ON WRITING

Remember writing doesn't love you. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on. A. L. Kennedy

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The #IWSG - My post - ALL THOSE LOVELY RESOURCES OUT THERE TO HELP WRITERS WRITE AND PUBLISH.

Hello all!

Time for the May IWSG. Eagerly anticipated by many, it has become for some, the only time they post these days, often me included.

Thanks to Alex J Cavanaugh, bloggers, whether twice-weekly, weekly, fortnightly or monthly get together and catch up with each other in the context of 'insecurity.' A good context. Who's ever met an author who is not insecure?

Alex's awesome co-hosts for the May 2 posting of the IWSG are E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose,C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

I'm not going anywhere near the question of the month. Spring? That's in one half of the world. It's autumn in the other half.  Down Under we write all year round. It's always hot except for a couple of weeks a year, so we can't let the weather keep us from our laptops or we'd NEVER write.

Now this post just sprung out of my head. Unplanned. I just started talking to you, and look how it ended up. Now retrospectively, I will give it a title.

ALL THOSE LOVELY RESOURCES OUT THERE TO HELP WRITERS WRITE AND PUBLISH.

Best selling authors have a charmed life compared to mid list, bottom feeders and one-book wonders. I'm addicted to reading Acknowledgements at the end of all the best sellers I read, (about 100 a year). By the time  I count the author's thanks to his/her agent/s, editor/s, researchers, early readers, experts and so on, some authors acknowledge that over 40+ people have been crucial, in some way, to birthing and selling their novels. A bit like the credits at the end of a movie. You think, wow, no wonder it was so good, or I wonder why it wasn't better?

We bottom feeders (or however you categorize yourself) are pretty much alone in birthing our books. But WE ARE NOT ALONE. This is who I acknowledge so far on my wobbly journey toward multiple publication in between reading a copious amount of books.
  • Craft websites such as K.M. Weiland or Kristen Lamb and others, too many to mention, who offer golden nuggets to authors for FREE or offer reasonably-priced online courses. Sure, some of the advice can be contradictory, and some craft posts are for writers at certain stages of their career. But there's always a take out from these generous souls.
  • Bloggers who have guest authors or agents who freely share their journey/advice/encouragement. Literary Rambles and Nas Dean come to mind. You are very generous, Natalie and Nas. Golden Blogger Award!
  • Bloggers who have published multiple books. I find you intriguing, seeing the different ways you promote yourselves. And what a surprise when one of your books turns up in my local library all the way Down Under. Thinking Susan Kelley...
  • Depending on where you are in your writing career, Facebook Groups (I hate to mention this greedy global spy but it does have its uses) can be worth their weight in gold. I've only ever self-published one novel and only on Amazon and left it there to die a natural death, but due to haunting FB sites like 20booksto50k (I've mentioned it here before), I learn that it could be advantageous to have several books available (suggested number is 6) before hitting Publish. Joanna Penn said the same thing when she came to Oz last year. Draft2Digital is awesome with their advice and how they will promote you on as many platforms as you like. They've just added Amazon to their list! Of course I'm in many other FB groups - groups where you can order covers, where you can get feedback on that all-important cover, groups who will help you with your blurb, your synopsis...everything you need to self-publish, really, or to polish your submission to a traditional publisher.
  • Beta readers. I've found a fabulous, wild, Uk-based beta reader, who's more of an editor, really. She reads through my stories like a reader and yells at me (with my permission). She takes no prisoners. No point in a beta reader who isn't honest and she's certainly made me question every word I write and every plot point and then there's structure. Phew! 
  • Critique partners. I've struggled to find good critters for years. People who get me and my work and who are timely. At a Margie Lawson immersion class, Margie hooked me up with two other writers in our group and said we should become a critter team. We  help each other create our stories and we are relentless with our work ethic and Track Changes editing and face-to-face meetings. These two have done more for my writing than ANYONE mentioned above. They helped me create my Paris novel which is with Avon and they're currently helping me write my paranormal romance trilogy. 
So, when I have my 6 books ready to publish under my pen name, I'll have a few acknowledgements. But 40 helpers would be sooooo nice.

Thanks for coming by. I hope you found a takeaway here. 

Have a fabulous writing month!

Here's a bonus pic for coming by - Pommery Champagne House, Champagne region, France. Where else? A trip through their cellars inspires me every time.


