1. bbutler
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    bbutler Member

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    The Long Road to A Debut Novel

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by bbutler, May 23, 2015.

    My apologies in advance that my first post is self-promoting. That said, I'd like to share how I got to this point.

    Several years ago a friend encouraged me to write a novel, because she thought I was a good writer. My background was in journalism: writer/reporter, copy editor, headline writer. So yes, I could smash two rocks together and make a paragraph.

    My first attempt resulted in a hideous thing, barely a life form. My writing skills made me a novelist like being able to hum a tune makes me a composer. What I was good at was research and the ability to translate instructions into action. So I read about the art, often re-reading a book several times. And then I re-wrote the still misshapen thing. And again. And a fourth time. What became the second chapter endured at least a dozen re-writes and countless polishings. Along the way I researched like the devil, this being a science-fiction novel. From equine harnessing to paleomagnetism to m-brane theory, I had to cross all the Ts.

    As I could not afford an editor, I had to be my own. Even if you've been an editor, as I have, it's tough to switch hats. Even with input from others, it's still hard to pretend you aren't invested in the thing you're about cut into. As I could not afford anyone to format it for Kindle, I wore that hat. Fortunately, I already know html (I run my own website). So, Dreamweaver software to the rescue! Still, what a pain. I had no idea Word converted into html with a like a sledgehammer pounds a nail. That, and KDP is fairly picky about your coding.

    And so today begins my initial promotion, the KDP 5-day freebie launch. Having some retail chops, I'm now wearing the marketing hat.

    Wish me luck!

    -- Bill

    edit: Seems I need to learn proper coding for my signature.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  2. odolmen
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    odolmen Member

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    Congrats on finishing your first novel! Couldn't have been easy doing everything by yourself though. And, if I may add, a little detrimental to the final result where the cover art is concerned. Did you show that cover around before settling for it at all? I for the life of me can't tell what's going on in the picture, and the orange font is a tad agressive... sorry if it can't be changed and my comment just falls flat. Couldn't help but judge your book by its cover.
    Good luck :D
     
  3. ladybird
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    ladybird Contributing Member

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    Good luck, with promoting your novel, Bill. The marketing hat for authors is perhaps just as tough as the writing one. It's a long tough slog.
     
  4. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Congrats on finishing the novel. Was interesting to go back and read your initial posts here looking for feedback with the first chapter. Do you mind sharing a bit about how you continued that editing / refining process?
     
  5. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    An illustrator is listed on the book's page, so at a guess the cover was done by the illustrator?

    Or there are illustration in the book itself huh.

    And here I am wanting to do my own cover....
     
  6. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    Looks like a guy hiding amongst some very tall trees. :)
     
  7. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bearing in mind that Prometheus stole fire from the Gods, I'm guessing he's about to start a forest fire...
     
  8. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Looks like a depression-era outdoorsman, wearing an Akubra.
     
  9. Ivana
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    Ivana Contributing Member

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    Yeah... He does look kinda sneaky, now that you mentioned it.
     
  10. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    Self publishing can be a bit of an "Iron Man" style challenge, especially if you take on everything yourself. If you can make it a success, the satisfaction will be all the greater!

    I took the KDP road, editing and designing the cover myself too. It's quite a steep learning curve, but if you take some tips from successful book covers, follow the formatting guide-lines and get a diverse group of proof readers, you should have a polished product ready to sell at the end of the process.
     
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  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Congratulations on all your work. Hard, isn't it? To wear all the different hats but, as you so rightly say, it can be done.

    Have you thought about doing your own covers? Have a go. Like everything else you've had to do, it's a learning curve. I do my own covers too. And writing, formatting, editing, conversions for kindle, re-formatting for paperback, spine and back cover designs for paperback (now that is a bitch of a learning curve) but yes, it's all do-able. And I know nothing about coding. (Coding? what is this mystical word you speak of? The only coding I know, happens in the ER when people go into v-fib)

    Try doing your own covers. Just because you had a cover artist do the cover, it doesn't mean they get it right all the time either.
     
  12. Ussaid
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    Ussaid Member

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    You must change the cover at once Bill, it looks very amateurish, especially the font. The imagery has a certain '80's feel it, at least to me, and it might work. But the font styles are simply unforgivable and instantly recognizable as amateurish and low-quality. Despite what popular quotes tell them to do, most people often judge a book by its cover so you might want to look into that.
     
  13. Flying Geese
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    Flying Geese Contributing Member

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    That's weird, OP. I find converting my documents to readable kindle book to be hella easy. Congrats on finishing your first novel, mate! I hope you stick around even though you're done!
     
  14. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you've signed up for KDP Select, I'd recommend opting out of the program when it comes up for renewal - there are other eBook markets, such as iBook, Nook and Kobo to name but a few.

    My current KDP Select period ends in September, so I'll hopefully have my book open to a wider audience by October.
     
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