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WritersEra |OT| Publish before you die

Mr-Joker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,541
This sounds really really fun! I mean, I love "on the road" stories, plus Scotland?! I really want to read that!
Aw thanks, your post left me smiling. :D

I wrote a new blog post about the experience of writing a first book. It's partly to promote my own new novel, but I thought some of it might strike a chord here:
Yeah, I can relate to that as I had some story that I had been planing since I was 15 and as I got older they ended up being remolded as I tossed out the childish element that I had originally and just refine it so the plot structure became more tighter.

I wasted so much time planing and planing as I wanted to be perfect when I started writing and it was only recently that I realised my error and on my current project, I decided to plan little time planning and just jump straight into the writing process.

The first few chapters were a struggle and I became frustrated as I was slow and could't stop hating what I wrote but I remembered what my lecture told me when she was helping me with my dissertation.

"The real work of writing comes in the editing process."

With that I was able to let go of my fear in getting it right and just focus on writing, warts and all with the mindset that this is only the first draft, mistake are needed to learn and grow and apply that in the editing process.

In the two years I went from starting the book to having 50 chapters and 97,000 words. Yeah it's messy, yeah it's still not finished and yeah it could do with improvement but I have done more than I did with my previous attempt that I spent 5 years planning only to hate the first chapter and feeling so overwhelmed by how big the idea had evolved during the 5 years of planning.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,121
Aw thanks, your post left me smiling. :D



Yeah, I can relate to that as I had some story that I had been planing since I was 15 and as I got older they ended up being remolded as I tossed out the childish element that I had originally and just refine it so the plot structure became more tighter.

I wasted so much time planing and planing as I wanted to be perfect when I started writing and it was only recently that I realised my error and on my current project, I decided to plan little time planning and just jump straight into the writing process.

The first few chapters were a struggle and I became frustrated as I was slow and could't stop hating what I wrote but I remembered what my lecture told me when she was helping me with my dissertation.

"The real work of writing comes in the editing process."

With that I was able to let go of my fear in getting it right and just focus on writing, warts and all with the mindset that this is only the first draft, mistake are needed to learn and grow and apply that in the editing process.

In the two years I went from starting the book to having 50 chapters and 97,000 words. Yeah it's messy, yeah it's still not finished and yeah it could do with improvement but I have done more than I did with my previous attempt that I spent 5 years planning only to hate the first chapter and feeling so overwhelmed by how big the idea had evolved during the 5 years of planning.
yeah.... there is no way i could have planned out my project in great detail. I have the highlights I am working towards but as I approach 600k words I am still only about 25% done.

planning that all ahead of time just GAH @[email protected]

the bit of editing I have done goes way better than if I try to plan first since I know what is important to keep, what I feel works, and have worked out the characters, so my next drafts get quite a bit cleaner and don't take forever, but that final run of editing is going to take a ton of time. with any luck I start releasing my story and people like it enough i can afford to pay someone to finish cleaning it up the rest of the way, but since I put so many random details/one liners that might feel out of place but need to be worded a single way, it could be hard to get an editor that doesn't mess up some things, but that is why I have gotten in the habit of noting such lines lol.
 

LSauchelli

Member
Oct 25, 2017
228
I'm thinking of getting "Creating Character Arcs" by K.M. Weiland. Has anyone here read it and, would you recommend it?
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,219
Necropolis
I'm not saying that person's opinion was right that your book was too long. I'm saying that the industry standards for publishing make that a hard sell for a first time writer. But it DOES happen. If a book is great, the word count is immaterial. If you're not confident that the book you have is great, then take it back and make it great. The first novel I ever wrote was over 200K in length, but I still managed to get a literary agent to make an offer of representation on that book. Unfortunately, he couldn't sell it, because even though he believed in the book, and even though the editor he pitched it to believed in book, that editor couldn't convince the publishers to take a chance on it.

It all really depends on what YOU as the writer want to get out of the book. If you want to go with the trade publishers, there are lot more hoops to jump through. If you don't care about that, just self-publish, and the word count won't be an issue. It's a different set of concerns, and worries, but self-publishing has been viable for a few years now for some writers, as long as they produce quality work.
Was it me who said something about word counts? I know I've discussed this with a few people on gaf in the past. I don't think I would've told you not to even try to publish it though, I would never want to discourage you like that!

