My first book

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    Kris, regarding procrastination, just in writing, not in other fields of life, do you set yourself a certain word-count goal daily? I find that a small daily goal helps me a lot. I don't think it should be very high (I have "colleagues" who boast to be able to write 7 or 8k words in an afternoon day in day out... but truth be told, unless you are VERY good, cranking words out regardless means you tend to say the same things over and over again). Personally, even when a story is coming along nicely, I never aim to write more than 1k words per day (although sometimes I do.. and sometimes I write less, I am rather slow, but I usually don't need to do a lot of rewriting after the first draft is done), but having that tiny deadline set for myself helps me to **focus** and **actually sit down and write**, which otherwise I might never get round to.

    Just a thought.

    I occasionally try to apply the same principle to ther aspects of life, but usually I am not not very successful, lol.

      June 8, 2017 5:56 PM BST
  • The idea of Intensive writing is to cram the most meaning into the fewest words without waffle or procrastinating.   My Junior School, was where it was first introduced in the 60's bit before my time, but there is a plaque in the school remembering the teacher who first thought up the idea, think it was either Mary Langdon or Margaret Langdon and she had several books published.

    Cristine Jennifer Shye.  B/L.  B/Acc
      June 8, 2017 6:24 PM BST
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    There are as many school of thought in writing as there are writers. Not all of us are meant to write in haikus. For some of us the muse speaks in pindaric odes. Oh well. It's all fashion in the end. Pindaric odes will come back again. Probably after I'm dead, lol.



      June 8, 2017 8:50 PM BST
  • Katia, honestly, I have been thinking about doing something like that for a while but never got around to it (oops lol). Thing is though, I'm hearing that my stories that are turning out to be Novellas are going to probably have to be self-published just because they are Novellas and so hard to get  traditionally published! I always get stuck writing these and don't quite make it to Novel length so I'm thinking if I do that exercise of writing a certain amount a day, I can get better at writing more words and longer books. Definitely going to aim for about 1k because I doubt I'd be able to do much more each day, but maybe on a good day lol. I was also told at first that starting with Poetry and Short Stories was a good idea, but now I'm hearing if my goal is to write Novels, just stick to Novels because of how different the publication process is for Short Stories and Poems vs a Novel. Overall, just sounds like I'm going to need to write more so you have a great plan, there. Thanks for the tip! 

      June 9, 2017 5:56 AM BST
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    Keep it small. 300, 500 words per day. Does not matter. Just stick to it :)


    PS Generally speaking it is true that it's almost only novels that get printed, but digital publishing has opened the doors to a lot of shorter works. Novellas are frequently published as e-books, and even short stories. Short stories are also commonly published in anthologies, magazine, e-zines etc. It depends on the genre of course. Before embarking into a whole novel, do some specific research for publishers in your chosen genre. Check on their submission guidelines and see what they are looking for. It might well be that they accept shorter stories too. Are you part of any dedicated writers' forums? They can be full of unbearably pretentious arse**les, but it is a useful experience. I used to be on a forum called Litopia years ago (I don't really recommend it, but there plenty more groups out there). I eventually left in disgust, but I did learn a lot about the publishing business (actually it's also where I found my publisher). Give it a go. :)

    This post was edited by Katia V at June 9, 2017 6:11 PM BST
      June 9, 2017 11:30 AM BST
  • Actually, that sounds even better lol. More likely do get that done, anyway and stick to it.

    I know pretty much nothing about e-books. I actually thought that was another self-publishing route? My biggest problem is finding publishers I'd say just because I know so little about them and don't have any experience yet. I do have a wattpad and I get information on there and another site called Writer's Digest. It's a little frustrating because I keep wanting to share my work on wattpad, but I'm told stories (mainly short stories) won't be published if they are up on wattpad already. This makes sense, I mean, who would pay for a book they can read for free, but still, I like to post on there to get tips on how to improve. On Writer's Digest, I've heard Writer's Market is a good place to find publishers. If you know of them, do you know if that would include e-books? I would love it if I could actually find someone who'd take my story despite it being a Novella, but I will self-publish if I have to in the end. Y'know, I keep calling my Novella a Romance, but does it still fall under that genre if it's about unrequited love? I wasn't 100% sure. It's also LGBT, but not sure if that's a genre or sub-genre.

      June 10, 2017 1:26 AM BST
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    Hello there, no, not all e-books are self published. A vast number are published by actual publishers, alongside print editions, or by themselves. Lot's of smaller independent publishers only publish digitally nowadays, and even the "big" traditional publishers add digital editions to their print editions. Sometimes a paper edition may be added to a digital edition if the sales are good enough. It varies from publisher to publisher really, as do royalties and contracts etc... Royalties for digital editions are often higher than for print editions (because the overhead costs are lower).

