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HOT TOPIC Fiction Publishing

yveskleinsky

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2007
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Don't get me wrong-- currently, I just write novellas; I can kick out about one a day as (like you said) they are easy to write. If I was going to devote the time and energy to a novel (let alone a series) I would make it my own like you have. I can't imagine writing 300+ pages just to please someone else, especially if it wasn't the direction that I wanted to go or how I wanted to brand myself as an author. Doing so would be borderline torturous.
 

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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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120
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I find novellas more challenging to write than full length novels.
Sure, I can write them quicker
because they're shorter
but on a time per word basis, they take more time.

I wasn't implying that you SHOULDN'T write what the market wants.
LOL
That is actually the more sensible way to do it.
Just that the agents are a fast track to that info
(especially for the masses).
They're also quite open about what they want.

I would not advise anyone to do what I did
which was write a book and then try to find a home for it.
Not if they wanted to make any dollars.
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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The easy way to write series
is to make all the works stand alone
(the romance way - there's a reason we outsell sci fi)
but have a common setting
and spin off secondary characters.

When I need a financier in my upcoming books,
well, obviously I'll use my first hero Philippe.
It is a short cut to character builds,
the fans get a thrill (because the TRUE fans will know who he is)
and I don't have to keep track of another name
(grinning)

Do you do the baby book technique for names?
I made a mistake and asked my Mom for one.
She got a bit excited
and then was crushed when I thought to explain.
 

yveskleinsky

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2007
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Do you do the baby book technique for names?
I made a mistake and asked my Mom for one.
She got a bit excited
and then was crushed when I thought to explain.
LOL, yeah I hear ya. My mom has started referring to my dogs as her "grand dogs". I have tried to stop her as if anyone were to overhear this, they would think we were both nuts. ...Moms huh?

As for names, I use different sites like: Behind the Name - the Etymology and History of First Names for if and when I name my characters. ...Keep in mind that my audience isn't umm... how do you say... that big on names, or plot or character development. ;)
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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Yeah, I like to look up the meanings also
especially when I'm using exotic names.

Do you track your names?
I tried doing the excel spreadsheet thing
but
I found it easier to simply cross them off the baby book
(not my original idea,
many romance writers use this trick).

You'd be surprised
how fans keep track.
A buddy writing in your genre re-used a name
(short story vs novella)
and then got hate mail about how the heroine was a cheater
(well, in stronger words).
Not that the heroine was an angel in the first work anyway.
(grinning)
 

yveskleinsky

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2007
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I would love to see your writing process in action sometime Kimber, as the OCD person inside me loves how organized you are. My writing area looks more like something from "A Beautiful Mind"--random pictures, thoughts, ideas everywhere all at once. I tend to write in bursts. Manic, frenzied bursts.

Back to the asking readers what. I put out a general question, and within 24 hours had over 250 emails. Many of them with short stories (of various quality), and most of which I put on my site (after responding to the authors.) It's amazing how reserved many people are, but how many have an interest in my "genre" (and I use the word loosely!) I give them an arena to be read, and the give me fresh content. Kinda fun and entertaining. Beats watching TV. ;)

We should get together for a drink sometime. You coming to the meetup?
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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That is brilliant,
asking readers/aspiring writers for content.
Simply brilliant.

No, not going to the get together unfortunately.
I have a book release in February
and then tax season is March/April.

I prefer to be organized
as I write a novel in 2 months (with 3 or 4 drafts).
No time to waste!
 

Jonleehacker

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 31, 2007
1,856
1,130
614
Edmonton, Canada
No, not going to the get together unfortunately.
I have a book release in February
and then tax season is March/April.
It would sure be nice to see you again Kimber, what would it take to pry you away from tax season for a couple days in the Arizona sunshine?

(You we're THAT traumatized after the last time were you? :smx4:)
 

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
2,909
1,866
550
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What is your genre Yves? I didn't know you were a fiction writer!
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
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Jon,

I loved meeting up with everyone!
That's not it.

It is a scheduling thing.
I don't even know if I have time to volunteer
filling out income taxes for low income taxpayers this year.
I really, really want to
(because I can see the immediate assistance I give,
especially to newcomers to Canada)
but
I think if I do that (full Saturdays leading the clinic)
while promoting a book,
I might lose my mind.

These choices are tough.
I want to do everything.
 

yveskleinsky

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 26, 2007
2,233
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I didn't know you were a fiction writer!
I wouldn't consider myself a writer; my writing isn't really much more than an entertaining hobby. :)
 

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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
825
120
38
Yesterday was the release of my second novel, Invisible.

My big lesson from the first launch
is that you need to give books away
in order to sell them.
No one wants to take a chance on a new, untested author.

With this second novel,
I have some advantages.
Breach Of Trust placed for some Best Of 2008 awards.
It got great reviews.
But most of all,
I have a list of 50 or so 'noisy' readers
to help me promote.

I gave away about 200 copies of my first novel.
I bribed people with a free copy of my second
for reviews or comments on the first.
I got about 50 (54 to be exact) comments/reviews/blog mentions back.

So release day,
I sent a copy to that list
(individual emails - these people I consider friends).
They're already posting reviews
(guess not everyone watches football),
creating buzz.

I also have my email list of 1,500 names.

I was told that it takes about 5 romance novels to build a readership.
I find myself agreeing with that.

Oh, and because I already have buzz on my book,
my publisher is tossing in some book specific promotion.
Ironic, I know.
Those that help themselves get help.
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
825
120
38
I've had some great news on Invisible,
my second release.

Guys like it!

They don't like that it is also in the romance section
(the beauty of eBooks is that it can appear in different categories).
They insist that it is a suspense novel.
(I don't know what non-romance readers think romance books are about
- the heroine and hero have to DO something)

But they like it.
So that expands my readership a bit.

I will still focus on the romance readership.
It IS the number one selling genre
so I'd be foolish not to
but it is nice to know I'm not excluding non-romance readers.
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
825
120
38
Just got my second royalty check.

For the first 10 months of release,
Breach Of Trust sold...
40 copies.
Yep, you read that right - 40.
At a dollar royalty a book, that's $40.
That's with very targeted advertising,
attending a lot of online events,
blog tours,
everything.

So what does that mean?
Well, obviously my strategy isn't working.
The product is good (it is winning awards).
People who actually read it
are excited about it
but it is getting people to read it
that's the toughie.
I have to think about this some more...
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
825
120
38
Okay, I lucked into Invisible
being the freebie giveaway from my publisher
to celebrate Read An eBook week.
Normal cost of Invisible: $6
Cost last week: $0.

I emailed over 4,000 people about the offer,
got about 20 romance blog mentions,
total downloads...
as of the 12th: 644 Books

That's for FREE!

This is a tough, tough business.

On the upside, I was named Rising Star on one of the big romance sites.
It is going to take a while but I'm thinking this WILL happen for me.
 
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kimberland

Bronze Contributor
Jul 25, 2007
825
120
38
Random House is now listing all their print books on scrbd for FREE.
http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2009/03/30/piracy-and-legitimacy/
I'm not quite sure what they are doing
but I do know that
this will make it tougher for other folks to charge for eBooks
and
that this will speed up the conversion from print to eBook.

Still haven't figured out,
as an author,
how to make money off of this change.

Things to think about...
 

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