Writing Class 101 by Rick Kurtis
When and Where. Lesson 6
We’re up to lesson six already. I hope your week ran smooth, and you had plenty of time to pursue your passion. In today’s class we will venture on and talk about When and Where.
Many people have asked, how do you find the time to write? I have touched on this in lesson number three, but everyone has busy lives nowadays. I have heard from classmates and tried this myself, but fumbled. They say they use their phone to record, or they buy a pocket recorder, and all day when they have an idea that pops into their head, they narrate it down and rewind it to write it down on paper later. For me, I stumbled with Mic-fright, (ah, ah, he said…) I am much better with a pen. I did however do a chapter straight off the top of my head directly into my computer, but I can’t always be sitting in front of that infernal box, and my thoughts disappear by the time I get home.
If you are passionate, you will find the time. You will make the time. My wife calls herself the weekend author widow. My novel, ‘Daniel Peters, B-29 Found’ took three months to write, and I took my vacation for one week from work to Dragon it into the computer. (We had no money for a real vacation anyway, but I had to use it, or lose it.) My 87,000 word masterpiece. When I received my free copies (Paying $3000 to a vanity publisher, which included ten free copies, whoopy.) I felt so proud, a nice thick book, 263 pages.
So when, you ask? All the time. Any time. Wherever you might be when that thought hits you.
This leads us to where. Everywhere and anywhere is possible. It is all conditioning, like changing your diet. Just put your mind to do it, no matter what. It’s important to you, right? I have written an article about authors are their own worst enemies. It basically states that we don’t have a snowball’s chance of becoming big, rich, or being picked up by a big-name publisher. I gave up trying, but I still write, and will still get my books out there even if they sit in the Amazon 7 million pile and seen by no one but by me and a handful.
They say that the average e-book sells 250 copies the first year. I wish that were true, but after paying $3000 to publish and a couple hundred to run ads, the 250 sales doesn’t even make a dent, and that’s only one book. Most of those e-book sales mentioned are probably free, or ninety-nine cents sales, a total profit of $187. Whoopty-do-da. And I published four books of all different types with vanity publishing, and in the last three years have only sold 20 to 30 books, TOTAL.
Let’s go back to when. When you finish your book, when is the best time to release it? Some say before the holidays. I say it really doesn’t matter and the sooner the better. Start advertising when it is in the editing phase. Tell everyone that you have finished, and your book is in the process of being published. Give key snippets to entice them to buy. Post a blurb or the back cover to entice them. Post reviews from your readers. Then keep posting to let everyone know each phase of production as it develops. Let them know the release date and when it will be available on Amazon. Boast about it, and celebrate, for you will then be a published author.
Now to where. I am not real savvy when it comes to computers, but put it everywhere that you can for free. Facebook/Facebookclubs/Pinterest/Instagram/Goodreads/Kobo/Twitter/LinkedIn, and so on. There are so many that offer free sign-up, then bombard you with emails with sales pitches. They all want to make money off of your hard work, which is fine as long as you get the sales. They want you to pay to advertise, where they will send out emails for you at a price.
Some sites want a monthly fee to have your book on their site. Nope, can’t afford that. I have heard or read about New York best-selling authors only making $30-$40,000 a year. To become a bestseller you have to sell 9000 copies within your first week, so they say. These best-selling. Authors have six books or so, and worked their butt off to get that 30 to $40,000. Of course, many of them go through a publishing company, who take ninety percent and probably they had an agent who gets another fifteen percent of your ten percent.
I don’t care. I write, I write, I write. I will publish for me, and if I become the next Stephen King, George Lucas, or JK Rowlings, great. I guess then I will jump through hoops. JK Rowlings’s publishing house made over $9 billion, giving her a cut of one point something billion dollars. The very first author to become a billionaire, and this was said to be by the sale of her first book, only.
I know this isn’t what you want to hear, neither did I. I once posted a saying that I found in a word search written by Jean De La Bruyere: “To make a book is as much as a trade as to make a clock: Something more than intelligence is required to become an author.”
Maybe someday, we can be as lucky to be quoted. But for now, class is over. Valentine’s Day is coming up, so don’t forget to give something special to those persons you love. Show them how much you care and think about them. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female, young or old, everyone wants compassion, love, and understanding. I share my love with you, and next week we will dive into Fiction Versus Nonfiction. Until then, enjoy your week, work hard on your story, because you love to write.
Happy Writing from rickkurtisbooks.com