Author Topic: Completed manuscript put up for sale  (Read 10898 times)  

Online Max N.

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Completed manuscript put up for sale
« on: October 23, 2018, 05:36:24 am »
So, I'm in a situation where I find myself with several completed manuscripts, but I can't do anything with them that would create a lot of value for me right now due to lack of resources.

I've been a writer for nine years, and I love it, but the problem comes with publishing since I want to make money from my work. I started with a small house publisher for some short stories and novellas back in 2015, but the publishing house seems to not be doing very well recently. It takes a year for any submissions to go through the whole process and another six months after that to get royalties, and from the eight books I have with them, my quarterly royalties have dwindled to zero. I haven't sent anything new in two years since I have to make money for my bills, I have two titles with them yet to be published after more than a year of waiting, so I probably won't be going back to them. I plan to wait for the contracts to expire in another couple years and do some rewrites and rebranding of those books, maybe expand into series, and I'm saving up for it, but I've got plenty more in the meantime collecting dust in my computer.

I started self-publishing in 2016, but the costs are so high, from editing, to cover design, to marketing, if I want the books to do well in the market. I had some friends do proofreading, no editing, then did a few design classes and made some covers myself. The books are not selling (much). I don't have funds to foot marketing costs, so I do a lot of free or cheap promotions, but they rarely help. I've earned maybe $80 from 10 titles in almost three years.

Now, I have several manuscripts I plan to put up for sale, only I don't know how to do that, so I'm hoping there will be some takers here, or someone to point me in the right direction. I will eventually self publish stuff that I love to write, the original books I started back in high school that I still go back and read when I have the time, they're long-term planned series so they need a lot of time and funds before I can put them out there. I have so many books and series planned, but I want to package and launch them properly when the time comes, and for the moment, I'm willing to give up a few of them for the greater good. I do ghostwriting, and have several repeat clients that say my work does well for them, so while I can't give any guarantees, I can promise the stories aren't completely terrible, and can earn something back with good marketing.

The manuscripts differ in length, with the shortest being a 9.9k word romance, and the longest at 70k. Genres also differ, but all seven have romance as part of the plot. If anyone is interested, please PM me for more details. I also have incomplete manuscripts I'd be willing to sell or complete for the right price, I write across several genres, straight and LGBTQ stories, just contact me.

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    Offline Marti talbott

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 06:10:39 am »
    FYI, if they are already published, a buyer might run into major copyright problems. Maybe you could post one of your titles here and ask for help with your cover and blurb. Many of us don't have sufficient funds to get started, so we know how that is.
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    Online Doglover

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #2 on: October 23, 2018, 06:15:45 am »
    FYI, if they are already published, a buyer might run into major copyright problems. Maybe you could post one of your titles here and ask for help with your cover and blurb. Many of us don't have sufficient funds to get started, so we know how that is.
    I thought he said he was trying to sell new, unpublished manuscripts. However, OP, if the ones you have published are doing so poorly, I can't think that anyone would be interested in buying.


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    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #3 on: October 23, 2018, 12:06:36 pm »
    The manuscripts I plan to sell are unpublished, I would never sell something I've already published, even if I put it up for free on a platform somewhere and took them down afterwards. The titles I have are all short stories (between 5-10k words) with, admittedly, poor covers and blurbs with no marketing. I put up a couple free books up for download in that same year and got over a thousand downloads of them to date. I still occasionally get downloads from the free books, though I don't touch them. I know why the stories aren't selling, I could get better covers, make the stories longer, do proper marketing, prepare a nice back catalog and market the books, but short stories aren't easy sellers, even in romance, and especially for a new writer. They're easier to create, though, and I just proofread them myself. After I unpublished the ones I had up last year, I put up several new titles with slightly better covers, and I got 30 sales in total in the three months they've been out, this year, with no marketing. It's not good, but it's better than before, and I also got a few reviews, six in total for four out of ten books, and I have two series, one with four parts, another with two parts, full length books at 60k-70k words, the others short stories. I plan to look into AMS ads, better covers, and fixing the blurbs, then looking into other paid marketing once I make up the money.

