Paula Diaco on Your Quest To Become An Author
It seems like everyone is writing a book these days. Or at least talking about it.
Writing circles are abuzz with chatter about the advantages of penning a new read during pandemic times, and for good reason. With a bit more flexibility in our work routines, many of us are suddenly feeling inspired to dive into that manuscript we’ve been agonizing about for years.
Count me among them as I began compiling the raw details of a new book on my life journey that has been inspired by Taoist philosophy. But as I am personally discovering, going from writing to a finished manuscript is no walk in the park, let alone getting it published.
But here’s the good news — there has arguably never been a more opportune time in human existence to write a book. Oceans of new options now exist for publishing. And because of lifestyle changes fueled by the pandemic, more people are reading than ever before.
Vermont-based book and writing coach Paula Diaco who we first featured back in 2020, is back with some observations about writing a book in today’s pandemic laden world. Here are a few of her thoughts:
Why should aspiring authors feel so optimistic about publishing a book during these rapidly evolving times?
Writing tools like tablets and smartphones make writing and publishing much easier to do, as they have for the past several years. In particular, apps for your desktop or are accessed through the cloud, including LivingWriter, ProWritingAid, Scrivener, and Ulysses can be invaluable in your book writing pursuits.
I also recommend that you carry some sort of notebook, digital or otherwise, with you as often as possible so you can record creative thoughts and ideas that can be expanded into articles, blog posts, and even books.
So what are you hearing from the writers you are regularly in connection with these days?
Overall, they are continuing to write despite the turmoil. There are a host of reasons why they are writing — the pandemic, politics, climate change are among these. Because of the rapid, often daily, changes that are taking place, I tell writers that it’s even more important than ever to document what we are seeing and experiencing around us.
Do you have some pieces of advice for those who are pondering writing a book amid the ongoing pandemic?
The good news is that writing is a solitary activity, so you don’t have to leave home to get it done. The bad news is that writing is a solitary activity and I’ve heard from my gregarious and extroverted friends and colleagues that isolation is a problem for them. We know this to be true around the world as a direct effect of the pandemic.
So what I suggest to my clients is that they co-work online or in-person when it makes sense. Even a few other people writing with you at the same time, but not with you, can be encouraging. I have participated in a few co-working groups over the years and it helped me get work done that I wasn’t doing when alone.
What are a few emerging trends in the book industry that prospective authors in the book industry need to remain mindful of?
Here are a few that I am seeing. The first is TikTok’s BookTok which is an effective way for authors to market their books. It follows in the steps of Bookstagram and demonstrates, once again, how easily you can find your audience and market to them using a free social media platform.
Another idea — three of my clients have created audiobook versions of their books. Audiobooks continue to be popular and are if nothing else, a great way to expand your audience to people who can’t or don’t want to read, but can enjoy your book through this alternative medium.
Finally, there appears to be more and more interest and demands for books that show diversity. This is especially true in the children’s publishing world, where there are many calls for books that include characters and situations that are not limited to the white experience.
As such, opportunities abound for authors to address the various special needs of readers. By way of example, through a Sensitivity Reader, your books are read and assessed for proper use of cultural, ethnic, and racial references. So by extension, your book’s protagonist should also reflect your own cultural, ethnic, and racial status. In other words, your support characters are what the sensitivity reader will be assessing.
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