How to Write Serial Fiction & Be Ready to Publish In Less Than 24 Hours

Hugh Howey Interview Part 1: Science Fiction, Indie Writing, and Success
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One of the newspapers hired me to write a novel divided into weekly episodes. The novella was such a success the paper hired me to write three more. Following that, a newsprint magazine hired me to run the same four novellas. Serial novels have recently experienced a comeback and more and more writers are experimenting with the format.

This is good, but what I have discovered is that many writers wanting to write serial fiction have little understanding of the basic elements involved and how serial fiction differs from writing a completed novel. Also, different types of serial fiction require different criteria. I try to cover all of this in this book so that even the experienced writer might find something new and of value.

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This section contains over clickable links for facebook sites and websites which post e-books. The section also contains twitter sites willing to post your books. There is a wealth of information in this book and I wish it had been around when I first self-published my book series. There are a number of intricate steps to serial writing, and C. How did this come about?

Was this an accident or on purpose? Howey: It was some of both. When I started out, I had a manuscript that a few test readers really enjoyed. My dream was to publish chapters of this book, called Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue , on a website and ask for donations. It was to be a serial adventure with little hope or dream of making real money. But I had a lot of early readers who thought this Molly Fyde story was as good as anything else out there.

I looked into going the traditional route and learned how to write a query letter. Within weeks, I had more than one small house ask for a partial and then a full submission. When an offer came in, I took it. That experience taught me a lot. I enjoyed working with a small press and an editor, but I wanted to move at a faster pace and figured I could do the pagination and marketing on my own.

So I struck out as a self-published writer with no real dream beyond selling anything more than a few hundred copies and possibly entertaining some friends. I figured I would write in obscurity the rest of my life, simply because I enjoyed it.

When Wool took off, quite by accident and all on its own, I started getting calls from agents, publishers, film companies, and TV studios. Again, there was the bug in my ear saying that this was too good not to put out traditionally. I finally caved and signed with a literary agent, but my expectation is that nothing will come of it.

I enjoy the freedom to write and to publish how I see fit. I'm finally making enough to do it full-time. A traditional publisher would have to detail a plan to really broaden my readership while allowing me to retain a lot of the freedoms I've come to appreciate.

Bestselling Series

Is this similar to your thinking? I am implementing them with my new book Junga the Dancing Yeti and will recommend this informative and helpful article to other authors I publish. I step through the entire book one final time before I click "Publish. And I will be buying this book for my fourteen-year-old daughter! Fantastic information.

There still isn't a very good model in place to handle this transition. It's something the book business is just experimenting with in recent years and trying to sort out. Howey: There are many. For a lot of indie writers, the money is better. The difference in royalty rate is startling. Also, you're free to price your books reasonably.

I'd rather excite the imagination of a legion of readers and make pennies from each of them than hold off for a larger chunk of change from only a handful of fans. I think this is why indie books make up so much of the bestseller lists on Amazon. We're more competitive with our rates, and the quality is there if you search it out. Some more advantages: Indies are privy to their real-time sales data.

  • How to Write Serial Fiction & Be Ready to Publish in Less Than 24 Hours : C R Myers : !
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We are paid monthly rather than once or twice a year. We can explore other genres.


I've been free to write standard fiction, books like Half Way Home that have more of a fantasy feel to them, all without clearing it with anyone. We can publish short stories and novellas. The greatest advantage, though, is the relationship with the fans.

As I interact with readers, there's a feeling of camaraderie, like we're all in this together. They know that I don't have a PR firm or publicist guiding my responses.

134 responses to “Book Marketing 101: How to Hit #1 on Amazon's Bestseller List”

I think they understand that my ability to write stems directly from their support, rather than from publishing advances. I don't know if all writers feel this intimate with their readers, but I suspect being independent adds some kind of special epoxy to this bond. Wecks: Being an indie author seems to be a little more DIY than traditional publishing. What do you have to do for yourself that a traditional author might not have to think about? Howey: Wow. I've had to learn how to paginate my physical books, which means learning terms like kerning and leading, widows and orphans.

I have to secure my own editing and proofreading. The onus is on me to do eight or nine revisions of every draft so the final work has the same polish readers have come to expect from other books. I had to build my own website, learn to make my own cover art, set up my own signings. Even things like selling signed copies of books off my website involve a lot of work. When an email comes in with an order, I grab a book and an envelope and sit at my desk and do it all by hand then drive it to the post office.

There's a lot involved, but I find almost every step soothing. I would be more anxious if I had to rely on someone else taking care of it for me, if I had to send an email or make a phone call and stress that I was bugging someone or that it wouldn't get done if I didn't pester them. Wecks: Trey Ratcliff the photographer and tech guru wrote a piece over on GigaOm in which he explains how he got into e-publishing. In the piece he talks about having lunch with the executives from a traditional publisher who had just agreed to publish his first book of photography and they asked him how he planned to market his own work.

Trey ended up wondering why he was giving away the rights to his work if he was going to have to do all the work to market the book anyway. Is this similar to your thinking? Where is it that you feel the advantages of being an independent author the most, where you turn and look at your traditional colleagues and think, "They don't know what they are missing? Howey: I have really good friends who are traditionally published, and I think it works best for them.

They might be miserable doing all the little steps I listed above. So I try not to think competitively about the various forms of publishing though I do wax philosophically about it on my website and in various forums at times. There are things I could be envious about and things I could be smug about. It's best to assume they all cancel out. I did have a reaction similar to Trey's when I saw the work I would need to do in order to market my own books.

It seems to be about the same degree of effort for an unknown in the traditional world as it is in the self-published world. The traditional author has a few advantages. There are publicists to lend advice, to help design flyers, posters, bookmarks and the like. But it's still up to the author to push every single book, to go to the signing, to establish the online platform. It makes you wonder why the publisher gets such a huge cut of the profits, especially for e-books, where the production costs are almost nothing.

Book Marketing 101: How to Hit #1 on Amazon's Bestseller List

I will say that, like Trey, the prospect of giving up rights to a work fills me with dread. Possibly the greatest thing about being an independent author is that you own your work. The emotional payout that comes from this is difficult to calculate. It's worth a lot. Wecks: Your books are published both for Kindle and as print copies. I admit I haven't looked, are they available on websites other than Amazon?

Howey: I've been on the Nook and iBook stores in the past. Right now I'm exclusive to the Kindle. The Wool series is going to move back to those other outlets in April, just to see if sales will be stronger this time around. Every author has a unique blend of sales success on the various e-book stores. Amazon does an amazing job of leveling the playing field for all writers. They give us tools to help promote our works that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Hopefully that will change. I would love to reach a broader audience. Wecks: For someone who is thinking about self-publishing, lay out the steps you take to get a new piece of writing from the point where you have a completed and edited manuscript to the point where someone can purchase it. Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly.

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How To Write A Book In Less Than 24 Hours

Myers recognizes the place of the serial novel in modern literature. Also, different types of serial fiction require different criteria. I try to cover all of this in this book so that even the experienced writer might find something new and of value. Learn her secret for taking "a good idea" and developing it into a blueprint for a workable serial novel, ready to publish, in less than 24 hours. Product Details. Average Review.

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