Monthly Archives: April 2014

Independent Publishing

It’s time to dump the term “self-publishing.”  Lets call it what it really is, independent publishing.

A decade ago, the only legitimate way to get your book to the masses was through the traditional publishing houses.  Sure, there were some print-on-demand options available, but the quality of those books suffered in comparison.  The marketplace also did not support or encourage print-on-demand as a valid, legitimate publishing option.  It was for people who couldn’t get a real publishing deal.

booksAmazon changed all that.

With the advent of the Kindle, the acquisition or CreateSpace and Audible, and the growth of the Amazon online store as the number one seller of books, Amazon has both cornered and exploded the market on publishing.

Their approach has been brilliant and free market at its core.  They provide book lovers three popular ways to digest the material, ebooks (Kindle), paperback (CreateSpace) or through audio books (Audible).

They allow anyone and everyone to upload their latest and greatest novel or non-fiction book.  They don’t screen for quality or marketing or value.  They let the free market do that.  They let authors control their pricing and allow authors to control their marketing.  They let them change the covers on demand or update the book to fix errors without issue.  They give the control to the artists, not intermediaries.  For providing this marketplace, Amazon takes 30% and authors are glad to give it and pocket the remaining 70%.

Like movies, where there are studio made films and independent films, publishing should be looked at the same way.  If your book is not published from one of the top traditional publishers (the studios), then it is independently published.  Readers aren’t going to care whether its small press, self financed or made on a shoe-string.  Readers are only going to care about the quality of the product, the same way film lovers care about film.

So, let’s finally bury the “self-publishing” term, one often used as an insult by traditional publishing supporters.

We’re independent publishers.  And we’re not going anywhere.

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Word Count & Nearing the Finish Line

Getting over the hump sure has helped.  In a little over a week I was able to write 10,000 words and probably have another 3,000 ahead of me before putting Skyway aside.

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, the scope and placement of Skyway has changed and the ripple effect of those changes won’t be completely felt for the next few months.  The biggest challenge is that Gabby’s faith journey in this novella will be different than intended and I won’t know exactly where she is in her faith journey until I write the two other novellas that precede Skyway.

Therefore, I’ve left the faith aspect in Skyway purposely vague and will fill in those gaps when I see where Gabby is and where she needs to be in the grand scheme of these five novellas.

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This novella has been a challenge, but for all of the right reasons.  I can’t wait to finally put it to bed and start working on novella number two… well, the new novella number two.

 

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You Can Now Subscribe to Our Podcast on ITunes

If you enjoy our podcasts, you can now subscribe to them on ITunes.  That way you can listen to them any time, any place.

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If you choose to listen via ITunes, please rate the podcast with your honest opinion.  It will help get the word out.

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Podcast 11 – Marketplace

Author Pete Bauer and marketing head Dorothea Bauer discuss the current marketplace within which our books will reside and the challenges of gaining traction as a new product.


Running Time: 32:29

  • Finishing
  • Senioritis
  • Marketplace
  • Guideposts Sweet 16
  • Faith Interaction
  • Asking Specific Questions of Beta Readers
  • Emotional Connections
  • Identifying with Characters
  • Harry Potter and Star Wars
  • Dream Jobs vs. Real Jobs
  • The Matt Maher Equation
  • Raising the Consequences
  • Noah Movie
  • Safety Harbor
  • Marketing with Little Money
  • Youth Conferences and Speaking
  • Youth Group Leaders
  • Finding Books in Your Genre
  • Where Does Your Book Fit in the Landscape?
  • Hugh Howey – “Redbook
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Shifting and Shuffling

Funny thing about writing.  It’s a lot like life.  Just when you think you’ve got it all planned out, it changes right before your eyes.

WRITINGI’m nearing the completion of the second novella Skyway in our five novella Gabby Wells series.  The goal of the novellas was to introduce the readers to the characters and world of Gabby Wells while slowly preparing them for the tone of the first novel, Water & Blood.

We’ve mapped out story ideas for the five novellas that mirror the themes of the five novels while easing the reader into the darker world that lie ahead.  However, mid-way through the writing of Skyway, a couple of things changed.

  • First, the entire premise needed to change.  Not the plot, per se, but the characters early reaction to the plot needed to be altered.
  • This effected the mood of the novella, making it more serious and darker.
  • This, in turn, made us realize that it didn’t fit as the second novella, but the fourth.
  • This meant that the relationships would have to be updated because who they are in novella two are not the same as novella four.
  • This also meant that the history of the characters during the plot of Skyway no longer worked and, when updated, made it even darker.
  • This change in novella order also changed where Gabby was on her faith journey which meant her spiritual interaction with the story now had to be different.

Dominos.  One change causing another.

The end result is that I’m almost done with the second novella which is actually the fourth.  This required that the story for the fourth novella be moved to the second novella, which meant that the characters relationships and faith journeys had to be altered too.

I thought I had it all planned out, but the characters and the story informed me otherwise.

It’s not the first time this sort of seismic shift happened mid-write.  I’m certain it won’t be the last.

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Word Count & Getting Over the Hump

This week was a tough one, writing-wise.  As mentioned on our last podcast, the second novella, Skyway, takes place over a continuous 36 hour period.  Because of this limitation and a lot of the moving parts having to do with plot and character, what would normally be a smooth process has been quite a struggle.

Fortunately, we are on the other side of that obstacle and nearing the finish line on this draft.  There’s still one major plot challenge ahead of us, and it’s a biggie, but it’s for the right reasons.  I’ll post more about that next week.  However, I’m excited to get this first draft on Skyway done as soon as possible so I can go back and give it a good reshaping/polishing.

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Another exciting development is we’ll be sending out our first novella, The Homecoming Incident, to our second group of Beta Readers in the next week or so.  When starting with a group of Beta Readers, there is always a bit of coordination and logistics involved in getting the material to them via Kindle or other forms.  That adds some time the first time you do it.  After that, it goes very quickly.

This second group of Beta Readers are all within our target demographic, so I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.

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Podcast 10 – Hobby vs. Career

In this podcast author Pete Bauer and marketing head Dorothea Bauer talk about the different paths your writing career would take depending on if your approach it as a hobby versus a career.


Running Time: 32:21

  • Writing as a Hobby vs. Career
  • Three Mandatory Things
  • Consistency & Deadlines
  • Establishing Brand and Presence
  • 1500 Words a Day
  • 80/20 Rule
  • Burnout
  • Writers Block
  • Time of Day
  • Virtual Marketing
  • Facing the Giants
  • Street Teams & Preexisting Bias
  • Lack of Honest Debate
  • Intellectual Sloth
  • Setting Realistic Goals
  • Creative Potential Fulfillment

 

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Word Count & Rewrites

I did a lot of writing, but not that added a lot to the word count. I did add a couple of thousand words to Skyway, but spent most of the time re-writing The Homecoming Incident based on our Beta Reader feedback.  The end result was a couple of hundred more words in total, but a better story as a whole.

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I also invested quite a bit of time hashing out the Skyway plot.  It’s not a complex plot, but it has enough moving parts that, if you don’t take them into consideration, the reader will be pulled out of the story.  I know exactly where I want to story to travel, but the specific steps within it require that all of the tentacles of the story remain connected and believable.

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Book Covers

Author Pete Bauer talks about a real world analysis of book covers and their importance to the success of your novel.

 

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