Omega Writers held a successful online writing retreat in October, with inspiring sessions from Edie Melson and Nicole Partridge, and informative panel discussions on publishing and marketing.
Today I’m sharing some of the resources discussed during the retreat, particularly during the marketing panel (which, unfortunately, did not record).
PodcastsHere are some excellent writer podcasts to listen to:
- Joanna Penn at The Creative Penn
- The SPF podcast (Self-Publishing Formula) with Mark Dawson
- The Novel Marketing Podcast with Thomas Umstatt Jnr
- Write from the Deep with Karen Ball and Erin Taylor Young
Facebook GroupsThere are many excellent Facebook groups for writers. The best groups allow little or no self-promotion, as their aim is to help writers (not become a spammy echo chamber).
- Australasian Christian Writers
- Christian Writers Downunder
- Christian Indie Authors
- Avid Readers of Christian Fiction
- Wide for the Win
- 20 Books to 50K
Other Recommended Resources
- Book Whispers (for cover design, publishing assistance)
- Novella Distribution (for hard copy book distribution within Australia)
- Impressum (for cover design, editing, and publishing assistance)
- The Collaborative Press (for cover design, editing, and publishing assistance)
- Mark Dawson’s Advertising for Authors (a paid course)
- Bryan Cohen’s 5-Day Amazon Ad Profit Challenge (a free course that leads into a paid course)
Author PlatformAuthors need a website, but how do you build one if you’re not a web designer? An online course may help.
- Carolyn Miller recommended the Kick-Start Your Author Platform Marketing Challenge (a paid email course).
- Andrea Grigg recommended Crazy Easy Awesome Author Websites (a paid course from Lawson Writers Academy).
Q&AThere were also lots of great questions in the chat.
How much can an indie author expect to pay up front to publish?The two main expenses in self-publishing are cover design and editing.
How much does an editor cost?The cost of editing varies. The first book might cost $2,000 or more, because you’ll probably need two kinds of editors:
- A developmental editor (looking at genre, plot, structure, characterisation, point of view, and other major aspects of writing).
- A copyeditor (who looks at the writing at a sentence and paragraph level, making sure the writing is clear and error-free).
- At least one proofread using the Word document, to catch any outstanding typographical errors. There may be more than one proofreader at this stage, and it would probably be a specialist proofreader i.e. not the line editor or copyeditor.
- A second proofread on the final page proofs (e.g. the PDF or InDesign file), and would focus more on the look of the test on the page e.g. no widows or orphans (a single line of text on a page), and no rivers (a line of spaces running down a page). At this stage, the proofread would only change the most obvious errors, as adding or deleting a word on page 12 might mean repaginating the entire manuscript.
- Lisa Renee (from The Collaborative Press) USD 85 per 10,000 words.
- Meredith expects to pay around AUD 1,200 for 70,000 words for a main copyedit.
- Carolyn Miller suggested around AUD 1,000 for 90,000 words if the writing is very clean (which probably means it’s already been thoroughly edited by the author and one or more editors, or is from a multi-published author).
Any tips on cover design?Genre is key when it comes to cover design, so it’s important to know your genre, know the books in your genre, and select a cover designer who knows what sells in your genre. Check out books in your genre. Authors will often credit their cover designer, so check out books in your genre. Suggestions from those at the retreat:
What is acceptable content in Christian fiction?The US Christian market is very conservative. They won’t drink beer or wine, but they’ll happily eat burgers and pizza for every meal. But the definition of “acceptable content” depends on your target market, and that’s going to be slightly different for everyone.
- Are you writing for a mainstream Christian audience, or are you writing for the general market and bringing in Christian themes or “grace notes”?
- Are you writing for the Australian market, the US market, or the UK market?