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novel: the long lonely trip forward unless you find the right help. The trip can also be pretty expensive and take
a lot of time. The key things you have to ask yourself is can I afford the amount of money it will take to
push my novel past the fog of thousands of other novelists looking to do the same thing and do I really know
the true worth of what I have just created. The latter point can be painful if you have to acknowledge that your
masterpiece isn't worth the paper it was printed on.
After seven years of off and on writing of my novel, many revisions
to numerous to count, and paying someone to edit my novel: I was ready to send my manuscript to a literary agent
who would find some merit in my novel. Naturally, none of the Literary agents bothered to respond to my
efforts. I was at a loss and didn't know what to do. Finally after I created a page for my
novel on my photography site ( Custom Photography ) I thought of selling my novel
as an Amazon Kindle product. Somehow, I made a mistake in searching for Kindle and ended up in Amazon's
self-publishing division: Create Space. Once I could see how easy it was to self publish my novel and because
I have a background in photography, I created my own front and back cover using templates provided by create space
and my own photographs, I was like a man who had been revived with smelling salts in the ninth round - I was back
in business. The best part of all this is that I could order each book for $5.36 plus shipping costs. And once I
held a copy of my novel in my hand. I knew I was going to do what I could do for this novel.
Yes, I am an affiliate of X-Site pro and if you buy any
X-Site program or training, I will get a small commission for each sale. X-Site pro
wasn't the first software I used to build a site. The first was Microsoft Frontpage
and after I brought the software, I learned that I had bought the last edition of
this software. A year or two later I bought Microsoft Expression. This software was
supposed to replace and enhance Frontpage. Unfortunately, this software was too
complicated for me to learn.
Which brings us back to X Site Pro a program that is easy to learn and has some
features that make it easy to put in ads from Amazon, Google or Affliate ads. It
also is easier to plug into social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and offers
software that lets you put a comment's section on your site. But the most
important thing about X Site Pro is that the company is selling more than a good
web site builder. It is also offering training on building your web site,
attracting traffic to your web site and even offers a course on web site design. All
this means is that an average person like me can put out a decent web site that
attracts good search results(SEO
) in my local areas like Fort Pierce, Vero Beach and Port
Saint Lucie and improves my search rankings in national search
And if I needed to revise my novel all I had to do was upload my revisions
and okay the proof of the new revisions. Basically, this means spending $5.36 plus shipping for a proof book. A
proof book is a copy of my book with the word 'Proof' printed on the last page. This is probably the
biggest reason why a publishing outfit like Create Space is the way to go. Sooner or later you are going to realize
that you need to make changes to some area in your novel. If you had already paid for several thousand copies of
your novel and they haven't sold you are not going to make those changes. Trust me, that is how life works.
Perfection almost never comes with the first edition.
The downside to a service like create-space is if you elect not to use their
expensive services like editing and cover design you have to be ready to publish
something professional. I thought I was prepared until I sold a copy of my novel to
Bill Benton. Bill found some mistakes in my novel and afterwards. I gave my novel
two through edits and found a lot more mistakes. I offered to pay Bill some money
if he could give my novel a thorough edit. He did and found a lot more mistakes in
my novel. Bill has a background as a lawyer and I think that background is
essential if you want someone to correct your grammar and help to make your novel
more precise without changing the plot and tone of your novel. Most of
the mistakes in my novel that Bill found most people would not have noticed.
But once I saw these mistakes. I wasn't going to sell another copy of my novel
until all the mistakes were corrected and the novel was revised and published
Create space also offers marketing at an added price. I have experience mixed results with their marketing
efforts. Create space's marketing services can be pretty expensive and some of the services do little to advance
- Press release service: Service is very expensive and many of
the people they sent a press release to have nothing to do with someone reviewing or giving some publicity to
your novel. Two people on their list checked out my site, and not one review was gained from my press
release. The other thing about someone else writing a press release or review of your novel is that
the writer doesn't always understand the actual plot of your novel or what you are trying to accomplish. This
is something I recently understood after I rewrote the story line part of the press release.