It's true that 148k words is a lot for a debut author, especially if it's not epic fantasy or another subgenre where that's expected... but look, you gotta do what works for you. It sounds like you've tried cutting it down and tried writing something shorter and not felt right with either one of those. That might be a sign that writing shorter isn't a good fit for you, and that's fine. Maybe that means ignoring publishers altogether and self-pubbing. Maybe it means submitting to agents anyway while knowing that if they aren't interested, it might just be that it doesn't fit what they think they can market. Maybe it means publishing in a serial format online or something else that's more out there. If trying to squeeze into the traditional publishing mold isn't working, you can always try something else! (Or, again, try to get in without squeezing and see what happens, because why the hell not?)

Don't let me or some other jerk on the internet discourage you, please.
Sorry for replying so late to y'all but I was kind of scared of y'all. The other day I did good with typing up everything I have so far with my third book and if I keep at it I might actually be able to end it and then go on to edit it and look for a publisher since I really don't have enough money to self publish. When I publish my book finally I want it to be a massive hit because I'm totally not self-sufficient at the moment and I need money not only for that, but for my business I eventually want to start.
 

Nappuccino

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
5,182
Three of my last stories were quite long and I spent a good while polishing them... now I can't remember how to start a story lol.

It probably doesn't help that I'm trying to write linked stories and I just can't figure out what else needs to be told...
 
Oct 27, 2017
10,017
To get my mind off things, I start making an interactive choose-your-own-adventure type story... and boy this is already getting away from me.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,121
another month another 10k contest.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ZBxz97L-tg8FA8tncq7MN6BfjyAw4ouC02ClpRI8GyY/edit#gid=356710100

I will get to prizes and what not from last month likely tomorrow night.
I'm tired, and still have to write tonight, and then work tomor.... later today, and then finally I will be looking at some off days... don't be surprised if it takes me until monday to get those rolling lol.

Anyways, 10k is the obvious goal, and I feel like being a little different this time around for the secondary.
no word goals, no work goals, an easy goal that anyone could get this one even on the last day of June.

This month, I will give a prize choice to anyone that shares their favorite sentence or paragraph that they wrote this month (and also signs up for the contest just so I can keep track of things lol) You can request not to have any feedback, but I am hoping people will at least comment on it (in a friendly way)

there, nice and simple, just trying to get people to put themselves out there a bit this time around. And since it's just the secondary, if you don't want to, and you still want a prize all you have to do is get 10k words.

anyways, hope everyone has a good month this month.
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,075
Minnesota
This month will be the one I finish my current project, or draft one of it. I hit 104k words something yesterday, with maybe another 6k left to go. Climax and epilogue left. I'm excited to be done, though editing will be an absolute chore. There's so much to fix.
 

Chome Chome

Member
Oct 29, 2017
60
Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
 

Xita

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,993
Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
It’s almost always the chapter I spend the most time scrapping and rewriting, yeah. And other media definitely show that it’s not the worst thing in the world to have a bad opener but I try my best to make it interesting.
 

Dary

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,418
The English Wilderness
Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
When possible, write it last.
 

Chome Chome

Member
Oct 29, 2017
60
It’s almost always the chapter I spend the most time scrapping and rewriting, yeah. And other media definitely show that it’s not the worst thing in the world to have a bad opener but I try my best to make it interesting.
I have so many versions it's ridiculous. Just going to push on ahead without looking back this time. Just trying to start a series targeting just 45-50K words for a low price to get it moving.
When possible, write it last.
Might take up this idea haha
 
Oct 29, 2017
2,075
Minnesota
Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
It's always my most edited chapter by a factor of three or four. It's almost never good :P
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,121
Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
I don't imagine that is a common feeling.
between having to set the world/characters up and trying to make it interesting while making people get invested in such things is hard. Later on your reader should already be invested in your world and characters so world building on it's own can be interesting, but that very start you need a hook and to keep things moving while getting important information out and it's just hard.
 

Mr-Joker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,541
Making people smile is my favorite thing in the world, but I don't do without meaning it.
Ha ha same, I always make it my mission to make someone laugh or smile.

Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
In my last project, I hated chapter 1 so much that I just switch to my current project and I wrote that first chapter last year, sometime in February or March I just scrapped it and rewrote as it was outdated as the project had evolved. I plan to rewrite it again during the editing process.
 
