Posts Tagged ‘ kindle direct publishing ’

So You Want To Be A Writer…

geek
…or an Author, to be more exact. First of all I’d like to point out that this is not a Writing 101 article. If you want to know how to write a great book, there are thousands of blogs and books out there that will give you the basics on the craft. So what is this post about? For most of my life, I’ve been drawn to the world of publishing and I’ve taken out (far too much) time to learn as much as I can about how to get published, something I assumed that everyone who was interested in being published would also do. But in the last few weeks, this theory has been proven to be flawed as I was twice invited to speak to a few writers about what I have learnt from my foray into the publishing world. I wasn’t surprised to find that people are more focused on writing their books rather than learning about what to do next, how to get noticed, who to send your work to, etc. But I was still stunned that a lot of things I took as common knowledge were unknown. So I put together a really quick rundown of what I said to the people I met last week and I hope this helps others out there. It’s mostly basic stuff but as I like to say, every little helps.
Traditional publishers
A traditional publisher is any publisher who will accept your work, have it edited (including providing a cover design), then market and distribute it to vendors. In an ideal world, we’d all get published via this route as you will have a professional team to work with you and guide you through the entire process, most importantly an editor and a publicist. The process shouldn’t cost you a penny as traditional publishers usually pay you an advance for your work, which they hope to recoup when your books sells. They are spending their money so chances are that they will put some energy into marketing your work. The flip side of this is that publishers are much pickier these days as hard copy book buying continues to dwindle. They are not necessarily looking for the best work any longer, they are looking for what will sell fast and in bulk quantities – autobiographies by “celebrities”, novels by established authors, novels by “celebrities”, fad fiction (tales about vampires and werewolves for example). Obviously this is a generalisation and there are still publishers who will rather have fantastic work than books that will fly off the shelves (although I imagine they’d hope for both). Books have about three months shelf life when sent to retailers so if your book doesn’t sell quickly, chances are the retailers won’t ask for more – or worse, they return them to the publishers. No publisher wants to bear that cost.
How do you approach a traditional publisher? These days, most big publishing houses will not accept unsolicited manuscripts so you’d have to find an agent. This is probably as difficult as finding a publisher so take time to consider who you want to send your work to and how many attempts you’re willing to put yourself through. I’d highly recommend the “Writers’ and Artists’ Year Book” for more information on how to contact both publishers and agents.
Vanity publishers
Don’t use these! I can’t say this enough. DO NOT USE THESE. Unless, of course, you don’t want to make any money off your writing and you just want copies of your book for your family and friends. Once you pay someone to provide you with all the services a traditional publisher would, there is no point expecting them to market your work. Continue reading
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Two Is Company

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported and/or bought my e-book The Other Slipper. I couldn’t have done it without you guys. It took a while for me to get into the whole self-promotion mindset but I’m slowly getting there. One of the resounding pieces of advice I’ve come across during my research is that with e-books, more is better when it comes to how many books an author has available. As long as the work published is interesting and of high quality, there is no need to wait months or years to release books as is done in the traditional publishing world. This is because there is no debate about which book shop will stock your book or how much shelf space the product takes up etc. E-books will always be digitally available (well, as long as the internet and e-book readers exist) and so can always be stumbled upon by a multitude of readers.

Bearing this in mind I’ve decided to give The Other Slipper a companion on the shelf. It looks a little lonely sitting out there by itself so I’ve been editing another fantasy fiction novel I wrote called The Altercation of Vira. I wrote this years before The Other Slipper and I know some people will be happy to finally see it out there (you know yourselves) so I’m even more excited about publishing this than the last one.

Again, I’d love to get people’s opinions on the front cover. Continue reading

The Kindle Spindle

I’m finally doing it. After months of deliberation and self-doubt, I’m delving into the world of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. I discovered that anyone can self publish their work to be read on a Kindle device (or via a Kindle app on iphones, ipads, Android devices etc) when I was reading a series of writing articles in the Reader’s Digest earlier this year. It took no time to convince myself that I could use this to get my work published but it was months before I started to do any proper research and get the ball in motion. Why? Because I kept thinking it couldn’t be that easy, and it isn’t, but it’s still much easier than I thought it would be. If you want your work to be good, there is no other way round it, hard work needs to be done! Plus there are plenty of online forums and blogs out there that give fantastic advice on what to do to make the process less painful.

I have to admit, I’ve never been so petrified of anything in my life! Putting my work out there for others to judge has never been an easy thing for me. I have to do it everyday in my working life and it hurts when long hours of design work are dismissed with one word because someone just doesn’t get where you’re coming from, but this will be far worse. Continue reading

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