GOOD ADVICE FOR LEMMINGS

“I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it, I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.”

G.K Chesterton

As a wannabe writer, blogger and general dreamer; I thought I may need some advice on how to become self-published. How do I stop Amazon taking 70% as I am from the UK (,please don’t make me talk to you about tax; I’ll do anything). How do I format my work once it’s finished?

There are a thousand articles telling you to do things one way and then a thousand more telling you why it’s a bad idea.

Some will tell you that you need to blog and utilize social media. Others will tell you it’s possible to get someone else to do all this for you, and I’ll tell you that whatever you do the work has to be “good” in the first place or all the marketing plans in the world aren’t going to work.

Some will say you that you need a professional editor and graphic designer. Some will tell you it’s possible to do this stuff yourself. Some will tell you to take creative writing courses or go to writers groups. Others will tell you these are a waste of time and effort.

Some people will tell you that you have to give your work away for free until you prove yourself otherwise you will never sell anything, others will tell you that this devalues your work and makes you look amateurish.

And that’s just it. Does anyone know the right way to do any of these things? If you just want a nice little hobby –, then you don’t need a graphic designer, and you can most likely get beta readers to edit and in all likelihood can give it all away for free without a second thought.

If, however, like me, your dream is making money from writing. There, I said it MONEY – the dirty word when you talk about anything creative. I’m not expecting to be the next “Shades” author (funny, how everyone knows about the books but most can’t remember her name) so not millions and squillions. Just enough to get by, earn a living and pay the mortgage.

For this – you are going to have to charge a fair price for what you do. You cannot give it away for free. Now I’m not talking about an excerpt or a sample or an example chapter. I’m talking about those who tell you; it must be Free and/or you have to price at 99c (or 79p in the UK).  Because they had to, to get any sales.

Why do you have too? So that you’re in the mix with their work, at the same price and competing?

Authors have been successful at both price points in self publishing – at 99p and £3.99. I guess it depends on how hard you want to work. I’m passionate about pricing on books, and I believe if I devote six months to a year of writing; make sure it gets professionally edited, proofed and formatted, then I can charge a price that reflects this.

I am not saying all the advice is bad or useless, its not. Just be careful and pick what works for you. Good advice comes from your gut (you know that when you hear it, it will either make you angry or it will just seem right somehow) because some of the greatest authors ever, all have one thing in common. So take some advice made famous by Frank!

And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
 I traveled each and ev’ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
“Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way”

For what is a man, what has he got?
 If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

Yes, it was my way

Songwriters: JACQUES REVAUX, CLAUDE FRANCOIS, GILLES THIBAUT, PAUL ANKA

You my not agree with any of the above or you may think by god she’s got it! Let me know… Comments, as always, welcome.

4 thoughts on “GOOD ADVICE FOR LEMMINGS

  1. Hi,
    First – Congratulations on being sent home from work! Oh what would I do for a good old chicken pox and a few days of total isolation! Unfortunately I have no idea what is the best or even very good advice … but I have read all those advices you mentioned. What I decided to do after it all – write. That is it. Once I am happy with what I have written, well then (but not before) I will think of such things as publishing it. Meanwhile I will write for my blog, enjoy meeting people, and try to publish few short stories in the literary magazines, as I have always done. Anyway, I also want to let you know that I am tagging you for The Lucky 7 MeMe in which you have a chance to show off some of your latest work, should you choose to participate. I post about it here: http://danieladragas.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/the-lucky-7-memeexcerpt-from-pavel-kovac-is-going-to-america/
    All the Best
    Daniela

    • Chicken POX is not funny, although my husband seems to find it hysterical that I have spots in my hair and even on the inside of my ears.

      Oh wow you nominated me for something. Gulp, you know how unattractively competitive I get right?

      Thank you, you’ve made me stop scratching just from sheer shock.

  2. Have a look at Joanna Penn from The Creative Penn’s website at http://www.thecreativepenn.com – she has loads of info about publishing ebooks, all sensible and basically she’s gone through the process herself and noted what worked and what didn’t.

    And yes, all writers need editors. You don’t want to get well known for the wrong reasons, and people are not that tolerant of errors, incorrect facts and typos.

    Good luck with your writing,

    Liz

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