Guest Post: Tomas


Tomas Pueyo

The Star Wars Rings

Why I wrote a book just to learn how to market it

I remember my first story for scriptwriting class in college. I had been working on it for weeks, rewording sentences, tweaking plot points to perfection. I didn’t want to share it with anybody until it was flawless. I handed it to the teacher and started my anxious wait for the praise.

It was a debacle. Everything was redlined. Half of the story didn’t make sense. The other half was incomprehensible.

Some people are lucky enough to create a masterpiece without feedback. But not mortals. We need other sets of eyes looking at a problem with us to make it great. We need to put something out there, see how people react, incorporate their feedback to make a better version, learn from the process, and do it again, iteratively.

So why was I writing a book for months in my corner, with no feedback? Why was I betting on perfection again, instead of putting things out there, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and correcting course? Had I not learned anything?

That’s when I met for coffee with a friend who had recently left his job. I was eager to know what he was doing with his time. Did he join another company? Did he create one? No, he spent the last 6 months writing books. 35 books, to be precise. He had honed a process to get several of them written and published in a matter of days.

I looked at my beloved book, and I decided to change. I wasn’t going to just finish it and publish it, because you can’t write a book—or publish it—and hope it’s going to be successful if you’ve never done it before. I decided to write another book.

If your first book is so dear to your heart that you don’t want to see it fail, you’ll be scared of trying things, and you will fail. Instead, work with a book that you don’t fear failing, because you will try things and learn. My friend, with 35 books, knew exactly what worked and what didn’t for him. I didn’t need to publish 35 to learn, but I needed at least one.

After five months of writing and publishing, my new book, The Star Wars Rings, is going out next week, on September 19th. What I’ve learned has been eye-opening. Here are my main takeaways for future first-time authors.

  • Break your mental barrier by speed-writing your first draft in 3 hours

Since I wrote my book, I’ve talked with at least a dozen people who’ve always wanted to write a book and have been taking notes for years, but never got around writing the book. I get it. It’s daunting.

What I tell them is: You’re scared of the white page. You’re scared of the long road ahead of getting all these ideas into the page, so you don’t even start walking the road. What you need is to just fill the pages with a first version, because once you have all the ideas on paper, you will look at them and tell yourself: “Oh my God, this section is terrible! And it’s missing so much! Let me correct it!”. Now, your perfectionism is going to be the force pushing you, not the one hindering you.

How do you speed-write a book?

  • Take a dozen pieces of paper
  • On the first one, structure your content in main ideas and chapters. You should do that in 5 minutes.
  • Then, for each chapter, take another piece of paper. Write the title of the chapter at the top.
  • Now, for each chapter, outline the detailed ideas and examples. Don’t write content yet, just the ideas.
  • Now for the magic. Get in a quiet room. Open your computer. Go to Google Docs. Open a word editor. Enable voice transcription. Start talking.

In around a couple of hours of talking you should have your first draft. It’s not going to be perfect: lots of ideas will have to change, the quality of the voice transcription is not perfect… But you will have a first draft, and that changes everything.

  • Get amazing front and back covers

Your book represents you. You must feel proud of it. You need a great cover.

There are dozens of services online to get covers. On Fiverr, you can pay somebody as little as $5 to get one. It will be a stock image with your title written in a nice font. If that’s what you need, that’s fine. I prefer something a bit more original, professional and aspirational, so I went with 99designs.

With 99designs, you work with several different designers who compete to make the best cover and you only pay for the best one. For $199, I organized a competition and received 8 candidates. I passed 6 to a second round, from which I selected the winner. Then, we worked through several iterations until we got the cover just right. Here are some examples of the evolution of the cover.

 

 

  • Leave proofreading and pagination to a pro

You will have dozens of errors, and you won’t notice them. It’s impossible. If you have money, I’d hire an editor and a proofreader: the editor will work with you to make the book much better by helping you restructure it and rewrite it, but it’s expensive. Proofreading is not: for $100-$200 you can have a 100-page book completely proofread. You can find great proofreaders on Fiverr.

