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How quickly can I write Repulsive?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by BWFoster78, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    I started tracking my sprints on 7/14. Since then, I've mainly been editing. My word counts as of right now:

    Editing: 118151
    Writing: 3591

    That second number should start climbing as I just started writing Repulsive today.
     
  2. psychotick

    psychotick Auror

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    Hi,

    Just one thing - do the beta reading before the editing. Editing costs money, and so you absolutely don't want to do it, then change the book and have to do it again.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  3. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Quick update on my goals:

    Abuse of Power - in beta reading, but I'm pretty happy with my current draft. See no reason not to be able to publish 9/1.
    Rise of the Mages - 75% complete with final edits. Very happy with the results. My editor said today that she gasped out loud at a plot twist. On target to have ARCs available by the end of this month and publish 10/1.
    Repulsive - Started today. Over 5000 words. I'm pretty sure I've done 5000 words in a day before, but only a couple of times and never more than that. Fantastic start. Too early to say if I'll meet 11/1.

    Okay, I've read a lot of authors advising wannabees to publish once a month, so I'm really working hard to make that happen. I don't think, however, that I can have another novel done by Dec 1. Here are my options:

    I plan to eventually write a standard length (as opposed to epic length) novel set in the Rise world called Wizard's War. I'm envisioning two novelettes, one from the nobles POV and one from the mages, to basically serve as the prelude to that book. At 10-15k each, those would be pretty easy to knock out and would fill my Dec and Jan slots while still giving me a lot of time to work on Gryphon. Best of all, Amazon apparently counts box sets as a new release, so I can package, at some point, Abuse, these novelettes, and the novel together and make that my "new release" for a month.

    I'm also thinking of an anthology of origin stories for the heroes and villains of my Repulsive world. I'm thinking, though, that I'd rather release that the month before releasing Attractive (or Radiant, haven't quite figured out the title yet to my Repulsive sequel).

    Anyway, I am so freaking motivated right now. Can't wait to get up in the morning to get more words on the page!

    Night.
     
  4. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Brian - something I have noted in my own pathetic series efforts:

    You really do not want to release book one into the world without having at least a rough draft of the sequel.

    When I wrote the second volume of my novella series, I was forced into making changes to the first story to make it consistent. Same story with the third - had to go back and change some names, which shifts some background alliances, and so on. Mostly this is consistency stuff, so you don't go mixing up the names of bad guys who are way in the background in book one and don't appear until book 2 or 3. Or getting country names mixed up, or having an inland nation with a sea coast, that sort of thing.
     
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  5. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    This is such a great place to be in! And I'm thrilled to see you starting with the marketing plan and then writing to that. That's absolutely the best way to make a success of writing (ie money). I've never been quite that organised - I write 'em, publish 'em and then think about marketing. It works up to a point but your way is definitely better.

    Watching your progress with interest.
     
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  6. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    ThinkerX,

    With my main series, I have a really solid understanding of the entire story, though not all the plot lines have been developed completely. I know how it starts, the general journey of each of the characters, and where it ends, though. I'll also sketch out the sequel before I publish Repulsive.

    Thanks for the warning, though.
     
  7. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    My motivation is still sky-high, and I'm still making tons of progress.

    One week in, and I'm over halfway done with my rough draft of Repulsive. The word count is a little light at the moment, but my recent experience is that my second drafts tend to increase by 10-20%. Overall, I'm pretty happy.

    My goal is to finish by next Monday, spend two weeks doing a 2nd draft, and another week polishing before sending to beta readers. Tough but, at my current production rates, doable.

    In other good news, I sent the completed copy of Rise of the Mages to my proofreader this morning - about a week ahead of schedule!
     
  8. DanJames

    DanJames Scribe

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    I've spoke to a crime writer who pretty much operates like this. One thing he told me is that if you aren't capable of writing like thi, then don't waste your time on it, but you seem fairly confident in your ways. His productivity is incredible, his last book first draft was a week and a half, with some days of not working in betwen as well, think he average dlike 17k a day.
     
  9. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Another weekly update on my progress:

    Abuse of Power:

    Still on schedule top release 9/1. I got my final two sets of beta reader comments back. Revisions to be done this week. Off to the proofreader early next week.

