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First Book - How I got it done.

Discussion in 'Writers' Room' started by JAJackson, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. JAJackson

    JAJackson New Member

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    G'day,
    As an avid reader with an active imagination it took some time before I was able to sit down and write a full sized story of my own. Finding a GREAT editor has been tough, but I lucked out and found one in the most unlikely places. A co-worker that most would dismiss. They are diligently plugging away at my work and have done so for two months now. My previous editor did not have the time and thus the book sat idle for a while. I plan to release via Smashwords, they seem to be the best option atm, especially for a new author with no money. Sounds like most of us I think?
    A strategy that worked for me was to draft the series on paper, yes real paper. This took about three months. Then I summarized each story within the saga, another two months. Only then did I hit the PC and start the tappity tap. When it came to writing the first draft only took about eight months, thanks to all the background work. Today, eighteen months down the track, I sit with a book of about 76K words, not huge, but a worthy size. Not sure if I can plug my book or website here, so I won't unless invited too. :)
    Would love to see how others got their first book down.
    PST if there are typos, sorry, my editor was not available. j/k
    James
     
  2. readsalot

    readsalot Member

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    Congratulations on finishing. What is your book about?
    The cover copy can take a surprisingly long time to come up with. Best of luck.
     
  3. JAJackson

    JAJackson New Member

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    I got very lucky with the cover art and website. A friend of mine in the UK has spent a great deal of time and effort, not to mention money, to produce a great site. It's listed under my profile.
    Book One, 'First Contact' is set in the not too distant future. We are visited by an advanced civilization. There is a lot more to it of coarse... :) I would like to think that the story is a little different than the usual, time will tell I am sure. We all want to write 'Best Sellers' :)
     
  4. WriterJohnB

    WriterJohnB Member

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    James, contratulations on finishing your first book. Your site is awesome. I recommend Smashwords highly, but why stop there? Kindle will also publish your novel at no cost and Amazon's Createspace allows you to publish your novel in print at no cost - not even the ISBN (which must be different than the e-book). You don't pay anything until you buy your first proof copy and they're very reasonably priced, especially with what they call their "pro-plan".

    Hope that helps, Good luck.

    JohnB
     
  5. JAJackson

    JAJackson New Member

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    Great tips, ty :) - I will follow up on those :)
     
  6. Aderyn

    Aderyn Member

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    I'm glad I found this thread, it's great to hear about authors who have completed their first novel and are in the process of publishing. Sounds like you did some serious planning before you wrote one word. I was happy to read this as I'm prone to a little 'over planning' myself, but now that I'm actually up to the writing bit my planning notes are gold!

    Let us know how the publishing goes will you?
     
  7. JAJackson

    JAJackson New Member

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    On the publishing side I ended up going with Amazon as well as Smashwords. The ranking system on Amazon is 'interesting', it only takes very few sales to get to a 100K rank, not too many more will see your work hitting the 40K. This means that there must be a LOT of books that sell very few copies.... Marketing is hard work. Everyone has a group of folks that have read and enjoyed the story they have written. Getting these folks to willingly and happily leave reviews, vote, and spread the word is key. I do find that having a website is very helpful as a 'final sale' for those that are on the fence. Facebook and Twitter are great social mediums. BUT your 'social group' needs to spread the word beyond your own core of friends. I also suggest not being on too many forums though. Writing time is valuable, don't waste it all on dozens of forums. Anyway, just my thoughts, and I welcome others as I am still learning the ropes. :)
     
  8. WriterJohnB

    WriterJohnB Member

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    As an update to my last post, CreateSpace doesn't have a pro-plan (which had cost 39.00) anymore. Everyone gets the lowest price. Which doesn't make me real happy, because I bought the plan for 3 books.

    JohnB
     
  9. Aderyn

    Aderyn Member

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    Well you're selling your book so that's a plus! Did you end up going with smashwords as well? I visit three forums, on an irregular basis, I agree that you can end up spending all your time on forums rather than writing if you're not careful. Do you think forums can help with you marketing though?
     
  10. JAJackson

    JAJackson New Member

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    Smashwords are valuable for first times, IMO, simply because they provide an ISBN and get your book onto a number of platforms. Forums can be a marketing tool, however, I don't suggest jumping on a ton and hollering 'I WROTE A BOOK' - This is poor etiquette. People gravitate to that which interests them, so post and respond on forums threads that you normally would, and be yourself. Thus people will get to know your style and to a small degree your thinking. These are the folks you want buying your work, they already have an affinity for you, and thus less likely to find the book is not for them. This to me is a win win situation. Give me a few happy readers over a lot of unhappy readers all day long.
    Looking at Google Analytics for my website I find about 15% of its traffic comes from forums. Some of these visitirs are from unlikely places where I am often making comments about games, PC builds, and technology. I feel that if a writer is honest and shows respect for others on these forums, sales will come.
    Anyway just some thoughts. Would love to hear what others think. :)
     
  11. WriterJohnB

    WriterJohnB Member

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    About half my website hits (and I don't get a lot) come from writing forums, probably because I'm not very active on facebook and don't tweet at all. But I enjoy forums, especially when I can help new writers.

    JohnB
     

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