Denise 





36 comments:

  1. lol, 40 helpers would be VERY nice. But, it seems you will have a lot of acknowledgments yourself. Don't feel lonely :)

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    1. Yep. Many people have helped me. Very generous.

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  2. Forty helpers would be awesome! But we do have a lot of help at our disposal if we look.

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    1. We do. Just takes a lot of time to unearth.

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  3. I like to read those acknowledgment pages on all the books I read too. Thanks for the shout out for my blog. I really need to get on Facebook more and join some of those author groups. If I ever get time. LOL

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    1. I loathe FB myself, but I use it to my advantage.

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  4. They might not be helpers, but I bet you'll have that many people to thank in your next book, too.

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    1. I will. I'll start counting already!

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  5. Great post, I found it very inspiring. These days unless you live in a cave, I don't think it would be possible to create a book in a vacuum. Good to have so many helpers at our disposal!

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  6. Just forty helpers? I think Gru had a lot more minions ;-)

    Ronel visiting on Insecure Writer's Support Group day: Autumn Decisions

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    1. Some have a lot more than 40. You're right!

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  7. Finding the right beta readers is so important. I'm glad you've found yours! And here's to those books making their debuts! Yay, Denise.

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    1. My writing just didn't move along til I found my betas. Now I'm sailing!

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  8. I don't think having 40 helpers classifies you as a bottom feeder--quite the opposite. I thanked my dog in one of my book's acknowledgements, having run out of helpers to mention. :)

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    1. I said the opposite, actually. Bottom feeders can only dream of 40 professional helpers.

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  9. Hi Denise - I found this post really helpful and interesting ... helpful later perhaps! Having someone who understands you must help hugely in moving forward. But still great advice and with some interesting ideas in it - the six books pre-publication of one book makes sense doesn't it ... I'll meet you at Pommery!! Take care and enjoy the writerly things as winter sets in with you ... cheers Hilary

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    1. I'm glad you got a takeaway here, Hilary. You've got to find those helpers to move forward. Oui, Hilary, let's meet at Pommery!

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  10. Great list! Some I had heard of (read: stalked online) but a few were new! If I'm reading your website correctly you write romance? I know the price tag is daunting but joining RWA is really worth it for critique partners. I finally gave them my money to join last year and immediately found that every member can sign up as a volunteer critique partner and most do. I've found so many helpful partners this way! Hope that helps :)

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    1. I'm in the Australian RWA and have had a professional critique partner through there, but wasn't very helpful. Now I'm rockin' with these gals! But I might look into RWA again. Maybe things have improved.

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  11. 40 helpers would sure be grand. Could publish 50 books a year then with ease lol Pfft to Farcebook though. I'll still avoid it.

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    1. Oh, Farcebook! Love it or hate it, it's the best we've got atm!

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  12. 40 helpers - gosh, what a concept! I'm still struggling to reach 6 books (I'm down to 1 at the moment). Great post, Denise.

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    1. If I didn't read so much, I'd already have a truckload of books published but don't I love reading!

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  13. Ah, 40 helpers, wouldn't that be sweet.

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  14. Beta Readers are a must and critiquers who will look deeply at your content to see if they really connect with what you're writing. To add to your list, I've taken a few classes from an former publisher who passes on what has been given to her by doing online markups. She also teaches at outreach international, the international branch of the Romance Writers of America. Her classes are extremely helpful.
    All the best to you, lady.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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    1. Thanks Pat. That’s interesting.

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  15. I love reading about your progress! 40? You sure that's enough? ;)

    Love the inspiration, thanks!

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  16. Love the resources list. So helpful. :)

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  17. I see irony in posting about how bad Facebook is on Google's Blogger. Politics aside, though, that's a great list of resources, and I love all the blogs and bloggers you've mentioned. I've found my critique group, finally, and it was hard to find a good group that clicked for me. Beta readers are my biggest struggle because I want opinions from non-writers, but they seem to be so tickled that their friend is writing a book they forget that they wouldn't read it otherwise.

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    1. I’ve given up on family as readers. But it’s good to find readers who aren’t writers.

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  18. Thank you so much for the shout out. I appreciate it so much. You made my day. And when you're ready for me to help spread your good news, let me know.

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    1. Thanks Susan. Won't be for awhile yet.

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  19. OMG! Denise, you had some awesome news here! I'm so happy and excited for you! And thanks for the shout out, too.

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