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Podcast Pitching, Prize Hunting and Reading “Getting Published”

Series: A day in the life of a writer

26 August 2023

Two women sitting across the table from each other recording a podcast

Image by Freepik

Welcome to the second edition in the series, A Day in the Life of a Writer. Even though there’s a lot of advice for writers out there, there aren’t many writers that allow you to join them on their journey from the beginning. I want to share mine as-it-happens so to speak: the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Podcast Pitching

I told you last week that I enrolled in a course available from Bold Authors called, “How to Craft a Compelling Writer’s CV and Writer’s Statement” by Melissa Addey. I have now completed the course and created my own Writer’s CV (image to the right) and Artist’s Statement that I’ll use to pitch to various podcasts, apply for grants and enter writing competitions.

Sylvia Dziuba author CV

As some of you may know, I have recently published my first book, “Go to Sleep Late: and Other Advice for Night Owls”. I’m a reluctant marketer, but I understand its value and necessity. Also, I have promised my business mentor that I will pitch various podcasts (and enter competitions – see below) to market the book, so…

The only thing is all the podcasts that I have put on my “to pitch” list seem so intimidating. Why? well, they only seem to profile authors who have already reached a certain level of success, sold a gazillion books or backed by a traditional publisher.

I guess it’s understandable that they would do that. I mean, people would rather listen to authors that have already accomplish something, to learn and possibly replicate their success.

But the truth is that even experienced editors, at some of the most prestigious publishing houses, don’t have a magic formula for picking winners, and are unable to predict the success of a book, according to Juliet Rogers – an industry veteran. In her new book, “Getting Published” (that I’m currently reading), she says that bestselling titles “have always been few and far between, and a mixture of talent, timing and luck, lies behind the successes”.

So, as an unknown, I will send through my pitches and hope for the best. What gives me hope is that even the most successful authors have started as a nobody. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Although I do have some good news: I have been invited (without a pitch – purely from a post on Instagram about the book) by Beata Young, the host of a podcast, well, a livestream called “Positivity Hack Delivered“, which aires every Wednesday on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook, and is watched by thousands of people. The episode I’ll appear on will air on 4 Oct at 6pm CET, which is 12:30 am in Adelaide, Australia (where I live) – lucky that I’m a night owl.


Hunting for a Prize

I think that I speak for most writers when I say that winning an an award or a prize is one of the most coveted collectibles in a writer’s career. It’s a stamp of approval that says, “I’ve made it”, giving you credibility and social proof.

It is also one of the best things you can do to market yourself as an author and to market your current and future books.

Various Australian Writing and Book Awards

As a non-fiction author, I’ve curated a list of competitions and awards I’d like to enter. However, I was surprised how small the list is, considering that I’m a first-time, self-published author. Also, the sub-genre of my non-fiction book – health and wellbeing/self-help –seems to rank very low on the desirability scale of these awards, despite being one of the highest growing segments in book sales, according to Juliet Rogers.

The bulk of writing competitions, especially the prestigious ones, focus on traditionally published fiction authors. It almost seems like they are completely ignoring the changing landscape of the publishing sector and reader’s tastes. According to Nielsen BookScan, 22,634 titles were published in 2019 – 90% of which were by self-published authors, and that number is growing with each year. However, apart from a few competitions, such as the Australian Business Book Awards or  Ruby Awards, self-published writers are vastly ignored by these institutions. 

 I hope that this changes soon; however, in the meantime, Writer’s SA has an amazing list of all the competitions you can enter. It’s well worth having a look and curating a list of your own.


Reading “Getting Published” by Juliet Rogers

Firstly, I just want to say, thank God for libraries. If it wasn’t for libraries, my unruly reading habit would undoubtedly bankrupt me.

Yesterday, I picked up a couple of titles: Getting Published by Juliet Rogers (as I already mentioned, I’m currently reading) and The Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert W. Bly. I’m already quite a few pages into Getting Published, which is proving to be quite insightful.

Book for writers called Getting Published

Even though I’m not a copywriter per se, I’m also looking forward to diving into The Copywriter’s Handbook because I think that any literature on writing has the potential to help me improve my craft. And sometimes looking at it from a slightly different perspective can bring richness into the mix of skills I already have.

Once again, I’ll be writing a full review of both books once I’m finished reading; I’ll let you know when I post it. 


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