Emerson’s Published Works list

Emerson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
517
USA
If you guys will tolerate a brief foray into self promotion, I have my first novel coming out in 6 days:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Creek-Dan-Kemp-ebook/dp/B07D5KZ8ZQ

It's a 130K word contemporary fantasy that I've been working on intermittently for more than a decade, including a couple completely deleted half-written manuscripts. In the end I'm quite proud of it, decided just to self publish as it's more of a passion project than anything. I have no real expectations for making money but it'll be interesting to see the process play out. I've published several short form things under a pen name, but never anything of this length or with any amount of marketing effort (though still not much).

More than anything the whole process is just a bit terrifying, honestly. Putting something so personal out there publicly is a weird feeling to say the least.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,800
If you guys will tolerate a brief foray into self promotion, I have my first novel coming out in 6 days:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Creek-Dan-Kemp-ebook/dp/B07D5KZ8ZQ

It's a 130K word contemporary fantasy that I've been working on intermittently for more than a decade, including a couple completely deleted half-written manuscripts. In the end I'm quite proud of it, decided just to self publish as it's more of a passion project than anything. I have no real expectations for making money but it'll be interesting to see the process play out. I've published several short form things under a pen name, but never anything of this length or with any amount of marketing effort (though still not much).

More than anything the whole process is just a bit terrifying, honestly. Putting something so personal out there publicly is a weird feeling to say the least.

Congrats. Really dig the cover. I'll probs check it out.
 

Chome Chome

Member
Oct 29, 2017
60
If you guys will tolerate a brief foray into self promotion, I have my first novel coming out in 6 days:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Creek-Dan-Kemp-ebook/dp/B07D5KZ8ZQ

It's a 130K word contemporary fantasy that I've been working on intermittently for more than a decade, including a couple completely deleted half-written manuscripts. In the end I'm quite proud of it, decided just to self publish as it's more of a passion project than anything. I have no real expectations for making money but it'll be interesting to see the process play out. I've published several short form things under a pen name, but never anything of this length or with any amount of marketing effort (though still not much).

More than anything the whole process is just a bit terrifying, honestly. Putting something so personal out there publicly is a weird feeling to say the least.
I'm also a fan of the cover. Congrats on putting yourself out there. I hope to do the same soon enough, but I haven't settled on whether I'd go for an agent or self-publish. Overall, it's only $2.99, and I'm down a three story tale in different time periods. Gotta support our fellow authors too, so I pass it on my friends who like to read.
 

MaximumSpider

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,929
If you guys will tolerate a brief foray into self promotion, I have my first novel coming out in 6 days:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Creek-Dan-Kemp-ebook/dp/B07D5KZ8ZQ

It's a 130K word contemporary fantasy that I've been working on intermittently for more than a decade, including a couple completely deleted half-written manuscripts. In the end I'm quite proud of it, decided just to self publish as it's more of a passion project than anything. I have no real expectations for making money but it'll be interesting to see the process play out. I've published several short form things under a pen name, but never anything of this length or with any amount of marketing effort (though still not much).

More than anything the whole process is just a bit terrifying, honestly. Putting something so personal out there publicly is a weird feeling to say the least.
Great job on that cover. I’ll definitely get around to checking this.
 

Emerson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
517
USA
I hope to do the same soon enough, but I haven't settled on whether I'd go for an agent or self-publish.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, honestly.

I think a lot of writers really just have a hangup in our minds that we want to make it in the business officially, and that means an agent, a publisher, etc. I definitely have that little desire in the back of my head as well.

For me though, I write mostly for myself, secondarily to entertain my family and friends. I have a very solid main career that I'm not likely to ever leave for writing, and the idea of going the traditional publishing route means giving up a lot of creative control that I simply don't want to lose.

I really enjoy the process of thinking of ideas for a cover, checking out a bunch of artists and selecting one, working through the cover design process, etc. I can get an independent editor if I want to. But at the end of the day nobody is going to force me to change something for reasons I disagree with.

My advice is decide what it really is you want out of writing/publishing. If the answer is a shot at a writing career, grinding after a traditional agent is probably the way to go. You can certainly do that with self publishing, too, but you have to really understand every aspect of the business and put in a ton of work. If you just want to create stuff that fulfills you, put it out there and maybe make a few bucks, and don't convince yourself you'll be the next Hugh Howey, self publishing is great.
 

