1. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Worried about self-publishing my "e-book"

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by Uberwatch, Sep 14, 2013.

    I honestly don't know where I can do with my first book. One, it's not finished yet, but will be about a little over 200 pages or so. I just don't know if people are interested.


    There are many reasons why I am worried on self-publishing my first e-book is because I have a big dream about the whole thing. My book is sort of formatted as if it is a history book (It's in the future, but is written as if it became a part of history.) I don't know if people will ever be interested in something like this. The second thing, it's really lore and a backdrop for an even greater book I want to write. So I just don't know if I can gain an audience through online-distribution. The story-line that involve this book is a huge project I'd like to do something when I work my way up into the film industry, which I am going to attempt after my senior year in school. So yes, I dream big and have high expectations on my own projects.


    If anyone has published an e-book on amazon, let me know if you ever gained a fan-base or a following. I'm not trying to write to make money (although money is good). I want to write to make a piece of memorable art.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    First, finish the book. Second, don't worry too much about what people will think. Some people will be interested; others won't. That's just a fact of life. Since you want to make it as memorable as possible, I would pretend like you're submitting to a publisher/agent and revise and polish as much as possible. Make it the best you can.

    I don't know much about promoting because I haven't done it before, but I imagine social media is one way to go. Perhaps people who know more about advertising will chime in.
     
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  3. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    It's hard to say when I haven't read it, but this makes me think it might be the kind of book that would be a great addition for the fans of your "even greater book", but less interesting for others. The kind that would be much better timed AFTER the "even greater book". I know (and well understand) that when you've finished it you'll want to share it with everyone as soon as you can, but have you considered this possibility?
     
  4. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    I don't know anything about publishing, but when it comes to gaining an audience, it will be up to the individual whether or not they decide to read it. You just have to make your book available and get the name out there. Like @thirdwind said, social media can be a good place to get the buzz going. Talk to people and get them interested. Just don't advertise where people would be annoyed by it-- like youtube and such >.<

    My BEST advice is to finish the book and make it the best it can possibly be. Even if you have a greater work planned, this book will have to pull its own weight. It will have to hold its own, even if the others never make it. Leave enough open towards the end that readers will come back, but close enough for them to feel complete and fulfilled. Don't worry about the audience. Some people will like it, but others won't. It's a matter of taste and preference. Your job is to write well, not please the masses. If you do the former, the latter will handle itself.
     
  5. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Write it. Make it the absolute best you can. Then submit it to trade publishers and magazines etc. If you can get an agent that's normally the best option. Self publish if you can't, or if you think that it would not be commercial.

    But always remember the golden rule of writing. You write for yourself. You publish for others.

    Don't expect to make millions of dollars and become the next Stephen King no matter which road you take. Dream big but plan on just doing the best you can.

    And yes you can get an audience by self pubbing. I have one and I'm always glad when I hear from them.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  6. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    Hmm.. I can see how my "lore" book would be better off published later than my big book. Another reason why I am writing the lore book is because it's sort of a personal rulebook to make sure I am consistent in the events of the story-line. I am obviously building a large-scale fictional universe here so writing that first made more sense to me. I guess you're right in that aspect that the other one should be published first.
     
  7. Abigail
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    Abigail Member

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    Honestly, I think this is a genius idea. Creating a book to plan out the world of the actual book... I might just do that! I think the "planner" however, should be published second.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Finish the book first. Until then, you're worrying over nothing because you don't have a product yet.

    You say you want it to be a book that's made to look like it's part of history - I assume you mean real history, history like WWII is history and Egyptian culture and their pyramids are part of history. For a book like this, it really sounds like for the full effect/impact, you're gonna need to 1. publish it in print and 2. do an awful lot of formatting, and not only formatting but you must include pictures, artefacts, notes, trinkets, doodles and sketches that form part of this lore, with fold-out letters and textured pages, maybe even jagged edges and a little ribbon you'd use as a bookmark, like you find in some proper leather-bound books, maybe stains and rips on the pages too. Maybe the paper would be better off not as glossy white pages but printed on textured paper. You'll need all of this for the full effect. Now tell me, how are you gonna afford a good-enough artist by yourself (plus designer), plus the resources, to produce something like this IN PRINT?

    It sounds like a project that's better handled by a traditional publisher, who will have the budget and the team necessarily for such a feat. If you dream big, then I would also be careful - rather wait till you find the right buyer with the right resources and vision than to rush it and do it yourself "just to get it out there". Big dreams mean big investment, and it's gonna be hard to get that investment, but that's exactly what you need. I think it'll be worth the wait, rather than tarnish a beautiful vision due to a bit of impatience.

    Just think the House of Leaves - I haven't read it yet precisely because I don't want to read the e-version, but I haven't got round to buying the hard copy yet. Read a description of the House of Leaves - now imagine if it were only an e-book and the printed version doesn't exist - how different it would be. Imagine creating all those effects by yourself. It'd be near-impossible - either you'd have to spend a fortune to hire the right people, and you likely won't have the money to hire the ones who're actually worth your while (good artists don't come cheap), or else you'd better learn and learn fast as to how you could do it all yourself. Can you imagine getting to professional standard in Photoshop, InDesign, Coral Draw and graphic design within the space of a year or so, or even several years, on top of your actual degree and real life and everything else?

