Posts Tagged ‘writing an introduction’

Newsflash for Australian authors

NLA logo 300dpi square

Yes, this is an Ozpecific post. I’ve invented a word specifically for Aussies!

Did you know that the Cataloguing in Publication service (CiP) has been changed? It’s now called the Prepublication Data Service (PDS). As well as the exciting reduction in keystrokes to type the words, the big change for authors is that the application form is now much simpler and is processed immediately instead of the previous two-week turnaround. 

What’s it all about?

If you are wondering what I’m talking about, the now-PDS is a cataloguing service offered by the National Library of Australia (NLA). It lists forthcoming titles published in Australia, on library databases in Australia and overseas. Libraries, booksellers and the general public can search Trove (https://trove.nla.gov.au) for forthcoming titles. This can, and often does, mean extra book sales! So I encourage all authors to take advantage of this free service. I’m constantly surprised by the sales that come through this service.

What I find a little sad is that the wording that must be included on the Imprint Page of books has changed. Instead of useful information about the book, its various contributors and the subject categories it falls under, we now have a ‘cataloguing statement’, which simply declares that a catalogue entry exists. Slightly less personal, I must say.

Back to the good news

The application form now only requires contributor details, ISBN and publication info, format of publication (eg paperback and eBook) plus a very generic genre selection. No need to upload Contents Page, Introduction or Book Blurb. So the process is certainly less daunting than it used to be.

Oh, and it’s still free! How many services can we say that about?

Visit http://www.nla.gov.au/content/prepublication-data-service to have your book listed. Yes, now, while you are still writing it.

PS If you list your book with PDS, don’t forget to send a copy to the National Library and one to a deposit library in your home state

What To Expect from a Book Coach

What to expect from a book coach

Some of the best books in the world are there, pretty much fully formed, inside the author’s head. And there they stay, keeping you up at night while you think of more fabulous ways to explain your concept, rewriting it all inside your head. At some point though, you realise that it’s been rather a long time, and nothing has actually come out. There are so many ideas, but you don’t know where to start with writing it all down.

Or, you have written and written and written; you have notebooks full of everything you know, hundreds of pages tapped out on the keyboard in a frenzy of excitement. And then, nothing. You realise that a lot of writing is not actually a book. It’s a valuable brain dump, it’s golden research, it’s many things, but it isn’t actually a book.

A book coach is the person you call in at this point, when your family and friends are sick of hearing about your book that never seems quite finished. Make sure you find one who gets you, who works in your genre and has good feedback from other authors. It’s quite an intense relationship, so find a coach you really like.

Read the full article I wrote for IngramSpark here.

Inside your introduction

Inside your introduction

The introduction may appear at the start of your book, but don’t get caught up trying to perfect it before you write the rest of the manuscript. Many new authors are surprised and relieved to find that it’s usually the last chapter to be finalised!

Trying to write the introduction before you start the book is like trying to describe the taste of a cake you haven’t baked yet. How do you know how your cake tastes if it doesn’t exist yet?

Your introduction is really a wrap-up of what you have created; a rundown on what the reader should expect in the book you have written. That’s why it is hard to write before you start, because you don’t yet know how the book turned out. Books change and grow as you write them, and often don’t reveal the nuances of their flavour until the end.

I know many authors want to start at the beginning and have a go at their introduction. If that’s you, go ahead and put together the frame of your intro. Get some points down; talk about what you are planning in the book. Let the reader know what’s going to happen. How is the book structured? How do they need to prepare before they jump in? Will they be asked to participate with thoughts or actions, or can they sit back and relax while you take them on a rollicking good ride from start to finish? What are the concepts you want to share, and how will this affect your reader? How do they feel when they start, and how will they feel when they finish?

Getting your thoughts on the introduction down can help crystallise what it is you are trying to achieve. Then when you have finished your manuscript, come back and take another look at the introduction. Like a diary from a few years ago, it can be fascinating to compare what you thought then to where you are now.