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Thread: If you had to do it all over again...


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extradimensions

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 10:18 AM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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I've often wondered about this. There are some things that I would have done differently had I known what I know now. But I'm not sure if those things would have helped or not. Things went pretty well, so I'd probably be a fool to second guess it now. However, the market is dynamic, and if I were to start over right now, I would surely go about it a different way (indeed, I have, using pen names).
Starting over (with a pen name), I give greater consideration toward establishing a brand from the beginning. Usually, new authors are getting their work written, getting it published, not really thinking about what identity they are creating with potential readers, thinking about the book that you're writing now and what you might do in the future, thinking about how to build a solid brand from the beginning. Usually, new authors are focused more on finishing the writing and delivering it to the market, and not putting enough time and thought into developing a title, blurb, cover, and Look Inside that will hook the reader, and writing content in a way that will motivate page-turns and recommendations. Another big one is not thinking about marketing until the book has already been launched.
Good luck with your book.
Belinda Jane Be...

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 10:57 AM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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Hello, Benjamin - Welcome to the authors' forum. If I 'had to do it all over again', I would have got in quick. Unfortunately, the marketplace is now saturated and it is increasingly difficult to attract readers. If you are aware of this from the off, you stand less chance of being disappointed. Having a great product to sell is just the starting point. Promotion and 'packaging' (book cover/blurb) is key.

You will find some great advice in the KDP Community. Try and read as many posts as possible - and don't be daunted by the sometimes acerbic comments you will undoubtedly come across.

I wish you every success with your book project.

Edited by: Belinda Jane Bennett on Feb 11, 2016 10:58 AM
Benjamin Long Jr

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 2:21 PM   in response to: Belinda Jane Be... in response to: Belinda Jane Be...
 
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Thank you all for the advice so far, and I love the fact that those who have gone before are willing to lend a helping hand to those who are just starting out. What a great community this is!

If I may ask those of you that are getting a steady income, how do you handle the business end?

Did you set up a separate bank account for your royalties right off the bat, or did you just run it through your personal account?

My wife and I have an S-Corp for her insurance business that we started almost a decade ago, so I'm familiar with that. I just want to make sure I track and report things properly, and pay as little in taxes as I possibly can!

Edited by: Benjamin Long Jr on Feb 11, 2016 2:21 PM
Jonathan B

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 2:57 PM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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I'm not a tax attorney, so take this with a grain of salt. I just put my writing on Quickbooks, and I file a Schedule C. I didn't see any benefit for incorporate into an S or C corp.
writerbn

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 3:04 PM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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Benjamin Long Jr wrote:
If I may ask those of you that are getting a steady income, how do you handle the business end?

Did you set up a separate bank account for your royalties right off the bat, or did you just run it through your personal account?


I already had an LLC for my "day job" (which also involves writing), so I simply fold my royalties into that. The LLC has its own bank account, books, and files Form 1065 (partnership return).
Benjamin Long Jr

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 3:28 PM   in response to: writerbn in response to: writerbn
 
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writerbn wrote:
I already had an LLC for my "day job" (which also involves writing), so I simply fold my royalties into that. The LLC has its own bank account, books, and files Form 1065 (partnership return).
Looks like you are in the same boat! {/quote}

So are you saying all you do is classify the income differently, but still have it inside the same LLC WITHOUT doing a "DBA Writerbn" or something like that?

Edited by: Benjamin Long Jr on Feb 11, 2016 5:35 PM

Edited by: Benjamin Long Jr on Feb 11, 2016 5:37 PM

c_har2u

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 3:51 PM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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I wish I had paid attention in 2009 or whenever it was that the kindle debuted. I had a short story in an earlier amazon program. In around 2008 they started sending me emails to convert this story over to their earlier ebook platform. I had no idea what they were talking about and just ignored the emails. I thought the ereader phenomenon was some sort of fad. So yeah I wish I had been astute and jumped on the bandwagon sooner. October 20111 was a bit too late. Things were changing. The early adopters were moving on and getting deals from publishers. The one thing to focus on now is to just be a writer. Don't spend a lot of time on twitter and other social media. Focus on writing the best books possible. Join writing local writing groups if they are available. Nothing gets the creative juices flowing more than critiquing others and being critiqued. If you can't find local writing groups, join an online community. Avoid schemes and scams. Even people who offer well meaning advice, generally only know what worked for them and their genre. Self publishing is great if you can do it right, but don't leave out the possibility of connecting with an agent. I hope you're enjoying writing as a process and creative outlet. First and foremost make it about the writing.
Writer2

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 4:57 PM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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I passed out 3 Kindles in 3 consecutive years for Christmas presents until I actually realized what they were for. I don't think I jumped from my crib and begin writing, but eventually I found a pencil and pad of paper and begin writing. As a result, I have stuff in notebooks, folders, and boxes. I draw from that stuff, but put a new slant on it but only sometimes.

