Saturday, March 23, 2013

What's around the Bend in the Road?

Wild, scenic 
An open-road and clear landscape invite riding on horseback, revving the ATV,  rambling on foot...and writing ideas. What's around the bend in the road? 
Writer-reader landscapes are more like cityscapes than country roads. They crowd with changing information and writing connections, exchanging ideas, creativity, information, and building fiction.  
     Writing is a place now where modesty may remain in private but in public titles and updates must appear. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are gathering places much like small towns' community message boards. Blogs spotlight books, articles, or events.
     I have two active blogs, this one and anotherNow I feature a new Amazon aStore (fun to build) featuring books in different categories. I can add one or more other stores this way, through Amazon Associates, free.   
     Writer, is your work getting better? Do you allow it on a blog or website? Wherever you are, are you thinking about what might be around the next bend in the road you're traveling?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Author Answers for Quick Quiz of Discovery

Follow-up for "Discover Where to Focus Now"
Quick Quiz

In the post "Discover Where to Focus Now," the first section  put five options for first-book authors: Contract with an agent, hook a publishing house editor, self-publish the finished manuscript as a printed book, self-publish as an e-book, or undecided.

The right answer for you is the one you choose. It must be, for you are in charge of your book's development and its future. Each option has its pros and cons. I am sure you are doing, or have already done, extensive research before making a final decision.

The second section of the quiz of discovery was "What is your most urgent need, regardless of the above answer?" You were to choose only one:

a. Writing improvement
b. Study of proposal writing
c. Financial savvy
d. Marketing plan
e. Decision about direction of publication (the first section)
f. Specific cover design ideas

If I had faced those choices 12 years ago, I would most likely have chosen a., with the idea in mind that I needed most to keep making improvements while writing my book.

But now, I have my book in two print editions* by two different publishers. And, I have 12 solid years as an independent publisher of four other authors.

All of that adds up to my view that the first priority for the best answer is c: Financial savvy. Why? Every decision we writers make from hiring editors or proofreaders to signing contracts, and other things in between, involves financial needs, resources, knowledge, and decisions. Underestimating the power of the financial side of the writing life can wreak havoc on work, including concentration and peace of mind now and far into the future.  Of course, the other obvious possible answers are important, always.

I have faced the temptations of going into debt for writing, publishing, marketing, and  distribution costs. I had lines of credit for a while as a publisher; oh, happy day, when I was done with those contracts. I decided, and recommend to writers, not to owe money as a writer! That's a view based on what I am willing to undertake and what I can live peacefully with, regarding money and decisions. Each one of us is different, but debt can get a strong-hold over the best writers.

If you don't see yourself as someone with financial savvy, now is a good time to begin to develop it. Find out what financial points you need to be aware of and especially where contracts or agreements are involved for the answer you gave to the first question. Each "where to publish" decision has its own distinctive requirements regarding financial knowledge, awareness, needs, obstacles, and repercussions. 

How did you do on this quick quiz? Maybe you disagree with my first-priority answer. If you do, I recommend that you make sure that financial awareness and savvy are among your top priorities. 

*Not All Roads Lead Home publisher Highland Books, UK
and Not All Roads Lead Home publisher Opine Publishing, USA, both under pen name