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,729
North-East England
If you guys will tolerate a brief foray into self promotion, I have my first novel coming out in 6 days:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Creek-Dan-Kemp-ebook/dp/B07D5KZ8ZQ

It's a 130K word contemporary fantasy that I've been working on intermittently for more than a decade, including a couple completely deleted half-written manuscripts. In the end I'm quite proud of it, decided just to self publish as it's more of a passion project than anything. I have no real expectations for making money but it'll be interesting to see the process play out. I've published several short form things under a pen name, but never anything of this length or with any amount of marketing effort (though still not much).

More than anything the whole process is just a bit terrifying, honestly. Putting something so personal out there publicly is a weird feeling to say the least.
Agreed with the others, that's a great cover - and your synopsis isn't bad either. I'll have to give it a look.

Best of luck with it! I eventually went with a small publisher rather than self-publishing but the work-load involved's pretty similar.
Also, which sites are you using for promotion? I can recommend a couple if it helps.
 
*digs out location list*
  • Falkirk,
  • Glasgow,
  • Coatbridge,
  • Old inns café,
  • Sterling,
  • Dundee,
  • Aberdeen,
  • Cairngorms National Park,
  • Fort William,
  • Loch Ness,
  • Inverness,
  • Rogie Falls,
  • Helmdales,
  • John O' Groats
  • Edinburgh
Some places I can do in a day trip but some like Fort William and John O Groats I plan to stay longer in.



It's about a guy who's down on his luck, his life is going nowhere so he lacked confident to anything but his life changes one day when he heads up to Glasgow for his cousin's wedding and due to a mishap he ends up going to the wrong wedding and before he could sneak out unnoticed he gets summoned by the bride who kidnaps him and together they embark on a road trip through Scotland while trying to avoid, a policeman, three crazy mechanic and a bald burly goon sent by the bride's jilted ex.

Been working on it for nearly two years now and I can't wait to finish it and share it to the world as I just love the characters.



Ha ha sorry disappoint you but there's no ghosts, unless you count metaphorical ghost.
Sad for no ghosts, but it does sound really intriguing regardless! Please take lots of pictures and post them with book snippets~ <--Twitter/media fodder for the marketing phase?

Also, I lived in Dunoon when I was a kid, so if you're looking for a gritty depressed town for some grim inspiration, check it out. :D Loch Ness is the shit too. Gorgeous.



If you guys will tolerate a brief foray into self promotion, I have my first novel coming out in 6 days:

https://www.amazon.com/Black-Creek-Dan-Kemp-ebook/dp/B07D5KZ8ZQ

It's a 130K word contemporary fantasy that I've been working on intermittently for more than a decade, including a couple completely deleted half-written manuscripts. In the end I'm quite proud of it, decided just to self publish as it's more of a passion project than anything. I have no real expectations for making money but it'll be interesting to see the process play out. I've published several short form things under a pen name, but never anything of this length or with any amount of marketing effort (though still not much).

More than anything the whole process is just a bit terrifying, honestly. Putting something so personal out there publicly is a weird feeling to say the least.
Congrats! Like the others said, the cover looks great and it sounds interesting. Totally get you on the weird feeling about putting stuff out there, too. It's exciting...then you think about people reading it with your name plastered over it and, well, yeah. Just wait till you start showing it around to family/friends/online. That's when embarrassment really rolls in. :)

But, do promote it here and talk about! The marketing phase is its own beast and you'll get some good/constructive feedback from everyone who has stuff out there. Also, make sure to get yourself added to the Monthly Book Club thread!


EDIT to add: Was going to suggest Emerson join Goodreads (he's way ahead on that already) and saw I got a new review just yesterday on there for mine! I'm delighted, but not sure anything will top the 2-star w/ text review from 'Kailey' any time soon, though. :D
 
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Emerson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
517
USA
Also, which sites are you using for promotion? I can recommend a couple if it helps.
I sent copies to ~40 people on LibraryThing hoping for some early reviews on release. I also bought a spot on Bargain Booksy.

After release and when I've accumulated a few reviews I'll probably buy some ads. Seems fairly pointless though while there's no reviews on the book.

Just wait till you start showing it around to family/friends/online.
Yeah I already have. It's especially weird because

1) A lot of my extended family is extremely religious, and this book is filled with mature content. So I had to have a big disclaimer on Facebook about the content and that I understand a lot of them will not enjoy this kind of book.
2) I'm an ER PA and a lot of the nurses, techs, etc. have seen my Facebook post and ask me about it all the time at work, which is just a very weird feeling. There's a super irrational voice in my head that tells me if a nurse doesn't like my book they'll respect my medical judgment less, haha. As stupid as that definitely sounds.
 

