Five minutes with writer and self-publisher Sue Liu


Writer and self-publisher, Sue Liu is coming to Castle Hill Library this Saturday, June 22 for her Self-Publishing Essentials Workshop.

This workshop is perfect for writers wanting to know more about the self-publishing industry and to also learn some great marketing ideas on how to promote their own work.

Ahead of the workshop, Focus spoke with Ms Liu on how she got involved in writing and her best marketing tips. Read her interview below:

Focus: Why do you call yourself the ‘accidental aid worker’?

Sue Liu: Accidental Aid Worker is the name of my memoir and self-published book. And, yes I was!

Focus: What can attendees expect to take home after attending your workshop at Castle Hill Library this Saturday?

Sue Liu: Attendees will have a very comprehensive idea about what’s involved in promoting themselves as authors, and their books to readers and the publishing industry. I’ll share some of the realities of what it takes to be noticed in the world of books.  It’s an intense three hours of exploring what kind of success each person wants for their writing projects and themselves as authors, and the steps and efforts that go into achieving these goals. I give an extensive overview of the publishing industry’s expectations, production and marketing and publicity, with plenty of real-life examples. And, I give tips on how you can proceed, and succeed, in an area where so few do.

Attendees will be able to consider their next steps in preparing to publish and where they need to focus further efforts in, including research, production, marketing and/or publicity.

Focus: What’s your advice from standing out from the crowd?

Sue Liu: Everyone has a uniqueness about them – their story, experiences and who they want to be as writers.

To stand out, you need to develop a strong author brand as a foundation, and be proactive in promoting yourself as an author, your expertise and books, with confidence – not only to readers, but to the industry.

My experience is all hands-on, in writing, working out how to produce and successfully publish. That was about 40 per cent of the work. The efforts in publicity, marketing, sales and networking with professionals has been another 110 per cent of work. As a marketing and communications professional, I had a distinct advantage. I’d like to share that with my fellow scribes.

Focus: Why can’t you just be a writer? Why must you market yourself?

Sue Liu: In the world of books (just go onto Amazon and have a look at books in your genre…) you have to stand out. As a writer, whether published or self-published, it’s up to you on how you make this happen. It’s a misconception that if you are published, that the Publisher takes care of everything for you. The reality is that each writer and author must make their own decisions and do it all.

Focus: Anything else that you would like to add?

Sue Liu: There’s so much writers need to know about the complex world of publishing and selling books. If you’ve been frustrated and bamboozled about what you have to do to get yourself and your book out there, this is the perfect opportunity to find out. I look forward to helping you on your epic journey!

To book your place: www.thehills.nsw.gov.au/Upcoming-Events-Activities/Self-Publishing-Essentials-Workshop

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