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Permlink Replies: 23 - Pages: 2 [ Previous | 1 2 ] - Last Post: Jan 20, 2018 9:03 PM Last Post By: booknookbiz
George Garrigues

Posts: 263
Registered: 08/13/15
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Sep 30, 2017 8:59 AM   in response to: Nightscribe in response to: Nightscribe
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I am not pulling anyone's chain. I gave my opinion. I am entitled to do that.
George Garrigues

Posts: 263
Registered: 08/13/15
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Sep 30, 2017 9:48 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
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Of course, Hitch, you have seen and read more books than the rest of us have, and I respect your opinion, and your advice. Unfortunately, I read very little fiction, so my opinion about such works may not carry the weight hefted around here by the true fiction-reading folks. I don't, however, think highly of "copycat writing."

Have you read any Sarah Vowell? She has written a bunch of books that are, really, essays each joined to the others by a common thread. As, for example, "Assassination Vacation," wherein she travels from one site of a presidential assassination to another, interviewing all and sundry when she gets there. Is that a "genre"? I don't know, but I suspect it was merely a darned good idea that caught the fancy of her publisher, a little outfit called Simon and Schuster. Of course, she already had a following and a working relationship with S&S by the time that book came out. But I wonder if S&S was consciously deciding whether Sarah was "writing to the genre." As such. Maybe they thought (rightly and simply) "Will people buy this thing?"

From my very limited experience with recent writing (particularly ebooks), it seems that everybody is copying everybody else, and if one vampire story is successful, then the copycats will soon come around bearing tattered vampire mice in their mouths to deposit on the floor in front of the vampire-book aficionado in hope of getting a few rubs behind the ear and a few pages read on the internet.

I do know that I self-published a book a few years ago that was a combined biography and investigation into the life of a would-be writer (my father), with copious samples of his writings. Of course I couldn't get a traditional publisher for it. Didn't fit into any special genre. (Maybe it wasn't a very good book, either.)

Well, there are about a dozen virgin copies in a box under my bed, and it's still on the shelves of many libraries, mostly in California, so they've not deaccessioned it, and it's the book I wanted to write, and it got written and it got published (which I paid for), and there it is, and there you have it, and I think that's why a lot of us write, because we had a story to tell and it got told.

Also, you can buy copies on alibris.com. It's almost like having a nicely engraved tombstone: There's a proof that you actually existed.
writerbn

Posts: 5,813
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Sep 30, 2017 10:19 AM   in response to: George Garrigues in response to: George Garrigues
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George Garrigues wrote:
...and it's the book I wanted to write, and it got written and it got published (which I paid for), and there it is, and there you have it, and I think that's why a lot of us write, because we had a story to tell and it got told.

That's a perfectly valid reason to write. Wanting to sell books, and sell a lot of them, is also a perfectly valid reason to write. Rarely, however, do the twain meet.
Wilai Lattimore

Posts: 530
Registered: 01/15/14
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Sep 30, 2017 12:55 PM   in response to: Erik in response to: Erik
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My advice to a newbie is to write the book that's burning a hole in your ambition. Whether you're doing if for love, or money, you will produce a much better work if you are passionate about it.

You have the rest of your life to target your writing, but a limited amount of time to record that virgin dream.

My dream was a moderate success - yours may well be. If not, spread your wings.
Erik

Posts: 21
Registered: 07/03/17
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Sep 30, 2017 1:18 PM   in response to: Wilai Lattimore in response to: Wilai Lattimore
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That is exactly what this book is, and it will succeed. :) Thank you!
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,275
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Sep 30, 2017 6:12 PM   in response to: George Garrigues in response to: George Garrigues
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George Garrigues wrote:
Of course, Hitch, you have seen and read more books than the rest of us have, and I respect your opinion, and your advice. Unfortunately, I read very little fiction, so my opinion about such works may not carry the weight hefted around here by the true fiction-reading folks. I don't, however, think highly of "copycat writing."