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,729
North-East England
I sent copies to ~40 people on LibraryThing hoping for some early reviews on release. I also bought a spot on Bargain Booksy.

After release and when I've accumulated a few reviews I'll probably buy some ads. Seems fairly pointless though while there's no reviews on the book.
I use Librarything as well - it's usually got me a few reviews - but I'm a bit wary of how many other sites are hell-bent on charging authors.
Instafreebie let you give out free previews of your book and join in group giveaways - I've had quite a few downloads that way, and they don't charge for the basic option.
 
Yeah I already have. It's especially weird because

1) A lot of my extended family is extremely religious, and this book is filled with mature content. So I had to have a big disclaimer on Facebook about the content and that I understand a lot of them will not enjoy this kind of book.
2) I'm an ER PA and a lot of the nurses, techs, etc. have seen my Facebook post and ask me about it all the time at work, which is just a very weird feeling. There's a super irrational voice in my head that tells me if a nurse doesn't like my book they'll respect my medical judgment less, haha. As stupid as that definitely sounds.
Yeah, that must have been pretty awkward. Any weird reactions? And I completely feel you on the coworker thing. It doesn't sound stupid at all. Since I was essentially picked up to be a 'beach book' type novel by my publisher, the books I've done are a bit comfort food(?)-esque, so I worry that it'll impact what people think of my localization work. I wonder if any author ever stops feeling embarrassed about their stuff.

Anyway, keep us posted on how the launch, etc. goes! Really keen to hear a detailed experience with promos and adds.

My publisher did a giveaway on GoodReads and one of the winners was a woman named Kailey. She gave a very thorough review and awarded it two stars out of five. I was a little shocked at first until I read it. She's apparently a missionary and uber religious. She hated the swearing and drinking in the book (which are basically two of the MC's main traits) but seemed to really like everything else. It's actually one of my favorite reviews because in spite of absolutely detesting those bits (which are frequent) she still enjoyed it enough to finish the whole thing. It was really fascinating.
 

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,729
North-East England
My publisher did a giveaway on GoodReads and one of the winners was a woman named Kailey. She gave a very thorough review and awarded it two stars out of five. I was a little shocked at first until I read it. She's apparently a missionary and uber religious. She hated the swearing and drinking in the book (which are basically two of the MC's main traits) but seemed to really like everything else. It's actually one of my favorite reviews because in spite of absolutely detesting those bits (which are frequent) she still enjoyed it enough to finish the whole thing. It was really fascinating.
I think that's the most complimentary two-star review I've ever read! Honestly does a better job selling the book than the five-star ones.
 

Emerson

Member
Oct 25, 2017
517
USA
Yeah, that must have been pretty awkward. Any weird reactions?
Nothing yet. I don't think it's surprising to my family that I would write this sort of material, but I felt like I needed to offer an up front disclaimer. My hope is that they just won't read it. Most of these aunts/uncles/cousins literally read nothing but religious books anyway.

I'm not that close to my extended family, so I don't actually care if they read it, like it/are offended by it, but the last thing on earth I'm interested in is some sort of holiday dinner confrontation about my book's content. This way if they complain about it I can just say I told them ahead of time they wouldn't like it, so just deal with it.
 
OP
OP
weemadarthur

weemadarthur

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,257
How do people come up with location and place names, is there a generator or something.
Yes there is.
Is it not in the OP?

I will work on that.

After reviewing the status of the OP, I discovered that it needed a whole new help section, so I added "Getting Unstuck". All it has currently is a few name generators for DTL. If we can get other contributions, @ me and I will add them. Thanks y'all for your help in keeping it useful.
 
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zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,121
How do people come up with location and place names, is there a generator or something.
I random gen in my head, but they often are stupid.

Though they stick well enough... there is still one city I need to sit down and go through names until I find one I like because I can't keep calling it Mortopia (the city for the Mortimer clan)

Mortimer itself is bad enough let alone Mortopia lol.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,121
I go with the mash-two-words-together approach for most of my place names, such as the town of Crooksfield in Lamplight and the village of Highburn in The Stickman's Legacy.

