Friday, February 25, 2011

What is the right amount to give away?

      One of my writer friends put up a large portion of her first novel up for preview. I know a lot of authors will put entire books up for free. While this may work great for an established author, what is the right amount for someone starting out? I have zero experience here and don't recall ever reading much about the subject so I need your input here so we can all help each other. I did a google search for book samples and got over 64 million hits, so there is a lot of free stuff out there. I did a sampling of the samples just to get an idea and they ranged anywhere from 985 words to 4700 words. They were all one chapter or less averaging just over 2500 words. It was by no means a valid poll. I used a fairly small sample size, but I just wanted to get an idea what others are putting out there. I'm giving away a lot on my website here actually, but it is far from being ready for actual publishing.

      Whether you are published via the traditional method or via the self-publishing route if you have any advice or experience doing this sort of thing to share it would be greatly appreciated
.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why do I love Science Fiction?

      Lots of reasons actually. I love being able to stretch my imagination and explore interesting and esoteric concepts. I like extrapolating political and scientific developments into the future. I like the fact that we can take things from history and manipulate them into a story idea for a different colonial world. I like the idea of starflight and starships and maybe even faster than light travel. I know that last one is a stretch, but I love the idea. I am constantly watching the scientific circles for someone to come up with an idea that will allow for faster than light travel. I like the idea of a future for mankind, spread out among the stars, not just trapped on one world. I like that some of the concepts I've seen writer's come up actually blow my mind!

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's much easier to edit someone else's work!

      This week I had something nice happen. I connected with a new writing partner! I'm very excited about it. She is a little farther along in the writer metamorphosis, she has two novels completed already, but has agreed to work with me. We shared some of our chapters and did line edits for each other and it was very eye-opening. I met her over on Natalie Whipple's blog: http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/ 


      She set up a Writing Buddy matching thing, which seems to have really taken off and is no longer on her sight. I feel very fortunate to have wandered over there at the right time. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day Tribute - How I turned my Military SF into a PR Space Opera

      When I started planning the current WIP, I didn't have any romance in mind at all. It was going to be straight up Military SF. I don't think I even had any major female characters. As the ideas percolated I changed the sex of one of my major characters to a female, and then hit on the idea for my MC as a vampire and the entire scope of the book changed completely as did the POV. I had in mind to do a first person story from the vampires POV.


      A lot of time passed in the real world while all these gyrations were going on and in the midst of it my wife started reading again. When I say she started reading again I mean she started reading voraciously. It all happened more or less simultaneously with me trying to develop my story arc. She started really getting into the paranormal romance books.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Stop Twittering and Work on Your Novel!


      I've really gotten into twitter in the past couple of months after having an account for several years and doing nothing with it. Once I started adding people to follow it started to get a lot more interesting and then I found that other writers hang out on there and people blog about writing, how to do it better, how to publish a book, how to find an agent etc. Even some agents blog and twitter and you can learn from them too.

      
      There is also the self-publishing crowd, and there is lots of advice on how to do it and why you should or shouldn't do it. There still seems to be a bit of stigma attached to self-publishing because so much drek is making it on Amazon and other sites for easy download. Some of these are obvious by the crappy book covers or poorly written descriptions, but some of it sneaks under the RADAR and clogs up the path for really good books. I'm still torn about self-publishing. You have a lot more control over timing and price-points and book covers etc. You lose out in marketing and the "Cheese-touch" of self-publishing. All of these things are side issues to actually finishing the novel though.