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Trying to be a successful author

Dave61
Dave61 Member Posts: 4 Connected
hi guys,
I suffer from multiple issues, Menieres syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, arthritis, depression and anxiety. I have had to surrender my drivers license and rely on public transportation. 
I have written a few poetry books which are in need of update. Self published four sci-fi fantasy books, selling on Amazon and eBay plus Facebook marketplace. My issues are starting to outweigh the writing, sometimes I struggle with speech, and can’t get my ideas over. 
Anyone else in this type of world?

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 12,894 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community 

    There are a few budding authors on here so hope they connect with you 
    I have professional experience in HR within public,  private, and charity sectors.  If I can help I will 
  • innocent21
    innocent21 Posts: 35 Connected
    Did you pitch your book to publishers? What feedback did you get when you pitched your book to publishers?
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    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Member
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  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,196 Pioneering
    Hi ya @Dave61 nice to meet you, keep trying at it, I've dedicated my evenings now to writing and nothing comes between that slotted time frame, sometimes can flow freely and others research gets in the way. Good luck with it 
  • Dave61
    Dave61 Member Posts: 4 Connected
    Hi, I’ve self published 5 books, 3 short stories volumes and 2 stand alone novels. Now on with a horror collection out for Halloween. Main project is an action thriller 
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,196 Pioneering
    Good luck @ Dave61 what soft ware do you use to write on
  • innocent21
    innocent21 Posts: 35 Connected
    edited June 18
    Why are you wanting to be a published writer if you have already self-published your writing? Shouldn't you of pitched it to publishers first?

    A publisher will not publish a book that is already self published. They only publish books that are not published, as in not available for sale.

    Publishers are investment companies. If you disregard the vanity publishers that will publish anything and everything where writers pay them money to have their book published - which are all scams, real publishers are investment companies. What I mean by that, is that they don't just distribute books to retailers and the media for free or a virtually free or low cost, they also promote the books they sell. And this promotion costs money. When a publisher publishes a book, they put money into the promotion, and they expect a return on investment (ROI).

    Obviously not every book they sell will result in a profit so the bestsellers will subsidise the costs of the loss making books. But they obviously won't publish a book that they know isn't firstly commercially viable, or secondly experimental so it's considered a financial risk - unless the writer is famous. In fact most writers don't have much money from writing and rely on their job to survive. It's very hard to make a living from writing.

    You could say "I'll self publish it for now then when a publisher is interested I'll just remove the self published version and replace it with the publisher's version." Well Amazon is a monopoly for controlling 90% of physical book and ebook sales and once you use their Createspace or KIndle Direct Publishing (KDP) to self publish your book on Amazon, Amazon will NEVER let you delete your book from their shop and other Amazon owned companies like The Book Depository and Abebooks.

    I don't have the expenditure for book promotion but I have one for creating a top 10 music single dated 2007. The costs are probably higher now due to inflation.

    Example costs of a UK top ten single

    Songwriter's royalties - £11,000

    Total - £113,500

    Recording - £3,500
    Video - £40,000 - £60,000
    Remixes - £5,000 - £10,000
    Merchandising - £9,000
    Video plugger - £2,000
    Radio plugger - £3,000 - £5,000
    Posters - £3,000
    Stickers - £1,500
    PR (press) - £2,000
    Promo copies/postage - £3,000
    Website - £10,000
    Manufacturing costs (50p per CD) - £20,000

    Anyone else in this type of world?

    When I pitched my book to publishers all the publishers said the same thing, that my book is very good and I'm a talented writer, but they're rejecting my book due to it being experimental and they hope they can find another publisher who would be interested. Well if they're all going to be saying the same exact thing, then there's no point in spending several months pitching it. They weren't just on about the genre of the book, but also the style of writing.

    The genre of the fiction I write, contemporary fiction, those books are not really sold in WH Smiths or Waterstones when I walk inside the shop. Young Adult books do not count as that's a completely different genre.

    When I finally wrote my first non-fiction book I didn't even bother pitching it to publishers because I knew it wouldn't be accepted anyway due to the genre it's in, because it was men's interest. Due to political correctness in the hostile culture wars in the society we live in within the 14 eyes countries, women's interest books will be published, but men's interest books won't, especially when the topic of privilege is directly spoken about or alluded to.

    So I've come to accept that the genre of writing my books fall into, and also the style of writing itself, they are considered experimental so publishers won't take a risk in publishing them.

    I have had some success. When I was 16 I sent a demo to a record label (which was a music demo not a writing demo) and this allowed me to send the record label my books. Due to their media industry contacts, two tv shows got made which are a derivative work of my novel which made my book the prior art, and this also helped my brother who is also a writer gain some media contacts, which allowed him to write an episode of a live tv show where the script was performed live. Also I've had a job as a copywriter for an affiliate marketing company and was a copy editor for an internet culture journalist.

    And no, I won't state what books, tv shows, record labels and people I'm talking about, as I want to be anonymous on this forum due to the sensitive nature of topics discussed on this disability forum, the fact that posts can only be edited for 60 minutes, and that I'm highly vulnerable to attack in my life. When you're a writer you get a lot of enemies and attacks, not just online trolls posting hate comments. Or anything else for that matter like flaming, defamation and misrepresentation when people claim you said things you never said, doxxing, stalking, assault, attempted murder, hate mining, death threats and much more. The range of behaviours used to attack writers is more broad than that, and any other content creator for that matter. In my opinion most people do not respect writers and are not accepting, not tolerant and are attacking towards them.
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,196 Pioneering
    edited June 18
    @innocent21 I think what @Dave61 was saying, that he wants to be a successful author but his illnesses are being a barrier. I really don't read how you would think he wants to publish books hes already self published?
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,066 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Dave61 - welcome to the community, & it's great to read that you're so much into writing; must admit my first ever love as far as I can remember was poetry. Aged 9 years old, the first book I ever bought (which I still have) was a secondhand book of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poems. My love of books continued; much reading, & having a secondhand & antiquarian bookshop for nearly 25 years; reading so many genres, non-fiction, & of course poetry. Which brings me back to, why don't you initially try to update your poetry books? Perhaps start with that.
    @innocent21 - I'm unsure how your comments & grandiose descriptions of your own 'pitching to publishers' helps the original poster; perhaps a little altruism wouldn't go amiss. Pleased your last paragraph was considered a personal experience, tho sorry if that's been the case. Perhaps you're prone to a little exaggeration, as I doubt the majority of writers have suffered the same (unless you have references). Writers may get both good & bad criticisms, depending on the point of view, but where would we be without writers?..... the world would be a poorer space.
    I wish all the best for you @Dave61 (& also Sandy_123).
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,464