My advice, for what it's worth it, would be to start small to get a feel for what you're doing. Try a couple of short stories, essays, or some novellas, see how they do, and always be you're first customer so you can see what the book looks like on an e-reader. I tend to think if an author won't buy his own book, why would anyone else?

You are walking into a jungle, and it's alright to publish material before it's a work of art. Just don't post a link to it and ask for feedback because you will get eaten alive. Someone said, maybe Hemmingway, edit until there is blood on the paper so edit a lot. Know when it's time to unpubish inferior works, and go for gold. W2
Patrick A. Smith

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 11, 2016 6:26 PM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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that's an easy question to answer.
1. If I could start over I would only go with Zon instead of multiple platforms. I sold hardly any, now on here alone I sell many.
2. I started out writing what I wanted to and made very little money. 6 months later I started writing something people want to read and have sold thousands. I love writing and when I started earning money I loved it more.
3. I would not pay $100 for a pro cover. I now do fine with photoshop
4. I would have started in 2009, had I known I could.

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Feb 11, 2016 6:28 PM

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Feb 11, 2016 6:37 PM
writerbn

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 12, 2016 5:13 AM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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Benjamin Long Jr wrote:
So are you saying all you do is classify the income differently, but still have it inside the same LLC WITHOUT doing a "DBA Writerbn" or something like that?

Basically, yes. My books are all published under an imprint, and my publishing imprint is listed as a division of my LLC.
barbie888

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 12, 2016 10:11 PM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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Write to market. Study the top 100 in whatever genre you're working in.

Make sure you have a sign-up for your newsletter to gather the emails of those who like your books.

Mailchimp, Aweber, whichever you prefer.

Hi everybody! I see a few familiar names here. Fun to come back and see some old timers.
Jonathan B

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 12, 2016 10:15 PM   in response to: barbie888 in response to: barbie888
 
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barbie888 wrote:

Mailchimp, Aweber, whichever you prefer.

Great advice! I wasted so many potential members of my mailing list by not having one until last summer!

Jason Peiman

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 13, 2016 9:26 AM   in response to: Benjamin Long Jr in response to: Benjamin Long Jr
 
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Benjamin Long Jr wrote:
Hi everyone!

I'm in the beginning stages of writing my first book and would love to have some advice from those that have been down this road once or twice.

My question for all you seasoned pros is this:

If you had to start your writing career all over again, what would you have done differently, or wished you would have done from the beginning?

Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom!

P.S. Maybe this is an easy question, but does anyone know how (or if it is even possible) to change the name on this forum? Thanks!

Edited by: Benjamin Long Jr on Feb 10, 2016 8:51 PM

I would have started sooner. Honest truth. I've been writing stories since I was in grade school. In high school one of my English teachers edited a nearly 300 page story I had written and encouraged me to publish. In college I wrote more stories and even while in the military I wrote stories. I have hard drives filled with word files. Most of it is rubbish, but I have always loved the impact you can have on someone with a great story. I love seeing people's reactions, I like hearing them laugh at the funny parts or hand the manuscript back with the words, "wow that was amazing". I let fear stop me. I let my own fear of failure stop me from pursing my dream to write and publish.

I post here with my real name, but I publish under a pen name primarily because my wife is a teacher and I don't want anything I write to come back and haunt her in a performance review. We live in politically correct times, and what I've published could raise eyebrows. I'm currently working on a more humorous book, which I feel much more comfortable about and will publish under my real name. The pen name was like floating a trial balloon.

Benjamin Long Jr

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 15, 2016 4:00 PM   in response to: Jason Peiman in response to: Jason Peiman
 
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Thanks again for all the great advice. This should be required reading for any future author!
Edward C. Hall

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Re: If you had to do it all over again...
Posted: Feb 15, 2016 5:10 PM   in response to: Jonathan B in response to: Jonathan B
 
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Thanks for posting...I'm looking at putting my first book out as an eBook.
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