I'm an established full-time author - willing to answer questions if you have them

question

#582

Oh, thank you. Predator’s and Editors is what is no longer in operation. I get them confused sometimes. I updated my other post.


#583

Nope. You can publish elsewhere. Think of Wattpad like a “workshopping site” - it’s not final work, it’s stuff in process and you can still publish somewhere else.

What you want is POD (print on demand) there are three major sources: Ingram Spark, Lulu, and Amzon KDP (which used to do POD under a company by the name of CreateSpace but now it’s rolled into their ebook site - Kindle Direct Publishing)

Both KDP and Lulu have $0 setup fees. I think Ingram Spark is $75. Then you have to pay for the printing and shipping. A 350 page book would run about $5.00 + shipping so maybe $10 - $12.

No worries - I hope it goes well.


#584

Here’s an interesting article on 20 famous authors’ writing routines. https://medium.com/the-mission/the-daily-routine-of-20-famous-writers-and-how-you-can-use-them-to-succeed-1603f52fbb77

They’re all different, although it seems writing in the morning is the norm.

Stephen King writes 6 (very clean) pages a day. Whereas Anthony Trollope said: ”I require of myself 250 words every quarter of an hour.”

I like this quote from E.B. White: “A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.” I guess that’s why I’m such a slow writer.

This quote from John Steinbeck is also good: “Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day; it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”

Don’t listen to Jane Austen though. She lived in a different time. “If visitors showed up, she would hide her papers and join in the sewing.”

The author of the article summarized it as:

  1. Commit to working every day.
  2. Tackle your most important thing first — in a workspace with minimal distractions.
  3. Physically prepare yourself for the mental battle ahead.
  4. Create a daily quota to meet.
  5. Take breaks at regular intervals.

#585
  • Work every day - check
  • Tackle most important first - check
  • Workplace with minimal destractions - check
  • Physical preparedness - I don’t identify with that aspect
  • Daily quota - check
  • Taking breaks - nope - I prefer that once I start working I sat at it until I’m done for the day

But each person is going to be different.


#586

Yup. Same here. I give myself a target for the week - usually two chapters and then I work until I’m either there or have surpassed it. yes, one should take breaks but I find it hard to do. Not good for the eyes, I know…


#587

I have a few questions about marketing with regards to traditionally published books.

I realize it probably depends on the publisher, but:
a) How do they market books?
b) Do they do most of the marketing or is it (more often than not) the author who will be responsible for this?
c) If you’re expected to “sell” your own book, how do you do that? Especially if you’re someone who is nowhere near being “pseudo-famous” by being a youtuber, instagramer or someone with more than a hundred followers on twitter?

I personally suck with creating a personal network, and I feel like life is Game of Thrones, where the one who doesn’t have any allies will die as the first. It feels like you can’t accomplish anything without a bit of nepotism these days… That wasn’t a question, just a rant.


#588

a) It doesn’t just depend on the publisher. It depends on the amount the publisher invested in the book. It also depends on the genre of the book because different marketing techniques are more or less effective, depending on audience.

b) Publishers focus on pre-launch and launch buzz. Again, how much they do and what they do depends on how much they have invested in the book. Once the book launches, it’s pretty much all on the author.

c) Varies. EVERYONE starts at zero, and most people have an extremely limited marketing budget in the beginning. Frustratingly, what seems to be getting results right now likely isn’t what was getting results six months ago and won’t be getting results six months from now. It’s a game of try and measure and adjust.

Content is more important than marketing when you start out, though. If you have one book, then your ad can sell only one book per person. If you have three books, then your ad has the potential to sell your advertised book PLUS your other books. Much higher return on investment.

Self or traditional YOU will be responsible for making your book a success or not.


#589

So with regards to a): if you write a fantasy series, like the hunger games or something similar (where the target audience the age of 15-30, I would guess) how would/did the publishers/author market the book before it was made into a movie?


#590

You’re presuming a LOT to assume it would be made into a movie. It’s way, way, way, WAY harder to get a book made into a movie than to get traditionally published.

Target age for a YA fantasy is more like 13-17. If the audience expands beyond that, it’s a bonus, but you don’t target adults (beyond trying to get them to buy the book for their kids) with a YA book.

They wouldn’t do anything different than they normally do, unless the book blew up in popularity. Just being YA fantasy doesn’t mean the book is going to be popular. There are LOTS of YA fantasy books out there.


#591

Do you read your work out aloud?


#592

I honestly didn’t presume anything at all. What I meant was that popularity of books often increases after a movie has been made and therefore a movie is marketing in itself, but that’s not the type of marketing I’m asking about.

So what do they normally do, specifically?


#593

I want to know what it takes to become a TV series like Games of Thrones or Netflix/Outlander.


#594

Ah, I understand,

Their marketing is mostly pre-launch. With YA, assuming they invested enough in the book to care – and that’s NOT a given – they want to get the book on store shelves, in school libraries, and (depending on age group) in offerings like Scholastic. They’re going to have their representatives meeting with buyers for major chains; they’re going to bundle it in deals they make with book stores to get it more visibility; they’re going to put it front and center in the collateral they send to libraries; they’re going to include it in the books featured at book fairs.

All that presumes they invested a LOT in the book. Most books won’t get any of that. Most books will have ARCs sent out, will be included in catalogs their reps work from when talking to book stores, will have the authors set up on blog tours – that sort of stuff.


#595

A crap ton of luck.

Someone who has some power in the industry reads the book and decides to try to have it produced. They negotiate with whoever owns the film and TV rights (which is you, unless you were foolish enough to sign all rights over to a publisher). They negotiate an OPTION, which means they have x amount of time to secure funding.

The VAST majority of projects don’t get beyond the option stage. They may be optioned a number of times, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll go further.

For TV, the person who bought the option then networks in Hollywood to convince someone with money that they have the stars, director, writers, etc to put together a viable pilot. If they get that, THEN they buy the rights.

A fair number of pilots are filmed each year. A small percentage of those are actually aired. A smaller percentage go on to be ordered to series.


#596

Interesting… I suppose only larger publishing houses are able to invest in books, while smaller houses depend on the author to make a sale.

In b) you said once the book launches it depends on the author. What is the author expected to do? How often do authors go on blog tours and what do they do on those?


#597

Not exactly. Even the Big 5 rarely invest much in an unknown writer or one whose previous books haven’t been major sellers. Small publishers really do most of the same stuff – except they don’t have the distribution to get books into bookstores.

Blog tours are where authors do guest posts on blogs that are either book-focused (in general), focused on books in that book’s genre, or focused on some topic pertinent to the book. It’s just a free way to get the author’s name and the book’s title out there – get some exposure.

What authors have to do to sell books varies, depending on the target audience, the book’s genre, and how much money and time the author has to put into marketing. There is no right answer. There is no one path to success. It’s difficult at best.


#598

Ouch. Do authors usually pay for marketing?
Do you know what path the author of the hunger games / any fantasy novel targeting a young audience have done to promote their books?


#599

Yep, it comes out of an author’s pocket.

The “trick” to any marketing is to define, very specifically, who is most likely to buy the book, and then figure out the best way to get the book in front of those people.

I don’t know any specifics about how YA fantasy writers are marketing their books, sorry.


#600

Hello, Michael!

I’ve delved into self-publishing once before, but found it to be a very clumsy experience. The market appeared to be very bloated and less curated when it came to quality. Do you think that Self-Pub will remain a viable means of publishing in the future? If not, then what could be done to help its namesake?

Thanks in advance.


#601

Then what about other writers?