01 02 03 Amorina Rose Writes: Learning in unexpected places 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Learning in unexpected places


One of the best things to come out of the last couple of years for me has been understanding that learning comes in unexpected ways and places.  We need to be ready when it appears.  At times I have wondered whether I have been fair to the environment I find myself in.  Missing my hometown, fighting the too often oppressive heat and humidity, and changes in general at this stage in life hasn’t combined well to make life easy.  What saves me is my willingness to discover the positive even in things I think I don’t like.  This can vary surprising myself as well as others.  The best part is that the things I find apply as much to life as they do to writing.

For instance homesickness for family and friends has been wonderful for my writing.  It made me seek out like-minded people.  What a blessing Alison and Kay  have been to my sanity and the improvement in my skills.  Together we are about to publish Stories of the Dark and Light, an anthology of some weird and wonderful tales we hope our readers will enjoy.  What an experience it has been for me as it pushed my boundaries.  I write contemporary romance.  Yes, I would like to try my hand at other things but a psychological thriller was not in my immediate future.  Too bad as it is done now and what a lot of fun the girls and I have had doing it. We still have a way to go but included in our journey is the addition of a young artist who has designed our beautiful cover, and the endeavour has also bought a young talented writer into our circle so bonus!!!!

The oppressive heat has forced me into finding a new spot for coffee with my very good friend Julia.  In her business as a health coach she advocates finding ways to enjoy tranquillity.  We often meet to exchange ideas on making our businesses grow (I have said many times writing is a business, something you have to work at every day.)  She and I have taken to holding our exchange of ideas sessions at the Riverway Cafe (www.Riverwaycafe.com). 

For those of you in Townsville you will recognise this as the cafe sitting at the edge of the main pool. The water in front of us may not be an ocean but the air of serenity particularly during the week is just what the health coach ordered.  If you tire of the calm even flow in front of you, you can look at the luscious variegated greens of the trees and plants or the meandering of the river.   And the cafe offers a free coffee after you buy the first five unlike other places where it is the first ten.  By the way, the service is wonderful and lulled by all of this I forget to miss the busy and diverse coffee scene in Sydney. Check out the link above and make it your next port of coffee.  The food is pretty good too and in case you are interested, that's my friend Lance and he has travelled the world with me.  He knows good coffee.

On the writing front I am now reading some interesting things that are helping me improve my little scribbles. To make living here easier and more enjoyable I have joined some local and online groups. Somehow I have managed to create a domino effect.  Writing=business=research=social media=loads of information=writing=hopefully better.  A great example is a post by Dan Smith I found on LinkedIn showing us what we can learn about book marketing from Fifty Shades of Grey.  See what I mean about unexpected? No? You will and you will be surprised at how simple the lessons are, simple but make a lot of sense for any business. Well it seems with “a tight book marketing budget, the publisher mostly relied on book blogs, and then word-of-mouth started happening. From there, the first book went viral and at one point accounted for 25% of all book sales.” 

Blogging, a cheap marketing tool and something I love just for its own sake pushed FSOG into the spotlight.  As Dan points out we need to respect the power of blogger and of course online reviews. My next post will be about blogging I can tell you right now, and about reviews, that terrible word that has people running for the hills (and yes this includes friends and family and fellow readers).  Somehow the public often fails to understand that a good or bad review helps the author, or the particular business. Obviously good is better but lifting a profile is vital.  Please remember this when I finally get published.  Look when you write you know you run the risk of being booed.  It goes with the territory and I daresay sometimes it is true that the piece produced is not up to scratch but worse is never taking the chance.  If writers are brave enough to take that chance and go out on a limb then they can take the result. A good friend of mine got hammered by a review.  It didn’t stop her thank God because this author rocks.  It did make her more determined.

The lesson learning continues with FSOG.  It seems that as an eBook, readers could enjoy the thrill of reading the novel even in public.  I love this one!  I personally stand by whatever I read and don’t hide the cover but I can understand some people prefer privacy.  Score One for eBooks!  As I am planning on self-publishing in this medium this was excellent news. Okay I am not sure how I can relate this outside of writing except to say every product has some kind of quality to make it stand out so find it.

However I do admit to being daunted by the last two lessons FSOG (Fifty Shades of Grey in case your attention has wandered, it happens to me a lot) offers. One is making your book/product/business as public as possible by being an exhibitionist.  Get the word out there. Yikes! I think I am brave mentioning the title in my blog post. Okay I will search out forums but I draw the line at the last point – let go of inhibitions. I refuse to go on Oprah or Ellen until I lose at least 10 kilos, and see a plastic surgeon.



P.S. I used the word unexpected a lot.  It has no relation to the fact that my contemporary romance series is entitled Unexpected.

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