    Many publishers are squeamish about taking on books that are already self-published (there are exceptions). That is why I recommend leaving self-publishing as the last option (although I have absolutely nothing against selfpublishing, I selfpublished a couple of things myself, after my publisher was not interested in them :-)  )

    Romance is a tremendously formulaic genre (I should know, shigh), and both publishers and readers and very specific about getting the HEA (Happy Ever After) orat least a HFN (Happy For Now) ending. It is almost impossible to get even an open ending accepted. If the book is very good it might be accepted with an open ending, but most likely they will ask you to change it during editing (the first experience of working with a professional editor can be a bit of a shock... but a good editor is worth his/her weight in gold, so it's worth listening to what they say before storming out, lol).

    If this is ok with you, you might as well save yourself lots of trouble and change the story before submitting. If you want to leave it as unrequitted love I don't recomend pitching it as Romance, but rather as Sci/fi, Fantasy, or whatever other genre is pertinent to the story and world-building.

    As for LGBT Romance, most Romance publishers handle that too nowadays (it would be rude non to, lol) but again, it's ALWAYS good to check on their submission guidelines before sending a query.

    Finally, many publishers (all the big traditional publishers for sure) only accept agented submissions. I have seen writers growing old in the quest for an agent. I'd say don't bother. Try the route of small indie publishers first, many take unagented submissions.

    Finding publishers.... Google is always a good start to find anything, other than that I recommend signing up to a writing forum and see what people who write in the same genre as you have to say. There are many lists of publishers (sorted by genre and more or less up to date) floating around on the internet, and word of mouth still works, even in these grim modern days. ;-). I really recommend the writers' forums because you can pick up lots of up-to-date information quite organically, so to say, and also (if you are lucky) find beta-readers for your work etc (which also helps), get feed back on snippets of your writing etc.

    If all else fails you can STLL selfpublish. Many review sites will not touch self-published books (for good reasons, sadly), so it is an uphill struggle to get the book sold. But to be honest book sales are pretty low anyway unless you are very good, very productive or just very lucky, so the whole economical aspect is probably moot anyway. Selfpublishing is lots of work and also lots of fun. Digital selfpublishing will probably not cost you a fortune (the publishing as such, on Kindle or Smashwords, is free, but you might want to spend something on editing and cover etc... or not, it's up to you). Print will certainly be expensive, except for print on demand books.


    Ok, these are all the wise thoughts that come to me right now. Maybe more wisdom will rise to my brain after coffee and a pooch walk :)


      June 10, 2017 7:46 AM BST
  • Thanks so much for such a detailed and insightful answer! I feel much more informed now lol. 

    I can't imagine changing my book's subject of unrequited love only because it's almost like a memoir and a lot of the story is true so... Maybe it could go under Non-fiction instead? I do wish I could give the story a happier ending. Right now, it's more or less a bittersweet "I learned from this experience and don't regret meeting this person one bit." ending lol. Can't say I'm surprised that those sort of endings don't sell like the happy ones, though. This is actually another reason I like writing on wattpad despite wanting to be published. I'd like to know if people prefer the ending I have planned or if they'd rather me make up a happier ending. Of course, the story would only be half-true though. Funny enough, I wanted to make this into a Fantasy story, but people kept telling me it would mean so much more as a memoir/nonfiction and to tell it exactly as it happened. Such a difficult decision, really lol.

    I did figure looking on Google was a good idea, but my biggest fear is running into scams. I guess small publishers are better than not being published at all, though! I mean, I doubt I'd make it with anyone "big" since I'm still such a beginner writer lol.

    Thanks again for your help. I appreciate it so much!

      June 11, 2017 12:14 AM BST
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    If you start prowling into writing circles, chances are that you can directly talk to authors who signed up with publishers that interest you. Best thing to do, if you have a chance.

    Many publishers have a Facebook page where sometimes readers can interact with their authors etc. Another good way to check out things and get in touch with people (do it politely and keep it short, most writers hate to waste time online when they could be writing, or at least lounging on the sofa with a cold beer).

    In any case any half decent indie publisher must have some books (and e-books) out there. You should be able to find a list of their titles on their website and check them out on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Nobles, all the usual places. Download some free samples while you are at it, to get an idea of how good their editors are.

    It never hurts to google "publisher-name beware". If there are alarm bells ringing already, chances are some pissed off author will have mentioned it somewhere.

    Never sign a contract where they ask you money. That is either a fraud or vanity publishing (if you want to selfpublish you can do it for free). As a newbie author you won't get much wiggle space in your contracts, but you should certainly never have to PAY your publisher!!

    Speaking of contracts, they are usual pretty standard, but one thing I advise making a point of, is that there is a clause specifying that, should the publisher go belly up (something that small houses do with alarming frequency), the book's rights will directly revert to you. Or you risk finding yourself in a limbo where they have ceised payments but you can't get your hands on your book for republishing it somewhere else.


