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Thread: Starting out

  1. #21
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    Facebook is my main one, but I'm also on Goodreads. I also have a newsletter subscription option on my website. I did mostly start on Goodreads to begin with: that has some good reader groups on there, but that is mostly for readers, and they like their reading space without having an author look over their shoulder. So I mostly do the odd promo on their via my Goodreads blog nowadays.

    I'd recommend getting together a good list of reviewing sites and sending out review requests prior to publication if you can. I didn't with my first, and with hindsight, I should have had a little more faith in my work. If you're with a good publisher, they'll have their own marketing department and always talk to them first about what they need you to do, but most will hand over a review packs/links to you in order for you to go and solicit reviews yourself from reviewing blogs. But if you go self-pub, I'd definitely recommend being savvy about about reviewing companies and allowing them time to review your work before it goes live to the public. So approach reviewers about a month/2 months prior to publication. A lot of self-published authors are only giving reviewing blogs two weeks notice, and that tends to cripple reviewers. They handle a lot of authors and need time to read a novel, so be tuned into a reviewer's stress points too--don't give them a short deadline to get the novel read.

    If you're looking to see how things work for authors, I'll give you the link to Goodreads and my author page rather than show you a specific novel. It'll give you an idea on what's needed on Goodreads and what an author page can look like. That might help you more. Goodreads Link Here.
    Hi Aquilo,

    Thank you for your great advice, as always!

    I will check out the Goodreads, this platform is very new to me, I will need some time to get my head around how it works.

    Just out of curiosity, how many followers / readers do you have on it? How long did it take you to build this following? How many books can one hope to sell through this channel? I'm also curious how you sourced the great cover art work for your books?

    On the subject of reviewers for self publishers, is there a list of reviewers that you would recommend?

    I'm sorry about too many questions, I'm just starting out.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Mish View Post
    What caught my attention the most in the first chapter was Lucine's relationship with James. It was interesting to read about his projections of "what he wanted her to be instead of who she really was". I found this very relatable, because haven't we all experienced such projections from someone at one point or another. I almost wished the chapter continued more on this trail and described in more detail how they were and their point of failure.

    I will try to find some time to read the second chapter.
    You say that you write from personal experience and so did I. I spent my working life in an office and that was the inspiration for the format of the novel and the idea of a building that could move outside of normal time and space. An office within a large company is another world. The things that matter can be quite different from the reality outside and the staff are isolated from their lives beyond the building's walls. Our company sold life assurance, so from the information that we obtained about our clients we could form impressions of their lives, but we never got any details beyond that. The novel is equally irritating, disclosing facts about intriguing events outside of the office but leaving the reader to imagine the details. That is where the idea of everything appearing normal but nothing actually happening comes from. My intention was to enable the reader to share in the feelings of the office workers in the story, the frustration of playing a part in those events but never truly sharing in them. From your comment it appears that my strategy succeeded with you. It's one of the reasons for the words "about something else" after the title.

    I am close to finishing the latest short story I am working on at the moment. In which thread would it be best to post it for feedback?
    If you want only members to see it and not the public in order to retain all your publication rights then you should post it as a new thread in the Fiction Workshop. However, bearing in mind the principle that we give and take here, you should also read the items that others have posted there and post your comments on their threads. Doing that encourages members to comment on your work. We are all readers and it doesn't matter how experienced we are as writers when we are offering critique as readers. Writers may suggest better ways of doing things but the author of a piece may have their own opinion on that and only want to know how a reader will see it, so don't have any qualms about saying how you react to a work.

    Regarding your previous question about the length of posts, note the convention of mentioning in the thread heading the rough word count of your work. This enables members to decide whether they have the time to read it. However, to get an idea of how things work and the sort of response you may get, read some of the existing threads and join in there. Offering critique on the work of others is good practice for the more important task of looking critically at your own work. If you see a shortcoming in someone else's work you should always ask yourself whether you handle the issue any better in yours.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  3. #23
    I relatively famous published author advised me to go to the bookstore and pick out the authors who are successful in the genre I intend on writing and copy them. I found this well-intentioned advice insulting. I believe a writer must be true to the story in his or her own mind, not try to follow a formula, no matter how successful. I might be in the minority in this thinking however.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by dahand View Post
    I relatively famous published author advised me to go to the bookstore and pick out the authors who are successful in the genre I intend on writing and copy them. I found this well-intentioned advice insulting. I believe a writer must be true to the story in his or her own mind, not try to follow a formula, no matter how successful. I might be in the minority in this thinking however.
    It's good advice to check out how published authors make it into paper, but I wouldn't say copy them. You need to find your own style and story.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mish View Post
    I will check out the Goodreads, this platform is very new to me, I will need some time to get my head around how it works.
    There's no rush. In fact I'd say take your time to get to know anything about the industry.

