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Easton_Livingston

Calling Independent Self-published Authors

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On 6/20/2018 at 11:01 AM, SEHatfield said:

I have both,  haven't decided which I'll end up with.  Up till now, used MacBook laptop with powerpoint for presentations. 

 

The Mac version of Scrivener gets more love than the Windows version but only slightly. Some of the features on a Mac are a little more robust. But in all around, Scrivener just rocks. And the good thing about it as well is that it works with ProWriting Aid so there's no cutting and pasting. Just open up the Scrivener file and edit.

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On 6/21/2018 at 10:00 PM, RADerdeyn said:

Easton,

Thank you for your very generous sharing of your knowledge and experience with respect to publishing and attracting customers. I have one self-published book, one in final review for publishing and one partially done. They are all a part of a series of six. I had read on kboards some time ago that most readers don't take a series seriously until there are at least three of them published. My intent was to start the author platform/marketing/email list/blogging as I send the third story to the editor. I probably should start sooner, but time is a scarce resource for me, so any time I spend on the marketing, etc. is less time I spend writing.

 

In any case, your "almost a blueprint" for how to work a mailing list is golden. Thanks again.

 

Glad it helped. :)

 

As far as whether readers take a series seriously after a certain amount of books, it depends I believe on more than just one factor.  How the cover looks and reviews will have more weight than if you have all of them out at the same time. You can a series out but if it looks like kaka, no one will buy it. :)

 

Also, I don't ascribe to the idea that they need to be released at the same time. It's another one of those “it depends” situations but it's far better to release the book when it's done instead of waiting. Two reasons for this:

 

1. You can be building your mailing list with the first one in the series. The first book in a series is good for people to try out a new author and that is the best lead magnet you can have.

 

2. Build name recognition and discoverability. This can be on all the distributor platforms as well as advertising using Facebook ads and AMS ads (Amazon Marketing Services). 

 

Another possible one is you can start to receive page reads in KU (Kindle Unlimited). If you go exclusive with Amazon, you can begin to get page read income from those who download your book. The downside to that is that you won't be able to give it away as a lead magnet except for the five days that you're given in the Kindle Select program.  

 

I'd continue to do research and experiment. It's the only way you'll know what works for the kind of material you're writing.

 

God bless.

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1 hour ago, Easton_Livingston said:

 

The Mac version of Scrivener gets more love than the Windows version but only slightly. Some of the features on a Mac are a little more robust. But in all around, Scrivener just rocks. And the good thing about it as well is that it works with ProWriting Aid so there's no cutting and pasting. Just open up the Scrivener file and edit.

Thanks Easton,  I decided to download the trial of the Windows version on my other laptop and I've been playing around with it. Sometimes I get myself backed into a corner, such as today where I have two screens above and below each other and there is no button to delete the lower window.  I cut and pasted my manuscript one page at a time and now the cork board won't show any of it.  It did before.  This will take some getting used to.  Since my work comprises short stories of about 350 to 700 words I'm not sure this will work.  Well, I know it will "work", I just don't know if it will be worth the effort.       and so I trudge on.......     Thanks again.

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2 hours ago, Easton_Livingston said:

And the good thing about it as well is that it works with ProWriting Aid so there's no cutting and pasting.

I use Google doc, and I love ProWriting Aid!  

 

Side note: It's great to see you again EL.  

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On 7/12/2018 at 11:01 AM, Alley said:

I use Google doc, and I love ProWriting Aid!  

 

Side note: It's great to see you again EL.  

 

Thank you, my dear. Appreciate the love. Been busy with the first round of edits for my book as well as weekly sermon prep and ministry. I hop on occasionally but have to be selective to what I comment on since I'm a little windy on my responses and I want to try to help people. 

 

God bless.

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On 7/12/2018 at 9:31 AM, SEHatfield said:

Thanks Easton,  I decided to download the trial of the Windows version on my other laptop and I've been playing around with it. Sometimes I get myself backed into a corner, such as today where I have two screens above and below each other and there is no button to delete the lower window.  I cut and pasted my manuscript one page at a time and now the cork board won't show any of it.  It did before.  This will take some getting used to.  Since my work comprises short stories of about 350 to 700 words I'm not sure this will work.  Well, I know it will "work", I just don't know if it will be worth the effort.       and so I trudge on.......     Thanks again.

 

Hmm. I would need to see what you're speaking of in order to help. A screenshot would be good if you can attach one.

 

The corkboard won't show the manuscript. The corkboard is good for timelines, scene organization, and outlines. 

