Posts Tagged Open Writing

Getting to Grips with E-Publishing 3

After all the wonderful advice I got on my previous post about cover design, I thought I’d got thingsA Writer On Writing under control in that department. But my attempt at a cover for my third book was so abysmal that I daren’t even show it to you here. Compared with similar books already on Amazon it looked very basic and most definitely amateurish.

I think this is because the book is non-fiction and therefore requires a very business-like cover to get anywhere near competing with the hundreds of other books on the same subject.

So I decided to call in the professionals. I used the website Fiverr. This site features hundreds (or maybe thousands even) of sellers offering their services for just $5. The range of services is vast from personalised greetings cards, translations and bespoke bedtime stories. But there are also lots of e-book cover designers on there too.

I picked one of the top-rated designers (like on EBay, buyers have to leave feedback on the service they received) and told her the title of the book, what it was about and a brief suggestion about the type of image that might be suitable (it is also possible to send the designer a specific photo if you have one that you want to include on the cover).

Two days later my cover design was delivered and you can see it on this post. It’s much better than I could produce. I’ve borrowed the title from a ‘column’ on the Open Writing  website which runs an extract from this blog each week (the site includes lots of other writing from around the world, too).

A Writer on Writing is a compilation of 14 of my articles that have appeared in the UK writing press, such as Writing Magazine & Writers News, The New Writer, Writers’ Forum and Freelance Market News. They cover subjects as diverse as generating ideas, writing articles with an anniversary ‘hook’ and flash fiction.

As I did with my other books, I have set an introductory price of 77p – with a view to increasing it when I see how sales go. Setting the perfect price point to encourage buyers without devaluing the work involved in producing a book is very difficult. 77p is the lowest price point available to independent authors.

Click here to see the book on Amazon UK and here to see the book on Amazon COM. It’s also available on all other Amazon sites by searching for ASIN: B00C0GBRS6 or by title and author.

I’ll keep you posted on how my e-publishing empire is growing (or not as the case may be!).

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Letters and Libraries

After a pep talk with Helen, my writing buddy, I’ve set myself some writing targets to get me through to the end of the year.

English: David Wilson Library, University of L...

English: David Wilson Library, University of Leicester (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of them is to write a letter a week for publication in a magazine. There are several benefits to this:

  • The satisfaction of something quickly written and submitted
  • Lots of potential markets – so hopefully the possibility of success
  • I will need to scan the magazines available in the newsagent and might spot new markets for other types of writing

I told Peter Hinchcliffe, editor of Open Writing, about my new goal and he suggested a further benefit of letter writing. Many years ago, as a young man, he was trying to break into journalism and started writing letters to his local newspaper every week, with a good ‘hit’ rate. Then he wrote and asked to join them for work experience – the editor recognised Peter’s name from the letters and he was taken on. A successful career in newspapers followed.

I don’t expect to land a job on a glossy magazine through the letters page – but occasionally letters can get followed up…

At the weekend I went with my daughter to Leicester University – she’ll be sending in her UCAS application for a Zoology degree in a few weeks time. Whilst we were there we went round the David Wilson Library (pictured). It is a wonderful, light, airy building, opened in 2008 by the Queen. At the time students waxed lyrical about their new library’s toilets. One was quoted in the Independent as saying, “If these toilets were a bird, they would be an eagle as they soar above the rest of the competition.” The toilets were nice – but not that outstanding! Although if I was living in grotty student house, I might think differently…

So it seems that whilst our public libraries are cutting opening hours or shutting down altogether, university libraries are thriving. Let’s hope that these wonderful facilities make young adults value the benefit of libraries so that as they start work and settle down, they might join in the campaigning to save and improve our public library system.

Finally, am I going mad or do the current and previous edition of Writers’ Forum magazine both say ‘October’ on them?

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