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Publishing Options for Story?

15 Dec 2016 03:26 #51734 by willow
Publishing Options for Story? was created by willow
Since we were talking about old stories on another thread, I wanted to mention that I have been working on a long story in the same vein as early Sharon Best and JulieVelor work. I am currently on page 156 in MS Word with over 92,000 words. As far as the story goes, I have entered what is effectively the third and final Act of my tale. I still have a couple of items to do once the final chapters are written. I need to do a full re-read to check for grammar errors, and flesh out a couple of chapters a bit more.

However, I have a question for everyone. I am thinking about getting several commission sketches done to compliment or enhance key scenes throughout the story. I found an artist that is reasonably priced that could do a series (nearly a dozen) of black and white sketches at a modest price. If I do this, I am thinking of self-publishing on Amazon's online store (i.e. Kindle) to help pay for some of the costs around the commissions. Alternatively, I am thinking about skipping the commissions and publishing a chapter a week in the Superwomenmania Library.

It will probably be January before I feel the story is ready for publication on either Amazon or SuperWomenMania. However, I would be greatly interested in everyone's' thoughts on the idea presented.

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15 Dec 2016 04:26 #51735 by shadar
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I can't comment on Amazon publishing, but I once commissioned some artwork for the same reason.
It didn't go well.

My analysis of why came back the writing process. One of the necessities of writing a detailed, lengthy tale is that you get very involved with your characters, and you know precisely how they look and move and think and speak. I couldn't find anyone who could adequately capture the look and posture of my mental characters. Maybe you'll have better luck.

Also, I've found over the years, with hundreds of photoenhances or illustrations in my stories, is that about half the people don't like them and they take away from their own excellent imagination. The other half either ignore them or like them. So no big win from the reader's perspective.

As far as how to publish, I'm still a huge sucker for the spirit of the original Internet, back before it went commercial. That spirit was to share and share alike. I'd vote for the chapter a week serialization on SWM.

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15 Dec 2016 11:11 #51736 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Publishing Options for Story?
I have never published anything on Amazon, so I'm not sure how that works, but if you wish to publish a beta of your story here I think that a lot of people would be really happy to give it read.

On the sketches subject, I think you should be very clear with the artist about the fact that you're planning to use them in a published work. Many artists charge different prices for published work, opposed to privately owned work.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)
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15 Dec 2016 13:26 #51737 by five_red
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willow wrote: It will probably be January before I feel the story is ready for publication on either Amazon or SuperWomenMania. However, I would be greatly interested in everyone's' thoughts on the idea presented.


If you're not a US citizen you'll need to register with the IRS to get a non-US EIN code first, if you want to sell your work for profit on various on-line platforms. This is simply because most 'app store' style operators (Apple, Google, Amazon, etc.) pay in US dollars, and the seller will deduct 30% tax automatically if you don't tell them that you're not subject to US income tax. To do that you need to get a US Employer Identification Number, which is just a way of getting yourself registered with the IRS (as self-employed) so they can exempt you (yeah, they have to know about you so they can ignore you!)

(Note: Amazon has recently, it seems, introduced a scheme whereby you can register using your own national tax code. See second link below!)

The job can be done with a ten minute phone call to the IRS. When I did it many years ago the operator seemed to be very familiar with the process: as soon as I told her I wanted to sell stuff on the Apple app store but wasn't a US tax payer she seemed to know exactly what do to. I'm guessing they deal with it a lot these days. They ask you your name and address, the nature of your 'company' (computer programming in my case), and then a series of esoteric qualifying questions, like does your company involve gambling, does it require driving trucks that need special licenses(!!!), etc. etc -- even the IRS woman was chuckling at some of them. The operator will read out your new EIN code at the end of the call, so make sure you have a pen and paper handy, but you should wait until you receive written confirmation in the mail a few weeks later before using it. You can then use it with Apple/Google/Amazon/etc to sell 'e-goods' on their stores without getting the full blast of US income tax.

(Btw, the IRS did not ask me about my national tax number or status -- as far as the IRS is concerned you are wholly responsible for paying your local income taxes wherever you live.)

Kindle Direct Publishing: Tax Information Requirements

selfpublishingadventures.com: Tax on US royalties

kindlepreneur.com: 5 Easy Steps to Avoid the 30% Tax Withholding for Non-US Self Publishers

Another publishing option which has apparently become poplar is Wattpad. Wattpad is a community that links amateur writers with readers. People can subscribe to stories, and chapters are automatically delivered to their mobile device when the writer publishes them. Readers can leave comments on the story thus far. Although basically the whole deal is not unlike running a blog, but what makes Wattpad different is that (a) it structures the writer's output into an e-book format (cover, chapters, etc.), and (b) it makes it easy for readers to find writers and stories they might want to follow.

I've not used Wattpad so can't comment on how good it is. I mention it here only because it seems to be the one with the most buzz surrounding it at the moment.

Wattpad

rtbookreviews.com: How Authors Can Use Wattpad To Sell Books And Earn Money (their capitalisation, not mine!)

