I can’t believe the last time I posted here was at the end of May. I honestly thought because of lockdown I would have so much more time to share my ideas and thoughts here, but … well … as you can see, it hasn’t happened! Why? While looking back through my diary I can see that I’ve been rather busy. Am I allowed to say that I’ve been enjoying lockdown? I know some people haven’t, and there have been…
Lockdown affects us all differently. I’m amazed by the way some people are filling their time, whether it be learning a new language, doing some DIY or catching up with their reading. For me, I’ve been able to make huge strides with a novel I’m currently working on. Who knows whether it’ll see the light of day in published format, but what the experience has emphasised for me is the importance of Maker time.
I’ve been reading a lot recently about being a dictator. (No, not one of those authoritative types who’s clearly too big for his boots.) I’ve been looking into the art of dictating some of my writing to my computer. For those with Windows computers, the Dragon Naturally Speaking software is king (and a rather expensive one at that!). Being and Apple user, dedicated software solutions are extremely limited, although Dragon’s creators, Nuance, now offers a mobile version for a monthly subscription (still pricey!), which…
In this month’s Writing Magazine I’ve an article about making the most of this month’s extra day. So I thought I’d share some of it here, so you can start planning on how you’re going to use yours!
I’ve blogged in the past about how using services such as Draft2Digital enables you to access a wide variety of other ebook distribution services, like Kobo, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble etc. But they also have another use when it comes to managing your books on Amazon: making books permafree.
I don’t know about you, but Christmas feels like it’s hurtling towards me at an even faster pace than previous years. I must be getting old. But not to worry, because according to the latest issue of The People’s Friend, I’ll soon be in the festive spirit.
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).