How Being A Technophobe Is Holding You Back

By on February 24, 2017
How Being A Technophobe Is Holding You Back - Writer's

Any writer who wants to see their book become successful knows that simply writing it is just the half of it. These days getting your book finished is the tip of the iceberg and, once it is complete, there is so much more you need to do before it is actually ready to be shown to the world.

Many writers wish that they could simply hand over their work to someone else after they’ve decided it is ready to be published. The technological side of things, as well as the marketing, can feel hugely daunting and is something writers would prefer to leave with a professional - one with loads of experience who knows exactly what they are doing.

Unfortunately, for most of us, this is just wishful thinking, and learning how to use new technology to advance your book is all part and parcel of the job.

Getting familiarised with and feeling confident about different types of software and programming can be time-consuming and confusing. If you refuse, however, you can’t expect a publisher to look at your work, and you won’t be able to get your book to a good enough standard to self-publish either.

Here are just some of the programmes and pieces of software you’ll have to get to grips with as an author:

Microsoft Word - most publishers and agents ask for manuscripts to be sent as Word documents.

Email - many publishers and agents request you send your work to them via email. Getting to grips with e-mail is also a great way to start communicating with fans via e-newsletters and so on.

Social media platforms - this is often the biggest bugbear for writers but understanding how social media works, and using it to your advantage can make all the difference when it comes to publicising your book.

Website management - creating an author website and being able to manage this, add new pages, upload new blog posts and monitor comments is very useful. Knowing how to do this yourself will save you huge amounts of money in the long run!

If you baulk at the idea of sending a tweet or find the notion of self-publishing through Amazon totally stressful, you need to take some steps to try to remedy your fear of technology. If you don’t, you won’t reach your potential audience, and your book may not even see the light of day - what a pity that would be!

Here’s what you can do:

Stop putting it off - start learning about technology now - the longer you leave it, the more difficult it will seem. Make time to learn. Even if you have to set aside some of your writing time to do so.

Know that you are in control - computers won’t do anything you don’t ask them to! Take your time, and try to stay calm if things don’t go the way you planned - almost everything is fixable, so take a deep breath and try not to get frustrated.

Ask for help - if you have a friend or relative who is a bit of a computer whizz ask them to sit down with you and show you the basics. Even better, get them to write down simple step by step guides so you don’t forget. There are also a huge number of online resources you can tap into to help you understand how to do things. Simply Google what you want to learn and you should be able to find instructions and even video’s showing you what to do.

Take it one step at a time. Don’t do everything at once - learn one thing at a time. Get to grips with one piece of software and feel confident with it before you move onto the next.

Don’t go overboard. Know what you need to know and learn only that. Sure there are many weird and wonderful things you can do to make your website look amazing but if you just want to understand how to add new blog posts and images, just learn that. Don’t make life harder for yourself by going from a place where you aren’t really sure how to build an email list, to attempting to learn about coding (unless you want to of course).

Remember, learning about new technology is tough, and you are bound to make some mistakes as you do, but so does everyone! Try to keep persevering and you’ll soon feel such a great sense of achievement as you see how much it helps your writing.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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