Author Topic: What motivated you to publish your first story?  (Read 1165 times)  

Offline J. Tanner

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #25 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 #26 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 #27 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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Online Rosie A.

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #28 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 #29 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 Lyle 007

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #30 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 #31 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'


Offline jmb3

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #32 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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Online LadyG

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #33 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 #34 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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Online PaulineMRoss

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #35 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 #36 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.


Online Kay Bratt

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #37 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 #38 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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Online LarryM

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #39 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.
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Offline AmesburyArcher

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #40 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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Offline wearywanderer64

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #41 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 #42 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 #43 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.

Offline wearywanderer64

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Re: What motivated you to publish your first story?
« Reply #44 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 #45 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 #46 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 #47 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


Robert H. Cherny