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Negotiating the Maze: from Self-Published Writer to Successful Authorpreneur

Negotiating the Maze: from Self-Published Writer to Successful Authorpreneur

Автором Linzé Brandon

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Negotiating the Maze: from Self-Published Writer to Successful Authorpreneur

Автором Linzé Brandon

134 pages
1 hour
Mar 25, 2019


This is not a book about writing...
This is a book about being a writer. A guide for the self-published writer who wants to be in control of every aspect of the process of creating and publishing fiction or non-fiction.

Modern Authors are more than writers...
Self-published authors need to know about editing, cover design, budgets, marketing and many other things. In today's market the author needs to be a business person, an authorpreneur.

Don't become lost in the maze of self-publishing
If you are an author, published or not, this book gives you the guidelines you need to take the first steps towards the success you want for yourself and your writing.

A summary of the table of contents
1 The Book - an overview of the various genres, and word counts
2 Writing Tools - writing software, and other tools that may be employed during the planning, and writing of a book
3 The Cover - cover graphics, visual branding, and other considerations in the design of a book cover
4 Preparation for Publication - alpha and beta readers, working with an editor, formatting of books and ebooks, etc.
5 Publication Options - traditional and self-publishing options are discussed
6 Marketing Strategy - branding, developing a marketing strategy, social media and blogging, reviews, tips on launching a book, and other aspects of being a published writer
7 Time Management - writing around a day job, and other aspects of the writer's life
8 Budget - costs of self-, and traditional publishing
9 Writers Groups - online and face-to-face writers' groups
10 Other aspects including writing for competitions and NaNoWriMo
11 References and Useful Links

Mar 25, 2019

Об авторе

Teaching herself to read before she went to school was the start of her life-long love affair with books.Trained as an engineer, Linzé has worked as a specialist engineer in two fields of engineering. Thereafter, she was self-employed, working as a consultant to commercial companies exporting their products to other countries.When the economy forced her back into full-time employment, she worked as a systems engineer and senior project manager at a company that designs and manufactures products for the military industry.In January 2019, she left her full-time job to enjoy the challenges of self-employment once more. Now she spends her days doing competence training, career development and retirement coaching, and engineering consulting work.Although she still loves to read, she also enjoys counted stitch embroidery, t’ai chi, archery, fly fishing, drawing, painting with pastels, her husband's medal-winning photographs, and watching Manchester United play.She is one of the moderators of two Facebook writers' groups, and leads the Pretoria Writers' Group, who boasts several published authors in various genres.Linzé Brandon lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her engineer husband and German Shepherds who are convinced that the world revolves only around them.

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Negotiating the Maze - Linzé Brandon

Negotiating the Maze

from Self-published writer to successful Authorpreneur


Linzé Brandon

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2019 Lizette de Vries-Venter

Paperback copyright 2016 Lizette de Vries-Venter

ISBN 9780463753910

Paperback ISBN: 9780620720762

Discover other titles by Linzé Brandon:


