I have noticed in the writing world that there seems to be a sort of bad label on self publishing or Indie publishing. Whether it be a print on demand type of thing or a pay for publishing. I have been in the writing world for a few years now and I thought that by now the negativity would have died down but not so much.
Now I chose to self publish and there are several reasons for that. Number one was that I could not afford to do a pay to publish. From what I understand its not a bad deal if you can afford it and if you are serious about your writing. To be honest you shouldn't be considering publishing if you are not serious about your writing. I know the dream is to sit at a computer and hammer away at a book for a few months, send it off and then vacation for half a year while the publisher gets it ready. Then they send you half a million dollars and a copy of your book and say cant wait for the next one. Well while that does happen it usually does not happen on the first book. It usually takes years to get to that point.
Back to reasons I wanted to self publish, or at least choose to self publish. When I finished my first book I had no idea what to do next but luckily I had a close network of friends and family that helped me make the right decisions. I first sent letters out to publishers but I found that the publishers I was interested in required me to have an agent. So I went about finding an agent. I looked them up and realized that it was going to be hard to find an agent because they were hammered with letters.
I did get a few responses that seemed good to me but upon further inspection they were contracts that did not seem to have my best interest at heart. So I continued my search. Like most writers I got a ton of rejection letters. Then I started doing my research on publishers and agents and I found out just how few new writers they sign on. Its not impossible but with no experience and not knowing any one in the industry it was going to be nearly impossible. So I sat down and had a long talk with my self, no its not that weird, and I had to figure out what it was I wanted from writing. Did I want to get rich? Sure but that wasn't my main reason, I would be happy if I could just make a living. The biggest thing that I wanted out of writing was to entertain people. I wanted to help readers fall in love and get lost in the world of literature.
So more research was done and I thought that self publishing would be the best for me. I keep control over my books, I get to pick the covers the prices everything to do with my books. There is a huge down side to that though and that is that its a absolute crud ton of work. This is where the whole if your not serious about this don't do this comes in. It's a lot of work and that means that it takes a lot away from your actual writing. You have to work on your website, blogs, twitter, facebook, all that kind of stuff to let readers know you are out there and that all comes after the book is ready. You have to get it to a point where it is ready to be read. There is a lot of work that goes into it but man o man is it fun work. If your heart is in it you wont have a problem with it. The key is to find the path that works best with you and there is nothing wrong with not using a traditional publishing house.
Too many words is a thing? I don’t know about you guys out there but for me I like books regardless of their size. I don’t discriminate based on page or word count. With that said I am not scared of a book with a page count that has a comma in it in fact I enjoy challenges like that. I was unaware when I first started writing that publishers and agents looked at that sort of thing and it could sway their decision to publish or represent you. I actually had one agent turn me down because they felt that the book was too large and that I needed to cut it in half. This was odd to me because they told me this prior to reading my novel. Now that I am at on my third novel I do take into consideration the page count and overall size of the novel while I am planning it out.
For me, I want my readers to enjoy the adventure of the novel and not finish it in one three hour sitting. I want my novels to take a weekend or more to really keep your thoughts about the story floating and keep you thinking about it as you go about your daily life. At least I hope that’s how it happens.
The key to this is to find that perfect balance. To not cut out so much that your story no longer makes sense and also not to leave so much in there that the reader gets lost in the chapter and gets bored with the overall story. I don’t know if there is some fast easy way to accomplish this all I know to do is to take my time and follow the story as I go through my first draft and then during the editing stages I start trying to figure out what to cut and what to keep or add.
I know that the way I write won’t work for everyone and that’s great, if we all wrote the same then books would get boring and repetitive. I am just trying to get a few ideas out there as to how I do things to maybe help someone along their journey.
I know when we watch movies or read books we typically on see fear for short periods of time. The hero of the tale fears the upcoming battle only to dig down deep and remember something his/her father had told them when they was a child. Using that phrase the hero pushes past his/her fear and overcomes the battle winning the day and ending the story in cheers and victory. Must be nice. Doesn't work like that in real life.
At least not for me that is.
