The Business of Writing

Simon Whaley's Resource For Writers

Category: BoW Articles

Hybrid Authors

Last Saturday I was assisting with a workshop on self-publishing run by Wrekin Writers, as part of the Wellington Festival, and the topic of Hybrid Authors was briefly discussed. So I thought I’d take the opportunity of posting my recent Writing Magazine feature where I chatted to two writers about being a hybrid author.

HYBRID AUTHORS

Traditionally-published or self-published? Simon Whaley chats to two writers with a foot in both camps.

A few years ago, a writer’s life was binary: either you sought a traditional publishing contract for your book, or you self-published it. Traditionally-published authors liked someone else picking up the costs of editing, proofreading, jacket design and production (in return for a reduced royalty rate), while independent authors were proud that they were in complete control of the whole process, despite having to finance it, in return for a higher royalty rate. 

However, the business of writing is changing. No longer is it necessary to be one or the other. Some writers are choosing the hybrid route: having a mixture of traditionally-published and self-published projects. Why be pigeon-holed into one, or the other, when you can have your cake and eat it?

Leah Mercer (https://www.leahmercer.com/books), whose latest novel The Man I Thought You Were, published by Amazon imprint Lake Union Publishing, believes being a hybrid author offers many benefits. ‘Hybrid authors really have the best of both worlds,’ she explains. ‘By self-publishing, they have the freedom to publish what they want at a price they choose, and they can plug the gaps that often occur when publishing with major houses.’

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Going Mobile

Can we write a novel on a smartphone, or edit a short story on a tablet? Simon Whaley connects with four writers who aren’t chained to their desks.

(Writing Magazine – July 2017 issue)

In July 2016, Literature and Latte, the company behind the popular Scrivener writing software, released their iOS version, making the programme available to writers on their iPads and iPhones. At first, I was sceptical. Who writes a novel on their smartphone with its tiny, cumbersome keyboard?

It all changed for me during a delayed hospital appointment. Instead of sitting there, wasting time, I realised I could review the first draft of an article I’d written earlier that day at my desk. Out came my smartphone, and I began editing. When I got home, all those amendments I’d made via my smartphone were reflected on my desktop version. Amazing.

In the business of writing, being productive means making the most efficient use of our time, and this is where writing apps for mobile devices come into their own.

Freedom and Flexibility

For New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison (www.jtellison.com), whose latest standalone thriller, Lie to Me, is published on 5th September, having access to all of her writing on her iPad has revolutionised her writing workflow. Being able to use the same writing software on all of her devices enables her to write everywhere. As a Scrivener fan, she couldn’t wait for last year’s launch of the mobile app.

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Festival Fever

Most of us love a good writing workshop, and for an hour or two we’re in heaven. But why go to one when we could have a whole weekend or even a week of them? Three key writers’ conferences take place between the end of July through to the beginning of September, giving delegates a plethora of workshops and talks in which to immerse themselves.

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BoW – Productivity Leap

bow-productivity-leapWhen you’re an employee you get paid at the end of the month. Unfortunately, most employees get paid the same amount of money whether there are 28 days in February, or 29. For self-employed people, things are a little different. A leap year gives us a whole extra day in which to write something and, hopefully, earn more money. But it doesn’t matter whether you write full time, or in your spare time, this February we have all been allocated an extra 24 hours. So how are you going to make the most of yours?

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