Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 108 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
219 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking I'm done with my self-publishing experiment. I wrote something, and I was encouraged by someone to finish and submit it to a publisher. I showed a couple more friends, and they were all supportive. I decided to write something different, and they said they liked that too. So I decided to self-publish. I got the book edited and got a really nice cover. But I promised myself to not move forward if I thought the book wasn't very good.

I'm pretty sure the book isn't good enough now. The closest I can get to an objective review came back pretty bad. Between that, and dealing with a formatting guy I'm pretty sure takes the little bus to work, I'm out of steam with the whole thing.

I like the people on this board. You're pioneers in the literary world, and that's very cool to watch. I've downloaded quite a few books from the people who post, and I've had my own stigma of self-publishing challenged. While I do maintain that 50 Shades of Grey is really poorly written, Hugh Howey more than makes up for it. Mat Reuther, Heather Walsh and Libbie Hawker have written books that are far more worthy of being on the NYT list than some that are currently there. Truly inspiring.

Even though I'm not going to publish, I'm going to stick around the board. I like the industry, and I like watching you guys from the sidelines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,118 Posts
Hang in there, man. I'm coming up on a year, have four novels done and still haven't cracked a hundred sales. You just have to find the right audience. Write what you like, odds are others will too. You just have to patiently wait  for them to fall  into your tr-, er, I mean, find your books.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
10,131 Posts
EdShull said:
I'm thinking I'm done with my self-publishing experiment. I wrote something, and I was encouraged by someone to finish and submit it to a publisher. I showed a couple more friends, and they were all supportive. I decided to write something different, and they said they liked that too. So I decided to self-publish. I got the book edited and got a really nice cover. But I promised myself to not move forward if I thought the book wasn't very good.

I'm pretty sure the book isn't good enough now. The closest I can get to an objective review came back pretty bad. Between that, and dealing with a formatting guy I'm pretty sure takes the little bus to work, I'm out of steam with the whole thing.

I like the people on this board. You're pioneers in the literary world, and that's very cool to watch. I've downloaded quite a few books from the people who post, and I've had my own stigma of self-publishing challenged. While I do maintain that 50 Shades of Grey is really poorly written, Hugh Howey more than makes up for it. Mat Reuther, Heather Walsh and Libbie Hawker have written books that are far more worthy of being on the NYT list than some that are currently there. Truly inspiring.

Even though I'm not going to publish, I'm going to stick around the board. I like the industry, and I like watching you guys from the sidelines.
Ed, you might not want to make your decision based on a single review. Reviewers vary so much in what they like and don't like. Why not put your book out there under a pen name and give it a chance? If the reviews you get agree with the one you've already gotten, okay, maybe take it down and spend a while honing your craft before you try again. But maybe the reviews won't agree with the one you've gotten ... you never know. I mean, if *you* feel sure the book's not ready, that's one thing. But that doesn't seem to be what you're describing.

Ebook formatting ... it's not that complicated. You can do it yourself in an afternoon, so long as you're satisfied with a no-frills job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,274 Posts
Ed, you're down because of the book formatting. That sucks. But don't quit. Don't quit.

Breathe. Walk away from the PC. Watch a movie that is just mindless fun.

Come back to it in a bit.

If all else fails with Damonza's formatter and you end up with only a workable cover then I'm totally willing to do what I can to help you get things formatted for you. Gratis.

If you want a review of your work send me the manuscript and I'll have a read. I'm always happy to read KBoarder stuff (I'm reading the Shift anthology now) and I'm more than willing to gave you my thoughts on the book.

Writing is hard and depressing. It's difficult and grueling. And it's awful and terrible.

But it's also completely awesome. So regroup. Breathe. Watch that movie.

