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Old 03-31-2013, 07:09 AM   #16
HarryT
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Originally Posted by cromag View Post
... And maybe my editing would be better if I struggled more with it.
That's the point - you shouldn't be editing your own work. You should be using a professional editor.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:41 AM   #17
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Thats an interesting question..I had to publish for my university magazine and I always had good ideas but I always had problems in finding the right words for the beginning. I dont know, I think the first sentences have to be very attractive to the reader and kind of impacting.
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Old 04-03-2013, 02:43 AM   #18
TCSimpson
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Originally Posted by mncowboy View Post
Harry is correct - that is the place to start.
Great marketing of a poorly edited (and formatted) book will result in some sales for awhile, but will stop eventually.
Poor marketing of a book that has been professionally edited and formatted will result in slow sales - but those sales will continue over time.
Get your book right, then market.
Not necessarily true. Anthony Ryan's Bloodsong was in need of editing. His story was good enough, and he sold enough that he was able to quit his job and Penguin snatched him up.
I, however, do agree with getting your book right first. Marketing is still by far the hardest, most time consuming thing.
Selfpublished/indie authors are generally shunned by prominent blogs, review sites, brick and mortar stores etc, REGARDLESS of how good the book might be. It is only because the movement has been so strong in developing its own resources that it has thrived.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:11 AM   #19
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Selfpublished/indie authors are generally shunned by prominent blogs, review sites, brick and mortar stores etc, REGARDLESS of how good the book might be. It is only because the movement has been so strong in developing its own resources that it has thrived.
If, as you claim, "the movement has been so strong in developing its own resources", how would you account for the fact that so very, very few indie books are properly edited? Why is there not a host of editors out there catering to the needs of the indie author?
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:30 AM   #20
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If, as you claim, "the movement has been so strong in developing its own resources", how would you account for the fact that so very, very few indie books are properly edited? Why is there not a host of editors out there catering to the needs of the indie author?
There are a host of editors. To answer the first bit, I give 3 reasons: money to afford editors, delusions that they can edit their own work, sucked into the idea that even though they lack editing they can be one of the 0.5% who succeed despite editing issues.

In groups on facebook and G+ there are several groups who have extensive lists of good editors at what I would call affordable prices. Too many indies are eager to rush to publish rather than heed the advice of getting their work properly edited.
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Old 04-03-2013, 04:38 AM   #21
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Good points, certainly, but it would seem to indicate a lack of what one might call "professional awareness" on the part of most indie authors. Do you think that information about the importance of proper editing is simply not known to most authors, or just that 99.5% of authors think they're in the 0.5% who can self-edit?
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:02 AM   #22
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Nail on the head for lack of awareness. I would say maybe 70% feel they can self-edit OR feel "I can put it out and edit later." Which goes back to awareness. It's only when those scathing reviews come in that they begin to understand or cry woe is me. And you know what they say of first impressions. Not enough do their due diligence in seeking beta readers, critique groups etc and take the word of friends and family who are generally as misguided as they are.

It has changed quite a bit from when I first dipped my toes in back in early 2011, where slowly it's beginning to sink in and you now see better covers and well-edited books. But that's still a minority, which in turn lends to the image of general shoddiness.

In turn, the good ones need to persevere even more for that one glimmer that can give them exposure.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:10 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Good points, certainly, but it would seem to indicate a lack of what one might call "professional awareness" on the part of most indie authors. Do you think that information about the importance of proper editing is simply not known to most authors, or just that 99.5% of authors think they're in the 0.5% who can self-edit?
When I started my book I was in this group. I write a lot for the company I work for, and always got praise for my work. So I figured I could do the editing myself. I got lucky when I decided to have an editor friend of mine take a look at the book to see if any "tweaks" were needed.
I didn't expect much.
I was devastated when I got the book back and saw how many changes he made. Looked again and saw he was right on all the changes.
I would not publish a book again without a professional going through it.
Bob
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #24
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Formatting, editing and cover designing were a challenge, as they would be to any novice self-publisher, but marketing is definitely the hardest part of getting your book noticed. There is no magic formula, no step-by step instruction via google and nobody is going to do it for you (unless you've got a lot of money to spend).
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:51 AM   #25
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I think I struggle most with perfectionism, which might sound like a joke if you consider that I am "merely" writing gay erotica (at least under this pseudonym). However, it has been a constant problem for me, one I am making inroads into, I think.

Rather than being the sort of writer who thinks his work needs no editing, I seek out beta readers and with my last novel have paid for editing. Yet still, I sat through an entire text-to-speech reading of my novel over a period of days, all 120,000 words of it, after it had been professionally edited.

It's been a while since I visited this forum, but I often visit the writers' cafe at KBoards, and the idea that you need to be publishing, and publishing often in order to succeed as a self-published author is almost universally accepted.

This doesn't necessarily lead to low standards, but (as this is about what we struggle with most) I would say it is with perfectionism, with the inability to simply let something be good enough, particularly when I am talking about gay erotica, even if the books may mean more to me than they seem to on the surface.

So - perfectionism.

I take Harry's point about the need for editing, but I think there has been a positive move in this direction. I think the more serious self-published authors are routinely paying for editing.

I'm not prepared to put a lot of time into marketing. I'm too much of an introvert and too reticent to friend and message people on various sites. So, yes, marketing is a problem too.

But finally I'd say cover design. It's very hard to get a decent looking cover that fits with your novel and looks good postage size, even if you are prepared to pay for it.

Last edited by Todd Young; 04-08-2013 at 04:53 AM.
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