We are going to get a littler personal here, if that's ok with you guys reading this. If I could be honest with you I would have to tell you that I battle fear. Constantly in fact. Some of my fear, a lot of it actually involves my writing. Is it good enough, is it worth reading, worth printing. I argued with myself and my publisher for weeks because I wanted to charge the least amount possible for my novels because to myself, I wasn't sure if they were worth it. I fear that people will hate my work, and thusly come to hate me. Probably my biggest fear is that one day I will look back at my life and say that I wasted all this time, money and effort for nothing. That my family struggled because of me and my dream and it wasn't worth it. That is just a small portion of my fear but those are real fears that cross through my mind, day in and day out. Every time I turn on my pc or pick up a pen to write I have to tell myself that I am doing the right thing because fear tells me to stop, and back away.
Why am I talking about this? Because I have a feeling that there are others out there who are on the brink of perusing their dream but fear is keeping them back. It did that for me for years. There are probably people reading this right now that are feeling like they are not where they are supposed to be in life but they are scared to take the first step. I know what you are going through, and it sucks. There is no point in sugar coating it and telling you that the moment you take the first step things get better, it usually doesn't work like that. I have been writing now for close to eight years and it is still a struggle for me. What helps me through it though are those short, amazing milestones that you hit. The first time I finished a chapter. The first time I finished ten chapters. The first time I wrote The End. The first time someone read my story. The first time I held it in my hand, bound and finished. The first time I saw someone reading my story. Those little milestones help fortify me and my decisions to write and fight for my dream.
They will come to you too and when they do it will feel like you just plugged yourself into an outlet. It feels like you are alive and at that moment you know you are doing what you are supposed to be doing. It might take years to get to your end game and that's ok. You might see others reach their endgame first or pass you by and that's ok as well. Don't compare yourself to them, you are not held to the same standard they are, you are held to your own unique standard. Good luck in following your dreams.
One of the most frequent questions that I get asked is about how I write. I get asked basic questions like how do you go about writing a book, where do your ideas come from and so on. Most of the time I find when people ask me about writing a book they already have a base line idea as to what they want to write about. It might not be a full outline or even a completed idea but usually they have some sort of start.
So they have a start and they want to know how to get from point A to point Z. How to go from a basic idea, a spark on inspiration lodged in your head to a completed, polished idea on paper.
Its a simple question to ask but there is only one single answer that truly fits the question. The answer is write, and write a lot. Write as often as you can and even if you don't want to. You can go online and find dozens if not hundreds of videos of writers trying to give advice and it all comes back to doing the work. There is no easy way to get it done, at least not correctly and if you want to be a writer and you want your name on the cover of a book or two then you won't mind putting in the work.
As a rule of thumb for me personally, and this is for me it doesn't have to be for you, I try to write at least on page a day every day I work, which is five days a week. And on my off days I try to get at least two pages done. There are times when I blast through a few pages in under an hour and there are other days I have to struggle to finish the first page. The important thing for me though is that I am writing. There is going to be a lot in your first draft that's not great, that's ok. Just put it on the paper and move on. That's why we go back through it a second and third time, to fix those things.
The most important piece of advice I could give a writer thinking about taking the plunge on a novel or story of their own would be to push through and don't lose momentum. Once you start don't stop till you type the two words that stand for our victory as writers.
For some reason my first post that I wrote has been deleted which makes me sad but I am back, which was the point of the post. The Clash of Land and Sea, book 2 in The Dragon Riders of Arvain series is out as of Sep 10 which is a huge leap for me. I am very excited for you guys to be able to read and hopefully, and more importantly enjoy. If you are here reading this then you know that the website is back up and running at full steam and I am moving right along with book 3 which is called............
So how about that life, always getting in the way huh? I can tell you mine sure has over the last few weeks. I am sure you have been wondering what happened to me since I went dark over the last few weeks ago, at least I hope you are. The answer for my disappearance is life. Simple as that.
The first two weeks I got slammed with finals in both of my college classes and I was awarded less than half a week off before my next two classes started, which I am currently working on. All the while I am still trying to edit, write and outline for The Dragon Riders of Arvain series. My plate has been running over full these last few weeks. On top of everything we are finally getting to finishing my office so I will have a proper place to write. I am finally getting to a point where I have a little bit of time to spend with you guys again. So with that said, hello. How’s it going?
