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A new approach to publication: Get read now, signed later

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2010, 12:06 PM
Lin
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Default A new approach to publication: Get read now, signed later


Things have changed. These days getting your work read is not limited to the traditional "Just keep submitting and waiting for as many years as it takes, while buying a bunch of stuff that might help your chances" option.

There have been revolutions in the ways you can publish your work and in the way people read it. A new way of looking at the writer's relationship with readers is emerging. The idea that it’s a direct, personal relationship with the writers and readers in control of it, is supplanting the old way in which the real hookup was between writers and agents/publishers and you need to give up your rights to get anywhere.

This goes well beyond all the “self publishing” and “net promotion” flack you read: it’s a new way of getting published that has worked for a lot of people using several different new methods. The crux of this process is that you publish your work right now. Not after you’ve waited years trying to get to an agent, then to a publisher, then a few years before the book comes out: right now. And there are more ways to do that than slapping a paperback up on amazon and hitting twitter.

Once you have work out there to be read, it’s a whole different ball game. You are building readership, you are establishing your brand as an author, you are getting helpful feedback, you are possibly even generating income. Your work is being read and appreciated, not sitting in a drawer.

Kevin Kelly’s paradigm--much proven by indie musicians before seeping into the writing community--that it only takes a thousand true fans to support an artist is part of this notion. You might be able to reach that "breakout" level of fanship and become a full-time author.

Or--and this dual-gear nature of the process is central to the new process--you might be able to parlay that readership into contracts with agents and publishing houses. It’s been done, and is being done more frequently.

But, unlike the “MS in a desk drawer” model, this process has the built-in fallback that even if you never get signed, you are BEING READ. You are an author with readers.

And even in the worst-case scenario imaginable--your stuff sucks and nobody will read it even for free--you find that out, without investing a lot of time and money and energy. You can try writing something else, or move on with your life.

It’s a powerful, upcoming way for writers to approach the market, but my new ebook is the first time it’s all been put together in one unified program. My manual lays this approach out and shows you how to execute the idea.

--It explains the overall process, with examples and “success stories” and links supporting the overall philosophy.
--It shows you, in detail, how to get your writing out there using “new media” techniques and venues like web novels, serials, podcasts, smartphone apps, ebooks, and print editions in order to build your “author constellation” and readership.
--It has tips on how to build that readership and use it.
--It connects you with communities that read and appreciate this kind of published work: directories, communities, support forums, reviewers, publishers.
--It shows you how to monetize your work to get some money out of it as you go along.
--Its methods are all either free or involve very little initial investments.

It’s a high-quality, click-navigable pdf document that you read on your screen, toggling back and forth from your work to it’s advice and massive collections of helpful links to the programs, sites, and tutorials involved. Pre-sale readers and users have been enthusiastic and tend to say that the link collections alone are worth the $5 USD cost of the manual.

Take a look on the publisher page: ADORO WORKS: New Media Routes to Publication

There’s no reason not to start your career as an author this month, not years from now if you’re lucky. You can have it without betting against yourself. And find out for yourself how much you can make yourself happen.

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Old 04-12-2010, 01:10 PM
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I'm intriguiged! And, yes, probably enough to throw a couple of quid your way.
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Old 04-12-2010, 01:33 PM
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Bless you heart.

This thing is a pain to try to promote. It's just kind of too big to capsulize well. The manual was originally a hand-out to those who attended my workshops at the Southern California Writers' Conference, but it just growed. To an 85 page ebook.
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Old 04-12-2010, 02:26 PM
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Despite my flippant and often disrespectful attitude towards you, Lin - which is always done in the sprit of fun and lurve, I echo Q Wands, I would be interested in your manual.

I've looked at your website and I've looked your stuff up on Amazon and I've joined your facebook group. (I am not a stalker - honest) You have a lot of experience and insight which others could do well to learn from.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:54 PM
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I was unable to go to the Southern California Writers' Conference, so I missed your talks. But I'll definitely check this out! I absorb more information through reading, anyway.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:30 AM
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Well, I'm certainly intrigued, too.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:41 AM
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Sounds like a crock of shit.

Cheers,
Bob
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Old 04-13-2010, 06:58 AM
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Got my PDF.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:08 AM
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Ah, so that was you. Bless your heart, Queenie.

Actually, Rob, I might give people shit, but I have a lifetime record of not selling it.
I've sold hundreds of manuals and never had one single complaint.
If there's something you don't understand, ask and I'll explain it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 07:10 AM
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Well, I couldn't make it to your workshop so this is the next best thing. Thank you!
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:22 AM
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I'm intrigued, too. I think e-publishing is the wave of the future for books, and if I interpreted your OP correctly, it sounds like that's something you cover.

I'll buy this when I'm ready. I'm actually anxious to see what you have to say about it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:07 AM
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It's about using several methods of publishing to approach publishers by building a readership.

Those methods include web novels, podcasts, serials, phone apps, ebooks, and printed books. Low capital investment stuff, mostly. There's less on print books because so much is done about that, and people kind of thing self-publishing has to mean POD.
But I do frame the use of print books into a different context, with more emphasis on them lighting up the aura around an author brand. It gets down to something like "it doesn't cost you anything to have a print book version, so why not". And the idea that people who like your writing might spring for a book as a gift or something.

