Locked Down, But Not Standing Still

Locked Down, But Not Standing Still

Gosh! Where has all the time gone? I can’t believe it’s been nine weeks since I last posted something. That’s not because I haven’t been doing anything. In fact, quite the opposite. 

Since lockdown restrictions have eased further here in the UK, I’ve been commissioned by a couple of magazines to do some articles that meant getting out and about, and being away from my desk. (In fact, in next month’s BBC Countryfile magazine I’ll have not one, but two pieces.)

I’ve also been busy with bigger projects. As you saw in my last post, the combined The Complete Article Writer’s Box Set has been launched, and I’ve also tweaked the metadata on the sales platforms I use to make both The Complete Article Writer and Photography for Writers part of my The Practical Writer Series.

Long term plans now include commissioning a new set of covers to give the series a clearly defined brand/look.

Work is finally getting underway to update my The Positively Productive Writer. I reread it recently, and I have now realised that it’s going to be less of an update and more of a complete rewrite!

I’ve learned many things over the last few months, one of them being how helpful staff at Amazon KDP are. When I published my second edition of Photography for Writers, none of the reviews from the first edition come across. I knew this would be the case because the first edition was published by a traditional publisher and I’ve self-published the second edition. As far as Amazon is concerned these are two different books published by two different publishers. However, during one of many email conversations with an Amazon KDP representative, they pointed out that it was possible for them to apply a label and link to the first edition of Photography for Writers advising readers that a newer edition is now available. Which just proves that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

I also wanted to let you know that I’m busy sorting out a big change to this blog. I’ve decided to switch from making blog posts to sending out email newsletters. I know that some of you subscribe to the blog and get these blog posts in email format anyway, so I know that many of you read these as emails, anyway.

My posting to this blog has been erratic during Covid-19 and I want to change that, and so by switching to an email newsletter I’ll commit to issuing a monthly newsletter.

Having a newsletter also enables me to do more for you. Many of you know that I write the Business of Writing column in Writing Magazine, and I work several months ahead for that (I’m currently working on the January 2021 feature). There have been times when I’ve wanted to share with you some of the quotes other writers have given me, before the article is published, but I’m not comfortable putting them on a public blog for anyone to see. Whereas, it’s an entirely different prospect sharing details on a private newsletter before they have published the article.

It’ll be a few months before this happens, because I plan to combine this switch with the publication of The Business of Writing – Volume 3 – my third collection of articles from Writing Magazine. While there will be a charge for the paperback and ebook versions on the usual platforms and distribution channels, I’ll give a free digital copy (kindle, epub or PDF) to those of you who sign up to my newsletter to get a free digital version.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I use some Mac software called Vellum to help with the formatting of my paperback and digital books. If you’ve wondered about whether to purchase the software (for your Apple computer) I can recommend Adam Croft’s free Formatting Your Book With Vellum course. Take a look at that, and you’ll get a great overview of its capabilities.

The software enabled me to help a friend, Jan Johnstone, bring to market her book Hadley – The Story of a Shropshire Village, which she self-published on 23rd August. The book was inspired by a local reporter with whom she was once chatting, upon the publication of one of her other local history books. She mentioned Hadley, the small village where her family originates, and the reporter said, “Hadley? Hadley? Nothing’s ever happened in Hadley.”

At 240 pages long, I think you’ll agree that Jan’s proved him wrong!

Until next time, which won’t be as long as this last gap, stay safe and keep writing!

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