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Old 06-06-2015, 02:54 PM
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Advertise Here

I hear you about putting things here, which is another reason I don't post much here because I *don't* want to be seen as advertising. But, again, that's going to be genre dependent. A person who posts here about their books but writes contemp romance isn't likely to get the same bump and a pure survivalist fiction author will. I write PA, but most of it is clean and YA/YAFA, so not necessarily what will attract readers here.

So, there's that.

As to beta readers, that's actually a little tricky and will depend on your readership (I don't like the term fan base very much). As much as I resisted it, I eventually went on Facebook so that readers could reach me more conveniently. Through that, I found out really quickly who the most dedicated readers are. Also, I had a real web guy develop my website, so that readers could contact me through the contact form there (I've had to take the contact form down for the moment because of freaking spam getting so sophisticated). Once you have those, then you have your beta reader group well identified.

Writer critique is something that can't be done on a public forum...at all. No one wants to be the first to say, "Oh, I like the story but your characters are about as deep as a piece of paper." (or whatever else). Especially here, people are genuinely nice.

A writer critique group, a real one, takes time to develop and needs to be with authors who are at the same level as you are. Which means they are never permanent because some will rise up and out and others will quit...etc. The reason is so that resentments don't build or jealousy doesn't develop and color their responses.

A good place to do that is via a secret FB group, google hangout, or shared docs. It can be time consuming, so it's best to have really firm groundrules on the amount of time any one person gets to themselves. So...it might be a tough part of one book (no more than 5K words) for one person each week or every two weeks or something. Otherwise, the time dedicated to it becomes hard to manage with writing demands and deadlines.

Now, an editing exchange is different than that...but that's another post.

Just my two cents.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:09 PM
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Developmental Editing is where the whole book is checked for structure and coherence and may involve rewriting or moving parts of the book around. The developmental editor actually reads the story to check character consistency and to see how the story flows and works as a whole. This is done by pros and usually needs to be paid for. We as authors are usually too close to our own work to apply much developmental editing, although we can try.

Developmental editing is what most self-published authors lack the most, and sometimes it shows. But it can cost thousands of dollars for a good developmental editor, and we just can't afford it.
What you can do to get around that is to NOT read your book or work on it for AT LEAST a month. This allows the stranger-effect to creep in so you read it as an outsider, and not the author.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:27 PM
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What you can do to get around that is to NOT read your book or work on it for AT LEAST a month. This allows the stranger-effect to creep in so you read it as an outsider, and not the author.
That's true, but it isn't the same as a real edit. Because we write as we read, there is no true objectivity. Eventually, in terms of self-editing, it comes down to just doing your best. (I hire it out because a good editor is a pro at that specifically.) You can also trade editing with another author. Even a non-editor author can help with seeing it a through a different lens. There are lots of ways to get around not being able to afford an editor, for sure.

Proofing for yourself is even harder, but also do-able.

Writers can enhance self-proofing efforts by doing three things that will highlight missed words (like on or to), homophones (their they're) and other oopsies.

1) Print it and read it silently.

2) Let your computer read it for you using the accessibility features in Word.

Then, once all of that is done and you've done your edits and repairs.

3) Print it again and read it aloud in an empty room. The whole thing.

You'll find a bunch more errors by doing that.
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Old 06-06-2015, 05:46 PM
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Good info. Thank you.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:30 AM
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...Let your computer read it for you using the accessibility features in Word.....
That's a GREAT point but I can't stand the computer voices in Windows. I've tried to get better voices but I can't figure out how.

BUT what I do is export the book to epub, put it on my phone in Coolreader, and use the Coolreader text-to-speech widget so it reads the book out loud as I drive or whatever. Its amazing how different it is to hear the book read out loud in a real human voice! You catch all kinds of things; tense errors, repeated words, stilted dialog, etc.

My phone has the free text-to-speech Ivona Voice app

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...=com.ivona.tts

So it is a real human voice and sounds about as real as it can get. Its also an awesome way to listen to regular books when driving. I don't even need audio books anymore.