Pagination is structuring the manuscript in a way that it can be uploaded into a book easily. It means structuring the illustrations, making titles look like titles, putting the numbers in the right place on every page… I did it myself, and I won’t do it again. You can’t imagine the amount of detail that it takes. For example, take a book, open it in the middle, and look at the top. You’ll see that it has the book’s title on one page and the chapter title on the other page. Or the author. Or some other variant. Getting that right is a nightmare: it changes every chapter, you want different fonts for each, they shouldn’t appear in the first page or two of the chapter, nor in the introduction… Just leave it for an expert.

  • Upload to Amazon KDP

Amazon sells 70% of e-books. That’s where you want to start. If your book is successful, then you can work on optimizing the rest of distribution, but initially, you just need to upload your book on Amazon. There’s a service to make your book available on paperback too, very easily. Just do that: e-book and paperback.

The paperback version can be uploaded through KDP or CreateSpace. Both are owned by Amazon. I tried CreateSpace and it was a bit buggy, but it worked.

  • Build your email list

If you read enough blog posts about self-publishing, you’ll note a pattern: the number 1 advice authors give is to create a landing page with an email signup, so you can gather fans and communicate with them. You will need them for two reasons.

First, you can share with them your content as you write it, which as we discussed is key for iteration.

Second, they will get you early reviews in Amazon. Reviews are the single most important factor to increase your sales.

There’s plenty of tools for landing pages. WordPress is the most famous one. For mail, just go with MailChimp. They’re free up to 1,200 contacts, more than you will probably need until you’re a successful author.

  • Build a relationship with bloggers in your space

There are plenty of bloggers around the topic you’re writing about. As you write your book, build a relationship with them. Similar to your email list, you will learn from them along the way. Also, you might be able to write guest posts on their blogs, which will give you visibility.

I learned many more things along the way, but if you get these points right, you’re already 80% there. Now go and just write your book!

 

Tomas Pueyo Brochard is the self-published author of The Star Wars Rings, releasing on September 19, 2017. If you want to see what the result of his process looks like, you can get his book on Amazon. If you want to ask him questions directly, join his Facebook launch party on September 19, from 10am to 6pm PCT!

 

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Super Supportive Saturday-links for Authors and Readers


I’ve declared today Super Supportive Saturday. Borrowing from a private Facebook group I belong to, I’m sharing links for other authors.

Gwynn Roberts White The Dominion Rising Boxed Set authors have a special giveaway with amazing prizes (including 300K newsletter blasts) just for our fellow SciFi and Fantasy Authors. You can check it out here: http://urbanepics.com/300k-readers/

Kindle Scout Yvanca Wensing Nominating Chasing the Moonlit Sky would help me hugely! Hot and Trending thus far 😎
https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/XSVV2EI0EBDW

Melle Amade Melkumian I had a new release this week and would love shares about it. https://www.facebook.com/MelleAmadeAuthor/photos/a.540097169367879.1073741825.503676363009960/1432071163503804/?type=3&theater

Melle Amade Melkumian Also, I am in a boxset that just went on pre-order yesterday. Any purchases or shares would be much appreciated! =)https://www.facebook.com/MelleAmadeAuthor/photos/a.540097169367879.1073741825.503676363009960/1435386706505583/?type=3&theater

Angela J. Ford I’m running a 99 cent promo of my epic fantasy novel and would love to do a newsletter swap with other fantasy authors. I have April 13 and April 27 open right now. If interested would you shoot me an email with your book promo dates and purchase link? Also, I can include a custom blurb if you’d like: info@angelajford.com.
 —

 

Mailing list (mine) including a free sci fi story upon joining.  http://eepurl.com/bmKaL5 Mention your interest in getting an ARC for Hoarder’s Nightmare http://amzn.to/2nmiT2Z and a free live copy when it launches after leaving a review on launch day May 14.

Four links promoting my books. This site will list your books for FREE so check it out.

http://www.kindleauthorsupportnetwork.com/hoarders-nightmare.html

http://www.kindleauthorsupportnetwork.com/medieval-blood.html

http://www.kindleauthorsupportnetwork.com/blood-moon.html

http://www.kindleauthorsupportnetwork.com/where-dreams-and-visions-live.html

Christie Speich wants to start a blog series on author websites. If you feel so inclined, please let her know your top 1-3 questions about author websites. You can email her at mooberrydreams@mooberrydreams.com 

Check out this giveaway Stacy Claflin New Release Giveaway: http://stacyclaflin.com/2017/03/18/new-release-giveaway/

Bradley Charbonneau has put together a 10-Day Write Every Day Challenge. It’s FREE and if you know anyone who you think would benefit from a 10-day writing challenge, please send them along. Thanks! http://passthesourcream.com/10-days/

Free publishing book https://goo.gl/UQpeVg Guerilla Publishing by Derek Murphy

Victoria Otieno Hefty says If anyone has a book that is targeted at moms, new mothers, or pregnant woman, she would be happy to promote on her blog Philly Baby Bump.