A topic that I would like to talk about this week is info dumping. This is a subject that many first time writers might not know about and it is a shaky tight rope when it comes to writing, especially fiction. What is info dumping? Info dumping is just what it sounds like. It’s when a writer dumps tons of info into a small part of the book, usually but not always the beginning. This happens a lot in fiction writing because the writer is developing an entire world sometimes and there is a lot of info that goes into that.
Now info dumping is not always a bad thing. Think of it like putting peanut butter on a bagel. You need to put the peanut butter on the bagel so you try to smooth it over the entire surface. Same with info dumping. Try to smooth it out over the course of the book or chapters where the info is needed. Sometimes info dumping is hard to avoid. For instance in The Broken Scale, the first draft that is, Fendrel dumps a ton of info on the reader as him and Hayden travel through the Starlight Plains. Hagrid info dumped after he told Harry he was a wizard. Gandolf info dumped and Frodo and Bilbo. In fiction writing you find info dumping but they key is to try to break it up so it’s not so obvious which makes it easier on the reader. Well I hope this post helps, please feel free to leave comments below if you have any questions. Until next time.
Click her Well hello all you readers out there. How is everything going? I hope everyone is getting some good quality reading done and if you are trying to write a book or novel this year then good luck. This post today comes from a discussion I had with one of my college professors this term. Let me set the stage for you really quickly, before we jump into the discussion.
This class that I am speaking of happens to be an English clash that is centered on writing research papers. So early on in the class we had to pick a topic that not only interested us but was also relevant to our audience. If you have been following me long than you now that literature takes up what little free time I have. So when it comes to something that interests me, the pickings are slim. So I decided to write about one of the biggest decisions a writer has to make; choosing to use indie publishing or going traditional publishing. Which leads me to what I want to talk about today, being an indie writer.
Now when I first set out to be a writer I probably had the same dream that most writers have. I wanted my book read and enjoyed. I imagined myself walking into a book store and seeing young adults eagerly reading my latest work. I hoped to one day see my books at libraries or other such institutions. Those were my dreams and goals when I first started writing. It wasn’t about money and selling out, it was all about creating joy in readers.
As I came to the end of writing my first novel I had no idea what would come next. I didn’t know anything about the publishing world or how it worked. I started watching videos and reading articles related to the topic of writing and getting published. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the topic.
Well long story short I decided that the easiest way for me to get my book into the hands of readers was for me to go through a traditional publishing house. After lots of searching and rejection letters I realized that first I would need a literary agent. Well before I set out to find one of those I started doing the math. I started looking at who I was going to have to pay out of my book sales and how much agents and publishers were going to want. I didn’t like the way that looked for me or my book series but I still wanted people to be able to enjoy my book. That left indie.
When I first started looking into independent publishing, or indie as I call it, I immediately felt like this was what I wanted to do. I got complete rights of my book and ideas. I got to pick the art work, the price and the setup of the book. I loved it.
Some people don’t like indie publishing because you really get out of it what you put into it. If you only work on your book, website, social media or marketing for only 20 min a week then chances are your book might not take off the way you want it to. With that being said just because you spend 40 hours a week on your book doesn’t mean it’s going to be a bestseller in the first week. For me though, I like the work. I enjoy building my own website, designing book marks to use a business cards and just selling my books. It makes it more special when I get a good sale month and it means the world to me when a fan tells me how much they loved my book. I am sure that there are writers who have had amazing times using traditional publishing houses but for me, I like being an indie writer.
e to edit.
Well it’s that time of the week again, Monday. Actually I am starting to look forward to Mondays because I have decided that they are going to be my update days. I already posted the newest installments to The Broken Scale and also to The Clash of Land and Sea. But enough about that, if you are here reading this Blog post then I can only assume that you already know about the updates. And no, I will not being telling you what happened to Draek and Hayden in this post, you will have to wait until next Monday for that.
So what do you guys want to talk about today? We could talk about what I am reading right now, what I am planning on reading. What movies I have seen or want to see. Or I could release book 2, The Clash of Land and Sea.
Ok, for real though. I really do need to release that book. I have been holding back on doing the detailed proof read and edit of the book because, well, I have been busy. What little bit of writing time I get I spend working on book 3 and doing some impressive work with book 1 (We will talk about that later, maybe next Monday). But I need to get the book out because I am sure you guys are ready to know what happens to your favorite dragons and their riders.
