31 Mar

It’s Never Too Late! – 99-Year-Old WWII Vet Publishes First Book

Misty Mountains bannerThis goes into the “inspiring” file: a 99-year-old veteran of the US Marine corps bought his first computer at age 95, and has now published a children’s book.

“Most of us have a bucket list that we never have time to do, until life presents us with spare time, and that is what happened to me.” – 99-year-old first-time author Sam Baker

Read the whole story.

21 Mar

Publishing on a Budget – How to be a Thrifty Author

Banner Piles of MoneyI talked to a neo-pro indie writer who soured on the whole experience, having paid $460 for editing, formatting, cover, keyword research, and a bunch of other stuff to get his book published.

In his view, he’d never make that money back. Which is quite true. But that’s not his problem.

His problem is that he overpaid. A LOT.

I published my first self-published novel in November. Total cost: $0.78 for two stock images. Read More

09 Mar

Book Rec: Crowdfunding Your Fiction by Loren L. Coleman (business)

Crowdfunding Your Ficiton by Loren L Coleman CoverThere are two types of business books: the ones that talk about business, and the ones that teach you how to do it. Coleman’s Crowdfunding Your Fiction falls solidly into the second category.

If you’ve ever thought about using Kickstarter (or a similar crowdsourcing platform) to launch a book, you need to red Crowdfunding Your Fiction.

CYF (which I’m going to call it from now on) gives you a high-level overview of everything you need to do in order to successfully launch a crowdfunding campaign. Then it dives into every little detail, and holds your hand while guiding you through every step, including pointing out where to click on the homepage. Read More

02 Mar

Brandon Sanderson’s 4-novel Kickstarter clears $15 000 000 in first 24 hours!

I’m guessing that most of you have already seen this, but if not, Brandon Sanderson has a new, 4-book Kickstarter out.

It’s broken all manner of records, in fact, it might become the most funded Kickstarter ever, and is already the most funded one in publishing (all publishing, not just books,) only being beaten out by the Pebble Watch for most funded KS ever.

What does this mean? Well, for us as readers, it means that we’ll be seeing more established writers Kickstarting their books.

Brandon’s last KS, for the limited edition of Way of Kings, brought in $6 700 000. The Four Secret Novels has already tripled that – and proven that WoK wasn’t a fluke.

It’s likely scaring traditional publishers like crazy.

Why?

Because it proves that a single writer, with a small, dedicated staff, can bring in a lot of money. No need for massive publishing houses. No need for the one advantage which the big publishers have held, the trade channels (i.e. the ability to get books into bookstores.)

Yes, Brandon is a superstar. Yes, he’s got a huge, dedicated fanbase.

But he’s not unique. And more, his lowest tier is ebook only, and it’s gotten over 12 000 buyers, which is on par with the audiobook, and the premium hardcover.

That’s a punch in the gut for traditional publishing and their attempts to bury ebooks. It’s also a punch in the gut for their ebook pricing models – a superstar writer charging $10 per book.

Now, this is only the first 24 hours, and we haven’t seen the reactions of the publishing world and the reading world, but I imagine that for writers, this is a huge boost, and even more so for indie writers.

Luck and Persistence!

28 Feb

The 12 Rules of Writing for Beginners

Banner - penGeneral rules for writing, in no particular order:

  1. The only way to fail is to give up. You can write whatever you want, and there will be someone who’ll love it and someone who’ll hate it.
  2. Trying to do your best is good. Trying to make a story the best it can be isn’t. Consider this: you will learn over time. Any story you write now will be inferior to any story you write once you’re more skilled. Accept it and move on. The important part is to write and learn, and if anybody tells you otherwise, ask them how many novels they’ve published, and how much they’ve sold.
  3. Your first novel will suck. Accept it. It’s a learning experience, and by the time you finish it, you’ll have learned so much, that you’ll likely want to write a new, better one.
  4. Your tenth novel will suck. Other’s might disagree, but you’ll see all the flaws. Or see none of them. Writers are the absolutely worst judges of their own work.
  5. If you write, and it feels like a slog, likely you’re doing something wrong. Stop and try something else (different technique, different story, different something.)
  6. There are no rules in writing. They are only guidelines, there to be broken.
  7. There is only one rule in writing: figure out how your mind works, and make sure that you write in a way that fits it. You can’t force your brain to work in a certain way, and you can do yourself some real damage by trying. If you’re a pantser, pantse. If you’re a plotter, plot. Or do both at different times. But make sure you learn what works for you.
  8. Story trumps language any day.
  9. Story trumps grammar any day.
  10. Story trumps everything, unless you’re writing literary, in which case focus on language and grammar – to each genre its own!
  11. When it comes to writing, persistence trumps luck.
  12. Luck and persistence trumps anything.

Luck and Persistence! 😉