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Writers Corner > being a new writer

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message 1: by Amal (new)

Amal Bissessar (amalbissessar) | 3 comments Hi all,

my names Amal Bissessar I'm a newly published author and my novel's been on amazon.com and barns and nobel. I guess if there's a good place to vent here's just about right. It's really hard being new at writing I guess as it's also new to everything else in life. It just that i know my novel's not perfect and i made mistakes in publishing but. i feel like i'm not getting any where with it. it's seems to not be selling at all. No reviews or request for reviews. No one that I don't know personally has read it and fact is that life's frustating as it is but after you spend so long giving all that you have into a novel that you know is great and you don't even have readers willing to take a simple look at the novel or give it a read. I like a lot of people only read bestsellers or novels from people that are famous. now that i'm a new writer i really hate that, that's what readers do.

I know that my novel's great, people that read it will love it because it's normal and written from the heart..it's a storyline that any and everyone can relate to..maybe it's not a bestseller but i just wish that it would simply be a seller at least


message 2: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Amal wrote: "Hi all,

my names Amal Bissessar I'm a newly published author and my novel's been on amazon.com and barns and nobel. I guess if there's a good place to vent here's just about right. It's really ..."


I can sympathize, it is hard to market your book. If you're looking for reviews, I've set up a discussion (Need a Review?) under Reviews for writers to leave a request for book reviews. I'll be setting up some marketing discussion soon, for advice and trading tips.


message 3: by L.M. (new)

L.M. Preston (lmpreston) | 7 comments Hello Amal,
I think you made the same mistakes most all of us made. Thinking that being an author meant, just writing a great book. Well there's a lot more to it than that. Once you decide you want your stuff read by others and purchased by them - you become a salesperson and a business entity within yourself. Don't get discouraged. Read a bit I wrote about my journey and email me if you like...

http://lmpreston.blogspot.com/2010/08...

Creatively Selling Your Work
http://lmpreston.blogspot.com/2010/05...

Getting Published is just the beginning
http://lmpreston.blogspot.com/2010/04...

Now for some reading, John Kremer's 1001 ways to Market your books is a good resource

Last of all, you have got to sit down and create a book marketing plan for your book. Pace yourself, but pursue reviewers (virtual blog tours help) and get your name out there.

If you are not interested in doing the leg work to get your book recognized then no one will know about it.

Good luck and hang in there!
http://www.bookmarket.com/


message 4: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Lmpreston wrote: "Hello Amal,
I think you made the same mistakes most all of us made. Thinking that being an author meant, just writing a great book. Well there's a lot more to it than that. Once you decide you want..."


Some excellent advice. I second the recommendation of John Kremer's 1001 ways to Market your Books.


message 5: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments This is a hard business to be in to be sure. But keep at it - perseverance is the key to success. I had many failures when starting out but now I not only make a living solely through my writing, but my wife has been able to quit her day job as well.

Try to keep your spirits up!!


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura Johnson (lauratjohnson) | 22 comments Hello Everyone,
My name is Laura T. Johnson and I am a new author with novel coming out this month in E-Book and in October in hardback. I am truly excited about my book coming out, but I have so much to learn so quickly. I have been blessed that so many people are interested in my story. If any of you are interested in learning about more about book, please check out my author's page. Or you can check out my blog at http://laurajohnsonauthor.blogspot.com/


message 7: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "Hello Everyone,
My name is Laura T. Johnson and I am a new author with novel coming out this month in E-Book and in October in hardback. I am truly excited about my book coming out, but I have so..."


Hi, Laura. Be sure to visit the promotional threads we have in the Writers folder, too.


message 8: by Robin (new)

Robin (robinsullivan) | 4 comments Elle,
I would steer clear of paying for reviews. Sending out a free review copy to someone is fine but if you pay $'s for reviews it will undermine your credibility. Here is a link to a blog post I wrote on the subject if you are interested.


message 9: by C.S. Splitter (last edited Jul 13, 2011 05:46PM) (new)

C.S. Splitter | 46 comments No way would paying for a review be a good idea. Just think about that pricing for a moment. $5 to read a book and write a review? Are they really going to read the book and do an objective review? That represents hours of work for...$5. Makes no sense.

Everyone wants good reviews. Paying for them just demeans the whole process.

On another note:

Does anyone else throw their own little personal party every 10,000 words?

