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D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006




So I am seriously looking to get into self-pub for money since I am working part-time from home and have a lot of free time. I am currently doing genre research and reading through this thread in order to put a plan together before I start writing. I remembered that I purchased Nimble Writer on steam during a sale a few years back so I opened it up in order to decide if that was the program I wanted to use going forward. When I opened it I found about 500 words I apparently wrote when I first bought it that I do not remember writing at all. It seems to be an opening to a book idea I had at one point.

I would like to get some feedback on what I wrote. I realize there are a lot of things I can clean up (I already pasted it into Hemingway), so I am not looking for specific critiques of things like sentence structure or passive voice. I just want to get some feedback from goon writers on whether my writing is poo poo or not. Assuming I nail the whole marketing/book cover stuff, is my writing at a sufficient level where I can expect to make sales? This has not been edited at all, so assume I would go through that process before publishing as well:

quote:


He was on his third drink when the man he was waiting for walked in the door and paused, taking in the room. His contact had the look of a man who had been away from others for a long enough time to let things go, even in this scrap of civilization on the edge of the wastes he wouldn't go unnoticed. His hair was unkempt and greasy, open sores peppered his face, and he had the gaunt look of the perpetually starving.

In this godforsaken place where the King's name was merely trivia, the people still kept *desare* and nobody deigned to notice the unwelcome stranger who had appeared among them. Still, he would need to buy their rounds for the rest of the evening and hope they all woke with exceptional headaches and unexceptional memories else there might arise a curiosity as to why a King's Man would come to a place so remote to meet such a man.

He was turning over the odds the settlement would have to be eliminated as his contact approached, grabbing a bottle from behind the bar on his way. The man sat and begin to reach into his pocket, pausing when he heard the click of the hammer being cocked under the table.

"You'll want to be doing that slowly friend," he said.

Gingerly, the man produced a rolled up parchment saying, "Do you have it?"

"Once I examine the map and verify it matches known descriptions you will come with me to the Sheriffs in Oxdraw. Upon arrival you will be placed in a guarded prisoner transport to the capital whereupon your arrival you will be placed under house arrest until such time as my quest is completed. Should I fail you will be executed, but should I succeed the terms of the arrangment will be met and you will be granted a small estate in the barony of your choosing along with a full pardon. There will be no negotiation."

"How do I know you just won't kill me as soon as we get a few miles down the road?" he asked.

"Because I am a King's Man, and I have been ordered to bring you back alive if possible. The gods only know why, but the crown prince pleaded on your behalf for the bond you shared as children. Were it my choice I would throw your rotting head at the King's feet and be done with it"

Ashlan, his contact, the man who had betrayed his kingdom, handed over the parchment. As he carefully unrolled it he sensed its authenticity immediately. This was what he had been searching for since his initiation into the brotherhood. Very few brothers were given a *Feat* so early, but he had been groomed since childhood for the task. He would be the one to find the cache of the ancestors and restore his people to the stars.

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D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006




Thanks! That is excellent feedback. Keep it coming!

D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006





This is all great advice, and is actually how I am proceeding. I may not have been clear in my post, but that text was something I wrote a while back and happened to find again. I just wanted to get general feedback on my prose, I won't be doing that genre. I am actually studying the romance market right now because like you said I want to make as much as possible. I have no problem whoring myself out in a genre I have no interest in. I won't proceed without a plan that includes all the marketing and cover advice in this thread.

I may get deeper into the research and decide it isn't for me. If it does end up being something I can succeed at all the better. I have always had the nerd dream of writing a sci-fi or fantasy magnum opus, but I realize that poo poo is incredibly unrealistic without a huge amount of writing experience. Maybe this is how I get that experience while making some money before moving on to traditional book writing, or maybe I get 7k words in and see a butterfly go by my window and abandon the whole thing all together. Whatever happens I am going to try to be realistic about it. Thanks for the advice, you have given me a lot to think about.

Edit: I was really just looking for the feedback you gave me. If I clean my writing up and put some effort into learning it can sell.

D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006




divabot posted:

UK LOCKDOWN SLAMS DOWN!!

so, yeah. This is a good time to get books out on Kindle for the cooped up with the family market, who are gonna need something to distract them from wanting to stab each other.

Print, I'm not so sure about - Amazon has already stopped restocking physical books, because they're going essentials ASAP.