 

In the first attachment graphic, I've given a view of my novel Blackson's Revenge set up in Scrivener. You'll see my binder is on the left and my text is on the right. I'm an outliner so all of my books are outlined before I write them which makes writing myself into a corner nonexistent. I write in Scrivener which is what I suggest you do. However, you can open up Word files in Scrivener if that's what you use. I've highlighted in my Binder on the left the first part of Chapter 3 which is what you see on the screen in the text area.

 

The second graphic is a Corkboard view of Chapter 3. Notice that my Chapter 3 folder is highlighted. That's because that's where I  create my outline. You don't necessarily need to do it here. You can create the document in the text window, switch to corkboard view, then right-click, Add > New Text. This adds a note card for that text where you can write whatever you want like what happens in the scene. It's just a personal preference that I do that in the folder. 

 

You can do the same thing for a short story. 

 

However, if you don't outline but are a pantser, then it would be more advantageous for you to simply open up the text are, add it in the Binder, and start writing. In the third graphic for my short story The Visitor (graphics 3 and 4), each scene has a title and a header. Scrivener will then create a corkboard card for each section automatically in the folder. Creating things in folders really helps with organization. Creating different scenes will help if you want to rearrange the scenes or cut and paste sections into different scenes. This is just golden when writing a novel. You may need to do this as well if you want to take your short stories and create one volume out of it (highly suggest you do that). 

 

Any other questions, let me know.

BRText.jpg

BRCorkboard.jpg

Visitot-Text-Area.jpg

VisitotCorkboard.jpg

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Yep, like David Watkins said, late to the party but I did show up.  I have one novel and two children's books up on Amazon.  Getting ready to finish up my poetry/photography book here in a few weeks.  Just trying to get the cover done.  I wrote my novel as a precursor to writing the screenplay.  I'm not sure it helped a lot because my first screenplay draft was over 300 pages (equivalent to 5 hours, yikes!!). Now I've decided to write it as a mini-series.  Long project to say the least. 

 

But I have not done any marketing on my novel since the first push with email and tweets, etc.  I have two websites, ritabetti.com, fishgateproductions.com and a blog and two Facebook pages plus an Amazon author's page.  I've sold some of the kindle version and some of the paperback version.  It's been 4 years since the book launched.  I don't know if I can relaunch it? And any advice?

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I am so late to this party that it's not even funny. But I brought cake! ?

 

I hope it's okay to resurrect this thread, because there may be others who missed it the first time who may benefit from reading it. Thank you, Easton, for sharing your wisdom and experience, and thanks to everyone else for posting about your journeys.

 

I'm on the self-publishing road as well. In the mists of the past I worked as a sub-editor with a newspaper and published a few short stories whenever their weekly fiction page had a hole that needed filling. More recently, I've been freelancing as a fiction ghostwriter and copywriter. I've never actually published a novel, though.

 

Now, I'm working towards self-publishing fiction. I've been soaking up all the knowledge I can about the business side of things, as well as investing in resources to polish my craft.

 

The information I've seen leads me to believe that it's wisest to build up a good amount of high-quality material, preferably in a series, before I start to actually publish it. I'm thinking to have at least three novels completed before launching any of them, in addition to a couple of dozen short stories. The business model I intend to follow hinges on prolific writing and giving away many pieces free as part of a marketing funnel and for my as-yet-non-existent mailing list.

 

I know that this won't happen without a huge amount of very hard work and some sacrifices. It also won't happen randomly, which is why I've put together a three-year plan, outlining the various things I need to do, including laying out a schedule and deadlines for the books and short stories I need to write, building a web site, and starting a newsletter.

 

It all begins with writing, though, so that's what I'm currently focusing on.

 

God bless us all on our journeys!

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8 minutes ago, SEHatfield said:

I'm so glad I'm writing "short" stories,  ya'll and your novels makin' me tired! Way too much work....whew!

At the moment, it's looking like an ultramarathon. But it's all about putting one foot in front of another consistently! I'm hoping that breaking each step down into bite-sized chunks will make it seem less daunting.

 

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1 hour ago, EBraten said:

The information I've seen leads me to believe that it's wisest to build up a good amount of high-quality material, preferably in a series, before I start to actually publish it. I'm thinking to have at least three novels completed before launching any of them, in addition to a couple of dozen short stories.

 

Yup.  ?Good strategy.  

 

1 hour ago, EBraten said:

The business model I intend to follow hinges on prolific writing and giving away many pieces free as part of a marketing funnel and for my as-yet-non-existent mailing list.

 

That's a widely used (and effective) model these days.

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7 hours ago, SEHatfield said:

'm so glad I'm writing "short" stories,  ya'll and your novels makin' me tired!  Way too much work....whew!

But there's so much more to say.  So many things to add to the story!  

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Guest Steven Hutson
On 5/8/2018 at 10:08 AM, Phy said:

The old stigma against indie-publishing has been muted.


