Hi! And thank you so much for joining me for my first ever guest blog…and thank you Abi for lending me this amazing platform to speak from. I’m Soulla Christodoulou and have written two books Broken Pieces of Tomorrow and The Summer Will Come due for publication in August 2017.
Today I’m blogging about London Book Fair 2017.
This was my first visit to LBF, Olympia and it was an amazing three-day experience. It left me thinking about not only my writing journey but also how to amalgamate and streamline everything I’m doing and still need to do to ensure success.
I met some of the most inspirational, driven and friendly writers too, who shared their ideas, experiences and stories with me through the various seminars and discussion forums. Many had the time to talk to me afterwards too, which was an absolute privilege!
These are the top 8 things I took away from my whirlwind experience. I hope you find them just as inspirational and as helpful as I have…there’s a lot more to being a writer than writing. So grab that cuppa and have a read.
1. You have to be an entrepreneur as well as a writer
As a Business Studies teacher in my past life I totally agree with this, and yet too many creatives ignore or spend little time on this aspect. With the increased ability to manage your own promotion to create awareness for your books and for you as an author, you have to be willing to spend at least 40% of your time running your writing ‘business’ as an entrepreneur. There’s little point in writing and getting your book published if you’re not going to shout about it to the world. Be active on Social Media!
2. You can be successful self-publishing
With self-publishing becoming more and more accessible and acceptable in the literary world it is getting easier for writers to find success through platforms such as Amazon and Kindle Publishing Direct. One writer has self-published ten books on Amazon and has recently been approached by a publishing company to publish his tenth book! It can be done any way you choose.
3. You can start creating your author platform NOW
Don’t wait for your first book to be out before telling other writers and the world about who you are and what you’re writing about. And remember, your followers don’t want to see plug after plug for your book…include writing tips, insight into your writing journey, news or articles that link to the genre or theme you are writing about, other authors of the same genre, new books and titles, titbits of research…keep it interesting and engaging.
4. You need a website
This is the fastest and most reliable way to keep in touch with your readers, and your web page will allow you to share your news, blogs, research sites, author interviews and much more to keep the interest and engagement high. If you don’t have one…make this your priority. If this falls outside of your comfort zone then outsource it…I’ve just had a telephone meeting with someone who’s going to build my website and so I don’t have to spend hours trying to figure what I need to do.
5. You must be true to yourself and write what you love, what makes you happy
If you’re writing about a topic or experience you love, and have an innate interest in your writing, it is more likely to become an enjoyable positive experience, leaving you and your readers feeling fulfilled and wanting more. Don’t be influenced by the current trends…write from your heart and what sits true with you.
6. Think about book cover design early on
Often this is one of the last aspects of the writing journey that writers think about (and I’m guilty of this!) but actually, thinking about it sooner can influence and inspire your story too. Images can bring colour and life into different parts of the story as you write as well as keep you motivated and focused. Visuals can help make your dream more concrete and therefore more real.
7. Not everyone reads at the same pace as you do
This is something I did not consider, and I’m not saying it’s a huge consideration, but it got me thinking about two things. The length of books and the length of each chapter. Think about who your readers might be and what their reading patterns may be like…will they have an hour or two to read or will they be reading in short bursts between cooking, collecting the kids from school or during their lunch break. All these things impact on two more things too…the pace of your book and conflict or dilemma within each chapter.
8. Writers support writers
I met an amazing array of people at the show…from established successful authors, to aspiring authors, publishers and printers…they all had a story to tell and something to share. Never underestimate the power of talking and sharing your ideas…connecting, supporting and being honest and open. The people I met are generous of heart and kind…which fits in with my two mottos; ‘It costs nothing to be kind.’ and ‘There’s room for all of us to be successful.’.
I look forward to connecting and to hearing from you soon and, in the meantime, Happy writing.
Book cover design: http://mecob.co.uk/
Author platform: http://gabrielmercer.com/