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Monday, 27 October 2014

full books vs part books.

There seems to be a new trend among writers (particularly of ebooks) where they basically write one book but publish it a piece at a time, numbering those part 1, 2, 3 etc. I liken it to watching a soap opera rather than a movie.
A movie (like a novel) is a complete story and may have a sequel at a later date but the actual movie (or novel) is still a complete movie.

An episode of a soap opera will leave you hanging for the next section and is just that, its a snippet of a story. It is not a complete stand alone piece.

Some readers aren't a fan of this technique as it is forcing you to spend more and more money. The reader will often be tricked into buying a 99c or sometimes free book, once they read it they are hooked (if the author is a good writer or suits the readers style) the next book will often be still quite reasonable $2.99-4.99 and after that they are really hooked and the next section may be more again. It may end up costing the reader $20-$30 for the complete set.

The good: As far as marketing goes I like the strategy and I think its very clever. It helps Authors grip readers and commits them to buying more of their work. It also allow the reader to "test drive" your writing before they commit to buying an entire book.

The bad: Their seems something a little deceptive about it. Especially when it is sometimes not made clear up front. The other bad thing is new Authors and self published authors such as myself are almost forced to implement the same strategy even if they don't agree with it . There seems no way to compete in the ebook market as an unknown writer. Imagine this: you are scrolling through amazon and see two books that take your fancy. One is priced $15 and the other is 99c. Most people will choose the 99c even though down the track the entire book may end up costing more than the $15 one.

I would love to know peoples opinion of this. Have you ever been caught out? Are you an author that uses this technique to sell? What are the positives and negatives?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Just a quickie about editing and book previews

Over the last week it has felt like my brain has been backstroking through chocolate pudding. My head hurts and I could do with a good nap.

I have been fortunate to find some really lovely people that are willing to help a newbie out and offer advice, tips, tricks and pretty much any knowledge they have they are happy to share.

I have noticed lots of Authors offer free tidbits of their novel before it is published. I like this idea, it allows the reader to not only test the book subject but also allows them to see if they connect with the style of the writer. Its like marriage, not everyone is compatible. In fact there is a highly acclaimed novel out at the moment that seems to be on every top 20 list, yet I just couldn't get past the first few pages. The topic was intriguing and I was looking forward to the story yet, it just didn't 'do it for me'

I tried bumming the book off to my mother because she loves a good freebie and will read pretty much anything. A few day later she told me she just couldn't get into it and had passed it on to one of her friends. Unfortunately I have since learnt that it has been passed on a few more times and not one of us has been able to get past the first chapter.

When an author offers the chance to peek under their skirt (or shorts) it allows us to take the aspect of style out of the equation. I have decided I would like to put up a little bit of my soon to be novel. With this comes the issue of editing. I have contacted several editors and they won't even quote me on an edit until the book is finished and have informed me their starting price ranges from $2,000 to - $3,000. Now not wanting to sound negative, but I wasn't actually expecting my book to make that sort of money and can't justify taking that out of the family budget. There is no way I would let even a page of my novel out into the big wide world without an edit. I was feeling disheartened when I found . Its pretty much a sight where people with some serious skills offer their services for $5.

Not just editing, but converting to ebook, designing front covers and reading books and writing reviews. An absolute miracle for people like myself who are still learning and need a bit of a helping hand.

I acknowledge that higher quality services may be available but I have hired a lovely woman who is friendly and helpful and this has allowed me the option to get the first chapter of my book up for public scrutiny and I can't wait. My fingers are crossed that it will be well received but my knees are knocking.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Once upon a time.

Once upon a time there was a wanna be author who was coasting along on cloud nine, maneuvering it from place to place until she had it parked in her perfect life. She sat making plans for the millions of dollars she would make now that she had decided to become an author. Imagining how her days would be filled with sitting by the pool of her beach house that she was yet to own, sipping cocktails and basically living the life. By night she would sit with a mug of coffee looking out at the sea and would begin to write. It was her dream life and she was going to be living it in a few short months when she finished her first book and it became a huge success. she couldn't wait, financial freedom was staring her in the eye and dangling the previously elusive carrot.

Well Isn't delusion a wonderful gift? Sadly I got sucked off of cloud 9 (yes that was me in the story above) and landed in a torturous reality called the Internet. I am new to this, my gift is writing and that's the extent of it. I have no idea how to get a book published, so I turned to the good old world wide web.

I am quickly realising that there is such a thing as having to much information at your disposal. A simple Google search "How do I get a book published?" resulted in thousands of results. I saw words like ebook (what the hell is that?) is it some kind of drug for book nerds? I saw self publishing, I assume that's when you go to the local stationary shop and ask them to photo copy 10 lots of your manuscript. I saw self promotion, I know about 8 people and that includes my mother (looks like I went overboard at the stationary shop).

I now have Facebook, twitter, Google + and this blog. Sadly I don't know how to use any of them. Trying to work out this foreign land i have come crashing into is taking more time and effort than the actual book I intended to write. I have 30 pages so far and acknowledge it may never get published or ebooked or what ever the goal is these days. I like to break rules so I would hardly say im a publishers dream. I used to teach high school students how to write and the golden rule was to NEVER, EVER, under ANY circumstance, start a story with "Once upon a time" I wonder how many of them would be surprised to read the very first line of my new manuscript is , yep you guessed it. Once upon a time.....

This blog is my way of bringing you along for the ride with me. I can't always promise we will be travelling on that silver lined cloud and things will inevitably get a little bumpy. I cant even promise it will be fun but I'm to scared to go it alone so please hold my hand and protect me as I travel from totally naive dreamer to best selling author (I hope)