Follow this guy https://www.facebook.com/GMsherwin44/ and watch for his new horror series debut release Immortalis to be featured here soon.  Also Gary M Sherwin is looking to build his following of potential readers at gsherwin.com

Enter to win a Kindle here and novels about food to read on it! https://twitter.com/ElenGhulam/status/837694125965103104  (ends May 5, 2017)

Lucidium: Rise of the Dragons, Coming March 31. Just 99 cents right now. http://amzn.to/2mVqJ1F

Free KDP children’s book http://amzn.to/2nmfvWH

 

Free Check for Plagiarism

 

 

I may just add to this through the week, or consider doing it on additional Saturdays! Hope you enjoy, leave comments and follow the other authors. And let me know what 1 line I can add for you. Teamwork rocks!!

 

Today's Bestsellers in Books!

 

Beautiful new covers!


Check out my new covers on Amazon, links below pictures. Thanks to all for your support!  You’re the reason for my success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://amzn.to/2miolnb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://amzn.to/2mf3bV6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N0Fui  (This link will get you a free copy)

a Rafflecopter giveaway (This link can also win you a $10 Amazon gift card)


 

Mailing List for Readers http://eepurl.com/bmKaL5


Choose from Best-Sellers and New Releases Now

New Video–How I Got to Work From Home, Video 9


 

 

 

My $10 Amazon Gift Card giveaway https://www.instafreebie.com/free/N0Fui Through March 11

Derek Murphy http://amzn.to/2nan0MC

My links:
Amazon amazon.com/author/marycblowers
Createspace https://www.createspace.com/5204619 and others
Book Blog https://maryblowers.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/MaryBlowers
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MaryCBlowers
YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/c/MaryBlowers
Mailing List for Readers http://eepurl.com/bmKaL5

Author Spotlight – P.S. Winn


I think she deserves the “Most Prolific Author Award.” I met P. S. Winn when she submitted a great story for my first anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live.  Since then she has published dozens of books. Here they are. Amazing! You can find them all at http://amzn.to/2jUrJ2W.

5-pswinn-all-43deadly-afflictions

AND NOW WITHOUT FURTHER ADIEU-P. S. WINN.
author-pic

INTERVIEW:

What inspired you to write your first book? – In 2012, my husband was told he didn’t have long to live. We decided to move to my hometown so I could be closer to my family. Moving fast, we almost had to leave some of the writing I had done and hid in a closet. I decided to put them in book form then and there and now it seems after 44, I can’t stop.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? – I believe in hope despite odds. I like to think you will find that even when the books are supernatural or science fiction. I like to add a bit of a spiritual twist. Not religious so much as the spiritual side of hope and love.

What books have most influenced your life most? – Anything and everything I have ever read has an impact on my own works. I think this is also true of anyone I meet or anywhere I have visited.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? – I hate the promotion, but the rest of writing is always an amazing journey. I love my characters because they take over the books and let me know what should be written.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? – I always learn something new. In the latest book, “Deadly Afflictions” I had to learn a lot about anxiety disorder. I love characters that overcome the flaws and problems they are dealt.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book? – Anyone who likes to get away from the world for a moment in time. I write everything from preschool and young adult to a lot of supernatural novels. I also think it is the readers who make the stories. Their own imaginations join with the writer’s to make a book more special than it started.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork? – Some of the art work I draw myself, like for “Wings to Whispers” and “Viewings”. A few books are pictures I have taken and the others I use those available on create space. For the book “Viewings” the drawing of an old barn came first and the story worked around the image.

Do any of the books you write come from your own childhood? – Yes, especially my stretched stories series, which are humorous tall tales that are fun explanations for everyday things like why a cow says moo.

