FWA Presentation at St. Pete Public Library (Main) – Becoming a Bestselling Author
I’ll be presenting this Thursday, 11/9, at the main St. Petersburg library location at 37th St. N and 9th Ave. at 6pm for the FWA St. Pete writers group.
The Topic: The Untold, Amazing, Shocking! Secret Formula for Becoming a Bestselling Author Finally Revealed
or, Scamming the Dream – How Others are Happy to Take Your Money in the Writing and Publishing Industry
I’ve spent countless hours listening to webinars, reading advice on how authors can make it to the big time. Fame! Fortune! All you have to do is [pay] for my [course] [webinar] [book] [manual] and you’ll be taking the steps to becoming rich!
There’s a hidden message they aren’t telling you. I’ll give you the straight scoop, and answer any questions on writing and publishing that I can.
I will be there before 6 if anyone wants to chat informally beforehand. I look forward to renewing acquaintances and making new ones.
… to all those who attended tonight’s presentation. I had a wonderful time showing several software programs (all free) that might help one write in the style they are comfortable in.
I met wonderful people, fielded interesting questions, and offered my opinions on some things, hoping to open up aspiring writers to the wealth of possibilities out there.
Basically, understand what you want from your writing, and look for a way that matches that desire.
In addition to the free download of the presentation on this website (under the DIY publishing tips/free download page), I covered 3 programs and promised to include links here for those who didn’t get a paper with the links on them.
Software for the Way You Write
If you like everything in one program, including storyboard, character bios, locations, plot points, scene missions, etc. you want yWriter. (Click to go to the download page for version 6. This works for Windows. For Mac and Linux, download version 5 and run via Wine.) I call this the Maximalist approach.
If you want just a blank piece of paper, distraction free, you want FocusWriter. Available on all platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows), and also as a portable app for Windows (install on a usb drive and take with you anywhere). I call this the Minimalist approach.
If you want the program to handle the formatting for you, try LyX. This is my preferred one now (relatively new), because in addition to handling the formatting, it also has a sidebar outline view that allows me to see where I’m at in my story as I’m writing. (In other programs you have to toggle between views to see similar things.) I call this the Format-for-Me approach.
Following the presentation we had a lively discussion on software, writing, self publishing, and related topics. It was an honor to present, to share my experiences with fellow writers, and I hope it was helpful. (Feedback seemed to indicate it was for some.)
Once again, thank you, to Bria and FWA, and to those who attended, for this opportunity.
An attentive audience at last night’s FWA meeting (Thursday, 8/13) listened and questioned John Rehg as he revealed some self publishing secrets, including how to publish a book for free.
Not everyone may be a DIY publishing author, but if they are, John showed them how simple it was to do it for a reduced cost, or even free. Free including any software you needed to produce your book and your cover.
A handout of a page from his upcoming book, Self Publish for Free, A Step-by-Step Guide, due out this fall, was distributed. It listed the software available (both free and commercial) that authors who want to control the layout of their books can use. Due to high attendance the supply ran out.
So, here we will offer it as a free download (currently page 2 in the book), for those who weren’t able to get it, or who couldn’t attend the meeting.
John stated the purpose of the book is to help those who want to do it themselves by reducing the learning curve of new software. It will offer a step-by-step approach, so once one downloads and installs the software, (available on PC, Mac, and Linux) they can immediately use it.
This book combines lessons learned from many places on the web. It will reduce an author’s search for the right tutorial if he or she is producing a simple book. More complicated DIY offerings may come in the future.
Self Publishing Gifts
One area John believes is under appreciated is giving books as gifts. By publishing for free, this becomes an excellent avenue to provide Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, or gifts for any occasion.
These gifts would not only include memoirs, but also stories of travel, email collections, etc. As he said, ‘The sky’s the limit when it comes to what you want to produce.’ You’re only limited by your imagination.
You can download the sample page offered at the meeting here SeflPub4Freepage2preview, (Will open as a pdf file which you can save.)
Or from the DIY Publishing Tips page here. (If you want to get on the mailing list.)
Finally, a big thanks to Bria and the FWA for inviting me to talk with the group. It’s always an honor and a privilege for me to share with others what I’ve learned as an author and publisher.