I mean, these may not be the final 10K words for that section of the book, but they are on paper...er...computer screen.

Sometimes, as an unknown writer, I think you have to celebrate the small things. I am guessing that even established authors have mini-milestones that they celebrate in their own ways.

Splitter


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Clear (robertclear) | 6 comments I agree, it's definitely worth celebrating the small things. In fact I'm an advocate of a glass of wine for every five hundred words. Naturally you're sozzled by the time get to the 10,000 word party, but it makes the whole process a lot more fun! ;)


message 11: by Ruth Madison (new)

Ruth Madison (Dev Love Press) (ruthmadison) | 15 comments Another thing your intro makes me think is that you might be having a hard time focusing in on a niche audience.

I think we all think our books will be loved by everyone and applicable to everyone, but it really helps in marketing to come up with a very clear picture of who the person is who will most love your book. When you can visualize that person, then you can market in ways that will appeal to that person.

Other types of people will still discover and like your book, but when you try to appeal to absolutely everyone all the time, I think it dilutes the marketing effort too much.


message 12: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments It certainly helps to at least narrow it down to a particular genre - that way you can search here on Goodreads for groups that like that genre. Then you go in and talk to people. If the opportunity comes up (and it will) mention you're an author. If anyone asks, tell them about your book, give them the link, etc. It's a slow process, but I think deciding on your book's genre is the first step.


message 13: by Littlecloud (new)

Littlecloud I write- but I'm not going to be a published author any time soon (I'm not even 12 yet) but being so is one of my current dreams. Some people, such as me, are very picky of the books they read, but I don't care about the authors who write the books. Granted, there are a few authors I steer clear of or especially like the books of, but I love finding those unknown, brilliant authors.


message 14: by Ruth Madison (new)

Ruth Madison (Dev Love Press) (ruthmadison) | 15 comments Littlecloud wrote: "I write- but I'm not going to be a published author any time soon (I'm not even 12 yet) but being so is one of my current dreams. Some people, such as me, are very picky of the books they read, but..."

I agree, that I have more often looked to what books I like, rather than what authors I like. Now I am starting to see that if I liked one of an author's books, it makes sense to read more of them. It depends what you're reading for, too, though. I think my audience is looking for something that's difficult to find and they know they will get it when they read my books.

Good luck with your dream, Littlecloud. I started submitting stories when I was 11, but I still had so much to learn! Now at age 29 my dreams of being a novelist have finally been starting to come true.


message 15: by Saturnus (new)

Saturnus | 1 comments somebody knows where you can publish a book in sweden??


message 16: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine (truejourney) | 12 comments Amal wrote: "Hi all,

my names Amal Bissessar I'm a newly published author and my novel's been on amazon.com and barns and nobel. I guess if there's a good place to vent here's just about right. It's really ..."


Hi Amal :) Ever since I bought my Kindle, I've been reading A LOT of books by self-published authors. In fact, some of my favorite authors are Indie. I have yet to do anything with my finished manuscript (Part of the reason being I don't know where to start), but you should try and befriend some succsessful Indie Authors and ask them for any advice they are willing to share.


message 17: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments @Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to be done. DM me if you want :)


message 18: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine (truejourney) | 12 comments Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to be done. DM me if you want :)"

Really? Thanks Anne ;) I am alittle lost. I finished my book, but do not really know where to go from there. I know I need to have someone who isn't a family member or close friend read it. I appreciate the people who have read it but I don't think they can be completely honest with me because they are too close and are afraid to hurt my feelings.
Then there is the matter of copy writing... Do you go through that process before you allow someone to read it? Haha.. I have a million questions and would love to hear the experiences of others.


message 19: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to be done. DM me if you want :)"

Really? Thanks Anne ;..."


I'd be happy to try and answer any questions you might have as well.


message 20: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to be done. DM me if you want :)"

Really? Thanks Anne ;..."


Copyediting is the final read through to find typos and other errors. Before that you need a beta reader. What genre is it? I'm happy to beta for you and should be able to give you feed back on whether or not it make sense, at least :) I must warn you, though, I tend towards the brutally honest :S


message 21: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine (truejourney) | 12 comments Anne-Mhairi wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to be done. DM me if you want :)"

Reall..."


@ A.F. Thank you. I have so many questions I don't even know where to begin. lol I
I guess I would like to know what the first steps are after you've finished writng your novel. It is all so overwhelming and I do not know where to begin.

