Self-publishing in Australia — starting out

I often visit writers’ groups and talk about self-publishing in Australia. Afterward, there is always the same question—Isn’t it easier to let a traditional publisher do all that work?

Yes and no.

Indie publishing is hard, but it’s not work. Not if you are passionate are producing the best product you can. Not if you treat it like a business, with lots of steps you need to take, but a business you love.

Sometimes the hardest part is just finding the right steps to take. Cutting out all those false starts. Hopefully I can help you there. I’ve compiled all the current (likely to change again in the future) steps you need to take to set up your business as a publisher in Australia. All the links to government sites and a breakdown of the tasks is included in this booklet. Feel free to download it and share it with others. You do not have to sign up for anything to get it (but hey, if you’d like to join my list for whenever I have other freebies you’d be most welcome).

I always welcome feedback, so drop me a line if there’s anything you suggest changing or adding to this booklet to make it more helpful for other Australian writers.


Be Your Own Publisher

How to Host a Children’s Writing Workshop

Children's writing workshopOne of the funnest jobs I have is running children’s writing workshops. Not only is it lots of laughs, but I’m always absolutely amazed by the incredible level of creativity in children.

Presenting workshops is a good way for authors to earn income and to build their profile. But the best reason to host children’s writing workshops is because it provides you with the chance to do something great for your community.

For gifted children, writing workshops enable them to hone their skills and provide a platform for them to share their works. Workshops also have many benefits for children who struggle with literacy. Children’s writing workshops should always put the focus on fun and creativity, in a way that English classrooms often miss. This is not a place for strict guidelines or constant nagging about spelling or punctuation or choosing a higher tiered word.

how to teach children to write storiesChildren should have the opportunity to showcase their creativity and storytelling abilities (and ALL children have great storytelling skills) regardless of their literacy rating. Have your kids leave your workshops proud and energized about writing and they’ll want to do more of it. That’s the real key to building literacy skills. If they enjoy it, they’ll write more, if they write more, they’ll improve.

Not sure how to start hosting your children’s writing workshop?

Fellow children’s author, Karen Tyrrell, and I recently presented a workshop on just this topic and I’ve put together a checklist from all our points. Download it, print it and use it to plan your first children’s writing workshop!

free download how to run a workshop checklist

Motivate your child to study with an awesome planner

With so many appealing distractions, it can be tricky to motivate your child to study. I can’t count how many times we’ve had emotional breakdowns in our house the night before tests and motivate your child to studyassignment deadlines because one of our daughters (or both of them) had not prepared. As a mother and a teacher, this can be frustrating.

Finally, I’ve found a method that encourages my teenager to hit the books (and even drink enough water and get to bed at a reasonable time) and I did it by accident. Here’s some things I tried, so maybe they can help your happy family too.

Motivate your child to accomplish just about anything

Use their non-productive passion to trick them 

We are a geeky household. We love Doctor Who, comic books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One of my youngest daughter’s favourite interests is the Batman world. She likes the comics, the video games and the series ‘Gotham’. Batman is kinda cool, but mostly she favours the villains, especially Harley Quinn.

So, with InDesign, downloaded fonts and clipart (mostly from AdobeStock), we spent some quality mother/daughter time together creating the following template.

Study planner for studentsstudy organiser for kids

She has a spot for all homework and upcoming assignments for the week, a tick list for her extra study areas and goals, a fun bubble to create riddles (I’m pretty sure you can guess which villain inspired that), a spot for post-it-notes and then the weekly planner. I negotiated to get a box for ‘Family Activity’, which usually ends up being a board game.

your child and their homeworkThe end result? She loves her planner as much as I love mine (you can get your writer’s planner free on the sidebar or below).

We’re also a little addicted to creating planners and are already ‘planning’ the next one!

You could do this with just about any topic. And if you like this one lots and lots, let me know and we’ll turn it into a template and upload it to share.

Stay creative!