Sunday, 21 August 2011

Writing In A Foreign Language by Alex Laybourne

I moved to the Netherlands in 2006. It wasnt really a big adjustment for me as I had always wanted to leave England, or certainly the area I lived in, and with my mother being Dutch, and me moving to the same town she grew up in that is another story entirely you could say I really was moving to a home away from home.

Now, almost five years down the road I am married, with three wonderful children and have never regretted making the move. However, I have learned that being a writer in a different country certainly comes with some limitations. Lets face it, if we boil it down, I am writing in a foreign language. Sure almost everyone in Holland speaks the language, but there is a difference between speaking and being able to read a full length novel and understand it well enough to at least feign enjoyment.

Thanks to the Internet this problem has never hindered me, and now with Kindles and e-readers galore stocking the shelves, getting my hands on an English book is not a problem. Writing and promoting one on the other hand is a different kettle of fish; from writing circles, critiques, friends to bounce ideas around with, beta readers. Ok the last one is probably stemming from my somewhat Luddite lifestyle.

It goes without saying that a large percentage of Indie author promotion is done online, hanging around the social media scene, dropping links and making your presence known on sites such as Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, and Wattpad, but there is still a lot to be said about face to face interaction and sales. Approaching local Indie bookshops and even larger stores (I have read several people saying that they approached their local Barnes and Noble for book signing sessions and have been given a place on the shelves in that particular store) and requesting some of their time and pitching a sale the old fashioned way.

Dont get me wrong, I knew what I was getting myself into, and I accept that the majority of my sales will be via the online promotion work that I am doing. I am not afraid of hard work and am looking forward to the adventure that self-promotion is proving to be. I am not the first writer that is trying this, and I will not be the last. All Indie writers face an uphill battle for promotion, regardless of where we live.

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