    Well, anyway. This is all way, way down the line. The reason I started babbling about the publishing world, is that I wanted you to know that there is space for all sort of books, long and short etc. So write your story the way the story needs it. Don't stretch it into a novel unless it needs to be a novel. Focus on writing it, and then one way ot the other, you will get it out there, ok?? :)



      June 11, 2017 8:26 AM BST
  • Thanks again so much for all the information. It's very helpful and you definitely seem to know your stuff haha.

    The only thing I'm still not sure I understand is that last part about the contract. Do you mean if the publisher goes belly up, the contract will or should say that all rights will go to me? 

    Very grateful for all your help and yes, I'll be sure to write the book exactly the length it's meant to be. =)

      June 12, 2017 8:34 AM BST
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    Ah ah, no, everything I told you is no more than anyone can pick up doing a bit of research on the topic. Since I've been there before you I really don't mind giving you some general idea of how things are, but believe me, for a published author I am still fantastically clueless about the whole business. That is why I would feel much better if you signed up to some dedicated forums. You can find lots of poeple more savvy than I am, especially in different genres, and also more up to date. I haven't published anything sice 2013 (2014? Now I can't remember, jeez, old age, what can I say) and things change fast.

    As for the contract, yes, I would make sure that there is a clause reverting book rights immediately to you if the publisher cease payments. Sometimes there isn't. Although nothing like that ever happened to me, I have read perfect horror stories of colleagues trying for YEARS to wrestle their books back from bankrupted publishers. This seems to me the main risk going with new, small publishers, so make sure to keep your a*s well covered in that sense!!


    Now go and get some writing done, will ya (I'll try and do the same)?? :)


    Ciao, K


      June 12, 2017 1:12 PM BST
  • Hi Kris...just a quick update on working with melodies for your poem...I'm struggling with "meter" and fitting in phrases and words to make it "tight".  Think of "meter" as the "beats per measure" as in l 1-2-3-4 l or l 1-2 and 1-2 l or l 1 and 1-2-3 l where a "measure" is a consistent, defined "time" in music structure.  I get started with something, then find myself bogged down and move on to other things musically not really related to your poem.  The good news is I developed a pretty cool sounding melody with my guitar tuned down to DADGAD, which for any guitarists out there, means some pretty deep bottom sounds in a powerful key.  Led Zepplin's "Kashmir" is played in this tuning...I made your "chorus" piece ring with my tune but just keep stumbling with the verses...

    At worst, this is a wonderful mental exercise for me as it is a challenge.  That said, I might be trying too hard to fit your words into a complex melody when something simple and clean might be a better fit.  But I've never taken the "normal" path in life (smile) so I'll keep lugging away at it while keeping options open to something simple!  

    Thnx for letting me do this...

    Traci xoxo

      June 13, 2017 12:15 AM BST
  • Katia, I do believe Wattpad and Writer's Digest are pretty good places where I can get tips for publishing. (I've gotten a few, but it's sometimes hard to tell who is legit and who isn't lol). Writer's Digest was actually recommended to me by my professor and when I joined it, they sorta, well, they didn't snub me, but they didn't seem too impressed that I was sharing my work on wattpad and told me it was a very unprofessional site. I still like to share my work there to get people's opinions on my work, but when I need real critiques, I go to Writer's Digest. I do have a practice chapter one of Obsession on wattpad right now, but after I read a bit more, I plan on editing it again. I will be sure to be careful as far as contracts go and will get to writing again right away! =) 

    PS: If you want to check out what I have of Obsession, I believe my wattpad account is on my profile.



    Traci, Mostly speaking Greek to me, but I think I have a general idea of what you mean lol. Sorry to hear you are having a bit of trouble. I know how that is as far as art goes. I'm always having to re-write things and scrap ideas. I'm just glad to hear you are having a good time working on my poem. Still looking forward to whatever you come up with. =)

      June 13, 2017 7:36 AM BST
  • Just a case of "writer's block", only in musical format!  LOL


      June 13, 2017 5:20 PM BST
  • Traci, Oh yeah, that happens to me quite a bit lol. I find that in writing, an outline can help, but not sure that would do any good with music lol.

      June 14, 2017 5:30 AM BST
  • Yes and no to outlines...yes in setting aside catchy riffs to plug into appropriate places in the, in that I'm not that good!  LOL

    This might take forever or I might complete it in one sitting tonight or whenever! (smile)

    Traci xoxo

      June 14, 2017 10:17 PM BST
  • LOL, don't worry, whatever you come up with will be lightyears better than what I could as far as music goes. XD I don't know rhythm at all lol. There's no rush. All great art takes time. =)

      June 15, 2017 12:04 PM BST