Anna Maguire has been working in Australian publishing for over 20 years and has established a reputation as a trainer for authors and publishing students navigating the challenging world of publishing. A published author of Crowdfund it!, Anna has run or participated in courses for the NSW Writers’ Centre, Australian Writers’ Centre and spoken at The Sydney Writers’ Festival. Anna also lectures at Sydney University.
How challenging is e-publishing, really? Is it something most writers can learn?
One of the biggest challenges for a writer who decides to independently publish is navigating through the plethora of services and choices. These days we have so many service providers to help a writer, but it is important to understand the processes involved and how to produce a professional publication. We can think about e-publishing in three stages:
- Distribution, sales and marketing
Naturally a lot of these ‘stages’ crossover – it’s not a linear timeline! There’s so much to think about and so many decisions to make. Writers can simplify the choices and decisions by learning ‘best practice’ approaches and considering case studies.
You’re the author of Crowdfund it! What’s one surprising thing you learned while writing the book?
I come from a book publishing background, so it was an interesting exercise being an author and working with a publisher. It was a bit of an exercise in ‘letting go’ – I couldn’t control the whole process. I had a wonderful editor, Sarah Hazelton, and found that process very enlightening. This may of course be different for fiction vs non-fiction, but I learnt a lot through how she improved the manuscript. I also cemented my belief that each crowdfunding project is a story in itself. The role of the creator is to get people interested in their story, to help in the creation, stay engaged and interested until the very end.
What’s one key tip for writers considering self-publishing for their manuscripts?
The value that an editor can give to your manuscript is worth more than gold. It can be a (relatively) large investment in your work, but is crucial.
Anna Maguire, with publisher Charlotte Harper, will be sharing advice and expertise in E-Publishing Survival, a 4-week course starting Tuesday 26 April, 6:30-9:30pm at the NSW Writers’ Centre.