Published by

Muses and Broomsticks (Pty) Ltd

For the paperback edition please email the publisher at muses.brooms@gmail.com

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

1 The Book

1.1 Write a good story

1.2 Creative writing courses

1.3 Genre vs. Market

1.4 How many books?

1.5 Word count

1.6 Anthologies

1.7 A last word

2 Writing Tools

2.1 The good, the bad, the ugly: Planning vs Pantsing

2.2 Writing software

2.2.1 What about word processing software?

2.3 Timeline

2.4 Style sheet

2.5 Mind maps

2.6 Keeping track

2.7 Bullet journal

2.8 Backups

2.9 A last word

3 The Cover

3.1 The brand

3.2 The professional

3.3 Themed/scene from book

3.4 Mood

3.5 Name of author

3.6 Title

3.7 Blurb

3.8 Back cover (for printed books)

3.9 Cover images

3.10 A last word

4 Preparation for Publication

4.1 Alpha and beta readers

4.2 Reviewers

4.3 Working with an editor

4.4 Formatting your manuscript

4.4.1 Formatting of e-books

4.4.2 Formatting of print books

4.5 Proofreading your manuscript

4.5.1 E-book

4.5.2 Print book

4.6 Front matter

4.7 Back matter

5 Publication Options

5.1 Traditional

5.2 Self-publishing

5.2.1 Published on your behalf

5.2.2 Publish yourself

5.3 Highest royalties

6 Marketing Strategy

6.1 Branding

6.1.1 Book or Author

6.1.2 Cover layout

6.2 Website/Blog

6.2.1 Focus

6.2.2 Planning

6.2.3 Search engine ranking

6.2.4 Sales

6.3 Using your blog

6.3.1 Guest posts

6.3.2 Interviews

6.3.3 Blog tours

6.3.4 Reviews Reviewing fiction Reviewing erotica/erotic romance Reviewing non-fiction

6.3.5 Blogging a book

6.4 Social media

6.4.1 Goodreads

6.4.2 Wattpad

6.4.3 Facebook

6.4.4 Google+

6.4.5 Twitter

6.4.6 Pinterest

6.4.7 Instagram

6.4.8 Schedulers

6.5 Book launch

6.5.1 Physical Who do you invite? Before the launch At the event Giveaways and freebies Speeches After the event

6.5.2 Online launch

6.6 Photographs

6.7 Other

6.7.1 Talk at Book Clubs

6.7.2 Writers Festivals

6.7.3 Writers festivals

6.7.4 Freebies

6.7.5 Specials and discounts

6.7.6 Audio books

6.7.7 Book trailers

7 Time Management

7.1 Writing around a day job

7.2 How many words per day?

7.3 Life interferes, now what?

7.4 Tracking your time

7.5 That never-ending to-do list

7.6 How to keep going

7.7 A last word

8 Budget

8.1 That thing no one mentions

8.2 Publishing options

8.3 Marketing

8.4 Audio books

8.5 YouTube videos/book trailers

8.6 Book launch materials

9 Writers Groups

9.1 Online groups

9.2 Goodreads

9.3 Face-to-face groups

9.4 Readers groups

9.5 A last word

10 Other

10.1 Competitions

10.2 NaNoWriMo

10.3 Magazines

10.4 E-zines

10.5 Getting paid by a publication

11 References and Useful Links

11.1 Introduction

11.2 References

11.3 Writing resources

11.4 Creative writing courses - South African websites

11.5 Websites for cover images and cover design

11.6 Recommended blogs to follow

About the Author

Other non-fiction books by Linzé Brandon

1 The Book

"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again,

there is no use in reading it at all." ― Oscar Wilde

1.1 Write a good story

This quote from Oscar Wilde says it all. How many books have you read? How many are on your reading list for the next week? Month? Year? What did you like about them? What did you dislike? Would you read them again?

These questions are important if you want to write a book. If you read good books, you can learn from them, and understand what made them great in the first place.

This is the place to start. Step one, if you like. There are some things that you can do at the same time or even in advance, but if you want to publish a book, you need to write it.

There are an innumerable number of online resources and books on what determines a good story, and it is not the objective of this course to teach those essentials.

What readers do want, in short, is a plot that draws them in, characters with whom they can empathise, and a story that is easy to read. Using difficult words or too technical terminology will frustrate the reader and often lead them to stop reading, even if they haven't yet finished reading the book.

People read books to relax, or learn something useful without being preached at. The essential objective of fiction and non-fiction may differ from the genre or the intended audience, but you still want people to read it and enjoy the experience.

In fact, you want your readers to become fans, and to do that you have to write a good story.

1.2 Creative writing courses

There are several good online writing courses available in South Africa and internationally [Chapter 11: Creative writing courses]. If you haven’t written a book before, it is a good idea to do either a course or study several books on writing.

Tip: See the lists of references and useful links in Chapter 11 for an idea of where to go to get started.

Tip: Writing is craft, not art and can be learned. Writing courses will teach you what you need to know, but to be a good writer takes time and effort. This book is aimed to help you learn the non-writing skills you will also need to be a self-published author.

1.3 Genre vs. Market

People often ask what they should write about. Do you need to be worried about what the market wants or doesn’t want?

With the change to the new democracy in South Africa, now more than twenty years in power, are the stories about the apartheid struggle still news? Will they sell books?

What about vampires and werewolves? Do people want to read another Buffy, or Twilight series?

Are zombies the new ‘thing’?

And erotica? With all the 50 shades of anything and everything books that had seen the market since the trilogy by E.L. James, should this not be the kind of book to write?

What about the ‘new adult’ genre?

What sells in South Africa? In the rest of the world?

These questions do not have yes or no answers. The answer actually lies within the author himself or herself. What do you love to read? What is the book you are looking for, but cannot find?

The answer is as varied as the people you ask, but the essential answer is to write what you want and makes you feel comfortable (or perhaps uncomfortable). Dig deep and write the story that has been festering inside your mind and keeping you awake at night.

Your market is also important. Do you want to write for children, teenagers or adults? Women or men? Or both?

If you want to write for children, you will need to decide which age group and use appropriate language suitable for a child of that age. Does the story require illustrations? Yes, for younger children, it does.

If you aim to write for teenagers or young adults (YA), you will need to understand what they like to read.

The adult market is actually the easiest to write for, since the restrictions are only in your head. For the adult market, the differentiation lies in the genre and the expectations of the reader who prefers a certain kind of book.

Few people are comfortable writing sex scenes - erotica not pornography! If you don’t read erotica, or find writing a scene to burn up the bed sheets difficult, this is not the genre for you.

Romance stories don’t have to have sex scenes. The basic structure of any scene is to move the plot forward. If it does not, and that includes a steamy sex scene, it is a waste of time even to write one.

By so doing, you insult and frustrate your reader, and he or she will not buy your next book.

So which genre to choose? First and foremost, write the story that you feel should be told. Afterwards, you can decide what genre, or mixed genre it could be classified as.

* Example: a romance novel with a murder mystery sub-plot can be considered a romantic mystery. Or a story about a private detective solving crimes can be described as a mystery suspense novel. If the PI has a love interest on the side, it does not make it a romance novel, it only serves to make the character more believable to the reader. *

Although the boundaries between sci-fi and fantasy can be a bit grey, you will need scientific knowledge (or do a lot of research) to write science fiction, since your reader might be an expert in the subject. It is generally accepted that sci-fi novels have real scientific-based contents, or at least part of it should have.

Think about space travel. To us, the concept is grounded in science. Fifty years before the first moon landing, it floated in the realm of fantasy. Warp speed? Well, who knows whether in fifty years from now it will still be the exclusive domain of the creative mind of the author, or if it will be the reality of the scientist.

As mentioned, the boundaries between sci-fi and fantasy have become a little blurred. This statement is also true for other genres. There is not just romance any more. The choices have expanded to historical, paranormal, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi, futuristic and erotic romance, among

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