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Thread: How many people bail, do you think?


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sfandmystery

Posts: 159
Registered: 11/23/11
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 7:29 AM   in response to: headofwords in response to: headofwords
 
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I agree. But writing and selling books has been my business for more than 40 years--first in paper, and now in eBooks.

I have been doing this all my adult life, and will be doing it the rest of my life.

And I'm so thankful I found Amazon.

A. C. Ellis
http://amzn.to/t4yI6H
sargeking

Posts: 4,610
Registered: 01/13/10
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 7:35 AM   in response to: headofwords in response to: headofwords
 
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I try and concentrate on what I produce and the quality, thereof. I don't stress about other authors. People give-up all across the board on any given venue above or below terra firma and the wide blue oceans that separate America from other continents to slow their head long rush to destroy our culture. I'm referring to "uncontrolled immigration" and we're going to fix that when we make January 20th, 2013 the "End of an Error."

As you can see, I have issues but mine are relevant. Cheers!
writerbarb

Posts: 19
Registered: 02/20/12
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 10:21 AM   in response to: headofwords in response to: headofwords
 
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I think it's not all that much different than the number of people who give up as writers when they query multiple magazines, publishers, or agents, even though they're not ready for the pro world yet, and keep getting rejections. Self-publishing electronically just eliminates the middleman.

You can get your stuff out there, but you won't sell books if it's low quality. Not to a publisher, and not directly to readers either, with the possible exception of family members and friends in the ebook world. You wouldn't get those sales in the traditional publishing world since it wouldn't sell to a real publisher (not counting the vanity presses).
naughtybutnice

Posts: 510
Registered: 05/21/11
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 11:49 AM   in response to: writerbarb in response to: writerbarb
 
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[i]You can get your stuff out there, but you won't sell books if it's low quality. Not to a publisher, and not directly to readers either, with the possible exception of family members and friends in the rebook world.[/i]

Yes, that's very true. That's what I meant about those who dream of writing a book.

For some people, Amazon is their modern day equivalent of a vanity press, and it's cheaper too. Those people will never behave in the same way as an aspiring author. They may be quite happy with a grand total of ten sales from friends and family. They're probably highly successful in other walks of life and have zero interest in investing large amounts of time in marketing or polishing their work. To me that doesn't negate their right to publish their book. Doesn't mean I personally want to read it if it's complete crap, but they still have a right to their voice.

Similarly I still believe that those of us who do take it seriously are not businessmen, but craftsmen. And with that comes a duty to reach out to those who do aspire to write polished work, to help them stay on the road of continuous improvement, and to feed off each other's creativity.

If you believe it's a business, then of course you're in direct competition and it isn't in your interest to help others. But I cannot change my mindset to feel that way about literature. It just seems fundamentally wrong to me.

Go on then Scribbl - tell me I'm talking rubbish. :) (But remember we're friends, so do it nicely).
thetimucuan

Posts: 5,120
Registered: 09/14/10
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 12:00 PM   in response to: redeyedandfried in response to: redeyedandfried
 
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I had the opposite attitude. I thought of self-publishing as giving up and figured I might as well go with CS and KDP as throw the ms away. I thought I might maybe make enough to pay my car insurance or something. I am happy that the last six months or so have been great. I did figure on just leaving those first two novels up and not bothering with them, just take what little money came in, but my third novel changed all of that. Now I’m spending a lot more time writing and seeing good money as the result. I guess I have learned that self-publishing is not giving up. In fact I’m making more than what I have read midlist writers make.
scribblr

Posts: 3,504
Registered: 05/08/08
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 5, 2012 12:52 PM   in response to: naughtybutnice in response to: naughtybutnice
 
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[i]If you believe it's a business, then of course you're in direct competition and it isn't in your interest to help others. But I cannot change my mindset to feel that way about literature. It just seems fundamentally wrong to me.

