How is it you're getting these published? Besides as an Amazon E-Book.
Failing at my own writings (through lack of time, adequate work environment, other things), although I have some short stories lying around that if able to be easily published by any means might offer some of insentive to get back on the straight and narrow.
I recommend you guys look around the forums Absolute Write. It's a big community of writers who offer critique for chapters of your stories as well as query letters. You can probably find a lot of information about all types of publishing, including self publishing, and formatting. It's one of my favorite sites, as a writer myself.
Well, it's official. I am now a published author. I've been holding off on posting in this thread until I could say that. My first book is a collection of short stories called Odd Lodgings. Most of the stories are somewhere between fantasy and horror. They take place in our world, but the normality is invaded by the eerie and the inexplicable. You can buy the e-book here (note that you do not need a Kindle in order to read it; just a computer is fine). Please remember to review after reading, and you can like my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/taylor.m.smith.author
God, this is awesome. There's not too much else going on in my life right now. I've been kept busy the last few weeks getting the book ready and visiting some friends and relatives. Hopefully I can get another book underway soon.
Congratulations, that is a huge accomplishment. I guess we have two here on the board now. I'm waiting for the printing company on mine, Bookmaters, inc. - Ashton, Ohio. I went the old fashioned way, through a publisher, Grapetree Books (2013), also the most expensive route instead of an e-book but it will be published in Romanian soon through this way so that was incredibly exciting for me to learn it would be reproduced in a foreign language. It'll be posted here once it is officially out.
I hope yours went smoother, mine took three years to write and several thousands in expenses if you take into account the five years of research trips to Eastern Europe.
Thanks! Mine was lighter on the research, though it took me longer to put together than I would have liked. I may see about getting printed copies done eventually, but as an unknown author I didn't feel like going to all the trouble of finding a publisher and messing with the expense of physical copies. The book is a little short, anyway, so it might be better to print a larger collection when I get more stories written.
Paru, If you're saying there's only two authors or writers on the board, you're wrong. I have my original manuscripts too. Though, you may be the only one who has gone through the querying-agent-publisher steps.
TMS, I'd like to hear some of your experience with Kindle formatting, if you don't mind sharing. Is it difficult to do? Is it very different from traditional formatting?
Really the formatting was pretty easy. I did it all in Word, converted it to HTML, and they transformed it into an e-book themselves. Most of it was stuff I'd done before except using headings and creating a Table of Contents.
That's what happens, sometimes. Although, it's always better to write too much than too little. 'Too much' can be edited down, but 'too little' means that you have to write more and writing stories is hard work. It may be fun, exciting work, but it's also hard work.
I'm about to write a novel that I intend to publish as an e-book. If I need a bit of help with HTML formatting, can I ask for your advice? I would like to learn how to format an ebook in both the .epub and Kindle formats myself.
I did some research and discovered that there's an extension for LibreOffice (an open-source office suite, similar to Microsoft Office) that can be used to turn manuscripts into .epub files. Amazon has a web page that gives details on how to convert an .epub file into a Kindle-formatted file.
Market research suggests that Kindle has about 70% of the world's e-book market and that in some countries, like South Korea, they're selling e-books for about $3.00 (or the equivalent in Korean currency) in an effort to promote e-books to the population (who mostly still prefer printed books). Some have wondered how the publishers make a profit by selling ebooks at $3.00.
Since your book is selling for $3.02 through Amazon, it seems like you're in the best position as far as distribution is concerned. It says that your book is 115 pages long. Assuming that you have at least 500 words per page, your book would have 50,000+ which would make it novel-length. It's not too short to be physically printed. That being said, though, physical printing and distribution costs more than e-book publishing and distribution and those additional costs might require a higher sale price.
Thanks for the support. About formatting, I might not be the best person to talk to. Formatting for Kindle is really easy, and the best evidence of that is that I was able to do it without difficulty. I set the price to $2.99 (the lowest it can be for me to get a 70% royalty), though there's a 4 cent delivery fee as well. As an unknown author, I'm a little worried that it might be too expensive to attract buyers. The book is actually a little less than 40,000 words in length (Kindles can have pretty small screens, depending on what the text size is set to).
I'm hoping to start work on a second book forthwith, but I'm having trouble deciding whether I want to do a novel or not. I probably have more ideas for novels than I do material for short story collections, but the short story form is looking more attractive to me right now, particularly for the kind of stuff I'm writing. It's been a busy few weeks, though, and I'm having some difficulty getting started. I've also run behind on The Call, as some of my long-suffering readers may have noticed.
Don't worry about things like 'novel' or 'short stories.' Just write the story. If it's long enough to be a novel, then publish it as a novel. If it isn't then, publish it as a novella or a short story (or put several stories together and publish it as an anthology).
Yeah, getting started is sometimes the hardest part. Sometimes I have to fight to make time to write, and then, when I have time, I don't know how to start the story. While you're finding time to write, think about the story and how it should begin. That way, you've already got a head start when you sit down to write.
The issue I had was not getting started but that I had volumes of material, five years worth of research notes and fact checking everything, from Romanian, Turkish, Hungarian and even old church Slavonic, sifting through what was historical fact and what was speculation and hypothesis. The scholars in Bucharest and Sighisoara, namely my friends Sir Mihai and Dr. Bogdan Popa were essential in translating many things and bringing me to locations normally off the tourist trail.
Publishing any work is hard, that is something to be proud of for sure. I'm sort of an old relic, I like the feel of books so finding a publisher and paying an editor took time and a lot of resources. It will be worth it though.
Mm, seconding Cyber. Don't worry about length. Just get an idea, write, and see what happens. In my experience, I've known fairly quickly the estimated length that a story might end up being. I knew from the start that Morning Star was going to be very long, even for a young adult work. Others that I started as novels are coming in just around 70,000, which is average and acceptable for the genre. Then again, I have another that I knew long before I hit the 50k bench mark that it's going to end up being a long one. So yeah, just write. You'll figure it out as you go.
Though 500 words a page is a lot. I think the standard, at least for manuscript purposes, is half that.
Right now I've decided to start work on a second collection of short stories, since that probably won't take me as long as a full-length novel will, and I'd like to get another book out there. I'm interested in getting some new stories done, though first I'm going to finish that chapter of The Call that I'm running so late on.
Well, I had something of a setback yesterday, when my laptop decided to stop working. A friend of the family looked at it today and thinks that the cheapest solution is to just get a new laptop. Fortunately, there didn't seem to be anything wrong with the hard drive, and he was able to transfer my files elsewhere. I had the most important ones, such as my current fiction projects, sent to me today, but it may take a while before I'm working at full capacity again. Until I can get another laptop, I'll be using other people's computers (like my brother's, since he's now home for the summer) to keep abreast of what's happening online. Being without my laptop is a weird experience for me after it's become such an integral part of my life. It feels like part of my brain is missing.