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WritersEra |OT| Publish before you die

UCBooties

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
1,927
Pennsylvania, USA
Thanks. It was a long, LONG road.

As far as professional feedback, what's your beta reader situation? I know that's not "professional," but good beta readers can level up your writing tremendously, and can often be critical to getting you to the level where the professionals like agents and editors want to give you that final nudge for a publishable book. If you've got a reader or three who's editorial insight you trust, that's a lot of progress already. Barring that, if you have the money, there's also professional editors that can provide what's called a "developmental edit," but these usually cost hundreds of dollars, and are essentially a paid beta read, but of course, from a pro.
The beta reader situation is... not greeeeeat. My co-author and I have been part of beta reader groups where we've provided feedback on a couple of books but when our turn rolls around the group kinda falls apart. This manuscript has been read by a few friends but not really read critically. We got some feedback from an agent who asked us to revise and resubmit and that feedback drove a lot of our revisions for the fourth draft but we haven't gotten any bites on our latest round of querying.

So now I feel like the book is good enough to catch someone's attention but not good enough for them to want to stick with it or champion it in any way. We're looking into trying to hire a developmental editor but the wait lists we've been looking at are long and our budget is veeeeery tight at the moment. I'd like to try to get some good beta readers but as noted before, we've had some pretty rough luck with that. Obviously we'll keep going but I'm a bit discouraged that we just can't seem to get any help to improve our project. Sorry for the vent, but I figure better here than on Twitter.
 

JaeCryo

Member
Nov 6, 2017
5,705
I moved to LA on thursday and my first night out ran into an executive at FX, and we hit it off. He gave me his number and email and told me to apply for a job and use him as a reference. He told me to email or call him about it. I sent an application in on Friday the next night and emailed him, but realized that was probably not the smartest thing to do since it was the weekend.

He hasnt responded yet but that was kind of expected.

Today I sent in another application for a different but similar position and used him as a reference again. I want to call or email him to confirm it but am affraid Id be appearing too pushy.

Im nervous because this could be a huge deal and I dont want to mess it up.
 

Ivy Veritas

Member
Jan 5, 2019
49
Exciting! Will you post when it's done? I love seeing people's covers, and I'm always keen to have good designer options for future books.
I can't figure out how to post an image here. I uploaded a low-res version to imgur, and then chose the Insert Image option and pasted the URL (I tried both https and http), but it won't work. Does anyone have any tips? (EDIT: Also, am I even allowed to post it? I just saw someone get dinged in another thread for self-promotion.)

Regarding the process: I found a number of designers that have some decent premade covers and also do custom work, but I don't think a premade cover will work for a fantasy novel, so I chose one of the designers and requested a custom cover.

I paid half the fee in advance, and then they had me send in some details about what I wanted to see. They constructed two draft options, mashing up elements from different stock images. At that point, I had to choose one of the options, and then they would make any edits I requested (within reason) to that version. Considering that this didn't include any custom illustration, they came reasonably close to what I wanted. In an ideal world, I'd be able to afford both a custom illustrator and a cover designer, but that's out of my price range for now.

Once I was happy with the cover, they finalized the high-res version and sent me all the files (except the paperback cover, since I'm not finished revising yet, so I don't know how many pages it will be).

The whole process was described in detail on their website, so I knew what the steps would be in advance.

I don't know if the book will actually sell enough copies to cover the cost. Between the ebook cover, paperback cover, plus a banner for my Patreon page and access to the PSD file, it came to $700. If I'd gotten the ebook cover alone, it would have only been $500.
 
Last edited:
Oct 25, 2017
13,163
Seeing readers say

-Characters had no chemistry
-Couldn't connect with the characters or the locations
-Didn't feel the relationship

