DM Daniel here, and it is time to expand your background building. Coming at this from a novelist perspective, there’s so much we can do here! So let’s take a deep dive into the idea of world building – country and culture edition. Click beyond the line to learn more.
DM Daniel here, wanting to wish you all a very happy new year. With this new year comes new ideas! Such as creating this homebrew D&D Campaign setting. This will be my first Homebrew campaign (also my first non-starter set one) and I don’t want to give away too many bonus details in case my players read this (You know who you are!) So let’s get to it – background time!
The pitch I gave my players was as follows.
You’re soldiers in the royal army. While defending the capital city from an overwhelming attack, you are drafted by your commanding officer, the leader of the Royal Guards, to lead an escort out of the city. Your traveling companion – none other than the six year old heir of Telin. Your mission – get the prince to the southern city of Kurlinburg – no matter the cost.
So there’s the pitch! Read below the line for some more spoilers and background information. This is only part one, and I know that some DMs think more or less information is appropriate for their PCs. I’m not inclined to give them all this information, but writing it out helps me spin my ideas and gets the creative juices flowing. Click the Read More to see the actual background information.
So I’m busy writing the end of the Steam Empire Chronicles, and it hit me.
I’m writing the end. Gasp! It’s the END of the story I’ve spent the last six years writing. EEK! What to do! I wrote out several possible endings, even as far back as book two, but I’ve compiled this blog post to help other people who may be struggling with how to end their own novel or series. As far as I see it, there are several standard ways to end a story. What matters is the twist.
I briefly wanted to tell you about how I’ve been planning my last two novels. Ever since I started writing, I’ve been planning my novels out. Given the fact that I have to juggle story lines that evolve over several books, plus characters and technologies that don’t exist, one would except the need to have an outline or story map.
Finally, back into the swing of things. I promised myself I’d get going by March. Well, it’s March! My post today isn’t too long, but it focuses on one of the biggest challenges facing a new author – one without prior book sales or a person who (like me) sees bumps from new books but not earth shattering sales numbers.
So how do you budget for a new book? If you’ve published books previously, you’ll already have your guidelines. For me, an average ‘budget’ for a new book looks something like this…
Formatting/Cover Art/Illustrations ~$750*
Publishing/Proofreading/Copyright Fees, etc ~$100
Advertisements, Giveaways, Shipping ~$150
So as you can see, nearly $3,000. Definitely a long term haul. Obviously, your experiences may vary based on editor, cover art/illustrators (or lack thereof), and how much advertisements/giveaways, etc that you do.
Editing – Your costs for editing can vary based on how much of a book you have, and how good of a writer you are. Most editors will be nice, and lower their price slightly (in my experience) the better the initial writing is. The less work they have to do, the faster they can do it in, and the more jobs they can complete, so they’re happy too.
I wouldn’t suggest skimping on editing, but you could easily save yourself some money through extensive use of beta-readers and friends/family who have skills (Also, it helps to bake brownies).
Formatting/Cover Art/Illustrations – All this can easily be trimmed in most aspects. Formatting – you can learn this, especially considering that most of the big companies use only a handful of formats – The catch is if you get it wrong, your work will look super unprofessional.
Cover Art – Shop around! You can check out a variety of people and places – look up some books whose covers your like and email the authors to ask where they got theirs done. Unless you’re a really good artist, I recommend you not do them yourself – Online, people really DO judge a book by it’s cover.
Illustrations/Maps – Perhaps the easiest one – If you don’t need them, you don’t have to pay for them!
Advertisements – Here, your own readers and social media accounts can really help you. Although, it can be hard to cut through the chaff and find the perfect groove. Networking, like this recent Facebook group I’ve joined, can really help here. You don’t have to pay for readers/likes, etc. I’ve already shared how I felt Facebook advertising, but both Amazon, Google, Goodreads, and others have more targeted (and, personally speaking, more useful) advertisement abilities).
Publishing Fees – Especially if you’re publishing a print book, you can’t really get around theses. But be smart – make sure to check the physical proof copies before buying a big order, otherwise you could be out some serious money for books with errors that are glaring! Also, there’s something to be said for getting that sweet, sweet Copyright letter from the Library of Congress!
Hope that helps everyone! Whew – this post turned out to be longer than I thought! Let me know – what other ways do you have to trim costs?
Here’s a quick and dirty set of directions explaining how to Publish an ebook! Had to write this up for a fellow author interested in self-publishing, so here goes for you, hope you enjoy. Let me know if I left anything out!
Since I’m busy being super excited about the Cover Art I just revealed for Steel Praetorian, I thought I’d talk about how I picked my cover artist/illustrators. If you haven’t seen the cover art, check here or on Facebook to see it! This is a great article for those NaNoWriMo writers who are on track to finish and publish their novel!
Today I want to talk about everyone’s favorite point in a novel – the plot twist. Whether you’re a reader, a writer, an author, a movie-goer or a television watcher, you’re familiar with the plot twist. Everything is going perfectly fine (or at least, in the same, expected direction) and then suddenly, a key component of the story is spun on it’s head. This forces the reader/viewer to adapt or even change their opinions about a character, event, or challenge.