Back On Track by Anna Shenton

Can’t get back into writing after a break! Does this sound familiar? Moving house and a complete renovation dominated so much time for me, not easy! Longing to write again, including Feature Articles for Writers Forum I didn’t realise at the time withdrawal symptoms had taken hold. It’s nice to be here. I need to write, create, participate, experience the whole shebang of writing again; I hunger for it like I hunger for food. So where should we start?
Prioritising – We need to look at previously accomplished work before writing anything. In my case I was happy with the many letters, fillers, and articles published in various markets. I would slot back into this comfortably. My eBooks need attention. I suppose I was a little naive after mastering the art of self-publishing a few eBooks on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. I thought I could sit back and watch sales roll in. Wrong! Steadily sales crept up but like a grain of sand beside the ocean they were washed up. I want more so before I get my creative juices flowing I need to set out my stall.
Offering Writing Spelled Out – Writing for beginners – free for a short period proved successful but disappointingly reviews didn’t materialise. Worth Keeping in mind if you’re tempted to follow suit. Numerous sales could be lost for no good reason.
Reducing the price of my Romance Novel Seduced by Mind Tricks and Collection of Short Stories Lust for Survival made a few more sales but not worth the effort. Resubmitting eBooks to two different sources and waiting for it to go live again can be time consuming. Amazon recommends keeping within a certain price and for me I think they know their stuff. Smashwords ship your book out to several sources if you make the grade to their premium catalogue, constantly changing prices is lost time.
Change eBook covers? I don’t want to I like them. Could be something I need to consider later.
Back to that grain of sand! I think this is the problem. Unless you tell people about your books who is going to find them? I feel I have chosen my tag cloud wisely, also it’s worthwhile checking where your books appear in searches. Now left with my worst fear Facebook. Avoiding Facebook has been my biggest mistake. I’m a private person; my impression of Facebook is airing every little mortal thing of my life to the social media. It would never be the same again. Wrong! Taking the plunge is proving beneficial in many ways. Facebook account up and running I can now ramble my way round and discover what it has to offer. A few tips from the younger version of my family members has been eye-opening but the best way to learn how to utilise Facebook to its best ability is try it out for yourself. Anything you don’t understand google it. Amazingly I can control virtually everything that filters on my timeline, who sees what, who doesn’t. What do I want to see or not. Privacy settings are all in place all you have to do is activate what works for you.
Friending people is great for chatting to family and friends, keeping in touch, seeing pictures of what your grandchildren are up to. Most of all to the point making new writer/author friends has proved to be invaluable. This is amazingly encouraging to be engaged with likeminded people, get your work noticed, join in their posts and really enjoy the buzz of writing again.
Create page separate from your home page can be used to house all your writing; you are the manager of your page. Fill it with information about your books, articles, pictures and what plans you have for the future. Engage your fans to interact with excerpts of your writing, ask for opinions on story plots and portray your character profiles, conflicts. You might be thinking – where are all these friends going to come from? Facebook will help you with that and offer suggestions, but be sure to do your homework before confirming a friendship by taking a peek at their profile.
Once friends are chosen and accepted, invite them to like your page the more likes you get the more you will be noticed. You are ready to post out to your friends. Send eBook covers and excerpts tactfully don’t bombard them with too much, make sure you engage in their activities too they will like you for this. For me this was the turning point between not writing and writing. Be aware that posts sent from your create page will only reach a percentage of friends. Directly you can also post on friends timeline if their settings allow.
Current biography – is imperative, people want to know where you come from and about your education, achievements before they spend time and money on reading your work. You are a real person with lots to tell you are alive and have many life experiences. Amazon offer an Author Central page, it’s free, easily explained and an ideal platform for your profile.
If you have a blog update it, refresh with new pictures, and explain your future plans, any new titles, articles or events that are up and coming. Invite guest authors to display their work. Check out authors who are selling themselves well. Be interested in others and they will help you. Link your Facebook page to your blog. Joining an online community can also be beneficial, search according to your taste and appreciate recommendations of friends.
Don’t rush take time to get it right. In a few weeks you will feel enlightened. Adrenalin pumping through your veins and spurts of inspiration will be overwhelming and your imagination will spiral out of control. You’ve hit the turning point! The mind is a very powerful thing and you’ve just activated it.
Write something – if you’re unsure where to aim your work treat yourself to a favourite magazine. There is sure to be something in it to rouse your interest. Something you are passionate about, hold a strong opinion of or just simply enjoy what you are reading about.
My first written words to prove useful were very few. Sitting in the Jacuzzi at my local health club I watched people dart from one facility to another without intermittent showering, a problem often spoke of. The please shower sign looked tired and dated. I pondered a little and came up with a nifty little caption – Keep our facilities clean shower in-between! After sending it to head office I was delighted to know that they loved it. It wasn’t long before it turned up at the poolside as a six-foot colourful poster, consequently is now being used around the country. Negotiations made me some delightful Spa treatments in return. So it doesn’t have to be a several thousand word manuscript to start you off. Write to the letters page with a topical subject or simply plough straight back in where you left off. Devise a list of potential material you are comfortable with or try something completely new. I’ve had fun researching for my first and one-off Historical Romance Novella – in progress – Sleep with One Eye Open .Go for it! Once you start writing you won’t be able to stop.
Top Ten Tips

1 Check out previously accomplished work before writing.

2 Address any eBook issues.

3 Join Facebook to get noticed and meet new writer/author friends.

4 Open a Create Page to display work and gain Likes.

5 Engage with others, send them encouraging posts.

6 Update your biography.

7 Create an Author Central page on Amazon.

8 Refresh your blog.

9 Write about favourable and topical subjects.

10 Don’t be too serious; enjoy the buzz of writing again.