Yeah!!!!! Wrote 'The End' a couple of hours after midnight! This project has taken several years, the book has been split in two, a new beginning and end written and a new storyline threaded through it. I'm not sure I would have started, if I'd known all this when I started lol!
However, I suspect the really hard slog has just started, as now I have to do something with it. Any suggestions about digital/self publishing for a non-techie?
That's fantastic! How cool, finished mine at exactly the same time. Check into Smashwords, it's where you want to electronically upload and be distributed. Well worth the work, best of luck to you!
Lots of help in Hubs and other forums use the search bar but am sure there are others with experience who can offer great advice. Congratulations!
Thanks Dame Scribe, I will have a good search and reading session
CMHypno, first of all congrats and I know how hard it's to get the beginning done - I'm still in the first chapter of my novel even though I've written the complete outline. Hope to see some useful tips here about self publishing. There are plenty of hubs; but, I'd love to see some insightful info here as well
Thanks lobobrandon. Just keep going, you will get there. One of the things that spurred me on was that I didn't want to be one of those people who always talk about writing their book but never finishes it.
So whatever happens now, I can say that I have finished it!
Haha After this sem I have a 3 month holiday from the last week of June. So, I'm planning on writing hubs and my book then.
Wow, congratulations CMH! Never having written a book myself I've no advice to offer, but let us know how you get on.
I'll keep you posted Empress - I tend to learn by making every mistake in the book, so it is sure to be an interesting journey
Congratulations! That's a wonderful thing to hear, and I'm sure it's an even greater accomplishment for you to have made!
I personally know of two hubbers who are experienced in self publishing. One, primarily e-books (Slarty O'Brian) and the other print and digital copies (Shadesbreath, aka John Daulton). There are both great guys and if you approach them directly through the contact links on their profile, I'm certain they would be willing to offer whatever help they're able to.
Thanks for the advice Motown2Chitown, I read quite a bit of Shadesbreath's stuff, but need to look up Slarty O'Brian
I think a self publishing firm goes by the name smashwords. You even get a free ISBN. You get to set the price and get most of the sales.
Let meknow where/ when it is publshed as I have enjoyed so many of your stories that I am really quite looking forward to this book!
CMHypno, that's fantastic! Getting through that whole thing to the end is a great beast of discipline to conquer, and you have done it. Superb mustering of personal resources on that, seriously!!!
Here's my advice about publishing it:
If you literally just wrote "the end" on it, then you have to go back through it and clean it up. To me, having just now gotten to the end for the first time means, you have a lot of revisions, editing and then TONS AND TONS of proofreading to do. Once you've done that, if you can afford a professional editor (depending on word count somewhere between 500 and 2500 bucks), do it - just as for samples first, because there are lots of people out there calling themselves 'editors' who have no clue what they are doing. If you can't afford one, get as many of your literate friends to read your manuscript and mark it up for you as you can so you at least have as few mistakes as possible. If the story is good, the readers will be kind to you from there.
Readers who buy self-published work are reasonably forgiving of mistakes and typos, but only to a point. You only get one chance to launch your first book, so make it clean. I know that can be hard because it's so exciting to be done, but don't let enthusiasm shoot success in the foot.
GET A REALLY GOOD COVER. People can spot amateur a mile away. Also, use what is called a "Display Font" (look for them). Regular fonts are hard to read, especially since your cover will be displayed as a thumbnail on any list it is on.
As far as actually doing the file formatting, it's not super hard, if you are okay with going very basic look (as in, no graphics or fancy drop caps or weird chapter heading fonts etc.) You can simply go into MS Word and click SAVE AS, then scroll down to "OTHER FORMATS" then on the pop up, pick "Save as type" and go down to "Web Page, Filtered." That will get you a basic html file that you can load into your Kindle KDP(amazon) and Nook (Barnes and Noble) converters. Just one thing: Take out ALL "Tab" indents, and reformat with the Format Paragraph option (Format First Line: .05 -- or whatever you want).
That's it. Someone mentioned Smashwords, and they will convert your files for you for more formats than just Kindle and Nook, but 1) they take a cut, 2) they negotiate deals with publishers for all their writers, which can cut two ways if they get in a spat with Amazon, as other 2nd parties have, and 3) In my experience, you'll sell 100:1 Amazon:Kindle, and the rest don't even show up on the statistical radar. But, that's just my experience on the last one.
Good luck, and Motown2Chitown is right, feel free to shoot me an email if you need to. And again, congrats! You've really done something many people can't make themselves do. Your next books will be sooooooo much easier because the mental block is finally gone. Good luck!
In kindle publishing, can one use block paragraphing - paragraphs without indentions - like you have done in your post here? At the end of every paragraph, you pressed the ‘enter’ key twice and then started writing on the second paragraph.
Yes, you can. Steven King's recent book on writing was like that as I recall.
No worries. I believe in Karma, or something like it anyway. Share what you know, pay it forward, what comes around goes around, etc.
Sorry, Shades, didn't mean to pimp you out without your permission...lol Glad you were willing and such a sport.
Thanks for this great advice Shadesbreath and detailed reply. I think that I wrote 'the end' to draw a line completing the first draft (and it made me feel good and gave me a great excuse to have a celebratory drink!)
It certainly needs copy editing and probably a great deal of revision. I have already printed out a few copies and have pinpointed some friends to press gang into action.
