Finding a genre. Welcome to another episode of my podcast. Today I want to help older writers to understand that every writer has multiple books or literary works inside of them, they just have to find a genre. Here’s why I say that…
Hi, I’m Kim and I am the author of published works, and in today’s episode I want to help you understand that every writer has multiple books or literary works inside of them. The one that will allow you to get readers, true fans, followers, sales, all of it—is the one you are most passionate about.
Easy way to find a genre
People don’t know what to write when they are first starting out. The truth is you can publish a number of books, non-fiction, fiction, how-to-I’m-a-guru, lots of different options to try- but one of those books would sell much faster if you knew the formula.
I’m talking about the formula to success for older writers, over-fifty writers, who are just getting started in the process of finding a genre.
Here’s the 10 most asked questions by writers- and I am open to more if you have them!
I’ve finished my novel. Now what? Edit. Get some books on self-editing and give it whirl. You are not finished with the process once you type the end. If you are going to get an editor to aid in the book’s process, you do not have to have it perfect but as good as you can make it. An editor does not expect it to be publish-ready for you to send to them.
Tell us the difference between a novel and a book? A novel is a kind of book. Just like a magazine is a kind of book, a cookbook is a kind of book etc. in general a novel is a fiction book.
What do you wish you had known about writing a novel before you started? That there are so many layers to the process. There is the plotting/outlining stage, the drafting stages, because there is not just one draft ever of any book, and the editing phase. Then if you are going to self-publish there is the formatting, the cover design, the uploading to vendors and the promoting.
How do I find a publisher? If you are not going to self-publish then you should go out to Twitter and find agents to follow. Most publishers that are good and true have a requirement that you can only submit to them through an agent. Most of them are on Twitter. You can also find them through Agent Query.com
How many chapters should my book have? And or/ how many pages should a chapter have? Every book is different and based on if it is a non-fiction piece or a fiction piece and so on, the number of chapters can vary. Also, the number of pages in a chapter can be up to the author. Some chapters are only a paragraph long.
Final Five Questions
Tell us the difference between a scene and a chapter? Chapters are long collections of scenes. Scenes are the molecule of what is happening. For ex. A robber enters a bank. That is a scene. What happens the whole time he is there is a chapter.
Voice, what’s that? So many times, I hear an agent or editor say that they didn’t connect with the book because it wasn’t “voicey” enough. Well, that is because an author inserts that into the book by making the story and characters come alive with their own special twist. Anyone can write a twenty-five-year-old woman who works in an office but only you can make everything she does seem special and new with the “voice” you give the story via your own unique brand of creation. Too many stories with the same sound to them, she goes to work, she comes home, she watches tv, she goes to bed has no new voice to it, no unique vibration. But if you write that she goes to work and plays games with her boss whereby she wears short skirts that she lets ride up, and then she comes home and watches porn to learn how to do that even better, and when she goes to bed, she sets out a collection of blouses that are sure to entice, well, now that’s voicey. It’s different its new.
Is it true that no new stories exist that they have all been done? Yes. There are only so many stories. They have all been written. But that isn’t to say you cannot put your own spin on any number of old and tired tropes. That is how an old genre is revitalized. Be special and different in your approach and you will go much farther than others in your group who are trying to just rewrite the same old thing.
How can I market my book, I’m just a writer. There are many ways to promote your work. You can find podcasts that host authors, YouTubers who want to know about new books so they can read and review them, blog tour organizations that specialize in posts about and for authors and their work. The best way to promote your book is through Social Media still today. If you plan out your posts on your SM by teasing the audience all through the process, like, here is an excerpt from my WIP and post that then follow up with info on the book and how its going with the writing and then later on how its going with the editing and then teasers from the book and then the cover reveal and finally the preorder with teasers from the book and the cover art up until it releases, people will be on board to buy it. Preorders are a great way to see the sales coming in before the book ever even releases. My advice is find an author that you like and believe to be successful and follow how they do it.
Should I have a website/blog? Yes, you should. Why? Because as we have all seen with the demise of sites such as Myspace, LiveJournal, and others even more recently thanks to political leanings, social media sites can and oftentimes do go away. You will lose everything you had on that site when it does too. So, if you pay for a domain and build a website on it, it’s like building your own house. It is YOURS, bought and paid for. You can do a lot with it to brand yourself and you also can have a blog on it that you can use to augment your social media posts. A lot of times there are plugins that will do all the work for you. I use them myself.