always makes me wonder if it just a personal thing or if there is some tangible or empirical measure to assess this. Cause I think the nature of it, the writer is clearly connected to their characters and their relationship their writing but it may be impossible to step back and be like, how will someone not connect.

~~~not from my own just when I read goodreads reviews just to see things that people point out in different books~~~
 

sqwarlock

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,220
Irvine, CA
Writers here with Patreons, how do you do it? What are your backer rewards? How do you make sure your patrons are getting their money's worth? I want to try and earn more money for writing as I work towards publishing a short story collection (at first) then novels. Medium's partner program is okay, but I can't seem to get the views I need.
 

Ivy Veritas

Member
Jan 5, 2019
49
Writers here with Patreons, how do you do it? What are your backer rewards? How do you make sure your patrons are getting their money's worth? I want to try and earn more money for writing as I work towards publishing a short story collection (at first) then novels. Medium's partner program is okay, but I can't seem to get the views I need.
I would say the two biggest things to take into consideration are:

1. Very few creators can make a living solely from their Patreon (though I suspect there might be more writers among that group than other types of creators). It's significantly easier to become moderately successful on the platform (say, an extra hundred bucks or so per month), but there are still huge numbers of unsuccessful creators.

2. Patreon won't help you get views. You need views elsewhere to help push readers to Patreon. You can't browse creators on Patreon. (I don't have any suggestions on increasing views for short stories--all of the sites I've tried give greater visibility to longer stories.)


When I started my Patreon account, I selected a model that I've seen other authors be successful with--a long, serialized fantasy story (with the potential for sequels), where patrons receive early access to the chapters plus additional goodies (e.g., background info about characters, sneak preview of potential scenes with a request for feedback, sneak preview of my upcoming book cover). Then I chose several sites that allow authors to post their stories, and readers can read them for free. Those sites are how I generate new readers, who may or may not be interested in becoming patrons (only a tiny percentage will ever become patrons, and it takes a long time to build up those numbers). After about four months, I'm nowhere near making a living at it, but I'm up to the low end of "moderately successful".

I believe this particular model works best with fantasy or sci-fi. Other genres don't typically expect long, epic, ongoing stories, and with this model, you've got to stick with the same story (or its sequels). If you follow this model but start charging your patrons for other miscellaneous stories, you're likely to lose them.

But there are other models for other styles. Once you've narrowed down what you want to write, then I'd recommend finding successful creators who write similar things, and then figure out how their specific model works.

I just did a google search on:

site:patreon.com "is creating" "short stories"

... and found some successful to moderately successful short story writers on the first page of the results. You can narrow it down further by adding a genre to the search terms.

One other suggestion: Why wait until you have a collection of short stories? Have you thought about publishing them individually? Get your author website set up, then some promotional sites, and then start releasing them once per week on Amazon for 99 cents (and for short stories, consider putting them on Kindle Unlimited). You won't make much money on them, but if you have regular releases, you might build up a readership there, and then you can sell the collection once all the stories are done. It might be tricky to put together cheap book covers for this model, though.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,688
Writers here with Patreons, how do you do it? What are your backer rewards? How do you make sure your patrons are getting their money's worth? I want to try and earn more money for writing as I work towards publishing a short story collection (at first) then novels. Medium's partner program is okay, but I can't seem to get the views I need.
Ivy covered it but I want to stress again. Having a Patreon will not get you any more views period.
The only way to do that is to properly market yourself. Social media, putting out stories on places like wattspad, entering and winning contests ect. You can't really expect people to sign up to pay you money for your content unless they know they will like your content.
 

sqwarlock

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,220
Irvine, CA
One other suggestion: Why wait until you have a collection of short stories? Have you thought about publishing them individually? Get your author website set up, then some promotional sites, and then start releasing them once per week on Amazon for 99 cents (and for short stories, consider putting them on Kindle Unlimited). You won't make much money on them, but if you have regular releases, you might build up a readership there, and then you can sell the collection once all the stories are done. It might be tricky to put together cheap book covers for this model, though.
You know, I'm still stuck in only considering old, traditional methods and hadn't considered this. Will definitely look into it. Thank you for the advice.

Ivy covered it but I want to stress again. Having a Patreon will not get you any more views period.
The only way to do that is to properly market yourself. Social media, putting out stories on places like wattspad, entering and winning contests ect. You can't really expect people to sign up to pay you money for your content unless they know they will like your content.
Do you consider Wattpad a good platform? I just started looking at it today and am definitely considering using it as my primary free platform.

And thank you both for the grounding on Patreon's relation to views. I've been writing fiction seriously for at least 20 years now (and for 7 professionally as a technical writer) and am ready to make the jump to publishing something.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,688
You know, I'm still stuck in only considering old, traditional methods and hadn't considered this. Will definitely look into it. Thank you for the advice.



Do you consider Wattpad a good platform? I just started looking at it today and am definitely considering using it as my primary free platform.

And thank you both for the grounding on Patreon's relation to views. I've been writing fiction seriously for at least 20 years now (and for 7 professionally as a technical writer) and am ready to make the jump to publishing something.
I have no clue if Wattpad is a good platform, it's just the one I can remember :P

The main thing is that is has a large audience. If you can reach some of that, they may be interested in looking into more of your work.
