Could it be? Have I finally thought of a new book idea? Yes.
A little back story here. I self-published my book more than three years ago. I didn’t come out of college with the goal of securing a good job or traveling the world, I came out with the single goal of writing a book. Some of you will recall the original name of this blog as Write me a Book, John!.
After I published my book I immediately began work on book 2. Cause I’m obviously a prolific author. I soon realized the second time around was different. The drive simply wasn’t there and the story itself wasn’t clicking. I made it about 30,000 words into that first draft of my second book when I abandoned it. My memory tells me I wrote myself into a corner I couldn’t get out of.
Early yesterday morning I came up with a new idea. And who knows, maybe I’ll get started on it sometime soon.
There are plenty of writers out there better than me. Better stories. Better ideas. Better writing backgrounds. Which means I have plenty of room for improvement. Leggo.
What do you do when you’re discouraged with your writing? I did nothing and it’s cost me nearly four years.
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I’m in the midst of a mad dash to complete my 2016 reading challenge. I finished two more books over the weekend to see if I can ultimately complete it.
But today I’m talking about MY BOOK. I wonder if I’m making history right now by reviewing my own work. Hm. Anyway, let’s go.
Divided Within is set in and around Houston and follows Andrew Banks as he works his first case as a private investigator. His first client happens to be a teenage girl who suspects there’s something really wrong between her parents that they aren’t telling her about, only it’s much worse than she could have imagined.
A little history before I get into the good stuff. I wrote the book over the course of the first months immediately after I graduated from college in 2013.
Although it’s my own work, I still had problems with it. The first thing I noticed is I obviously forgot how to use commas. Seriously. I’m not sure what was going on. There were commas where there should have been periods and then there was nothing where there should have been commas. Ugh.
The other thing I didn’t really like after my reread was the language. It was unoriginal. It’s a crime novel, but I felt I used cussing at weird points in the story. I don’t feel like it worked.
The other thing that I definitely recognize, though I still don’t have a problem with is the story. I won’t get into the specifics because some of you all might actually want to give it a read now, but one of the complaints I received when I first published the book was that the story was unbelievable. And it is. But I’ll keep saying it over and over again that I don’t read any fiction to read something that’s entirely realistic. If that’s what I want then I’ll watch the news.
After more than three years my favorite aspect of the book is still Andrew and Sydney. I found a few points in which I didn’t like their dialogue, but their relationship is great. So many detectives have a new love interest every other book, but not Banks. You know that just from reading this first book.
I still find it crazy that I wrote this thing, but I did and it’s mine. It satisfied the requirement to read a self-published book for my 2016 reading challenge.
Have YOU read it!? Have you ever tried to review your own work?
If you’re familiar with Kickstarter, then you know exactly what I’m about to describe to you even before I do. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that allows people to pitch their project to potential backers who then decide if it’s worthy of backing. There are a number of similar sites out there.
Now there’s also Inkshares. Which is exactly the same concept, but exclusively for books. As an author you post snippets from your book on the site in an attempt to build up a following. Then ask them to help fund the project.
Two things immediately popped into my head when I read this. First, there are already so many crowdfunding sites out there that this is likely to get lost in the mix. Second, there are crowdpublishing sites run by major publishers that publish books based on ratings and reviews by readers. Readers don’t pay anything, they simply read a sample and leave feedback.
This site will likely be touted as a nice mix of traditional and self-publishing, but it isn’t. The editorial board will only edit the book if it reaches 750 backers or minimally if it reaches 250. I don’t see anything traditional about that.
I think authors would be better suited to try different platforms before this one. It just doesn’t sound like a winner to me.
Would you use Inkshares to potentially publish your book?
I’ve never been one to sleep at what most might call a “normal” hour, which means if my TV is on there’s a good chance the late night infomercials are trying to sell me something. Honestly, I’ve not once bought anything after watching an infomercial. The prices are rarely reasonable in my eyes.
But last night I had my TV on and caught a glimpse of a publishing infomercial. Are those a thing now? I can’t even tell you what they were selling, though it was likely some kind of book or kit that’s supposed to give you all the self publishing secrets to success. Other infomercials are pushing a product, but I can’t imagine this self publishing whatever it was having anything of worth. It seems to me that someone is trying to capitalize on the mindset I’ve encountered so many times from those considering self publishing. Releasing something as soon as possible in order to make money as soon as possible. The TV product most definitely attacked the latter of the two.
First, have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial? Second, would you buy a guide to self publishing after seeing it on an infomercial even though there are plenty of extensively researched guides available at your local bookstore or online?
Barnes and Noble has made a pretty significant decision. They’ve decided to sell self published books in their stores. It’s quite the turnaround for the company. I know from personal experience. When I self published my book three years ago I went into my local BN store inquiring about the potential to sell my book there. They obviously said no. But now, hmm.
