July 15, 2020, 09:36:59 AM

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Re: Why I don't generally recommend self-publishing. I'm going to go the other direction here. Although Marc makes excellent points about the time and effort that go into publishing and marketing a book, he misses the point entirely. "Who" publishes the book just doesn't matter. Only two things matter:

1. Quality of the work
2. Marketing

Why? Books are mostly sold two ways:

1. Quality of the work
2. Word of mouth (which includes reviews)

Marc is correct that it's a lot of work to get the quality of your book up to publishable standards. It's even harder to market a book correctly. But, that doesn't mean you need a publisher to do it for you...assuming they'd buy and market a book that isn't high quality.

Tebakutis gave a great outline of things a new author should cover to get their work up to par. But an author should follow that plan regardless of their intent to submit the work to an agent, a publisher, or self publish. An agent or publisher isn't going to fix your work...they'll simply reject it. A publisher might pay for an editor, but you should probably have paid an editor $50 or $100 to edit a sample of your work anyway (so you can be certain of proper grammar and have clean copy to send to an agent or publisher). Cover design is paid for by the publisher. If you self publish it'll cost you several hundred for original art with design. If you give the work to a publisher it'll cost nothing up front, but thousands over the long run if your book is successful. Same with marketing, you can hire it out or have the publisher do it for much more money.

Essentially, what I'm trying to illustrate is that the only difference between a book that is traditionally published and self published is who takes the risk...you or the publisher. If you believe you have high quality work and a modicum of managerial skills (to hire an editor, cover designer, marketer), you should take the risk yourself and spend the money to self publish.

Another thing that should be taken into consideration is that the "book selling" industry is changing. Author Earnings is doing some excellent work on dissecting sales numbers. I'm sure a lot of you have read in the press that eBook sales have gone flat. This was based on a report done by the Association of American Publishers which stated that their 2015 sales have fallen 6% from the year before. What this report doesn't say is that sales from indie and self published books is growing rapidly. Here's a snippet from the Author Earnings September report.

In the 18 months between February 2014 and September 2015, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), whose 1200 members include the “Big Five”: Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette — have seen their collective share of the US ebook market collapse:

    From 45% of all Kindle books sold down to 32%
    From 64% of Kindle publisher gross $ revenue down to 50%
    From 48% of all Kindle author net $ earnings down to 32%

The eBook market is leaving the big publishers. That means less money for them to finance new projects. Which in turn means less chance they'll publish you. Do you want to stake your career on a dying industry? Or would you rather make a bet on yourself?

October 31, 2015, 07:19:50 PM
Re: 'Avatar' didn't change the World as we'd hoped... Did it? @m3mnoch, classic! I was going to say that Avatar was just a remake of Ferngully.

The magical inhabitants of a rain-forest fight to save their home, which is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus.

December 12, 2015, 04:53:59 PM
Re: Female Fantasy Readers thoughts on Male Protagonists
Female readers want  the same as male ones - great story, great characters.

Exactly. And for me, a bit of philosophy that directly relates to the protagonist's plight. I don't care if the character is male or female. I just want them to be interesting as a person (internal conflict, unique personality, etc.) and do interesting things (cool work/hobbies/interests/skills and external conflict).

My advice is, write the character that is needed for the story... no more, no less.

January 22, 2016, 08:28:31 PM
Re: Prequel? If the prequel slows down the delivery of books in the series, your readers might not be happy with it. I'd make sure the historical events (and characters) you plan to write about are important enough to your readers that they make up for the delay in the next book in the series.

New Spring by Robert Jordan is an example that worked because the story of Lan and Moiraine meeting was interesting to the Wheel of Time readers.

February 13, 2016, 06:35:50 PM
Re: Designing Book Cover?? Another site is: http://www.selfpubbookcovers.com

Search google for "premade book covers" and you'll find a bunch of sites that sell covers at reasonable prices. One thing to remember is that your cover is one of the most important things in marketing your book. It should stand out in a thumbnail (size used in the Amazon lists). It should clearly portray the genre of your book (urban fantasy, epic fantasy, etc.) so the reader will be swayed to click the link and read your blurb.

February 13, 2016, 06:42:58 PM
Re: Using social media In addition to social media there are a lot of book promotion sites that you can use to jump start some sales. BookBub is the most famous (and expensive), but there are free book promotion sites that will highlight your book if it is free or 99 cents.

A lot of authors do a kindle count down deal or set the book free if it is wide, then run promotions at the same time. This gives a boost in the amazon rankings which gives your book more visibility.

April 02, 2016, 08:06:53 PM
Re: How to write a novel Synopsis and elevator pitch?
The Elevator Pitch is the real torture though. Finding a way to state what everything is about while keeping it so short?

Don't try to state "what everything is about". A blurb or elevator pitch should be a hook that entices the reader to want to read your book.

It should answer the question, "Why should I read your book instead of the best authors in the genre?" So when you write it try to convey the most compelling thing about your plot and character(s).

One example I saw recently for a thriller started with, "Would you kill your wife to save your daughter?"

For an urban fantasy example I saw something that started like, "Catherine was six the first time she saw a soul sucker."

Each example uses a different style, but conveys something intriguing and different about your book that entices the reader.

April 16, 2016, 07:14:22 PM
Re: How does the writer impact the story?
On the one hand, I like stories where the author has something to say.

On the other, I don't like being preached at.

Agree. I don't mind a message (and love philosophy) if it directly relates to the plot. But, I don't want the author telling me how I should think. Instead, write the conflict and let me decide who's right or wrong. Give me enough room in the story to think about various ideas and how they apply to the world today (or the past/future). If an author simply preaches a message or has a character that is preaching I'll most likely put the book down.

April 22, 2016, 06:35:25 PM
Re: How does the writer impact the story?
I feel that it's as much the author's duty not to publicly assign some hidden meaning to their work as to not outright dismiss whatever meaning readers might surmise. If what is surmised is so abhorrent to the author that they feel moved to refute it, perhaps it's more aptly a failure on their part, rather than the readers'. Furthermore, an artist may very well not fully grasp every dimension of their own work and should be either open to discourse on the matter or otherwise simply set the work free.

Translation: My interpretation is the correct one, therefore, the author should submit to my will and apologize or keep their mouth shut so I can push my message by bashing their book.

April 24, 2016, 05:03:17 PM
Re: How does the writer impact the story?
Well, that too. It's actually both. Just as the author does not have full control of what he puts into the story, the reader does not have full control over how he fills in the blanks. And in any kind of narrative there is much more blanks than there is solid facts. Things get even more interesting when you consider that neither the mind of the author or the reader exists in a vacuum but are greatly shaped by the social environment. The culture in which the work is produced is also producing the work.

Agree. But, I can't assign bias or motive to the author when I'm the one filling in the blanks.

Yes, you are correct. Reading something into a work does not tell you something about the writer by itself. You need to examine and reexamine the text with a group; the more diverse the better.

All this accomplishes is misinterpreting the author's work by more people... the more diverse the worse the interpretation.

April 24, 2016, 05:36:55 PM