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I've published a bloody book!
39

ChequeredPasta · 30/11/2016 21:17

Can't believe I''m writing this.....
So I've written a book. Didn't show it to anyone I knew, felt too embarrassed (Feels like showing people my insides, you know?)
Anyway, I sort of knew I didn't want to send it to any agents, as I couldn't be bothered with the whole 'Wait for 6 months to receive a crushing rejection' dance. And also, I wanted to retain control over my work, and have a little project to play with.
So, I paid to have it edited privately, paid for a cover....and I've published it on amazon. And it's sold some copies!
I was to cash in the tenner I've made and have it framed Grin
Just thought I'd share. Anyone out there struggling along, or maybe struggling with your confidence, hear this. This time next year, a year will have passed regardless of what you do. You can either write a book and get it out there, or not. The year will pass anyway. What have you got to lose? Life is not a practice run.

Keep up the good work everyone! I'm off for a massive Wine

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TheRavensFeather · 30/11/2016 21:20

Oooh. Congratulations! What's the title?

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wildsapphire · 30/11/2016 21:22

I'm so jealous. I would love love love to write a children's book.

Huge congratulations! X

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paddypants13 · 30/11/2016 21:52

Well done Chequered!

(I don't usually post in creative writing, I'm not creative, but had to say well done.)

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ChequeredPasta · 30/11/2016 22:22

Thanks guys!
wildsapphire - you should do it! Just sit down and write 500 words a day (about a page). Then suddenly it's done! Grin
Ravensfeather - It's called....battles desire to keep it secret and avoid judgement with desire to become billionaire via mumsnet discovery of amazing novel... Blowfish by H L Fox

Fortunately I've written it under a pseudonym, so don't need to worry about outing myself too much Grin Grin

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TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 01/12/2016 09:55

Congratulations, ChequeredPasta!

I hope it sells many. Are you writing another one now?

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TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 01/12/2016 09:59

Just had a look. Great cover and excellent blurb!

Wildsapphire, you really should. I am a great believer in creating things. No-one thinks they need permission to start knitting or baking but people are often reluctant to take the first step with writing. Just block out some time and go for it.

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GinAndTunic · 01/12/2016 10:00

Well done! May it be the first of many.

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EstelleRoberts · 01/12/2016 10:01

Wow, congratulations!! That is an amazing achievement. Having the discipline to sit down and write everyday, while fighting the urge to get other things done/procrastinate is very difficult! I will be checking it out. And I hope you sell shedloads!

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LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 01/12/2016 10:06

Congratulations! I've bought it!

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HarrietVane99 · 01/12/2016 10:09

Congratulations, Pasta.

I whole heartedly agree with this:
You can either write a book and get it out there, or not. The year will pass anyway. What have you got to lose?

I was in your position a few years ago. I'd written three novels, tried the agent thing, and thought, sod it, just get them out there on Kindle. I haven't made a fortune by any means, but I do sell a few, and I've had some nice feedback, and I'm really pleased I did it. I agree that having control over your work is a big benefit of self publishing.

Off to look yours up, now.

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LineyReborn · 01/12/2016 10:09

Well done! How much did the editing and cover cost?

Off to have a look at your book now ...

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LineyReborn · 01/12/2016 10:24

Just reading the sample - it's really good - I'll buy it later when I've finished work. Otherwise I'll read it all day!

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OohhThatsMe · 01/12/2016 10:48

OP, I've read the first few chapters and think you have a good story there. I wondered why you wouldn't send it off to an agent? I was a bit puzzled by your saying they'd respond with a rejection - if they did, they often tell you why, so you can work on it some more.

There are a few of us here who self-published and found it very difficult to market our own work. Even the pricing is difficult - as a debut author that's self-publishing, I think you're pricing it too high at £2.79. It's easy to juggle the pricing around, but usually 99p or £1.49 or at the very most £1.99 is charged. At £1.99 I'd expect to see a lot of reviews (more than 50) with most of them in the 4 or 5 star category.

