Author Topic: 15,000 books in two months, 32,000 books first year. Advice for newbies!  (Read 72253 times)  

Offline bellabentley

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I have another question haha. How long does it take for you to edit your book? Or do you edit as you go? I find that that is what is slowing me down and I'm trying to pick up the pace!! And by editing...I mean...making sure it's publish ready you know? Like do you write a scene or two a day and edit that and make it perfect....or do you edit at the very end? :)

Offline DonnaK

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Wonderful.  Thank you so much for sharing your excitement and how to.  I'm in non fiction and some most of these ideas will work for me.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Keep being successful.. it's an encouragement to everyone!
Giving you the tools to self empower to change your life.

Offline Rachel E. Rice

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Thanks so much for your advice. I feel like I'm always late for the party and everyone has started without me and now they are going home.


Check for more books by Rachel E. Rice and R.E. Rice
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Offline SA_Archer

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Thanks Anya and Jamie! I sometimes feel bad for self-editing, so it's nice to know that you guys like it anyhow!

I used to pay for outside editing, but it just became too expensive and time consuming. And what's more, even though I used 3 different editors, they all said my manuscripts were extremely clean and they had few corrections.

One of the things that have helped is the dictation software "Dragon: Naturally Speaking". You can use it to transcribe what you speak, but the function that I find most useful is that Dragon can read back your typewritten chapters.

I will read along as Dragon is reading out loud, and I will hear errors that my eyes will miss. It has been incredibly helpful and I highly recommend it to self-editors. And it is less than $75 dollars, so it pays for itself quickly, if you compare it to the price of a good edit. http://www.nuance.com/dragon/index.htm

 

Offline Stephen T. Harper

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I used to pay for outside editing, but it just became too expensive and time consuming. And what's more, even though I used 3 different editors, they all said my manuscripts were extremely clean and they had few corrections.

One of the things that have helped is the dictation software "Dragon: Naturally Speaking". You can use it to transcribe what you speak, but the function that I find most useful is that Dragon can read back your typewritten chapters.

I will read along as Dragon is reading out loud, and I will hear errors that my eyes will miss. It has been incredibly helpful and I highly recommend it to self-editors. And it is less than $75 dollars, so it pays for itself quickly, if you compare it to the price of a good edit. http://www.nuance.com/dragon/index.htm

 

Wow. thanks for posting that.  Ive wanted something this for a while just because Im such a lousy typist.  The way you use for editing sound great, too, but does it really work for entering new content? 

Most of us will never remember our past lifetimes. If only they could forget theirs.
Stephen T. Harper | KingsXsaga

Offline BellaStreet

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Thanks for sharing. Just a note--your amazing covers must also be a part of your success. They rock!

Offline SA_Archer

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Wow. thanks for posting that.  I've wanted something this for a while just because I'm such a lousy typist.  The way you use for editing sound great, too, but does it really work for entering new content? 
It takes the software some time to learn your voice. You have to read samples of text so it can try and dial in to you. The more you use it, the more accurate it gets. But it was a little trying to get it to recognize my words at first. You can also teach it new words, which is useful for fantasy and scifi where you have made up your own words and names.

I find that I must speak a bit more slowly than I would normally speak, so the words are distinct and don't run together and confuse it. When it makes an error, I manually correct it by typing the changes. The software learns each time you correct it, so you have to correct it less over time.

Also, the microphone that came with it was horrible. I bought a $5 pair of ear buds with a mic on the wire and it works great. You can buy it without the headset, I think. You are better off getting your own mic, if you can.

My husband bought it for me because I have carpel tunnel and my wrists and hands get weak and hurtful from too much typing. Teaching myself to speak the words, rather than type them, was probably the hardest part really. But my hands are much happier when I use it. :)


Offline Stephen T. Harper

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It takes the software some time to learn your voice. You have to read samples of text so it can try and dial in to you. The more you use it, the more accurate it gets. But it was a little trying to get it to recognize my words at first. You can also teach it new words, which is useful for fantasy and scifi where you have made up your own words and names.

I find that I must speak a bit more slowly than I would normally speak, so the words are distinct and don't run together and confuse it. When it makes an error, I manually correct it by typing the changes. The software learns each time you correct it, so you have to correct it less over time.

Also, the microphone that came with it was horrible. I bought a $5 pair of ear buds with a mic on the wire and it works great. You can buy it without the headset, I think. You are better off getting your own mic, if you can.

My husband bought it for me because I have carpel tunnel and my wrists and hands get weak and hurtful from too much typing. Teaching myself to speak the words, rather than type them, was probably the hardest part really. But my hands are much happier when I use it. :)



Thanks again.  Heres a key question not mentioned on their website:

Can you use the keyboard and dictate at the same time?  Meaning, can you just hit return instead of saying New Paragraph?  Or just type a period and keep talking with a new sentence? 

That would make a big difference for me. I think if was writing fiction and had to keep speaking all the commands Id lose my place in the story.

Would you recommend this for just a slow typist?