Not sure how Kindle Print, formerly our slightly beloved Createspace, figures into that tho. Anyone know?

This is what I thought too, but I have seen some of the authors I follow on twitter saying their sales have tanked. I think people are too scared to spend money they don't have to at the moment.

D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006




Leng posted:

Ah, now that I didn't know. Further research seems to indicate I should just do both (https://selfpublishingadvice.org/use-both-kdp-print-and-ingram-spark-together/ so I guess I will be doing that. Especially because apparently Amazon hates Australia :psyduck: so that sucks for me.

Today I started reaching out for beta readers via Facebook groups. I was looking for 10 and got almost 70 responses in under 2 hours...and the sign ups are still coming in (tempted to cut it off but I'll let it run until the end of the week so I can collect more prospects). I'm a little floored that there's been such positive interest; I'm gonna pick 10 based on random number generator I guess and reach out to the rest on launch day with a discount code for their trouble.

I almost wasn't going to try for beta readers because I made the noob mistake of thinking "ah crap that's all too hard, I should just throw it up, post a link and see what happens" which is the stupidest thought process ever. Thankfully, the number of things to complete on web forms were overwhelming enough that I decided creating a sign up survey for beta readers would be easier instead. I'm really glad I did, because now I have some detailed answers to my earlier questions.

What FB groups do you like? I had joined a couple and they were really bad.

D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006




Leng posted:

It isn't a writing or reading oriented FB group, it's a couple of FB groups full of my target audience members (and I'm one myself). I joined the groups way before I ever thought of writing the book, because the struggle to raise a bilingual kid in a predominantly English speaking country is real. There's constant chatter about bilingual picture books (which for Cantonese is an underserved niche) and how to get them because they are really hard to source.

On top of all that, I really wanted to get some bilingual picture books for my daughter that were, you know, actual interesting stories, not just a vocab book in disguise. Then I realized I could just...write one and so I did. I spent today sending out a PDF copy to beta readers and partially setting up my website (so Script Frenzy is going to have to wait :sigh:) and tomorrow's task is to reach out to the Cantonese language YouTubers who target mainly English speakers to see if they'd like an ARC in exchange for doing a YouTube review or something.

On Wordpress chat: I set this one up on NearlyFreeSpeech using the WP-CLI (WordPress Command Line Interface) method and it was pretty easy. Now I'm in the middle of customizing my theme and writing the web copy (like not even the blurb, I finished writing the blurb at the beginning of this week).

EDIT: Oh and mailing list sign-ups. I was going to do a Mailchimp except they need a real physical address so now I have to organize a PO box before I can do that. Which is a distraction from the main stuff so I'm just getting individual permission through various Google Forms right now. There's a Google Sheets Mail Merge thing you can do with Gmail which is how I sent out my book to beta readers and the daily quota on Gmail is 100 recipients so I figure until I can hold out a little longer before I do all the PO box stuff. Then I will migrate it over to Mailchimp just in time for the launch so I can send a proper launch newsletter with Amazon links and asking people for reviews.

Still debating whether I should get people to do pre-orders. I have heard that pre-orders are good because they all count as sales on release day. But what sucks is if I could get a decent amount of pre-orders then instead of doing POD through IngramSpark I would just order a bigger run to be shipped to me and then organize shipping separately. But maybe that would be a logistical nightmare in itself. You know what, forget it I think I just talked myself out of doing that. I should just concentrate on launching the first book properly and iterate for the next one.

Honestly this sounds like something that could do really well on Kickstarter. Publishing projects for underserved communities or subjects tend to do well on there and you only have to print whatever you sell.

D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006




Leng posted:

I have thought about that and will probably do a Kickstarter for a board book edition if the other editions do well. The downsides to a Kickstarter is a) I would have to organize all of the fulfilment logistics myself which sucks and b) there wouldn't be a presence on the main book selling channels. The good thing about my market is in theory I should have a long tail of sales post launch, because there are always bilingual people having kids and appropriate books are hard to find when you live overseas.

Backerkit is supposedly a big help to kickstarter project owners. I don't know much about it, but you might look into that. I know with some kickstarters they continue to sell the traditional way after the kickstarter ends so you could start there and then execute the sales plan you have now.

Either way I think you have a good shot at seeing success with this book. Underserved publishing projects do well outside of kickstarter as well.

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D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006




This is interesting

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/tiktok-taking-book-industry-storm-retailers-are-taking-notice-n1272909

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