Author Topic: Some inspiration from a noob!  (Read 819 times)  

TobiasRoote

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Some inspiration from a noob!
« on: February 06, 2014, 09:32:10 AM »
I would like to share some inspiration.

Two or three years ago I was following a new SF writer. He was good and I wrote and told him so and suggested a few things. He wrote back and we communicated over the following years. I loved the involvement and got the itch to try it.

I spoke to my wife on Skype who was back in the UK while I was living in Greece overcoming some health issues.I reminded her about my longterm ambition to write. She encouraged me to do so, knowing full well I was in need of an occupation to help my recovery. I agreed and set about writing.
 
I have always had ideas and a good imagination, so when the story started to come together and began to look as if it might have legs for a real book, I started to learn more about writing. I joined forum groups, I learned from people who knew their stuff and slowly over a year, or so, my writing improved.The book however, didn't, and rests on my hard drive to this day.

One day last November the dam burst and my desire to write went up a few notches. I sat and wrote furiously, the book which had been in my mind for some time wrote itself. From beginning to end it took me 32 days to write and publish.

I never bothered with a proof reader, except for my wife who isn't bad at the old grammar, and I didn't have it edited professionally as there was no money in my kitty for such. So, I decided to 'publish and be damned' on Amazon expecting to sell a few dozen copies and get critiqued to hell for it. I was using it as a learning curve to see how to get a book out there. It was never meant to do what it did.

I watched over the next week (Xmas) as it published and gained interest. I became totally engrossed in the Amazon stats as it slowly began to sell.

It kept on selling. Soon it was in the top fifty, then the top twenty. All of a sudden it got to the top ten and I thought, '[crap] I'm going to get trashed for this.' I'm just a beginner, no editor, no proof reader, no training - these people who have been writing for years are going to 'eat me alive' if this gets up there.

Its been hovering in the top ten for nearly a month. I have been told by people to sit back and enjoy it, but I'm not sure I deserve that. I didn't slave over the text, I didn't spend years learning the rules of CMOS, or test myself over decades of torturous writing.

I have just finished the first month on Amazon KDP and sold over 3,000 copies. I am frankly and absolutely - Amazed!

The main critiques are the lack of grammar and punctuation, but in almost every case including the negatives, the response is the same. They enjoyed the story. The emails from people have been terrific and very supportive. I am STILL waiting for the proof reader to finish the corrections. When its done it will go up and also go into POD.

I'm now writing a second book. I won't believe anything anyone tells me until that sells. If it does, I might just begin to believe in myself. Maybe I will just believe that I'm just a lucky guy who picked a good story.

Maybe tomorrow, it will be you.

So, my message today is - Don't EVER lose faith in  yourself - One day, it maybe tomorrow or the next day, but when the day comes that you think there are no more surprises left - that's when it will hit you, and when it does - Good luck.

Offline EC

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 09:39:22 AM »
Excellent stuff, and just goes to show that a strong story can overcome grammatical errors any day in the week. Well done sir. 

Offline SawyerPentecost

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 09:43:36 AM »
Needed inspiration. Many thanks for sharing.

Offline spike Pedersen

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2014, 09:53:49 AM »
In my opinion, story is everything.


Offline RichardWolanski

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 10:44:54 AM »
Thank you Tobias Roote,


Your story is both refreshing and encouraging.

Offline MonkishScribe

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 11:01:16 AM »
That's pretty amazing. Congrats on all of your success.

Offline ゴジラ

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2014, 12:12:32 PM »
Love that space ship cover - it matches your genre perfectly! You did a great job for a noob. There's obviously something going on there. :)

Woo hoo, great job!

Offline K.R. Harris

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2014, 12:22:56 PM »
Awesome! Congrats!  :)

Offline ELS

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2014, 12:34:00 PM »
What a great story. Thank you for sharing.

A question from another noob, if I may ...

What methods of promotion did you use?

Offline Jd488

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2014, 12:35:50 PM »
Congrats and thanks for the words of encouragement!!

