Using Kickstarter to Publish Your Book

I’ve come across just about everything you can think of when it comes to books on WordPress. One of the posts that seems to persist is writers asking for help via Kickstarter to publish their book. I was one of them. I thought it would be a good way for me to get people interested in my book and to make it better in the process. I haven’t read any Kickstarter campaign pages in a long time, but I wanted to use mine for the things that you’d expect like editing and cover design.

But now I’m really thinking of Kickstarter’s place in publishing and I have some thoughts on it. Sure there are plenty of successful publishing projects on the site, but should it be used as often as it is? I don’t know. It’s nice to help someone get their book out in the world, but in using Kickstarter to deliver that assistance one has no idea what he/she is getting involved with. You likely aren’t beta reading the book. You have no idea how well the author writes. You don’t know much of anything outside of the campaign page. And those are a problem.

I’m not sure I’d be comfortable helping fund any book project. I know, I know. I tried funding mine on the site, but I didn’t know anything. And when I really think about it it’s just not a good bet. Other creative projects are different. Someone trying to fund an independent album can refer you back to song covers they’ve released. Someone trying to fund a short film project can also refer you back to previous work. And even artists can do the same. But I’ve found that many using Kickstarter for a book project have never actually written a book.

What do you think of aspiring authors using Kickstarter to publish their book?

PS: I’ve received two guest posts that I know I’ll be using next week. Which means I need three more. I’m not waiting for people to decide what they’re writing about. All you have to do is let me know you’re interested in guest posting and I’ll send you an invite. I’ll refer you back to this post to see what I’m looking for.

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Why Writing is Better Than Sex

Okay. So I have three emails that I use to varying degrees. The first is one I’ve had for years and its inbox has thousands of emails. The second is one I made when I got my Galaxy S4 last year that I now only use for important things. And I’ll occasionally give it to a someone trying to send me a writing sample or whatever. The third one is not used at all. I have the app but I just don’t need it for anything.

Well, the third email is the one that is linked to my official website for contact purposes. Cause I’m so important that I need an email for contact purposes. Anyway, I randomly checked the third email’s inbox today and found something great. An email from Global English Editing. They found my website and had a nice infographic for me to check out called “Why Writing is Better Than Sex.” It’s actually very funny and maybe more true than one would think. So without further delay, I give you “Why Writing is Better Than Sex.” Tell me what you think!

rsz-writing-v-sex

The original can be found here.

And thanks to Angela from Global English Editing for emailing it to me!

An Agent Represents my Second Book! Whaaaaaat!?

ImagePhoto Credit: Jess Haines

Guys, you all haven’t been given an update on my own writing in a really long time. A few months now. And I’ve led some of you to believe that I’m not writing nearly as often as I’d like and that my current WIP is going nowhere. Well, I apologize for the misleading information.

I actually finished the first draft of my manuscript all the way back in January. I know the rule of stepping away from your work and all that, but I immediately read through and jotted down notes about what I felt needed fixing. Guess how many pages of notes I had after my read through? 103! These were written in a college ruled notebook and my hand hurt just seeing how much it actually was. Again, I didn’t step away from my manuscript. I went in and worked tirelessly to fix EVERYTHING. It was like writing the stupid thing all over again. Only this time I knew the story like the back of my hand. This was right around the time of spring break.

That’s when I finally got to utilize my sizeable WordPress following for the first time. I reached out to some bloggers I thought would make for perfect beta readers and asked if they’d give my book a read. Every blogger I contacted agreed and less than a week later I had feedback from 15 bloggers. First off, the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, which made my heart happy because a few have already read my first book. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t changes to be made. One blogger, who I won’t name, gave me 38 pages of feedback! Seriously, she needs to get a life. Hahaha. But there were a few things that every reader mentioned and I fixed all of those issues immediately. Then I came to some things that one person liked and one person didn’t and one person didn’t even mention and decided to go with my gut on those.

