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GOLD Hello from Denver - self publishing success

Discussion in 'Business Models, Niches, Industries' started by Held for Ransom, Apr 23, 2013.

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  1. Girzo
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    Girzo New Contributor

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    Was reading previous pages and I wonder: What's so special about ISBN that you have to pay for that in USA and some other countries? Do you get some additional benefits with that or what? I'm asking because it's free where I live and it was surprising to hear you have to pay for that.

    BTW. Great thread, I've been reading it all night long. Congrats on your journey HfR!
     
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  2. Held for Ransom
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    Held for Ransom Butt In Chair Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @Girzo

    ISBNs can potentially be a complicated issue. You don't have to pay for them, no. I'd encourage you to figure out what your needs are and then pursue your research from there.

    For me, free ISBNs are sufficient.
     
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  3. Selfy
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    Selfy Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Surprisingly, I'm still here! I had deviated to outsourcing the books, and now back to writing. Thinking back, the outsourcing gig payed off in more ways than I can imagine. For one, it exposed me deep in my niche and now I spend zero time in the marketing/research. I know what they want, and I know who I'm up against, all my keywords, and relatively, the size of the market.

    Still trying to crack the writing skill nut though and currently harpooning at full-length whale-goliaths. I pubbed an enormous amount of shorts which allowed to me glimpse what the craft entailed. Writing full-length is a beast of a skill to learn, but so what? I'll grind it out.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
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  4. nichiseven
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    nichiseven Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Phwoar.

    What a monster to pile through! HfR my sincere gratitude and respect to you especially as well as the other writers who combined to make one hell of an epic megathread. I've learned more in the past 3&1/2 hours reading than I could have hoped for. I'm seriously interested in pursuing self-pub fiction as a solid start to my Fastlane journey and it's gratifying to hear there's a serious market for those who are willing to work hard and smart for it. As someone who has bought many a regrettable Kindle book I welcomed the 2.0 changes. Hoping it will signal a lift in value/quality for readers in the long run.
     
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  5. Selfy
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    Selfy Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Just to clarify. If you want to write fiction and make cash without much English writing experience. Basically, IMO, you should write erotica.
    What is Erotica? Erotica is a kink that other people masturbate to. Basically, porn with words. SMUT. You don't really need stories, you just need marketing and a hardy stomach. Write a few and get a sense of what writing craft entails.

    Then you can jump to genre-fiction. What is genre-fiction? Stories. Plots and Characters. Much, much harder to write, but here is where the long-term authors hang out and it is competitive AF. In the end, you get what you put in.
     
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  6. trimmer9
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    trimmer9 PARKED

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    Hello Writers,

    i just joined this Forum, for asking u guys how you all are doing? Because i see no updates from you for this year so far. Are you still on track?

    Especially HfR, how is your second Pen name rollin? And are u still writing under your first Pen name, too? Or did u shift completely?

    I try your whole approach under the conditions in germany with the german language.

    I'm one month into it and have four books out so far. 16000 - 24000 words.

    The first one went well. But the three after just did two sells each and thats it. Anyway i don't want to talk much about me. Just wanted to get an update from you pros!
     
  7. Selfy
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    Selfy Bronze Contributor Speedway Pass

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    This business is best for people who like to read and write stories. You will read A LOT for market research, noting the tropes, themes, all of the commonalities that you can determine in a genre. Next, you will need to incorporate all this into your writing, which is voice, style, plot etc etc. The reading (analytically) and writing gets better the more you do it. In time You may find that you're able to deconstruct how a particular writer is doing well. You may start writing faster with the aid of an outline. You may just develop a clairvoyant voice and a penchant for cheesy dialogue. You may drill down a genre type into a formula.

    This is all hard work. You will be reading and writing most of the time. You will be drafting and editing. You will need to know how the other authors are getting eyeballs. Did I mention that you will be writing and reading?

    The good part is going on break and still expecting to get paid. The bad part is that it is a damn slog churning these all out that you'll need breaks. Start hanging out in boards where writers hang out, because, really, fml is not it (it has tons of value though).
     
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  8. Arun Siva
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    Arun Siva W. SMYTHE BATES Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    thank you good info here on this thread
     
  9. fresh
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    fresh New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I join this site, not even realizing there's a writing section. :) Then I stumble on this thread...makes me smile. Good to see you.
     
  10. AnAverageJoe
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    AnAverageJoe Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Wow, thanks a lot to @Held for Ransom for getting this thread started, and to people like @ChickenHawk @COSenior @Rawr among others for contributing a lot along the way. I'm working on another business right now with it's own progress thread, but I am so happy I found this thread and took the time to read through it.

    I have always loved writing. I wrote for fun throughout most of my teen years. I love creating new worlds and characters and getting lost in them. I just never thought of writing to be a way of making money, much less fastlane money, because of the traditional ways it used to be controlled that have been talked about on this thread. So I just stopped doing it.

    I'm going to research and start writing. I'm going to use my first pen name to learn the game, and then expand to others.

    Since there hasn't been a real update in over a year, how is everyone doing? Is it still possible to follow the same process and research until I found a profitable genre, read a bunch of the bestsellers, come up with my own version and repeat like it was 4 years ago? I'd love to hear from some of you guys again. I'll also check out some of your individual progress threads as well.