The shift in policy comes with some fairly hefty requirements. First, the book must be self published through Nook Press. Which is BN’s self publishing arm, but definitely not a favorite of any author I’ve interacted with because the Kindle and iBooks have all but killed the Nook. I’m not sure if they require exclusivity, but I can’t imagine it being beneficial to only sell your book on Nook. The Nook is dead. Plain and simple.
Second, the company requires the titles to sell a certain number of copies in either print or digital formats. It’s 500 for one format and 1000 for the other. If your book meets the sales requirements and has been published through Nook Press, then hooray! You could have your book on a shelf at a BN store. But remember that their shelf space is extremely limited and sought after. There’s no guarantee here.
What do you think of BN deciding to give some self published authors the opportunity to sell their books in their stores. I’m not particularly optimistic. I think the sales numbers are the absolute bottom, but I imagine an author having sell many more copies of their books to actually reach the shelf.
A little late today, but I’ll be bac,k on track tomorrow.
I just read an article about the writing processes of Diana Gabaldon and George R.R. Martin. I don’t need to inform you of Martin’s process because you likely know he takes his sweet time writing his books. Gabaldon is slightly different. She writes all the time, no matter what she has going on.
I know what you’re thinking. Just about every author today writes more than Mr. Martin. Eh. Maybe. But that’s not the point here. Gabaldon was asked when her next book will be released. “Six weeks after I finish writing it.”
Wait, what? How can a book be published just six weeks after the author finishes writing it? There’s editing and editing and editing and marketing and so many things that go into the publication of a book. But she was very adamant about the timetable. And it got me thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a schedule from any popular author or anyone here on WordPress. It almost sounds like the timetable to self publish. Could this six-week rule be the norm? Or is it just something that works for her?
Tell me what you think about a book hitting bookshelves just six weeks after its author finishes writing it. I think it’s a little on the quick side.
What in the world could I be talking about? I can see the wheels spinning in your head.
Well let’s give some background. Anyone who knows anything about publishing knows that self-publishing has a certain amount of stigma attached to it. There aren’t riots in the streets and no one is calling for the heads of the CEOs of the Big 5 publishers, but there’s still a stigma.
But a little tiny sliver of hope has appeared on the horizon. The Washington Post featured a self-published romance novel as one of it’s “Best Romance Books of 2015”.
Alisha Rai’s Serving Pleasure made the cut. And it’s thought to perhaps be the first such book to make one of these best of the year lists.
So now maybe Alisha Rai will be mentioned in the same breath as Hugh Howey, E.L. James, and Andy Weir? Or not, but it’s still nice to see.
What do you think of a self-published book being named one of the best romance books of 2015? I have nothing negative to say about it.
No, this isn’t my monthly recap post. It’s a little different. November being over also signifies the end of NaNo. Finally.
Now most of the people who rave about the “community” will see how they’ve got it all wrong. Sure some might stay interested in your project, but it likely won’t be too many. Because why would they? They’re going to self-publish soon. Or continue working on their own project. Or they won’t be “writing” much more for the time being. So why would they stay interested in your project when it’s no longer cool? They won’t.
And so many of the NaNo participants will finally shut up about how great NaNo is until Camp NaNo in whichever month. Thank goodness.
Cause I didn’t.
Most people by now know the story of Fifty Shades and The Martian starting out as self-published works. And anyone who knows anything about publishing also knows about Hugh Howey. But there are a few more titles I’d not known about until just a few minutes ago.
Uh, weren’t there like three movies in this series? And it was originally a self-published book? Did not know that.
I actually think I may have known about this one. Maybe. But I definitely know Julianne Moore won ALL the awards for her performance in the movie adaptation.
I think this has something to do with a dragon, right? I just know from the bits and pieces of the movie I’ve seen. Two interesting facts about this one. The author was 19 when he became a NYT bestselling author with this title. And he started writing when he was just 15. Yikes.
Did you know these were originally self-published? Or do you know of any other popular books/authors who were?
I normally don’t even say indie for self published authors because it seems like they’re trying to legitimize their work by avoiding “self published” author. Which is ridiculous because if you self publish then you self publish.
Anyway, now to the point of the post. One thing I was looking to do when I first self published two years ago was book signings. And I know the thought has crossed your mind if you’ve self published recently or are planning to.
I’m here to tell you that there is a place that has a nice customer base and will be happy to help you host an event. Obviously different locations are going to have their own guidelines and rules, but let me tell you about my Half Price Books. We have author signings most Saturdays. The authors set up near the door so everyone can see them. And the author leaves with 100 percent of what they make during their time in the store. There’s no fee or percentage taken by the store. AND most authors stay for three hours and the manager makes announcements every half hour or so telling customers who is at the front of the store and why.
How cool is that!? Half Price Books of course isn’t in every city or town. But there are more than 200 locations spread across the country, and I bet most have signings and guidelines similar to mine. So give your local store a call and see if you can get yourself in front of plenty of people who are already looking for books!