I'd like to post a book I wrote - chapter by chapter. I notice hp has LetterPile now, but, of course, it's no guarantee that they will like my writing. It's a sci fi story.
Illustrations are difficult and one needs visual to make it attractive (on a web page anyway). Each chapter is about 3500 words. I need help in figuring out how to do illustrations without robbing anyone of hteir work, and I most certainly struggle to draw a stick man nevr mind an alien civilisation.
To give you something of the tone of it, Here are the first few paragraphs.
'Captain’s whore has its privileges,' mused Hunter as she stepped down from the ferryboat onto Dunbar’s Planet.
Her short, spiked, black hair, six foot frame, green eyes and silver regulation coveralls brought forth an occasional stare. She was, after all, a striking green-eyed lady in a port city that admitted few but the merchandisers, trawlers, the odd battle cruiser or holiday liner; special permission was always needed.
Hub-bub, as the port city was known, was spoken about in awe and whispers in circles sometimes best not to be part of. Hunter's curiosity was piqued.
“Papers,” the sing-song voice of a midget man with pointed ears brought Hunter’s attention back to the present. She presented ship identification, status identification and paid the necessary credits to pass through the control barrier.
“Chain-mail for sale! Chain-mail for sale! Impenetrable. Nothing pierces it. Be a hero. Slay dragons, find the holy grail and live to tell the tale.” Hunter paused to look. This was the famous chain-mail available only on Hub-bub and more sought after than even the Imperial Forces battle dress. Costly, she had no doubt.
Tess, what's your goal in publishing it on HubPages? There's no guarantee you won't end up with half of it on Letterpile and the rest on HubPages, there's no way for readers (except other Hubbers) to be notified of new chapters, and it won't be easy for people to navigate the chapters in order.
That's why I'm asking.
My goal, I suppose, is to make money (which is why I'm slowly learning to be more focused in the topics I choose - although I still find it hard).
With the stories, innately I am a storyteller and poet. Doesn't seem to pay. I guess I would do those just because I love it. No other reason. But if the entire story doesn't land up in one place, it's not worth it.
I'd suggest looking at Smashwords, you can publish books in serial format (chapter by chapter) there. Of course, that doesn't solve the problem of how to get readers for it...
The last time I tried to publish a series at Smashword, they explained to me that there was a difference between a serial and a series. A series means that each publication is a complete story even if it leaves somethings to be continued in the next book.
As a result I never finished the book. It was too hard.
Have they changed?
I used to publish every Thursday night at midnight. I used to have between 500 and 600 downloads within 20 minutes to an hour. Then I got a message saying that my book has to have a complete story and it can't just be a chapter in a book. Are you sure about this?
Actually no, I'm not sure. I got an email about it way back when they started the scheme and considered it for my own novel - but that was then, and they may well have changed the rules since it launched.
Okay, well, I reopened my account. What a to-do They wanted to know my address i 2010 when I was part of it. I then had to figure out when I was in 2010. Eventually he gave me part of the address, I went to google and worked back from the shopping mall I used to shop at and finally figured it out... So I will go look.
I'd publish it on Amazon Kindle and also join some sci-fi groups on Goodreads to get reviews. Publish chapters on your own blog too to grow a following and then you will have a ready audience when you're ready to publish a lengthier story. Building an audience and serving that audience is key to success for any author.
Let me put it to you this way. I published through Smashwords some 6 years ago. I was 'selling' some 650 - 700 books a week on the various sites. My one book was no 50 on itunes. However Smashwords didn't publish on Amazon, so I uploaded to Kindle. Didn't sell anything, so I thought I would join the KDP program. I closed off all my other accounts and sold 5 books a month on KDP. After a year, I gave up - totally devastated.
I entered the Amazon writing competition for one of my books and got through the first round, so my books weren't bad. I got a lot of good reviews. i got good reviews on Goodreads. I still didn't sell. I have approximately between 26,000 and 31,000 followers on Google Plus depending on which site you go to with about 1 million views per month. So I had exposure there.
The problem with having a blog is that you have to get traffic to your blog. Google doesn't just send traffic to your blog, and it takes a long, long time, if ever, to get traffic to one's blogs. I was actually speaking to an SEO expert a few days ago and he totally advised against a blog for the same reason - doesn't get traffic.
He also said what I said. The biggest factor as to whether a writer gets read or not is the traffic given to it by the medium it is on.So hubpages is a good medium for content writing while Smashwords and Tango are good venues for indie writers. Even Barnes and Nobles is better than Amazon/Kindle.
According to Kindle, only 40 Indie writers are successful on Amazon, plus Jeff Bezos recently said that if a reader didn't read the ebook of an Indie writer, then the Indie writer wouldn't get paid or would only be paid the amount that the reader read. Thank you, but no thank you. I won't take that route again.
I am truly not interested in joining goodreads or anything else that time round. I don't have a blog, and I don't want a blog. I have no desire to grow a following - it's too emotionally draining. I've written numerous books, and it's a matter of uploading them again. I'm going to be writing a series and have figured out how to market it.