Most of us will never remember our past lifetimes. If only they could forget theirs.
Stephen T. Harper | KingsXsaga

Offline anniejocoby

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I have another question haha. How long does it take for you to edit your book? Or do you edit as you go? I find that that is what is slowing me down and I'm trying to pick up the pace!! And by editing...I mean...making sure it's publish ready you know? Like do you write a scene or two a day and edit that and make it perfect....or do you edit at the very end? :)

I do edit as I go. I pretty much read through it as I write, and make corrections. Then, at the very end, I read it all through again. I have found, perhaps not surprisingly, that my every book gets cleaner than the last. One day I hope to have a book without any silly mistakes, but that's probably asking too much. I always have one or two missing or extra words! :)

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
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Offline anniejocoby

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I used to pay for outside editing, but it just became too expensive and time consuming. And what's more, even though I used 3 different editors, they all said my manuscripts were extremely clean and they had few corrections.

One of the things that have helped is the dictation software "Dragon: Naturally Speaking". You can use it to transcribe what you speak, but the function that I find most useful is that Dragon can read back your typewritten chapters.

I will read along as Dragon is reading out loud, and I will hear errors that my eyes will miss. It has been incredibly helpful and I highly recommend it to self-editors. And it is less than $75 dollars, so it pays for itself quickly, if you compare it to the price of a good edit. http://www.nuance.com/dragon/index.htm

 

That sounds awesome! I think that I will check that out! :)

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
Annie Jocoby | ]Badge[/url] | Annie Jocoby website

Offline Stephen T. Harper

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I do edit as I go. I pretty much read through it as I write, and make corrections. Then, at the very end, I read it all through again. I have found, perhaps not surprisingly, that my every book gets cleaner than the last. One day I hope to have a book without any silly mistakes, but that's probably asking too much. I always have one or two missing or extra words! :)

You  know, even today, the editors of The Grapes of Wrath havent caught a couple of mistakes that appear somewhere in the first 100 pages. 

Most of us will never remember our past lifetimes. If only they could forget theirs.
Stephen T. Harper | KingsXsaga

Offline anniejocoby

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Thanks for sharing. Just a note--your amazing covers must also be a part of your success. They rock!

Aw, thanks! Viola Estrella. She rocks! Only $100 too. Love her!

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
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Offline anniejocoby

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You  know, even today, the editors of The Grapes of Wrath haven't caught a couple of mistakes that appear somewhere in the first 100 pages. 

That does make me feel better! Broken had two mistakes that a friend caught, and she accused me of being "sloppy." Nice to know that Steinbeck was just as "sloppy!" :)

Two dollars! Two dollars! I want my two dollars!!!
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Offline Stephen T. Harper

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Im still looking at that dictation software.  Anybody else use it?  Whats it really like to write something long form on it?

Thinking about this is really making me wonder if I could actually write just as well if I spoke the words.  I think I pause a lot, then think of a better way to express the idea half way through.  I just started thinking about the chapter I plan to write tomorrow, and started writing out loud to see what it would be like.  It wasnt very good.  That is, I wasnt very good. 

But maybe Id get used to it.

Anybody else with experience using this software?

Most of us will never remember our past lifetimes. If only they could forget theirs.
Stephen T. Harper | KingsXsaga

Offline EC Sheedy

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I'm in the process of moving, so I haven't been dropping in to the Writer's Cafe as much as I usually do. (Which is usually way, way too much!) But I wanted to add my voice to the Gratitude Chorus. Great post, full of useful ideas and inspiration. Thank you so much!

"Perma free, perma free," she mutters as she turns off the lights.
 

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Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever."   ― Philip Pullman

Offline coolpixel

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Thanks, Gemini! I wish you luck with the permafree, just have patience! As I noted to other posters, I started with a 3% read-through rate, and I now have a 12% read-through rate on Beautiful Illusions and a 25% read-through rate for Broken. So, if your read-through rate starts out small, don't be too discouraged. I have read that with other posters as well - the read-through rate keeps growing as you get more established.

And, yeah, I'm a little bit perplexed on why I can't get a BookBub ad for Broken. I just tried again yesterday, so we shall see....

Bella, yeah, I think that Freebooksy takes any book lengths at all. I think. At any rate, they are well worth the price! I have had enormous success with them, as have other posters here, so you should do great! Good luck!

i am having a slow day... what's read-through rate?

btw i think Tattooed Warrior also has a very high book production rate and i think he too self-edits.


Offline Nathaniel Burns

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Excellent advice, Annie. Thank you for sharing. I love posts like this.  :)

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Offline SA_Archer

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Thanks again.  Here's a key question not mentioned on their website:

Can you use the keyboard and dictate at the same time?  Meaning, can you just hit "return" instead of saying "New Paragraph?"  Or just type a period and keep talking with a new sentence? 

That would make a big difference for me. I think if was writing fiction and had to keep speaking all the commands I'd lose my place in the story.

Would you recommend this for just a slow typist?

You can just hit the keyboard at any time while in dictation mode. I do it all the time to make corrections as it goes. I have tried not looking and just speaking to keep the flow, but the occasional mistakes are hard for me to figure out what I originally said, so it is better to watch it.