    None of those books got editing. I proofread them, then sent them to friends, before putting them up. The covers were also free covers I got online, some I made myself, but I plan to swap them out, at least for the books in series. I've been thinking of select so I can do free promos on the first book in each. This is all a lot of work, and I've had the extra manuscripts lying in my computer, and I was thinking of publishing them, then thought of all the work just putting up the other stories took, and I've yet to get into the marketing, and I felt it would be easier to sell the manuscripts and save up funds for the costs of my other books, because I have plenty.

    Also, as mentioned, I'm a ghostwriter, since 2015, and my work wouldn't do too terrible if I'm still getting jobs. Two of my longest standing clients have purchased upwards of 40 books each (with plots provided), so I'm going to imagine the books at least rake in profit if they're still coming to me for work, but they have editors, and cover designers, and they know how to market their work. I've gone on platforms like goodreads before and found a book I wrote for a client and seen how well it was doing with a hundred plus reviews and average ratings of 3.5 and up, which is good, but I knew if I published it myself, I couldn't get it to that point on my own. There's very little you can do about sales when you can't market your work well, especially with the increasing number of books being put out today.

    I didn't attempt to offer these manuscripts to my current clients, because they aren't stories they're looking for (LGBT steamy short stories, and billionaire/bad-boy/sport/single or surprise daddy/hidden baby/step-brother style romances for my two long standing clients.) One of the manuscripts is a historical romance from the Victorian era at 60k words, two are contemporary romances at 35k words, two 10k words straight, and lesbian romance, an action/dark/urban romance at 70k (not quite sure how to categorize this one but those are the themes) and a young adult book at 58k. The stories are varied. I'm putting them up for sale now. I'm hoping I can at least sell a couple, I also have about 10+ romance short stories planned between 25-40k words and I'll think about selling a few to save funds for the other books. I have around fifty plots for future books, including series, so you can see why I need funds to move forward. If I can't sell the manuscripts, I'll just save up the funds from somewhere else, but I'm looking forward to slowing down on the ghostwriting because carpal tunnel made my writing slower, with occasional pain in my hands, and eventually, I'd like to stop writing for other people (what I've lived on since 2015).

    I'd be willing to go along with the AMS and other ads and come back with news of how they worked out if anyone willing is hesitating to look at the work. I can send a few chapters or a small percentage of the book (up to 30%) as samples but full manuscript will be handled over after payment. Payment is also negotiable, as long as the price is reasonable.

    Oh, also, I'm not a guy, just wanted to get that out there because it would be awkward being called that  :D
    « Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 05:24:08 pm by maxnafula »

    Offline xyliaedin

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #4 on: October 23, 2018, 05:21:21 pm »
    Just out of curiosity, how much are you selling them for?

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #5 on: October 23, 2018, 06:37:20 pm »
    Price is negotiable, but I wouldn't go lower than $50 for the short story, and $200 for the 35k novella. I'm willing to consider a buyer's budget if they're willing to consider the time and effort I put into writing these stories.

    Online Doglover

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #6 on: October 23, 2018, 09:04:59 pm »
    Price is negotiable, but I wouldn't go lower than $50 for the short story, and $200 for the 35k novella. I'm willing to consider a buyer's budget if they're willing to consider the time and effort I put into writing these stories.
    Book buyers don't consider the time and effort put into writing; they only care about whether the story is well written and holds their attention. What are you doing to get sales? amazon select is excellent to get readers for a new author.


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    Offline vagabond.voyager

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #7 on: October 23, 2018, 09:32:19 pm »
    Book buyers don't consider the time and effort put into writing; they only care about whether the story is well written and holds their attention. What are you doing to get sales? amazon select is excellent to get readers for a new author.
    Hi again Doglover. As mentioned before, I know very little about eBook publishing and marketing. What exactly is Amazon Select? How does it work?