BTW Christy, I can't express enough how much I appreciate you posting here on the boards. Your input is valuable to us newb authors. I hope to keep hearing more advice.
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Old 06-07-2015, 01:32 AM
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What you can do to get around that is to NOT read your book or work on it for AT LEAST a month. This allows the stranger-effect to creep in so you read it as an outsider, and not the author.
That is very true. I do that and I'm like "Wow, plot holes everywhere, and that dialog I thought was so cool last month is moronic!" LOL
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:04 AM
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Another neat thing to do is use a Dragon to speak the words into your book too! It's not perfect but can speed up the transcribing process when you have to put the corrections and errors into the manuscript.
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Old 06-08-2015, 01:51 PM
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Default Newb's Guide to Getting Through the Amazon KDP Publishing Process

EDIT: To download the complete and updated Kindle and Createspace publishing guide, see this post:

https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...52#post7773352

I'm posting this to help people figure out how to get through what scrachline called the "Amazon Maze" of publishing your Kindle book. This is for new authors who have never published. Because a picture is worth 1000 words, I'll be using a bunch of them.

First go to kdp.amazon.com and make an account. An existing Amazon account won't work, you have to make an account on KDP. You use your email address as the username, and it can be the same email address you use on your regular Amazon account. BUT you don't have to have a regular Amazon account to have a KDP account, they are completely separate.

Once you have the KDP account go to your Bookshelf page to enter a new book or edit an existing one: https://kdp.amazon.com/bookshelf

Then follow the pictures

Bookshelf part 1:



Bookshelf part 2:



These next 5 pictures are all from the "Edit Details" page. I broke the single page up into 5 pictures for clarity.

Step 1



Step 1 continued:



Steps 2-4



Steps 5-6



Step 7



The Rights and Pricing Page will be in the next post.

Last edited by sarco2000; 07-20-2015 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:01 PM
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Default Newb's Guide to Getting Through the Amazon KDP Publishing Process (cont)

Step 8 is on the Rights and Pricing page, which you got to by clicking the yellow "Save and Continue" button at the bottom of the "Edit Details" page.



Step 9



Step 10-11, final steps




After you have clicked the yellow button after Step 11, your book will get reviewed by Amazon before it can go "Live" which means available for sale.

However, books won't go Live until you get the KDP tax and banking information set up. I don't recall the particulars of the tax set up, and it will vary with country of residence, etc. Spend some time on the page, (KDP will let you know and show you how to get there) and read everything carefully.

Entering my bank's routing number and account number to set up the payments was fairly easy.

Next post will show how to find the Amazon URL of your published book, and check the sales.

Last edited by sarco2000; 06-08-2015 at 04:13 PM..
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Old 06-08-2015, 02:14 PM
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Default Newb's Guide to Getting Through the Amazon KDP Publishing Process (cont)

First, to get the URL for your book (once it has gone Live) so that you can admire your books Amazon page, show it off your wife or husband, and post a link to it here on SB:




Then, to see how many books you have sold:



Now for the bad news! You won't get paid until 60 days after the end of the month that you started selling books! So if you published your first book in mid June, you would get paid for June's royalties at the end of August. After that you will get paid at the end of every month, but the royalties will be for books sold 2 months ago.

If anyone has questions, ask.

Last edited by sarco2000; 06-08-2015 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:17 PM
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For overseas guys and gals (Non-US) you will need a US SSN to get the witholding tax removed on any royaltys. The only other way is a lengthy application process which I didn't have to do.
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:11 PM
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sarco2000,
I want to commend you on an exceptional offer. Not many people will take the time and effort to help other authors regardless of their expertise. I wrote my first book and posted some of it here. It was a struggle at the time and I can remember needing someone, anyone to help me, but that wasn't the case. So, rather than give up, I just kept keeping on. Eventually, if we keep at it things come together. I have three books on the market currently and one of those is in Amazon's Top 100 Best Sellers List and has been for 23 weeks so far. It's called California's Child. The sales are already into the thousands of sold copies since it was published last August.

Also and important I suppose (to me), a Publisher found my book here on this forum, offered me a Publishing Contract and a Literary Agent to boot. My biggest regret when I went with Create Space initially was not to have had the original manuscript edited thoroughly before I published it. I paid a young woman a lot of money and when she didn't deliver, it would have been a struggle to have to turn around and do it all over again. However, I should have. Sometimes we have to kiss a lot of frogs before we get things right. Generally speaking, things sometimes work themselves out and in my case, I got very lucky. I think what you are doing is very admirable. Keep up the good work. There was a time when I would have gladly taken you up on your offer, but as things turned out I have a company that does all of that for me now, and I am grateful for them having relieved me of a number of chores which I wasn't that good at in the first place.

