Apr 13, 2012

L is for Learning

This might explain why writing workshops are so helpful, they get you to try what they teach!
As a writer I'm always learning, sometimes I stumble across gems of information on the craft and sometimes it's from making mistakes. But to make sure I'm constantly learning, I actively seek out lessons in the craft and life of writing. This week I attended a seminar at Queensland Writers Centre on the Business of Writing. This seminar consisted of a panel of experts on the topics of copyright, contracts and self-publishing. Here's some things I learned:
  • Self-publishers CAN have their Indie books distributed through bookstores by hiring a distributor (and of course there are a lot more variables that will decide if this is successful).
  • Royalties can be negotiated in lieu of an advance. The standard in Australia is 10%.
  • You should negotiate royalties on RRP and not Net Income. Otherwise publishers can offer huge discounts which takes from your pocket.
  • You can copyright your story, but not the idea. Anyone can write a story about a vampire teen love story, it just has to be in your own words with your own characters.
  • If you want to be taken seriously as a writer you need to act as a professional. This is a business, your business, treat it, your product and yourself with respect.  
There was lots more, but you get the idea. Did you learn anything new about writing this week?


  1. Great post, Charmaine. I'd love to attend more workshops especially at QWC. I find that I learn so much just from reading writers blogs.

    There's a wealth of information out there for aspiring writers (like me) and It's always so exciting to learn something new!

  2. I'm always learning something new about writing. Like Renee, as an aspiring writer, it's good to find writer's blogs such as yours and get inspired to keep at it.

    Thanks for this post.


  3. I'm constantly learning new stuff, but also much more forgetful than I used to be. It probably balances out.

    Very informative post.

    Moody Writing
    The Funnily Enough

  4. This was a wonderful write up and of immense information value! Will look forward to reading your posts in future too:)

  5. I'm clicking on random blogs that catch my eye from the A to Z Challenge site.

  6. That pyramind chart is good. I can see how that is so true. We learn more by doing, and teaching. This week I learned more about promotion and how to present myself and my work as a professionl, very important.

    Play off the Page

  7. Because of A-Z, I've learned a lot about writing this week but I just love the chart you have at the top.
    Great tips on the publishing business, and I agree, that's what it is, a business.

  8. Great post. I learn something new connected with writing everyday.

    What did I learn this week? I learned to format my ms ready for Kindle.

  9. I guess I qualify as a slow learner. I tend to learn from reading the genres that I want to write, like poetry and memoir. I've learned a lot from you. Not sure if I learn something daily, but maybe I do passively, subconsciously. Hope so.

  10. Great post. Thanks for sharing. As for what I learned this week, I think I keep relearning the same writing lessons over and over :-)

  11. Hiring a distributor? This is interesting. I'd like to know more about this one. I'm over from A to Z. Retweeted your post because it has a lot of good stuff in it! Pop over if you like. Cheers, Catherine

  12. I've been stumbling on a lot of great posts about getting published while I've been cruising the A to Z list. While I'm not pursuing getting published at this point in time, they are always good things to keep in mind for the future.

    Thanks for sharing! Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

  13. Great post and chart. Both life and writing are making us learn something new every single day.

  14. "We practice our craft to service the reader, not our psyche..we transmute it to provide what the reader most wants, an experience different from and richer than what he daily abides in life."
    from On Writing by Sol Stein.

  15. One of the things I do in my day job is teach people how to use certain computer programs. Although the QUICKEST thing to do is shove 'em out of your way, tell 'em to watch over your shoulder, that's also the least effective.

    I make 'em sit down at the monitor and keyboard, with a notebook. I walk them through each step, encouraging them to take notes while making their fingers do the clicking and entering. Does it take much longer? Yes. Does it "stick," and do they trust me? Yes.

    That said, the other day I couldn't help a client over the phone to upload a file from her desktop. She didn't know how to find her desktop on her computer, and the three things I tried didn't work.