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  • Donna Munro

What does an author get up to?

I was asked this question and it's not easy to explain, because not every day is the same. However, I'll do my best to answer it.

Here goes. Firstly, I do my employed work. As with many writers, I have a day job. Luckily for me it's a fantastic job because I work for Romance Writers of Australia as the Administrative Officer. Working with RWA is the best way to mix with other writers. It keeps my finger on the pulse of publishing

Oh, while we are speaking about pulse. Mine's been racing a little lately. No, not from any romantic fiction I'm reading, more because I'm on a health kick and trying to run at least 5km a day. And if it's raining I have no excuse because I bought a treadmill. Wish me luck with that. Fitness helps clear my head, so it does aid in better writing.

Today my list of authorly things on the boil:

  • One full women's fiction manuscript submitted with an agent in the USA (fingers are tightly crossed)

  • One women's suspense fiction manuscript complete and undergoing final edits

  • One non-fiction book in final stages to pre-sale (more about that shortly)

  • Ongoing marketing

  • Ongoing website updating and blog (this)

  • Ongoing bookkeeping and office administration

  • Helping another author with book cover, layout, design and submission

  • Final layouts on a commemorative magazine for RWA (volunteer)

  • Creating metadata and other book details for non-fiction book

  • Checking emails in case the agent has contacted me

  • Ignoring my phone beeping when someone posts to social media

  • All while listening (part watching) You-Tube writing videos.

Phew! I wonder if there'll be less to do tomorrow. And, did you notice, not one bit of that was writing a new story. Sometimes writers do other things than write. Don't worry, the next one is in my mind ready to hit the pages soon. I promise.

So, about the non-fiction book will help writers who are looking to self-publish. Here's the blurb:

How to Self-Publish in Oz

A step-by-step guide for Australians

planning to self-publish a book.

There’s no better joy to an aspiring author than the arrival of the first book baby. Holding a debut book in your hands, flipping the pages, rubbing the cover and staring at your author picture may seem surreal. Advancements in technology make it possible for you to simply self-publish - if you know how.

This book eliminates the worries from your Australian self-publishing journey by teaching you tips and tricks; what worked for the author and what didn’t.

  • The dozen of self-publishing (1. Write, 2. Drafts/Edits, 3. Register, 4. Market, 5. Layout, 6. Book Cover, 7. Proof, 8. Last Edit, 9. Print, 10. Distribute, 11. Social Media, 12. Website and other marketing).

  • Avoid common pitfalls.

  • Celebrate your ability.

  • The A, B, Cs of self-publishing (Aptitude, Belief, Creativity).

  • Drafts, edits, re-drafts and re-edits and the tricks to help.

  • Network with your tribe for the processes you can’t do yourself.

  • Enjoy the creative freedom of self-publishing.

  • Checklists to make the best decisions to produce a book as professionally as a traditionally published one.

  • Keeping records that won’t dampen your enthusiasm.

  • Free templates - for self-publishing in Australia.

As an indie author of three women’s fiction novels, The Zanzibar Moon, Kendwa’s Secret and Elephant Creek, and freelance writer, Donna Munro can show you how to take the steps. After working in publishing as a book marketing publicist and learning the ropes, she transitioned to self-publishing. She helps other writers achieve their goals by providing newsletters, websites, book design, book covers and other guidance. Skills include excellence in multiple computer platforms and apps, 18 years in the printing industry, writing diploma, graphic design, publishing, administration, marketing and event management.

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