10 Australian Book Bloggers to Follow

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There seems to be a great many writers blogging online.  But how can we find them.  They seem to be hidden away in secret places online and are very hard to unearth.

A big list of people with a little review of why you might want to read them.  Writers who are reviewing work, blogging about literature and contributing to the online writing dialogue.

James Bradley, CITY OF TONGUES



Writers & Hunchbacks

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I am writing this as a concern for all of you.  It is official, I have become a hunchback and I fear that all us writer will become hunchbacks alike.

Sitting at a computer is bad for our health; sitting for a long period of time at a computer is even worse.

While I care very deeply about your health and wellbeing, it might be your own vanity is what gets you to pay attention to the problems of sitting too long at a computer.

Hunchbacks are ugly.  They photograph badly and make you look like you’re always nervous.  You might not even know you are a hunchback.  That is when things are really bad.

So how to cure a writing hunchback and make sure it doesn’t come back. Continue reading

Self Publishing 202 – Marketing

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You only need to do a quick internet search to uncover thousands of ways to market your self-published book.  One of the best resources available to a self-published writer is Jenny Blake’s 15 Tab Book Marketing Spreadsheet (You can find a link to it below).  I would suggest having a long read through all of her advice on the matter.

I personally used it with the marketing of my first self-published book and it was amazing.

Jenny Blake taught me to never underestimate the power of your friends and family when it comes to marketing your book.  They don’t even have to have read it and they will love it.


When it comes to incorporating Social Media Marketing in the sale of you book, it’s important to be genuine.  Genuine relationships with other bloggers online is a wonderful community to build.

DeRoche was a personal blogger who went to great lengths to establish a genuine audience through social media before publishing her first memoir.

When she finally had a finished work to launch, there was an audience waiting.  It took her eight months from starting the blog to getting the publishers deal with her first memoir Love with a Chance of Drowning.


A press release is an excellent idea – and here’s another…

Do you remember where you grew up?  There is going to be a lot of support for you in your home town, in your friendship circles, and from your family.

Tell the newspaper where you grew up that you’ve published a book.  Journalists are a great one to approach with an already constructed story.  This means they don’t have to do too much work.


If you can afford it, do it.  Make a trailer for people to share, Book trailers are often far more engaging than a cover blurb.

Trailers are more interesting to share, quickly emotive to an audience and work well on social media.


A book launch is such a classic concept that it seems strange to release a book without on.  Perhaps not anymore.

Traditional Book Launches are a not what they used to be.  And according to the publishers at last year’s Emerging Writers Festival, they don’t sell books.

Book Launches rarely are able to bring in a new crowd for your work.  Mostly Book Launches are attended by friends family and loyal fans who already knew about your new book and were already going to buy it.

If you insist on having a book party (and you certainly can) understand that it is just that, a party.  Book Launches and Book Parties should not be considered part of the marketing strategy, and therefore not a priority when it comes to budgeting and funding.

Marketing and the product –

Put effort into packaging and making a good product.  Presentation was really important. Called on friends to help promote the book once it was released.  After it was published she received publisher interest had since sold the rights to film – and has a lot of success.

Made a trailer for the book to add to her own abilities to self-promote.  Lots of people make a trailer for their book – but get it done by a professional or it could do more harm than good.

If you cannot afford a trailer you might be able to organise an online interview about the work, to share on youtube instead.  Costs less and will still create intrigue.

Another blogger suggests that marketing does not need to happen once the book is finished – he advises people to get their audience in involved in the whole process – getting crowd feed back on the novels title and even the cover art – choose between two. That way they feel involved with the work and are proud of the product when it comes out.

Women, Submissions and Self-Publishing

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For six years Kelli Russell Agodon worked as a co-editor and chief for a literary magazine.  In her piece for Medium, SUBMIT LIKE A MAN published May 2015, she writes about what she learned during that time, and what she knows about how men and women submit their work from consideration.

If I had to make one general statement about what I most learned at the press as an editor, the big revelation was that men and women submit their work differently.