My other two books are called Avalon The Retreat and Beyond Avalon The Retreat. I wrote Avalon The Retreat under the title of Survival Preparedness Part One.

https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...light=Caseyboy

My editors suggested I changed the title and various others parts in the book and I did. They were correct with their advise.

Keep up the good work,
Caseyboy
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:47 PM
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sarco2000,
I want to commend you on an exceptional offer. Not many people will take the time and effort to help other authors regardless of their expertise...
Congratulations on the success of your books! You're one of the many SB authors who became famous! Since you are too modest to post a link to your Amazon page I will do it myself:

http://www.amazon.com/L.-Michael-Rusin/e/B00A699NYY/

I've formatted so many kindle books that I can do it in about an hour or so (and make it look professional); so it's not really a big deal to do it for folks here. I don't mind taking that time to help a fellow SB author to get famous!

I can also format a fiction Createspace book very quickly as well and will do that if anyone needs it.

scrachline's book was different, he didn't have a way to get the manuscript to me. So I had to copy and paste from 72 different forum posts. For that reason, it took me weeks to find the time to get it done. But he's a nice guy and I really wanted to help him out.

And yes, editing, proof-reading, etc, should be done first. That takes a lot of time that I don't have.

I think it would be very pleasing if fellow SB authors who sell their books on Amazon (or elsewhere) would post a link to their book page in this thread. It gives the rest of us hope!
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Old 06-08-2015, 07:54 PM
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I think it would be very pleasing if fellow SB authors who sell their books on Amazon (or elsewhere) would post a link to their book page in this thread. It gives the rest of us hope!
I quoted myself But in that spirit I will post a link to my own book, about how I built a cabin off grid in the forest of Montana:

http://www.amazon.com/Montana-Homestead-Built-Grid... cover
http://www.amazon.com/Montana-Homestead-Built-Grid...
And my author page:

http://www.amazon.com/Gordon-Blaine/e/B00S1UNHRY/ cover
http://www.amazon.com/Gordon-Blaine/e/B00S1UNHRY/
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:18 PM
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ChristyACB ,

Today, when I am writing a story, I work hand in hand with one or two of my editors. I'll write three or four chapters, send them to the editors and then wait for them to respond. What usually happens is, they will come back and make suggestions about things I've written. Occasionally, I'll get off on a tangent and they catch that and we go back, discuss it, and then I rewrite to my own reasonable discourse but keeping in mind what they have pointed out to me and I try to make it better. Most of the times I have to write a manuscript (story) several times before it flows the way I want it to and it suits my editors. I learned a long time ago, listening to what an editors has to say regarding your story is a very good thing to do. I made a lot of changes to my best selling book California's Child by listening to my editors and by following their advise. Today that advise is paying off. In the end we all want to write to please a reading audience. If people don't like what you have to sell, they won't buy it.

You make some valid points with the advise you dispense. One of the keys for beginning authors is to listen to what other writers have to say. I have a writers group that meets once a month and we talk about writing, we critique other writer's work, but mostly what we talk about is writing. Many times people's egos get in the way of accepting that advice and they work on mediocre manuscripts.

We can not edit our own stories. It takes others to read what you say and then get their take on it. I have been listening to my computer read my work back to me and you can get a lot from that exercise but it only will catch some of it. The same with a spell checker. Many times words will slide by because the word is spelled right but used wrong. I spelled coupe instead of coop. Both were spelled right but the one I used wasn't properly used in that context. If you have an editor, you are ahead of the game. If you have more than one editor you are very lucky.

I noticed Watch Ryder mentioned Dragon Naturally Speaking to write with. I do too. I went from my clumsy 45-55 words a minute to over two hundred with a minimal of typos. Any tool that helps us write is a good tool. Most writing programs that are sold are pretty much a scam. They are fill in the blanks and when you're done you'll have a story that would have to be rewritten and revised by a good editor. I've seen the results of three of them. I honestly think they are a waste of money. However, I do use and recommend Scriveners. It will keep everything where you can get to it easily, find it, save every place you go on the web doing research, keep your chapters in a proper order, scenes and timelines. Timelines were a bit of a problem for me but not anymore. The biggest problem people have with Scriveners is there is a learning curve and it is a bit of a bear to get used to. Another good software program is WriteitNow. That is much like Scriveners but a little easier to learn to use.

