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message 1: by Amber (new)

Amber Weinberg (amberweinberg) 'd like to write a book, but I have a few questions on how to begin:

1) Did you write an outline first of everything you wanted to include in the book?
2) If you wrote with another person, did each of you write a different chapter, or did you write the same chapter and combine the knowledge?
3) Where/how/how much did you get your book printed or published? I've heard of places where you can independently print books. Do you preprint them (and pay for them upfront) or are they printed and shipped as ordered?
4) Did you offer both ebooks(PDF) and printed? How did you price them differently? Which sold more?
5) How long did it take you to write? I'd like to write a couple of books dealing with web development, wordpress and freelancing in general

message 2: by Vincent, Mod & Author (last edited Mar 11, 2010 12:05PM) (new)

Vincent Lowry (vlowry) | 1104 comments Mod
Hi Amber,

As you wait for answers to your questions above, check out the "open author interview" section in this group (scroll to the bottom).

A lot of authors have provided some insight about the process of writing their books.


message 3: by Amber (new)

Amber Weinberg (amberweinberg) thanks Vince, I will!

message 4: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) Amber wrote: "'d like to write a book, but I have a few questions on how to begin:

1) Did you write an outline first of everything you wanted to include in the book?
2) If you wrote with another person, did ..."

Hi, Amber. Every single person has a different method for writing their book. My novel started as a short story that just grew. I did not outline it.
I did not write with another person.

I did not do vanity press; I found a publisher in the UK who contracted with me to publish the book, and I am paid for it. If you go the vanity/self-publishing route, each company's contract is different.

I have eBooks in multiple formats; my contract with the UK publisher allows for that. Not all contracts do.

It took me three years to write my novel (and a year to edit, garnering a very detailed and useful rejection letter during that time which I think made my finished novel much better once I got over having my feelings hurt) and 8 months to write my memoir. The memoir was made a little easier by the fact that I had been blogging for four and a half years and was able to draw on my blog for a good percentage of the material.

Again, each person's process is different. I would worry more about getting the book written than getting it published, to be honest. I started writing my novel just to share with friends and discovered along the way that it really was worth sending out into the world.

I wish you all the best.

message 5: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 58 comments 1) Did you write an outline first of everything you wanted to include in the book?
A. I'd say always do an outline. That outline will attract more content as the book is written.Don't expect to have 'everything' just there that you may want to write about. Be flexible.Keep a copy: it may turn out to be the closest thing to the synopsis asked for by publishers.
Good luck.

message 6: by Cleveland (new)

Cleveland | 58 comments 2) If you wrote with another person, did each of you write a different chapter, or did you write the same chapter and combine the knowledge?
A. I'm lucky enough to work with a talented writer on a horror/thriller serial.We each write 3,000 words for a chapter or section.
It is who you work with that is important.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Amber, in response to your query, many people have different styles and methods of writing.

I, for one, don't use an outline, nor do I write with another person. Having written for children's television at one time, I tend to be linear in the fact that I start at the beginning and continue to end, keeping track of events and characters in my head. I find it distracting to keep notes on paper.

As for the amount of time it takes to write, I wrote 5 manuscripts in 14 months. The length of each manuscript varied between 90,000 and 100,000 words. Speed came from having to turn out scripts on tight deadlines.

The first of my fantasy series was released in January and with a traditional publisher. So it has widespread distribution and visibility online and in stores. Still, some self-published author can do as well as those who are traditionally contracted.

As you see from the posts, every writer is different. So regardless of whether you use notes, write with someone else, skip around with scenes, write chronologically, go traditional or self-published, the most important thing is to keep writing! Keep honing your craft and don't give up.

message 8: by Glenn (new)

Glenn Cheney (glenncheney) | 19 comments If you're going to write a nonfiction or how-to book, I would definitely recommend some kind of outline. Otherwise how are you going to make sure you include everything in a logical, easy-to-follow order? This is especially true if more than one person is going to write the book.

Publishing the book yourself isn't a bad idea, especially if you have a plan for marketing the book. If you can communicate with a target market, then you'll be able to sell it. (For fiction, you'll pretty much be limited to a few of your friends. Or you could say *all* your friends, who will turn out to be fewer than you had imagined.) If you can target a market, you can sell the book, and if you can sell the book, there is absolutely no reason to use a publisher. They will keep most of the money, and they will still expect you to do most or all of the marketing.

Glenn Cheney

message 9: by Amber (new)

Amber Weinberg (amberweinberg) Thanks everyone for your help! I'm so excited about starting! It's a coding book so I'm still trying to decide if I should write everything down in a notebook or type it first...seems trivial but I prefer to write my blog posts down before I type them, which makes me go through the content twice and catch errors or clarify stuff...but since this book is going to have a lot of code. That might not be totally possible. Anyways, I'm hoping to start in the next couple of weeks and have already been thinking about topics!

message 10: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 140 comments Hi Amber,
Paul here, I know you are 'stateside' but in this age of technology it does not matter. Check out 'Authors on Line' I've two books out with their help and another one soon both are available as E-books as part of the package.
From what you have said your book sounds like a 'niche' publication which means it will sell a few per year for the forsee-able future, so Print on Demand would be a good way to go as it will never go out of print.
As far as payment is concerned I think the standard terms are along the lines of payment within a month of printing. The great thing is you order what you need about a week before you need them,numbers don't matter. The quality is excellent as Authors on Line use Lightning Source.
The person you need to speak to or contact is Richard Fitt, he is the boss and will probably put you on to Gaynor Johnson. Check their web site, the contact details are on there. Ask Richard what questions you like about your book and what you need to do, the answers might not be what you wanted to hear, but I promise they will be honest and that is RARE in the book world today. The Atlantic is no barrier today. All I can say is good luck. There are, no doubt 'good guys' in the States, but I don't know so I can't express an opinion, but I do know Angela Hoy of Booklocker is fiesty and trys for her authors, and fights for them if she has to, she has even taken on Amazon and won.
All the best Paul Rix [oldgeezer:]

message 11: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Leavitt (carolineleavitt) | 20 comments Hi Amber, Whether or not you use an outline is up to you. John Irving outlines everything before he even starts, but I know other writers who simply "follow their pen." There are no set rules. I tend to have a rough outline and then promptly throw it away as I continue to write.

I have never written a book with another person, but I have collaborated on scripts (I'm an award-winning screenwriter) and again, this varies. Usually we would each write a scene, and then come back together and go over it together, and change/fix lines we hated!

I have always been with a publisher who took care of printing and publishing. I never self-published.

It usually takes me four years to write a novel, 6 weeks to write a script!

Caroline Leavitt

message 12: by Urenna (new)

Urenna Sander | 57 comments Hi, Amber-

I am one of those writers who "follow their pen." Do what makes you feel comfortable.

Urenna Sander

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