More here – While aware of the generalisations being made, Agodon cannot ignore the overall trends between men and women.  When a rejection letter is sent to a man with the following, ‘We would like to see more of your work,’ a man will tend to actually send more of their work. She puts it done to

When the same rejection letter is sent to a women, she will generally wait 3 to 6 months before resubmitting, if at all.  She puts it done to

She puts it done to the classic problem of women over thinking things, reading too much into the words, not wanting to seem pushy or being happy to settle for an ‘almost.’

I am guilty of this too.  If I am really honest with myself, it is my fear of utter rejection that drove me towards self publishing my work instead of subjecting it to the ridicule of rejection I was certain it would have recieved.

This is stupid I know, as rejection letters are vital to improvement as a writer, self reflection and challening ourselves to work harder and go beyond what we thought.

It seems I am not the only one.

I a survey published by the GUARDIAN in March 2015, it seems self-publishing allows women the chance to circumnavigate their fear of rejections and break the book industry’s glass ceiling.  The number of women selling best sellers through self-publishing is almost twice that of men.

“More and more female writers are seeing success in self-publishing,” said Monique Duarte, chief executive of FicShelf, which released the results to mark International Women’s Day on Sunday 8 March. “It’s a level playing field.”

While men are still dominating traditional publishing it is the ladies who seem to be making self-publishing work for them.

While mainstream publisher are known for playing it safe, it is the self-publishing market that is allowing female writers to step out of these preconceived norms and break the template of what women should be writing about.

AMANDA HOCKING has made millions selling her novels online through self Publishing.

Motivating Yourself, Being kind to yourself

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The following are quotes I found in the first draft of the manuscript I’m currently writing.  The draft has been sitting in a folding on my computer for a few years.

 I am going through it for the first time during NaNoWriMo to see if there is anything there I can use.

It is hilarious to see all the funny things I’ve written to myself, and I’m also proud of how kind I have been to myself.

‘There are a lot of things to sort out, but don’t worry Meg, it will get better – It all comes together in the end.’

‘What the fuck is this?’

‘I really don’t think this is working!!”

Ha! Editing is hilarious.

7 Blogging Tips

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1. There is no single ‘way’ to make your blog work.  Distrust anyone who tries to sell you precise blogging dogma.  While there are proven habits to help make your blog successful, many bloggers have made their blogs work using a number of different methods.

And there are always exceptions to every rule. Some people might recommend you make money from advertising while the successful blog ZEN HABITS swear by an advertisement free space.

2. The people who blog about the same topic as you are your friends not your competition.  Like minded blogs can help each other in many ways. Enter the blogging community with caution and care – Don’t trash the joint when you come in.

Similar blogs have similar audiences that can be shared without being stolen. When you begin a blog on travel for instance, make friends with other travel writers and reach out when they write about something you are interested in.

Share more content than you write, and support those in your community.

3. Not every idea is a good one – But you won’t know until you try it out.  Even good ideas can turn out to be wrong for you in a few months time.

4. It should hurt to hit publish.  Otherwise, push yourself until you are not even sure you should be posting it – Then do it!  Lazy bloggers make lazy blogs.  I have a few posts that still make me think, ‘Should I take those down?’  These posts are my most controversial or honest, and my most popular.

5. Blogging is hard.  Blogging takes more time than you realise, requires dedication, persistence and tends to happen late at night.  Progress on your blog will normally happen right at the moment you are considering giving up.

6. Don’t push to gain the wrong readers.  When it comes to building a blogging audience, aim for the right readers, even if it means your audience grows slowly.  Numbers don’t matter if they are the wrong readers for you.

7. Don’t talk about yourself all the time.  Talk about what you can offer others.  Don’t be crazy and rant unless you have the answer underneath.



The Problems with Writers Festivals

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The sceptic in me thinks Writers Festivals are about trying to make money.  It seems to be the big push during festival event time, buying tickets to events and then buying books afterwards.

But I can’t believe it is all about publicity and selling books.

They can also be about wankery, elitism, fame and sometimes literature.

The problems with Writers Festivals are that the panels are rarely about what you think they are about.  There is a lot of loose interpretation when it comes to panel headlines, and then what is actually discussed.

