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Messages - scott.marmorstein

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1
Is the KDP online print previewer similar to the CS previewer? Because I really love the way that works on CS.

It seems smoother to me in terms of load-time. It's otherwise the same exact thing in terms of how it looks and operates. Well done for KDP.

2
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone awake who can format?
« on: July 04, 2018, 03:43:13 AM »
Ah man! I would so help you but I'm at work away from my usual programs. :(
Hope someone out there can do the job. Good luck!

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 29, 2018, 02:53:37 AM »
Not to get too epistemological or whatever, but...

We write what we write in a discrete moment in time, a moment where our imagination is influenced by the news, recent movies or shows, books, news, the asshat that cut us off in traffic, a family death, new kitten, societal frustrations and even random conversations and thoughts that jump around in our heads. If we had written a specific passage last month instead of this week, would it be it better or worse? Would we put the same weight into the various themes? How would dialogue develop? For writers like me, pantsters, stories can turn on the smallest of details. So, the only thing I know for sure is that whatever I would have written then would be different from what I write now.

I've discovered that every single story I write has built upon the ones that preceded it. And moreover, I could not have written my current oeuvre in any other order. It's my opinion, that while we can force a project through to completion, the end result will be better if we let it come as it comes, as we learn the lessons necessary to make our ideas work on the page - which is not an excuse for procrastination. It's equally important to know when we are deceiving ourselves. Although, even then...the text will be influenced by that day's experience.

So my outlook can only be that everything that I've written was written exactly when it needed to be written, not only for that book but for all of the ones that followed - because, at the end of the day, any deviation along the way would have resulted in different books, and therefore, a completely different oeuvre - which means a different brand.

^^^here here!^^^

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Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 28, 2018, 03:06:32 PM »
I think this is just a good over all thread, but then...Iím biased.  :D

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I didn't know there was an argument against a series for horror genres. I never heard of this argument before. I'm a nobody (truly) but I don't see why you shouldn't try it out.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 22, 2018, 07:52:02 AM »
Weird. That post showed, then didn't, then I reposted it with a couple of tweaks, but you'd already quoted the first one, then I removed the first one as a double post, and now yours has appeared.  So you effectively just time-traveled.

I blame it on the wizard I'm writing about (except he can't actually time travel.)

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Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:35:25 AM »
Thanks. I hope it helps someone. It worked for me. But then, if you ask a porcupine how to solve your problem, they'll tell you to stick it with quills.

I want to point out, too, that I didn't spend 30 years writing the first book; at least, not exactly, depending on how you look at it. I wrote my first novel in high school, which is when I consider myself to have "started writing," and then got serious about this in college.

I spent about 15 years attempting the trad route and failing, including 18 months where a trad publisher loved my manuscript and asked for a series treatment, and then passed with a form letter a year later. After that, I wrote for myself as a hobby for a while, worldbuilding and researching, and finally quit writing fiction for about five-ish years, but still wrote professionally as a tech writer and editor. During all this, the book that's now Dragon's Trail went through several major revisions that would qualify as different books entirely. Reading them now, I'm glad none of them saw the light of day.

I was critically injured and damned near killed in OEF in 2012 and found a copy of the last manuscript on an old hard drive while I was in the hospital. I did a total, blank-page rewrite over several months as I was convalescing, and spent another year revising and then another year or so resubmitting to trad houses and getting turned down before hiring an editor and starting my own publishing company. So, Dragon's Trail as it exists today took about two years from stem to stern including editing, with a year or so in the middle fribbling around with trad publishers.

Key points from the half-dozen or so novel ideas and God knows how many false starts that I've written over all this time have all coalesced into what's now turning into this series. But it was 30 years of working at the craft that got me out of the gate with a successful debut when I finally launched on my own. Most of what I wrote for my first decade as "a struggling author" was crap. (I still write crap; I just revise it until it's not.)

Your tale is familiar to me. The writer's struggle is the writer's journey. The destination can look like anything, but at the end of the day, a writer is going to write as a personal metric of achievement and progress, of fulfillment.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 22, 2018, 06:33:17 AM »
Lovely thread, lots of great comments - thanks to Scott for starting this off.

One of the things I've always liked about visiting here is that the discussions which take place show that not everyone is the same and there are different routes to "success" (something not often talked about, here or elsewhere, is to be sure an define what "success" looks like for you - for some, it's a living wage, for others it's the thrill of other reading your book, and so on).

Fast, slow, hand-written, typed, dictated, written in crayon on the fridge - who cares.  If it works for you, it works.

I'm glad I started it, because I needed to reassure myself that finishing what I've started is absolutely important. The whole series might well be total crap (it doesn't sell much these days), but it's worth it because I want the story to end correctly.

