on every page? Also, I have changed some of the punctuation and am tempted to restore the originals as they are how the author intended. I only found one spelling error in twenty poems. Now to get it all in order for October, when I am hoping we can make some sales.
This is almost as difficult as research. I have a bunch of poems to make up an anthology and need to find a linking theme, a title and then sort them so there aren’t two poems on the same subject next to each other. Then I need to find the ones that need illustrations, a good font and decide how many pages we can afford.
I have already decided we can do without an ISBN and it can be stapled rather than glued. We easily sold and gave away 100 copies of the last book we did like this “Honey and Humbug” and I don’t anticipate having any trouble doing the same again.
All the poets included write verses that are easy to recite, although I do put in a few that do not rhyme and Joan, in particular, writes poems that contain humour as well as a perceptive insight into the past.
Being an editor as well as an author has its benefits as, at the moment, my creative juices have dried up. I’m back to selling one book a week if I’m lucky so I need this anthology to keep me positive.
There are a few books I have found helpful in my writing journey, the first of which is “The Writers’ and Artist’s Yearbook,” which not only has writing advice but names and addresses of publishers and agents.
One writer who is most helpful to new authors is Jane Wenham Jones who has written two books that are both practical and easy to read. They are “Wanna be a Writer?” and “Wanna be a Writer we’ve heard of?”
Once you have written your story or article you could find helpful hints in Mary Cavanagh’s book “Marketing and Publicising Books.”
I also liked Andrew Crofts’ “The Freelance Writer’s Handbook.”
Finally, two regular publications, “The Writers’ Forum” and ” Writing” magazine have articles, competitions and contacts which encourage the new writer and demonstrate what a varied and exciting life we lead.
Of course, there are many more and lots of advice on line but it is good to have something to use as a reference book.
It is often said that writers must be introverts and that writing is a lonely occupation. Maybe for some it is, especially when members of their family sneer at their efforts – but there are plenty of extroverts who love to write. For them it is another means of communication.
If you find writing alone is less than satisfying I suggest you try to find a writing group, or start one. It can meet in a member’s house, you don’t need a hall, or in the local library. Each group is managed differently but most need a leader who has some idea of the format of each meeting.
Most informal groups meet to discuss the writing they are doing at the time and to read out loud. If this is overwhelming someone else can read your work or you can just participate by commenting on other contributions. Sometimes groups can organise events such as book launches or sales at fetes and fairs.
A more formal writing group usually has an experienced writer as a leader who will give advice and use the time for writing exercises with homework for those who wish to do it. Groups can be made up of writers of all genres or one. You might find a story-writing group or one that writes poetry or produces plays.
Local colleges sometimes have groups led by a professional writer and lecturer but these can be expensive. A flourishing group can help with book design, self publishing, marketing and promotion but often the greatest pleasure a writer gets from a group is just mixing with fellow writers.
Larger groups run competitions, invite speakers and are probably members of the National Association of Writers Groups (UK) NAWG has an annual conference which is well worth attending.
Writers can be sociable!