Offline N. Gemini Sasson

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2014, 12:42:19 PM »
This makes me so happy to hear. You must be a natural storyteller, Tobias. So heartening to know that it's still possible to get organically discovered by the masses, even with so many new books and great writers out there. I hope that anyone reading this who's still sitting on a manuscript takes your story as inspiration and finds the courage to hit the 'publish' button.


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TobiasRoote

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2014, 12:47:50 PM »
What a great story. Thank you for sharing.

A question from another noob, if I may ...

What methods of promotion did you use?


I get asked this a lot, certainly in the last few days since I went public with my figures.

I used Facebook almost exclusively in the month prior to launching the book. I had the cover (pre-made) already prepared so could use that for generating hype. Then once a week I flogged the book in the spamming threads on FB where it generated interest, usually with a bit of blurb about how excited I was or something about the story. It all happened so quick (as per my OP) that there really wasn't much I could do in the time I had.

I also placed details on my website where I posted short stories and WIP. This didn't really have much impact I think until after the launch of the book. Then when the book was published I hyped it wherever I could on FB and also tweeted it (I have 1900 followers from my hosting business which I changed the profile for overnight) and that was about it. I kept the pressure on the FB pages once a week to keep the momentum going, then when I saw it was doing okay on its own I let it be.

Looking back I think the FB kickstart helped initially. I didn't really need to do the FB run more than once after launch. Amazon KDP is a pretty good launch vehicle for a new author. Since the launch I have kept pretty quiet, posting up the reviews on my FB page. I was pretty scared of spooking the run it was having so sat on my hands for much of the time.

Any marketing I did I tried to keep it subtle - joining KB helped as my books show under my signature. I think that is the best bit of marketing I have seen anywhere.

I hope this helps and thanks for all the replies everyone.  ;D

Offline nico

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2014, 12:57:35 PM »
That's great news! I wish you best of luck with your followup.
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Offline Greg Strandberg

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2014, 01:10:57 PM »
Have you done any work on it since, like proofreading it or editing it, maybe hiring someone to do that?

TobiasRoote

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2014, 01:16:14 PM »
Have you done any work on it since, like proofreading it or editing it, maybe hiring someone to do that?

It is currently with a proof reader, it should have been completed by now, but he has unfortunately been ill. I have high hopes to have the new version up within a few weeks. The edits that are needed are small ones and silly things that I shouldn't have missed, but did.


Joliedupre

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2014, 01:30:20 PM »
Tobias,

For every author who declares that the first book of an indie author won't sell, there's an indie author who did well with their first book. Ha Ha!  You're another one. (So much for the naysayers and for the people who declare that Facebook and Twitter are a waste of time when it comes to promotion.) Congratulations, and thanks for the inspiration! 

BTW: I would never publish my book without my beta readers and my editor.  Although, I understand your reasons.  It's good to know you're taking steps to get your future books edited. 

Also, I love Greece!  I spent time there with my father, my husband, my kids, my sisters, and my brother.  :)

Jolie

Offline ELS

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2014, 01:47:36 PM »
I hope this helps and thanks for all the replies everyone.  ;D


Thank YOU, Tobias. My husband saw your post and it inspired him to "pick up the pen" so to speak. He said he's always wanted to write but didn't know if he would be "good enough." Hearing your story touched a cord in his soul. 

Offline LBrent

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2014, 02:04:20 PM »
Awesome!

I hope you have a mailing list to let your fans know when you write anther book.

Was it a standalone or are you doing a series?

Now, get back to writing!

 :)

Offline AmberDa1

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2014, 02:13:44 PM »
Wonderful and inspiring news. Thanks for sharing & congrats to you, Tobias  :)

Offline Howietzer

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2014, 02:27:43 PM »
Holy cow! That's awesome! May the good fortune continue. :)

Offline Writerly Writer

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2014, 02:31:46 PM »
Congratulations!!

Offline Gunspringer

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2014, 02:37:53 PM »
Congratulations to your success and many thanks for the inspiration!

Offline Callie Ray

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Re: Some inspiration from a noob!
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2014, 04:37:23 AM »
Amazing. I truly needed to read this. Thank you!