    Thanks again. I've learned so much from you guys!
     
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  11. COSenior
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    COSenior Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Hey, Joe :) ChickenHawk is still publishing. Hello from Denver has moved on to greener pastures, and I'm ghostwriting. It's significantly more difficult to find a space in the indie publishing market these days, because so many people discovered it a few years back. ChickenHawk found her market and has many loyal fans, basically without advertising. Hello and I had to advertise, and he did better than I did because of deeper pockets - and then a lot changed. Amazon changed their Kindle Unlimited program and changed it again. Facebook got cagey with their advertising policies. Toward the end of 2015, a lot of authors were losing their ad accounts and sometimes their entire accounts.

    That isn't to say it can't be done. It absolutely can. However, I maintained then—and I haven't changed my mind—that it isn't Fastlane. In the first place, it violates the cardinal rule of control. It also, if you're writing fiction like we all were, is very time-consuming. Hard to scale yourself, though some have done so by using people like me, who will write for a price. I've written for flat fee, for royalty share, and for advance against royalty share. That's my favorite, because it's now money and if the author you work for is good at marketing, later passive money as well.

    If you enjoy writing and want to see how your work does in the marketplace, don't let me discourage you from doing it. The last book I wrote was for a young man who is very new to the marketplace, and his books did $25k in October. $6700 of that was from the book I wrote. But it still isn't Fastlane. ;)
     
  12. AnAverageJoe
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    AnAverageJoe Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for your quick response @COSenior. When you say @Held for Ransom moved on to greener pastures, does that mean he's no longer writing because of all the changes, or is he just not around here anymore? I'd still like to thank him for planting this seed in my head. I saw @ChickenHawk has a beast of a progress thread that's still pretty current so I'll have to go check that out. When you ghostwrite, are you ghostwriting fiction or non fiction? Is there a pretty big market for ghostwriters?

    I think I'm still going to give it a go. I already have an established audience in the niche I would write to that has been following me for a couple of years now, so that would make the advertising a little easier. I also have some ideas to monetize the books outside of the actual books, so we'll see. If it doesn't work, there's really no harm done, but if it does, I have an extra income stream.

    Thanks again.
     
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  13. COSenior
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    COSenior Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    To the best of my knowledge, both are correct. I chat with him on Skype a couple of times a week, and I'll let him know he has a response here, in case he isn't keeping watch. Maybe he is. If so, he'll probably have something to say about my speaking for him, lol.

    I write fiction. Although I have written non-fiction, it's by no means as much fun as fiction. If I were to do it, I'd do it for my own e-books. There is a market for ghostwriters, but I'm not seeing much in the way of requests for fiction writers, and what I do see have absolutely ridiculous expectations for what they want vs what they will pay. And what I've seen of my competitors shows a prevalence of people who speak English as a second language, work from overseas, and will write for what those poor, misguided buyers want to pay. It's unfortunate that such is the case, because it makes it so much harder for people who have professional-level skills to find adequately paid work.

    That sounds like a good plan, and a good start with an audience already established. Hope it works out well for you. :smile2:
     
  14. MJ DeMarco
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    MJ DeMarco Raving Lunatic Staff Member Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    What seed? That you can make money writing?

    I, for one, am not saddened that the money-chasing hype of self-publishing is on the downslide. Too many 99 cent books with 9 cents of value.

    My philosophy, before the hype, during the hype, and after the hype has been the same: Write if you what you're writing is valuable. THEN DON'T STOP. Value is like creme as it rises, albeit, it might not be as fast as we'd like.

    Don't write because "X made $X,000 last month!" or "Wow, it's somewhat passive!"
     
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  15. COSenior
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    COSenior Gold Contributor Speedway Pass

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    So, so true! What we all discovered is that it isn't at all passive. Not fiction, at least. The glut of cheap fiction (notice I didn't say BAD fiction, though there's plenty of that, too) on Amazon and elsewhere has created a situation where your raving fans forget you in a heartbeat if you can't churn out novels at the rate of 1 a month or every six weeks. I was able to do that for a while, and it was even fun - for a while. Then it wasn't.

    Then there's the marketing. The hype for the book, the launch, whether to put up for pre-order or not, ad nauseum. It's just the same rat race, but in your pajamas if you choose.

    Come to think of it, as long as I have clients or an idea for a book and the yen to write, it isn't a bad life. But I repeat. NOT FASTLANE. Never has been, never will be.
     
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  16. AnAverageJoe
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    AnAverageJoe Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    I'm with you 100%. The seed that was planted when I found this thread wasn't "OMG I CAN MAKE 15k A MONTH IF I PUMP OUT MEDIOCRE SEX STORIES!" it was more of a realization that people like me without a publisher or book deal or going the traditional route of publishing can get their stories out to the world. I also don't expect it to be passive, nothing is passive in the beginning.

    Now I'll find out if my stories are entertaining and provide value to the niche I'm serving, and I think they will.
     
  17. MJ DeMarco
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    It worked for me with non-fiction as nearly 10 years later after I first started writing, the books still sell.

    I'm sure fiction is a different beast altogether. I don't much like the sound of having to write continuously simply to keep the wheels grinding.

    1+1 should equal 3.

    Based on what others are reporting, it sounds like it's only 2.
     
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