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Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Scrivener (which used to have a very generous trial period, unsure if it still does) and Kindle Create are both just fine for formatting, very Silver Standardy

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Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Judge Schnoopy posted:

After 16 years on these forms I don't know why I'm still surprised that there's a thread to learn everything I need at any point in my life.

My wife is self publishing her poetry book. She wanted it to stand out and arranged the poems into 5 sections that tell a story of insecurities manifesting into existential crisis. It's very therapeutic, in a way, and I'm incredibly proud of her work.

We went through a self publishing consulting company because I didn't know what I was doing (for example, not checking SA). $550, terrible editing, accusatory tones, no guidance and a refund later, she's back on her own to self publish. I'm doing everything I can to help but for poetry, I have no idea about the cover.

We're on version 2 and it's simple, gets the point across, but I'm afraid it has that 'self published' look. Any tips on basic mistakes to avoid, or am I better off lobbing this over to a paid cover designer?

The best place to start is looking at Amazon's top sellers in whatever category you're shooting for.

Poetry, for example (specifically poetry by women, but you can look at the parent category): https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Poetry-Women/zgbs/books/10159402011/

"by Rupi Kaur" is a genre all its own, but it's clear that you don't need to be fancy to succeed, just don't let it look low-quality. You can get an expert cover designer for well under $550 if that's the route you want to take, and there's dozens of goons who'll be happy to help you through the self-pub process

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Speaking of 50k, the Facebook group 20booksTo50k has all the answers if you feel like your questions have been asked a million times before, especially regarding “how do I sell more copies / make money”

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Yeah, as stated before Publisher Rocket (formerly KDP Rocket) does a good job of showing niches where you might want to focus on writing/categorization/advertising. The other paid service worth noting is K-Lytics, which is more about writing to market rather than how to advertise something you already have.

Doing the bare minimum of research and getting the cover/blurb formatted appropriately for the category is a million times more important than any of this, tho

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Fleta Mcgurn posted:

Hi, all, sorry if this is the wrong place to ask, but is there a general freelance-writing-for-money thread? I haven't published on Amazon yet, although I'm planning to in the future, although my idea for a book about sexy female scientists who bring ancestral humans back via cloning and then bang them for science is probably verboten in this thread.

Yep! https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3476455

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Captain Log posted:

Thanks for the input!

I certainly don't think I'm going to write Carrie on my first try. I'm so critical of what I write that it keeps me up at night. When I try to read for pleasure, I keep letting my mind wander off into how much better the book in my hands is than the arduous, bloated mess I created. I'm thirty-seven and done enough creative stuff to not be high on my own supply, knowing a first novel is probably much more a mess than good.

The hard thing to really grasp is the "Choose your Adventure" publishing game. My father, last publishing in 1989, very much thinks -

- You write
- You submit to everywhere, expecting a poo poo ton of rejection letters
- You get published or offered a contract

I'd kill for such a streamlined process.

This is a little off-topic (and simultaneously very *on* topic) but if you're ever literally interested in the Choose Your Own Adventure publishing game, Choice of Games is very open to publishing submissions if you write them in the (very easy) programming language their CYOA knockoffs run on--it's only 25% royalties but they're on iOS, Android, web, Steam, etc. I submitted a game last year (40k words or so) and made a few hundred bucks from it. Not going to get rich quick or anything, but it's nice to know they basically guarantee publication if you don't have any huge typos (and sometimes if you do, lol!)

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Fuschia tude posted:

Also, if you go through their official CoG label rather than the Hosted Games label Spokes is talking about, you get guaranteed $7-10k in cash advances over the course of several milestones as you write, plus they handle a lot more of the various multidisciplinary work that you ordinarily have to handle yourself when self-pubbing, like copyediting and running a beta test and providing cover art. So, a lot more like a traditional publisher. But in exchange, they mostly only accept established authors (in either traditional or interactive fiction), and they have much more exacting style and structure requirements. But as they say, publishing a Hosted Game first is a good way to qualify.

Yeah, I applied to the COG label after my first HG was published and they asked for a writing sample and i freaked out and just wrote and submitted another HG instead lol. Now i'm working on a third, and i keep telling myself that after this one I'm going to try writing for the main label

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Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

I decided that this year i'm going to take the plunge and start self-pubbing Real Full-Length Novels.

i mean, i'm gonna write some first but you know, *then* i'll publish. I'm sure i'll have plenty of questions!

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