One thing I wish I'd done is to self-publish under a different name, because when I got an agent and publishers, they wanted me to take down my self-published books - if I'd used another name I could've kept them going.

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OohhThatsMe · 01/12/2016 10:53

I agree that having control over your work is a big benefit of self publishing.

Tbh I think this is something that all self-published authors think, as though you lose control over your work when an agent/editor is involved. I found the opposite when my book was edited - if you have an editor who absolutely understands what you're trying to do, then all she does it help you to make it better. So she'll recommend cutting paragraphs to tighten the pace and she'll ask again and again, "Why did this person do that?" so that you're forced into going deeper and deeper into the character to find the right motivation.

I think it's a bit of a myth in publishing that editors will take on a book and try to make it a completely different type of book - there was someone on the CW boards who thought her book would be turned into a 50 Shades. Why would it be taken on if they wanted that? There are plenty of people writing that sort of book.

It can be very tough accepting criticism - you feel at first like you've been slapped in the face - but when you realise they're trying to help you make the book better, then you calm down and realise that actually they do have a point. And as you shape the book with their guidance, you realise that what you have is a better book than when you started.

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HarrietVane99 · 01/12/2016 11:20

Tbh I think this is something that all self-published authors think, as though you lose control over your work when an agent/editor is involved.

It wasn't so much the editing of an existing work that I was thinking of, in fact I've struggled with my current wip and would have welcomed some editorial help.

I was talking to some writer friends recently, and one who has been traditionally published said what she, and others she knows, have struggled with is the pressure to meet deadlines, to produce two books a year in some cases. She said she's had to submit work before she's felt it was ready because of this.

With my current work, if I'd been writing to a deadline, either I'd have missed it, or the work wouldn't have been as good as it could have been.

Then there's the pressure of knowing that your publisher can drop you at any time and you have to go through the whole process again. My friend was published by a small indie which was taken over by a biggish name, which then proceeded to drop all the authors. (But won't release the rights to her books so she can self publish them, even though they're out of print.)

I also like the freedom to choose what to write. I am trying to build a couple of series, but I want to write other things in between, too.

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OohhThatsMe · 01/12/2016 11:23

Yes, that's true in that you're free to write in a range of genres, where a publisher will want you to stick to one.

That seems very unfair of that publisher to not release the rights. Has she checked her contract? I'm pretty certain there's something in mine about releasing it after a certain time.

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WalterWhitesNipple · 01/12/2016 11:36

Congratulations! That's a huge achievement and you should be very proudSmile will purchase it when I've got through the few unread books on my shelf!

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leonardthelemming · 01/12/2016 19:12

There are a few of us here who self-published and found it very difficult to market our own work.

I think this is the big problem. Amazon won't market it for you. I started a thread a little while ago - how to be visible on Amazon KDP - and I've made some changes in response to the advice I received. Still working on a new cover! Reviews are very hard to get - I don't know enough people Sad - although I did get one which may have been from someone in this forum. (It was a nice one, too.) But no improvement. I'll have to think of some other strategies.
Good luck with yours.

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TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 02/12/2016 11:11

I totally know where OoohThatsMe is coming from. I would absolutely love to have the input of a really good, experienced structural editor. The thing that makes me the most jealous of people with lovely book deals isn't the money or the marketing so much as having someone else working with you to make the book better.

Re self-publishing, I think one of the biggest risks is that because you have to put so much effort into the marketing, you can become focused on that rather than on improving your writing. It does take a really long time.

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OohhThatsMe · 02/12/2016 12:06

TheCountessofFitzdotterel, there are editors who work freelance, who will go through a book with a fine toothcomb and give very good advice, but of course it costs.