@Anne... I NEED someone who can be brutally honest with me. I know that sounds weird, but how am I supposed to better my writing if people are not willing to be honest? My novel is YA Paranormal Romance. Is that a genre you care for?


message 22: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to be done. DM me if..."

Oh absolutely! Will DM you with my email.


message 23: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to be done. DM me if..."

Jeanine, the first step you have to decide on is which publishing route you want to take, indie or traditional. The second thing is are you going with an ebook version, print version or both.

I can give you pros and cons on all those options.


message 24: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine (truejourney) | 12 comments A.F. wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know what needs to b..."

Honestly, I am leaning more towards indie. I have researched both options and being a stay at home mother of three, it seems that working at my own pace and adhereing to my own deadlines is something that fits my lifestyle right now.
I'd like both get my book out in print and in ebook format but I am not sure how to do that yet. I created a profile on createaspace, but I am trying not to jump into things. I have a lot to learn :)


message 25: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Jeanine wrote: "A.F. wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it myself, but I know wh..."

CreateSpace is a great way to go for indie print books. I know authors who use it and they speak highly of it. For ebooks there's Kindle Publishing of course, but you might also want to consider using Smashwords as well. It's the easiest way to get your book on B&N's Nook, the Apple iStore and Kobo.


message 26: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine (truejourney) | 12 comments A.F. wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "A.F. wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "Jeanine wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "@Jeanine: I can help you with the process, if you like. I'm just starting to go through it mysel..."

Awesome :)I will go over there and check it out. Do you guys have any formatting tips? I am using Microsoft office.


message 27: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments A friend recommended Sigil and Mobipocket Creator for formatting ebooks. Sigil does the epub format which most readers use (as far as I'm aware) and Mobipocket does the mobi format you need for Kindle. So far Sigil is very easy to use. I haven't got my head round Mobipocket yet, but apparently there's just a learning curve. It's not rocket science or anything.

I fully intend publishing through Smashwords and Kindle Publishing - Smashwords has a very detailed Style Guide that you might want to look at. It will tell you the basic stuff and then you just want to play around with it for a while before you actually try uploading anything!


message 28: by A.F. (new)

A.F. (scribe77) | 1777 comments Mod
Anne-Mhairi wrote: "A friend recommended Sigil and Mobipocket Creator for formatting ebooks. Sigil does the epub format which most readers use (as far as I'm aware) and Mobipocket does the mobi format you need for Kin..."

What I like about Smashwords is you don't need to convert anything. You just need to format a Word .doc to be accepted to their Meatgrinder.


message 29: by Ali (new)

Ali | 24 comments I completed my first novel. I have incredibly mixed feelings about e-publishing at this point. Something deep inside says that if it isn't a printed book backed by a publishing company then it isn't worth it. Am I alone in feeling this way? I sent out my first round of query letters to writing agents and I will also be hitting up publishers that don't request an agent. I never intended to write a novel, but now that I have I am more than hooked and have already begun my second.


message 30: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments A.F. wrote: "Anne-Mhairi wrote: "A friend recommended Sigil and Mobipocket Creator for formatting ebooks. Sigil does the epub format which most readers use (as far as I'm aware) and Mobipocket does the mobi for..."

Right, of course. It's been handy for sending to a couple of beta readers though, particularly one who's interested in cross-promoting. Her last book sold 20k copies in a year, so I'm crossing my fingers she'll think mine's a good fit. Unfortunately they're rather different so it might not happen, but still :)


message 31: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments Ali wrote: "I completed my first novel. I have incredibly mixed feelings about e-publishing at this point. Something deep inside says that if it isn't a printed book backed by a publishing company then it isn'..."

You're absolutely not alone in thinking that, although I personally don't agree with you. Look at it this way, if you think it's good enough to publish through a publisher, why wouldn't it be good enough to publish yourself?

Just sayin' :) You're perfectly entitled to choose the path that fits you best - hope you get some good results from those queries :D


message 32: by Ali (new)

Ali | 24 comments Mhairi wrote: "Ali wrote: "I completed my first novel. I have incredibly mixed feelings about e-publishing at this point. Something deep inside says that if it isn't a printed book backed by a publishing company ..."
I think it is good enough to e-publish. Something inside says holding the physical book in my hand that someone else supports is the way to go. Don't get me wrong - in the past year since I got my Kindle I have never read so much in my life and I full on support e-books. I would love to see my book e-published, but paper first. Thanks so much for your input :)


message 33: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments You're welcome. Good luck!!


message 34: by Jeanine (new)

Jeanine (truejourney) | 12 comments Ali wrote: "Mhairi wrote: "Ali wrote: "I completed my first novel. I have incredibly mixed feelings about e-publishing at this point. Something deep inside says that if it isn't a printed book backed by a publ..."