I think there are other platforms people like as well, but the main thing is you need a way to

put out a story --> attract readers --> convert those readers into people who will pay you for future content

Given how many stories are out there it can be hard to be discovered in general. Unlike a traditional publisher who can just email blast a mailing list you don't have that, so you have to be creative and persistent to get eyes on you. It's going to be very unlikely that someone will just stumble across your story if you aren't actively trying to promote it.

also keep in mind for short stories people don't have long attention spans. A lot of the writers I know that have been successful self publishing on amazon have only done so by consistently releasing new stories. They've seen their sales numbers drop quite a bit if they wait to long to release another story because people will have forgotten about them :/
 

Ivy Veritas

Member
Jan 5, 2019
49
Do you consider Wattpad a good platform? I just started looking at it today and am definitely considering using it as my primary free platform.
Wattpad is good if you write One Direction or K-Pop fan fiction, preferably self-insert (and also has a disturbing amount of stories where abusive boyfriends are considered to be a good thing)--it's mostly very young writers. For fantasy, Inkitt really only works for the werewolf porn sub-genre, but I haven't investigated the other main genres on the platform. RoyalRoad and ScribbleHub are good for eastern fantasy, particularly isekai, reincarnation, and something called wuxia(?), but you can get some readers for western fantasy. Storiesonline and Literotica are good if you write erotica. Those are the ones I've looked at so far. Like I mentioned, they'll all give more visibility to longer serials than to shorter stories. Each site has its own rules and requirements about self-promotion.
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
Wattpad is good if you write One Direction or K-Pop fan fiction, preferably self-insert (and also has a disturbing amount of stories where abusive boyfriends are considered to be a good thing)--it's mostly very young writers.
I had ZERO idea that these different platforms had already developed such terrifyingly specific categories for different types of fiction. The only thing missing was left-handed non-binary merpeople with BDSM kinks.
 

Ivy Veritas

Member
Jan 5, 2019
49
I had ZERO idea that these different platforms had already developed such terrifyingly specific categories for different types of fiction. The only thing missing was left-handed non-binary merpeople with BDSM kinks.
Yeah, it's a bit annoying. There are certainly other genres on Wattpad, but it's very hard to get traction. Their setup heavily promotes stories that are already popular, and makes it difficult to browse newer stories.
 

ShadowSwordmaster

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,239
I'm glad that I have found this thread. I have a general question on people's experiences in writing about history or thesis writing and any pointers that can help me.
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
You know, I'm still stuck in only considering old, traditional methods and hadn't considered this. Will definitely look into it. Thank you for the advice.
The other traditional method is to get those short stories published in advance, either in magazines or other collections/anthologies. In most cases, the rights will revert back to you on those stories after a year or less, so you can safely compile them for your collection. In trade publishing, it's pretty challenging for complete unknowns to debut with a short story collection, especially if those stories have never seen the light of day, but if you get consistently published short stories, that's a good way to get your name "out there," and can sometimes even make it much easier to get a novel published when the time comes.

I have no idea which genre you write in, but William Gibson, a science fiction author who basically created the cyberpunk subgenre got his start publishing short stories, they were so well received that a publisher approached HIM asking him if he was ready to write a novel-length piece.
 
Oct 25, 2017
13,163
Wattpad seemed good for fanfics any and all. I don't like the platform. Clunky to browse and the tag system for discovery didn't seem good compared to others.

I guess it has a pretty presentation.

But among the places I traverse it seems to have a wealth of original stuff, but the overall problem with writing original stories vs fanfics is the number of people you get. Hard sale to get people to read original stuff compared to the others unless you already have a fanbase or cater to like niche r18 genres.

Best way seems to write fanfic -> that you potentially change to something original with name changes and maybe some appearance and lore changes in the future.


I'm glad that I have found this thread. I have a general question on people's experiences in writing about history or thesis writing and any pointers that can help me.
I did my [PhD] dissertation writing does that count.
 

zulux21

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,688
Wattpad is good if you write One Direction or K-Pop fan fiction, preferably self-insert (and also has a disturbing amount of stories where abusive boyfriends are considered to be a good thing)--it's mostly very young writers. For fantasy, Inkitt really only works for the werewolf porn sub-genre, but I haven't investigated the other main genres on the platform. RoyalRoad and ScribbleHub are good for eastern fantasy, particularly isekai, reincarnation, and something called wuxia(?), but you can get some readers for western fantasy. Storiesonline and Literotica are good if you write erotica. Those are the ones I've looked at so far. Like I mentioned, they'll all give more visibility to longer serials than to shorter stories. Each site has its own rules and requirements about self-promotion.
I will have to remember some of these as my main project is technically an isekai lol.
 

ShadowSwordmaster

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,239
Wattpad seemed good for fanfics any and all. I don't like the platform. Clunky to browse and the tag system for discovery didn't seem good compared to others.

I guess it has a pretty presentation.

But among the places I traverse it seems to have a wealth of original stuff, but the overall problem with writing original stories vs fanfics is the number of people you get. Hard sale to get people to read original stuff compared to the others unless you already have a fanbase or cater to like niche r18 genres.

Best way seems to write fanfic -> that you potentially change to something original with name changes and maybe some appearance and lore changes in the future.



I did my [PhD] dissertation writing does that count.
Sure. I'm in college right now for history.
 

Shoeless

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,792
I'd also be happy to give a look. Full Disclosure: I suck at queries and actually went to a professional to have mine polished. It must have worked though, because I got an agent with that query.