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Flairnet is an independent Australian book publisher

Flairnet Blog about writing and publishing

Welcome guest bloggers

We have just updated this website, and we intend keeping it up to date from now on. This includes being more active with this blog page, as readers enjoy hearing the latest news about books and writing and publishing and lots more.

But we welcome guest bloggers. If you as a reader would like to contribute something about books, about writing, about writers you have discovered, or anything else about the written word, send it to us and we will consider it for inclusion in this blog. Full credits will, of course, go to you, the contributor. But it must be well written, and it must be about books, writing or book publishing. So go for it, and let’s get started.

Self Publishing with POD Printers

There is a much-used saying to the effect that when a door closes, another door opens.

The doors in the publishing industry have been not only closing, but many have been slamming shut, their hinges rusted to the door frames, never to be opened again.

And that's the good news. For every bad story about the 'old' ways of publishing, there are many stories about the new way of getting published.

With the latest technology, the easy-to-use software, and with a computer being almost standard in most households, and in just about every business, you, as author, can take care of your own writing, distribution and marketing. Hasn't the world moved on in just a few years?

You know the book you have just written better than anyone else. After all, you wrote it, so you should understand all about it. You know the market, because you wrote the book for your own readers.

The idea of self-publishing, using digital printing coupled with print-on-demand printing (often abbreviated to POD) is the way many writers are turning.

If your book takes off and sells as well as we hope it does for you, then you can order more and more copies each time. Make sure you keep an adequate supply of them on hand.

By using print-on-demand services, you are still in control of your book, or books, you manage everything, and your lounge room is not cluttered with cartons of unsold books that are going to remind you, and worse still, remind your friends and family, about how you overestimated your literary talents. How embarrassing if you still have one thousand nine hundred and ninety books left out of the order for two thousand, if they were not successful!

Become the Writer You Always Wanted To be

There is only meaning to everything we do if we we make it meaningful to us. If it is meaningful to us, then surely it must become meaningful to at least some other people of this world? We make our own meaning by seizing meaningful opportunities. For a creative person, creating is one of those meaningful opportunities. Why shouldn't we make ourselves proud when we turn to the creative projects we say that we want to tackle?

Making ourselves proud is what we are actually after in life, to achieve what we set out to achieve. Writing, according to some authors, is a spiritual process - one where nothing else interests us more. Creating , as hard as it is, also provide us with joy and happiness.

But, given how hard so many people are finding it to stick with their creativity, it is amazing that the world has so many writers, and so many excellent authors. If creativity is one of our life purposes, something we believe in because we believe in ourselves, then it is physically and mentally good for us to create something unique. All original writing is unique. Does the end result of your writing make you happy? Then writing must be worthwhile - at least to you.

All good writers have one thing in common. They believe in themselves. It’s what they want to do, usually above all else. And they won’t accept anything less than their goal. Think of that record-breaking author. He never gave up. It's not your role in life to give up either.

That’s really what makes a good writer. A good writer will never give up. He or she will never take no from a publisher or an editor. A good writer will disregard all the trivial criticism from those who can't write and will move ahead anyway in the direction of their dreams. So go for it. Become the writer you have always wanted to be.

NOTE: This is an excerpt from Chapter 16 of Reach For the Sky - Become the writer you have always wanted to be.

The Changing Markets For Writers

When I look back over the years and consider the frustration of finding magazines who wanted to pay me for articles they would make money from by selling advertising to go with my article, to what can be achieved with far less frustration than I used to endure in those days in past decades, one certainly would not want to return to the past. With writing, the past is gone. It's dead. It's there to show us how it used to be done in the past. But we no longer live in the past - we live in the present, and that's where it is exciting, full of fresh ideas, where fresh markets present themselves on an almost daily basis. Wow! Bring on the future!

When Writing, Just ... Be Yourself

With writing, you can be, indeed should be, yourself. Allow your own voice come through in everything you write. You don't want your own creations to be nothing more than boring, public service style of uninspiring words thrown together that are not going to get many readers excited about anything. No, don't write like that. Be original. Be fresh. Be creative. After all, writing is a very creative activity, and one you should use to the maximum benefit. If you are a creative person, then writing is a splendid opportunity to show your talents to the rest of the world.

To the rest of the world, I can hear you say. Yes, to the rest of the world. These days, with the Internet, effective website, e-mails, blogs, there is no such thing as a small, local community. At least there shouldn't be. I have a number of published articles on my personal website. By using the user statistics, it is possible to trace where the people are coming from to read the material I have written. The small global village is now enormous. For my articles on growing trees for firewood, and burning wood effectively for maximum energy, I have hundreds of readers every month from the United Kingdom, from the United States, and many other countries. For a series of welding articles, I get site visitors from the US military, from the US general population, from all over Europe, and even from my home country - Australia.

New Directions in Writing

Working as a journalist for a newspaper provides opportunities to develop valuable writing skills. With the demise of many newspapers these days, this might be an area that will prove difficult to break into in the future. There are a lot of journalists who are not gainfully employed. They might not even be employed. Revenue from advertising has dried up, their income has been decimated, and many newspapers are only just struggling to survive, especially with the new digital media taking over for companies. 

I can see the point of advertisers. Why pay thousands of dollars on advertising in a newspaper or in a magazine, get limited returns, when they can get better results from the Internet - through social media, their corporate websites, and other means of effectively selling their goods online? It makes sense to pull out of the print media and radio and television advertising and concentrate on the new media that is giving good returns for a small fraction of their previous costs. 

