Author Cheri Lasota's Best Writing Advice
Don't shy away from ebooks
Whether we are ready for it or not, don't shy away from ebooks--whether you're a reader or a writer. They are the future for a number of reasons:
- Technology is fast replacing older methods/modes of communication, entertainment, and business. (i.e., analog to digital, paper to ebook).
- Ebooks are less expensive for publishers and authors to produce and for readers to buy. Shipping, mailing, and overhead all play into the cost of producing paperbacks.
- Ebook readers tend to buy about double the amount of books per year than paperback readers.
If you've been reluctant to give ebooks a chance, here are a few reasons why you might want to now or in the future:
E-Reader prices are dropping
In an effort to introduce more readers to ebooks, the prices of Nook, Kindle, and Kobo e-readers are coming down each year. This can only help the industry and bring reading to those who have not yet been able to afford an e-reader. And I hear every day of ebook reader giveaways on book sites, etc.
Ebook prices are dropping
Ebook prices, in general, are anywhere from $9.99 to free these days. Promotions and sales on Amazon, particularly, abound. There are always good books to be had for less than the price of a coffee or two. For hours of immersive entertainment, that's a bargain!
The possibilities are endless
Both readers and writers can benefit from the new technologies becoming available with ebooks. Enhanced ebooks can round out the reading experience with hyperlinked glossaries, audio files of the author reading, interactive content about the setting or background of a story...the possibilities are only limited by our imaginations.
Learn from friends
Take heart that there are so many authors out there willing to share their advice and wisdom, their tips and tricks. There are so many aspects to this industry: writing, editing, marketing, business. The friends you make along the way can help you and, in turn, you can help them. People often refer to writing as a lonely business, but that has never been my experience. I am surrounded by writers I love to converse with, write with, and learn with. It is an honor and a joy to be in the company of writers, so join groups and organizations as well as find a few kindred souls who get you and your writing.
Join marketing groups
Writers can join a lot of different kinds of groups. It isn't always about critiquing each other's novels.
Marketing groups can help members cross promote each other in a variety of ways. They can share marketing ideas as well as collaborate on marketing projects like group giveaways, contests, and anthologies. They can encourage, commiserate, and learn from and with each other. These have been some of my most productive groups.
One of National Novel Writing Month's strengths is that it brings writers together to write. For some writers, working together can be incredibly inspiring. It can be distracting for some, but for those who can remain on task--timed writing sessions work brilliantly--time spent with other writers can be productive and encouraging.
Organizations and groups
Larger writing organizations, such as RWA or Willamette Writers can open up opportunities that smaller groups cannot. Some offer legal support, others host conferences where authors can pitch to agents and publishers. Others bring in speakers and have workshops. Join a couple of organizations that suit your needs and your goals. You never know what doors these opportunities might open.
Writers can oftentimes get so bogged down with the business or marketing work that they forget who they are: writers. Writers write. It's as simple as that. When we forget to carve out time for it in our busy days, we lose sight of the most important element of what we do. Whatever your writing process, keep at it. Do what you love and don't lose sight of your goals.