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Writing > Writing Journey

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Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 528 comments I would love to hear more about your writing journey. How long did it take, how did your family feel about your writing etc.


Chris Bullock (chrisbullock) | 19 comments My writing journey seems exceedingly strange in hindsight. I was never particularly good at English, and any Literature was really beyond me. However, I did read a lot and enjoyed a good book.
My attempts at writing stemmed from a need to put some information/padding around my interest in Family History and to find out what life was really like in days gone by.
Initially, I had the facts to build upon, and then the historical information created the scenarios. Where I was seriously lacking was the attitudes and emotions of the individuals concerned. This took me about four years of research and amendments to get something close to a novel, at least in my opinion. As a result of prompting from family and friends, I gradually added dialogue and feelings to my characters.
This, I felt, was now getting close to what I wanted to achieve. I was encouraged by friends and family, although I am sure they were getting tired of my constant questions about how they thought it was going.
In practice, I found that it was permissable to ask a friend to read it once, but subsequent discussions were probably one step too far.
However, I eventually completed my manuscript to what I believed was a suitable size (over 100,000 words).
The next stage was to get an agent or publisher interested - and after four years of 'not interested' without any useful comments, I felt disillusioned and lost any impetous that I already had.
My saving grace was a suggestion from my daughter that I try publishing it as an eBook. This simply involved a bit of extra effort plus a certain determination, and it has resurrected my interest and drive to do more.

So there we have it - I am back to writing again, and would now love some feedback as to how I can progress further.
I still have many obstacles to cross, but I have support from friends and family, and I feel positive about what I am writing.
I just need to keep the impetous going!
Chris Bullock


Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 528 comments Hi Chris
Wow, that was quite a journey and well done to your daughter for suggesting an e-book, it seems it is the way forward. Have you considered publishing your e-books through Amazon Kindle too?
Kindest,
Leila


Chris Bullock (chrisbullock) | 19 comments Leila,
I've published through Smashwords, who distribute in a lot of formats including Amazon Kindle. However, they are having technical problems with Amazon at present, so they haven't yet distributed to Amazon. I don't know if I can therefore contact Amazon direct - I suspect not since I am contracted to Smashwords, at least for my eBooks. The big attraction to Smashwords (again suggested by my daughter) was that it is free!
Their contract says there is no restriction on me publishing a printed version with anyone else, since they only do eBooks, but I have yet to find anyone that will do that for free???? I am considering Podio Books - audio which is again free. Any thoughts?
Chris


Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 528 comments Hi Chris
As far as I know, many authors on this forum are published with both Smashwords and Amazon Kindle. You can publish e-books for free on Amazon too, and I would recommend this as they have such a large audience. It's quite a simple process to format your book for Kindle and then you go through much the same steps as with Smashwords. Read more about it here http://kdp.amazon.com/
Kindest,
Leila


Sharon (fiona64) Chris wrote: "Leila,
I've published through Smashwords, who distribute in a lot of formats including Amazon Kindle. However, they are having technical problems with Amazon at present, so they haven't yet distrib..."


Your contract with Smashwords is not exclusive; you can also put your works up on Amazon via KDP -- which is free. They do not, however, pay as good a royalty program.


Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 528 comments Hi Sharon
Just interested, Amazon KDP pays 70% royalty which I thought was pretty good. Is Smashwords more than that? I'd be interested to know.
Thanks,
Leila


Sharon (fiona64) Leila wrote: "Hi Sharon
Just interested, Amazon KDP pays 70% royalty which I thought was pretty good. Is Smashwords more than that? I'd be interested to know.
Thanks,
Leila"


KDP only pays 70 percent if you price your books at $2.99 or greater. Otherwise, it's 35 percent. Smashwords pays 80 percent on purchases made through their site and 60 percent on purchases made through affiliate sites like B&N, Diesel and so on, regardless of how you price your books (unless they are free, obviously ... in which case one nets nothing, just like Amazon).


Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 528 comments Thanks Sharon, that's interesting to know. x


Chris Bullock (chrisbullock) | 19 comments Leila wrote: "Hi Chris
As far as I know, many authors on this forum are published with both Smashwords and Amazon Kindle. You can publish e-books for free on Amazon too, and I would recommend this as they have s..."


Leila & Sharon,
Having read your comments I have now published one of Smashwords books (not memoir) on Amazon KDP. No problem doing this, and although I only get 35% it expands my marketplace considerably.
One point worth noting is that to publish through Smashwords seems to take between a few days and 2 weeks before it is distributed, whereas Amazon KDP had my book available for sale (on 6 amazon countries sites) within a matter of hours.
I think I am now likely to publish my other novels on Amazon KDP and possibly then move on to Createspace so I can get them printed - does anyone have experience of this route?


Sharon (fiona64) Chris wrote: "One point worth noting is that to publish through Smashwords seems to take between a few days and 2 weeks before it is distributed, whereas Amazon KDP had my book available for sale (on 6 amazon countries sites) within a matter of hours. "

That's because, unlike KDP, an actual human other than yourself looks for formatting issues and errors and brings them to your attention before things go live on other sites. :-)

I am traditionally published for my paperbacks at this point, but do have a Createspace account. It seems fairly straightforward to me. As with anything else, it's a matter of reformatting your manuscript. :-)


Leila Summers (leilasummers) | 528 comments Chris, I published my paperback through Create Space and it was an easy and seamless process.


Chris Bullock (chrisbullock) | 19 comments Thanks Leila and Sharon,
Clearly my writing journey still has a long way to go, but this is all part of the experience and enjoyment. At present I am spending more time on getting the layout of my Cover(s) more appealing in order to get my two 'historic' novels on Amazon Kindle.
In view of your comments I will definately have a go at Createspace, specifically my 'Childrens Story - Becky' since I think that would be better as a book rather than as an eBook.
I am also looking at Podiobooks to do audio versions. Somewhere amongst all of this I have to find time to write my 'Schooldays' Memoir :)


Christine Hatfield  (Christinesbookshelves) How long have you been writing books chris?


Chris Bullock (chrisbullock) | 19 comments Christine wrote: "How long have you been writing books chris?"

Hello Christine,
Well, bearing in mind that I had plenty of background and layout from my Family History before I started to write, I began my first story in 2006. This took me about 2 years before I felt that it was OK to try to send to the publishers. In the meantime however, I started my second one in 2007, but both were ready by the end of 2008.
I then wasted nearly 3 years trying to get a publisher interested, until I was persuaded to try publishing on-line as eBooks (2011).
Now that the ball is rolling, I am in the process of writing more - particularly my own memoir of my schooldays in the 1960's - Wodens All Aspiring.
At present they are only available through Smashwords, but I plan to put them through Amazon as well.
Living through Hope! by Chris Bullock
Living through Hope!
The Waggoner by Chris Bullock
The Waggoner


Christine Hatfield  (Christinesbookshelves) That's really cool


Chris Bullock (chrisbullock) | 19 comments Just an update: My three books are now available on Smashwords and Amazon, plus two of them are available in paperback via Createspace.
Additionally, my children's book will soon be published in French, and also as a French/English version for practice in the two languages.


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The Waggoner (other topics)
Living through Hope! (other topics)

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Chris Bullock (other topics)