I have made it through the chaos of Easter egg hunts and I am out of the other side with some words and ideas up my sleeve. I am beginning to get used to the idea of having dedicated writing time but am still not so good at pigeon holing my social media time. I’m thinking I should probably set aside xxx number of hours each week/day dedicated to social media and then stop at that (or think about what else I could do if I’m not using it up)!
Anyway, last time I promised to fill you in on the publishing course I attended a while ago – the result being the reason you are reading this in that one of the topics covered early on was social media and the importance of a writers platform. I have attended a few courses through UWA Extension before and all had been well run. Last November/December I enrolled in a four week course called ‘Nailing the Novel’ with WA Author Natasha Lester. This course was the catalyst I needed to complete some serious work on my manuscript, the result of which was my submission to the ASA and the mentorship. So you can imagine how pleased I was to discover early this year that the lovely Natasha was running another course, this time entitled ‘Secrets to Publishing Success‘.
This full day course ran on a Saturday in early March. The class was made up of a diverse group of about 20 writers; a mix of memoir, travel, non-fiction, fantasy and children’s writers in with the fiction. I had attended publishing days before, although not for a while, and they had often been based around terrible statistics about how hard it is to get published and doom n gloom tales of the state of the publishing industry (many of these tales told before the intro of e-books!!!) Although I was confident this wouldn’t be Natasha’s approach I was pleasantly surprised when she started the day by reading humorous blogs from literary agents about what not to do when attempting to gain representation or a publishing contract. (ie: don’t tell the agent in your covering letter how your book is destined to be a best seller or that God told you to write it). Funny anecdotes aside and down to the serious business, we covered off topics as diverse as writing pitches and cover letters to tracking agent/publisher responses, to manuscript assessment to the importance of writers festivals and short story competitions. The tips I received in those 7 hours were some of the most valuable a writer can have. As well as mountains of information on all aspects of the publishing industry, we were provided with links and resources including blogs, competitions, writers centres and arts council grants. I walked away at the end of the day feeling so much better prepared for tackling the publishing steps once my manuscript is ready and as an added bonus I met a fantastic group of people, some of whom I am currently setting up a writers group with. So free advertising for Natasha aside (!!!) I will definitely return to my resources from that day many times over the coming months and years as I try to get my novel into a bookshop near you.
As an extra note if you are in no way interested in the art of being published but you are however an avid reader of contemporary women’s fiction then Natasha’s two novels are a great read (and no I’m not on commission)!
Thanks again for getting this far into another of my posts. I am touched you are interested in my journey and am so grateful for the support and notes of congratulations I am receiving.