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



They are in editing…my editing process usually entails:

  • Alpha reader feedback / change incorporation
  • Line editing
  • Beta reader feedback / change incorporation
  • Another pass of line editing
  • Copy editor pass (I generally use two editors for this)
  • Layout
  • Gamma readers & proof readers
  • Ready for publicaiton.


Breaking out is the ultimate goal (for many authors). We write (in part) to have people read what we wrote, so getting many people reading is generally a good thing. That said, I don’t understand your assertion of “focusing on breaking out.” Do you mean “writing for the market?” In general, I think it’s best to write what you love and hope there are others who enjoy the same things. I don’t recommend you trying to time the market, or distort what you are writing to try to appeal to a certain demographic.


You are welcome. I wish you well.


Sure, I’ve been using Bang Printing and I’m very happy with their quality. They are domestic. IIRC they are based in Minnesota?

When it comes to short run printing (small quantities) try Book1One. Also if you are doing very small numbers then POD (print on demand) is the way to go. It can be expensive for hardcovers (but very reasonable for trade paperbacks).

There are two types of Kirkus Reviews…the ones done by them for a title they think is worth talking about (which is free) and then there is Kirkus Indie Reviews (once known as Kirkus Discovery) which you pay $425 - $575 for. I’m VERY MUCH against buying reviews (no matter who you are paying). So, I’m highly opposed to Kirkus Indie.


Not really…Has it happened before…possibly…but the chances are very slim. Bottom line the chances of having any property optioned is very small, almost infinitesimal. Best chances come from big-five bestsellers, then big-five mid-list. Self-published titles are rarely optioned, and wattpad titles would be at the very bottom of the list.


With self-publishing there is a lot to learn. Basically you not only have to write the book, but also become familiar with all the tasks the publishers do (and execute those tasks extremely well). So going through that process will certainly give you a lot of “experience.”

Traditional publishing isn’t without it’s learning curves and while much will be done by others (you’ll have a team of professionals already setup to work on your book), you can learn a lot by working with these people and seeing what they do from a production and marketing standpoint.


Who said it was too short? I’m not following.


Most authors don’t get far regardless of the path they choose. In other words, your chances with self-publishing success is the same as your chances with traditional publishing success…and in both cases it’s the very top 1% - 2% who “make it.”

The problem with determining the chances comes from how people do the math. If you consider the “entire pool” of traditional published authors as those who have released a book through that route, then it would appear much higher than self. In other words. Maybe 10% of books traditionally published do “fairly well” whereas only 1 in 1000 self published books would. But…if you are looking at the traditional group as “those who have got a contract” you’ve already taken a very exclusive sample (as most don’t get published).

Bottom line…if you were to compare apples to apples you would have to look at all people who are querying traditional (and getting no where) and if you look at that subset then I think the chances of success is about equal.

As for how you do well with self-publishing…it’s the same as the approach with traditional. You need to…

  1. Write a good book (defined as a book that people will tell others to read)
  2. Get it noticed by a few people to get the ball rolling
  3. Rinse and repeat.

This “formula” works for both kinds of publishing (self and traditional).


that guy that’s been harassing everyone in the industry forum.

It’s contemporary fantasy.


That makes sense. So what would you say makes most authors not successful? Compared to those who are successful?

Thank you!


In another thread you mentioned Alpha reader at least twice. I know what a Beta reader is. What’s an Alpha reader?

Obviously it comes before the Beta reader. But what is the Alpha reader looking at/for?


Hmm, I guess. I’ll keep that in mind even though I’m not hoping on anything. Thanks for the insight though.


Not Michael (obviously! lol) but my definition of an alpha reader is one who reads the rough first draft for high level feedback. My alpha reader highlights all the plot problems that I address in my rewrite.


So it’s like a Development editor.


Kind of, yes, but that’s just how I use mine, I’m interested to hear how Micheal uses an alpha reader.


Does anyone know the average word count for contemporary fantasy? (I changed the plot of the series so during the series conflict, (The protagonist and the other main characters) go throughout all different dimensions to defeat the demon “Ghost”. I took it down and will be going back to it someday in my future, it’s about 63K words.


Any type of fantasy is going to have a high minimum word count, because of the additional world building required (as compared with a non-fantastic story).

I’d be surprised if they would consider under 80K. Sweet spot is probably right around 100K for a debut.


What is “contemporary fantasy”? I’ve not heard that genre before. Is this different to urban fantasy or PNR?


Yeah I only took it down because I didn’t feel it was ready to be put back up on Wattpad. So the first book (It’s a lgbt+ romance) that’s on the top page in a file that I got in google docs (Literally speaking lol) I’m currently writing. I plan on publishing that first.


its sorta like urban fantasy but most of the series they’re in different worlds so I highly doubt it’s an urban fantasy. Yes there’s romance, but it’s not the MAIN focus in the series.