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Adjective: Creating or created by imagination: “the novel’s fictive universe“.
: of, relating to, or having the characteristics of fiction.
Welcome to my fictive universe! Since this is the first post (sans the deleted test posts), I figure it’s best to explain what this blog is about.
The short answer: writing fiction. I’m an aspiring writer working on my first fiction book. The purpose of this blog is to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of fiction writing. I’m starting from less than zero. I’m an unknown writer. I actually gave up writing fiction over 10 years ago. After multiple started but never finished books and screenplays I’m taking another shot at it.
The long answer… brace yourself. I’m going to ramble.
Like most people, I’ve dreamed of writing a book. I used to write a lot of fiction in my younger days (no comment on my age) but I gave it up because getting published is very difficult and making money writing fiction is even more difficult so, “I put away childish things”.
I worked in the corporate world for about 14 years and began building and marketing websites as an affiliate marketer. The more of these micro websites I put up in a shit load of niches (bingo, deer hunting, wine corks, CB radios, and many more), the more writing I had to do… content for the websites, articles, email promotions, and more.
In 2008, I wrote my first e-book. It was a non-fiction, “how to” e-book called Niche Podcasting. In the next few years I wrote and sold several e-books and reports — all of them “how to” non-fiction eBooks. This success led to my gaining confidence that I could write an e-book from start to finish. Then sell it. Customer reviews were mostly positive (you can’t please everyone) but all this boosted my confidence.
But writing non-fiction, step-by-step, “how to” books and reports is a different animal to writing fiction. The idea of slaving over my computer writing a book or sending out query letters to literary agents and publishing houses didn’t seem too appealing to me. But going the traditional publishing route was all I knew. You write a book, send out your manuscript, and you watch the rejection slips arrive. Jeff Bezos is changing the game.
Although I have been self-publishing my own e-books since 2008, the old self-publishing route seemed a bit rough as well. I’ve seen my brother, who is the author of a best-selling self published book, “The Legal Guide to Costa Rica” have to pay thousands of dollars to print thousands of books they have to market, process the orders, and ship the books himself (well my sister in law did that part) but it was a pain. And he had the best selling non-fiction book… fiction would be even tougher. Who wants to get stuck with boxes of books?
I began to look for an easier way to self-publish when I read Aaron Shepard’s “Aiming at Amazon” 3-4 years ago. Reading that book was a big a-ha moment for me. I shared my finding with my brother who now self-publishes as Aaron Shepard recommends in his book — POD (Print on Demand) with Lightning Source. “The Legal Guide to Costa Rica” is now in its 10th year and he no longer has the old school self-publishing headaches of having to print books and fulfill the orders.
As slick as I Lightning Source is Jeff Bezos of Amazon made self-publishing even easier than that. Putting the publishing industry on its ass and into a prolonged e-book pricing war. Thanks, Jeff! 🙂
Kindle, Kindle, Kindle
The Kindle revolution is in full-swing turning indy publishers into best-selling authors. The traditional publishing model is getting rocked just like the record industry was rocked when Napster introduced the world of digital music downloads to the masses. The record companies were not prepared and now it’s the old guard publishing houses time on the hot seat.
Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform and their acquisition of CreateSpace makes self-publishing e-books and paperback easy as pie. Anyone can self-publish now for peanuts. Of course, you still need to write the damn thing. 🙂
But it’s wonderful, writers don’t have to deal with sending out query letters, hoping to get the attention of a literary agent or publishing house. And even if they were to get a publishing deal, you’re looking at 6-18 months (if you’re lucky) before your book is published. And if you’re an unknown author you still have to do the heavy-lifting marketing yourself. And the money… well, their royalty payments suck! The industry norm is 5%-15% and you give up a lot of control (if not complete control) from most aspects of your book from the cover design to even the title is out of the writer’s hand.
Amazon was already rocking it before the popularity of the Kindle reader with CreateSpace which makes self publishing paperbacks a snap. Authors don’t even have to pay for an ISBN. They’ll assign one for you for free. I’ve been self-publishing non-fiction stuff via Amazon for over a year now and the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform has been going strong for a few years. But that wasn’t enough.
Last year Amazon shook things even further by offering a 70% royalty payments for authors! There is a caveat, your book needs to be priced between $2.99 and $9.99 to get the 70% royalty. But even if you price your e-book for less than $2.99 or more than $9.99, the royalty is still 35% which blows traditional publisher royalties out of the water.
I was already self-publishing non-fiction paperback books on Amazon (via their company, CreateSpace) for over a year so I knew how easy and profitable it could be. But what about fiction?
The Truth is Stranger Than Fiction
That was the long-winded road that led me back to give writing fiction another shot. I’ve had this idea for a book in my head for years (yes, years) so I finally decided the timing was right. For me, the writing is the challenge. DIY self-publishing and marketing on Amazon is the easy part. I’m not even going to bother going the traditional publishing route. So this blog is going to document the process.
I’ll provide updates on where I’m at in my writing. Once the book is finished you’ll see me get the manuscript ready for Amazon and then market the bad boy.
My Blog Writing Style
I try to write like I talk. I know that can be a real turn-off, especially for literary snobby types. 🙂 I’m sure some will scratch their heads as they read this post as they think to themselves laughing: “this guy calls himself a writer”.
It’s obvious, that Ernest Hemingway I’m not. But if you want to see if a guy who has never published fiction cannot only finish his book but watch as I get it ready for self-publishing and selling it on Amazon then subscribe below so you don’t miss out on this ride.