Have you read any Sarah Vowell? She has written a bunch of books that are, really, essays each joined to the others by a common thread. As, for example, "Assassination Vacation," wherein she travels from one site of a presidential assassination to another, interviewing all and sundry when she gets there. Is that a "genre"? I don't know, but I suspect it was merely a darned good idea that caught the fancy of her publisher, a little outfit called Simon and Schuster. Of course, she already had a following and a working relationship with S&S by the time that book came out. But I wonder if S&S was consciously deciding whether Sarah was "writing to the genre." As such. Maybe they thought (rightly and simply) "Will people buy this thing?"

From my very limited experience with recent writing (particularly ebooks), it seems that everybody is copying everybody else, and if one vampire story is successful, then the copycats will soon come around bearing tattered vampire mice in their mouths to deposit on the floor in front of the vampire-book aficionado in hope of getting a few rubs behind the ear and a few pages read on the internet.

I do know that I self-published a book a few years ago that was a combined biography and investigation into the life of a would-be writer (my father), with copious samples of his writings. Of course I couldn't get a traditional publisher for it. Didn't fit into any special genre. (Maybe it wasn't a very good book, either.)

Well, there are about a dozen virgin copies in a box under my bed, and it's still on the shelves of many libraries, mostly in California, so they've not deaccessioned it, and it's the book I wanted to write, and it got written and it got published (which I paid for), and there it is, and there you have it, and I think that's why a lot of us write, because we had a story to tell and it got told.

Also, you can buy copies on alibris.com. It's almost like having a nicely engraved tombstone: There's a proof that you actually existed.

George:

I would never tell an author NOT to write the story that they are "burning" to write, of course not. And I doubt I've read more books than everyone here; yes, I've read a LOT. Lots of fiction, lots of non-fic, and everything in-between, from Haiku to chapbooks. Many good, some, not so much.

I've seen copycat writing. Not often, but I've seen it. In fact, before I got into the biz I'm in now, when I was a paid book reviewer (back when that was a respected profession), I ran into a woman, on the then-early Amazon customer forums, who was promoting her self-pubbed (in print, this was before the advent of the KDP) mystery/police procedural. I saw her a couple of times, and then, admiring her gumption, I bought the book. And, being an idiot, I finished it.

I wasn't thrilled with it, and I felt that it had been strongly, strongly, er, influenced by a Patricia Cornwell Kay Scarpetta novel. The plot line was unfortunately nearly identical. Or, the reveal was, I should say. I don't see how the author could say that she hadn't read the Scarpetta; it was simply too strong to be a mere coincidence. I wrote the review--not the one she'd hoped for, I'm sure. I didn't hold back, but I made it a lot nicer than I would have, had it been trade-pubbed.

I've read another book, by a very prolific, fairly-well known, near-militant self-pubber. He insisted that I read it, so I did. And I was pretty amused to see that he, too, had made a near-direct lift from, of all things, another Cornwell book, but this was her non-fiction book, the one about identifying Jack the Ripper, once and for all. I still don't see how he could have done what he did, in the creation of his murderer, without reading the Cornwell book. I suppose, given that it was non-fic, you could reasonably say that it was "inspired by," but it was a pretty big turnoff for me to get to that point in the novel and realize what he'd done.

But I can't recall reading a book that's simply a direct copy of someone else's work. You can read a ziilion Vampire books, but Lestat is wildly different from Twilight which is wildly different from the Sookie Stackhouse series. Each has its fans; some are fans of all three (although that's kinda hard to believe...). They have vampires, but everything else is dramatically different. The same is true of cozy mysteries; you'll have a murder, you'll have an amateur detective, and the amateur detective will solve the murder. That's about the extent of the "copycat" scenario. There are cozy detectives who are "detectives" like Poirot; crafters; horse folks; people who cook...the list goes on. There are supernatural detectives and crimefighters, from Dresden to John Taylor and everybody else.

And, there were boys and girls with "powers" and "magic" that went to special schools, long before JK Rowling. But each author brings his or her own unlimited imagination to the task at hand. Just because an author researches the marketplace, and learns, let's posit, that cozy mysteries about cooking are wildly popular, and decides to write a book that FITS in that genre, doesn't make it a copycat book or a retread or anything else.

