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What does an author get up to?


I was asked this question and it’s not easy to explain, because not every day is the same. However, I’ll do my best to answer it. Here goes. Firstly, I do my employed work. As with many writers, I have a day job. Luckily for me it’s a fantastic job because I work for Romance Writers of Australia as the Administrative Officer. Working with RWA is the best way to mix with other writers. It keeps my finger on the pulse of publishing.

Oh, while we are speaking about pulse. Mine’s been racing a little lately. No not from any romantic fiction I’m reading, more because I’m on a health kick and trying to run at least 5km a day. And if it’s raining I have no excuse because I bought a treadmill. Wish me luck with that. Fitness helps clear my head, so it does aid in better writing.


Today my list of authorly things on the boil:

  • One full women’s fiction manuscript submitted with an agent in the USA (fingers are tightly crossed)
  • One women’s suspense fiction manuscript complete and undergoing final edits
  • One non-fiction book in final stages to pre-sale (more about that shortly)
  • Ongoing marketing
  • Ongoing website updating and blog (this)
  • Ongoing bookkeeping and office administration
  • Helping another author with book cover, layout, design and submission
  • Final layouts on a commemorative magazine for RWA (volunteer)
  • Creating metadata and other book details for non-fiction book
  • Checking emails in case the agent has contacted me
  • Ignoring my phone beeping when someone posts to social media
  • All while listening (part watching) You-Tube writing videos.

Phew! I wonder if there’ll be less to do tomorrow. And, did you notice, not one bit of that was writing a new story. Sometimes writers do other things than write. Don’t worry, the next one is in my mind ready to hit the pages soon. I promise.


So, about the non-fiction book will help writers who are looking to self-publish. Here’s the blurb:

How to Self-Publish in Oz

A step-by-step guide for Australians planning to self-publish a book.

There’s no better joy to an aspiring author than the arrival of the first book baby. Holding a debut book in your hands, flipping the pages, rubbing the cover and staring at your author picture may seem surreal. Advancements in technology make it possible for you to simply self-publish – if you know how.
This book eliminates the worries from your Australian self-publishing journey by teaching you tips and tricks; what worked for the author and what didn’t.

  • The dozen of self-publishing (1. Write, 2. Drafts/Edits, 3. Register, 4. Market, 5. Layout, 6. Book Cover, 7. Proof, 8. Last Edit, 9. Print, 10. Distribute, 11. Social Media, 12. Website and other marketing).
  • Avoid common pitfalls.
  • Celebrate your ability.
  • The A, B, Cs of self-publishing (Aptitude, Belief, Creativity).
  • Drafts, edits, re-drafts and re-edits and the tricks to help.
  • Network with your tribe for the processes you can’t do yourself.
  • Enjoy the creative freedom of self-publishing.
  • Checklists to make the best decisions to produce a book as professionally as a traditionally published one.
  • Keeping records that won’t dampen your enthusiasm.
  • Free templates – for self-publishing in Australia.

As an indie author of three women’s fiction novels, The Zanzibar Moon, Kendwa’s Secret and Elephant Creek, and freelance writer, Donna Munro can show you how to take the steps. After working in publishing as a book marketing publicist and learning the ropes, she transitioned to self-publishing. She helps other writers achieve their goals by providing newsletters, websites, book design, book covers and other guidance. Skills include excellence in multiple computer platforms and apps, 18 years in the printing industry, writing diploma, graphic design, publishing, administration, marketing and event management.

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Posted in Writing tips

It’s been a while in ISO – not ISO!


While the world has certainly changed since I last posted (yep, COVID-19 sux) but my world – not so much. I’ve worked from home for a couple of years, and I enjoy my own company (shutting my office door, working, writing or designing – is my kinda bliss). Plus, both my husband and I are still employed, and we live in a beautiful place. I have nothing to complain about. But, it makes me feel guilty when so many are suffering – sort of like survivor remorse. They’ll probably coin a term to define it, something like pando-remorse or covid-guilt.

I won’t make light of the hardship many are facing (for so many these are difficult times) but I want to spread positivism and happiness. As a person who has no problem keeping busy, it seems many don’t know what to do with their time. To keep boredom at bay people are renewing their passion for (among other things) puzzles.

As a member of ARRA (Australian Romance Readers Association), I’m privy to their members newletters and regular puzzles (mostly of book covers). It’s a fun idea.

Here’s something to enjoy if you’re in ISO (or if you’re just into puzzles). It’s a jigsaw of Elephant Creek. Have fun :  

 
NEWS UPDATES

#RWAus20 RWA Virtual Conference is only weeks away. Find out more https://rwaustraliavcon.com.au/

Not only have I been working on all things conference, I’ve also completed my third edition of Hearts Talk magazine as the Design Editor. This flagship publication of RWA is informative, inspirational, encouraging and jam-packed with everything romance writing. If you’re a romance writer and not a member yet, you’re missing out on this terrific mag and so much more. Join and you’ll find your tribe – I promise.

Elephant Creek is available on Amazon but now also at Currumbin Creek Newsagency. Especially for Currumbin locals wanting to pick up their copy.

Drum roll!!! I’ve been accepted into Sunshine Coast Creative Alliance’s Manuscript Development Project. This means my new manuscript Heartbreak House on Blueshell Beach will have twelve intensive weeks of critique, development and polish from professionals and peers. This is an awesome opportunity to refine my craft and submit to agents and publishers.

I’m working on a new project with my critique buddies. The anthology Aluura Valley will be released in February 2021. More exciting developments coming soon.

Keep busy, happy, entertained and most of all look after each other, especially my dear friends in Victoria.

With love, books and writing, Donna xo

Posted in Author Highlight, Writers

A Gift for my Subscribers


We all love giving and receiving gifts. Though this year has been different (and that’s an understatement) at least we can still give even if it’s virtually.

Download Here

The merry season is upon us, and for many, it could not have come quick enough. I know some of you are in lock-down and that sucks at this time of year (any time really). We all want to be with family and friends, sharing food, drinks, laughter, and love.

For those who can’t, I feel for you and hope you’ll be able to find new ways to connect with loved ones, even if it’s only through Zoom or FaceTime. It’s a reminder to all of what is important. Maybe this whole 2020 year has happened for us to take a more in-depth look inside. We don’t need possessions and wealth when instead, we have family love and our health.

On a brighter note, I’m giving you a Christmas gift. Read it at your leisure—a collection of brief, feel-good and romantic stories. A Loved-up Christmas is an easy festive read I hope you will enjoy.

That’s all from me for now.

Yours truly in love-stories, happiness and writing,

Donna


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