Also, the logical "next act" for a serial novel or weblit is an ebook version. The serial will wind up eventually (or not, "Tales of Mu" has been running for like 5 years has tends of thousands of readers, and kicks out an ebook version every year or so. The author has zero interest in getting a publishing contract) and you sell the whole show.
The obvious conclusion of a podcast serial is an audiobook (something that DOES have a bit of a cost involved...but amortized over the run of the serial if you just splice the episodes together and package it.

Some online serials have started up simultaneous with release of a book, to bolster sales.
One of the cooler of the several cool monetization methods included in the manual is something called "Serial +" The idea is, each episode or the serial has a little box saying, "The entire serial will be posted in 37 more weeks. You can purchase the book and read the whole thing right now: just click here"

So there, priceless secrets for free.

If you are looking at any specific kind of "epublishing", Gwyn, let me know and I'll see if I can tell you more.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:18 AM
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Ha! Nice disguise Lin. Hahahaaha!

You can come up with the best avatars!
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:52 AM
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I read a lot of writer's blogs, because I'm trying to learn, as you know. =)

I saw a blog the other day about e-publishing - I may have even gotten the link from you, or your website - anyway, I was reading up on it, and I loved the idea for out of print books. So, I still want to try the traditional route, and do print publishing. if I manage to land myself a contract, I will do everything in my power to keep my e-publishing rights. I want my book in Barnes and Noble, but I also would like to see it on Kindle someday. That's the basic ideas I have on it, but nothing super concrete, just that after I have sufficiently chased the pipe dream of traditional publishing, I will learn more about e-publishing, but in the meantime, I want to maintain those rights.

I personally prefer to read a book off my phone, instead of on paper. I have a lot of friends who feel the same way. Before I got them on my phone, I used to carry a Palm Pilot for the same reason. I have been reading actual books lately, but all my church books and scriptures are still on my phone for ease of accessibility.

My first test reader has my book on her phone, and she reads it over and over. That boosts my morale so much. But the point is that she always has it with her, and she reads it when she's bored. Even if I never saw her again, I expect that if she saw a new book written by me either at a bookstore, or online available as an e-book, she'd buy it in a heartbeat, so I think your idea makes perfect sense.

Oh, and thanks for the priceless info! =) I'm good for it, though, cause I will buy your book, I'm sure, lol.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:06 PM
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I gotta tell you, giving up ebook rights will really damage your case for getting signed. I was just talking to an agent about that the other day. Publishers want it ALL to cash in on a writer.

But there are lots of ways to get your work out there that don't involve signing away rights. And I suggest you keep that factor iin mind as you proceed.

Doing a webnovel or podcast or whatever yourself is not a problem. And many forms of publishing, like having a book/ebook on Lulu or CafePress or some such are not a problem in walking the "dual path" between building readership for your own support and building it to try to leverage a publishing deal. You can just remove them instantly any time you want.

But some are. For instance, Virtual Tales, as mentioned in my manual, is a neat little publisher of ebooks with the added advantage of doing phone apps as well. But they buy the rights. So your pitch to a publisher would be crippled by having some rights already cut out.
Doesn't mean VT isn't a good place to have something up. They buy novella length stuff that would be hard to sell to a publisher and can help build readership.

What I'm saying is, keep in mind where your rights are at, commensurate with your goals and don't fence yourself out of something unless it's really worth it.

As far as signing with a big house and getting to keep your erights... very unlikely. Sure Cory Doctorow did it, but he's a pretty unusual case.

But why would you want that if you're signed? Let them take the trouble and expense of putting you on Kindle, etc.. If they aren't going to do iPhone apps, maybe they will give you permission to do so.

If YOU are the publisher, no problem. You still have the rights to assign. My guess is, if you get to that point you'd be happy to take the advance and let them run with it, while you do another book.
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Old 04-13-2010, 09:20 PM
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That's true, I would rather let someone else deal with that part of it, lol. It's really just something I want to explore. I guess the idea is that I want my books to also be e-books, because I think it's the future of literature.

I will say that my first pick publisher is a pretty small publisher, but they're local, and they like local authors, and they've made a few people in my city who write in my genre a very comfortable living. It's Shadow Mountain Publishing, if you want to go see. They published Fablehaven, Leven Thumps, and the new Farworld series, which the kids have gone nuts over. All of those authors live in Northern Utah, and the publisher used to be right across the street from my house, 'till they got too big, and moved downtown. I don't know the proper terminology, but someone has bought the movie rights for Fablehaven and The Candy Shop Wars from Brandon Mull. And I read on his blog that it took him 6 months from the release date of the first Fablehaven book to quit his day job. Plus, he moved up the mountain to where the super fancy houses are. If they insist on keeping the e-publishing rights, I'm not going to let that be a deal breaker, 'cause heaven knows I'd sure love to quit my day job. But if I have any way to make that an option, I will. I at least want the e-pub rights to be on a time limit, so they become mine after the book is out of print or whatnot.