Go on then Scribbl - tell me I'm talking rubbish. (But remember we're friends, so do it nicely).[/i]

I don't believe that you're talking rubbish, but I believe that you're forgetting one thing. When we first upload a story to KDP we take off our author hat and put on our publisher hat. While being an author should mean being a craftsman, being a publisher means being a businessperson. When you change hats you must change your focus, but I don't believe that we're in competition with one another, not even within the same genre. I can write, at most, four full length novels (90,000 words or more) each year. As a part time publisher, that drops to two plus. I've had readers tell me that they've read my novels in as little as six hours. That indicates that they are voracious readers and possibly read hundreds of books every year. I certainly can't satisfy that demand, and neither can any other real author, so it would be ridiculous to get upset with them for going to the 'competition.' Instead, I want them to enjoy their reading experiences and believe that they should have as wide a selection as possible from which to choose. If they enjoyed what I wrote, I know that they'll come back when I produce a new book. But as a publisher I have to be concerned with issues that never trouble an author.

No, I'm not going to address the 'free' issue. I've belabored that point enough in other threads. :-)
naughtybutnice

Posts: 510
Registered: 05/21/11
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 6, 2012 1:14 AM   in response to: scribblr in response to: scribblr
 
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[i]When we first upload a story to KDP we take off our author hat and put on our publisher hat.[/i]

That's very true. I hadn't thought of it like that. As an author we're a craftsman. As a publisher we're a businessman.

Thank you for opening my eyes to that.

I do have business skills - my degree is in business studies and marketing - I just don't like doing it, which is why I got out of it in the first place.

[i]
I've had readers tell me that they've read my novels in as little as six hours.[/i]

I've had that with my novels too. Readers tell me they stay up all night and finish them in one hit. (150k words, eek!)

What do think is the right balance between writing and marketing? Even putting a business head on, you do need to produce more product to retain your current customer base. Do you split it 50/50, based on your potential four books dropping to two?

I don't think I could spend half my time marketing. It would drive me crazy. But I have the financial support mechanism of my family, and I do understand you're in a totally different financial situation from me.

Do you work in blocks, several weeks writing and then several weeks marketing, or do you take on both roles in the same day? I would find it very hard to switch from creative head to business head if I was in mid-flow on a project.

Sorry to ask so many questions, but I think you're an incredible person, Scribbl and you really have a handle on what this industry is all about - which is an achievement in itself as we're all kind of testing the waters at the moment.

headofwords

Posts: 966
Registered: 01/16/12
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 6, 2012 1:21 AM   in response to: naughtybutnice in response to: naughtybutnice
 
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I know what you mean to a certain extent. It's near impossible to buy a mainstream novel without knowing who is going to live and who is going to die etc. I guess that's why back when I lived in England (I live in Japan now) I used to just go into the bookshop, avoid all the 3 for 2 tables and pick stuff at random off the shelves. A lot of it was literary stuff by people I'd never heard of, and while some of it sucked some of the books I discovered were awesome. I've been out of the UK for the last nine years so I don't really know what's popular these days so maybe there are less unique stories coming through. I have a lot of American friends now which is good because I'm getting introduced to authors that I would never have heard of in the UK. I'm still new to indie publishing though so I don't really know who's coming up through the ranks (I'm hoping it'll be me!)

Chris Ward
headofwords

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Registered: 01/16/12
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 6, 2012 1:23 AM   in response to: petaward in response to: petaward
 
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Thanks, and the same to you! Yeah, it's pretty easy to tell how good a book is going to be from the sample. A lot of them just don't have that "lift off" quality, if you know what I mean. The grammar and the spelling might be there, but the storytelling often isn't. I think good voice, dialogue, empathy with the characters, etc., takes far long for a writer to learn, and a lot of people who rush out to publish on Amazon haven't got there yet.

Chris Ward
headofwords

Posts: 966
Registered: 01/16/12
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 6, 2012 1:32 AM   in response to: naughtybutnice in response to: naughtybutnice
 
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This is true. Although I quite like the day job enough that I wouldn't mind doing it part time, my eventual goal in life is to support myself through writing. I think it's possible. I have five novels that are publishable after a bit of revision and editing although the make or break will be the one I'm readying now, as it's my best by far. I think after I've put that one up I've have a better idea of whether I'm likely to be successful or not, but even if I'm not I'll keep trying.

A mate announced to me the other day that he'd finished his story and had decided which pro mag he was going to send it to, because there was "no point" sending it to the small mags. I have no idea of the quality as I've been asking in vain to see it for months but this is the kind of thing I was mentioning before. In general I was getting ten rejections per sale, and that's just to small press. A pro sale was more like 150 rejections per sale. That's a lot of postage, emails, and knock backs. Few of us are geniuses but a lot of us are good enough with perseverance. I think a huge percentage of people don't realise just how hard it is to get to be a good enough writer to produce professional (and therefore successful) quality work.