R5

Supergirl Pre-Crisis Chronology: www.superwomenmania.com/supergirltl/
Supergirl: the Life and Times of Kara Zor-El: maidofmight.wordpress.com/
DeviantArt: 5red.deviantart.com/
Blog: x5red.tumblr.com/

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15 Dec 2016 14:13 #51739 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Publishing Options for Story?
If you're a US Citizen and you are able to produce a professional-looking MOBI version of your book, Kindle Direct Publishing is very easy. That's one reason it's also very easy to get lost in the sea of Kindle books. Read their requirements carefully and make sure you're not doing anything to violate their (vague) content or publishing guidelines. For example, they don't like you to charge for a book that's available for free elsewhere.

SmashWords appears to be a good home for the semi-professional. I'm investigating that now for some of my former Amazon content.

To reiterate Woodclaw's point: check with the artists if you haven't already. I remember one commissioned artist getting extremely upset when he though I was planning to use his piece for commercial fiction. He took some talking down to accept my using it as an illustration for an SWM story. There's a huge difference between personal use and commercial use. Even a free site like SWM can be a gray area for some artists.

As to Shadar's point on the spirit of sharing. I agree, up to a point. I think it depends on the finished product and your desired audience. I published some things on Amazon I felt were not right for SWM, which I had put a lot of work into, and which I wanted to go to an audience beyond the "community." I submitted stories to SWM at the same time that I thought would be of interest to SWM, but not a wider community. The Amazon endeavor flamed out in a humbling fashion, of course.

I think the reason the original "free" spirit of the internet has fallen out of favor is the way it's been abused by businesses like HuffPo who use it as an excuse to not pay or underpay (my wife is a professional writer and you would be shocked at how much work some professional sites try to get out of her for nothing). Fandom is one place it still thrives, since it exists in a legal demi-monde to begin with.

All of us here who write Ubergirl/Superwoman/Supergirl/Superheroine fiction owe a huge debt to SWM and the people who run it and whether you choose to publish commercially or not, we should honor that. In retrospect, I should have done more with my kindle books than a simple acknowledgement. Something I will think about in the future.

Okay, that turned into a ramble. The cats woke me up too early. Peace.

- GeekSeven
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16 Dec 2016 07:57 #51752 by willow
Replied by willow on topic Publishing Options for Story?
Thanks for the replies on the subject. Based on what I read, I decided that I will just publish on SWM on a chapter per week basis. The Amazon idea looks like it would be a lot more work that I would like to put into the story on top of the time and emotional investment already invested. If all goes well, I look forward to having something ready by January.
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16 Dec 2016 18:23 - 16 Dec 2016 18:25 #51766 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Publishing Options for Story?

willow wrote: Thanks for the replies on the subject. Based on what I read, I decided that I will just publish on SWM on a chapter per week basis. The Amazon idea looks like it would be a lot more work that I would like to put into the story on top of the time and emotional investment already invested. If all goes well, I look forward to having something ready by January.


Looking forward to it. Many of us know very well how much time and emotional investment a large, multi-part story requires. When our characters come to life in our heads, they become more than just inventions.
Last edit: 16 Dec 2016 18:25 by shadar.

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18 Dec 2016 04:10 - 18 Dec 2016 04:10 #51781 by MisterK
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I self-published on Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (Nook.) It's not bad if you don't expect too much. Not that it's impossible to make money, but it's pretty hard.

Here's Ms. Infinity, my superheroine novel BTW:

www.amazon.com/Ms-Infinity-Andrew-Kirschner-ebook/dp/B018Q5M1ZC
Last edit: 18 Dec 2016 04:10 by MisterK.

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19 Dec 2016 05:33 #51791 by willow
Replied by willow on topic Publishing Options for Story?
Thanks for the link. Will see about checking it out. Also, if anyone is interested, then they should check out the online novel Not A Hero published on Amazon. It was the writer's first novel and not bad. I loved the main character's name Crushette.

The story does have some problems like more and more grammar errors start popping in as the story progresses. The writer also has some trouble really getting down descriptions of his characters and environment. The writer also needs to flesh out his characters more so they are a bit more three-dimensional.

Otherwise, it was not bad for a first time writer. Wearing the Cape is another good one that is a bit more mainstream, young adult fiction.

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19 Dec 2016 16:31 #51793 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Publishing Options for Story?
The good thing about publishing on Amazon is that readers can view most of the first chapter without paying. My personal experience is that 90% of the genre books published on Amazon don't pass that test and don't get purchased by me. I suspect I'm not alone.

My recommendation is to polish that first chapter until it shines, and make sure it's exciting and has an absolute minimum of exposition. It has to make your potential readers fall for your main character and want to know more about them and their journey. Too many first chapters are full of world-building and exposition and background building for the main character. If done cleverly, you can spread that work out through the book. Start with action that makes the reader want to know how the hell your character(s) came to be the way they are.

And the only way to do that is to buy the book. Simple in theory. Hard in practice.

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