Welcome to another “how to homebrew…” episode, and you’re desperate because your Dungeons and Dragons (Or Pathfinders) Group wants to go back to where they just were, because they missed some key piece of information. Or perhaps only part of the group has been there, and the rest wants to explore it as well. Never fear, here are three easy steps to help you out (GUARANTEED*************).
Need to create a villain or ten for your Dungeons and Dragons (or Pistols and Tomahawks) campaign? I’ll walk you through how I’ve done it, and let you see three examples from my homebrew world. Let’s get cracking!
How to Write Ten Thousand Words in a Weekend.
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.
Some Common Ideas for ending your novel or series
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.
Learn more about how I use Google Docs to outline my novels!
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?
Basic Steps outlining how to publish an ebook!
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!
Let’s explore plot twists in depth.
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.
Five great tips for self-publishing support staff – editors, illustrators, small publishers, etc. Keep your sanity while keeping your clients happy and coming back for more!
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 “Five Ways to Keep Your Self-Publishing Clients Happy & Coming Back for More”
I go back and revisit the idea of novellas, Part One! Check it out!
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.