I know where you are coming from Ali. But, with Createaspace you can have a physical book in your hand and still self-publish your book. But, I think it is good that you have sent your query letters out and are trying the traditional way first. If you get picked up, it wont all be on you to do everything, like marketing for instance.
Good luck with your book! Let us know when you get the word! How exciting!


message 35: by Ruth Madison (new)

Ruth Madison (Dev Love Press) (ruthmadison) | 15 comments For me personally, I don't know if I'd go traditional at this point if someone asked!

At first I was so upset to self-publish, but over the last couple of years it's been a great experience.

Validation does feel good, but I'm getting that from my readers. I've had about ten people take the trouble to email me and tell me that my book was life changing, or helped them understand themselves, etc. I don't think anything feels better than that!

And I definitely went with POD services so I could hold a physical book in my hands ;)

[in case it helps anyone, I've been researching book marketing and I put everything I've found together into one place http://www.squidoo.com/indie-book-mar... Hope it helps some folks!]


message 36: by Ali (new)

Ali | 24 comments Thanks So much Ruth :)


message 37: by Cate (last edited Sep 15, 2011 08:42AM) (new)

Cate (writermonkey) | 6 comments There are definitely some things you can do to get the word out-even here on Goodreads, where you can join the author program and upload info about your book so people can put it on their list to read.

One thing that's working for me--find other authors who write in the same genre as yours. Follow their blogs or on Twitter, and comment/post/communicate.

Find out who's reviewing them, read their review policies, and request reviews in exchange for a free copy or ARC. Also follow their blogs or on Twitter, and--again--communicate. Follow them on Goodreads, if they're here. Build a sphere of (mutual) influence.

Have a blog/Twitter acct of your own. Post/Tweet every so often (once a week or so)so your followers are in the loop. Reply to a few tweets, reply to your commenters, RT occasionally as a courtesy. Send TYs when you are RT'd. Be open and friendly, and, of course, professional.

I've requested reviews from multiple people, but just by this little bit of marketing work I've had a folks approach me as well, and our initial dialogue didn't even involve writing. (One actually involved soup!) BUT, they made a point to find out what I wrote and where.

Networking doesn't have to be all about the pain. ;-)

Think about it: just by posting here, you've pulled people to you for a dialogue. We now know you have a book. Make it easy for us to check it out. It's that simple to begin.

Good luck with your book!


message 38: by Ruth Madison (new)

Ruth Madison (Dev Love Press) (ruthmadison) | 15 comments Goodreads lets you do giveaways of your book, too. I've been testing this on a book I wrote under a different name.

I'm offering three copies and 87 people have already requested it. At the end of the contest, Goodreads will pick the winners and I just have to mail them the book. The hope is that 1) the people who win might leave reviews 2) the people who didn't win might decide to put your book on their to-read list anyway, now that they've been exposed to it.


message 39: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Dubow  Polins (authorwendy) | 4 comments I wanted to introduce myself and join this group as well! It is so good to know you are all out there. I am a voracious reader and debut author of FARE FORWARD, A Novel.
http://web.me.com/wpolins/Fare_Forwar...
I would love to have a book give away- Ruth, can you tell me how to do it? Thanks everyone.


message 40: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Dubow  Polins (authorwendy) | 4 comments Ruth wrote: "Goodreads lets you do giveaways of your book, too. I've been testing this on a book I wrote under a different name.

I'm offering three copies and 87 people have already requested it. At the end o..."


Ruth: Can you tell me how to do a give away? Sounds brilliant!


message 41: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments @Allie: I self-published (both ebook and paper) and BECAUSE of this I landed a six-figure 3-book contract with big-six publisher Hachette Book Group. I'm not the only one...many publishers are looking at authors who find an audience and then signing them up so keep that in mind. Advantages to this route:

- Immediate income
- More leverage for contract negotiations
- Higher signing advance
- No rejection slips
- Got publisher in less than 1 month instead of years


message 42: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Dubow  Polins (authorwendy) | 4 comments Michael wrote: "@Allie: I self-published (both ebook and paper) and BECAUSE of this I landed a six-figure 3-book contract with big-six publisher Hachette Book Group. I'm not the only one...many publishers are look..."