    Rise of the Mages:

    Still on schedule to release 10/1. I've corrected the errors found by my proofreader. I'll compile a pre-final version tonight to send to advance readers to look for any more mistakes, then start sending out ARCs early next month. (Let me know if you want to become one of those advance readers!)

    Repulsive:

    I think I can realistically release this 11/1. I finished the rough draft yesterday, and I'm about 12% done with the second draft. On track to send my 3rd draft for beta reading on 9/7.

    Prelude to Wizards War - Parts 1 and 2:

    The goal here is two novellas to be released 12/1 and 1/1. I haven't got past the conceptual stage yet, so lots to do.

    Repulsive Origins:

    The goal is 8 short stories to release as an anthology on 2/1. I'm waiting to get one set of beta reader comments back before completing my first story. Lots to do.

    Gryphon:

    The sequel to Rise of the Mages to be released 3/1. In the initial planning stages.

    Untitled sequel to Repulsive:

    To be released 4/1. Haven't even thought much about it yet.

    Yes. You read all that right. I have yet to publish a single darn thing (unless you count Abuse of Power in Myths Inscribed or the short story in Ankari's anthology), yet I'm scheduling myself to publish an anthology, 3 novellas, and 4 novels in the next 8 months. Well, if I don't succeed as a writer, it won't be because I didn't push myself :)
     
  10. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    This is just awesome, Brian! I'm really rooting for you. :) Just remember to breathe, OK?

    ETA: You look like you've got the writing part sorted, but if you have any questions when you get to the publishing/marketing stage, feel free to email me. pmross AT paulinemross.co.uk
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Will do.

    I'm pretty much planning on releasing AoP with no marketing or promotions. I'm going KU with it, though, and I'm going to make it free at the beginning of October.

    Actually, I do have a couple of questions:

    1. How long does it take between the time you upload to Amazon and the book goes live?

    2. Regarding making AoP free: how far in advance can I schedule that? And does the work have to be up on Amazon for a certain time before you can make it free?

    I plan to do paid promotions (I bookmarked your Kboards thread and others) in October. I'm also building my email list. I'm at 64 as of today.

    Thanks!

    Brian
     
  12. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    Typically between 12-24 hours. You probably don't want to do this, but if you put the book up for pre-order, it goes live on the stroke of midnight, but in each country. So you get a rolling launch, and you can pop the champagne at midnight Australia time, and be seriously drunk by the time it's out in the States.:)

    I think as soon as it's live and in Select/KU, you have your 5 free days available, and you can schedule each one as late as the day before. So in theory, you could have your first free day the day after launch (but then you can't plan any promo for it, of course).

    64 already! Well done. I'm still inching towards 40. :)

    I think starting in Select/KU is a wise move. You can always go wide later, when you've built a fanbase and have a good portfolio, but it really does help with the early exposure. And the new KU, that pays by pages read, is awesome for novel-writers. I've more than doubled my borrows revenue as a result (I made $1,000+ from pages read alone in July!).
     
  13. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    So if I want to launch on 9/1, probably best to load it the morning of 8/31?

    That's another question I had: do you have to load separately for each country or is the book automatically available everywhere or do you choose which countries? And how are taxes handled? If I sell five books in the UK, do I owe taxes in the UK? Is it worth it making the book available internationally?

    Perfect. My plan is to release Rise on 10/1 and make Abuse free for the five days from 10/1 to 10/5. There's a heavy tie-in between the two works, and I've included some relevant advertising. I was planning to hit the promotion of the free days pretty hard in hopes that people would download and read Abuse and then go on to buy Rise.

    I had my blog up for a long time, and I solicited email addresses in return for a free download of the 2nd Edition of Abuse of Power. That's where most of those came from, but they're really old and I haven't sent out a single email to any of them yet. (You signed up, btw.) I figure, I'll get a lot of unsubscribes with the first email I sent out, but it makes me feel good to start with some.

    I have gotten a few the last couple of days from my new website and from Facebook, though.

    This decision is actually a 180 for me. I kinda hate Amazon's growing monopoly, but I just think the advantage to me is too strong to ignore. Like you say, I can always go wide later once I build a following.