    Just out of curiosity, how many followers / readers do you have on it? How long did it take you to build this following? How many books can one hope to sell through this channel? I'm also curious how you sourced the great cover art work for your books?
    Followers themselves aren't important to know. It's like Amazon, where reviews and ratings sell the work to other readers. And those you have to leave to readers when it comes to your own work. Good reads is now tied to Amazon, so the two work together: you have Amazon buy links on your Goodreads novels. With my cover art, I use a cover artist. At first y ovels had cover art from my publisher, but since I've gotten rights my back, I've redone them via my cover artist. Because I know my community, I know a numbert of cover artists and photographers.

    On the subject of reviewers for self publishers, is there a list of reviewers that you would recommend?
    I have a list as long as my arm, but they are reviwersin my genre: dark/mainstream MM romance. The novels has to have that as a core theme. If it doesn't, it's no good sending your novel to these sites.

    I'm sorry about too many questions, I'm just starting out.
    Don't ever worry about asking! It's when you stop and get caught out on the likes of contracts and rogue publishing scams that you need to worry.

  5. #25
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JustRob View Post
    You say that you write from personal experience and so did I. I spent my working life in an office and that was the inspiration for the format of the novel and the idea of a building that could move outside of normal time and space. An office within a large company is another world. The things that matter can be quite different from the reality outside and the staff are isolated from their lives beyond the building's walls. Our company sold life assurance, so from the information that we obtained about our clients we could form impressions of their lives, but we never got any details beyond that. The novel is equally irritating, disclosing facts about intriguing events outside of the office but leaving the reader to imagine the details. That is where the idea of everything appearing normal but nothing actually happening comes from. My intention was to enable the reader to share in the feelings of the office workers in the story, the frustration of playing a part in those events but never truly sharing in them. From your comment it appears that my strategy succeeded with you. It's one of the reasons for the words "about something else" after the title.



    If you want only members to see it and not the public in order to retain all your publication rights then you should post it as a new thread in the Fiction Workshop. However, bearing in mind the principle that we give and take here, you should also read the items that others have posted there and post your comments on their threads. Doing that encourages members to comment on your work. We are all readers and it doesn't matter how experienced we are as writers when we are offering critique as readers. Writers may suggest better ways of doing things but the author of a piece may have their own opinion on that and only want to know how a reader will see it, so don't have any qualms about saying how you react to a work.

    Regarding your previous question about the length of posts, note the convention of mentioning in the thread heading the rough word count of your work. This enables members to decide whether they have the time to read it. However, to get an idea of how things work and the sort of response you may get, read some of the existing threads and join in there. Offering critique on the work of others is good practice for the more important task of looking critically at your own work. If you see a shortcoming in someone else's work you should always ask yourself whether you handle the issue any better in yours.
    Thank you JustRob,

    I have occasionally browsed through the Fiction Workshop to understand how it works and your advice is spot on. I will first get on the task of reviewing the work of others before I post my own. Hopefully my short story will not be too wordy for others when I do post it. Also, I understand that critiquing the work of others is good practice for building those necessary skills to critique own work. So it really is a win / win situation.

  6. #26
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    Followers themselves aren't important to know. It's like Amazon, where reviews and ratings sell the work to other readers. And those you have to leave to readers when it comes to your own work. Good reads is now tied to Amazon, so the two work together: you have Amazon buy links on your Goodreads novels. With my cover art, I use a cover artist. At first y ovels had cover art from my publisher, but since I've gotten rights my back, I've redone them via my cover artist. Because I know my community, I know a numbert of cover artists and photographers.
    Thanks Aquilo,

    Your enthusiasm to help is much appreciated!

    I guess I asked about followers because it might be a useful indicator of writing progress. Something you can measure the success of your writing work with? The more the merrier? (I hope)

    It's good to know how Goodreads works, thank you for the quick run down. I will try to setup an account further down the line when I have more work that I can put on. I wish I had a community from which I can source talent like cover artists. I guess it's something I will need to discover by myself in time. I'm sure they are around my area somewhere, waiting to be found.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    It's when you stop and get caught out on the likes of contracts and rogue publishing scams that you need to worry.
    Contract pit falls and rogue publishing scams are some things I know nothing about I'm afraid. It's probably too early for me to know. I guess I will encounter them at some stage, but hopefully will come back here for advice beforehand.

  7. #27
    Member Mish's Avatar
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    After much deliberation I have submitted my short story for critique. If anyone on this thread is interested you can find it here; https://www.writingforums.com/thread...-(3-676-words)

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