Unheardwords of Writers of Colour

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Editorial: Finding Your Book In A Sea of Content

part 1

"Above all, write the best book you can." Concise advice for new authors.

You’ve written, you’re writing or you’ve published a book.

That’s good, that’s great. I can truly appreciate the time, effort and mental gymnastics you’ve endured.

On the plus side, you should be pleased with yourself, with the sense of achievement. Many people are thinking about writing or would like to write but you’ve actually gone a step further and gotten on with it.

On the plus side, too, you’re not alone; your fellow authors number in the thousands and since the advent of the speed-of-click age, more and more people are able to cross the time honoured border and pass into the land of the author.

On the not-so-plus side, you’re not alone; the books are stacked to the virtual ceilings; writers who are about to publish form a not so orderly queue around the block and those crossing that prestigious border do so in their tens every hour or every day.

I’m not gloomy about this and neither should you be; it’s a scene of liberation. No need to ask, what would people do if they could fulfil their goals and publish their book?  As now, as you know, many can and get the chance to do so.

Readers Will Read

Writers who publish have something to share.   They are drawn into publishing as a time honoured means of making an official statement to the world. They are saying one or several of the following, ‘between the covers of my book you’ll find something to entertain, inform, interest, engage, laugh at, think about; characters you’d like to spend some time with; points of view that may be new to you...’ They are saying, ‘I’ve spent the last months or years of my life creating a body of work that I believe is worthy of your time as a reader.’

Writers who publish are competing for the reader’s attention.   If so many people, friends and family members, organisations, and companies are sending out messages to YOU (the reader), then how are you to decide which messages to spend your time reading?

There is no obvious answer, so let’s not focus on what we don’t know; perhaps we can focus on what we do know, instead.

What we do know is that the dear reader (equipped, as many of us are these days, with take-anywhere-flat-screens) will choose to spend some of their time reading SOME content. More than this, if the source is good (to their tastes, reliable and consistent) they’ll allot a portion of their valuable time; returning to the source until they’ve read it to its conclusion – completed the book.

Readers will read, and you would like them to read your book.

Why have you written your book?

Are you writing your book?

There may be as many individual answers to this as there are writers.  Let me take a quick short cut and borrow from (-lend to) and adapt a previous list.

You’re a writer because you wish to:

Entertain; inform; interest; engage; muse on, be amusing about, consider, explore, explain, story tell, characterise, weave narrative strands, plot and characterise.

All of this presupposes you’re not simply writing for yourself – which can be a very therapeutic and rewarding creative activity in its own right.

It’s the end product that sort of gives away your purpose; writing a book implies creating a complete package that has an intended audience, a readership.

Read Part Two

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