And looking at other much more successful authors that I listed, well, they didn't give up--so what should I?

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 22, 2018, 02:19:09 AM »
My sequel comes out this fall, two years to the day from my debut, which has sold ten thousand copies, received mainstream critical acclaim, and generated inquiries into film rights. It's still getting reviews on major fantasy sites 18 months after release.

So, 90-day cliff, my ass.

A couple of weeks ago, I offered ARCs of The New Magic to reviewers who loved my debut, and the response has been fantastic. They don't care how long it's been. Every reader I've contacted has jumped at the chance to read Book II. 100% response rate.

One. Hundred. Percent.

There are no shortcuts, here. If you want a shortcut, you're in the wrong line of work. Three years is [bullcrap]. This is a lifetime effort. It took me nearly 30 years to learn to write well enough to write a book strong enough to fend for itself for two years while I wrote the next one.

Write hard. Grind your teeth. Drink. Swear. Pound your head on your desk. Rewrite. Take a week off. Do writing exercises. Take writing classes. Find a mentor. Find a writing group. Take a month off and read fifty books. Throw out entire chapters and start over. Get it right, FFS.

Approach every new book as if its title will be mentioned in the first line of your obituary. If you think it won't, then delete the son of a b*tch and write something that will. It takes as long as it takes. Just don't ever quit writing.

Pro tip: All that stuff above counts as "writing." Learning to write, which we spend most of our lives doing, is writing. Staring at the wall listening to music and twirling a pen is writing. Spending a week in a firewatch tower in the mountains with no cell service because the world sucks and you need some Me Time is writing. Cursing a merciless God and hitting DELETE is writing.

Just write until the writing is done. Because the writing is the easy part. When the writing is done, the work starts.

I'm so happy that your initial hard work has paid off and that your continuing hard work will really pay off. I feel the same way on almost every point. You sound like a professor friend of mine.

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 21, 2018, 08:56:08 AM »
I received an e-mail years ago by a "fan" who told me that I should give up. That I'm not a writer. That I'm just posing as one. Today I have six published books and three of them are bestsellers in Slovenia. It doesn't matter what other people think. If you believe in yourself good things will come.

I'm glad you didn't give up or listen to bad advice from a 'fan' who probably never tried to write a book in their life!

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 21, 2018, 08:55:30 AM »
Indeed.
But these boards have far more threads where the grindstone is set at a fixed, faster speed where the release schedule rules. It is very easy to doubt when it feels as if you are producing nothing.

This approach has a fixed quality filter (but a potential problem with getting things out the door).
The other gets things out the door and promotion is controlled to provide a quality appearance. And a regular income.

I think both camps have solid purpose and needs. Not every self-published indie author is doing this for the income or the regularity. We can't all do it the same way for various reasons. BUT, we can all do the self-publishing thing at our own speed. Some of us want to make a steady business of it (and have the time, means, and drive to push for it) and others of us contend with other obligations and life challenges that make that dream not immediately available...and yet we're born writers, we have stories we want to tell, and so we plod along hoping to do just that...you know, eventually. When we can. I'm just saying--don't give up. And sometimes, those long-as-can-be-to-publish-tomes are duds...and sometimes they're home runs.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 21, 2018, 02:23:36 AM »
This reminds me of what some authors say in response to the question of how long a story should be. That it should be the length it takes to tell the story well - period.

^^^^Yes^^^^

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 20, 2018, 09:35:20 AM »
Thanks for saying this!

I really needed to hear that this morning!

You're very welcome. :)

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Writers' Cafe / How long it takes. It takes what it takes.
« on: June 20, 2018, 08:15:40 AM »
Every time I think about giving up on my final book in a series because it's been over 3 years of working and reworking it to fit with the first two books, and to end on the correct note, I just don't.

I think about the fact that it took Tolkien 16 years to complete The Lord of The Rings trilogy. It took Victor Hugo 12 years to write Les Miserables. It took JD Salinger (a prolific writer if ever there was one) 10 years to write Catcher in The Rye! These are some of my literary heroes, and if they didn't give up, then neither can I.

I'm not in their league, I wouldn't pretend it. Aspiration, tenacity, and grit will (in the end) win the day. There's a job to do, and it takes as long as it takes. Writing is the business of my heart and soul and a business of the world second.

If you're thinking about giving up, please don't. We need more good stories. We need your stories.