    Online Doglover

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #8 on: October 23, 2018, 10:29:57 pm »
    Hi again Doglover. As mentioned before, I know very little about eBook publishing and marketing. What exactly is Amazon Select? How does it work?
    kdp select is a separate program within kdp in which you agree to keep the digital version of your book exclusive to Amazon. There are a few perks to it, the ability to promote free for 5 days, have countdown deals etc, but the most important of these perks is kindle unlimited. Subscribers to kindle unlimited, pay $10 or so per month and they get to read as many books that are in kindle unlimited as they like. In return for placing their books at readers' disposal, authors are paid for every page that is read. Usually, this is a derisory amount, at moment in the region of 0.0045 I believe.

    But, it does have the advantage of letting subscribers try unknown authors without extra cost to themselves and that, in turn, brings that author to the attention of new readers.


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    Offline vagabond.voyager

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #9 on: October 23, 2018, 11:13:13 pm »
    kdp select is a separate program within kdp in which you agree to keep the digital version of your book exclusive to Amazon. There are a few perks to it, the ability to promote free for 5 days, have countdown deals etc, but the most important of these perks is kindle unlimited. Subscribers to kindle unlimited, pay $10 or so per month and they get to read as many books that are in kindle unlimited as they like. In return for placing their books at readers' disposal, authors are paid for every page that is read. Usually, this is a derisory amount, at moment in the region of 0.0045 I believe.

    But, it does have the advantage of letting subscribers try unknown authors without extra cost to themselves and that, in turn, brings that author to the attention of new readers.
    kdp select is a separate program within kdp in which you agree to keep the digital version of your book exclusive to Amazon. There are a few perks to it, the ability to promote free for 5 days, have countdown deals etc, but the most important of these perks is kindle unlimited. Subscribers to kindle unlimited, pay $10 or so per month and they get to read as many books that are in kindle unlimited as they like. In return for placing their books at readers' disposal, authors are paid for every page that is read. Usually, this is a derisory amount, at moment in the region of 0.0045 I believe.

    But, it does have the advantage of letting subscribers try unknown authors without extra cost to themselves and that, in turn, brings that author to the attention of new readers.

    Thank you. I am aware of Kindle Unlimited and Prime - I joined both. I will look into it in more depth.

    Online Doglover

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #10 on: October 23, 2018, 11:19:51 pm »
    Thank you. I am aware of Kindle Unlimited and Prime - I joined both. I will look into it in more depth.
    You can't join Prime; your book has to be chosen. As to Kindle Unlimited, it is only for digital books, not printed versions. As you say you have no experience of e-books, I thought I would point that out.

    Sorry - did you mean you had joined them as a reader? It is very early in the morning here!  :o
    « Last Edit: October 23, 2018, 11:25:33 pm by Doglover »


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    Offline vagabond.voyager

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #11 on: October 23, 2018, 11:53:40 pm »
    You can't join Prime; your book has to be chosen. As to Kindle Unlimited, it is only for digital books, not printed versions. As you say you have no experience of e-books, I thought I would point that out.

    Sorry - did you mean you had joined them as a reader? It is very early in the morning here!  :o
    You can't join Prime; your book has to be chosen. As to Kindle Unlimited, it is only for digital books, not printed versions. As you say you have no experience of e-books, I thought I would point that out.

    Sorry - did you mean you had joined them as a reader? It is very early in the morning here!  :o

    Yes, as a reader. I read a lot, not a lot else to do. I read at least two books per day. Re-reading classics, interspersed with new writers.

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #12 on: October 24, 2018, 02:56:19 am »
    Book buyers don't consider the time and effort put into writing; they only care about whether the story is well written and holds their attention. What are you doing to get sales? amazon select is excellent to get readers for a new author.
    I wouldn't put time and effort and create something terrible, though I suppose that depends on the buyer. But in that way, if they don't like the samples and aren't willing to pay the right price for them, then that's fine, and they can move on. With carpal tunnel setting in, it's getting harder for me to complete work. When I could do 50k words a week easily, it takes me two weeks now, or a month while I work on my ghostwriting projects, so while I'm looking to unload some manuscripts, I have a lower limit with the books.