I've found it really fantastic having editorial help. There are two kinds - one is when you've written the book and they edit it, and then there's another where they talk through the book with you before you start writing it. I have two editors and an agent and each of them love to talk through the book before starting - obviously I didn't have that pre-writing support (except from great friends) before this book was sent to the agent, but now, working on the second book, I've had help right through the planning stages. They're just brilliant at the structure, the point of view, the characters, the themes, etc - they really know what they're talking about, but also just want you to write the best book you can. That is really invaluable.

A lot of editors freelance when they retire or if they stop work for a while to have children - if you could afford it, it would definitely be something to consider.

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HollyBollyBooBoo · 02/12/2016 12:13

How amazing! Congratulations, that is such a milestone.

Had a look on Amazon, can you only buy it in kindle not as an actual book?

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OutrageousFlavourLikeFreesias · 02/12/2016 12:35

Congratulations and Happy Publication Day! Enjoy every minute. X

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Coffeethrowtrampbitch · 02/12/2016 12:43

Congratulations!

It must be very exciting to see your pseudonym in print Grin

But I do think you are great. I've written two books but am a terrible editor so haven't really moved forward with them. I've read all the advice on this thread keenly though, perhaps it will be the motivation I need.

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ChequeredPasta · 02/12/2016 18:02

Thank you everyone for your support! It means the world to me, I'm tearing up a little Smile.

Liney - I was really lucky. So with the cover, once I discovered that book cover artists make pre-made covers at quite low prices, I trawled through all the websites I could see. I found the one I have, and really liked it. It signalled the genre, and fit with the book. I think it was $50 full price. While I was deliberating, the guy had a half price sale, so I got it for $25! Not that bad considering how much I spend on chocolate a week...
As for editing, I got lucky again. I posted on some sites looking for beta readers. A private editor emailed me, and offered a free edit. I figured out all the different levels of editing required, and then paid for a final proofread. Half off in a sale with the same private editor again, so £150. And that's how much it cost in total! To be honest, the proofread was worth every penny, as I found out so much about gaps in my grammatical knowledge, spelling and word usage. Going through the manuscript was better than any course I could have gone on!

Countess - Thank you very much! I'm trying to write the sequel now, to release summertimeish, but the run up to Christmas is not a good time for long periods of silence and introspection. Who knew? Grin

Holly - It will be available in print as soon as i approve the final draft. Was waiting for the proof copy, it arrived today and it's amazing! I'll try and post a photo if I can figure out how...

As for why I self-published....I suppose I suffer from 'imposter syndrome', in that I'm not as good as everyone else, and shouldn't be doing whatever I'm doing. So I didn't want to put myself through countless rejections, as I felt it would destroy my confidence. Also, whilst I was researching self-publishing, I read some quite discouraging things about how new authors are treated, i.e. that new authors get no marketing and are expected to do their own, that if you don’t outsell your advance you won’t get another publishing contract ever, that kind of thing. And I just thought that self-publishing was the right fit for me, so that I could get a bit of experience and find my feet a bit, in a way that felt comfortable. I had a story I wanted to tell, and it’s out there now, even if no one else in the world ever reads it! Now, if an agent came to me I’d be delighted, but at the moment, I’m really happy just seeing a book I made in my own two hands! Feels wonderful. But, not everyone’s the same, and I bet going down the traditional publishing route is perfect for some people.
I would say though, that you definitely can get help with your work from an editor without being published. The editing I got was truly excellent. From big picture, this storyline needs more work, you need another chapter here type of stuff, to line by line ‘this sentence doesn’t work’ help. And it doesn’t have to be crazily expensive. I found beta reader through mumset who was really excellent, who sent a detailed report outlining improvements to be made, things that didn’t work, typo etc. I owe her a lot, she was brilliant.
Wow I’ve written a lot. Off too eat my weight in chocolate, it is Friday after all!
Have a good weekend everyone.

And to you wonderful people who have bought my book, I hope Karma rewards you this weekend Grin Grin Grin

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HollyBollyBooBoo · 02/12/2016 19:06

Can't wait, will keep my eye out for it!

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