I was reading this month’s magazine when I came upon a little piece about me and my books. It was such a long time since I sent it in I had forgotten all about it.
I should have added a web address but otherwise it was fine, although I always think other writers cannot possibly read books by all the authors who submit to Writing Magazine. Just occasionally a review or a story might make a reader search out more by that writer and one can hope that a publisher might be curious enough to find out whether one would be a good bet for promotion.
Having been told once that my work was’not commercial’ I gave up sending to agents. It is enough to constantly be asked for another book by the folk who do buy a copy. It will be interesting to find out if anyone shows an interest at the UK Southern Book Show on 28th October at Field Place, Worthing. It should be a great showcase.
As I am not writing a novel at present I thought I might try some competitions. The one in the Writing Magazine looked promising. We needed to write an autumn poem that didn’t seem hackneyed ( No mists and mellow fruitfulness) When I was a schoolteacher we used to ask the children to think of lots of words that reminded them of autumn and then turn them into a poem. Naturally we had loads of red and golden leaves, along with bonfire night and getting ready for Christmas.
I looked at the winning poems in other competitions and found that free verse, without rhyme, usually won first prize. OK – I thought, I’ll try that. So I did and the fourth line rhymed with the second line in spite of my efforts. What should I do – write in sentences and then split them into phrases or give up and write the kind of verse I usually compose? I forced myself not to use rhyming couplets.
Serious poets would only sneer.
If I don’t enter the competition
I’ll post it somewhere here.
With no new novel on the go I have turned to Competitions to find a subject for a short story. Maybe I’m odd but I avoid all the ones with no theme.
Writing Magazine always has lots to choose from but when I tried to write one on ‘Love’ I could not think of anything original. I thought about entering the one on ‘Hate’ but found that even more difficult.
‘Scribble’ magazine always has a great selection of stories but the last two I sent in were rejected. I could see why – they just weren’t fascinating enough. Also, my writing style has changed over the years and dialogue is taking over. It should be appropriate for short stories but there has to be a balance.
The UK Southern Book Show now has a website with notes about some of the authors who will be attending. This promises to be an exciting event so I am looking forward to October.
Wow! Panto almost ready for recording. Only one missing sound and three of us are working hard to find it. I had fun looking at all the sounds one can find on line. A completely new experience for me and I hope I don’t forget how to do it.
Then the final module of my radio drama course came with so much information I had to print it off. It may be useful soon as I am helping in a workshop next week and promised to tell everyone how I found it.
Writing Magazine sent a Christmas parcel which looks exciting. Somehow I have to get energised to be more creative. If I get started on a musical event for 2018 I may feel I am doing something worthwhile. Meanwhile I have ordered the new bookmarks and the poetry anthology is still selling well.
Perhaps I’ll try to take more pictures next year.
Writing a book.
Most people who want to write a book would like to write an autobiography. Not only is it a way to remember what happened, it is also a record to pass down to future generations.
Once you have written your book you must proof read it, using the computer spellcheck and letting someone else look over it for spelling, punctuation and spacing errors. It is also helpful to read it out loud. If you use an editor they will tell you if you have correct dates and reasonable continuity and, in the case of fiction, if you have made your characters believable and if there are any holes in the plot. If you are writing a novel it should be written in scenes, as if it was a film.
To find an agent you could use the Writers’and Artists’ Yearbook or meet them face to face at somewhere like the Winchester Festival. If you cannot get a publisher interested it is probably because they don’t think they could make a profit. If you know there is a niche market you could opt for self publishing.
For a few copies for family members a local printer may be your best bet but if you want copies in bookshops or the library you need to find a publishing partner or buy 10 ISBN numbers which cost over £100. Writers’ Forum or Writing Magazine have advertisements for publishing partners. Costs vary and the more copies you order the cheaper the books. Also, Feedaread or Createspace will take over the publication of your book on a Print on Demand basis.
If you wish to be your own publisher you can find experts to do what you are unable to do. Cover images can be found on line or you can provide your own. A good book designer will format your book and send proofs for you to check.When it comes to selling bookshops and wholesalers want a discount of 40-50% so you are unlikely to make a profit. Marketing is the most difficult part of being an author but the computer helps as does having a website and going on social media.
If you write fiction you are at the mercy of fashion and it is luck, fame or notoriety that will see your book a best seller.
The play is now typed out and I have seen the errors. Still, it’s good enough to read to Sea Scribes and I’m sure they will help me to improve it.
I also have a short story on the go for another competition. Thank goodness for Writing Magazine. They keep me going, along with Worthy Words where Wendy gives us homework. This month it made me delve into my past and I found out my memory of fifty years ago is inaccurate. It’s a good job I’m not writing an autobiography.
Looking at photo of our wedding day can be quite a shock. We can never look like that again. Still, it’s better than just having photos on line. I’m glad we have an album.
I have just sent off an article to Mature Times as the magazine I first offered it to have not replied.If I get it published I’ll be content but wouldn’t it be nice if they asked for more?
I’ll be up in the loft this weekend for more copies of “A Lesson for the Teacher” to take on holiday.As it contains scenes in Chatham,Greenford,Ealing, Shoreham,Brighton, Burnham and Torquay I can’t expect Worthing people to buy it to find places they recognise as I could with the other five books. It has to rely on folk who remember the 1960’s. Luckily, we may be with a few of those!
The last copy of “Honey and Humbug” will be sold this weekend. (I have archived one)We enjoyed producing our own poetry anthology but we didn’t ISBN it and the 100 we had printed were often given away as presents so it was expensive.
I am trying to think of another story for a competition. Writing Magazine have a whole year of competitions in their last issue. Talks are great but I need to be creating!