Roz Morris provides us with an excellent article on how to write a memoir about difficult times. Thank you very much for this great post, Roz!
I’ve had this question from Julia.
I would like to write a nonfictional account of my experience as a caregiver of my 80-year-old mum during lockdown. I’ve never done any creative writing. Where do I start? A diary, a memoir? I’ve been through a lot of struggle and want to put that on paper. Maybe someday I will publish it to share my experience with people facing the same difficulties.
First, Julia, capture the raw material. Start with a diary. Write it as often as possible, before you make any decisions about what to do with it.
How to write the diary
You might be self-conscious to begin with. You might worry about who will read it and what they’ll get from it. Forget that for now.
You won’t publish this diary. It’s notes that you will eventually use to create a book. So for now, it’s you and your thoughts, talking privately to a page or a recording app – whatever is comfortable.
Keep it simple. Just write what you did today. Then write whether that was usual or unusual, and how. If it’s usual, for how long has it been usual? Write how that made you feel, what was difficult and what was a pleasure, and why. Write what you think tomorrow will be like. Or next week. Write your hopes and pleasures and fears.
Thank you very much for informing us about the Why’s and How’s of starting our blog. I hope, we can read part 2 soon. This is a great post! Thanks, Kat!
on A Chat with Kat:
“I wish I had my own platform where I could share my views or knowledge. Maybe even build up a positive reputation in my community and an engaged audience.”
If you’ve ever thought something along those lines, you’re just like me. For many months, I read great blogs like Mr Money Mustache and listened to amazing podcasts like The Tim Ferriss Show, wishing I myself had a platform like that. But was I interesting enough? Experienced enough? Funny enough?
Welcome to my mini series on starting your own blog! In the next two weeks, we will explore why starting your own online platform is a recipe for success, no matter who you are, and the practical steps of how to start your own blog.
K. M. Allan helps us with four steps to write a book blurb, something we all fear one way or another. Thank you so much for all your efforts, K. M.!
Any writer who’s had to write a query or a synopsis for a submission knows how hard it can be.
Trying to boil the essence of your carefully crafted story to a few paragraphs, or a page seems like the hardest thing ever.
I’m here to tell you it’s not. And that’s because there’s a greater horror: a book blurb.
A book blurb, or the book jacket description, summarizes the best part of your book in only 150 words (yep! one hundred and fifty).
If you’re wondering how to do that and where to start, it involves penning multiple drafts, lots of cutting, losing your sanity, and planning your blurb with the help of these steps.
Derek Haines teaches us about selling books on Amazon. Thanks so much for another one of your valuable lessons. I very much appreciate your educational posts, and I’m sure not the only one, Derek. Thank you!
Selling books on Amazon is a tough business
If you are a self-publishing author, it is easy to forget that Amazon sells a lot of products apart from books.
Listing your books for sale is only a tiny part of what Amazon sells. It sells everything from home-delivered groceries to complex security installations.
But can you imagine that there is a lucrative market for wordless books?
Well, in fact, a wordless picture book can earn far more than you are earning for your fiction book of 100,000 words.
Of course, this tends to be everyone’s first option, and why not? It’s probably the quickest and easiest way. Google even has it’s ‘near me’ feature, so you can search for events, and it’ll use your location to bring up the ones closest to you. Alternatively, if you don’t have your location on show, you can just type in your town/city name to see what comes up.
On Hugh’s Views and News I found an important blog post about how to help stop somebody stealing your blog posts. Thank you very much for all your efforts to help us bloggers! We really appreciate it!
I recently stumbled upon a blog where the author had copied and was using my blog posts. No pingbacks or mention that I was the original author, just plain copy and pasting of some of my posts and images. It left me feeling angry, yet I also felt honoured that my work must be good enough if somebody wanted to copy it.
Unfortunately, with the internet being such a vast and open space used by billions of people worldwide, the chances of that happening to any one of us who publishes anything on the internet is a distinct possibility. Whether it be photos, fiction, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.
On the Jane Friedman blog I found a great article on how to grow an email newsletter starting from zero – written by Christina McDonald. Thank you very much for the detailed descriptions and great ideas, Christina!
An email list is your secret weapon for selling books—it is a direct connection to your reader. But when I got my first book deal, I had no audience, no author Facebook page, and no email list. I knew I needed to build awareness to give my book the best chance to succeed. Here is my step-by-step guide to how I built my email list to 6,000 subscribers in one year.
1. Draft a plan
The first thing I did when I got my book deal was sit down and come up with a plan to build an email list. Coming from a digital copywriting background, I knew that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were good for brand building, but not for getting people to buy. Buying happens through an email list. I also knew I would need to provide people with a benefit to get them to sign up. Here’s what I decided to provide: