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Author Topic: What motivated you to publish your first story?  (Read 1383 times)  

Offline Lorri Moulton

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What motivated you to publish your first story?
« on: February 08, 2018, 09:58:48 AM »
The first book I published was for my dad, who was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.  I wanted to get his stories down on paper since he had such wonderful memories of spending time with his grandfather.  When my dad was six years old, he spent most of the summer with his paternal grandfather.

My dad would tell me about those memories on the phone (he lives across the country) and I started taking notes.  Sometimes, he'd have a sentence or two...other times a complete short story.

To surprise him on Father's Day, I took the notes and turned them into a collection of short stories.  Some are pretty close to the truth, while others are mostly fiction.  Those were the ones that were a sentence of two.

The point was to capture the nostalgia and sentiment behind his experiences.  So, I spent all Father's Day trying to figure out how to publish a book on Amazon! LOL  When I finally got it done (it was about 7pm) I called my dad and told him.  He was very happy and said it was a great Father's Day gift. 

My dad is still fighting the good fight, but the hospital sent him home with Hospice care a few months ago.  He's stuck in bed, but calls me about once a week just to give me a new story idea.  The rest of the time we talk about everything else, but he sometimes calls about a dream he had or another memory of his grandfather.  The last call was an idea for a children's book.  I think I might have to give that one a try. :)

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Offline Sam Rivers

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2018, 10:14:08 AM »
Older people were great story tellers and told stories about their childhood and other things. Now that art has gone away since nobody wants to listen. They prefer TV and video games over story telling.

Offline scott.marmorstein

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2018, 10:19:55 AM »
I had a story bouncing around in my head for years. It wouldn't leave me alone. At this point, I'd already published another book that was nonfiction (back in 2006). It cost a lot to do it. So fiction, at that time, was just out of the question. One day years later, while this story idea was still bouncing around in my head, someone on facebook told me to check out KDP. I did, and then I found CreateSpace. By then I was ready to write that story down.

It became PURSUIT. I'm currently working on the 3rd installment, trying to get it ready for publication. It's taken me 1.5 years to write the final volume, and over a year to get my editor (my very critical wife) to slog through it and make me rip what's left of my hair out. She's probably the best editor I have because she tells me straight up when she doesn't believe a character, doesn't like them, doesn't like a chapter I wrote ("because it doesn't further the plot" etc.).

Anyway, PURSUIT was the one story idea I had for years and years before it ever became an actual book. I'm glad its out there. I think I just needed to write it because, finally, I could actually get it out there.
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Offline Skip Knox

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2018, 10:38:28 AM »
That question could only be asked in the present age of self-publishing!  Before, it would be what motivated you to *write* your first story. Publishing was a whole other animal.

So, writing stories is something I've done for most of my life. I even sent a short story off to Galaxy Magazine back in the early '70s. Got a rejection letter, hand-written, from H.L. Gold himself. The decades rolled on and I continued to write notes, ideas, poems, unfinished stories -- the usual. Then, one day in 2005, that letter showed up again. My wife had found it in a box of papers that had followed us all around our various moves. She put it on my desk. It was the usual sort of rejection letter: thanks but no thanks, keep trying. And somehow, that last, probably offhand, encouragement resonated. Keep trying. In 2014 I got a short story published. In 2015 I self-published a novelette, published another in 2016, and in 2017 self-published a full novel.

So, you could say that what motivated me was that failure, forty years before, and a few chance words, plus a wife who put a piece of paper on a desk at just the right time.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2018, 10:39:55 AM »
Not a what but a who. I was helping a friend with his story when I made the realization that I could do that, too. Until that point, I'd thought from time to time, "Oh, I could write a book," but never took it seriously because of all the hassles of trad pub. I jotted ideas down but never did anything with them. Discovering self pub as an option made it a viable one. Once I started writing my story, I wanted to finish before my mom got too old to appreciate it. She loves reading, though mostly stuff I don't read.

Offline wilsonharp

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2018, 10:48:35 AM »
I started working on what became my first finished novel when I couldn't find what I wanted to read. I wanted a non-sardonic, non-sarcastic hero to root for. I wanted a military sci-fi story where the military men fought hard to protect Earth and humanity without lapsing into the anti-hero model. I couldn't really find a story like that, at least not a recent story, so I started writing down the ideas of what I would want to read.

Then, when I suddenly and unexpectedly lost my long-time job, I started looking around at ways to make enough money to survive. Read about KDP, finished up my story, and put it up for sale.

If necessity is the mother of invention, then desperation is the drunken uncle of publishing.
     

Offline Rosie Scott

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2018, 10:57:14 AM »
Interesting question and responses so far!  ;)

I first published in 2010 with the expectation of selling nothing, and all because so many people in my friends and family were wanting to read and/or have copies of my books and I didn't have enough to go around. I checked CreateSpace out and saw that it was cheaper to publish actual paperbacks than to continue relying on computer paper and printer ink, so I published a few of my stories and bought a few copies to spread around. I also published on KDP just because it was an easy process. I'd been writing books for many years at that point, but other than submitting to a publisher once I never wanted to be published because I believe in having total creative control. I don't tend to write conventionally and I like it that way. I knew I'd butt heads with anyone who wanted to change things (even covers!). Self-publishing always had a bad rap growing up so I never considered it.

Lo and behold, my books started selling themselves. I went online to check my accounts one day and noticed I'd sold a number of copies and had a detailed 5-star review on one of them. I was shocked that strangers were reading and liking my stories because you always have a feeling that family over-exaggerates your skill.  :P I decided then that I'd take it seriously. I eventually retired all of the books I'd written in genres I didn't want to be known for and focused on writing in the genres I do now. I write a dozen or so books per year but I only publish the ones in these three genres. Maybe someday I'll create a pen name for the other books.

TL;DR What motivated me? Mooching family members and expensive printer ink. What keeps me going? The fact that strangers like the stuff my imagination spews out on paper.

Dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy. Writer of bloody warfare & witty banter. Provoker of questions.
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Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2018, 11:01:33 AM »
Older people were great story tellers and told stories about their childhood and other things. Now that art has gone away since nobody wants to listen. They prefer TV and video games over story telling.

I have always loved stories and used to listen to my grandmother on my mom's side talk about all the family history.  She made those people (long dead by the time I heard about them) come to life.  Her grandmother was my second story and her great-grandmother was my first novel.  Granted, there's a lot of fiction added to fill in the gaps, but the ideas came from my grandmother.  She was a remarkable woman and a gifted storyteller. 


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Offline DIAMONDSINTHESKY

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2018, 11:13:12 AM »
Interesting question and responses so far!  ;)

I first published in 2010 with the expectation of selling nothing, and all because so many people in my friends and family were wanting to read and/or have copies of my books and I didn't have enough to go around. I checked CreateSpace out and saw that it was cheaper to publish actual paperbacks than to continue relying on computer paper and printer ink, so I published a few of my stories and bought a few copies to spread around. I also published on KDP just because it was an easy process. I'd been writing books for many years at that point, but other than submitting to a publisher once I never wanted to be published because I believe in having total creative control. I don't tend to write conventionally and I like it that way. I knew I'd butt heads with anyone who wanted to change things (even covers!). Self-publishing always had a bad rap growing up so I never considered it.

Lo and behold, my books started selling themselves. I went online to check my accounts one day and noticed I'd sold a number of copies and had a detailed 5-star review on one of them. I was shocked that strangers were reading and liking my stories because you always have a feeling that family over-exaggerates your skill.  :P I decided then that I'd take it seriously. I eventually retired all of the books I'd written in genres I didn't want to be known for and focused on writing in the genres I do now. I write a dozen or so books per year but I only publish the ones in these three genres. Maybe someday I'll create a pen name for the other books.

TL;DR What motivated me? Mooching family members and expensive printer ink. What keeps me going? The fact that strangers like the stuff my imagination spews out on pap

Your books have VERY COOL covers  8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

Offline DIAMONDSINTHESKY

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2018, 11:23:02 AM »
Without getting into the actual content of the story of my book, the other motivations for actually sitting down and writing were several:

1) It was possible. The changes in the publishing world, the advent of Createspace, KDP and Ingramspark had changed the publishing world forever, as had Amazon. I knew if I couldn't find a publisher I could actually publish this book myself, maintain quality control and do it myself, as well as bring in other elements from my other job to help assist the process.

2) A window in which to write. A film project I had been working on for what seemed like forever got delayed and I had a big window doing nothing, so my partner, best friend and supporter said to me 'Maybe you should write that book you've been talking about while you have some time.' So, I did.

3) Potential to be sold as a TV series. I work in this realm anyway and knew everyone was crying out for new content, so I thought I should write something that had that potential and set myself about the task accordingly. When they come a calling, I will even have the scripts ready for them to read.

4) I always wanted to. Since my childhood, I always was going to write a book (And did, back then, in old exercise books with barely legible handwriting, full of fantasy maps of strange worlds, you get the idea)

5) I am not getting any younger. Never underestimate the value of time. It is your most precious commodity. If I was going to do this I needed to get off my ass and make it happen.

6) Dedicating the work to a friend of mine who is no longer here. My book has a dedication both in the front and in the forward. They passed away towards the end of 2016, at just 42. I have lost other friends at a young age before and suddenly there was another one. She and I shared an eight-hour phone call once, a really long time ago, where she talked me out of doing something really stupid. To write something dedicated to her, was the biggest motivator of all.

Offline thevoiceofone

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 11:24:49 AM »
A desire to tell a story that i wanted to read that wasn't out there.

Offline DIAMONDSINTHESKY

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 11:33:36 AM »
A desire to tell a story that i wanted to read that wasn't out there.

Ah yes, and that!!!!!!

Offline ruecole

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 11:39:14 AM »
I think this is still two questions. Not everything we write needs to be published. I've got a whole suitcase of writing that will never see the light of day. Lol

Why did I publish my first book? $$$ of course. Lol

Why did I write that book? Because there weren't enough children's books with realistic rabbits in them. Write what you want to read, right?

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Offline Lorri Moulton

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 12:00:59 PM »
Thank you for all the responses!

I can see why it may seem like two questions, but I'm interested in what motivated people to publish their first book.  I had written non-fiction, but didn't publish anything until my short stories.  That's when the desire to publish was stronger than the scary unknown of trying to figure out Amazon. 

I'm not very tech savvy, so it took me hours of watching YouTube videos. :o


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Offline joyceharmon

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 12:06:30 PM »
I published my first story because I read an on-line article about self-publishing e-books and thought, say, don't I have a mystery gathering dust in the filing cabinet? I'd written the mystery back in the 90s. But it was too short to meet the guidelines of the publishers I'd found in Writer's Market. The other problem was that I wrote it to be all 'high-tech' and what was high-tech kept changing. I kept telling myself 'I need to expand it and bring it up to date', but the tech changed and changed again, and it was reaching the point where the characters were just going to be too old (there was a Vietnam War backstory that kinda pinned them to a particular era), so the mystery sort of got pushed off the back burner to behind the stove where it moldered for almost twenty years.

After I read the thing about e-books, I got out the mystery and reread it, and enough time had passed that the stuff that was getting outdated when I was thinking revision now seemed Quaint and Period. So I wrote a present-day prologue and epilogue and published it. That was Died On The Vine, based on my work as a winery tour guide. Then I wrote a sequel, Bidding On Death, informed by the heady early days of eBay. But what I discovered was that writing a setting in the recent past is fairly difficult, having to keep stopping to check if a particular thing had been invented yet. So I switched to Regency, where I knew I wouldn't accidentally have characters googling before the dawn of Google, and here we are today...

Offline Carol Davis

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2018, 12:28:37 PM »
I started publishing my stories as fanzines back in 1987. I'd seen zines at the Star Trek conventions, saw that people were willing to pay for them, and thought, "Huh. I can do that." The price I needed to charge in order to cover the printing costs was kind of high, and that worried me, but I managed to sell the whole 100-copy print run. That was enough of a success to keep me generating zines until around 2004.

Then the Internet really kicked in, and I "published" fanfic online for 10 years.

When KDP started up, it caught my eye, but the initial information kept saying, "Your book..." And I thought, well, I don't have any books [novels]," so I walked away. Then Kindle Worlds appeared, and... well, fanfic. Making some actual money from fanfic. That was my tutorial in the world of indy publishing, and later in 2014 I moved on to KDP and some non-fanfic books. This year, I'll be publishing my 50th title!

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Offline rdperry57

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 12:52:59 PM »
When my son told me about NaNoWriMo in 2016, I was fascinated by the concept of writing an entire novel in 30 days. It turned out really well, IMHO, so I was anxious to share the book and see if anyone else agreed. I guess I was motivated originally by the challenge and then published as a way of completing the process.

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Offline CynthiaClay

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 01:02:02 PM »
Two things collided. One was that an agent I had reported she couldn't sell my sf novel, Zollocco, even though the editors liked it. This was the late 80's when sf was still largely written and purchased by men. The other was that I bought my friend's Capro computer. I posted a few of my novels online and offered them for sale. Paypal did not exist then. Some other company did which I used for taking payments. Then my friend's husband told me there was a new company, Peanut Press, and they were taking books. So I contacted them, and they took all my books! Yay! But then Peanut Press was sold to another company that was not much interested in e-books. The prejudice against e-books at the time was terrible! The guys who had started Peanut Press eventually started Fictionwise, so I took my books there. Before that, though, another new e-publisher, Bookbooters took my books. Bookbooters sadly went belly up after a few years.

As a woman writing environmental sf, I could not crack the sf world of the time. So I thought maybe I better write romance, and so I researched the requirements that publishers of romance novels required. It was incredibly constricting. One view point. No subplots. No this. No that. I wrote a Regency Romance  under a pen name to differentiate it from my speculative fiction, but did not bother send it anywhere because it did not follow required specs. (An Affection for an Unmarried Lady).

Eventually I wrote an important academic book on literary and drama theory and spent a year trying to get it published. Though editors liked it (of very respected academic houses) again marketing said no. So I self published it. (Vector Theory and the Plot Structures of Literature and Drama). I thought this book would help me get a job in a university teaching, but nope. Hiring freezes. However, conventions are always glad to have me, and that's lots of fun.

