|Welcome to the Writer Insider, my new multimedia resource for writers, independent “indie” publishers, self-publishers, interested readers and anyone else who wants an audience for their writing. I have a big idea to vet to you, and I’m seeking your reactions, both positive and negative, and anywhere in between. I ‘m exploring the universe of publishing, which like our own starry cosmos, is expanding and growing at light warp speed toward an immense extent and population. I plan to do this in detail, based on my own journey, that of my fellow writers, collaborators and other experts who have something to contribute to this complex story. Here’s an outline of what I plan to cover in the months to come, amounting to a free course on getting started in your writing career. You can click on and read more for any heading that turns red when you hover on it with the mouse. If you want to contribute an article on any of these topics, please let me know.|
Having something to say and expressing it well is the entry ticket to the writer’s world. To merit publication by someone else, it must be said clearly, correctly and expertly and often artfully. To attract readership, it must at least be informative, appealing, topical, accessible and interesting. To become profitable and make a career of writing, one must develop an audience, a following or, what is called in the publishing game, a platform. In fact it helps to be a celebrity, like a presidential candidate, a news anchor or the survivor of a death-defying climb up Mount Everest. If we don’t happen to be among those public figures, entertainers or popular heroes, we will have to achieve writing success the hard way, by mastering the writing craft. CONTINUE READING
Pub 1.1 John Lutz: Tips on writing mystery and suspense
Pub 1.2 Nonfiction: Mainstream your memoir [Show how it typifies an era, an exploit or a basic human emotion]
Pub 1.3 Choose the best genre for your story
Pub 1.4 Don’t like the weather? Change it.
Pub 1.5 Give your reader a reason to care
What genre, that is, kind of writing, do you want to create? In my own case, It was easy to identify my genre. I have to admit I stumbled into this writing world as the son of two writers. My father was an advertising man and World War II Marine, who created promotional concepts and advertising copy for a living and scooped the big news of World War II’s ending with Japan’s surrender from his Guam radio station outpost. My mother,a news feature writer, wrote heartfelt and humorous newspaper columns on interesting musical personalities. You might say I was born into my second career, that of a writer. Each of them attempted creative writing in their day and left hundreds of wartime letters, essays and humorous commentary on their lives. These formed a natural entrée for me into writing their humorous biographies: Ben’s War with the U. S. Marines and Radio: One Woman’s Family in War and Pieces.
Genre and platform in nonfiction
If you’re a psychologist and want to share your knowledge to help people improve their lives, you might want to write a nonfiction, self-help book. You may have professional status, such as an advanced degree, a professional license or recognition by a professional society, which qualifies you to write about it . This professional standing in your field is called a “platform,” which can develop into recognition by the general public as an expert. Such status can lead to a public following, another aspect of your author platform.
Nonfiction genres vary widely and account for the largest overall sales in the book industry. They include all the liberal arts and sciences: history, with its many eras and specialized aspects (military, social and regional history), biography and autobiography, science, music art, philosophy, psychology, humor, social commentary, grade-level course books and college textbooks. In addition to these core subjects, nonfiction books also do-it-yourself manuals, self-help books and technical works on hundreds of topics, ranging from auto repair to computer software for dummies… READ MORE
About the best thing I did for my writing career was to join local writing groups: St. Louis Writers Guild, Sisters in Crime and St. Louis Publishers Association. Each literary society, in its own way filled in my ignorance of a huge and growing publishing industry, which is located, not only in the great publishing houses of New York, London, Toronto and Sydney, but in newspaper offices. homes, internet companies and tiny home studios worldwide, like my own cave in the basement of our house. In addition, online groups on social networks have led me to friendships across the sea and throughout the U. S., affording me new publicity and publication opportunities to an ever widening audience.
The Expanding Universe of Publishing
Until the turn of the twenty-first century, books were published primarily by publishing companies in the principal cities of the world. An author would contact the publisher, who would consider a submitted manuscript, suggest changes and either reject the submission or accept it for publication. Then at some time over the past century, as publishers were besieged by ever-more would-be authors, the literary agent came upon the scene to screen, select and help authors prepare their manuscripts for submission to the publishers. To achieve profitability,
Once you identify your genre and understand where your book fits within the vast canon of literature, you’ll find writing easier, identify your audience more easily and maybe even discover a quicker path to publication. I’d be delighted to learn your stories on these issues and share them and your comments with the other readers of this column.
There are a number of factors influencing how you can publish and what type of publisher you can choose. Or become: the following and professional standing –that is, the “platform”—of the author. the type or genre of the book, the number of books you have to offer in the excitement you can generate over the appearance of your new book, whether it be a novel, biography, cookbook or self-improvement strategy. In the next two pages under this heading, we’ll take advantage of some expert advice and I’ll share some insights I’ve learned
Pub 5.0: Hooray, you’ve got a book! Now what?
When a new writer receives a copy of their first published book, like one’s first child, it is a joy to behold. It also signals change in one’s life and and important milestone in anyone’s writing career and, most important, a challenge to move on with the next phase of the work. But what should the next steps be?
The answer lies in the reasons you wrote the book. Was it to pass your own story, experience and history on to your grandchildren? Do you you have a larger message and many more books to write, of which this one is only the first? Do you have the goal of making money and eventually earning a living from a writing career? You may have variations on these goals, or still others. Your approach to these objectives will be determined by what you want to accomplish. We’ll look into each and discuss ways of achieving them. We’ll especially explore ways to publicize your work, increase the size of your audience and generate sales.
Pub 6.0: Publicity: Traditional, with the big bucks, or new age on the internet
Pub 6.1: Getting noticed: Discoverability
Pub 7.0: Social networking: the new wave
Pub 8.0 Marketing: media types: Print, e-books, Kindle, audiobooks
Pub 9.0: Sales and distribution channels: exclusive vs. the Omnium Gatherum approach