I'm always impressed when people can come up with something plausible-sounding without using existing words.
One of my cities has a stupid name, but since I liked it I took the time to justify it being called that by giving a small backstory on the founder of the town who had that as a last name >.>
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,219
Necropolis
Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
You crazy, The Pilaf saga is great!
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,373
Does anyone ever feel confident in Chapter 1 of their stories? It's easily the hardest chapter for me, as I know what to do with the other chapters and I believe I definitely have a good story going. I feel people would consider it bad, but to be fair, I think a lot of my favorite series starts off bad/boring as well (Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, etc)
I prefer slower feeling introduction to the character type of chapter ones rather than, instantly start in the middle of some action with names of characters who if described breaks the flow of the storytelling but who, since they arent described, just feel like names attached to -saids.
 

Mr-Joker

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,541
Quick question: music plays a big part in my book as one my characters loves dancing and is always dancing along to the music CD that is stuck in the radio, so what I was thinking that either at the start or at the end is put the track list so the readers can go and listen to the music themselves.

My questions is that a good or a bad idea, especially as none of the songs are in English and would I run into any legal copyright problems?

Also as a side note the image of my character dancing is getting more and more vivid by the day, really interesting as it's causing me to dance along in real life.

Sad for no ghosts, but it does sound really intriguing regardless!
Ha ha thanks.

Please take lots of pictures and post them with book snippets~ <--Twitter/media fodder for the marketing phase?
I was going to take pictures but the marketing angle is really interesting as I didn't think of that nor did I think of including it in.

Also, I lived in Dunoon when I was a kid, so if you're looking for a gritty depressed town for some grim inspiration, check it out. :D
Well if it means that I get to spend longer in Scotland then I am all for it.

Loch Ness is the shit too. Gorgeous.
Yeah it is, I still remember it fondly when I went there in 96.

How do people come up with location and place names, is there a generator or something.
I mix and match, sometime I use real places but for one of the Bed and Breakfast in my book I just googled the meaning of Rover and combined it with Haven and got The Rover's Haven, which not only is it a good name as Rover means someone who is wandering but it's the last stop for my characters so the word Haven also works with it acting as a double meaning for one of them.
 

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,729
North-East England
One of my cities has a stupid name, but since I liked it I took the time to justify it being called that by giving a small backstory on the founder of the town who had that as a last name >.>
I like that approach - and it's probably far more memorable than the more sensible placenames.

Quick question: music plays a big part in my book as one my characters loves dancing and is always dancing along to the music CD that is stuck in the radio, so what I was thinking that either at the start or at the end is put the track list so the readers can go and listen to the music themselves.

My questions is that a good or a bad idea, especially as none of the songs are in English and would I run into any legal copyright problems?
If all you're doing is listing song titles I don't see it being a massive problem - lots of published books do the same thing!
 
I think that's the most complimentary two-star review I've ever read! Honestly does a better job selling the book than the five-star ones.
Right? And such a low review score will undoubtedly interest potential readers who are on the fence, and when they read the text, well... Hopefully they're not so dismayed by swearing and booze! I did think it kind of hilarious that out of all the people who could possibly win my book it had to be a missionary.


I was going to take pictures but the marketing angle is really interesting as I didn't think of that nor did I think of including it in.



Well if it means that I get to spend longer in Scotland then I am all for it.



Yeah it is, I still remember it fondly when I went there in 96.
Absolutely do it! One of the things that's really challenging once you start marketing it is what to use for content that's going to be interesting and not just the usual book talk. Tying the stuff you present to images is a must (because people seem more drawn in by visuals than text) and having it be locations from your book is a particularly good angle. You'll get tons of mileage out of it and have a bunch of different ways you can push it (a tour of Loch Ness or the castle, commentary on the beers in a pub that your character drinks in, local landmarks, things that inspired passages, etc.). Take a million pictures of everything and anything. And, yes, head off to Dunoon. I'd love to see it again in all its dreary glory. :)
 

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,729
North-East England
Right? And such a low review score will undoubtedly interest potential readers who are on the fence, and when they read the text, well... Hopefully they're not so dismayed by swearing and booze! I did think it kind of hilarious that out of all the people who could possibly win my book it had to be a missionary.
I do have to wonder what a missionary is doing entering giveaways for horror fiction (yours is horror/comedy, right?) in the first place!