You will get there in the end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
986 Posts
Hey, I obviously haven't had a chance to read your work, but I just wanted to say, maybe think about it a while first?  From what I've read, from conversations I've had, from my own experiences, everyone hits this point eventually.  You wake up one morning and maybe you read a chapter you thought you did well, or maybe you just think about that one line you've been working on forever, or maybe you just decide you are having a particularly cruddy writing day.  And you think, everything I've written is crap.  It's not just this one line or that chapter or today.  It's not just this idea, it's everything.  Everything I'm doing is crap.  I've wasted my life.

But really, none of that is true.  I'd be worried if a month went by and I didn't think this was a waste of time and that I should burn every piece of paper with my handwriting on it.  But it's not true.  It's just that little voice that all of us has that says over and over that we're not good enough, that we'll never get good enough, and no one else is going to think so either.  Chances are, you are way better than you think.  And chances are, if you keep at it, you're going to get even better.  You need to fight that little voice with cheerleaders.  Maybe you can be your own cheerleader, maybe that's too hard.  My husband is my cheerleader, he makes me finish what I start even when I want to give it up.  I'll be your cheerleader if you want! Send me a copy (or tell me where to buy it) of your book, I'll be honest but I'd bet money it's better than you think anyway.  Remember, they are all rough drafts (and thus changeable) until the last one.  And even the last one isn't set in stone any more!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
This makes me very sad and I hope you change your mind. I don't think you can go by one opinion.


I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is, “Try to please everybody.”
Herbert Bayard Swope
1882 — 1958
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
I agree with Mathew. A deep breath and a break will do you good. Remember, this is not a race. The only deadline you have is the one you created for yourself. Everything can be changed.

Also, this is a very common experience, which is to say this too shall pass, and then come back, and then pass, ad infinitum. That's when you know you're a writer. And why we know you are one now. Welcome to the club.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,636 Posts
Ed - Another author I know just received a whole spate 0f 1 stars with the comments within the reviews buzzing.  The criticism was warranted. It had the potential to throw her into a black hole of despair.  I called her just to see if she was ok.  She'd licked her wounds and went to work straight away correcting the issues brought forward.  If she can withstand that, YOU can withstand the one review.  After all, you will never know if you don't just do it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
FranceBarnaby said:
I'm reminded of this great passage from Ira Glass:

If you really love it, come back to it. Best of luck to you in whatever path you take.
This is great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
384 Posts
That was brilliant France.
I'd also like to second Judi's comments. I've gotten countless reviews about how my editing SUCKS! I'm getting editing fixed. One person said my cover blows. It does, so I'm going to fix it. You aren't going to be perfect right out of the gate. You just have to expect to suck a little and roll with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
492 Posts
I know how you feel, Ed, believe me. But if you love to write and like to share your work, do not give up on self-publishing. Reviews mean very little, unless someone says the formatting is off or the book is riddled with atrocious grammatical errors. I have good reviews on Amazon, UK and Goodreads, have received wonderful emails from readers, and am lucky to sell two to four copies in any given month's time. Most months, none to one. My back-list is all on years of paper manuscripts, so it is a process getting all that onto the computer, editing, etc., and some days it is very difficult to continue when feeling discouraged on the one book currently offered. So, I say this again, if you love to write and share your work, do not give up. Get some more feedback on your writing and see what you can do. Don't give up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,123 Posts
I got a rude one-star review on Goodreads yesterday: "Couldn't even finish it."

If that had been the first review I'd received for The Catalyst I'd be throwing in the towel, too. It still bugs the heck out of me but then I look at the reviews on Amazon for that title and go "whatever, lady, next time read the preview" and move on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
Ed, don't go down that route. My first review? 5 stars. My second a few hours later? A 2 star. My third? A 4 star review from a vine reviewer who closed the review with "thank you for making me think." My fourth? A 1 star review that said "it could at least be well written." All for the same story. lol

If the formatting guy you have frustrates you, get someone else. I have good experience with: http://www.polgarusstudio.com/format-your-book/ Clear communications, fast delivery, excellent product.

