Contacting Independent Bookstores and Writing Faster
Series: A day in the life of a writer
31 August 2023
This is the third edition of A Day in the Life of a Writer. I had a busy week and a lot of client work. I’m also starting on my next book (title to be revealed soon). In the meantime, I just wanted to share some of what I’ve been up to. Enjoy!
Contacting Independent Bookstores
I’ve always viewed myself as a confident person, someone who rises to the challenge and isn’t afraid of much. Having said that, I have to admit that a small thing like writing an email to an independent bookstore, frightened of me.
I wasn’t afraid to approach the shop in person, however. I’m always excited about meeting new people, and I don’t have a problem talking about my book. The first shop that I said it was an independent bookstore in the Adelaide Hills: Matilda bookshop. This happened when I was still writing the book, and I needed an opinion on the book cover. My designer had presented me with multiple options and being a debut author, I wasn’t quite sure which one to choose. I needed to choose a cover that would match my genre and would appeal to my audience. So, who better to ask than a bookseller and that’s what I did. And when I did, the gentleman at the counter was fantastic, he told me which would’ve appeal most to my target audience, and the genre the book is written in.
The second store was Harry Hartog. They have only just opened up about a month ago in Burnside, SA. Once again, I was met by warm and helpful staff, who gave me the details of a contact person.
I have now emailed both places, and I’m patiently (not) waiting for a response. I’ll keep you updated with my progress.
As some of you may know, I have embarked on my next book. So I’m watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading a lot of articles and books about writing; anything that could help help me write faster and more efficiently.
My last book, “Go to Sleep Late; and Other Advice for Night Owls”, took me almost 2 years to write. Granted, it required a lot of research, nevertheless, I wish I could’ve written it faster. I know I could have; I just like the skills and knowledge to do so.
After reading a lot and watching a few videos, I came across a video by Michelle Schusterman called, Triple your WRITING SPEED with these 4 steps, which really stood out. She broke down the process of writing faster into four steps. But it was a step number 4 that really spoke to me, and I hope it will change how I write going forward. Tip number 4 was to print out the draft at the end of each day – the part of you were working on that day, not the full manuscript. What it does is, it prevents the writer from going back over the previous work the following day; rewriting and editing it and wasting a lot of time. This is primarily where I wasted away countless hours writing my last book, because I was constantly rewriting it – CONSTANTLY!
The main reason why I was doing it was because suddenly, in the middle of the night, I would think of something that I wanted to change or add to a previous section, and so the next day I would go back and correct it. But what Michelle is suggesting is that instead of going back in the digital manuscript, which inevitably leads to more corrections and more time wasting, I should open up the printed manuscript and make a little note on that page of what I’d like to do there. This means that when I’m ready to edit the manuscript, I will have all the notes already in the printed manuscript for me to apply when I reach that step in the book writing process. I think this might actually work, I’ll let you know how I go.
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