I now have 22 chapters of a novel up on HubPages. It has been an interesting experience. I have decided to continue. I am wondering what the experience others have had putting novels up here. Positive, negative?
Since I am not planning to publish this except perhaps on line at Amazon or some similar place, I am not worried about losing the opportunity for traditional publishing.
can you explain to me what does that mean to publish on amazon vs the difference of traditional publishing? I am an up and coming writer looking to publish my first book so i am always looking for ideas and advice.
"Traditional publishing" means getting a brick-and-mortar publisher to pick up your book and publish it: an actual book, made out of paper, with a cover, and sent to book stores in stacks. That sort of thing.
There always were what were called "Vanity" publishers, (Vanity was an actual printing company) who would print your book for you if you paid them to do it. Lots of people spent fortunes on books that way, and none of them made any money out of it but for a random person here or there too infrequent to bother mentioning.
Now there are electronic books. You can "Publish on Amazon" and make an E-book. You can get any number of "Print on Demand" companies like Lulu.com and tons of others to set up your book in their system. THEN, if you can figure out how to get anyone to want to buy your book, they can distribute the book as an E-book or even print it on paper and mail it out for you. It's a modern version of the Vanity press. But, just like the old vanity press, you still have to figure out how to make people want to buy it. Which means you have to do all your own marketing.
The internet has made "marketing" easier, so that is improved since the old style vanity presses, however, word processors and electronic readers have made self publishing desireable to everyone with a computer. So, while it is easier to market, you are now marketing to everyone who is willing to type 60,000 words or more. Worse, most of them are horrible, and even worse than worse, almost none are edited properly and they are simply abysmal to read. Which means, the reading public has learned to be very leary of self-published books.
HOpe that helps.
so in your opinion which way should i start out?
Well, the simple answer is that it depends on your personal goals. Do you just want to have a book out there that has your name on it so you can say, "Hey, I wrote a book?"
If that's the case, go with print on demand, like Lulu or something. If you can't afford (or don't want to pay) the starting costs, then a basic e-lectronic format is the way to go. Then all your friends can look on your website and go "Oooh, you did write a book!" and, well, there you have it.
However, if you want to create something that hopefully will accrete readers because it is good, then that gets a different answer.
That starts with the manuscript. You have to make the manuscript good, which in my experience, people are NOT doing, AT ALL for their self published stories. Website Examiner has suggested getting a manuscript critique. That is one option to consider. That typically costs money, however, and more often than not, the "professional editors" aren't half as good as they would have you believe (it's the old, "those who can, do; those who can't teach... or in the case of writing... sell edit services--not all mind you, but a massive percentage in my experience). That's not to say you shouldn't find someone to proofread your work if you can (you should), but the truth is, if YOU put in the effort to go over and over and over and over and over and over your manuscript and make sure it's absolutely polished, you are the best person to clean it up. That's just my opinion.
I belabored that point because before you decide whether to self publish or try to find a traditional publisher, you have to have a good, clean, highly polished manuscript.
Now, you can decide whether you want brick and mortar or Print on Demand (PoD). A real publisher can get you into book stores and will provide great distribution. Sometimes they will spend some time and money on marketing the book, although usually not. It's up to you to get out there and do readings and book signings and promote it. It's your book; you have to pimp it.
The down side of getting traditional publishing is that it can take a very long time to get your story looked at. WHether you have an agent or not (an agent is a good idea, but be careful on who you send to; there's a lot of scammers and rip off people) it still takes months and months to hear back from them. For example, I have a sci-fi novel I've been shopping around and it has taken six months to NOT hear back yet from a major publisher. Prior to sending it there, it took six months to be rejected by the publisher I sent to first. So, there's a lot of waiting. And a lot of rejection.
If that's not for you, or if you have exhausted all the print houses that fit your work, then you can go straight to PoD. IF YOUR MANUSCRIPT IS ACTUALLY GOOD AND CLEAN, then you can for a reasonable fee, set it up and get it listed on Amazon as well as the website of the PoD provider. Then, well, just like with the traditional publisher, it's up to you to market it. You'll have to network and make your own website etc., and getting reading engagements and book signings will more complicated as, it's much easier to get Borders to let you set up a table if your book is on their shelf then it is to get any book store to let you set up when they have never heard of you (and worse, when they know that 99.999999% of the self published books are horrendous, poorly edited trash). However, if your book is good, you can show them a copy, and perhaps get local stores to let you do a signing. PLus you can do readings at artsy clubs and that sort of thing.
So there you go. I can't tell you what YOU should do, because I don't know what shape your manuscript is in. But, there's the information as I see it. Hope that helps.
wow thank you so much. you have been a BIG help. You broke it down perfectly. keep in touch.
i posted the thank you on someone else page but again thank you for breaking it down for me keep in touch.
