56

It is most likely anecdotal evidence. There are always breakout successes where this worked - people published their story somewhere and it got big. 50 Shades of Grey comes to mind, which came out of a fanfic community and was already successful in that community and had a following before the marketing was cranked up. It's also a good example why I doubt ...


48

Unfortunately, the word count of your work means that traditional publishers will not be interested. Even well-established authors like Stephen King publish their novella-length work only as part of larger collections, not as stand-alone works. Also unfortunately, a self-published novella by an unknown author will vanish without a trace on Amazon, unless ...


40

Is there a practical, effective way to prevent this IP theft? Yes. As someone who has pirated countless books, I might give you some insight into my frame of mind. There's a very simple way you can counteract this "theft": Put a donation link on your website. You'd be surprised if I told you how many times I wanted to donate to an author after reading ...


30

TL;DR: No I'm not really versed in the world of writing, but I do know things about software engineering and delivering content. If you are just writing for fun and the royalties are a bonus, you can just leave it at that. If you want it to be more than a hobby, I think that's critically misunderstanding what these platforms are. Amazon, YouTube, Steam, ...


29

I would strongly advice against offering a "pre-release sample". Offering a first chapter or two for free to get your readers hooked before they have to pay is a nice touch in my opinion, but providing a portion of your novel before it is all finished sounds risky. What if you realize by the 80% mark that something is horribly broken in the beginning and you ...


28

I will disagree with the advice you received. The vast majority of self-published fiction earns nothing, or at best some friend and family sympathy purchases. The case is even worse for un-marketed self-published fiction. To self-publish, you are responsible for developing the marketing materials and artwork, for figuring out where to post ads, for paying ...


23

What you're observing is a sea change in values and perceptions in the publishing industry, which has caused the distinction between "vanity publishing" and "self-publishing" to become very murky. This is important because "vanity publishing" did and does carry a heavy stigma, while "self-publishing" is on the road to respectability. Until pretty recently, ...


22

All that readers care about is that you present them with a well-crafted compelling story. Length is of minimal importance. Some of the best written and most memorable stories have well below 60- or even 50,000 words. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Of Mice and Men, Slaughterhouse Five, Fight Club, and The Great Gatsby all have less than 60k words (...


19

Unlike the other answers, let me try to give you a practical, nuts and bolt answer. When you go to self-publish your book, either as an ebook(Amazon, Kobo, etc) or print(Createspace etc), you are asked to give an author name. This field is not automatically filled based on your registered name. So you can fill in any name you want in the author field. This ...


18

TL;DR: Pick a lightweight, off-white, acid-free opaque paper (preferably book paper if it’s available). Then pick a binding to suit your budget: 3-ring and a nice binder if you’re cheap, plastic comb if you’re slightly less cheap, perfect binding if you’ve got a couple of bucks or professional bookbinding if money is no object. From just printing it off and ...


18

There is probably no stopping of file sharing in the modern world. But there is a chance we can make it cool to be backer and investor, sponsor and patron. Patreon, flattr, kickstarter, indiegogo and many other sites and services exist at this point and then I haven't even searched particularly notoriously after them the last year or so. There is a ...


17

To be honest, I think what he says is fairly ignorant. He has a big audience already, mainly due to putting in a LOT of effort and dedication for years to grow his online image and brand. When you've already got an audience, you've already got quite a network of potential customers. Without an existing audience and without marketing (i.e. letting other ...


16

Here's another way to think about it. Why should you use your real name? Use it if... you want anyone who Googles you to read you (or more likely, your reviews). Use it if... you want everyone in your social network to read your reviews, or you. Use it if... you want every prospective employer to read your reviews, or you... as part of standard screening ...


16

It depends. Using Amazon's book store as an example: If your book is in an Amazon category that has very few books and the reader finds a poorly-done homemade cover that speaks to what they are interested in, they may click on it simply because there aren't many others to choose from. However, if your book is in a well-populated category, competing with ...


15

Using a deliberately deceptive pen name is essentially a marker of fake authenticity. It can lead to success, but also criticism on the grounds of cultural appropriation. I would personally recommend against it. While not illegal, or even particularly uncommon, it strikes me as a little ethically suspect. There are two cases I would exempt from this ...


15

You need a website As a fiction author you should buy a web domain (URL) as close to your nom de plume as possible. Include contact info, and a professional bio. If you want a blog or some personal pages that's ok too, but primarily treat this webpage as a professional address, as if it's your booth at a writer's expo – a little more advertising and splash, ...


14

IANAL, and you should ask a lawyer (and in the future, please, never ever again sign a contract you do not understand), but for me it reads like this: You will retain all rights to the content of the Work. We do not own rights to your Work ... You haven't sold any rights. You still hold every right of your work. Which includes publishing it elsewhere. ...


14

CreateSpace ISBNs are real, legitimate ISBNs. You can use them to distribute your book anywhere in the world. The key limitation is this: If your book has a CreateSpace ISBN, you must buy your copies from CreateSpace. That is, you can't use another printer to print books with an ISBN you got from CreateSpace. You can find the "details" here: https://www....


13

1) Traditional publishing with an agent Pros: You as a writer focus on only one thing: writing. You have an agent who is responsible for shopping around your manuscript. Once it sells, the publisher is responsible for all the overhead: editing, printing, selecting a cover, distribution, marketing, and sales. There is no denying that there is a certain level ...


13

I have sent eight books through CreateSpace this year, including one that I'm proofing right now. The only upfront cost is the printed proof copy, and you can forego that (though it is highly recommended). Proof Copy. CreateSpace requires that you proof your book. You may choose to do this entirely through their online proofing tool, in which case there ...


13

There is no way to track who buys your books on Amazon. In your books, give readers a way to connect with you. Links to your book/author/publisher web site. Link to a mailing list. Links to your social media accounts. An offer that they can sign up for (a free ebook version of the print book they bought, or a discount on another book, or a free short story ...


13

The form for filing copyright has fields for both "Author" (the person whose name is on the work) and "Copyright Claimant" (the person who is claiming the copyright). Under Author, there is an option to check "Pseudonymous" to indicate that the Author is a pen name. If the Copyright Claimant and the Author are different names, there is space on the form to ...


13

My advice is to ignore the people that advocate writing a book in one month, or two, or three. Even with no other duties, it takes me at least six months to finish my fifth draft of a book, and I may spend another three months doing more drafts. I don't expect anybody else to follow my formula, it is based on my personal sensibilities and what I have found ...


13

I've had very good luck with fiverr.com (yes, two r's). It is called "fiverr" because the artists are supposed to be able to do some (relatively small) thing for $5 US. I have zero financial interest in it, and I only recommend it because for me it has worked great. I've gotten over twenty pieces of art there, from about four different artists. You can ...


12

I've seen many novels with a table of contents, and many without. Whether it matters depends more on how you want to structure things, than on any actual rule. I've also seen novels with no actual chapters, just tens of thousands of words all in a row (broken into paragraphs, of course) -- and novels with chapters as short as half a page. What works is ...


12

Am I to believe that the person will move on and not check it out simply because it was clearly homemade? Yes, believe that. Of course, believe that on average, you will still get some percentage of people that will click on it, but most people won't. The quality of the cover art influences the perception of quality of writing. Something that looks ...


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