Day 10: Edwina Shaw


Welcome to Day 10 of the totally unofficial EWF Book Club.

And – our second big week!

In the next few days we’ll be talking about Writing Competitions, Workshops, Writing for work/play and entry-level writing jobs.

But first, grab your passport…


Today we discuss Edwina Shaw’s The Thrill and Spills of Being Published Overseas.

Now here’s a really practical one. For me, the ‘how to market yourself’ parts of this article represented either things I knew, or suspected. To me, the eye-opening sections were about the ‘hands on’ bits referring to negotiating with bookstores, pricing, handling stock and so on.

Despite being a tip-led essay, Edwina included a few memorable sections. Here’s a few that really spoke to me:

  • “Ringing (somebody) is the water to help your (publicity) seeds grow.”
  • “I’ve learned to reward myself with some writing time.. it helps me feel… less consumed by the business-woman monster who is threatening to take over.”
  • “If you believe in your book, and have made it as good as it can be, research your publisher and get the best deal possible.”

And a big thanks to Edwina – for sharing the story behind the piece:

Several years ago, a contract with an international publisher with distribution in several countries, seemed like the answer to my prayers. It wasn’t. I wrote my piece for The Emerging Writer to warn other new writers of the pitfalls, and to prepare them for an aspect of the writing profession that doesn’t get much press. Marketing.

My publisher doesn’t have trade distribution in Australia and is so small that their marketing department was two girls on work-experience, so the duties of distributor, marketer and publicist fell onto my shoulders – hunched over a keyboard, stressed and unprepared. Three people’s jobs and associated areas of expertise and all I knew was how to make a story ring true.

Every new writer would benefit from a course in marketing. Verbs that kick, and characters who dictate are great, but if you want your book read by more than a handful of friends and family, you’re going to have to know how to attract the attention of a world busy with other things. For most of us, drawn to a solitary profession where our time is spent gloriously alone with words, this part of the job description is a challenge. But a necessary one. Even writers with major publishing houses need to support their publicity departments’ efforts, and as I’ve learnt, the smaller− or further away− the publisher, the more you’ll have do to.

What did you get out of  The Thrill and Spills of Being Published Overseas? Please – hit the comments below!

Come back at midday tomorrow and we’ll feature…


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Ringing is the water to help your seeds grow. Edwina Shaw talks overseas publishers in #EWFbookclub  <click to tweet this>

If you’re not a Twitter user, a quick link to this post on your Facebook, blog or similar would be appreciated.

Thanks for joining the totally unofficial EWF book group – see you tomorrow!


About Gabe McGrath

Freelance writer, radio creative, retro gamer and a dad. Gabe's writing has appeared in , My Child, Retro Gamer, , & more. Editor in Chief of JustOneMoreGame
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