Shunn Manuscript Format, query letters, and finding a critique group were things I expected to learn when I decided to become a fiction writer. After getting my first book contract for Hattie Hates Hugs, I realized there was so much more I had to learn. Oh. So. Much.
First, there were all the parts of the contract that I had little to no understanding of. Thankfully, my agent did. Publishing houses and literary agencies (at least the ones I worked with) help with this learning curve. But there was another, sneakier, learning curve that took me by surprise.
All the tech. I had to build a website. Okay, so I knew this one was coming. I knew there were website builders to make this process easy to DIY. But there were still a million fiddly little pieces that would not work from the paragraph spacing being weird on my blog to the newsletter subscription not going out. And what’s Mailchimp anyway and why do I need it?
Once that was settled, there was the social media learning curve. Thankfully, I had already been using Twitter, and Instagram and a Facebook author page were easy to set up. But how come my blog will post automatically to some social medias but not the others? And why can’t I post text on Instagram?
Enter Canva. Did I stop and ask myself, “Do I really need to learn a graphic design app as an author?” Yep. I was starting to feel overwhelmed, but I figured it was a skill I could apply to a lot of things, so I pushed through. That may sound dramatic, but I was learning a lot of tech things all at once. Turns out, Canva is easy and fun.
Once I started getting shared documents from my publisher and needing to collaborate with launch groups, I came across other tech, some for the first time and some I needed to learn new features for. Zoom, Teams, SharePoint, One Drive, Google folders, sharing docs via social media, and more. None were hard. It was just a lot for the writer holed up with a Word document and email for years.
But I was done! I wasn’t a master of these apps by any means but I’m an author not a publicist or graphic designer so…yeah! I finally rounded that learning curve!
Then I saw book trailers. And TikTok. And…and…and…
My app journey is not over. I realize it never will be as technology and trends are constantly changing and as an author I want to keep up. Need to? No. Fellow writers, you can mostly keep to your Word documents and email. It’s not so bad out here in modern techland, though.
And hey! I did learn to make videos with FlexClip and Canva and even minor image editing using GIMP. Check out this book trailer I made for Hattie Hates Hugs!
P.S. I had to learn to post to YouTube. It never ends.