The better thing to do is learn how to write a press release and go to the sites where you can send out
some press releases for free.
- ForeWordC Review: I liked my review
and felt it was worth the money. Yes, there was some criticism. For example, the reviewer said I could have
provided more depth for some of the nasty people in my novel. I can't argue with that point because I never
intended to provide depth with some of my nasty people. Providing some basic motivations for their actions was
good enough for me. My review was listed on their site and showed up on some google searches. The
reviewer also provided a good quote which I put on the cover of my novel.
- Kirkus Review: This is a pretty snobby group and I only put
part of their review on my site and opted out of putting my review on their site. What really irritated me
about the review was that I felt the reviewer didn't bother to read all of my novel. In the review, he
describes Jan(the main female) as the love of the protagonist. This misses the point that he was obsessed with
Jan and that is much different than someone who is the love of your life. If this person had bothered to read
the last chapter, they would have known that they missed one the key themes of my novel.
- Other Services: Create Space has several other marketing
services which I wasn't interested in, but you might want to check out. They also run a blog and offer videos
on different aspects of writing.
As a new author you can find many people trying to sell you services
that will give you a big time audience. Listed below are two non-create space services that I have used. If you
have a website, you need to have a way of measuring the things you do to increase exposure and sales for your
novel. I use Google analytics because it is free and gives me a good idea of what is and what is not
working on my site.
- Websites for readers: There are many websites for readers but
the biggest one I found was goodreads. This site like other sites for authors offers you an authors page and contests
that offer free books from authors. 790 people entered my contest - giveaway of 10 books. 104 people marked
my novel as 'to read'. After the contest ended on 8/13/11 one contest winner wrote a review of my novel. I
am happy to say she wrote a favorable review. However, not one person who marked my novel 'to read'
actually bought a copy of my novel, even though I offered a refund on the price of the novel. I am not sure
what I have learned from this experience.
- Facebook: Facebook also offers paid ads for
people trying to sell something. As most people know Facebook's ads reach a much bigger market than your
local newspaper. Facebook also allows you to set your daily budget for your ad and offers categories where you
can target your ads for specific people or groups. During the period where I used Facebook's ads over 1400
people clicked on to my site. Almost 90% of these people stayed less than 10 seconds on my site. My ads were
directed to those people who were interested in buying a novel and getting a refund on the novel. Why those
people didn't understand my ad. I don't know. What did they expect to find when they clicked on my site, I also
don't know? The only thing I do those was that Facebook's ads were a spectacular failure for me.
Below is a audio featuring successful author, John Harricharan. The
title: The seven deadly myths of writing and publishing a
best seller. Mr. Harricharan gives some reasons as to why I
was unsuccessful in finding a literary agent regardless as to whether my novel had merit or no merit
This audio is presented by: Authors University Their site is worth taking a look at. They also offer a guide to writing, publishing and
marketing your book and becoming a best selling author.
Presently, I have not taken this course, but I am thinking about it, because some of the ideas expressed in the
above John Harricharan audio(he also teaches this course) have resonated with me. Certainly, the outdated idea
that once you finish your novel you should look for a literary agent or publisher. Certainly, technology, the
internet and a bad economy have changed the way books get published. I regret the time I wasted looking
for a literary agent. I could have spent that time and money marketing my book. The following is a quote from my
novel. I believe the quote properly expresses my view to the difficulties of getting your novel published and
“Famous, you bet I should
have been famous,” Geezer number one harshly told his friend. “I tried to get in the remake of ‘Mondo
Freudo,’ but I was told if you weren’t a midget, monkey, or an unwashed celebrity, you just didn’t meet
If you have a web site please list your site's url. It is a good way to improve your SEO
via links from other sites. Also if people like your content they may click on your site and like your site's
content. If you are a author, maybe they might even buy a copy of your
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