Good for you Michael- a very senior editor at Simon & Schuster told me the same thing!


message 43: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Thanks Wendy - I'm very excited. They fast-tracked the release and putting them out in three consecutive months (Nov, Dec, Jan). That's a pretty strong indication that they are excited about it too.


message 44: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeljsullivan) | 63 comments Me? I'm not from Canada...is my profile messed up? I was born in Detroit MI, lived in upstate Vermont, Raleigh NC, and now Washington DC.


message 45: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Dubow  Polins (authorwendy) | 4 comments So sorry- I clicked on the incorrect Michael. But I was born in Ann Arbor . . .


message 46: by Mark (new)

Mark Stephens | 6 comments Although I've been a writer my entire life, I have only begun to be serious about publication since April. Reading the previous posts, I could understand the disappointment in putting so much of your time into something and then no one buys it. But remember very few authors hit it right out of the gate like Rowling or King, many of them take years to make a brand out of their name.
To any of you that read this, I'll outline my strategy. I started my first full length novel in April and finished in July. I am currently in the editing and rewriting phase. So that I can practice my craft and keep my momentum, I've written some to be self-published. I've written a ten part series called Seven Deadly Sins in the young adult genre. I wanted to experiment with the serial format, albeit unsuccessfully. I've also written a novella that goes along with the series and am currently writing a paranormal romance novel and a haunted house story.
My full length novel is meant to be a four part story so I've already plotted out the next two books by chapter. That way I can add some continuity to it.
I know that sounds like alot but I compare writing to starting your own business. You gotta put in alot of hours for very little reward at the beginning. I have a few things listed on ITunes and Sony and B/N but have yet to sell anything. But I'm not despairing about it. I'd love to make a living at this, but I know it could take some time.
As for getting the word out there, I belong to every forum and blog I could find. I even put ads up on Craigslist. I live near the seonf largest university in the country, so I'm going to post flyers on campus. If you are worried about reviews, have your friends review your books.
It may take a year or two of hard work and long hours with little reward, but if you really believe in your work and love what you do, it is a small sacrifice.


message 47: by Mhairi (new)

Mhairi Simpson (mhairisimpson) | 142 comments If the book is good enough to get somewhere in the big, bad world, there is no need for friends to review it. I would strongly advise against having friends review books anyway because if anyone finds out, it makes the author look incredibly unprofessional and it is then that much harder to be taken seriously. Such things also have a knock-on effect on the public image of every other self-published author, which doesn't help either.


message 48: by Ruth Madison (new)

Ruth Madison (Dev Love Press) (ruthmadison) | 15 comments Yes, it's true. Rather than getting a friend to post a review or doing an exchange with another writer who isn't in your genre, look into how to submit books to book blog reviewers. Some don't accept self-published books, but some do.


message 49: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 33 comments For me writing is fun.
If I get nothing out of the exercise but the fun of writing and the satisfaction of finishing a book I guess that's alright.
Having said that it is an incredible feeling when someone reads your book and tells you how much they liked it!!! I get a rush from every book I sell and maybe, in time, I'll sell quite a few!
Or at least thats what I'm hoping!!!
But being an Indie is HARD! But I think it's already loosing some of the shame that used to be coupled with it. Maybe this is actually how all authors will publish in the future!!! LoL!


message 50: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 33 comments Kyle wrote: "D.d. wrote: "For me writing is fun.
If I get nothing out of the exercise but the fun of writing and the satisfaction of finishing a book I guess that's alright.
Having said that it is an incredib..."


I'm an Indie, I published on Amazon and Smashwords as an e-book.
My book is called 'Broken City' and it's a Sci-fi adventure romance set in the near future after a banking crisis has brought the world to a grinding halt.
The story is told in the first person by, Deeta, a young woman who was born after the world went crazy. She has never left the building she was born in because it is no longer safe for anyone but those in her tribes army to leave the compound.

If you PM me your e-mail address I'll send you the PDF copy that I uploaded on to smashwords. The only problem is that you'll have to read it on your computer but it's there if you want it.

Thank you for showing an interest in me and my book!!!


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