What Is Writing?

What is writing?

Writing is more than just a means to earn money. If you can do that too, you are lucky. But writing is many things to different people. 

Writing is for many people. It can be fun, and it can be enjoyable. It can be frustrating too. But in the end, if you have achieved a certain degree of success, you should feel very proud of yourself, because you are far ahead of those who only wish to be a writer, but do nothing about developing their skills. If you develop that latent talent, then you can expect many rewards that are, together, far greater than the monetary value to be derived from this skill.

Writing is communicating. It's the process of communicating ideas, instructions, or with the right type of writing, or genre, making someone's life more fulfilling, giving inspiration and motivation with sound advice. Perhaps the advice might be a lot of good ideas you have learned from a lifetime of meaningful living.

Other writing might be intended to education, or to instruct.

What about humour? We all need a good laugh in our lives. Humour lifts the spirits, makes us feel happy. When we are happy, then we can achieve so much more, because our whole spirit goes into our everyday activities. But humour is not for everyone. Fill a room with people, tell some jokes, and you will find that a lot of people will laugh at a good joke, but you will get some who don't see it, don't want to see the funny side to life, and couldn't care less about having their spirits lifted for even a few minutes. Ah well, you win some ...

The Importance of Books and Writing

Writing is many things to many people - it is an expression of their thoughts, it is developing those special skills they posses as storytellers, and they do it well.

Writing is a chance for a person to be heard, to have someone listen to what they have to say, to discuss with them their thoughts, their ideas about a topic.

Whatever the motives of writers, most, if not all, write because it's that one thing that is so important to them at the time. That's all they want to do. That's all they want to be - a writer.

The one thing about readers is that they adore their books - they often prefer books to human company (animal company seems to be different - many readers sit in front of a fire reading, with a cat on their laps. Perhaps the two go well together).

People read for different reasons - they relate to the characters they are so engrossed in, and almost live the life of the person they are reading about. They like to get lost in another's world, a world of make-believe, or even a world of reality, seen through different eyes, and different experiences.

People read for entertainment, for amusement. Others read to inform themselves, to get a number of different points of view. If you have the same viewpoints as everyone else, then where do you go to discuss anything? Everyone has the same opinions about everything, and that certainly wouldn't make for an interesting world, would it?

People read to travel the world. A book costs a few dollars, world travel costs thousands of dollars. But in their books, and through their reading, they could be anywhere, as long as their imagination goes along with them in their reading.

Just as readers have so many different reasons for wanting to read, writers have so many different reasons for wanting to write.

No two writers will have exactly the same reason for what they do, although most would give one of perhaps no more than half a dozen reasons why they write. They might claim to write to earn money, but even with this as a reason, there are varying degrees of weighing up the work involved with the remuneration they could reasonably expect from their endeavours.

Other writers will give the reason for their activity as to tell a story. They believe that their readers will get just as much delight out of the story they have told as they themselves did in the telling of the tale.

Some writers write because they have vivid imaginations. others might even give the reason for writing by telling us that they would otherwise be unemployable. They probably would be! Can you imaging someone with a great gift of a storyteller, combined with great and unique ideas, sitting in a boring office, pushing a pen around a desk? Life doesn't work like that for successful writer. Perhaps they are right - they would otherwise be unemployable. Can you imaging a talented writer sitting there, gazing out through the window, waiting for the next boring meeting to start - perhaps one where their boss has called them in to discuss another meeting? Can you imaging it - a meeting to discuss a meeting! Wouldn't those writers rather be writing, using their skills and talents to the fullest? I am sure they would.

How many reasons do readers need to read a good book, and enjoy the creation of a storyteller? Do they even need an excuse?

How many reasons does a writer have to give to justify writing? Just because someone else cannot see merit in what they propose writing, is no excuse for that writer to listen to them and not write. Writing is individual, and it it unique. it is unique to each and every writer. No two writers will even write exactly alike, even though there are millions of good writers in the world. Each one has a story to tell, and if those millions of writers put their thoughts into their writing, they will come up with something that is truly themselves - millions of good ideas.

The world is full of great books. We have some beautiful and enduring literature. Some of the most popular books have been around for over two hundred years, and they are still in print. Others are very recent additions to the shelves of the world's bookshops. All those great books started with an idea, and with a love of telling a story. They started with a passion - the passion of the writer to tell that story above all else he ever tried to do, or wanted to achieve. To such writers, everything else in the world can wait. Writing comes first.

And have you noticed one thing about the results of those writers, who have that attitude? The efforts result in literature that stands out. Their books are way ahead of those who write because ... well, I thought I would try something ... might give it a try ... see how I go ...

Those who are writers, write. They produce works that are not only worth writing, but they write books that are truly worth reading.

Libraries around the world hold huge numbers of books. All are original works. Yes, every single one of them! All are works of individuals. Again, every single one of them. All those books started with that same magic ingredient that makes a writer what he or she becomes.

They all started with an idea. They had that magic ingredient of enthusiasm. They had that ingredient of 'I must write this before I do another thing' attitude. The results are there for the whole world to see, and to read, and to appreciate.

How good a writer anyone becomes is up to that individual. If someone writes out of mere duty, the result will be a boring, uninspiring collection of words. If they write with passion, then their readers will read it will the same enthusiasm, and with the same degree of passion. Now, isn't that worth striving for as you become the writer you have always wanted to be? I am sure it is.