Hang in there, ok? :)

And keep writing. Not for others but yourself and folly's sake. Indie publishing can be frustrating, and no doubt is at time for everyone. So be it. Just roll with the punches. ;D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I agree with France.  If you want, I will beta your work, on the house.  Shoot me an email.  I hate to see people throw in the towel, well, that's partly because there's six in my household and I have an awful lot of laundry to do.  But, seriously, I won't bite.  I promise I won't even proofread or edit.  I'll just give you straight up honest feedback.  

And, I'm so not a techie, but I don't think it's hard to format an eBook.  That's small potatoes.  Writing is the meat.  
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,412 Posts
Sorry to hear this but glad you're sticking around the board. Can I tell you about the horrible formatting problems I had back when I first published? For some reason, I kept getting paragraphs that would shift to almost the middle of the page. There weren't many for hire formatters then and even if there were, I couldn't have afforded one. I didn't have a Kindle even and on the Kindle for PC, it looked fine. It was so frustrating! I didn't even have MS Word, and Open Office would freeze all the time on my computer, so I was using two other free word processors (although most of the book was written on Google Docs to allow my beta to give advice as it was written--the Google Docs might have caused some of the issues.) It wasn't until I figured out how to see ALL of the html code--which I could only do using one of the free word processors, that I was able to fix it. I found the spot where I knew, via a friend who sent me a picture of the problem on her Kindle, and saw a small change in the html there. It used a code 'div' (can't remember what the right code was--but it was different). So, I copied the code where it was correctly formatted, and had to replace that code in many places throughout the book.

Great, right? Yeah, except then I got a little over confident and decided to take out all the double spaces between sentences. I had learned to type that way, but was trying to change to one space, but I wasn't consistent. So, I did the find/replace thing. I looked at a few pages and they looked okay, so I uploaded. Huge mistake! My book had sentences that had no spaces between periods, and what was worse, in some places, there weren't even periods, just two words stuck together. A reader on another board complained about it on that board, I tried to fix it, re-uploaded, told her and she said she requested the newest copy from Amazon, but said it was still full of typos (all of this publicly, mind you.) and so I apologized yet again and said maybe she should ask for a refund. I was not being snarky. Anyway, she left a nasty one star review, then changed it to a two star for some reason, then inexplicably, about a year later, deleted the review. I have no clue why. I never responded to her after that spat and I never reported the review for any reason.

My point being, after all of that, and fixing the book as much as I could, it ended up making it to number 15 in the Kindle store in June 2011. It hasn't come close to that since, but it does pretty well and I now have a series. I was ready to throw in the towel in November of 2010 when all of the formatting/complaints rolled in. I'm so glad I didn't.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
As others have said, step back a bit and take a breather. Try writing a short story and get your head in another direction for a bit before you come back to it. When I wrote A Cold Black Wave, I only wanted to finish a novel. I wrote so much that I never finished, getting one *done* was the goal. If it turned out to be crap, so be it, but I knew that I would learn from it and take that into my next novel. Think that whatever comes of this book, you will learn from it and your next one will be all the better for it.

I love this quote from Stephen King:

Running a close second [as a writing lesson] was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel s*** from a sitting position.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,911 Posts
The more you write, the better you get.  Very few people produce worthy content with their first book, or their fifth.  It's a skill you have to hone.

If you enjoy writing, you should keep it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Don't give up. It's tempting, I know. I have very few sales under my belt. There have been times I wanted to give up as it seems no one is buying my books. But then, I only have three of them out there (and only one full length one). It could be years if I'm successful, if ever. But, if I give up now, then I absolutely won't be successful. So I'm going to keep plugging away as long as I can.

Only one person can tell your stories, and that's you. If you don't tell your stories, the world will miss out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,232 Posts
Don't quit, Ed! Stick with it and keep writing. One review means nothing. Send it out to some betas and see what they have to say. Fire your formatter and get a new one. Write a couple of short stories and get your groove back. It's easy to get discouraged in this business and that's when you have to forge ahead.

 
1 - 20 of 108 Posts
Top