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Everything remains broken
« on: June 20, 2018, 07:57:41 AM »
 :'(

Hopefully, you had 20x the sales to make up for it!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: "How we measure page reads" KDP notice
« on: June 20, 2018, 07:55:58 AM »
This whole thread is the argument supporting the case for going wide.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Does Smashwords Distribute to Google Play?
« on: June 18, 2018, 08:20:49 AM »
They don't publish to GP. If you can go direct, do so. If not, I would recommend: https://publishdrive.com

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Silly question, but where in the world is Hugh?
« on: June 18, 2018, 06:37:23 AM »
You're looking in the wrong place on Twitter because he loves it. I think he's still in Fiji, and he's sent probably a hundred tweets from there. Unfortunately, I just deleted my most recent ones, but he's there.

Thanks for the heads up. Just saw he responded to someone on twitter as well. Social Media is so weird.

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Writers' Cafe / Silly question, but where in the world is Hugh?
« on: June 18, 2018, 06:32:21 AM »
Howey, that is.

Hasn't been on Twitter since March. Not a peep on his website (which looks a lot different). I'm pretty sure he deleted facebook altogether too.

I keep thinking about that whirlwind writers-software he was telling us about, but he's not around with any kind of updates...least of all his books. Asking because maybe someone saw/heard something here I didn't.

UPDATE: he's on Twitter, never mind.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum print
« on: June 16, 2018, 09:47:35 AM »
PK, if youíre really used to InDesign, you probably have WAY more customization possibilities at your disposal for print than you will in Vellum. Iím a huge fan of Vellum, and they just recently allowed us to use our own ornamental breaks, but there are definite style-limitations. I think if you want to keep your work looking custom, you should stick with ID. But if youíre more concerned with shaving off a great deal of time, and can finagle your book for print in Vellum to something you can be happy with, then Vellum is a great choice. I think Vellum is for users like me who donít have time/patience to deal with kerning, paragraph space, embedding fonts, dealing with drop-caps, spread-balancing, and page numbering issues.

Also, Vellum isnít really awesome for non-fiction work. No way to do citations, bibliographies, indices, at present (I can totally see them adding those options in the future if they get enough votes for it). But for the standard novel, novella, short story, or non-fiction book that doesnít have tons of commentaries, or backmatter to refer to in order to make sense of the text (like you might get in certain Ďhow toí books), itís pretty damn great.

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: iPad workflow
« on: June 16, 2018, 03:58:00 AM »
I use my ipad for editing, too, except I just use google docs because I'm lazy. For some reason, editing is soo much better on the ipad than on the computer. I think it's a mindset shift and the color/brightness of the screen.

I love being able to add comments that I can check later, too.

agreed

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: iPad workflow
« on: June 16, 2018, 03:57:29 AM »
I'm an Androider but considering a switch, mainly for drawing but hmm.. which ipad version is this, or can they all handle split screen like that?

I just got the 2018 iPad (out of necessity because my son is using my laptop for certain things he canít do on his new PCófunny, that makes 2 of us because I use Vellum, so we share) but Iíve found for writing/editing, this is a wicked-awesome combo. I do not have the Pro iPad. Just the newest ipad 2018. I think itís an 11 inch. Works great. Got a favormates keyboard for it.

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Writers' Cafe / iPad workflow
« on: June 15, 2018, 04:35:31 PM »
This is one reason Iím enjoying working on an iPad. Scrivener on the right, and an iBooks copy of the ebook version on the left. I read the ebook and look for things that donít sound right, and make changes as I go. Itís a pretty sweet editing flow that I canít actually match well on my MacBook. This is all one screen shot. I thought, in case some newer people wanted an idea, this might be fun to experiment with.


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Writers' Cafe / Re: Selling ebooks directly from your own website
« on: June 14, 2018, 04:17:38 AM »
I think about this in this way:

Would you go to one of your favorite author's websites (indie, or trad), like a Hugh Howey, or a Dean Koontz and try and buy directly from their website?

Or would it just be easier to click a link to iBooks, Amazon, B&N or Kobo because that's where your ereader of choice happens to be connected?

Let's say Stephen King was selling The Outsider (as an example) on his own website for $9.99 per ebook without anything extra inside it (just the lower price) or you can get the same ebook from Amazon for $14.99. The deal is, you could get that ebook directly from his site and try and side-load the ebook (kindle or generic) to your device. You'd need to read the carefully laid instructions for doing it. And the whole process would take you about 10-20 minutes to complete...

OR you could just click on the link and with no hassle have it arrive in your eReader ready to go? The customer is probably willing (on average) to pay the extra for the less hassle. Us being indies would jump at the lower price pretty fast--lower sale, great author, a good book, and a little extra effort for us is a no-brainer. But for the average consumer? They'll probably say 'no thanks.'

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you hear your characters speak?
« on: June 08, 2018, 05:19:57 AM »
Yep.

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