On Monday this week I travelled by myself to the London Book Fair at Earl's Court. I was aiming to get there for a talk at 10am but the trains were so slow I ended up arriving a couple of mins late. Thankfully I didn't miss much and heard most of the talk. The talk was by the Alliance of Independent Authors about self-publishing and what you have to be to be one. Here is what I learnt.
It was by the owner, Orna Ross. The first thing she asked us to do (yes, we had to do some writing), was to write down what you have risked in your life. I wrote learning to drive. Then 3 things we have done that we felt were risky: I wrote, going to new places, meeting new people and volunteering. They are risky for me having Asperger's Syndrome. Then we had to write down a current project we were working on and list risks for that. Mine was for my current Geraldine ebook, and the risks I put were self-publishing it, putting it out into the world. I also wrote about writing about autism, and the risks for that were putting it out there for people to see who I am and what I am like. Going freelance and being rejected.
Then we had to list things we felt we had been proactive with and I wrote: joining organisations/societies, going to their talks etc, going on line with FB etc, going indie, having a website and blog. Then we had to write down 3 things that would move forward our project. I wrote to find a cover, write more, edit it.
Then it was about the stages of writing which are: first draft, final draft, edit, design, production, marketing and sales.
Then it was all about reaching readers for whom your book is written. You have to work hard and smart. Be entrepreneurial and share and cooperate. There has to be a team. You can't do it all yourself as you don't have all the skills at that level. (I know I don't). Then you had to write what skills you do have and at what stage of the process of writing. Mine were writing at stage 1 and 2. Production and marketing. I hire a professional editor and a cover designer for all my ebooks as I know I can't do those two things properly. Then it was about budgeting. You have to budget for what you are going to spend, got to spend and the cost. We had to work out the cost of all our current work.
I think I shall leave the post there and finish it tomorrow so it won't be too long to read here.