My inlaws moved in and made my life a total misery; therefore, I decided I would write a fantasy saga a la Game of Thrones, but one where the characters are not always being killed off and more of the sort of thing women would like (naked men, children, chocolate) and thereby have a wonderful world to exist in despite the in-laws. The first book was too long. Waaaayyyy too long, so no agent picked it up. So I chopped it in half and send the first half to an on-line publisher who accepted the first half, first book I mean. This was a pretty big publisher, but within a year of my book being accepted and it being in the middle of its publishing process, the publisher went under. So I selfpubbed it.

Searching for agents and publishers took so much time that I thought I better just stick with the internet. I used Booksurge  and Lulu for POD's and then Booksurge was eaten by Createspace which is owned by Amazon even though they are now making "their own" POD's. While I was at it, I published my father's two books, one a historical novella, The Joshua Machine, the other a book on theater theory, The Theatrical Image, and my father's-in-law utopian novel Mundillia, a Spanish language novel that I have never read because I don't speak Spanish. (It was my husband's brother and his family, not my father-in-law making my life miserable.)


That's my saga! Thanks for asking! I am enjoying everyone's stories. I've also finally been able to wring out of my mother her life stories, and they are pretty fascinating. Roosevelt patted her on the head and spoke with her when she was a tiny child. He was making a political stop by way of train.








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Offline eddarrow

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 01:03:13 PM »
All these posts are so inspiring. I just published for the first time (it came out today).

What made me want to? I have these totally screwball ideas in my head...stories that hammer on the walls of my mind nonstop until I write them down. I don't think I'll be making any money anytime soon from what I got out there now (a short story), but for me, it's just about the fact that I can publish something, I can tell a story, and I can share it with the world.
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Offline BookMagic

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 01:40:30 PM »
I wrote for years before I ever even told anybody about it. As a kid, other kids tended to look down at me for even reading, let alone writing. It wasn't until I got married and drove my husband crazy by writing, writing, writing all day long, as soon as I came back from my day job, that I even considered publishing, and I only did so because he insisted I showed the world "what I did all day, every day instead of hanging out with him", lol. If it wasn't for him, I would have never published anything.

Offline Lisa Manifold

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2018, 01:46:09 PM »
Years of fan fic, loads of query rejections, and a really bad first novel in serialized format for someone else's publishing company.

I was not an enthusiastic convert to self pub. I was trad all the way. But I read a talk from one of the big indies, and it resonated with me. I spent another year researching how to do it. LOL, and did most of it wrong.




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Offline Becca Mills

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 01:57:15 PM »
I'd been reading tons of urban fantasy, and I thought, "How hard could it be to write one of these things?"

Um, yeah. It's hard. ;)

Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2018, 02:13:49 PM »
Worm, the awesome web serial by Wildbow.  8) It was extremely inspiring because it was also his first attempt at writing and publishing anything longer than a short story online.

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Offline Annie B

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2018, 03:53:47 PM »
A publisher accepted and paid me for it. ;)

Offline J. Tanner

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2018, 04:02:08 PM »
See AnnieB's answer for the old days.

For the new days, it seemed fun. Simple as that.
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Offline Evelyn Alexie

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2018, 06:55:00 PM »
A publisher accepted and paid me for it. ;)

That was my motivation too. I used the advance to pay for an editor and cover for my second story.
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Offline Pandorra

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2018, 07:06:14 PM »
My daughter.. she wanted a specific story on magic, which turned into elera .. I was halfway done when I started looking into self-publishing because she wanted to share it with her friends and I thought it would be a good way to raise money for a surgery I need ... now I am addicted and put 8 books out in four months with several more nearly completed and / or in the works ... so it goes .. lol
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Offline Rose Andrews

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2018, 07:25:23 PM »
Publishing was my destiny.  :D

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Offline Joe Congel

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2018, 08:17:19 PM »
I had done some cartoon illustrations for a book a friend of mine wrote back in the early '90s. We had taken somewhat of a trad route, publishing with a small college publishing house that had offered us an equally small contract. It was a positive experience and gave me great insight as to how much work was involved in putting out any kind of book. And I loved the work - enough to try my hand at the actual writing part. I fell in love with the process of writing. I also decided that I was better at writing than at drawing - They say a picture is worth a thousand words... What I found, was that I'd rather write the thousand words.

The motivation to publish? Developing the idea, forming it into a story, actually finishing the book - all a sense of accomplishment. But publishing the work, that, at least for me, was a sense of completion... which was very gratifying, and it's what motivated me to hit that button to publish the first time.

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Offline Max 007

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 08:43:39 PM »
That question could only be asked in the present age of self-publishing!  Before, it would be what motivated you to *write* your first story. Publishing was a whole other animal.