Chris Ward
sevendogslaughing

Posts: 116
Registered: 08/27/11
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 6, 2012 3:28 AM   in response to: headofwords in response to: headofwords
 
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Judging by much of what I've taken a quick look at, there is a huge amount of utter rubbish out there; poor content, appalling spelling and grammar etc. By the same token I've read some 'real' books that are just as bad and were obviously picked out as a bankable project by a traditional publishing house! It's as hit and miss as being picked for a Hollywood blockbuster when neither of your parents is already a star - have faith in yourself and keep going. I'm still looking for a normal book deal while I publish on Amazon as well. Why not? But I wouldn't rely on it for an income just yet!
scribblr

Posts: 3,504
Registered: 05/08/08
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 6, 2012 9:55 AM   in response to: naughtybutnice in response to: naughtybutnice
 
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[i]What do think is the right balance between writing and marketing? Even putting a business head on, you do need to produce more product to retain your current customer base. Do you split it 50/50, based on your potential four books dropping to two?

I don't think I could spend half my time marketing. It would drive me crazy. But I have the financial support mechanism of my family, and I do understand you're in a totally different financial situation from me.

Do you work in blocks, several weeks writing and then several weeks marketing, or do you take on both roles in the same day? I would find it very hard to switch from creative head to business head if I was in mid-flow on a project.[/i]

I spend far too much time engaged in ancillary activities these days. My side trips to this forum are an attempt to keep everything in perspective.

In a screenwriting workshop a couple of years ago, the moderator queried the attendees one by one as to what they do when they sit down to write and nothing 'comes'. Most answered that they go do something else such as the laundry, cleaning the house, gardening, etc. I answered that I write, and that I never have a problem writing. I received a lot of skeptical looks so I explained that I was a novelist, not a screenwriter. I rarely have less than three books in progress. At present I'm working on five, and I have half a dozen partial manuscripts on my computer that I'm not actively working on. When I feel blocked on one, I simply move to another until I find one for which I feel a little inspiration.

I may not work on the project I intended to work on, but I don't get up and do other tasks unrelated to writing. If I'm not feeling creative, I work on a long list of things that are always waiting such as updating my website, checking out some new software that might be useful in my pursuits, answering emails, updating my mailing lists, etc., etc.

So in answer to your question, I do everything, everyday. I have no trouble focusing on the task at hand to the exclusion of almost everything else, and easily jump from task to task to task if I find one boring on any particular day. Naturally, I force myself to spend time on projects that are approaching deadlines. :-)
ghostlywanderer

Posts: 435
Registered: 01/14/12
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 6, 2012 10:15 AM   in response to: paulamcb in response to: paulamcb
 
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Oh boy, you have no idea how much that peeves me!! I can't begin to count the number of times I've told someone that I'm a writer and they go "oh, I'm a writer, too!" Most of them I know for a fact have never written anything outside of school essays, don't read, and have yet to write even a FaceBook status that is not riddled with tons of misspellings and grammatical errors (not that mine are perfect, but at least I know the difference between your and you're).

Then there's those people who see your success and immediately want to jump on your coattails and ride up to success off of your hard work. I've had so many people ask me "how do you do this? Can you do that for me?" It makes me so mad because I've taken the time to learn, practice, research, understand, and put effort into it and then they just want me to do it for them. I've stopped sharing my success with people outside my immediate family and a few close friends.

That's my rant for the day, haha.
naughtybutnice

Posts: 510
Registered: 05/21/11
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 7, 2012 11:24 PM   in response to: scribblr in response to: scribblr
 
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Thanks Scribbl :)

My problem is I'm always feeling creative, even when I'm doing the laundry. Maybe I should just finish my series and then get to grips with the marketing.
paulamcb

Posts: 132
Registered: 10/25/11
Re: How many people bail, do you think?
Posted: Mar 8, 2012 1:57 AM   in response to: ghostlywanderer in response to: ghostlywanderer
 
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Your rant of the day is perfect! Infact make it your rant of the week.
I've actually stopped telling many people what I do too. Many - not all - look at my picture books as if they're not really books and say what a best seller they could have [i]if[/i] I helped them. :(
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