Just because you can do something, should you? I wondered to myself while waiting in the lower level of the library for what I expected to be a sort of So You Want to be Published class to begin. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be published, but I’ve always written. It started with stories, of course. Then diaries in third grade or so. I continued journaling my entire life. There were creative writing classes in elementary, middle and high school. Even at University. Once I became a mother, I started writing for my blog and lately I began writing pieces for WhooNEW. I’m full of words and they just keep pouring out onto the page, any page.
Release the Author in You
Last week I went to a free class, Release the Author in You, at one of our library branches. Mike DuPlaise and Bonnie Groessl talked with us for about 90 minutes on how to get started, the writing process, what to watch out for, the role Amazon can play for writers, marketing, and where to go for more help.
The husband and wife team own a local business coaching writers through creating , publishing and marketing books. Clearly fans of Amazon-related publishing, they talked (positively) about everything Amazon, from CreateSpace to Kindle royalties. I definitely came away with a different perspective on the difficulty (not so difficult) of being published.
M&B’s Writing Tips
I found that lots of what they had to say aligned closely with what I’ve learned through (blog) experience: you don’t need to write for everybody, just your audience, choose an audience, keep it conversational, don’t obsess over your writing. I’m oversimplifying of course, but it was nice to feel like I wasn’t starting from zero.
I already do a lot of what they recommend. As I listened to the class, I started to feel like I was already on the right track. I knew a lot of the jargon, process, and names having worked at B. Dalton, Books-a-Million and libraries for so many years. I started to think I could actually do this. It was exhilarating and nerve-racking at the same time. In fact, I had a burst of book genius during the class and started making notes and brainstorming while listening to Mike and Bonnie.
But should I write a book just because I can self-publish?
It’s an interesting question. I have always wanted to write a book. Every time I uncap a pen or open a blank word document, words are pushing each other out of the way to get out and onto the page. I just couldn’t come up with a plot for a novel. Characters were easy, their behavior and characteristics, yeah, I could do that, but plot? Nope. Then someone mentioned I could publish what I wrote for the blog; essays, essentially. Huh. It never occurred to me. I’d always told myself if I didn’t have a storyline I didn’t have a book to write.
But working in a library I am reminded daily that there are an awful lot of published writers who are…awful writers. Self-publishing is so easy now anyone ( with or without a talent for writing, with or without a good editor) can publish a book. I’m not sure I want to join the crowded pool of self-pub writers.
I still don’t know if I’ll be publishing a book. I do know I’ve already started writing a book. I guess I have been since I picked up my first pencil.