So, writing stories is something I've done for most of my life. I even sent a short story off to Galaxy Magazine back in the early '70s. Got a rejection letter, hand-written, from H.L. Gold himself. The decades rolled on and I continued to write notes, ideas, poems, unfinished stories -- the usual. Then, one day in 2005, that letter showed up again. My wife had found it in a box of papers that had followed us all around our various moves. She put it on my desk. It was the usual sort of rejection letter: thanks but no thanks, keep trying. And somehow, that last, probably offhand, encouragement resonated. Keep trying. In 2014 I got a short story published. In 2015 I self-published a novelette, published another in 2016, and in 2017 self-published a full novel.

So, you could say that what motivated me was that failure, forty years before, and a few chance words, plus a wife who put a piece of paper on a desk at just the right time.

Hey Skip, those were the days.  I still love good SF&F --- I actually talked to him through email ... it was the dawn of the WWW ... he asked me, "How the hell am I going to make any money with the WWW crap?!" He saw the competition. I just happen to come across him and we talked a tiny bit.

I said, "I don't know." I was honest (it was long before Amazon took off.)" Then Amazon came along. I saw that he put all his Galaxy Mags on Amazon. Cool huh. 

Small editors like him are a thing of the past with Amazon so open. But with 10000 books coming in a month to Amazon, I begin to wonder how to answer the same question he had; but now, Amazon is the wrinkle that has to be figured out. Writing I think is mostly a vanity process. Mag' editors made money on good writing as best they could get.

Write ... have fun, and we will all see where this leads. That is my real motivation ... fun fun fun

« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 04:41:14 AM by Picky Android »

Offline Norman Steele Taylor

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2018, 12:23:18 AM »
I've always had these 'imaginative flashes' involving certain story arcs as well as story details.

Thinking about them without expressing them in written form felt pretty much like having a piece of peanut butter stuck at the back portion of the roof of my mouth :)

You can say writing helps me smoothen out my 'mental muscles'


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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2018, 02:35:17 AM »
I'd never once thought about being a writer until the day I read a really bad rockstar romance. I was grumbling to myself that even I could do a better job. After thinking about it for a day or two, I grabbed my laptop and started writing. Because I was a little embarrassed by my new hobby, I was careful not to let anyone know what I was up to. When I'd finished, I had no idea what to do with the story so I researched independent publishing. I released it a month later on Amazon with my only goal being to get feedback. My first review came in eight days later, but by then the book was already selling. To my complete shock, by week three it had taken off by word of mouth and went on to become a bestseller. And I still hadn't told my family I wrote it. ;D

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2018, 03:58:40 AM »
I finished my first book while I was stuck at home recuperating from an accident. I knew I could never go back to my previous career, so I had a vague idea of taking a year to buckle down and focus on writing as my new career. I wasn't exactly clear on the details, but self-publishing never really seemed like an option at that point. Unfortunately, my marriage ended exactly three days after I wrote "The End" for the first time, and I panicked. I couldn't face that manuscript without getting angry at my ex, my accident, myself. Basically, the first weekend that I was alone while the kids were with their dad, I sat down with my computer and a big bottle of cheap wine and impulsively threw the book up on Amazon just to see what would happen. I planned on un-publishing it in 90 days if it bombed.

Of course, it bombed. It was badly edited, barely proofread, not much more than a rough draft with a homemade cover and not a clue. But by the time my 90 days was up, I had started learning and I never went back. I'm still not a big success story; I still have so much to learn and my books aren't huge sellers. But each one is better than the last and I am having so much fun! I'm so glad I decided to go with self-publishing, although I wish I would have taken my time and gone through a bit of the learning process before publishing that first book (which has since been edited and revised, obviously).

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2018, 04:37:10 AM »
The first book I wrote, about forty years ago, came about through my non-fiction reading about the reformation. I had a love story entwined in it and didn't realise how much work it would be and how difficult it was to write a full length novel. In those days, it was typewriters and carbon paper and although I finished it, I never did anything with it.

The second book I wrote was based on the stories my mother used to tell about growing up, poverty stricken, in the east end of London. I had a very nice rejection letter for that one, but I don't do rejection so I never tried again. When I found out about kdp, that was the book that I still had a hard copy for, so I copied it out and published it. I got some good reviews and they motivated me to keep going.

The reformation book was the second one I published, having rewritten it almost from memory.


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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2018, 04:41:17 AM »
I've been writing all my life, on and off (mostly off, it has to be said; parenthood turned my brains to mush). I've always had stories in my head, but I didn't always write them down.

But then my mum got sick (old-type sick, she was a good age) and as I spent more time with her and she felt the end approaching, she talked a lot about various things. She told me about a story she'd carried round in her head for (literally) decades. She was a great Jane Austen fan, so it was a Regency romance, and she had all the names and relationships and the scenes and every detail. It was great stuff. And a couple of weeks later she was dead, and that story, those characters were just... gone. She never wrote it down, not a word. Nobody else could ever enjoy that story, and laugh at the funny bits and cry at the sad bits and get that warm HEA glow at the end.