    My advice - finish the book, and then find yourself an agent and go the traditional route. It doesn't sound like the kind of book where taking a short cut would do you any good.
     
  9. Roxie
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    Roxie Active Member

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    You've already received the best advice from others, but I'll repeat it - finish it, polish it, polish it again, and again. When you have shining copy I would suggest to post requests on various sites: here, bookblogs, Goodreads, for beta readers this could be a way for you to appease your worries re: audience and then take all the feedback received make it your own - update, edit re-polish if needed and try your hand at the publishing venue that feels right for you!
     
  10. Amyfire
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    Amyfire Banned

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    Anytime you create a piece of art, you will worry. You will worry if anyone will like it, if it will be good enough, and more. But realize, this is your art. this is the story you felt to tell. Everyone will not like it, but there will be those that do. The key is not to worry about the ones who don't like it, and find the ones that do.

    When you are ready to publish your story, ask yourself a few questions. What is the story about? Who are the characters? Who would like your characters and stories? What book is somewhat similar to your story? When you have those answers, you will know who to target to read your books.

    Keep writing.
     
  11. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    • My book is sort of formatted as if it is a history book

    Forgive me, I hate to do this, but...think of how you felt when the history teacher told the class, "Open your history books and read from page 225 through 247." And how many of your classmakes read their history book for pleasure?

    In reality, they should. It has adventure, danger, betrayal, romance, and everything else that makes a story interesting—except uncertainty.

    And that's the problem. History is immutable. No matter how interesting the situation we have only to read on to see what happened, so we never speculate on what the people should do next. We know the facts. And we may know that a given person was angry or happy, but the history book doesn't make us angry or happy in parallel with the characters.

    And if you think that doesn't matter, ask yourself how much fun a ghost story would be if it didn't frighten us. We read to have our own emotions toyed with and to feel as if we're experiencing the story along with the character.

    So with a history book approach we're being informed, not entertained. IN the end, if you write the detailed history of a fictional character, does it matter how well you present it? It's missing the single most important thing a work of fiction provides: moment-to-moment entertainment.

    I know this isn't what you want to hear, given that you've already planned on how to spend the money you'll earn with the book. ;) So far as achieving success, the last teen I remember was Eragon, which was pretty much a retelling of Star Wars with dragons. Unfortunately, though the book was not well written, his parents owned a publishing house, and spent a lot of money on promotion, something you probably can't match. There may be others I'm not aware of, though

    Here's the problem you, and most people your age face: You've spent twelve years refining your writing skills, and worked hard on them, too. You've probably been told by teachers that you write well. But what you've probably not been told is that the writing skills you've perfected are general skills, useful to most adults on the job. Our history classes don't make us a historian, after all, not math make us mathematicians. So is it reasonable to believe our English classes gave us the skills of a professional writer? After all, the TV we watch didn't make screenwriters of us.

    In school we're taught how to write reports, papers, letters, and essays because that makes us ready to join the adult work force with skills an employer will find useful. Yes, I know we're given assignments to write fiction. But who grades them? If English teachers knew the skills of writing fiction for the printed word wouldn't the nations teachers also be the nation's successful writers?

    The sad truth is that in our schooling we learn a style of writing that is fact-based (like a history book) and author-centric (like a history book). So is it a surprise that when you plotted out your own story you thought in terms of producing an exciting version of a history book? It's what you know. And if you're like most people, myself included, no one ever told you that fiction for the page is emotion not fact-based, and character-centric. And that's a major bitch I have against the current educational system. They should at least tell us.

    But there is some really good news: you've demonstrated the desire and the perseverance. That's a necessity. You have the story. That's a plus (though moment-to-moment reading pleasure is what makes people turn the page, so it's a lot more important). And using the compositional skills you presently have you've been able to impress friens and family. So you've passed the aptitude test. What you need now is to apply the skills of the pros, using that desire, perseverance, and story. Then, perhaps you won't have to self publish. It's always better to entice a publisher to say yes, because they pick up the bills. And as another piece of good news, if you truly were meant to be a writer you'll find the learning fascinating.

    Here's how: check with your local free library system and call in a copy of Jack Bickham's, Scene and Structure. It's a university level commercial fiction writing course between two covers, written by the man who held the chair at then legendary professional writing workshops at Oklahoma University—whose membership reads like a who's who of American fiction at that time. It won't make a published writer of you. No one but you can do that. It will, though, give you the tools you need. Perfect their use and you are way ahead of the rest of the pack.

    For a kind of Bickham Lite, you might poke around in the writing section of my blog. The articles, most of which were written for one of my publisher's newsletters, are based on their teachings. Look on the second page for the article called, The beginner's Corner. There's a lot of general information there for the new writer.

    Hang in there, and keep on writing.
     
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  12. RickAndrew
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    RickAndrew New Member

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    Don't worry everything will be ok...
    All the best..
     
  13. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    It's hard to say. If someone would have told me World War Z was a book about a zombie apocalypse, the story told through a collection of interviews I would never even have considered reading it, but no one told me so I did read it and I have to say it was pretty amazing (and over a million copies were sold).
    I think how well a story does is not about how it is "formatted", but how well it is written.
     

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