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Back Again For The Very First Time


AuthorLen

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Heya!

 

 

My name is Len, and I greet ya'll all the way from South Africa.

 

 

I've been on this page a few years ago, but never really participated as much as I would have liked to. Come 2016, I would like to be here as often as I can, sharing my writing while helping aspiring authors with theirs.

 

 

To date, I've written 3 novels and a few short stories under my own name. Currently, I'm in the planning & plotting phase of my next novel, The Entity, and will share snippets here and there when I begin writing.

 

 

Happy to meet you all, and I look forward to catching you in the forums!

 

 

Blessings,

 

 

Len

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Thanks Jonathan :) The genre is basically suspense/thriller... kind of a spiritual warfare ghost story. Still not entirely sure if I want to write it blatantly for a Christian audience, or for a more secular audience in order to plant seeds among the non-believers. It's a fine line that I believe could be debated in a thread of its own :)

 

 

What kind of stuff do you write?

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Yes, settling upon the right audience to aim for can be difficult, especially with novels. It's a topic well worth discussing.

 

 

The Entity sounds like the kind of story I enjoy. I write suspense/thriller the most, and sometimes horror, fantasy, science fiction, and non-fiction. Are your other novels and short stories also suspense/thriller?

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The Entity sounds like the kind of story I enjoy. I write suspense/thriller the most, and sometimes horror, fantasy, science fiction, and non-fiction. Are your other novels and short stories also suspense/thriller?

 

Hey Jonathan,

 

 

So far, yes. I'll talk about them in my reply to JLockhart.

 

 

Do you have anything available up on Amazon or where anyone could read it?

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Hi Len, great to hear of a fellow writer from the same continent! would you care to share a little about the novels you've already completed?

 

Hey JLockhart,

 

 

Awesome! Where are you from? Also SA, or more North?

 

 

I currently have three novels up on Amazon. One is titled The Incubus and is about a demon sent to prevent the birth of a specific baby. The sequel is The Succubus, and the story takes off where that baby is now a grown man and about to lead millions to Christ, or their slaughter. A Succubus is dispatched to mess with his free will and turn him towards his darker path. Finally, there's The Son of Perdition, an end times thriller about the rise of the Antichrist and the 2nd Coming.

 

 

The short story, Love and a .38 is a tale about consequences. When a 17-year-old boy gets his girlfriend pregnant, he has to choose whether to face the consequences, or to squeeze the trigger...

 

 

That's about it...

 

 

What stuff do you write?

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thanks Len! I'm just a little north of you, in Zimbabwe. Not much going on here in terms of publishing so I have not yet published my one short "novel" ... 33000 words, don't quite know how to categorize it, it is called "Free Radical"

 

 

a spin on the radical islam movement and a radical christian reaction.

 

 

I also have a folder full of poems on my laptop that may one day be let out.

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Hey JLockhart,

 

 

That's awesome! A very good friend of mine here comes from Zim. I'll hook you two up if you're ever on this side of the border :)

 

 

As for your story... sounds exciting! Have you ever considered self-publishing on Amazon? Of course, it would have to be a polished piece of work, and there would have to be a "market" for it, but at least you could find an audience for your stories instead of just shelving them because of a lack of willing and able publishers on this continent...

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Do you have anything available up on Amazon or where anyone could read it?

 

Some of my short stories are available to read online. "Shattered" is a suspense story in TWJ magazine. "The Coming" and "The Black Spot" are horror tales that were originally published in Fear and Trembling magazine.

 

 

I've got a few works that I'm considering self-publishing. How has self-publishing gone for you?

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I have thought about self-publishing and to be honest I'm a little scared of it, I really would like to send some hard copies to friends, which is slightly more special than a link to amazon, so I'm gonna keep trying to get it out in print but amazon will be a last resort.

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Nice, Jonathan! I'll go check them out ASAP! :)

 

 

First, I must say that self-publishing and vanity publishing are two entirely different things. However, the traditional publishers have blurred the lines and muddied the waters so that they could maintain the monopoly in the industry. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with traditional publishing and would probably sign a 3-book deal if ever offered one. It's just that in some countries like SA, the chances of landing a trad is zero to slim, so you have to go with what you've got at your disposal.

 

 

That said, I've found the entire process extremely rewarding. I've had creative control over the entire process from start to published product, and if anything falls flat, it's totally my fault. The problem is that there are a few indie authors out there who don't care about the basics like good cover design or professionally edited work, and they do leave a stain the rest of the industry.

 

 

On a financial note, I personally don't think that any trad publisher could ever pay me what I'm earning on Amazon. At 70% on a $2.99 book, I get the lion's share of the sale. Yes, I have to mainly market my own stuff, but truth be told that most trad publishers won't even look at you nowadays if you don't have a platform in place anyway. So the same effort you're putting into marketing your books as an indie would apply if you were published by one of the mainstream houses. The difference? 30% to 70% on a sale vs 20c or whatever they think you're worthy of.

 

 

Sure, I haven't made my millions yet, but Amazon and some of the other outlets have ensured decent Christmas gifts for the last few years.

 

 

Come to think of it... no, I would probably NOT accept that 3-book deal... there's absolutely nothing a publisher could offer me that I couldn't eventually get myself...

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I have thought about self-publishing and to be honest I'm a little scared of it, I really would like to send some hard copies to friends, which is slightly more special than a link to amazon, so I'm gonna keep trying to get it out in print but amazon will be a last resort.

 

I hear ya! The good news is that there's an Amazon-owned company called CreateSpace that will print and bind your books and ship them to your readers. It's a print-on-demand feature, but the benefit over other PODs are that because it's a part of Amazon, it shows right there along with your Kindle version. So if you send a friend to your Amazon link, he or she could decide to purchase the eBook version or a physical copy. You get paid for either sale, of course. It makes you appear more "legit" and can also function as a no-brainer purchase trigger when they see that they could score xx% off the price if they get the eBook.

 

 

Authors also get a special discount when ordering their own books. That allows you to hand them out as gifts or set a markup and sell them from the trunk of your car, like John Grisham did :)

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I hear ya! The good news is that there's an Amazon-owned company called CreateSpace that will print and bind your books and ship them to your readers. It's a print-on-demand feature, but the benefit over other PODs are that because it's a part of Amazon, it shows right there along with your Kindle version. So if you send a friend to your Amazon link, he or she could decide to purchase the eBook version or a physical copy. You get paid for either sale, of course. It makes you appear more "legit" and can also function as a no-brainer purchase trigger when they see that they could score xx% off the price if they get the eBook.

Authors also get a special discount when ordering their own books. That allows you to hand them out as gifts or set a markup and sell them from the trunk of your car, like John Grisham did :)

 

Thanks Len! shows how much I don't know! I'm trying to do my homework on this publishing stuff before Uni starts again in Feb, so really been pulling on straws at the moment and hadn't really considered amazon seriously before because I'd been checking out the more conventional methods. I'll definitely have a better look at amazon now!

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Thanks for telling me about your experiences with self-publishing, Len! All that is very helpful for me to know as I consider whether it might be the best option for me.

 

Only a plesh, Jonathan :) As Lynnmosher said, there are people who prey on authors eager to get their stuff published, so stick to name brands like Amazon, Smashwords and Create Space. If you want to venture outside those circles, rather brainstorm it here first and save yourself tons of frustration later.

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