No one is actually handing out advice about writing, or speaking to the audience like they are writers too.  Mostly, Writers Festival audiences are made up of writers, looking for help, tips inspiration and guidance.

Also, writers always seem to want to do readings from their book – which breaks up the flow of conversation.

Writers festivals are about talking and socialising and being amoung people – not reading out loud to people who have either read your book and therefore don’t need to hear it again, or haven’t read your book and therefore don’t want the whole thing ruined. .

So why do I keep going?  Because THE BENEFITS OF WRITERS FESTIVALS always outweigh the negative

I found myself in Melbourne looking around at the audience and realised that I was in a room full of colleagues.  Colleagues is not really a word that writers use very often as it is a solitary career path.  But here we all were, having worked remotely for the last year, we had all come home to the festival to work together for a few weeks.

And work we did.


Finding Metaphorical Space to Write

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There is a big difference between having a desk to write in, and having enough mental space to allow yourself to write.  I used to think that all I needed was an office of my own, and then the books will just flow out of me onto the office floor.

When my partner and I moved into a four bedroom house on the South Coast, I got my very first office.  I brought a secondhand desk, found a chair on the street and wrote notes to myself to stick all over the wall.  I stuck a post it to the door that read ‘Book Factory – Keep out!’ and lined the walls with bookshelves and folders.  I was certain I had everything I needed.

When I did finally get my own space to write, I was astounded at how little work I did when I sat there.  I would sit at my desk for hours wasting time and getting frustrated.

What was missing was space in my head to let ideas flow.  I was so full of worry, frustration, writing anxiety, fear of failure, fear of success, and pressure that it was impossible to get any creative words from my head.

Here is how I now manage to find a little metaphorical space in my head to let the creativity flow. Continue reading

How to Prepare for and Nail an Interview

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Being able to interview people is a skill.  Luckily it is a skill that, with practice, becomes almost second nature.  There is so much information to be found in people if you only knew how to ask.

It is important for writers to be able to interview people well.  Interviews are a wonderful way to get your foot in the publishing / magazine / journal door.  They are also a good way to extract information from experts and research certain topics for your fiction writing.  There is so much information to be found in people if you only knew how to ask.

Below is a list from the INTERVIEWING PANEL at the National Writers Conference, 2015, combined with advice from a number of websites and blogs and a few tips and tricks from Susannah Fraser, our Manuscrapped in-house interviewer.

Before the Interview

  • Give your subjects options and be respectful of their time let them choose what works best for them.
  • Expect the booking and pursuing of an interview subject to be time-consuming.
  • It helps having a publication behind you when you approach subjects for interviews.
  • Once you have found a subject that you wish to interview, approach their publicist.  ‘Publicists are generally good to deal with.’
  • Refer a friend. It’s not out of the question to ask your interview subject to refer a friend for an interview.  Subjects will often know someone interesting you can interview next.
  • Choosing person to interview – ask your editor first.  90% of the work will be tracking these people down.
  • Think of what an interviewee might have to offer on a larger topic.  Don’t be afraid to include news and currents events, to get their reaction to the world.  It is a wonderful way of getting an insight into how your subject views the world.  What could they teach readers, about a larger story?

Continue reading

Benefits of a Writers Festival; Why you should go

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It’s almost Writers Festival season.  The Sydney Writers Festival Program just came out in the newspaper and it’s time to start planning interstate trips to see your much-loved authors of romantic comedy.  But

But you made such an effort last year… It seems like you only just paid off the debt of buying all those brand new books!

Writers festivals can sometimes be intense, expensive, overcrowded exclusive events.  Locations are hard to get to no matter how many shuttle buses are organised.  The crowds are exhausting to manage and standing in line can leave you bored.  The coffee is expensive and you always end up with nowhere to sit, wishing you were at home reading the Saturday Paper.

So why should you go?  Why should Emerging Writers keep going to Writers Festivals, year after year?  What is the point and what are the benefits?

Here are our top reasons to keep heading to Writers Festivals, even if you don’t feel 100% up for it this year. Continue reading