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Writers who have NDIS funding: how to use NDIS funds to meet your writing/self-publishing goals

In Australia, some writers who are supported by NDIS funding have accessed and continue to access their NDIS funds to work with a service provider to achieve their goals. The services provided include coaching them in writing, editing their manuscript, designing and/or self-publishing their manuscript.

Hiring someone to help you produce your self-published book

If writing and self-publishing your memoir, novel or poetry will help you achieve your NDIS core goals, you can to apply to use your NDIS funds for this. A writing coach or self-editing coach can guide you in improving and completing your manuscript. An editor who specialises in the genre of the book you have written, or are writing, can edit your manuscript for you or with you. A self-publishing service provider can produce your book as a self-published e-book and/or printed book.

It so happens that my business does all these things. Here are some examples of services we have provided that have been paid for with clients’ NDIS funds:

  • If you have started writing the book, but it needs a lot of work, an editor or writing coach can consult with you, via Zoom, telephone or email (whatever you are comfortable with), to fill in the gaps and extra details that are needed, and bring it to the stage where it is ready for copy editing
  • If you have written your book and it’s nearly ready to be published, the editor can review your book (e.g. do a manuscript appraisal) and tell you  whether it is ready for copy editing. If so, the editor can then copy edit your book so it is ready for the next stage of self-publishing: graphic design.
  • If you want to self-publish your book, a self-publishing services provider can project manage your manuscript from spoken/written word stage to printed book or self-published e-book stage. The steps of self-publishing a hardcopy book are listed here.
  • Note: ‘self-publishing’ means you pay for the editing, design and printing of your book. You will own the copyright and all the books.

Hiring a life story writer or writing coach to help you write your memoir

I’ve given writing and self-publishing memoirs and life stories a special section in this article because that my business specialises in this specific genre.

If writing and self-publishing a memoir or your life story is aligned to your NDIS core goals, you can to apply to use your NDIS funds to hire someone to help you do this. A life story writer or a writing coach who specialises in memoirs can help you document your story, and edit it with you, so it is ready for the next stages of copy editing, graphic design and publication. Some businesses (like mine) also offer to produce your book, as a self-published e-book and/or printed book.

Some examples of the way a life story writer or writing coach can help you are:

  • If you are better at verbal story telling than writing, a life story writer can sit with you and document your story, as you speak, and use that to produce the 1st draft manuscript of your memoir.
  • If you have written some of your memoir but it needs lots of clarification and extra information, or needs the structure changed to make it more entertaining or easier to read, a writing coach can coach you in writing and self-editing your manuscript to the point where it is ready for an editor to edit it. Alternatively, you can provide the answers verbally to the writing coach or life story writer, and they can add that information into your manuscript for you.
  • After your memoir has been written, an editor can edit your manuscript so it is ready for graphic design and self-publishing, or mainstream publication.

So, how can use your NDIS funding to pay to get your book written, edited and self-published?

If you have an NDIS plan and would like to know whether your NDIS plan/funds can cover your coaching, editing or self-publishing costs, please call us.


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