Thanks for the offer of further advice, as this is a whole new learning process. Most of the second book is already written because I split the first one in two, and three more are planned in the same series
Having the series written in advance is going to really help your sales, especially if you get a good launch on book one. You'll have a ready audience waiting for the next one and you can bring them out close together in time so as to maximize the Kindle algorithms. That's awesome. I wish I'd had my whole series written instead of outlined. I just barely finished the draft of book 2 the other day, and have TONS of revisions before I can release; gonna be 7 to 10 months between releases, and my book will probably be off any and all lists its on right now. Book 2 in theory will help bring Book 1 up, but with the space in between, Book 1 will be less useful for launching Book 2. (Hopefully that make sense). You are definitely doing it the right way on that front!
Thanks Shadesbreath, I have just started my copy editing and revision before I send it off to a professional editor, and its amazing what I can see on a printed page that I had not picked up on the screen however many times I had read it before
CMHypno, a huge congratulations for a huge job no doubt well done! Hey....the next one will be easier! I sincerely hope you find a publisher, or at least look for one first before going down the self-publishing route.
I just feel that self-publishing is fraught with unforeseen difficulties, unless you are an expert marketer.
You never know, maybe the established publishers will be falling over themselves in the race to make you an offer
Thanks for your congratulations, Izzy.
I'm going to try the self-publishing route for the first book and try and get somewhere with it, purely because it it so hard these days to get a deal with a traditional publisher and I've read that if you can prove that you already have one book that got some sales, then a publisher might be more inclined to take on a subsequent book.
Whether this is the right way to go or not, no doubt I'll find out.
Congratulations, CMHypno! Best of luck with the book - I hope it's a great success when it's published!
1. I think it's very exciting to know another soon-to-be-published author here on HP. Congratulations on finishing your mega draft!
2. It inspires me to finish the book that I have 90% done. It's an expose, although I may change the names to protect myself from the guilty
3. Not to be really dense and quaint, but does anyone publish the old fashioned way through publishers anymore?
Don't mean to hijack your thread here, CMHypno. But wouldn't we all like to know if anyone's sold their story to a "house" where they handle the marketing, etc.?
Or am I hopelessly outre on this?
There is still value in traditional publishing, but they are moribund, or close to it, in the form everyone knows, i.e, "Send us your stuff and we'll decide if you are worthy or not."
Trad publishing still has lots to offer: Hardback deals, book shelf space, exposure, connections to Hollywood, and, (here's where it starts to get really, really hit or miss now), in theory access to top notch editing and top notch marketing.
The last ones aren't happening too well. Indie authors are finding authors and Amazon has made it really easy for readers and writers to find each other, and they give writers 70% of the profits. Readers get cheap books, authors can make a living. Readers are willing to accept a few typos to buy one and three dollar books for a good story. The traditional publishers have put out as much crap as good stuff, proving they have no better eye for "talent" than anyone else.
There is a place for both indie publishing and trad. publishing, but the Big 6 publishers are paying the price for their exclusionary, elitist stranglehold on what the populace had access to read, and with every new indie best seller, that model starts to look more and more antiquated. They have to leverage what they have and empower what they have tried to control and failed at... which is writing.
Hijack away Mighty Mom. I have everything to learn, so other peoples questions and answers are always very informative.
An expose sounds really interesting, so you must keep us posted
Congrats and good going CM- may fortune shine on your endeavors my friend.
Wow! Congratulations! I'm happy to hear this good news! Encourages me to continue with mine heheh
Thanks - on a bit of a roll, as I split the original book in two as it got so long, and worked late last writing a new beginning to the second one.
Firstly, congratulations. Secondly Shadesbreath has provided some very good insight. Thirdly research it, but do not follow it yet. If this is just the first draft have the manuscript read by about ten people that will give you an honest, no holds barred opinion and then question them on specific impressions of characters, story line ect. If you have target marketed the book (YA, Women’s commercial fiction, Sci-fi) at least one third of the readers should represent that target demographic.
During this “reading time” put the book aside and research publishing options. For self-publishing I’d suggest Smashwords for eBook and Createspace for trade hardcover or paperback.
Once you have your responses and have questioned your readers. Edit and rewrite the entire book to flesh out any issues that the readers may have addressed. For example a reader’s description of a character does not match the one you think you created in your mind’s eye. Only you know what that character is supposed to be like, but their impressions will tell you if you have imparted “your creation” to them.
Keep in mind here usually is a better book buried inside the original manuscript. I re-wrote my manuscript four times before publishing. While I was re-writing I also submitted the work to a few houses and Literary Agents and got some offers in response but you have to be very careful of the fine print. I decided against accepting these publishing house offers and opted for self-publishing, however it is worth submitting just to gauge a “professional market” reaction to the work. Good Luck.
Congratulations! It's an incredible accomplishment, so revel in that before worrying about the publishing aspect, which is a weighty and lengthy exercise. Take a trip, go out for drinks and dinner, etc.
When you're ready, I can also endorse Createspace.com, which is an Amazon affiliate. Self-publishing is easier and much less expensive than years ago.
Holy smokes! A series. Congrats and best of luck. I'm just not that imaginative.
Is there a Writer's Guild in your area? For a small yearly membership, you can get loads of brutally honest feedback.
Formats vary, but in the local chapter where I live, members sign up each week to be read. Several members bring a chapter of their book at a time. In some cases, I think this may be helpful to do earlier in the process, vs when the entire book/story draft has been written.
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