    I'm also going to try to capitalize on momentum by an aggressive release schedule. A lot of people at kboards seem to think that it really helps to release monthly. There's no real numbers backing up that assertion that I saw, but I figure it can't hurt to get more things out there. And I like big goals.

    That is fantastic! I'm so happy for you. You're one of the reasons I'm so motivated.

    I kept hearing everywhere that "one shouldn't expect to make any money as a writer." Then I heard about your success and you told me about kboards where it seems like people are pulling in cash hand over fist. I thought, "I need to get off my butt and get to work!"

    Thanks again!

    Brian
     
  14. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Brian,

    I want to thank you for starting this thread and keeping up to date with it. I'm doing something similar to what you are and this thread has been motivating. Keep up the good work!
     
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  15. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Chesterama,

    You don't know how happy I am that you posted!

    I'm am so unbelievably motivated right now. That I could pass some of that on is fantastic. Made my day!

    Brian
     
  16. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    It's very hard to say. It can be anything from 4-48 hours. I'd say load it on the afternoon of 8/31, to make sure it's live on 9/1, and even then it's not guaranteed.

    When you upload the book, there's a page where you can choose which countries you want to sell in, and the prices. You can set the price individually for each country, or set it to convert from the US price. There's no good reason I can think of NOT to sell everywhere. I get about 10% of sales from outside the US, which is not insignificant.

    All local (sales) taxes are handled by Amazon, and you don't even need to think about those. When you get your royalties (either by check or direct to your bank account), you get a separate payment from each country you've had sales in. Then it's up to you to handle the tax due to your own government for that income (whether as an individual, a DBA or an incorporated company).

    Apart from prices and countries to sell in, the other big decisions you'll need to make when uploading are categories, ages and keywords. You can choose 2 categories: mine are Fiction > Fantasy > Epic and Juvenile Fiction > Fantasy & Magic. I've set the ages to minimum 14+. The epic fantasy category is huge, my books are never going to rank there, barring miracles, but the Juvenile fiction and age 14+ settings get me into YA categories, which are much more accessible to smallfry like me, and will suit your books too.

    Keywords are important for subcategories you can't get into any other way (like sword and sorcery, and coming of age). You can have up to 7 keywords, separated by commas, BUT you can put as many words and phrases as you like into each one, up to 400 characters. Here are the keywords for one of mine:

    Mature female protagonist guard, Spells mage mages heir ruler, Epic fantasy adventure post-apocalypse, Mystery powers quest, Love triangle romance, Sword ships harbour coast port fleet sea battle, Magic tower tunnel dungeons kidnap escape

    I highly recommend you set up your account with KDP and put at least one book on there (you can keep it in draft mode) so that you can see all the options and experiment a bit, and ask questions! You don't want to be sitting there on 8/31 trying to upload and wondering what all these things mean. Of course you can change them later, but it's better to get it close to right the first time.

    There is lots of anecdotal evidence of the 30-day cliff. For the first 30 days after release, a book is eligible for the Hot New Releases list in its various subcategories. This is a MUCH smaller pool of books than the entire store, and it's possible to rank pretty well in the fantasy categories with only a few sales per day. Plus, a lot of voracious readers are actively looking for new books. Huge visibility. But after 30 days, you lose that, so having new material out within a month, or not long after, really gets the momentum going. The 30-day cliff is very real in the romance categories, not so much in fantasy, but it's still worth bearing in mind. If you can't quite get a release out every month, putting the next one up for pre-order with a link at the back of the existing books works pretty well too.

    It's possible. If you can write to a genre, and write/release fast, and keep up the momentum month after month, it's possible to make good money. I can't write that fast (a book every four months, roughly), but I'm making a fair bit. And the nice thing is that it increases with every book. Here are some more numbers for you: with one book out, I averaged $2 per day; with 2 books out, I averaged $19 per day; with 3 books out, I've averaged $50 per day to date (although dropping fast now). I'm hopeful that the fourth book next month will crank things up another notch. And that's with a relatively slow release schedule. I know one lady who's gone from coffee money to a 5 figure income in 2 months flat by writing to a popular genre, and releasing on a relentless schedule. So it can be done.