How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written? – I try to look at what they say and learn from it. The reviews that are unrealistic I try and ignore, but that can be hard. I know there are some people who write bad reviews out of meanness, which is awful, but also a fact of life that branches way beyond writing.

How do you make sure the information for your nonfiction books is accurate and up-to-date? – Mostly the internet or watching the news. I like writing supernatural books in parallel worlds when imagination is the guide and anything goes. But, I still try to maintain realism.

How long does it take to complete one of your books? – I have written 44 books in just over 4 years, so a month or two is my usual time, but once I wrote a book in a week and my 600 page book took closer to three months.

PAY WINN A VISIT SOMETIME SOON. THE REST OF HER LINKS ARE BELOW.

https://www.amazon.com/P.S.-Winn/e/B00E6XAR82/

Global link – author.to/PSWinnbooks

www.barnesandnoble.com/c/p.s.-winn

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6580862.P_S_Winn

https://www.facebook.com/pswinnbooks/

https://twitter.com/pswinnauthor

https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=P.S.+Winn&sitesearch_type=STORE


Instant Grammar Check

Blog Share from Traci Kenworth


Traci has graciously provided us with a number of links on writing! I’ve just come off the Book Marketing Summit with Karen Dimmick, and I have loads of ideas to pursue. Did you see any of it? What did you think?

Check out some of these links to enhance your writing. I was featured on this list a few weeks ago.

Writing Links in the 3s and 6…2/6/17 Traci Kenworth Fantasy/Dystopian/UF/Paranormal/SF: https://legendsofwindemere.com/2017/01/28/almost-time-to-get-my-butt-back-to-the-grindstone/ Decisions, decisions. http://www.autumnwriting.com/shortcut-fantasy-world-building/ A cheat sheet to an in-depth world. MG/YA: http://yatopia.blogspot.com/2017/01/new-beginnings-come-with-price.html Better to let go of old darlings or pay the price? http://scbwimithemitten.blogspot.com/2017/02/writer-spotlight.html Wendy BooydeGraaf. http://ingridsundberg.com/2017/02/04/ingrids-notes-youtube-channel/ Develop Your Own Philosophy when it comes to writing. She’s spot on! Some things work […]

via Writing Links in the 3s and 6…2/6/17 — Where Genres Collide

Free Publishing Guide


My next video will go over the how-to for publishing on Smashwords. In advance of this, here are their free downloads to assist you, guides to making money by publishing on Smashwords. Here are the links:

Smashwords Style Guide – How to Format Your Ebook (Smashwords Guides 1)

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide – How to Market any Book for Free (Smashwords Guides 2)

Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success (Smashwords Guides 3)

Enjoy! I’ll see you soon on the next video.

How I Got to Work from Home, Video 5


I’ve posted another video today, How I Got to Work From Home, Video 5. This episode goes into KDP publishing with Amazon. Please share with everyone and subscribe to view all the videos. Thanks for watching. https://youtu.be/4VpYv7i7r8U

Don’t forget to join my mailing list for news Mailing List http://eepurl.com/bmKaL5  and also follow this blog.

How I Got to Work from Home


Check out my new video, which will be part of a series on writing, publishing, and selling. I’ll document what I do to increase my success.  Stay tuned and subscribe so you are the first to hear of new videos.

Self-publishing: The next level


coast

I recently met Gail Kearns of To Press and Beyond. She and business partner Penelope Paine will be hosting a workshop for the self-publisher February 20 and 21, 2016. What better time to get away to sunny Santa Barbara, California and focus on your career as an author.

Learn more about these topics and more in a small group setting where you will receive individual attention.

›Setting realistic goals › How to find the right professionals
› Creating a brand › Understanding your market
› Establishing a publishing entity › Expenses and what to expect
› Editing › Marketing plans
› Book cover and book design › Promotion, social media networking, and more

Early bird $100 discount through January 10, 2016. $895 after that date and space is limited. Sign up now and treat yourself to this wonderful opportunity in the New Year. Meals included.

gail     penny Gail and Penelope

Gail is also listed on my contractor list of editors and other author resources.  Download this list free today.

Register today!   www.topressandbeyond.com
For more details and questions:

Call 800-360-1761
or email: info@topressandbeyond.com

Please, share with all your author friends with these links and have a Happy New Year.