By this time we’ve reached the last week of April and I’m extraordinarily pleased with the final draft of my second book. Time for queries. How fun. I created a list of agents who I felt were a good fit for my work and sent my initial round of queries to the first ten agents on the list. Eight rejections and one full manuscript request later….I HAVE AN AGENT! Did I cry? Yes. Did I run around my house screaming in pure excitement? Yes. Did I feel like I absolutely had to tell you all about it? Yes. Are you happy for me? Yes.

I got the email from the agent on freaking Memorial Day. I think I found a dedicated one. I’ll have a more detailed post about this whole thing either later this week or next week.

*** I’m sorry if you believed this post to be true. I’m not writing hardly at all. I’m far from completing the first draft of my manuscript. Which means no beta readers or edits or revisions or queries or agents. But at least I can laugh about it, right? If you comment your congratulations I’ll know you didn’t read the full post and I won’t like you.***

Where the Magic Happens

I surely hope you weren’t thinking of something else when you read that title. If so, get your mind out of the gutter! Why would I be talking about that? Ha. Just kidding. I actually don’t like this title because I’ve seen it so many times for the exact post I’m writing. But I couldn’t think of anything catchy as I sat in my chair to write. So you’re stuck with it. Just deal.

So if you haven’t figured it out yet, the topic of this post will be to discuss my personal writing space. Get it now, “Where the magic happens?” Yeah. I hope so. Even though there hasn’t been much magic happening lately. I see so many writers on here talking about writing this many words and that many, and I’m just like, “Where’s the TV? I need my shows.” Oh man, that sounds so bad. But it’s so true. Agents of Shield and The Following and Ink Master and Nashville are all so great. Stop it. Don’t look at me like that. I love writing. But I love TV. Let’s call it research. I’m researching the writing of the writers for those shows. YEP!

Okay. Now let’s get serious again.

Image

As you can see, I definitely didn’t try to clean up before snapping the photo. No point in giving you guys a fake-ish picture, right? Right. Before I go into detail as to what exactly we have here, let me first tell you what I mean by magic. This is where I write every chapter of my second book. This is where all current and future editing will be done on said book. This is where every blog post is written. This is also where pointless internet surfing takes place. Eh. I’m not perfect.

So, what do we have here? First, there’s my UHD diploma! Seriously, no matter where I write or live or whatever in the future, I’m quite certain that I’ll always have this bad boy staring me back in the face as I write. I used to have this space in another room and it was hanging up on the wall, but I haven’t gotten around to hanging it up a second time. I kinda like it where it is. Two quick fun facts before I continue: I ran to the door when I knew the postal man was delivering this. He told me congratulations. Second, on my actual graduation day almost a year ago now I didn’t cry until I we were all eating at a restaurant and I started reading all the cards I got. And it was those ugly bawling kinda tears. They were all laughing. And crying. A bunch of people laughing and crying. That sounds odd. Moving on.

Then we have a lamp there. He gives me light. Ha.

Then we have two notebooks. The one on the left actually has all my blog post ideas. I just did a quick count. There are 29 of them on there now. I’ve written 17 already.  So if you ever think I don’t take my blogging seriously, think again. The other notebook on the right is my tally from my shelfie post from a week ago. It took so long to figure out all the series and authors and standalones I had. I went from memory even though some of the books on the shelf have been there since as early as 2008. That’s a lifetime ago. I was a sophomore in high school!

You see that little black box just to the right of the laptop? That would be my college class ring. I love that thing. It’s actually the most expensive purchase I’ve ever made myself. It’s 10k gold, if you’re wondering. And it’s so shiny. And HUGE. Seriously, I hate wearing watches or rings or anything, but this thing is giant. I don’t even wear it. I don’t wear it to work because my hands get dirty while I’m there and obviously I don’t need it at the gym. So it just sits here. It’s okay.

Then we have three books on the desk. London Bridges by James Patterson, which you’ll recall was my most recent read. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. I need to read this. And then that red one would be my own. That was the copy I read when I was preparing my manuscript for the ABNA competition. I think it’s a little dusty.