I've had mixed experiences with them - had a couple of reviews from librarything after giving away 50 ebooks, and my one goodreads giveaway (before they started charging for them) came back with nothing at all. This time around I'm trying emailing bloggers directly instead.
 
I do have to wonder what a missionary is doing entering giveaways for horror fiction (yours is horror/comedy, right?) in the first place!

I've had mixed experiences with them - had a couple of reviews from librarything after giving away 50 ebooks, and my one goodreads giveaway (before they started charging for them) came back with nothing at all. This time around I'm trying emailing bloggers directly instead.
Yup. Horror/dark comedy/slightly sacrilegious thriller with an alcoholic main character. Exactly what a missionary is looking for in a novel. Apparently she really liked the cover so entered it on a whim.

And yeah? I've been interested in doing more giveaways to try and get the book out there a bit more, especially since it's been out for a while already and I'm not sure how to get people to give it a look at this stage. Reviewers seem to prefer new releases or upcoming releases. What's a 'middle-aged' book to do? :P It's also a bit tough because my publisher is the one in charge of that stuff, so I can't just hand it out willy-nilly. Would you recommend librarythings, then? I just had a look and it seems I actually have a review on there already! (Neato.) The goodreads one certainly made a lot of people add it to their 'to-read' list, but I only got two reviews from that it in the end. I had no idea they charged now, either.

As for bloggers, that's definitely an option. A bit tough, but even getting one response feels amazing. One of the blurbs on my physical edition came from a blogger who reviewed it after I mailed her. Do you have a list or anything of who's good to send books to? I just flailed around looking for suitable reviewers when I did it, so that might be something we could all compile and add to the OP.

Anyone want to brainstorm on 'middle-aged' book marketing strategies? :D
 
Xag and H Pro’s marketing reflections

Xagarath

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,729
North-East England
Yup. Horror/dark comedy/slightly sacrilegious thriller with an alcoholic main character. Exactly what a missionary is looking for in a novel. Apparently she really liked the cover so entered it on a whim.

And yeah? I've been interested in doing more giveaways to try and get the book out there a bit more, especially since it's been out for a while already and I'm not sure how to get people to give it a look at this stage. Reviewers seem to prefer new releases or upcoming releases. What's a 'middle-aged' book to do? :P It's also a bit tough because my publisher is the one in charge of that stuff, so I can't just hand it out willy-nilly. Would you recommend librarythings, then? I just had a look and it seems I actually have a review on there already! (Neato.) The goodreads one certainly made a lot of people add it to their 'to-read' list, but I only got two reviews from that it in the end. I had no idea they charged now, either.

As for bloggers, that's definitely an option. A bit tough, but even getting one response feels amazing. One of the blurbs on my physical edition came from a blogger who reviewed it after I mailed her. Do you have a list or anything of who's good to send books to? I just flailed around looking for suitable reviewers when I did it, so that might be something we could all compile and add to the OP.

Anyone want to brainstorm on 'middle-aged' book marketing strategies? :D
That's a pretty intriguing combination of genres - I'll have to give it a look next payday!

Librarything are patchy (only a small number of people who win copies seem to review, and there's no way of linking to the giveaway directly) but they have two main advantages:
- They're free (as opposed to goodreads, netgalley, eidelweiss etc)
- Their standard giveaway section is primarily for 'middle-aged' books - the upcoming releases is a separate list altogether

The other giveaway site I use is Instafreebie, but that's less for reviews and more for getting people to download previews of the book so they'll hopefully buy the whole thing. I've had a decent number of downloads (1000-ish in seven months) but no way of knowing whether that's translated into sales or not.

So far I've mostly been met with a wall of silence on the blogger front so I can't recommend many individually - I got most of my names from sites like Indieview, who list bloggers by genre and accepted formats.

I've had slightly more luck with local news media - groups like New Writing North seem happy to promote authors who live in the North of England and I think that got me a couple of sales?

I'd be delighted to brainstorm strategies - my first book came out seven months ago and sales have slowed down quite a bit, and I'm really short of reviews for my newest release.

EDITED FOR POSTERITY:

I've got two books published to date:

Lamplight is a contemporary ghost story set in a northen English town, in which a group of friends receive strange anonymous messages to their phones after one of their number goes missing.

The Stickman's Legacy is a modern-day fairy-tale about a young woman investigating the death of her missing father, and being drawn into a secret world below the surface of London.
 
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