A letter about, perfecting the art of the bedtime story and thinking about the seven Ps of PUBLISHING
Whether I am considered to be a new writer of children’s stories or a non-fiction multi-genre author covering subjects as diverse as clinical communications for international doctors and WW2 family stories, whether I write for children or grown-ups, I am, and always will be, a grandparent who loves telling bed-time stories.
When I was a parent, (as opposed to being a grandparent), I must confess that the ‘bath and bed’ routine wasn’t quite the art form it has become. Our own children didn’t always get the ‘gold-star bedtime stories that we lavish on our grandkids, we had full-time careers and full-time social lives. Now, however, with great delight, I will leap up the stairs with my gorgeous grandchildren. And when I ask,
“What story shall we read tonight?” my cup of joy over-floweth at the reply.
“Let’s have a story out of your head”.
- Every story must have a satisfactory end,
- Must be scary enough to keep the little darlings awake till the end and
- Not so scary that they stay awake all night.
- YAAAAAWNS are catching so these are always added at regular intervals.
Thus, on high days and holidays and sleepovers, my fellow responsible adults clear up the mayhem from the day’s activities, they prepare the supper and supply me with coffee, wine or whatever. My job is to spend an hour on bath time (where we learn songs) then an hour on the story.
Our usual cohort of children numbers could be any number up to 7 small grandchildren or friends. The two youngest are fished out of the bath first so that they can select their favourite toy and claim a bed. I don’t mind, I even expect the two youngest to fall asleep halfway through the story, happy in the knowledge that they know the ending. Of course, this provides the storyteller, the opportunity to ratchet up the scary bits for the sake of the older kids.
I think that the magic age for bedtime stories is between ages 5 and 10 but grandkids have a habit of growing older so all too soon, that window has gone. This is why I have selected seven of their favourite stories and am putting them into book form. I hope that in the fullness of time the children will read these stories to their own children and grandchildren, so the magical lore that I was brought up on, isn’t lost.
The writing of the stories has been and still is, sheer joy and contrary to what some may think, is the easiest part of the process.
The big hurdle is the self-publishing and marketing business since most debut writers are not in the habit of promoting themselves or what they have written.
How old am I? And am I too old to start a writing career?
Well, the answer to the second part of the question is definitely not. (Never too young nor too old), and regarding my age, well I am over ⅔ of a century and haven’t reached the ¾ mark yet, and I plan to live to be 100.
At the age of 18, I trained to be a nurse at the Middlesex Hospital in London, followed by a year as a staff nurse in the operating theatre then midwifery, then most of the rest of my hospital career has been around the operating table or as a hospital manager. A clinical book is planned along with other non-fiction adult books. Perhaps a book on “How to self-publish … a debut book for Grandparents”.
Learning the self-publishing journey is not in itself difficult but the misinformation that abounds is frustrating and the journey to becoming a millionaire self-publisher has already taken me three lockdowns to work out, though believe me the money isn’t rolling in (yet).
Over the coming months, I plan to write about the ups and downs of getting a book published, I will tell you the names of the REALLY HELPFUL AUTHORS, and their books. And tell about lots of new books that are worth looking at. Whilst I don’t plan to name and shame those who may have thrown together a bad book, readers be aware that some books are sold on Amazon that have barely been proofread. I will suggest the best order to do things and why and how.
I’ve also learnt not to do certain things too soon (patience is such a virtue), or one needs to go back and redo them. Lots to tell on this. My published book is currently in print form and I have an e-book and an audio version to upload. I will tell you a bit about these processes too once completed.
Since my Website is very new and my social media knowledge is limited, I can tell you a few stories about these too and really hope that you the readers, can send me feedback on it all, I would love to hear from you and hear any comments from your children. Drop me an email at email@example.com
Along the way I will tell you why I chose ‘End Polio Now’ as the charity where Green Ink Books will donate all profits. I will also tell you how I plan to make a profit with each book sold, so that I can donate to my favourite charities with all the books I write.
FINALLY, here is the Big Plan (and I will cover all the points over the next year so stay with me!! ) Each of seven headings has seven sub-headings, but to whet your appetite here are the headings of THE BIG WRITING and PUBLISHING PLAN:
- Pre-PREPARE (The BIG STUFF … laptops, fonts, finished book size etc)
- PLAN and WRITE (the story)
- Pre-PUBLISH (edit, proofread, proofread, proofread then get it type-set, prepare e- book, print book, audio version
- PUBLISH (Self-publish or get it published)
- PROMOTE (market and offer BONUS MATERIAL)
- POUNDS, EUROS or $s, in other words calculate your income and expenses and profit per book sold. consider a charity (Some of this can be done at the beginning)
- PLAN next book
The above is just over 1,000 words and I propose that my regular blogs will not exceed 250 words (a quarter of this).
Do please let me know whether you prefer a short post or a long article. They say that:
Posts start conversations whilst Articles educate!
I look forward to hearing from you.