Starting out as a new writer can be very daunting and, at times, be a little confusing. There are many websites and self help guides available on the internet for those who wish to learn more about their craft, however, at times you can be bombarded with so much information that you simply end up rather frazzled and pretty much none the wiser.
Since becoming a self-published author over two years ago, I have learned an awful lot about the world of publishing. I’m no expert, far from it, but I now understand a lot more than when I first started out. Amongst other things, I know how you can publish your book without a publisher and what to do to promote yourself as an indie writer.
When Freshney Place Shopping Centre, Grimsby offered to give me sponsorship this year, I thought it would be a much better idea to utilise this opportunity, to create an event, where I could share my knowledge with anyone who was interested in creative writing. Of course, every author will have travelled a different route to get their book into print and so I had a brainstorm and came up with the idea of inviting two of my close writer friends who would be willing to share their own experiences.
Shaun Allan and Alexandra Murphy have been working at my side since the middle of January to ensure the event was not only successful but to ensure we made the day as interesting as possible. We had long discussions over a glass of wine (or two) about useful ways of supporting new writers and how they could benefit from our knowledge.
The first thing any writer really wants to know deep down is how they’re going to get their novel or short story out to readers.
On the day of the event, we brought with us step by step guides on how to self-publish by using KDP Select which is run by Amazon. We also brought handouts of other e-publishing companies such as Createspace and Smashwords. For those who dreamt of having their work made into an actual book, we brought along a copy of the Writers & Artist Yearbook which is filled with valuable information about publishers, their addresses, alongside pages of literary agents.
The event was due to start at 10 am but by 9.30 am people were already arriving, clearly filled with enthusiasm, perhaps by the prospect of finally finding a way into publishing. Within the hour the event was buzzing with every walk of life. From young teenagers who were still at college or university to those who had waited a whole lifetime to fulfil their dream. You could feel the thrill of exhilaration oozing from those who couldn’t believe they had found someone who was willing to help them move their writing to the next stage.
The first person I met was a wonderful lady called Joy. We talked for over an hour and I have to admit I was in my element. Later, Joy emailed me about the day and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing just a few of her lovely words with you.
Joy said …
“I just wanted to say a big thank you for all your advice on Saturday – thank goodness I came to the event. I can’t tell you how much you have spurred me on, since speaking to you I’ve hardly been off my laptop!”
It Was A Pleasure!
To be surrounded by those who willingly share the same passion as myself is a wonderful experience and I honestly didn’t want the day to end. However much to my dismay the time flew by and before I knew it, the day was over.
How Did I Feel? Totally Fulfilled!
I was so happy! Both Alexandra and Shaun had been just as busy and they both felt the exact same way as myself. We all felt rewarded by being able to help so many people learn so much about writing.
We were supported by the wonderful and charismatic David Lane from SHCR Radio and our interview will be aired on Friday 21st March between 6pm and 8pm. Here’s the link: http://www.shcr.co.uk
For those of you who unfortunately missed our special day, here’s our fantastic video made my the very talented Alex Creswell:
So What’s Next?
Because the day was such a huge success and went way beyond our expectations we have decided we would like to create another event in the near future. We are looking at holding something similar in Scunthorpe with the possibility of venturing a little further and perhaps visiting Lincoln or even Hull.
So, if there’s anyone out there who is reading this and who would be interested in getting in contact with us to arrange an ‘Author Day’ then please get in touch via our group email which is: aspiringCW@hotmail.com
Happy writing everyone and I look forward to hearing from you!