I don't think that self-pub (as a model) is what had a bad reputation. Indeed, some of the greatest books in history were self-pub'd. (Has anyone heard of Peter Rabbit, or The Joy of Cooking?)

The problem was the poor quality of books that went to market with no professional guidance. Same as now.

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14 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

I thank you Easton_Livingston for your excellent pieces on Scrivner. They really been helpful.

 

Hey! There he is. How are you doing? Feeling better? Praying you are my brother.

 

Glad that helped. I'm still experimenting with Scrivener so I'm no expert but I will say I LOVE that software. It's looking to be updated for Windows users here soon. Mac users already have the update.

 

I may be using this space every so often to highlight some of the different tools and how to use them or at least some of the best places I found to go and get help.

 

Blessings to you my brother.

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On 10/6/2018 at 6:31 PM, SEHatfield said:

I'm so glad I'm writing "short" stories,  ya'll and your novels makin' me tired!  Way too much work....whew!

 

I have written a couple short stories as a part of my miniseries, The Dark Corner. They are permafree on Amazon. However, that turned into a full-fledged novel. Just Providence. 
 

Once you get into the flow of just writing for the joy of it, you'll find you can write much more than you imagined. I can write a 50k novel in a little over two weeks (I write 4k words a day). No matter what kind of writer you are, if you simply get into the habit of writing every day, you'll be surprised how many words you can pound out.

 

God bless.

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On 10/6/2018 at 6:00 PM, EBraten said:

Now, I'm working towards self-publishing fiction. I've been soaking up all the knowledge I can about the business side of things, as well as investing in resources to polish my craft.

 

The information I've seen leads me to believe that it's wisest to build up a good amount of high-quality material, preferably in a series, before I start to actually publish it. I'm thinking to have at least three novels completed before launching any of them, in addition to a couple of dozen short stories. The business model I intend to follow hinges on prolific writing and giving away many pieces free as part of a marketing funnel and for my as-yet-non-existent mailing list.

 

 

This is one strategy but it is not the strategy. The strategy is to keep writing and keep putting out books. The more books you have out, the more discoverable you will be. At some point, you have to put out the book.

 

Waiting until all three books are done has a major drawback to it, mainly that all that time you're not putting out a book, you are not developing a mailing list and therefore not developing a relationship with potential fans. If you write your first book, release it as a reader magnet (give it away for free for the most part) and use it to build your mailing list. Then you'll be building a fan base from day one and not building something in a vacuum.

 

For the self-published, I will repeat the old marketing mantra: the money is in the list. I'm going to bang this drum until the cows come home because it's true. 

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19 minutes ago, Easton_Livingston said:

If you write your first book, release it as a reader magnet (give it away for free for the most part) and use it to build your mailing list. Then you'll be building a fan base from day one and not building something in a vacuum.

This is exactly what I hope to do!

 

The only difference is that while I'm doing the giveaway of book one and building the mailing list, I'll have the additional books ready and waiting in the wings. It's just about giving myself some breathing space while I'm learning to handle the publishing and marketing side of things.

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Not sure if you guys were aware of this but the Indie Novelist Summit is going on right now. Some good names in the industry are a part of it like David Chesson, Adam Croft, and Brian Meeks. Slot some time for it this weekend. You get a free ticket just by going to the website. It's a bunch of online master classes from indie authors in the know. But you have to slot time for it. Check it out. Saturday is a good day for self-publishers.

 

Indie Novelist Summit.

 

God bless.

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Hi, everyone.

 

Talking about coming late to the party! Hope there's an after.

I am quite what you can call a noob in self-publishing. I intend to publish a nonfiction series on the Book of Revelation. I have finished the 1st volume, a very short one indeed, a pilot one if you will. I am a little confused, though. Hence, why I am here.

 

So far, I have sent my manuscript over to 2 Christian copyeditors (book-editing  and christianwriterhelp) since last week. The former has already replied and asked some questions, which I answered back. Just saying that I am in the very beginning of the self-publishing process.

 

Sometimes I wonder whether I should go for a package like those found on bookbaby, xulon, or authorhouse, for example. Sometimes, I feel maybe I can learn to do things myself, but as I'd really like to proceed with the other volumes too I don't want to get too stuck in marketing the first. Many of you seem experienced in all this. Think I can benefit greatly from your experience. Thanks in advance.

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Do not, and I mean do not, go with Authorhouse. They're a vanity publisher and a rip-off. You do need an editor, first and foremost. I would say that learning the "ropes" a little more will certainly be helpful. Much to learn before publishing. You also need to learn about marketing and platform building. So be careful not to get ahead of yourself. Search through the writing forum for topics that will help you. :)

 

Also, I hope you'll hop over to Meet and Greet and introduce yourself so everyone will know you are here and can welcome you.

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