On a side note I am about to finish another semester in college and next semester I get to take a creative writing course, which is going to be amazing… I hope.
Alright, enough random rambling. Let’s get down to business, to defeat, the Huns.
So writing, let’s talk about it. Something that I want to bring up and ask you guys is about outlining. Do you outline? I am really wondering who out there in the writing world outlines before they ever start writing and what are you writing. One of my teachers is a poet but she says she never outlines. I, who writes young adult fantasy novels, do outline. Stephen King said in an interview that note taking and outlining are great ways to immortalize bad ideas. He said that if it is an idea worth writing about then you will write it and have no need for notes or outlines. Not sure I agree with him but hey, he is Stephen King so he can same pretty much whatever he wants. Like banana hammock.
How is everyone doing? Good, good glad to hear it. I am doing fine thank you for asking.
So the holidays are over and life is getting back to normal which means back to my busy busy life. School full time, working full time, trying to write full time, being a father full time and trying my best to be a good husband.
It is a lot but it all needs to be done. I wish that I had more time to spend working on everything. I have been thinking about making a work schedule for my personal life to try to manage my time better, what do you guys think about that? Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
So just to fill everyone in on what's been going on. I am working on my third novel, rewriting my first novel and cleaning up my second novel. That means my creative juices are all over the place right now but some how it is working.
The writing is going good even though it is a little crazy right now. I am trying to get my second novel ready for release and I think that soon it will done, which is weird to me. When ever I let people read my work I get a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, not sure if any of you guys feel the same.
Besides that I am currently reading a few different books. I am taking a stab at the Dark Tower series by Stephen King and also The Mortal Instrument by Cassandra Clare. I also got a handful of Star Wars novels to read and the entire set of Left Behind to dig into. I did just finish Magnus Chase, The Martian, A Knight of The Seven Kingdoms and a new book on dragon anatomy. I think I might start putting up some reviews for the books that I have read somewhere on the website but we will see. Not sure if I want to add that to my plate right now.
Well that's all for now guys so good luck reading and writing out there and I will see you next time.
Its time. It’s finally time. What time is it you ask? Well that is a great question and the answer would be that it’s time for me to get my hind end in gear. My second novel is completed and I have been staying away from it for too long. I have been scared to go through the rewrite stage because to be honest, that’s the stage that I hate the most. I hate going back through and rewriting what I just got finished writing. It feels like I am doing double the work. But whether or not I like it is inconsequential. It needs to be done and no one is going to do it for me.
So that means I need to make a checklist of all the things that I need to get done before its printing time. Last time when The Broken Scale came out I gave it about 50%. I didn’t have a lot of money or time to put into the book release and to be honest I wasn’t 100% sure on how to release a book. Now I have gone through that though and I have learned some does and don’ts of the trade.
Number 1- Try to have your book as perfect as it can be (cover included). Before you jump all over my case and call me a hypocrite because you found faults in my novel look back to my wording. I said as perfect as it can be, not make it perfect. There is only one perfect book out there and that’s the Bible. That’s why we try to make it be the best it can be. Again I know that time and money are problems that get in the way of our books being #1 best sellers but that shouldn’t stop of from trying. My novel in its current state made it to #56 on Amazon’s best seller list and I struggled through it all by my lonesome. Now that I have made it a little further in my career I am currently going back through The Broken Scale and trying to make it better so that I can re-release it in the future.
Number 2- Know your market and figure out how to get them. This is one that I think kills most books. We are writers and we like to write, we are not scared of a blank page or a new idea. We do usually get a little nervous when people want to read our writing especially when they are strangers. With that said there is no way around that. If you want to be a writer for a living then you are going to have to let people read it but the trick is to know who to give it to. I remember early on that I got a horrible review, like 1 out of 5 stars bad. The guy giving me a review said that he hated reading Young Adult Fantasy novels, which is what mine is clearly categorized as. He then went on to smash both my novel and my genre, but he went into it knowing that he hated my type of book. Why did he read it? Not sure but if you that you are writing a romance novel find outlets that will appreciate it.
Ok that’s it for now but I will try to post again soon. You guys take it easy!