Technology is making writing a book easier for many striving writers, but publishing it can still be intimidating for many.
November is National Novel Writing Month, which challenges writers to write 50,000 words by Nov. 30. The website, www.nanowrimo.org, has forums to help people share their ideas and ways to track their progress. Phoenix Public Library’s website, phoenixpubliclibrary.org, has tips to help get writers started and check their grammar as they go.
“We saw it as an opportunity to share our many resources with the writers in the community,” said Rita Marko, spokesperson for the Phoenix Public Library. “We wanted to make sure if you’re writing a novel this month, that you knew we have resources to help you.”
Marko said she’s seen a rise in people wanting to do some creative writing. Many people are starting to journal, write poetry, and tell their life story. Some are even taking the brave step to self publish.
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Dan Tamblo recently published his first book, “Seeds of Death: Resign or Die,” and is already working on a second. He said he’s been talking to many people in the community who have already written their books but are too afraid to publish or aren’t sure how.
Dan Click, another Ahwatukee Foothills resident who published his first book, “The Portrero,” said while everyone’s goal is to get an agent to publish their book it’s not always possible with so many people writing books now.
“Agents don’t make what they used to and receive hundreds of new books a week,” Click said. “It’s a long shot to get someone good.”
Click said the key for him was entering his book in as many competitions as he could and self-marketing. Now that he has published a book and won an award in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards, he hopes finding an agent will be easier for his next book. He chose to publish his first through a website called lulu.com, which doesn’t charge to set up an account and allowed him to retain all the rights.
Local authors say uploading a book on Amazon and creating a website to promote it are a must. Contacting local publications always increased sales as well.
Erika Gronek, an Ahwatukee Foothills mother who wrote a book for her son, called “And Then There Was You,” suggests publishing just one copy and sharing it with friends before trying to sell it to others. Once she published her book she took to social media to promote it and ended up being invited to a national Big History conference to talk about it.
“Because of social media my best friend’s half sister happened to be pouring coffee for a professor in the big history movement and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this book is perfect, you should check it out,’” Gronek said. “She lent him a copy, and before you know it we were exchanging emails and I got more recognition for my humble book than I ever thought I would.”
Gronek is working on a follow-up book to be presented at the next Big History conference.
To help writers decide if self-publishing is for them the Phoenix Public Library will partner with Changing Hands Book Store for a publishing conference in February.
The Indie Author Publishing Conference will be from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix. For questions about the conference, call Shelly Segal at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive in Tempe, (480) 730-0205.
Part of the conference does cost money but the other part, where writers will have a chance to pitch their book idea to a panel of judges, will be free. The Pitchapalooza will be from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, visit phoenixpubliclibrary.org.
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