I think that there is a learning curve that you have to be prepared for, or you will get frustrated early on. As you are learning about it, Dragon is learning to translate your words. But, if you get past that, I think it would really increase the word count for a slow typist. It could even increase the word count for anyone for whom the story is often running ahead of them and they've found it hard to keep up.

Oh, one more thing to be prepared for! You'll want to change the settings to automatically save to the clipboard as a backup. Once in a while when you tell it to transfer, it just 'poofs' everything you've just written and there is no way to get it back if you've not done this. And that can be heartbreaking and frustrating. I have just gotten into the habit of transferring from the dictation window to Scrivener manually to be sure.

But overall, if you can get past it's few faults, I think it is an excellent tool. :)

Offline Harry Manners

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Some really excellent advice. Thank you so much. Bookmarked.
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Offline SA_Archer

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I'm still looking at that dictation software.  Anybody else use it?  Whats it really like to write something long form on it?

Thinking about this is really making me wonder if I could actually write just as well if I spoke the words.  I think I pause a lot, then think of a better way to express the idea half way through.  I just started thinking about the chapter I plan to write tomorrow, and started 'writing' out loud to see what it would be like.  It wasn't very good.  That is, I wasn't very good. 

But maybe I'd get used to it.

Anybody else with experience using this software?

I am going to start a new post in the Writer's Cafe about the software to open up the conversation to more input. :) I'll respond to your question there, Stephen. :)


Offline Stephen T. Harper

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I am going to start a new post in the Writer's Cafe about the software to open up the conversation to more input. :) I'll respond to your question there, Stephen. :)



Thanks!

Most of us will never remember our past lifetimes. If only they could forget theirs.
Stephen T. Harper | KingsXsaga

Offline D-C

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Just wanted to add - thanks for mentioning the 'don't be afraid of cliffhangers'. I've been wrestling with this for a while now. As a reader, I despise cliffhangers with the heat of a thousand suns (but - and this is key - I buy the next book!). I've given a book a low rating BECAUSE of a cliffhanger... and then gone on to  buy the next one (I did go back and change it once I'd calmed down).

As an author, I know the value in cliffhangers, but the reader in me wants to slap myself upside the head. If it sells books; it's a winner, as long as we don't mind the odd low rating coming in off the back of it. So - yay to the cliffhanger!

Offline SA_Archer

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Just wanted to add - thanks for mentioning the 'don't be afraid of cliffhangers'. I've been wrestling with this for a while now. As a reader, I despise cliffhangers with the heat of a thousand suns (but - and this is key - I buy the next book!). I've given a book a low rating BECAUSE of a cliffhanger... and then gone on to  buy the next one (I did go back and change it once I'd calmed down).

As an author, I know the value in cliffhangers, but the reader in me wants to slap myself upside the head. If it sells books; it's a winner, as long as we don't mind the odd low rating coming in off the back of it. So - yay to the cliffhanger!

How big of a cliffhanger do you leave? A main character in dire danger? A minor character in danger? Or have you 'won the battle, but the war still rages' kind of thing. Just curious. :)


Offline Stephen T. Harper

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Just wanted to add - thanks for mentioning the 'don't be afraid of cliffhangers'. I've been wrestling with this for a while now. As a reader, I despise cliffhangers with the heat of a thousand suns (but - and this is key - I buy the next book!). I've given a book a low rating BECAUSE of a cliffhanger... and then gone on to  buy the next one (I did go back and change it once I'd calmed down).

As an author, I know the value in cliffhangers, but the reader in me wants to slap myself upside the head. If it sells books; it's a winner, as long as we don't mind the odd low rating coming in off the back of it. So - yay to the cliffhanger!

Cliffhangers rule!  I love cliffhangers.  I think every chapter should end in a cliffhanger, then after the story is resolved at the end, there should be another cliffhanger just to keep the readers imagination going. 

Just between you and me, and the internet, the third book in my trilogy literally ends with someone hanging off of a cliff.  As all stories should.  Thats why God invented sequels.

Yes, the story is complete and the danger averted. You assume shes going to climb back up and be alright (after all, nearly falling from a cliff was the least of her problems a few pages ago) but nevertheless, she is last seen above a long drop. 

Most of us will never remember our past lifetimes. If only they could forget theirs.
Stephen T. Harper | KingsXsaga

Offline Amy Corwin

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Annie:
Thank you so much for doing this. I'm not a newbie by any means but somehow, your post hit me at the right time to give me a bit of hope.

I've been avoiding a lot of posts because I get so depressed reading the phenomenal sales numbers other writers chat about. But you were able to give cogent, optimistic, and helpful tips that I personally found very useful. And optimistic is key, here. I've applied and never been able to get a bookbub ad. And I avoided the perma-free thing after trying it for a while, but you've made me reconsider, and that's important.

The key thing for me (and others) to remember is that you can always revise your strategy.

I'm a slow writer--two or three books a year is about all I can manage--but I'm still hoping to find my audience. Perhaps it will take longer, since I have to build up sufficient books, but I think I may eventually meet my very modest goals.

So thanks again. I needed your touch of optimism--it was the right combination of encouraging words at just the right time.
Amy