The Write Stuff: Notes from an Evening

On Wednesday night I did a two-hour session at Temperance, in Leamington Spa on publishing and writing. The session looked at the state of publishing today, different types of publishing opportunities, costs and opportunities, as well as some recommended resources, and some collected writing tips from the good and the great.

While I continue to build up the list of 100 recommended resources in (surprisingly enough) the Resource section of this site, I did promise those attending I’d note some of the links I referenced in the talk, so without further ado…

The Write Stuff – a writing/ publishing presentation by Simon Bewick

After looking at some of the different types of publishing opportunities: Vanity/ Self Publishing/ Indie and Small Press and the Big 5 I broke down some of the costs and returns for each.

This included showing the KDP payment rates:

Details taken from KDP site
Details from KDP

Within the Big Five section, I discussed the importance and abundance of imprints, and why the Big 5 make up 60% of the publishing produced.

To this end, I showed part of a set of charts from Ali Almossawi’s excellent site which provides excellent information on what exactly makes up the 5, the full list can be found here

After looking at the various publishing option pros and con, I moved on to look at other job functions within the publishing process that authors need to consider. This included Editors (which I’ve covered more fully on a separate post on this site. , agents (article coming soon), and designers. A couple of the slides I put up were courtesy of Pete Burgess a freelance top quality designer who provided figures for what an author might to expect from a high quality project. As Peter himself acknowledges, you can find cheaper prices, but this represents a professional level standard.

Professional standard print design costs


And for an E-book


After this I presented some of the resources I would recommend – I’m leaving the printed materials out from here, as I’ve either mentioned them in Resources, or I will be soon.

I discussed the value or lack of, of paid-for ‘writer packs’ promoted so much on the web these days, and looked at some of the more useful  available out there. One site in particular I pointed out was Author Unlimited, which offers a wide range of resources to aspiring writers. The example I included was the Self-Editing Check list below, but there is a lot more to be found at:

Self-editing checklist: taken from Author Unlimited

To end the session I presented a series of quotes and ideas from some of my favorite writers about their ethos and advice with regard to writing. I’ll save 9 of them, no doubt to be peppered around over the months to come, but I will include my favorite of favorites at the moment, and the one I have pinned above my PC…from C. Robert Cargill, author of, amongst others Sinister and Dr. Strange.

And it goes like this:

C. Robert Cargill’s advice on writing


That’s a few of the things we talked about the other night – if it looks of interest I will be running a repeat of the talk back at Temperance in November, and possibly other places (contact me if you are interested).

Happy writing.

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