Invest the Write Way Saves You Time and Money by Hayley Hunkin
Here is the 'tip of the iceberg' of what you can learn from a Georgie Donaghey workshop.
Tip 1 – Be Professional
In all things, from your social media posts to the emails and cover letters you send to prospective publishers, be professional. Georgie shared real stories of how some people she knew had lost publishing contracts or had lost the opportunity to become published because of their own unprofessional behaviour.
Tip 2 – Invest in Your Craft
Attending workshops and writing festivals is a great way to improve your writing skills. Joining a critique group where each writer critiques each other's work is helpful. Everyone thinks the first story they write is perfect, but the reality is writing is a craft that takes many years to hone. That's not to say you won't be published, but that you do need to invest in the time it takes to learn the craft from experts.
Tip 3 – Manuscript Assessments are Key
Getting a professional and expert opinion and critique on your manuscript is extremely helpful. Your family will tell you they love the story, but getting a manuscript assessment from an impartial expert in the industry will provide far more valuable feedback if you want to make your writing the best it can be before sending it to a publisher.
Tip 4 – You Have One Chance
It's a small industry and you generally only have one chance to get a story published by each publisher you approach. Don't waste your opportunity by sending in a manuscript that has not been polished as far as you possibly can. Don't waste your time and the publisher's valuable time in resending manuscripts that have already been rejected by that publisher and have not been substantially changed.
Tip 5 – Find the Right Publisher for Your Story
Do your research. Find out what the publishers have previously published and check out their current titles. Sending your chapter book manuscript to a publisher that only publishes picture books is a complete waste of time and energy, and is most likely going to negatively influence that publisher against you should you later send in a picture book. Find a publisher that suits you and your story.
Tip 6 – Build Your Author Platform Before You are Published
Publishers are looking for authors who they can invest in for the long term, so you need to present yourself as a professional author and speaker. Writing is only part of the process, but successful authors will also build an audience and promote themselves as an author. Create a professional website and build your reputation as an author.
Tip 7 – Be Prepared to Promote the Book Yourself
Don't think the publisher will continuously promote your book. If lucky, you'll get a couple of weeks of active promotion from the publisher, so be prepared to spend your time on promotional activities like the book launch and speaking at schools to promote your book.
Tip 8 – Writing Your Author Bio
Go beyond having one author biograph and have a few of different lengths as some writing competitions and publishers want you to submit a different length of bio. Have a professional photo as your author bio picture and summarise your professional achievements succinctly.
These tips are just the very tip of the iceberg, as there was so much in the workshop. Georgie Donaghey has a wealth of knowledge and hard won experience which she generously shares with novice writers. Attending a workshop will save you much time and money and will forward your career as an author substantially if you put into practice all the tips Georgie gives.
By Hayley Hunkin – CKT Member and aspiring children's author
You can read more about Hayley on her website.
To register for this life changing course, visit INVEST the Write Way.