    Offline unkownwriter

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #13 on: October 24, 2018, 12:15:44 pm »
    I can't help you with the manuscript selling, but I hope you're doing everything you can to ease the carpal tunnel. As a sufferer myself (along with arthritis), it can take a huge toll on you physically and mentally, as well as affect the writing ability.

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #14 on: October 26, 2018, 10:05:55 am »
    I can't help you with the manuscript selling, but I hope you're doing everything you can to ease the carpal tunnel. As a sufferer myself (along with arthritis), it can take a huge toll on you physically and mentally, as well as affect the writing ability.
    Yeah, I had no idea what it was when I first started. I thought my hands just hurt because i was typing too much (sometimes when I'm late on a deadline, I could write between 15-20k words a day) If I'd known earlier carpal tunnel was a thing, I might have been more careful.

    I've got a few people interested on facebook, still nothing on one, though. More info in case anyone gets interested:
    35k words, cowboy romance. The couple knew each other, then the girl skipped town after some trouble in the relationship, comes back with a kid and an angry ex husband on her tail just when her ex was trying to get over her, and he gives her a place to stay for a while. Third person POV.
    PM me if you're interested in seeing sample chapters.

    Offline solo

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #15 on: October 26, 2018, 10:14:54 pm »
    Hi, OP. Why don't you select two or three manuscripts you think are the best of the lot and try publishing them yourself. You might find your audience. I hate to see your work being credited under somebody else's name. I know, I know. Financial issues. But it wouldn't hurt to publish even one book under KDP. You'll never know unless you try.

    Offline LD

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #16 on: October 27, 2018, 12:24:51 am »
    I'm a little confused, and curious.  Why are you wanting to sell these, yet save the others to publish?  Why not all?  I mean, if it's financial reasons, doesn't that apply to the ones you're saving as well?

    Personally, I would save them. For a slow writer like me, ideas are in abundance, but I just wish I had more books to put out faster. And if you're sitting on these, you have that opportunity to fast releases. 

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #17 on: October 27, 2018, 07:49:51 am »
    I really do want to publish all of them, but how to say this. There will be some stories that are closer to my heart than others, like if I have a plot and the story clicks with me, and a different one doesn't click as much, so the ones that do click for me are the ones I would not be willing to sell. For example, the original stories I started back in high school ages ago. I'd been venturing into urban fantasy and paranormal romance then with 5 different series and some books done in each and several more planned, and it's still where I'd rather be than in contemporary romance, though I have plenty of work there as well.

    Also, I have several published already. A 4 part series at 70k each book, and 2 part series at 60k each, and four short stories. Also 3 10k short stories and 5 novellas at 30-40k words through a small publisher. I'll focus on marketing what I have out, the self published ones need editing, even just proofreading, new covers, and the other books I have planned will need the same, especially for the long series I have planned (several with between 5-15 books planned). I already have some covers I purchased really cheap for five upcoming books, but the drafts will need editing if I want them to do well. If I can have cash to start somewhere, I can move on from there. In any case, I'm still ghostwriting but it's slower because of my carpal tunnel now, so I only need a bit of a push. My bills are piling up, though, so holding out for a miracle isn't really helping me and I can't try to write faster like before because it's physically impossible for me now.
    « Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 07:59:44 am by maxnafula »

    Offline celadon

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #18 on: October 27, 2018, 09:31:33 pm »
    I've had carpal tunnel symptoms before. I had to take a rest for a while. (I got it while working a very exacting job retouching photographs by hand.) It did eventually get better on its own, but I have to not push it too much now.