I decided there and then that the characters in MY head weren't going to suffer that fate. I was going to get them out into the world, somehow, so that other people could read about them and bring them to life in their heads, too. It took me three years to knock something out that was vaguely story-shaped, as opposed to mere brain dribble, and work out how to do this new-fangled self-publishing thing. That was 2014, and I'm up to book 20 now, and it's been the most incredible fun. So thanks, Mum!
   

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Offline Sapphire

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2018, 07:55:09 AM »
Writing a book was on my bucket list. I had no thought of publishing or making money or anyone else even reading it. On early retirement from my 3rd career, I sat down to fulfill that particular item on my bucket list. I was, and am, very proud of my first book. However, it lives only in my laptop and that's a good place for it. However, once I finished it, I had a burning desire to write a book I could publish. And so I did. It's never been a big seller even with a high review average. I wrote another and another until I had a series of three with each book a little better than the one before. I've sidelined with some short works since then, but am now working on a brand new novel. I'm writing it as a stand-alone. That may not be turn out to be the case because I already have ideas of future story lines popping into my head.


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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #36 on: February 09, 2018, 08:26:12 AM »
I lived in China for nearly five years and while there I volunteered in an orphanage. The only way I could get through the travesties I was witnessing (abuse, starvation, death row, etc) was to journal it at night as I ranted at a God that would allow this. I began sending some of my journal entries out through email to gain support for surgeries, etc.. and people were fascinated and insisted the world needed to know what I was seeing. I put it all together and no agent would touch it. So I published it with the name Silent Tears, as it amazed and saddened me that infants and toddlers cried silently because they didn't expect comfort to come. The book did great out of the gate, via word of mouth. Amazon Publishing came knocking and asked to obtain it. The rest is history and the memoir that agents said was too sad and no one would want to publish has sold well over 100,000 copies.

Then I began writing fiction.
 :)


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Offline Jessie G. Talbot

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #37 on: February 09, 2018, 09:20:23 AM »
I'd always wanted to be a writer but how to get started? Luckily I discovered fanfiction which helped me break out of my shell (and is a great learning tool) which was enormous fun. BUT I could always see room for improvement and my original work being rejected by publishers didn't help my perfectionism. It wasn't until a perfect storm of financial despair, bad health, a terrible book that gave me the THIS-Is-Professionally-Published?! moment, and discovering self-publishing was even possible, before I took the leap.

Not much different from everyone's else's story! I only regret getting started late.

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Offline LarryM

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2018, 02:40:12 PM »
Two things got me started.

In 1989, I had recently broken up with a girlfriend and decided to take a trip to Hawaii to make myself feel better. During that week in paradise, each night I wrote some brief notes about what I had done that day. I figured I'd never get back there and along with the pictures I was taking, wanted to get some things in writing to remember in later years how much fun it was.

After returning home, I finished it, with no intention of trying to publish it. My brother read it, and he suggested I try writing more. He had been trying to get published for years with little success.

Both my Dad and brother were, at the time, professional fishing guides. Although I had no interest in fishing, I remembered some experiences and some conversations about fishing which were funny. I wrote an 1100-word piece called 'Outcast.' My Dad read it, and thought it was funny, so I started sending it to various publications.

Over the next two years, that piece was published in two magazines. I didn't make much from it, but it got me writing, and I'm still at it all these years later.
Larry



Offline AmesburyArcher

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2018, 03:58:23 AM »
I'd always written since childhood and had lots of short stories published in the 1980's...but then in the 90's I stopped. Other things, like moving abroad, got in the way. I always breezily said I'd get back to it, but the best I did was a half-finished manuscript I printed out and tossed in a closet.
Then in 2002 I got sick. Really, scary sick because no one could find out what was wrong.  I even began to go blind. They thought I had a brain tumour or MS. Tests ruled both out.
I began to recover, more or less. Having such a big shock kicked me into action. No one can say you will be able to 'do something later.' I'd written all my life and had let it go. So, no more procrastination. In my head, I still had an idea about trad publishing, but  I was beginning to hear more and more about indie publishing, and knew the world was changing.
I wrote that first strange little YA novel by hand because I thought it would force me to finish it that way. It took a long time. I had it accepted by a small press,but agh, after 3 years and false starts, it never got published. I asked for it to be released to me and published  it myself. It is a weird litle tale and never sold a lot, but it broke the ice for me and I was able to continue writing novels at a fairly steady rate thereafter.


