Last weekend it was our writers’ group’s annual retreat. I was staying near Abersoch, found near the end of the Llyn Peninsula, in Wales. There were thirteen of us in total and we all turned up on Thursday evening fired up for three full days of writing, before departing again on Monday morning.
I owe you an apology. It’s been several weeks since my last post. Things have been … well, a tad hectic recently. This time last week I was having breakfast with the Archbishop of Canterbury. And between 8.39am and 8.59am I and my colleagues demonstrated to him the new online resource we’ve been creating over the last year for churches. (It seems the planning that goes into Archbishop visits is similar to that of Royal visits.)
It’s that time of year again for me when the latest royalty figures (and payments) arrive for my first published book, One Hundred Ways For A Dog To Train Its Human. It was sixteen years ago (crikey!) when it first hit the bookshops, and it’s a reminder that words are our assets. Those 5,000 words, written earlier in 2003, are still generating an income for me today (albeit a much reduced one than sixteen years ago!).
Last time, in my post How To Sell In Peru, I discussed the decision self-published authors have to take about being exclusive to Amazon, or going wide. This is because when we upload our material to Amazon we’re given the choice to join their Kindle Select scheme. Signing up to this scheme requires giving Amazon exclusivity to your eBook.
Having just been commissioned to write a feature about a tinsel factory for a weekly magazine, it’s reminded me that while it’s currently the summer school holidays, I’m actually working on Christmas material. (Eek! Sorry. I’ve mentioned the C word!) But that’s what the business of writing is all about … being about six months ahead of schedule. (Indeed, for some markets, particularly the monthly ones, it’s already too late for this Christmas.)
Last week, I decided to take myself away from any distractions and work in the library in my county town. I could have worked in the library in my village (which we’re still fortunate to have), but the chances of bumping into people I know, who would then stop to chat, would be much greater … so I decided for the relative anonymity of the larger library in town.
It was an opportunity I had to take. Here was an editor keen on my novel. But a few others in the acquisitions meeting had reservations, so a contract wasn’t quite in the offing just yet. A few tweaks, though, could make all the difference.
As the proverb says, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, so last Saturday I had a play day at Hay. I, along with a group of writers’ circle friends, minibussed it down to the Welsh Border village of Hay on Wye for the 32nd Hay Literary Festival. I’ve always had mixed feelings about some of the larger, well-known literary festivals, because, historically, authors haven’t always been recompensed properly for the work they put in when attending such…
As writers, it’s important that we come up with fresh new ideas on a regular basis. However, we’re wasting our time if we don’t do anything with them. Much better to have a habit of developing ideas and then either writing them up (if it’s fiction) or pitching them (if they’re non-fiction).
Inside the May 2019 issue of Writing Magazine is my Business of Writing piece about Writing Tandem. We know that writing partnerships can work well in some writing formats, such as comedy (particularly sitcoms), films and even theatre work. But what about books?
Saturday was a financial admin day for me. Oh, the heady world of being a writer! For me, Saturday marked the start of the 2019/2020 financial year, and therefore the end of the last financial year. While many people use the end of the calendar year to look back on their achievements, I also use the end of the financial year to look back too.
Sleep. We all need it. But do we get enough of it? And if we don’t … could it be affecting your writing business? How creative do you feel after a bad night’s sleep? I recently read Matthew Walker’s Why We Sleep and can thoroughly recommend it. It’s a fascinating read (and one of those books that is so well written it’s an easy read even though the subject matter gets quite complicated at times). How many times have we found ourselves…
The latest issue of Writing Magazine carries a piece by the brilliant Patsy Collins (who runs the Womagwriter blog) concerning changes at Spirit & Destiny magazine. This magazine is now taking all rights in material, including fiction. As a result, some of the writers Patsy quoted in her piece have said that they will no longer write for them. (Note, some last minute editing as the publication went to press means the sentence about those writers not writing for Spirit & Destiny could…
This year’s London Book Fair takes place between 12th and 14th March at Olympia. Like many of these events, if you’ve never been before it’s worth making some preparations to ensure you get the most from your visit. Time will fly!
I know I’m getting old when I see an advert on television for a popular confectionary treat that’s got a new added twist (Peanut butter flavoured Kit Kat Chunky, anyone?) and I think to myself, ”Why can’t they leave products alone? Why do they have to keep messing about with stuff?” However, there are times when an update is needed, and I’ve been working on two over the Christmas period (one is still under wraps at the moment).