I’ve been super busy this weekend because, don’t you know, Laurel Emperor is due to the editor in less than a month! Eek!
So how did I do it?
Simply put – patience, focus, an outline and nourishment.
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!
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.
By Daniel Ottalini
Hi all, this is a companion piece to my earlier article on how to make sure that your freelancers/self-publishing helpers do their best for you. But what about the flip side? What can you, as a freelance/small business editor, cover artist, etc., do to make sure that you give your customers what they want, keep them coming back, but also make money and keep your dignity in the process? Continue reading
About a year or so ago, I posted this article on Novellas and the self-published author. I’ve put the original article on the bottom of this post for your enjoyment. I’ve now published two novellas, one through my traditional self-publishing system, and one through a small publisher, to try and see which approach I like more. I figured it would be beneficial to share my new insights and thoughts.
Hey there all you self-published writers!
Got a big book you’re about to bring out?
Does it have…
Then you, my dear compatriot, probably need a glossary.
Some simple rules to follow when creating a glossary.
There you have it! I hope this helped! Glossaries can really make your book much more approachable, and people will love finding those hidden ‘easter eggs’ in the back of your book (but never tell them where to look, it is more fun to find them on your own!)
By Daniel Ottalini
Everyone fails. Be honest here. At some point in your life, you will fail at something. Maybe it’s not getting that promotion or being told you’re being let go. Maybe it is part of your hobby or something within your family. Maybe it even involves your writing. But everyone has that point where they are face to face with failure.
So…how do you deal with it? How do you get beyond the feeling that you’ve done everything wrong and it is all your fault?
First, get back on your feet. Realize that sometimes, you did everything right (or ‘write’ so-to-speak), and it still wasn’t good enough for the situation.
Second, learn from the failure. Thomas Edison spent years trying to invent a lightbulb. When asked why he didn’t give up, he responded (paraphrase form) that he didn’t just fail to invent a lightbulb, but he discovered 100 ways how not to make a lightbulb. So learn from your mistakes and failures. Personally, I’ve learned how to be a better communicator, a better author, and even a (slightly) better publicist because of my mistakes.
Third, be willing to ask for help. Sometimes, you will not know why it was that you failed. Your submission wasn’t accepted, or your proposal wasn’t picked. Obviously, not all situations will provide the opportunity to ask for feedback, but still it is helpful to ask. Any decent person in most fields with time and desire can provide you with feedback, and some will.
Finally, look for the support of your peers. This is why it is good practice for authors to get novels beta read before sending it off to the editor, and why professional authors have multiple editors examine their work. One person is not the end-all, be-all of authority and wisdom. Find a good support group and see how you can grow.
And when in doubt, take a hot shower, eat some chocolate, and go to bed early. That always helps too.