Thank you so much for signing up and joining my class. I hope you will find the time to join me throughout the year for future lessons. I’ve tried to keep them short and to the point so not to waste your time. So here we go.
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas whether you believe or not. It is just a season to share love to your fellow human beings. Now, it is a new year. A time to start a new chapter. A time to commit to something, to better your life and the people around you. It is time to better your shape, your attitude, or your book to share and bring joy to others. Make this year wonderful for all. Welcome to Writing Class 101 by Rick Kurtis books. Lesson 1, I appreciate you for signing up.
Rick Kurtis started only four years ago with many thoughts, mostly a passion to help children learn to read, and enjoy great adventures while doing so. I took classes for writing, and scribbled out over sixty books and short stories. I had the highest praises from my college professors to pursue this venture, and to even make a career from it. Also I had great encouragement from friends and family. For Christmas one year they introduced me to my very first Microsoft word and laptop, along with the Dragon reading program. After writing class and many publisher and agent rejections, my professor suggested maybe to publish by a Vanity pay publisher to show that I am actually serious. So I did. I cashed in my life insurance policy and gambled on myself. But which book to publish first? God gave me a dream over thirty years ago, and I wanted to share it with the world. Day of the Cross was that dream. I poured my heart and soul into the book that connected to the Bible, and 24,000 words later at the top of my amateur game, I had it edited, and rewritten, then sent off, along with $3,000 to a vanity publisher. They handled everything from professional editing, copyright, cover, type style print set, and the book format, and marketing, so they said. Their editor tore my editor apart and many corrections were made. I gave them a cover concept which took a little correcting until they presented a quality look. If I knew better, I would’ve made the book size smaller than a 6 by 9, so it would have looked like a thicker book. 24,000 words doesn’t go far when in print. It was so thin that when I held it in my hand I almost felt embarrassed. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t getting any sales past friends and family. I advertised and had over 11,600 hits on the first day. Later when I asked for opinions, the feedback came back. “You should’ve put in chapters. Your prices are set too high. Your book is in the wrong Amazon category. Your prologue really isn’t a prologue.” All these things were never said before print and publication. I thought a well, educated editor, either one, would have brought my attention to the prologue and about adding chapters. I also thought their suggested price should have been more accurate to the industry, but I guess that is what I get for guessing and leaving it up to professionals. Being that it was only 24,000 words, I wasn’t too concerned about chapters. I had a beta reader who said, I should have used chapters because she could not put the book down until the end. She continued to read till 4 o’clock in the morning, even though she had to go to work the next day. Great compliment for my book. Being that I was new and naïve, they did the pricing, and the Amazon category. I still don’t know how to change them. I guess being that they were paid up front, they moved on. Marketing is a whole other issue.
Que sera-sera, I could vent all day, but that’s not going to help you. I will attempt to answer many of your questions as I can by using my own personal knowledge, not to say that I am right, or that you’ll run across the same problems. You might think me a baffling buffoon, and you will get a good laugh every week, or maybe my wisdom will help. Or, maybe you can enlighten me with what you have dealt with, so I can share with others. So, for today, I will stop, and for next week the fun will begin with the question WHY. Other subjects will range from how, what, where, and when. Also structure, style, length, wording and sentences just to name a few. After you have mastered your book from beginning to end, we will dive into publishing, marketing, ads, editing, agents, and all sorts of charlatans. Have a wonderful week and hopefully you will join me again next week.