Writer Wednesday


Spam comments on writing:

SpamCommentsRe: comment 1 – yeah, you can become a millionaire also if you buy lots of lottery tickets. Eventually, you’ll win. Same there: lots of books on Kindle, eventually you can become a millionaire! 😉 In case you forgot, even Amanda Hocking had 6 or 7 books on Kindle and had to wait one year before she joined the Kindle Millionaires Club… So it’s really not instant riches – or you better be off buying that lottery ticket! 😉

Re: comment 2 – I already mentioned I can’t teach you how I write. I have many male protagonists in my stories, I don’t really care the sex of my characters, I assume I have enough imagination to write credible people. That’s why I prefer fantasy anyway, and when I tackle reality, I ask beta-readers of the opposite sex to make sure I portrayed men in a realistic way. But don’t bother to criticize my Silvery Earth men or even the Star Minds – I made them up, and I made them like I wish they were! 😀 I guess they all have something of myself anyway, no matter the external genitalia or appearance I bestow on them (I have virtual casts anyway), and I need to try very hard when I portray people who are very different from me! 😉

I also think we’re all unique, so what might sound “crazy” or “surreal” to you might be exactly how I feel. I’ve noticed that I got a low star rating on a book – on the part that was precisely me, I was writing what I knew (that’s another BS myth, “Write what you know” – especially for genre writers), and the reader couldn’t understand what I was saying or how I was feeling. So, see, for someone you can be “weird” even if you’re just being yourself. Never mind, you can’t please everyone! 🙂

If you don’t want to order the print version, Happiness is… is now in e-book format, trilingual, so if you want a taste of Italian and French with the English, go get it on Amazon or B&N, and soon Kobo and Apple, or you can get an e-pub from XinXii or DriveThruComics. I will do more of these later on, maybe divided into “writer’s happiness” and more general happinesses.

Now, let me tell you why you don’t want Dreamspinner to be your publisher. Even if you write the genre they seek, you’re better off on your own. Why? They can’t even bother to find you a personalized cover!

DreamspinnerCoversI’ve noticed on World of Diversity Fiction – 3 reviews of 3 books from this publisher, all with the same cover picture! 😦 Do you really think this will make you stand out in a crowd? I’ve heard of other small publishers who don’t bother hiring an editor and a book cover designer – with these kind of companies, you’re better off on your own. They won’t do anything for you that you can’t do yourself.

So yeah, it’s not easy to find the proper stock photo (that’s something that happens a lot with romance books – they seem to use always the same stock photos…) or shoot it yourself or find a cover artist or what not, but this is really worse than a cover drawn by your 8-year-old offspring, really! Have the exact same cover as someone else – how’s that for branding?! If you really don’t know where to start from, I can do your cover for 50 bucks – at least it will be original! 🙂

By the way, I’ve added some book trailers on some DriveThru titles – the Star Minds series, SKYBAND omnibus, and Happiness is… we’ll see if they really draw in sales (they didn’t on Smashwords when I uploaded the BoI book trailers, but I’ve put on the Star Minds trailer there as well, just in case…)! 🙂

Writing World’s newsletter gave a link to funny Pitch Generators – I like this one very much, and might play with it before my next upload! 😉 And in case you missed it (I sure did), Moira Allen wrote an excellent article on What is a writer? – so what’s your idea? Did you look in the mirror and ask “so… what is it going to be? Indie or Trad? And why?”? Do you want to write a lot? For fun? Again, if you hope to live off your Kindle sales, you might as well buy a lottery ticket. See also how Ruth Ann Nordin destroys some myths – done? Good, now get back to writing! 🙂

And if you really feel you need pampering and representation, or simply help, think twice – or better, research who you hire. You don’t want to end up with Idiot Lawyer, do you? If you’re one of those Shattered Authors that got their heart broken by traditional publishing, please step up. We’re here, we’re ready to help. We’ll stand behind you and will help you to resurrect your writing career. Don’t put away your dream – it’s a scary brand new world of publishing and you can conquer it and live happily ever after! 🙂 We can teach you to do it yourself, even if you don’t have a natural business sense (I sure don’t) or you can find a little help from places like Lucky Bat Books or “indie advice” on Self-published Authors.

And beware of the long tentacles of Author Solutions – David Gaughran summarizes it well in his latest post. Yes, I still use Lulu for POD, but only the free services, not the other awful “deals”. They still have the A5 format (preferred for me), which I haven’t seen on CreateSpace yet (although my first attempt was for a prose book, so the “digest” template was just fine – and identical, even if CS said the PDF wasn’t the expected size).

Anyway, I’ve spent Monday afternoon on CreateSpace – same but different from Lulu. At least 3 hours and a half of attempts to create the perfect cover and interior – the templates aren’t as good as Lulu’s, or maybe I only need to get used to a new dashboard/interface. Sigh. Anyway, I’ve ordered proof copies of Star Minds on both PODs, then I’ll decide which I like best (or maybe I’ll keep both, who knows! ;)). And since they have slightly different interiors, I’ll ask you guys which looks better to you, so be ready to vote.

I know lots of readers still read only on paper, but I doubt I can send my printed books to American bookstores from Italy, and not sure about how it could work with Italian bookstores, so it will probably just be an internet store for now. I can add the print link on most online retailers anyway… CS seems cheaper, but the mailing expenses (for expedited service) are higher. I’ll decide when I have both books in my hands and can compare paper and printing and all that stuff.

Yesterday I wrote the Amazons story, finished this post, redid the cover for CS and beta-read. Today I have the offline writers group, so I’m getting the Star Minds Snippets from Dear Beta (see Sunday’s post) and then I’ll probably ask one editor to go through the two stories I plan on submitting to the Smashwords Authors Anthology on Goodreads, to proofread and get rid of those grammar mistakes. Tomorrow more writing and reading – and then the first week off will be over…

Have a great week! 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. Viv

     /  12/06/2013

    What a useless waste that publisher is; 3 different titles with exactly the same cover. I suspect there are dozens if not hundreds of so-called publishers popping up these days, thinking to part unsuspecting, naive authors from their cash.
    Sad.
    Have a great week, Barb!

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    Reply
    • I had already seen a stock image used as cover both by an indie author and a small publisher, but at least they were two different entities! 😉 This really suck, hope wannabes don’t fall for this “publisher”…
      Have a great week too, Viv! 😀

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      Reply
  2. Great post– yes, not many people are aware that Amanda Hocking already had several books to her name before hitting it big. ‘Overnight’ success takes more than one night!

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    Reply
    • absolutely! Every “overnight” success has a lot of work behind the scenes – when I make it big, you can tell you knew me when I was still “struggling” gracefully to get noticed! 😉

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      Reply

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