Blog Bytes: E-Books, Talking and Writing.ie

14 Feb

After last week’s blogging break I have loads of stuff to catch you up on but they aren’t enough days in the week to do them all in separate posts. (I have a 2 post per day limit and I’d really prefer to stick to just the one. And I’m sure you would prefer me to stick to just one too!) So here in little blog bytes are all the things I have to tell you about, stuffed in the one post.

New E-books for Writers

Two fantastic books for writers were released into the ebook world recently: Nail Your Novel: Why Writers Abandon Books and How You Can Draft, Fix and Finish With Confidence by Roz Morris, and Bringing the Dream Alive: Write to Get Published by Inkwell‘s Vanessa O’Loughlin.

Bringing the Dream Alive covers everything from essential fiction writing tips to plotting and planning, and tips for writing winning short fiction. It also has advice on how to cope with and avoid rejection, and how to build an author profile to sell yourself, as well as your book, to editors and agents. Anyone who has ever attended an Inkwell workshop will tell you how motivated they felt afterwards – now that same motivation can be delivered to your Kinde, iPhone or computer! You can purchase it from Amazon.com here or from Amazon.co.uk here.

I’ve read Nail Your Novel and am a big fan of Roz’s blog, and I can tell you that its practical advice is invaluable. It focuses on that especially thorny problem of plotting, which not many How To Write… books do, and is so well explained and laid out you’ll end up returning to it again and again. You can purchase the Kindle e-book from Amazon.com here and from Amazon.co.uk here.

Writing.ie

Writing.ie is the new home of Irish writing online, a brilliant website for Irish writers at all stages of their careers founded by Vanessa O’Loughlin and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.

It has advice, tips, blogs, forums and hopefully centralizes all news of literary events, courses and festivals in one place. It also has some great interviews and articles from all your favourite Irish writers in the ‘Meet the Authors’ section. There really is a wealth of useful writing information on there and the site  is well worth a good look round.

I’m also on there. I’ve expanded my How To Publish an E-book, How To Make a Novel ‘Bible’ and Using Screenwriting Techniques for Plotting guides, and I’ll also be blogging on there too once a week.

I know – all I need to do now is bring out the Ferrero Rocher and I’ll really be spoiling you.

Me, Talking About Stuff

I have two events (get me!) coming up so if you near anywhere near Belfast or Birmingham, are interested in using social media to build an author platform or working in Walt Disney World, and love the sound of people who’ve had way too many espressos talking, please – come see me!

On February 24th I’ll be speaking at LitNetNI’s Making a Living as a Writer in the 21st Century Workshop in Belfast, along with Eoin Purcell and Carlo Gebler. I’ll be talking about the practicalities of blogging, tweeting and social websites as marketing tools for writers, sharing my own experiences of exploiting digital and online technology and going to town on a PowerPoint presentation. (It’s pink! To match the blog!) You can get all the info and book tickets here.

Then on Saturday April 30th I’ll be doing a presentation about Mousetrapped at Mousemeets in Birmingham. Mousemeets is the UK’s only Disney fan convention that brings together fans from all over the country to enjoy a weekend all about the Mouse. Guests will enjoy presentations, film screenings, trivia, pin trading and much much more. To find out about the event and how to obtain tickets visit www.mousemeets.co.uk.

And in case you missed it…

Mousetrapped and me were in the Irish edition of the Sunday Times yesterday. Thank you to everyone who sent me a message of congrats or retweeted the link or even pointed at the article and said, ‘I know her from Twitter!’. It was all very exciting and wasn’t I very good at keeping that a secret for the whole of last week? I think so, especially since I was bursting to tell you.

Those of you following for my self-publishing advice might wonder how I finagled that. (Finagled: LOVE that word.) The truth is I didn’t really do anything but sell books – or e-books, specifically. I’m no Konrath or Hocking, but they are benefits to being a relatively big fish in a small pond. Here in Ireland, if you’re lucky, five or six hundred copies of a book can get you into the Top 10 bestseller list, so selling nearly 3,000 copies of a self-published book and doing it without spending any money makes a good story. I wrote a blog post about it, that post got picked up the website Irish Publishing News (thanks Eoin!) and I’d say that’s how the writer of the Times piece found out about it, and emailed me.

(And yes, I did squeal a little when I saw ‘sunday-times.ie’ at the end of his email address.)

The lesson to be learned here, I think, is that we are a year on from Mousetrapped‘s release (almost) and it’s only now become a news story good enough for some place like the Times. Nobody but my local paper was interested in it at the beginning, and only then it was to cover the bookstore launch (which I had for that very purpose). And why would anyone else have been? Self-published books are released every day, if not every minute. I had to make myself stand out amongst the rest to get noticed by the big boys. So if you’re just at the start of your self-publishing journey, don’t despair. There are opportunities for publicity every step of the way. There’s plenty of time yet.

P.S. I do know what day today is, but I am opting out because my ice-cold heart considers it a pile of Hallmark branded poo. But I do really like this, the best Valentines Day gift guide for “your stupid relationship” that I ever did see. Enjoy!

2 Responses to “Blog Bytes: E-Books, Talking and Writing.ie”

  1. rozmorris February 14, 2011 at 12:13 #

    Catherine, thank you so much for the mention. And huge congratulations on making the Times – and on your speaking engagements. I’ve followed your story from the start and you are an absolute inspiration.

    I’m checking out Vanessa’s book too!

    • catherineryanhoward February 14, 2011 at 12:25 #

      Not at all Roz – I found Nail Your Novel so helpful and I wish you the best of luck with your Kindle book! And thanks so much for your congrats, I really appreciate it.

      That’s why I put everything up here – not to toot my own horn (!!) but to show others who might be considering the self-pub route that it can be worthwhile.

      And def check out Vanessa’s book – it’s great! :-)

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