Of course, I'm a novice, so I can't have my cake and eat it too. If it's a deal breaker, I'll give it to them, and then I'll hope that my book does well enough for me to be able to be more demanding next time.

I do like the thought of a separate e-novella. I like the thought of buying some of those, lol. I'd like to put them on my phone. But maybe my next project will be a novella, and I can pursue the novel and the novella simultaneously. I know what my next project is, but I don't know yet how long the story is. It's for adults, though, and I think that adult fiction is bound to do better in the electronic form than a kids book would.

I do think your idea of approaching publishers when you already have a fan base is super smart. Even my fan base of 5 makes me feel more confident about approaching publishers, haha. Just because I know people like my book, and if I know 5 people that do like it, maybe there are thousands more that I don't know that will like it. And there's no doubt about it, getting the word out about something is a ton easier online. If I can go to a publisher and say my online novella has sold to X-thousand people, or whatever, I do think it would make them more interested in having a good look at my MS.

Makes perfect sense to me, Lin!

I do have a question for you. You mentioned Cafe Press and Lulu, and I wasn't sure I understood what you're saying there. Can you put a book up there and still retain first rights? You mentioned you can delete it, which makes me think of WB Members Only forum. Does it work the same way?

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Old 04-13-2010, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Gwyndolin View Post
I do have a question for you. You mentioned Cafe Press and Lulu, and I wasn't sure I understood what you're saying there. Can you put a book up there and still retain first rights? You mentioned you can delete it, which makes me think of WB Members Only forum. Does it work the same way?
I'm curious about that too, since when I finish my current project I'd like to print it out and give it to my beta's for feedback. A book that they could get all at once and scribble in would be nice.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:20 PM
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I did a pretty careful look at Shadow Mountain a while back and they impressed me deeply. If you can get on with them, you're in great hands.
(I mean they publish like Mormon Science Fiction, which is just too weird to even think about, but they're a great company with very happy writers)

And if they want all your rights, don't bat an eye. Can you do more with your ebooks than they can? But I don't think they do ebooks, do they? Which means they might have no interest in those rights. Or, if they want to hold them against the future when they might widen into epub or resell, then see if you can do the ebooks somewhere that doesn't take the rights.

Lulu and CafePress don't buy rights. They don't buy anything. You put a book up and they print and send to anybody who orders (of if you've kept it private, they print and mail to whoever you tell them to). You can remove the book at any time. It's in no way a copyright transaction. And Lulu lets you push a button to create a download version. Your cost $5. Which means if you sell it for $9.95 you make 4.95.
Frankly, I'd prefer making my own for free and selling it off my site and keeping it all.
Which also, of course, involves no transfer or rights.
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Old 04-13-2010, 10:24 PM
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That's a great way to go, HoiLei. Just upload and keep it private, then mail to them. I just did that with a 400 page book, cost me $17.50 including postage.
A great way to edit, a great way to get reviews.

One tip on Lulu it took me a few tries to figure out: you can just upload your MSWord MS (oops...or your Mac whatever, I guess) but it works a lot better with a pdf.

Once you know your page size, setup your WP page to that size, to with minimal margins, like .5 inches. Single space. 12 or maybe 11 point. Then print it out as a pdf. Upload the pdf and it will look a lot better. I had almost an inch of white space at the top of all pages I couldn't ditch, the pdf works perfect.
I even got in a table of contents in a very itzy table.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:30 AM
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I'm torn between two choices when it comes to parting with 5 bucks. On the one hand your manual might have valuable advice and info worth the investment. On the other, there is this stripper in one of our local clubs named Edwina. She's no beauty, and to tell the truth she's on the backside of seventy. She gives lap dances for five bucks and her recent boob job is amazing. She doesn't look a day over sixty eight with her shirt off, and the dimly confines of the Frontal Assault Exotic Club hide the varicose veins and the jagged appendectomy scar. She's a hard working granny, with her daughter Corine, back from her ninth successful drug rehab stay, following in her footsteps. Family traditions are the backbone of this country.

So, if I seem hesitant to jump in and purchase what is sure to be a gem of an e-book you can see why. Do you offer the book on the installment plan, or is it the traditional Chinese payment option; One Lump Sum.

I've got the five in my hand. Saved it from my paper route.

What the fuck. I'll buy the damn thing, but if this is just another capitalistic scheme to suck money from hard working writers to be your next seminar will be held in the recovery ward at Bethesda Memorial.
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Old 04-14-2010, 06:38 AM
Lin
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Chump.
Shoulda gone with the stripper.
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Old 05-25-2010, 12:14 PM
Lin
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On the other hand, the stripper has split by now and I'm still here.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:08 PM
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Just paid for a copy of this, thanks for putting it together can't wait to read it.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:22 PM
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Well bless your heart, Rory. Hope you like it. If not, tough, no refunds.

I'll be interested in your comments once you check it out.
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:24 PM
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Just got it, gonna do some reading on it tonight and will post again later with my thoughts. Thanks again.
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