Writing Wednesday: After Writing

You’re a writer because your head is full of stories that you need to tell. If you have the self discipline to keep writing, you eventually end up with a first draft.

Writing

You put it away to get some perspective and come back and edit it to death. If you’re not going to chase agents and publishers, you decide to self publish. That means you’re responsible for everything.

I quite enjoy editing. I’ve written before about writing, how it’s art and craft: the first draft is the art, after that it’s craft. The craft involves editing, critique partners, an editor, beta readers and all sorts. Whatever help you use, eventually the novel is finished. What happens after the writing?

Finish

That’s where I am now, and although it’s exciting, it’s driving me mad! There are already the starts of three further novels in the series, and I want to write. But, as Michelle Mason Evans says, ‘You can’t sell a secret.’

The book needs a cover (ordered), a blurb (done), a media kit (almost done). Then it will need uploading to Kindle and Create Space, and promoting like mad. I want to make a better job of it this time, as I have experience and more good advice. Social media and blogging can be fun, but you’ve got to put the work in, and I WANT TO WRITE.

That is the hardest balance to find: between the writing and the promotion. There’s no point writing a book that nobody reads, and no one will read it if they don’t know it exists. You need to be on social media, you need a ‘platform’, which I’ve written about and have some notes on – which are free when you sign up to my mailing list. I’ve also written about platform automation, which is great, but you do have to set it all up and monitor it.

One of the important things, which I’ve neglected before, is reviews. I’ve asked friends to review my books, and some of them have, but it’s not enough by a long way. Readers judge books by the reviews, so you need a lot. I’m reading up on guides on how to get reviews and searching the internet for sites that might help me (but I’ve been told never to pay for reviews).

After a while you may gather a lot of followers, friends etc. on the various social media platforms, but if you make genuine connections with people with similar interests, they can promote your book to all their followers. Then you do the same for them. Not only do you reach more people, but you come recommended.

BUT it all takes work, and time, which you have to commit yourself to. All these things come after writing, if you want your book to be a success.

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About Ann Marie Thomas

Married since 1974, Christian since 1986, 4 children, 4 grand children, disabled with fibromyalgia but was working almost full time until a stroke in May 2010 changed my life completely. Writing poetry and making up stories since I was a child, I only started to write seriously when my children were grown. My main ambition is to write science fiction, but along the way I got distracted by local history and poetry about my stroke. Taking early retirement gave me the chance to concentrate on my writing. My book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth, was published in print and ebook at Easter 2012. The success of Alina led to the publication of Broken Reed: The Lords of Gower and King John in September 2013, and The Magna Carta Story at Easter 2015. I am still writing science fiction - a series of novels called Flight of the Kestrel. For all my author news, see me author blog at www.annmariethomas.me.uk
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