Finally, we have my laptop. I keep telling myself that I’m going to buy a new one, but obviously I haven’t. I bought this when I was a junior in high school. This guy is really bulky and runs on Windows Vista, I think. I’ve never had a major issue with it and it’ll always be my baby because I wrote my first book on it! Whenever I do get a new one I’ll probably keep this one and store it forever. I’m a little sentimental.

So there you have it. My writing space. No fancy writing setups. No picturesque window to look out. Not much of anything except for what I need. So tell me about yours! If you’re describing it you better be vivid. Cause you’re supposed to be a writer, right? Or, if you want to be even more awesome than everyone else, tweet me a picture! I don’t think you can put pictures in comments on here. I don’t think. Click here to go to my Twitter profile. Hey, while you’re at it you can go ahead and follow your favorite blogger on that Twitter thing.

Officially Entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

Photo Credit: goodereader.com

I knew quite some time ago that I wanted to enter my book, Divided Within, into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. As I’ve stated in at least one previous post, this is easily the most lucrative writing contest there is. And a great opportunity for new writers. Most of the other major writing contests strictly prohibit previously self published books, but this one has no such limitation. Now, a little about the contest.

The Contest

The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award is a free to enter annual writing contest that allows for unpublished and self published entries. Entries must fall within one of the five genre categories which are: General Fiction, Mystery/ Thriller, Science Fiction/ Fantasy/ Horror, Romance, and Young Adult. Entries must also fall within the word count limits of 50,000-125,000. And the contest is judged from now until the winners are announced in July. The contest is limited to 10,000 entries, which no other contest would even come close to reaching. For instance, I’ve been told by an author who won the Best Private Eye Novel competition that is sponsored by Minotaur Books and Private Eye Writers of America several years ago that in a recent contest there were only a couple hundred entries. And this contest regularly goes years without awarding a winner.

Expectations

In anticipation of submitting my entry I read my book all the way through for a fourth time. I had many things I went back in and corrected. There were no major rewrites or chapters eliminated but there were plenty of individual words changed or taken out, and some small details altered as a result of what I’ve been told by some of my readers. With that being said, I don’t think I’m actually going to beat out 9,999 other writers to win the top prize, or even to be crowned the winner of my category. I’ve said over and over how much I love my book and the characters I created, but 9,999 other writers is a lot. I’d be happy making it to the second round of judging, in which the excerpts of 2,000 entries will be evaluated. Then it’s down to 500. Then it’s down to just 25. Then it’s down to the top five, who will all receive a publishing contract with Amazon Publishing, one of which will be awarded the $50,000 grand prize.

In about two weeks the top 400 from each category will be announced.

If you’d like to wish me luck, then feel free. If not, that’s okay too.

Major Writing Process Change

Divided Within (Andrew Banks #1)

I had hoped to receive my final proof today, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. So I’m convinced that I’ll have it for my viewing sometime tomorrow. Hopefully.

Andrew Banks Book Two

A million posts ago I may or may not have mentioned that I don’t believe in the so-called “edit while you go” philosophy. I don’t know if this is even a term that people use, but I’m talking about editing my writing as I write it. For example, writing an entire chapter and then immediately editing it afterward. My reasoning for being against this practice was that I thought it would force me to stay focused on only a small portion of the entire work rather than continuing to move forward. I was wrong.

When I had to go through and edit my first book I realized that rather than spending a short amount of time editing after each chapter that I had forced myself to spend hours editing the whole book. And my book is fairly short. I ended up spending a lot more time editing the final product because I failed to do any during the actual writing.

What’s my take from this? Well…this whole writing thing is not an exact science. I figured that I’d have to do a little trial and error before I really got into my own little groove. I mean, there are still many practices that I know many other authors adopt that I haven’t found the need to. Like writing every single day no matter what. I don’t believe in this because I very much disagree that bad writing is better than no writing. Bad writing is bad writing. Period. So, I wrote my entire first book without ever having the need to write every single day.

No new chapter to discuss yet, but you all will know when there is!