The final thoughts on most asked questions
In conclusion, I believe that authors in today’s world have a lot to think about, and newer authors even if they are not young, hint hint, us seniors, need answers. If you are one of those who constantly thinks of things that you need an answer for and get tired of going to Google to find the answer (and isn’t google just a big old rabbit hole and tunnel for us all?) then be sure to post your comments below.
I’m happy to answer anything that you need an answer for in the writing vein if I can. Now y’all don’t be posting up stupid stuff like is the moon made of green cheese or how many times can a man travel to the farthest planet without a spaceship and like that. We all have legitimate questions. All of us. Me too. I do not know everything although you may think that I do.
If I’m being honest, I wish I did. And also, I wish I knew how to make a million dollars sitting right here in my office chair. I wish I had gotten started with all the self-publishing and writing books and all that at a far earlier age. I might be a multimillion-dollar best seller by now. But as the adage goes, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I am not riding yet, so I push on, and that’s what we all must do until we find our success. And we all have different ways to measure success when we find it, so no worries if your idea of success looks a bit different from mine. I just measure my success as how many bucks I put in the bank every week.
Writing a book is one of the best ways to make a side income and supplement your retirement. Let’s go through five tips for getting things rolling:
ADDRESS THE TIME FACTOR
We all only have about 12 hours in a day we can add tasks to. We all need to find ways to fit our fun and interesting hobbies in. So, to get it going, try the Pomodoro Method.
Pomodoro Technique. The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s. The technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Each interval is known as a pomodoro, from the Italian word for a tomato,…
Tips for retired writers
Listen in on the podcast to find the other four tips I have for retired writers.
Tips like: How to find your own word count per hour- and why you need to know. How to know what your limits are based on your word count. What starting a blog like this one can do for you. And advice on not giving up on your dreams.
We all need a bit of encouragement these days. I hope you will find these tips helpful. I would love comments and subscribers, so if that feels right for you, join us!
You can find more of my writing life at my personal author blog here:
And if you want to join us on this site for the not regular emails I may send, please fill out a contact form, or use the widget on the sidebar. You may find this on the main page of this site also. https://www.writergroupie.net
Why do we worry so much about how we are going to write a book? I recently saw a tweet from a youngster who was going to dive into book writing after being a fan fiction writer. He seemed genuinely concerned about this decision. So, while I am primarily speaking to an older demographic, youngsters, listen up and learn.
Here’s five (5) ways to write a book worry free
(1) Practice consistency – meaning do it every day like brushing your teeth or taking your vitamins. The more you write, the better you get and making it a priority and doing it every day will take a lot of worry about it away. Now, if you are like me and worry you won’t be able to do it every day, then pick a schedule for yourself that works. This is supposed to be fun, remember that. But if your weekly Mahjong game is going to get in the way and give you the blues then go around that rock in the road. You can just move the writing to another day or another hour. It is worth the feeling of being worry free.
(2) Plan the amount of time you have to write. The young folks will like this because they are SOOOO busy. But we older, wiser writers know that any time is a good time when it’s something that we love. So, anyway, pick out how many minutes or hours you want to contribute to your book. You can feasibly get anywhere from 500-1000 good words down in an hour. That’s 2-5 pages give or take.
(3) Have no plans. Yes, you heard right. If you try to PLAN the writing in advance then you may find a bit of worry. Like, “what if nobody reads this”? Or, “what if my kids read this”? Or “I’m not good at this”. That’s going WAAAY too far in advance. So, stop worrying and just enjoy this time you have to express your storytelling ability. It is okay to be writing a memoir. It’s okay to be writing Snow White from your perspective. Pretend that no one will ever read it but YOU and have some fun. And who knows? You may find that all the other worrisome thoughts fade away.
(4) Take a notebook everywhere. When you have downtime like sitting at the doctor’s office, write a few lines. At the DMV? Write something. Waiting for a plane, train, or bus? Yep. Time to write. This will stop that old excuse “I DON’T HAVE TIME”.
(5) Find your place. I have written in some pretty weird places but my fav place is in a car on a trip as a passenger. I can really focus in the quiet of a car, or with just a little radio playing. This might now work for you especially if you have a chatty driver. Having a fav place to write makes the experience so much more enjoyable. It will encourage writing.
What if you don’t have a special writing spot?
Don’t worry about it. If all you have is an old beat up desk in a corner, that’s okay. Even if you just use your breakfast bar, it is fine. Just make it YOURS. Put a plant close by, put some tunes on your smartphone and get busy.
While this is not a complete list, it is a good start to kill that old worry-monster. Writing is FUN.
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