    You should try some voice recognition app like Dragon Naturally Speaking. There are also free alternatives. It might give you a little relief and help prevent your carpal tunnel from getting worse, at least. The voice recognition software is never perfect (I assume the free versions especially wouldn't be) but you might be doing more "editing" instead of straight-out typing, that that should be at least a little better.

    https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10188-free-paid-dictation-software-comparison.html


    Offline John Etzil

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #19 on: October 30, 2018, 05:28:32 pm »

    You should try some voice recognition app like Dragon Naturally Speaking.

    https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10188-free-paid-dictation-software-comparison.html

    Sounds like a match made in heaven!

    John Etzil

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #20 on: October 31, 2018, 02:05:32 am »
    Dragon Naturally Speaking costs money, so that isn't going to be helpful for me right now when 1$=100 in my currency. I found one at $70, which would put me out 7,000 in cash (I can live on that for 2 months). I've tried the free alternatives as well, but I'm used to thinking and writing fast, or I couldn't do upwards of 10k words in a day, which used to be my standard (it's half that now.) Not only is it awkward speaking out, so that I keep stopping after every sentence to think about the next part of the story, I don't live alone and I write steamy romance, so it's just doubly awkward. I'll give them another try when I live alone and have more funds in my pocket.

    I've had people ask this in PM so I'll clarify it now, I'm selling the books at my old ghostwriting costs, $5/1k words, though I'm willing to compromise a little on the price. So $300 for the 59.4k historical romance, but I can bring the price down.

    Offline C. Gold

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #21 on: November 01, 2018, 09:06:51 am »
    ... I don't live alone and I write steamy romance, so it's just doubly awkward...
    LOL!!  :o

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #22 on: February 10, 2019, 07:07:52 am »
    Hi, everyone, and hope you're having a great 2019.

    I've thought about these manuscripts over the past few months, and I figured even if I kept some, I should at least let this one go. It's the only historical romance book I've ever completed, and it's a standalone, but I have plots for more, only they're in a 5 part series and scheduled to be written sometime next year, so letting this go won't bother me. I'm mainly doing contemp romance, then publishing my paranormal/urban fantasy works after I can get good editors and covers for them (by hopefully August.)

    Since my last message, I've completed 2 more romance books (35k each) and another at around 30k words, so almost complete. After, I'm planning a 3 part series (40-50k words) since I found a deal on covers, and I figured I'd find some proofreaders since I still can't afford an editor right now. I closed my contract with my ghostwriting client, too, so now I need funds.

    Quick summary: this historical romance novel is 59.6k words long, set in 1901, after the death of Queen Victoria (only mentioned.) The female lead comes from a simple family, and of the two male leads, one is a noble, the other is a fisherman. ML 2 goes out on a long fishing trip, and ML 1 shows interest in her, but she's a proud girl, so she mostly ignores him. There's a shipwreck, but ML 2 arrives back fine (but injured) and there's a bit of rivalry between the two male leads. For first 3-5 chapters samples and/or a more complete summary, please PM me.

    I brought down my asking price to $200, but I'm willing to negotiate with anyone who's interested  :)
    « Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 07:14:26 am by maxnafula »

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #23 on: February 18, 2019, 02:19:02 am »
    Manuscript still available. If interested, PM me.

    Online Max N.

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    Re: Completed manuscript put up for sale
    « Reply #24 on: February 25, 2019, 04:04:28 am »
    Historical romance no longer available, but I still have a 70k word novel with some dark themes, though it's still romance. Quick description:

    A woman with a dark past meets a playboy with a sick sister, and shes a nurse. She pulls away after a passionate one night stand unable to run away from the nightmare of her past, but shes still drawn to him. Happy ending.

    I really wanted to put it around 300, but it's $250, summary and first 3 chapters sample for whoever's interested. I also have short lesbian stories, 2 with 2 parts totalling 20k words, and 3 at 10k words. The 10k is going for $40, and the 20k for $80. I call them romance, but they could easily fall into erotic romance. PM me if interested.

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