Reading a blog recently reminded me of why I found the passion to write. I remember the sense of urgency building up inside. I had no idea what I would write but I truly believe the creativity I possessed had to find a venue after years of career, family, and life took precedence. The epic fantasy family saga fiction was the result. (I'm still working on it.) From there several stories spawned from research and volumes of reading I did. But my first attempt never had the sense that it was ready for print. Recently I listened to a speaker on a webinar that quoted my journey almost verbatim.
Am I the poster child for bad beginnings?
Everything I should had done right I did wrong. Except, I never published that first book. What was recommended was to keep writing, get skilled, and learn from the mistakes all novice writers make. I did those things. My first published book was the fourth novel I wrote. I'm not convinced that we can escape all the trials and tribulations of trying to make writing a career. No, I had no plan for my story. No, I had no target audience. No, I didn't research genres, I simply wrote what I would enjoy reading myself. An obscure niche, probably? The only truth is not to give up. When giving up there is no improvement, lessons learned, or satisfaction.
The business of writing is daunting and so competitive and its basic structure has changed entirely. No longer do publishing companies take your draft from you and complete the process. Although that's what many of us would prefer.Today authors have to take on the majority of the costs and personal involvement. There are smart ways to go about it and then there's my way. Head first. I've learned so much along the way.
Especially about myself. I'm not a public speaker, never will be. I'm an introvert who loves to write and research. My passion for writing comes from curiosity and exploring situations, people, and places. Not a money making commodity. It can be an expensive hobby. There are industry standards and expenses at every turn. before and after production. But good decisions can help ease the budget burdens. A good cover, a good description, and keywords.
My excitement for writing comes from knowing others are reading my stories. The best venue for that, I found, was from Book Club reviews and trade shows, but that is a thing of the past... for now. I've had to rely on social media, the rare online reviews, and developing friendships with other writers. I've also added audiobooks into the mix. All of my books in print have an audio version available or in production. I love hearing my stores read by a narrator and my experiences with narrators have been excellent. Being sight impaired, I started listening to audiobooks several years ago. I learned what I like and had a direction when my books were produced. I prefer a single narrator whose voice can present a male and female version that's not heavy handed or theatrical. When I sought auditions for my first book I recognized my character's voice immediately. Margie Valine of margiesvoice.com was Ernestine Lambert's voice. It was a fun process for all my books. Using RS (Royalty Share) is not a choice for most seasoned voice over artists. The industry standard per hour is at least $200, and most audiobooks being 8 or 9 hours can be costly considering the cost of editing and producing the book you already paid. It is possible to find a talented novice narrator who is willing to go with the RS in which they share half the royalty and build their business.
Writing a blog is another way to build and keep clients interested in your work. It's all about service and getting your readers to know you and like what you write. I have two links below to really good information I learned in the last webinar I viewed.
Shirley Nomakeo received a B.S. Degree in Graphic Design from Rivier College.