    I hope this is helpful. Some of this will be stuff you already know, but it might help other people too.
     
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  17. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Works. Thanks.

    What I'm understanding from this is that I don't have to worry about the British and Australian governments knocking on my door with their hands out because Amazon handles that portion. My accountant can handle the US portion. So no worries about selling in other countries. Good deal.

    Did you list in non-English speaking countries as well?

    Okay. I'll do this next week.

    Thanks for this. I read the big keyword thread at kboards, but seeing your words (and the discussion on categories) helps. When I make my decisions, I'll post and, if you don't mind, you can comment with your thoughts. Like you said, hopefully all this will help those who come after us.

    Ok. This is a good explanation! I think I'm mainly doing it at the moment just for the challenge of it: Can I do a new release the first of every month for 9 (now!) months? It'll give me a chance to experiment with different strategies, promotions, and types of books, too.

    I'd be very happy with a couple thousand per month. My biggest fear is that I do all this and ... crickets.

    Good to know how you've done, though. I'll have some expectations at least.

    Tremendously so! Thanks again!

    Brian
     
  18. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Brian,

    A bit off the current track, but I have some questions on your achievements so far.

    I bought Chris Fox's book because the process intrigues me. One thing I desperately need is a massive increase in production. I'm far too slow a writer, averaging around 500 per day, if I'm lucky, and that's over two hours.

    After reading the book and working through the initial sprint writing exercises, I've completed 3 morning sprints of different lengths for an average of 2080 WPH. I'm pre-planning scenes and outlining throughout the day when time allows, so each morning my scene is ready to write.

    So far, so good. Two days, four sprints of 10, 13 (a distraction popped in), 15, & 5 minutes yielded 1491 words. While that's not blindingly fast, and I know it'll improve with training, it's still triple the production of one normal day with my old method, performed in 43 minutes of sprint writing instead of 4 to 6 hours.

    The quality I'm accustomed to isn't there of course, and I'm constantly resisting the urge to edit to perfection with the understanding that when finished drafting, I'll make it good.

    My question comes with the editing. I haven't yet done the editing sprint exercise, partially because it doesn't make complete sense. Chris claims the editing phase is faster than the actual writing, and it seems your results bear this out. However, I can't help thinking that my editing will be slower than actual writing because I'll be paying attention to finer detail.

    I understand the first edit is content editing and the last is meant to be proofreading, but where in the process does the writer actually improve on the quality of the narrative, the quality of description, showing versus telling, and employing active voice where passive sneaks into the prose? Descriptive quality and conscious showing seem like editing activity that will take a decent amount of focus. That attention to detail seems contrary to speed. Perhaps I'm wrong. Like I said, I haven't done the sprint editing exercises yet.

    Some of the above writing elements I do as second nature, like employing active voice as a default. Still, some passive voice slips in if I'm writing at a higher rate of speed. Not much, but some. What I find more lacking is the quality of description, which I believe is usually a strength of mine.

    Should I expect all these things to improve as I train this new creative process? Will sprint editing be slower if these details need a lot of work?

    The editing section of the book is far less clear to me since issues of detail and refinement for quality are hardly discussed.

    What has your experience with this method taught you so far?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  19. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Hi T. Allen, in regards to Chris Fox's process, I believe that editing passive voice, etc is what he means by content editing. I haven't read that part of his book yet, but from what you are describing that sounds like it would make the most sense. Remember, you are training yourself to write in a way that you aren't accustomed to. How exciting, right?! His process for writing works. I used to suffer through words (700 in 3 hours if I was lucky) until I started a process similar to his with outlining scenes, doing sprints, etc and now I can write anywhere between 3-4,000 words in about 4 hours (averaging 1,000 words per hour). SO not kidding about that. Hang in there!
     
  20. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Thanks Chesterama. I dig the process so far and it is exciting to stretch boundaries, especially considering the rut I've experienced over the last few months. I promised myself to give it a full month of discipline before I make any judgments. I'm even writing first thing in the morning now instead of late at night to knock it out before the real day begins.

    I figured he probably meant that prose improvement takes place during content editing, but I still don't see how sprint editing in this stage will be faster than the sprint writing. It's seems like the attention to detail will naturally slow this down considerably.
     
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