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 elements that I’ve found frustrating but, essentially, lockdown has enabled me to block out most distractions and get some writing done.
One of my major projects was to get the first (really shitty, and I mean really shitty) first draft of the second novel sorted. I’ve been trying to get that done for over a year, and I’ve finally succeeded. But, as everyone knows, now the first draft is sorted, now the hard work really begins.
And as Sandi Toksvig said during her excellent Hay Festival event:
“It’s the rewriting – now we’ve got something on the paper, let’s see what we can do with it.”
Yes, Sandi. I just hope I can do something with it now.
But I’ve also been learning and publishing. Some time ago I bought back the rights to my Photography for Writers book from the traditional publisher. I wanted to update it and self-publish it.
And, as of Sunday, both the print copy and digital copies are now available! Now, I’m rather pleased with this second edition because, unlike the first edition, this edition now includes photos.
When I first pitched this book to the publishers, I wanted to include some sample photos. However, with photographs the book was uneconomical to produce. So the photos were ditched, and I tried to do something with an accompanying blog.
But things have moved on since it the first edition was published in 2014. Self-publishing has become easier, and with software like Vellum, it’s much easier to include photos.
Not only that, but I’ve also bought my own ISBNs. There are two reasons for this:
- I want my eBook to be widely available, and so I use the distributor Draft2Digital. These make ebooks available to libraries. Ebooks can now be registered for PLR (Public Lending Right), but only if they have an ISBN. Having the ISBN for an eBook means I can register it for PLR.
- Having my own ISBNs means that I am listed as the publisher, not KDP, Draft2Digital, or IngramSpark. Yes, as well as publishing the print book via Amazon’s KDP scheme, I’ve also used IngramSpark.
The reason I’ve used IngramSpark for printing is because independent retailers won’t buy stock from Amazon. But they will from IngramSpark, so it also means that, technically, any bookshop can now order my print copies should any of their customers ask for it.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting hordes of people to order it from their local bookstore (although that would be nice), but I have plans for print books and I needed to learn the ropes first. So Photography for Writers has been my learning curve for ISBNs, registering titles, and uploading and producing books via IngramSpark.
I also want to link back to an earlier blog posting Words Are Our Assets. Part of what I’ve been doing is all about reinvigorating my existing assets. (No, that’s not a euphemism!)
As writers we create assets, whether they are articles, stories, books, whatever. These are assets that we can turn into products. Hence, Photography for Writers is available in print and digital formats.
But because I own the rights in those works, it enables me to make the most of these assets.
Novelists, particularly those who write a series, often create box sets of their works. This works well in digital format.
So I’m just in learning how to do this … not with my novels (because the second one is still at the shitty first draft stage!), but with Photography for Writers. Because I realised that having written The Complete Article Writer which offers advice about how to write and sell magazine articles, Photography for Writers is the perfect accompaniment for those article writers looking to take photos to offer alongside their words.
This hadn’t crossed my mind at all while I was rewriting and updating Photography for Writers. But it illustrates how it’s possible to adapt some of your assets to create new assets.
Writing new material can be important (at least, that’s what I kept telling myself as I was trying to get the second novel finished), but it’s always worth reviewing what we’ve done in the past. Perhaps there may be fresh opportunities for those words you hadn’t yet considered.