Just like True Crime books aren't copycats, right? I mean...each True Crime book is different. Even TC books that are talking about the same crime, are different. Just because the author is talking about an event in the past, that actually happened, doesn't mean that his research, his thoughts, and his way of presenting the material isn't great, or different than the other guy talking about the same crime.

Writing for the market is simply about optimizing your ideas for that market, IF that's what you want to do. I'm pretty sure that Sarah Vowell would have had a VERY HARD TIME getting those published, if she had been a brand-new author, pitching that to an agent. And it's a niche market, as well. Niches, as I said in my post, can do very, very well, and yes, sometimes, transcend the niche, either in the writing or in how it does, in the market. (As in "Go the **** to Sleep!," which surely did the latter, by anyone's standards.)

That's all I'm saying. I am not, absolutely, encouraging people to retread exising stuff, or to copy other people's works. I'm just saying, if you want ot write a vampire romance, writing one where the vampy hero is rotting and falling apart, and he eats rats to survive, while his lady love is a zombie that you can smell coming from three blocks away, PROBABLY isn't going to sell like Twilight. (Not that think that Twifright is the acme of literary achievement; I certainly don't, and honestly, it made me embarrassed for my gender.) Just like any other small business that you decide to leap into, make sure that there's a market for it, first. That's hardly breaking news. ;-)

Hitch
We produce ebooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service: http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
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Erik

Posts: 21
Registered: 07/03/17
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Jan 20, 2018 8:20 PM   in response to: Erik in response to: Erik
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Hi everyone!

Thank you all for your advice. I'm happy to announce I actually landed a book deal with Page Publishing. My book (Kane, a walk through darkness) will be distributed through Ingram and be on store shelves everywhere books are sold in four to six months.

Not sure if it will sell, but it's nice to have a professional editor, page designer, and publicist working on it for me. Lord knows I don't have the necessary skill to properly edit it myself.
Salamander Mall...

Posts: 1,014
Registered: 10/16/17
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Jan 20, 2018 8:40 PM   in response to: Erik in response to: Erik
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Erik wrote:
Hi everyone!

Thank you all for your advice. I'm happy to announce I actually landed a book deal with Page Publishing. My book (Kane, a walk through darkness) will be distributed through Ingram and be on store shelves everywhere books are sold in four to six months.

Not sure if it will sell, but it's nice to have a professional editor, page designer, and publicist working on it for me. Lord knows I don't have the necessary skill to properly edit it myself.


Congratulations, but do keep your eyes open and read everything carefully before signing. Page Publishing has been flagged and panned by many people. The Alliance of Independent Authors has issued a warning against Page Publishing, citing Value, Quality, Marketing, and Practices.
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,275
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: First book. Getting frustrated.
Posted: Jan 20, 2018 9:03 PM   in response to: Erik in response to: Erik
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Erik wrote:
Hi everyone!

Thank you all for your advice. I'm happy to announce I actually landed a book deal with Page Publishing. My book (Kane, a walk through darkness) will be distributed through Ingram and be on store shelves everywhere books are sold in four to six months.

Not sure if it will sell, but it's nice to have a professional editor, page designer, and publicist working on it for me. Lord knows I don't have the necessary skill to properly edit it myself.


PLEASE tell us you didn't sign up for one of those $3200.00 deals, with "only" $295 needed now? Please?

If you just Google "Page Publishing Scam," I think you'll find MANY many hits and stories of people who were ripped off by Page Publishing.

If you did sign up for that $3200 deal, or worse, more, and you're within a few days of signing, you can STILL cancel the contract and get out intact. If you are worried about EDITING, you can hire a top-drawer developmental editor for the same amount of money. For $3K, you can get a great line editor, a layout person, and while you probably cannot get a 'publicist,' by god, I have yet to see one worth a dime, much less a lot of money.

for your own sake. Please, be careful. I have NO horse in this race--I just want to be sure that you're not being ripped off. "Landing a deal" with a play for pay publisher is...it's not like "landing a book deal" with a real, trade publishers. Real publishers PAY YOU. You don't pay them--EVER.

Hitch
We produce ebooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.Biz

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