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Online wearywanderer64

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2018, 04:13:34 AM »
I took ill and had to take time off work for the first time in seven years. I was only paid the statutory sick pay. I was angry because I felt the company could have chipped in as times were hard for me. As I wasted away, a friend said the Herald was doing a short story competition jointly with Canongate, an Edinburgh imprint. The anger about call centre work poured out of me while writing. Long story short, I was one of the seventeen joint winners for the anthology. I won a thousand pounds. I can't tell you how handy that money came in. Not long after that I was hospitalised, but managed to pull through. From then on, I've had  few things published.

 p.s. from what I've seen here, emotion and illness played a big part in writing careers.
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Offline Ashly Kim

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2018, 05:07:39 AM »
Not publish, but write my first story - it was the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  My mom and I saw it together one day when I was like...14?  Maybe?  And I was so inspired to write my own pirate story.  Which I did.  And it was terrible :D

I'd always been a huge reader growing up, so writing kind of fell in there naturally after a while and I realized that one day, I wanted to actually publish something.  Then all I did was talk about it FOR YEARS.  Sometime last year, I just got really mad at myself and decided to get it done.  Man, I wish I'd started so much sooner. 
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Offline Jaelynn

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2018, 05:41:47 AM »
I used to work at Borders and we could check out books for free. After reading those, it really inspired me to want to write again. Prior to that, I hadn't written since my fanfiction.net days. I got a lot of eyes and good reviews for my stuff, but I never knew how to end a book. Those fanfics are incomplete to this day. I guess you could say I didn't really have an understanding of plot and everything that made up a book. (This haunted me later because I tried to write a series as my first book but wrote myself into a corner and didn't know what to do).
Anyway, I was excited to start writing again but never ended up completing the story and life got in the way.

Not until years later when I was working at a call center and absolutely hated it did I start writing again. I was in a group that encouraged authors to self-publish. This was from 2011-2012 and I was still afraid of doing it because it seemed like too much work. I hadn't even heard of ebooks until then. Anyway, I took a bunch of PTO and vacation days off in January to start writing a new book. Then, since it was February when I had to return to work, I decided I didn't want to. I quit and paid up my bills with my tax refund check. Although I wouldn't end up finishing or publishing that book until June/July 2012 because I had writer's block and shifted over to writing another book in the meantime.

In short, it was hating the job I worked at, reading other books and I thinking, "I could do this! Heck, I may even be able to do better than this". And I noticed there was a lack of the type of books I wanted to read back then. Now the market is a bit saturated, but back then it was wide open.
I just wanted to do something that was fun and easy for me, yet also pay as much or more as the stupid 9-5 jobs I had and hated.

Online wearywanderer64

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2018, 05:49:00 AM »
I used to work at Borders and we could check out books for free. After reading those, it really inspired me to want to write again. Prior to that, I hadn't written since my fanfiction.net days. I got a lot of eyes and good reviews for my stuff, but I never knew how to end a book. Those fanfics are incomplete to this day. I guess you could say I didn't really have an understanding of plot and everything that made up a book. (This haunted me later because I tried to write a series as my first book but wrote myself into a corner and didn't know what to do).
Anyway, I was excited to start writing again but never ended up completing the story and life got in the way.

Not until years later when I was working at a call center and absolutely hated it did I start writing again. I was in a group that encouraged authors to self-publish. This was from 2011-2012 and I was still afraid of doing it because it seemed like too much work. I hadn't even heard of ebooks until then. Anyway, I took a bunch of PTO and vacation days off in January to start writing a new book. Then, since it was February when I had to return to work, I decided I didn't want to. I quit and paid up my bills with my tax refund check. Although I wouldn't end up finishing or publishing that book until June/July 2012 because I had writer's block and shifted over to writing another book in the meantime.

In short, it was hating the job I worked at, reading other books and I thinking, "I could do this! Heck, I may even be able to do better than this". And I noticed there was a lack of the type of books I wanted to read back then. Now the market is a bit saturated, but back then it was wide open.
I just wanted to do something that was fun and easy for me, yet also pay as much or more as the stupid 9-5 jobs I had and hated.

Don't talk to me about call centres! Grrrrr! (see my previous post)
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Offline WDR

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2018, 09:08:54 AM »
As a child, I initially hated reading because the stories they made us read were boring as hell. Then I discovered science fiction and my brain exploded. I became a rabid reader overnight. A year later, in fourth grade, my teacher introduced the class to creative writing. I had always been an imaginative child given to daydreaming. Suddenly I had an outlet for my penchant. I loved writing.

The problem was, no one told me I could just write whenever I wanted to. I always waited until we had a class on writing. It wouldn't be until high school when we had just one course on creative writing the entire time I was there that it began to occur to me that maybe I should write when I wanted to. But that wouldn't happen until I got to college and began using a computer to write with.

I always daydreamed about having a career as a writer. But I knew, even very early in my childhood, that getting a book published was difficult. The amount of time it took to write a book was a gamble to me, and as I entered adulthood and professional work I pushed writing aside as something I didn't have time to do. I had to work to get ahead and my attention went elsewhere.

Yet, I still daydreamed up stories and about becoming a writer.

