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

question

#61

And that makes you different than other authors how? Many people say to me, “Well, that’s easy for you to say, your an established author with a huge fanbase.” But what they fail to realize is I was once right where they are–a debut author with no audience an no money.

I just passed my 10 year anniversary for my first published book and if over those ten years I spent a total of $1,000 it’s a gross overestimation. I didn’t buy advertising or have a gimmick, I built an audience by…

  1. Writing a book that people loved enough to tell others about and were waiting with baited-breath for my next release.
  2. Getting the book in front of some early adopters (who helped to spread the word as mentioned in #1).
  3. Rinsing and repeating. There hasn’t been a year since 2008 where I didn’t release at least one book and in some years I did two.

#62

Not even close - more like 1 in 100,000.

While true in most cases, it’s not always so.I’m obviously no where near Stephen King’s level, but I have creative input over my IP that was optioned. And the executive producer is already making changes to the pilot’s script based on my review of it.


#63

It’s possible, but it’s much harder than publishing books for the the adult market. If you are doing grade-school books or books for very young children you almost have to go traditional…but for YA, you can get some traction. I’m just not sure that is the BEST way to go for that particular type of book.


#64

Not true at all. Self-publishing is very viable and there are thousands of indie authors that get their books out just fine without the big-five.

Because they have to cater a targeted audience that is molded and spoon-fed what is “acceptable” versus what is “controversial”.

While there are “some” who object to alternative lifestyles in their books there are huge segments of the population that are craving it. The problem isnt’ writing LGBT…it’s writing GOOD LGBT.


#65

Interesting… So what does being an executive producer entail or entitle you to?


#66

You should read David Morrell’s book “Lessons from a Lifetime of Writing” or at least the section on Hollywood. In his novel “First Blood,” both Rambo and the sheriff die at the end. It was important that they both die because it showed there was no winner (generation conflict: Vietnam War vet vs Korean War vet). That’s what the whole story was about.

But Hollywood insisted Rambo live at the end. Morrell said it was absolutely wrong, but that decision made him very rich. Sometime those Hollywood guys know what they’re doing.


#67

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what Hollywood does if you have the novel already published.

–If they create a winning movie, hooray! The author gave them great source material – and his book sales will skyrocket.

–If they fuck it up, it’s not the author’s fault. “Come read the original story and see how much better it is.” Sales skyrocket.

The author wins in either case.

(Now the IP thing is a completely separate issue!)


#68

Thank you Michael!


#69

Oh, thank you for all of this!!! I’m very interested in how you built your resources, so I appreciate you sharing. I want to look ahead so that when I get to the next stage of my current manuscript,
I have a gameplan. It’s also an encouraging reminder to know that almost all of us start at the bottom, without funds or connections, but that it is possible. If you can do it, so can I! (If I put in the work)


#70

The biggest thing is to have a screen credit. The “creative input” comes from other aspects of the contract.


#71

I’ll check it out. Tor the most part I’m using (a) my own instincts and (b) listening to others who have been doing this longer than I have.


#72

Yep…but I was able to get enough controls in there that I’m “reasonably” protected.


#73

That’s the hope!


#74

I found it in the public library in the 800s where the other how-to-write books were.


#75

Michael,

In terms of Wattpad, my primary goal is to get something optioned. I would prefer to go the short story route, but it seems that books are mostly what studios would go for. Am I wrong on that? Can I continue writing my short stories?

Also, is it possible to make a living simply by being optioned and not ever seeing the option executed? Would one need a long-tail bibliography to make that happen? Thanks.


#76

Thanks for the 411


#77

Well, I don’t want to burst your bubble, but I do think you need some realistic expectation setting. To have a bestselling book optioned is extremely difficult…to have a popular short story optioned…is pretty much unheard of…to have a short story by an author that has nothing published…well I think the chances are essentially nil. Wattpad IS not a place where Hollywood people hang out looking to gather up the next thing they wish to spend millions of dollars on. So, yes, you can continue writing your short stories…by all means do so, but don’t think that’ll be your ticket to the big screen.

No, an option is generally only around $5,000 - $10,000. And while it generally will need to be renewed on a regular basis, It’ll probably be 5 - 10 years between those (and there is no guarantee it WILL be renewed). And generally speaking a person doesn’t get a “long-tail” of optioned works. The number of writers that get even one project optioned is like .0001%.

Bottom line, novels are the way to go for income…and most novelist still have day jobs. I don’t know of anyone earning well on JUST shorts, and none of them have even one option let along multiples.


#78

Check out this thread in this club: TaleFlick


#79

I’m not even dreaming of getting picked up on here by a small publisher.

Getting optioned is ridiculously hard, even harder than getting a book deal. I think a lot of people (and I know some personally) join Wattpad in hopes to get noticed and while this site is awesome, it caters to a certain market and if you are not fitting into the standards of that market, it’s extremely hard to get noticed on here.

I have told some of my friends on several occasions that waiting for someone to notice you in a sea of other books (some of those are really great books too) is not going to get you closer to actual publishing. Best way to go about it is to just make it happen yourself. Otherwise, one can wait to get optioned here for decades.


#80

Hi there!

Thanks for taking the time to offer up your experience and answer some questions. I’ll be honest, I’m fairly new to this whole process so I might have some fairly elementary questions. I hope that’s alright.

  1. I’ve seen a lot of debate between traditional and self-publishing – especially when it comes to first-timers. With your experience, would you suggest one way over another, specifically pertaining to Fiction?

  2. I’ve seen a lot of different methods of formatting a manuscript so that it’s primed to be sent out to potential publishers. Do you have a go-to method of formatting, or perhaps any references that you would suggest?

  3. For someone who is not that big on social media (admittedly, I already know this is a huge flaw that needs to be addressed for exposure sake) do you have any recommendations outside of Wattpad that you’d suggest for getting new readers?

I definitely have a lot more questions but I don’t want to take too much of your time.

Thanks!