Free Creative Writing Manual

CHBC

I have been wanting to have one of my books on my website in a free PDF format for a long time. I have published ten books and some of them are still under contract with my publisher. That’s fine, I have a a few self-published books and they are mine to use as I see fit. I decided since this site is all about writing, the logical choice is my first book, which is a creative writing memoir and manual.

In this book I was trying to do something that would help my creative writing students, who wanted to write all sorts of things: song lyrics and scriptwriting were the two most popular The way I structured my creative writing classes, my prime goal was to have everyone write a completed project, something that they could publish. And I wanted it to be of their own choice, whatever form. There was no book for that, so I wrote it.

I have no evidence of this, but I believe many writers search around a bit before they find their chosen form. I started with song lyrics and poetry, went on to short stories, dabbled in book reviewing, blogged my heart out and tried again and again to write a novel. So I had some experience in many of my students’ chosen forms. Not scriptwriting, but I had read screenwriting books by Linda Seger because they work for novelists too. I still dip into Seger’s Making a Good Character Great when I need inspiration.

Another thing that helped me teach creative writing was the number of workshops and conferences I’d been to, not to mention all the books I’d read on how to write. There’s a list of the best of those how-to books at the end of the book. The reason I say it’s a “memoir/manual” is because I wove my own writing experiences and some of my writing to use as examples through the book. I covered a lot of ground.

Just last weekend, I was at a conference and mentioned I was putting my writing manual permanently free on my website. She said “That’s the book I need” so I gave her a card. I hope for some of you, this might be the book you need, too. You can find a link to the PDF on the first page and on the book page, too.

Free Week Results…so far

I am not a marketing genius; the past 5 free days were my publisher’s idea. Wow it was fun. I printed out the page showing Blue Heaven at the top of the chart. It’s fun being #1. Today’s a different story, of course. Everyone got the book free and it’s down somewhere around 500K in paid lists. However, there has been some unexpected added benefit.

My first book, a writing manual with dollops of memoir, is #75 on the paid list, (which, let’s face it, that’s the one that counts) for adult and community education. I have the whole story of that book, how I came up with the idea right down to how I created a small press and handled distribution.

Your Words, Your Story¬†was printed in ’07, early indie days. The chapter on self-publishing mentions¬†Amazon’s Create Space. I interviewed someone who published with them and she graciously allowed me to use her experience in the book. Today, I could add more now with KDP and the digital book explosion. But the basic facts are there.

I also noted that my indie novel, Sister Issues, is about six times higher on the lists than the two newer books. Both my indies are .99 cents, and that may be a factor in their continued sales. What happened is that those free days for Blue Heaven made me and my back list more visible. And I’m pretty happy with that outcome.