In 2006, nearly 20 years after I graduated college, I had the opportunity to meet science fiction writer, Spider Robinson. We were on a cruise in Alaska so I had the opportunity to actually sit and chat with him on several occasions. I came out of that suddenly thinking about writing again. Not only that, but I was suddenly inspired to begin to start writing out some of the ideas that were in my head. More and more, those ideas began to grow and come out of me. I began to write more and more in my spare time.

At the same time, I was in a job I detested, working for a bunch of idiots who wasted money and mismanaged their company on a scale that was nearly unimaginable. During my commute, I began to write notes about the stories I wanted to write. It was a release from the stress of being in that awful job. I loved finally delving into my imagination and letting all those worlds and ideas out of my head!

A year later, in 2007, I walked out of that job...just before the economy began to tank. All the companies where I might have been able to find a position, suddenly disappeared almost overnight. I stopped writing because I had to focus on finding a job and getting income again. A friend of mine walked out of the same company, and an opportunity popped up: a family friend of his had a T-shirt printing business in a building he owned where the partner had given up and asked if we'd like to make a go at it. Everything started off well, but in 2008 the economy went off the rails and that pretty much destroyed whatever business we had. 2009 business dried up, and into 2010 we pretty much had nothing.

At that point, I knew I was in trouble. I had absolutely no up-to-date skills, I had been out of the job market for too long, so my prospects were pretty much null. I did a lot of soul searching during 2010. I did have one thing going for me: I had built up a large amount of savings and had a sizable nest egg in 401K retirement accounts.

Late 2010, after months of wondering what to do about getting a job, it finally struck me: all those years I had dreamed about being a writer but kept putting it off because I had to "get ahead." At this point, I had no job, no possibility of getting a decent job, and a huge amount of savings sitting there.

The 401Ks were sitting there waiting for my retirement. Why not use them now and invest in MYSELF as a writer? I had a long talk with my family and they all agreed: I should stop trying to find work and start working as a writer.

In 2011, that's what I did. I started writing. I haven't stopped since. My first book did decently, but the second book was what made my books explode on the market. I have high hopes for when I release my third book this year. I also have a second series in the works that I hope to release its first book this year.

I would certainly like to make more money in the near future, but I've never been happier with a career than I am now. Better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable in the office!
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Offline ellenoc

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2018, 09:40:28 AM »
I'd never once thought about being a writer until the day I read a really bad rockstar romance. I was grumbling to myself that even I could do a better job. After thinking about it for a day or two, I grabbed my laptop and started writing.

That's a little like what started me off. My sister and I were having one of those grumbling conversations about how we could write something better than x, y, z. The discussion ended with us making a bet with each other. The first one to write a book would win. I won by writing Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold. Winning the bet was all I intended, but after that my sister (who never did write a book) dragged me off to a writer's conference. I had no idea such a thing existed.

So I wrote another book and a half while exploring the traditional publishing world. This was back in the early 90's when I was one of the rare ebook enthusiasts in the world. Traditional and paper were IT. I entered a few writing contests because I couldn't find any other way to get feedback (found out fast that relatives and friends wouldn't be honest with me). Eyes was a finalist a couple of times and my mystery won that division of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers contest, but I also found out enough of about traditional publishing to totally put me off the whole thing - too little money for the time spent, too little control and several of the agents I met were, quite frankly, twits.

So when I found out about KDP (DTP then) in late 2009, I had 2-1/2 books sitting on my hard drive. I had expected those files would go to the dump with the machine when I died. However, as it happened I was very much in need of supplemental retirement income at the time and exploring several unattractive (to me) ways to get what I needed. So I figured what the heck and because the mystery, Rottweiler Rescue, had won the contest, been through a critique group, and was ready to go, I researched formatting, etc., and got it out, expecting nothing, figuring a couple of bucks was better than nothing. After all, everyone knew self-published books never sold.

It sold as I remember 187 copies in its first partial month with no promotion other than a mention on the Amazon authors forum, which allowed indies to post about their books back then, and in fact had several threads for it.

I'm mercenary. I admit it. I couldn't get Eyes out fast enough, finished the half book, and have kept going since then.

Offline Stagewalker

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2018, 06:14:43 PM »
Anger.

I was out of work. I had a lot of time on my hands. I wrote the beginnings of what would become "Stagehands Walk." I set it aside after showing it to a few friends who liked it.

I became a fan of Baen Books free online library and decided to write for Baen. My contribution to them was "Solomon Family Warriors." They hated it.

I started to write fantasy and found a publisher, Club Lighthouse. I wrote several books for them which are now on Amazon for Kindle.

When their site moved more toward erotica than I was comfortable with, I wrote to be directly published on Amazon. Even with ten books out, I still had not made enough money to pay the copyright fees.

Mostly I wrote because I was too fussy to watch television. and I bore easily.

I decided to give it one more try and wrote a story for Hallmark. They hated it.

Bob


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