However, that has nothing to do with simply wanting to publish one of my books here in chapter form. That's just because I love writing, and this is one of those books that I never really put into ebook form.
No idea why Amazon didn't work for me previously, but I am not into making friends and influencing people in order to sell books.
I would question your SEO expert's credentials, personally. His advice is somewhat outdated.
Google DOES just send traffic to a blog. In fact Google LOVES niche blogs far more than it does HubPages, and if you post regularly and build good content you don't need to do any promotion at all. And the blog then achieves a far higher conversation rate from that traffic, because you're able to KEEP the reader reading your own writing (and not diverting off on to articles written by others), and you're not subject to petty restrictions on advertising. And of course, you're keeping 100% of the income from those sales. Also you build an email list which you can then market to directly.
Your problem is not that Google won't send traffic to a good niche blog. Your problem is that if you write about writing, that niche is saturated already - and if your blog is just your writing on mixed subjects, that is not a niche. Google will reject any site that doesn't have a clearly-defined focus.
I'd say your solution, if the novel is science fiction, is to focus on science fiction sites and forums and build a following there.
Marisa, there are millions of blogs in the world. They don't get traffic. Certainly, if one has a niche blog on a topic that few have written about and most people are searching for, it will get response.
However, it was recommended that one has a blog for sci fi writing books, etc, and even the book publishing companies say that authors don't need to have author sites because they don't work. They don't.
Author blogs do not build traffic.
If you're talking about author blogs, then I agree, they do not build traffic. Maybe that's why the SEO guy said what he did. But you quoted him as saying blogs (not just author blogs) do not get traffic, and I was correcting that for others reading this thread. I'd hate people to be discouraged from blogging for the wrong reasons.
That line about there being millions of blogs is one I used myself in a Hub about blogging years ago. But one of the huge changes Google has made since 2011 is that it now FAVOURS niche blogs (and websites, they are not treated differently). So if you have a niche, you can get traffic - and it doesn't even have to be that unique a niche. Why do you think HubPages is switching to niche sites - even though subjects like Pets aren't exactly short of existing competition? Because it works.
For proof, all you have to do is look at the many Hubbers who went off and started their own niche blogs when HubPages was going downhill. Most of them found they got more traffic on their own blog than for the same topic on HubPages. Earning money from it, now that's a different story and requires learning a new skill, but that's by the by.
It's true there are millions of blogs that don't get traffic, but that's because most blogs are about what someone had for breakfast, or they're a blog about "My Writing", or the content was too thin, or they didn't offer any navigation beyond monthly archives, etc etc. Because blogging is a solitary exercise, most bloggers never learn the basic skills they need to be successful. That's where Hubbers have the advantage because they learn most of those skills here on HP.
I'm serializing a science fiction novel on HubPages. I published the introduction with a linked table of contents and the first chapter in one hub. I add new links to the table of contents every time I publish a new chapter on its own hub. I have nineteen chapters up so far.
Because the table of contents is linked, it doesn't matter that the TOC, introduction, and first chapter are on LetterPile and the other chapters are not.
Every new chapter published results in a small burst of views to the other chapters. None of the chapters have ever failed to get enough views to remain published. I intend to add more chapters, but my personal life and writing life are a bit too full lately.
Putting a link to the first chapter/TOC at the top of every chapter hub greatly improved views on all chapters.
It's not particularly tidy or polished, but you can see what has worked for me as far as format goes by clicking on "Gift of the Gruldak" hub in my spotlight section on my profile.
Another point about author blogs: it's not true to say that everyone agrees they're a waste of time. This is a very good discussion, it is a couple of years old but I think it still has great relevance:
http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/th … -websites/
I'm on the side of the people who think an author website IS worth doing, because I relate it to how they influence me in real life. I'm old - over 60 - so you might not expect it - yet when I'm thinking of doing business with someone, the FIRST thing I do is check their website. If they don't have a website, they don't get my business.
Examples: If I'm asked to organise a belly dancer for a function, I'll look online. If all she's got is a Facebook and/or LinkedIn page, I won't bother - she's an amateur. My niece was looking for an at-home hairdresser for her wedding. Same thing - found one in her neighbourhood, checked online. No website, only Facebook. She chose someone else.
It's true that when I buy a book, I don't go checking the author's website - I just pick up the book and read the first few pages. BUT if I was looking for more books by that author, I would Google her and if she had a website, that would certainly make me more inclined to trust her brand. Or if I was thinking of buying a book online, where I can't flip the pages, then an author website would reassure me of her professionalism.
So I think an author WEBSITE is worth having, though I wouldn't think it worthwhile to have an author BLOG (i.e. a site where you're regularly posting new material) unless you're looking for a place to serialise a story (which you are). And even in that case, I wouldn't expect you to get much Google traffic to the story: you would drive traffic from your social networks and other forums.
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