Ask yourself how good the manuscript actually is. When you have people test read it (strangers, not family) what do they say? I have run my novel by several total strangers, other writers on line, and have got advice on what to cut, what slowed the story, when my writing was too over-done. When three separate people tell you the same thing, listen.
If it really is good, start researching agents and publishers, lots of good info on the web how to do that.
Or, go to Amazon and sign up for their web-only publishing, or one of the other such sites. Some people get good sales, most don't. Either way it is a crap-shoot.
I'm really interested in the idea of publishing my novel on hubpages but haven't yet for fear of losing the oppurtunity for traditional publishing. In a way the route that trad publishing is taking nowadays is almost a reason to do it. I'm certain many of the writers that we considers Greats couldn't crack the market today. I would love to hear more about your experience!
Hi ar.colton. It is fun. I publish a new chapter, sometimes one a day, sometimes one a week. I always get a small flood of hits and a few more who go back to start at chapter one and I can see them hitting each chapter as they read all of it. It appears there are about 35 people who have subscribes and read every chapter within a day or two of posting.
The best part is the comments, Instant feedback. I just wish there were a few more critical, most people are too complimentary.
By the way, publishing here will kill a trad publishing deal, but you can still go the Amazon or Smash route. I figure to do that after I get it all lined up and pretty, which I am doing here. It makes the editing process so much more fun!
I'm really waffling about trad publishing. I've been discussing self-publishing on a couple other forums and am leaning more and more towards it.
It is so hard to get people to be properly critical. You could try putting a request at the top of each chapter for good criticism. In an old creative writing class we used to read our work out loud and at the beginning we would state what kind of responses we wanted. Completmentary, light, kind criticism or hardcore constructive criticism. It made for a safe working environment.
This is a really good point. I have asked for constructive criticism on one short story that I posted (Sapphire Eyes) and only one person had any actually tips or criticisms to share in all this time. But besides that one post I haven't really gotten anything besides the typical positive feedback before, so it did open the door for better feedback. Whenever I find something that could be improved I always hesitate to comment about it too. I know if people asked for tips, I would not hold back, because I know the value of that kind of feedback.
On the other hand, you can save your good novel for another day and start posting a current project in the same genre or writing style. This can help you grow and improve so you can go back and revise the story you want to save. Work on it until it's perfect without putting it out there.
lol, don't know if it's a "good" novel, just got my first rejection letter. I know that doesn't mean it's no good but I am still at the beginning of my writing career.
One of my concerns with self-pubbing is that I write slowly due to my FM and I know that having a lot of titles does alot for visibility when it comes to online publishing.
ar.colton, I do critiques, editing and proofing, for free for author friends, no money, and they return the favor. I am in the query-to-agents stage of my first novel. So far a couple of nibbles but no bites. Keep trying, query dozens of agents. Remember JK Rowling.
Research around your area and find a critique group. If you're not familiar with a critique group, it's a few writers that get together on a regular basis (monthly, weekly, quarterly) and offer each other critiques. You come to trust those in the group and get to know each other's writing really well. In addition to this, you have a few different view points at a time. Most of them are run similar to the college workshop you discussed.
Another way to get feedback is to enter a writing contest that offers feedback. Not all contests do this. You do have to pay an entry fee, but if you win (or get some sort of prize) it's great to put in your query/proposal to agents/editors.
I will be happy to critique your story - or any other short story, for that matter - upon request. I have read your 4,000+ word story with interest, but hubs are not the ideal platform for giving serious critique, better contact me.
I am interested in this topic as well. I have written a book about how to read Rider Waite Tarot Cards, as I am a Professional Tarot Reader. There are many books on the market, but mine is in free-form poetry. I know it's hard to get poetry pubished, but each piece explains how a person feels while being influenced by the energies of the card. It is a very different approach. I sent it out to about 20 publishers at the end of Aug 2010. In the meantime, I'm writing on here to pass time, and become a better writer, while I wait to hear. There are 78 cards, so you may be seeing 78 hubs! Many publishers pretend they will publish, but really want you to pay to self publish. I found two really good sites, Preditors and Editors, and Absolute Write. People discuss whether links to "real" editors really work, and if they pay for your book or expect you to lay out all the money. Also the types of subject matter each publisher accepts. Good luck and please keep me in the loop! Jean Bakula
SapphireGreen, I highly recommend getting a manuscript critique once you have a workable first draft. This will expose any serious flaws, unexploited potential, and areas that need more work. It can also be used to understand the book's strengths and weaknesses, and to evaluate the appropriate market.
Today's publishers and agents expect work of high quality, they do not have much patience. You may or may not need an editor, but any aspiring author can benefit from a critique.
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