Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Are You Shopping for a New Story?

Are you shopping for a new story? 

Hopefully, in preparation for the trip, you make a list.

You look through your cupboards and refrigerator to see what you have so you don't duplicate.

You plan a time when the shopping trip will work the best in your hectic schedule--preferably without the children.

Photo by Lars Plougmann, courtesy of Flickr
You may even look over your finances. At least in your minds eye you have a pretty good idea of what you can afford. You may even clip coupons and look for sales--a great thing if you have the time.

So what does this have to do with shopping for a story? Well, let me just tell you.
    Photo by xJason.Rogersx, courtesy of Flickr
  • Making a list is a bit like organizing your thoughts before you write, kind of like those dreaded outlines. Especially if you're writing a novel, some outlining is in order. But choose the outlining method that is best for you.
  • Ideas don't often come as easily as Mary Poppins flying down  with her umbrella. You must search for them; often, in the most unlikely places like a bank or a department store--maybe even a cupboard.
  • Time for writing must be planned, it's not usually going to come to you. For this reason, and because my mind works better in the morning to early afternoon, I try to do most of my writing then. When I had small children I worked between naps and during the evening when they were in bed. Yes, I also wrote during the day when they were awake, but it was difficult I assure you.
  • Are you looking for a publisher? An agent? Do you want to do the book on your own? These questions are better answered early on. Are you willing to spend more money on your manuscript, over paper, stamps, mailing envelopes or boxes by going the route of self-publishing? Actually, self publishing or POD publishing doesn't have to be the big expense it used to be, but you need to know early on what you're going to do with your novel once it's finished. 
    Photo by: Philip Taylor PT, courtesy of Flickr
  • Marketing is a BIG deal. In fact, it's said that the marketing of your book will take more of your time than the writing of it. I like to put aside at least 15 minutes a day for marketing my newest book--and balance the marketing with the writing I am constantly doing. Some days the entire day is spend on marketing.
Yes, shopping for a new story is kind of like planning and then going on a shopping trip. It's made easier when you have a great idea, can organize this idea and make time for writing and never forget that the shopping experience is not complete even after you've published writing your book.

When it comes to marketing, whether you choose mainstream publishing or POD publishing, be assured that there will be a lot of work ahead of you in getting the word out.

I wish you success.



  1. I have a book idea dancing around and found a possible co-author who just moved into our area-not all books are novels-mine will be non -fiction, self help!

  2. And it's a good thing, too. I love self-help books.


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