I always appreciate reading helpful comments such as yours.

Caseyboy
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:25 PM
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..Also and important I suppose (to me), a Publisher found my book here on this forum, offered me a Publishing Contract and a Literary Agent to boot. ...
I want to point out (disclaimer: I may not actually know what I'm talking about; this is my opinion and you know what those are like) that getting a publisher is really awesome, and can give an author an un-matchable big boost in fame and sales. And they handle the editing, cover work, and marketing, so all you have to do is write books.

But it's not always necessary to be found by a Big Time Publishing House.

I saw Angery American say somewhere on here that he didn't re-sign with his publisher. In other words, he is self published now. I have to say that I don't know A.A. or his reasons for going self published, but its probably because he will have more control over his creativity, and more importantly because he will make a lot more money. Publishers take a big cut of the royalties.

Two of my favorite authors are Hugh Howey and Michael Bunker. Both are self published, rich and famous, and both told the Big Time Publishers that they are not interested because they will make more money without them.

Michael Bunker writes Amish sci-fi, if you can believe that (he invented the genre!) which gets my attention because I am descended from Amish parents.

Here are their Amazon pages:

Amazon.com: Hugh Howey: Books, Biography, Blog,... cover
Amazon.com: Hugh Howey: Books, Biography, Blog,...Amazon.com: Michael Bunker: Books, Biography,... cover
Amazon.com: Michael Bunker: Books, Biography,...

Hugh Howey has an excellent blog about being a self-published author and the link is here:

http://www.hughhowey.com/


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...when I am writing a story, I work hand in hand with one or two of my editors. I'll write three or four chapters, send them to the editors and then wait for them to respond...
That is really cool. Is there a way to do that without being signed with a publisher?
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:36 PM
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sarco2000,
Thanks for the plug. I'm a bit overwhelmed at what my books are doing. California's Child is definitely the winner so far.

I tell anyone who wants to write a number of things:

Don't expect to make a living off your work, at least not for awhile. You'll become disappointed quickly.

Listen to what people who read your work say about it and then incorporate those things into your story.

There is no secret to writing, it simply takes a great deal of practice. The more you write, the better you get. One day you will discover you have found your voice, and that's when you really start to learn.

Never give up. If you give up, your story will never get finished. Quitters never accomplish much of anything.

When you write a story, a book or an article, try to make it the best thing you have ever written. Sometimes that takes multiple rewrites. If you want it to be good enough, rewrite it until it is.

Make sure you have a competent editor working with you. Believe me, it helps.

Writing isn't easy. Making your writing good is even harder work. Writing is a lonely endeavor. It's all up to you in the end.

Caseyboy
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:46 PM
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sarco2000,

One of my editors lives about 35 miles from me and we get together now and then to discuss writing. I have turned him on to several authors and he has done editing for them at a very reasonable price. I have a writers group where we meet once a month. Also, I recently helped a man by the name of Fred Holmes get Published. He wrote a book about Time Travel. Another man by the name of Albert Correia as well. They are both older guys and they are delighted they are published. I'm just as delighted they were published as they are.

My editor, Bob, will look at most stories or manuscripts. Just remember, he is only one man and can only read so many of them. He does a great job and we are friends which helps a lot. That way we can argue about things and no one gets angry. If you have an interest and you have a completed manuscript and you want him to read it, let me know. I'll need a real email address before I can set things up.

Caseyboy
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:05 PM
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Stupid questions:

How do you know your yarn is good enough to be published, and not just a silly story? (I don't know about other 'authors,' but there have been several times I have had to question what the heck I'm doing, you know, there's yard work to be done... etc... )

What's makes a good editor? What's a fair price?
How do you know the editor's criticisms are valid, versus someone who just doesn't get what you're trying to accomplish?

When do you ask your readers for criticism? Always? Chapter by chapter? 1/2 way through?

Obviously a finished story is necessary... I'm just spit balling. Very interesting thread. I would have never thought to publish anything before this. I had no idea it was even an option. I'm just trying telling a story that's been evolving, lodged in head for a while. I'm not seeing dollar signs or anything, just interested in your answers for future reference.
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Old 06-08-2015, 10:09 PM
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...If you have an interest and you have a completed manuscript and you want him to read it, let me know. I'll need a real email address before I can set things up.

Caseyboy
Thanks I may PM you someday if I ever get my next story finished, lol.
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