Ducie’s Diary: January 2021

We may be almost at the end of January, but hopefully it’s not too late to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

It’s been while since I’ve written one of these posts; in fact the last Ducie’s Diary was in July 2020. As I explained in my first post of the year, I took a bit of a sabbatical following knee surgery at the beginning of August, having lost the ability to concentrate on anything other than rubbish TV programmes and some light reading.

But with a new year comes new energy and I’m now back up to full speed. Which is just as well, considering what my diary’s looking like; with several new books due for publication; an old textbook from my pharmaceutical days to update; and a growing number of clients I’m coaching through their first steps into Independent Publishing; not to mention Exeter Literary Festival and Cancer Lifeline South West, both of which I am volunteering for. It’s going to be a busy year, but a fun one – and one which I hope you will all share with me.

Special Deal On Ebooks

As anyone who reads this diary regularly may already have spotted, I’m happy with how my writing is going; very happy with my technical publishing abilities; but less than satisfied with my efforts at marketing. And I know I’m not alone in that; so many writers hate the whole business of having to promote ourselves and our works. But this year, I’m finally going to overcome that aversion and get my online sales and marketing moving properly. It’s particularly important at a time when opportunities for face to face sales have pretty much stopped.

And this week, I’m running promotions on the whole series of The Business of Writing ebooks. Part 1 Business Start-Up is free until 27th January. Part 2 Finance Matters and Part 3 Improving Effectiveness are both just 99p / $0.99 until 30th January. While the latest in the series, Part 4 Independent Publishing is 99p / $0.99 at the moment, but will start rising in price across the week. So if you are looking to pick up a bargain, now’s the time.

Out and About

For obvious reasons, there’s not been many ‘out and about’ events to report on for a while. However, I presented one talk via Zoom to a WI group in Hampshire back in October and have been asked to present more to other groups this year. I wonder how many of the new online activities will continue after the pandemic finishes and we all get ‘back to normal’?

I am delighted to have been invited to speak at this year’s Women in Publishing Summit in March. I will be presenting a session on Routes to Publishing with heavy emphasis on the Indie Route, as you might expect. There are all sorts of interesting sessions during the Summit, so do check it out. There’s an early bird booking period that runs to mid-February.

Short Story Competitions

There are a couple of competitions to remind you about this month. The Exeter Writers SSC runs until 28th February. With more than £1000 in prizes, including a magnificent £700 first prize, it’s certainly worth having a go at entering. There’s no theme, and an upper word limit of 3000, so plenty of room to develop your ideas.

On the other hand, Exeter Literary Festival has just launched its competition which runs until 31st July. Once again, the theme is open, but the word limit is just 750. Writing flash fiction is something that’s growing in popularity. If you’ve already tried it, I’m sure you will know how addictive it can be. And if it’s new to you, why not give it a try?

By Elizabeth Ducie

Elizabeth Ducie was a successful international manufacturing consultant, when she decided to give it all up and start telling lies for a living instead.

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