    Scope community team

    Hello @Dave61 and welcome to the community, thanks for telling us about your writing, it sounds very interesting and you are clearly very talented at what you do. Would you say that you have a certain writer from the past that inspires your work? 


    I have had some success. When I was 16 I sent a demo to a record label (which was a music demo not a writing demo) and this allowed me to send the record label my books. Due to their media industry contacts, two tv shows got made which are a derivative work of my novel which made my book the prior art, and this also helped my brother who is also a writer gain some media contacts, which allowed him to write an episode of a live tv show where the script was performed live. Also I've had a job as a copywriter for an affiliate marketing company and was a copy editor for an internet culture journalist.

    And no, I won't state what books, tv shows, record labels and people I'm talking about, as I want to be anonymous on this forum due to the sensitive nature of topics discussed on this disability forum, the fact that posts can only be edited for 60 minutes, and that I'm highly vulnerable to attack in my life. When you're a writer you get a lot of enemies and attacks, not just online trolls posting hate comments. Or anything else for that matter like flaming, defamation and misrepresentation when people claim you said things you never said, doxxing, stalking, assault, attempted murder, hate mining, death threats and much more. The range of behaviours used to attack writers is more broad than that, and any other content creator for that matter. In my opinion most people do not respect writers and are not accepting, not tolerant and are attacking towards them.

    Thank you for sharing all of your thoughts and experiences @innocent21, very insightful. I'm not sure that the OP referred to having their books published by a publishing company, and were more just sharing their story of self-publishing and challenges they've encountered due to their condition, but thank you for sharing your perspective and opinions on the publishing company angle.

    I think the sort of attacks and threats you reference there can be something that many public figures, artists and celebrities can be vulnerable to, sadly, and I do hope those things aren't something that you've had to go through at all?
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  • innocent21
    innocent21 Posts: 35 Connected
    edited June 19
    I suppose you two didn’t see the connection, but I’ve always thought being a successful author meant being a published author. So to ask for advice on how to be a successful author really meant asking for advice on how to be a published author.

    Why? Because being published is the most viable and easiest way of gaining media publicity, sales, promotion and screen adaptations. Without a publisher you’re pretty much on your own as a sole trader with no other people or companies really backing you.

    Sorry if I misinterpreted the original question @Dave61 asked.

    To answer your question @Ross_Scope no I wouldn't say I'm inspired by any writers or books because I haven't read much books to begin with. I've only read children's books, and most of them were fantasy anyway, so I've been very limited in the types and scope of fiction books for it to have any influence.

  • Dave61
    Dave61 Member Posts: 4 Connected
    Thanks for all the comments. It all boils down to the costs. Being unable to work I only get my benefits. Self published is a great way to get your books out there. I’ve used Facebook market place, my pages, I’m just creating a web site and blog. 
    I use Word only on laptop. Learning to set up the book as one document. I design my own artwork. I get royalty every month. 
    Thanks 
  • innocent21
    innocent21 Posts: 35 Connected
    edited June 19
    For self published writers Amazon KDP Advertising and Writers Cafe Advertising are a good way to generate book sales and a return on investment.

    I use Word only on laptop. Learning to set up the book as one document.

    For printed books all images have to be 300dpi so the images must be saved as a TIFF file as jpeg, gif and png don't support dpi. The pdf converter that Microsoft provides built into Microsoft Word for making pdf's is not suitable as it'll make the images 72 or 80dpi which would make them blurry in print so I use DoPDF to convert the pdf to a print ready 300dpi pdf. It's free.

    To make the ebook in an ebook format like epub and mobi, various ebook making software can be used. Various software for this is Sigil, Scrivener, Adobe Indesign, Quark XPress or if you use a mac iBooks Author or Pages. Once the ebook file has been created you can use the Amazon KDP website to convert the ebooks to a kindle format by uploading your existing epub or mobi file as kindle doesn't accept epub and mobi formats. How To Publish Your Own Ebook by Nic Rawlingson on Amazon provides good instructions on how to do this.

  • Dave61
    Dave61 Member Posts: 4 Connected
    For my covers I use downloaded artwork by me, usually photography with editing by photoshop. 
    I prefer my way as I control everything along with my disability. I am writing my next book to try publishing agencies. I have approached a company in the USA who, to be fair, seem to be very helpful informative and friendly. So fingers crossed. 
    Another reason for self publishing, most agents etc like to see a back catalogue. 
    Thanks guys 
  • Sandy_123
    Sandy_123 Member Posts: 2,196 Pioneering
    Good luck @Dave61 I was also considering a USA publisher, let me know how it pans out.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 7,829 Disability Gamechanger
    I have been published. It is very hard work indeed and on balance, unless you are going to make a career out of it regardless pf income, then self-publishing is probably the way to go. I must say I don’t see any comparison with recording costs not least because recording and marketing costs have absolutely sunk through the floor. 

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