I recorded my 3rd episode of Walks & Talks where I give an update on my writing and talk about imposter syndrome.
Today I want to talk about publishing. While storytelling may not be your G-d given talent, it’s a skill like any other and can be improved upon. Everyone has a story to tell and I think everyone can write a book. It’s a lot like starting a workout regiment. If you have the discipline and dedicate time to daily manageable goals you will reach the finished product without feeling overwhelmed.
Once you get started on your writing journey, you will want to think about distribution. I have experience with a few options, but if you’re just starting out I recommend KDP, which is Kindle Direct Publishing. You can capture up to 70% of the royalties of each digital book copy sold and if you feel like most of your sales come from Amazon you can join the select program and be exclusive to amazon in exchange for the ability to share your work with Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited is great because it can help boost your book’s overall ranking and you get paid per page read by members (think of it like Netflix for books).
You can also create paperbacks on KDP, but if you’re interested in physical books there are other avenues with more options (like Ingram Spark) however I’m going to stick with KDP for the rest of this post. It’s effective, and simple. A great place for beginners looking to control their publishing fate.
So, why is writing a book important? It can help establish your brand; people still love to read books and what better way to capture your entire story than to write a book about it? It can be fiction (a parable or a fable), it can be nonfiction, it can be whatever you want–you could publish a cook book if that’s what you think fits your brand.
Books are timeless. Books go up on Amazon and you don’t have to think about them ever again. You could create some ads to draw traffic and reference them in your videos but they aren’t costing you any money by sitting there. You aren’t paying for warehouse space or anything.
At close to no cost (outside of time, professional editing, and cover art) you’ve opened yourself up to passive revenue streams that you don’t have to actively promote, that you don’t have to run the fulfillment services for, that you don’t have to handle shipping costs or anything. Your book is out there for the world to see and you can promote it however you want.
This isn’t a strategy that’s going to make you a millionaire, but it feels great to wake up in the morning and see 10 people were interested in your story and purchased a copy. This happened to me recently. I saw I had 40 bucks moved to my bank account from Amazon royalty services. I was stressed with exams, and feeling a little overwhelmed, and this put a smile on my face. It’s fun to be able to treat someone to dinner with royalties–it made me feel like a real writer. I think Stephen King once described talent as being able to pay the electric bill with something you wrote.
To conclude this post, writing a book is a great way to encapsulate your story, diversify your brand, and create passive revenue streams. It’s also a way to expand global reach, and grow your business affordably, by offering a new product with very low upfront costs AND offers you the ability to build an infrastructure around the culture you’re trying to implement into your business.
It’s release day! Into the Storm is officially out! We have a ten episode season one planned for you, all available on Kindle Unlimited.
Odd number episodes follow my MC Jakobe and even number episodes follow Lauren’s MC Lexa.
It’s been a fun experiencing co-authoring for the first time, I hope it’s even more fun for you all to read.
My writing stresses me out. It’s not that I think I’m a bad writer. I know I’m not at the ability of my daydream self. Daydream Ari is able to write a masterpiece in an afternoon with words so powerful they can launch a rocket to Mars, dig up water, sprout life into a vacuum, and cure cancer.
It’s just that, I finish a rough draft under the guise of, it’s okay if it’s shit because that’s what editing is for, but then the editing starts and I’m just staring at this 300 page document thinking “what have I done?”
There’s always good writing in it. That’s not because I’m a good writer it’s just simple statistics. Anyone who can read and write is capable of saying something smart if they have 70,000 words to play with. The problem is, I’m often left asking two questions (depending on the book I’m working on):
1) Where the hell is the plot?
2) why do these characters suck?
Okay, there’s a chance there’s a third question that’s some combination of the previous 2 but I just bury those manuscripts deep in my desktop folders for future Ari to deal with–future Ari has gotta be way smarter than me after all.
The problem I’m dealing with now comes from two manuscripts. Both are about 250 pages, both lack that emotional punch. It’s impressive how unemotional they are actually I mean one deals with assisted suicide and euthanasia in a fantasy setting (it’s disguised as a medical option but it’s really a non-mortal experience on another plane of existence) and the other deals with a painter who is forced to return home and is haunted by his dead fiance.
Both lack backstory, which I can’t weave in without flashbacks, and I’m nervous the flashbacks I put in during edits are too abrupt–like la di da here’s your story then BAM! Flashback boulder drops from the sky and you have to walk all the way around it to get back to the plot.
I mean–I guess what sucks is these are clearly supposed to be emotional stories with deep themes–I guess–and they more often than not leave me asking “so what?” while I’m reading them. I can’t publish them because I don’t feel like punishing people for buying my book lol.
I’m just in a bit of a rut I guess. Part of me wants to work on new projects but I know that’s crazy since I have these old projects to work on. I also know if I can’t edit these old projects what’s the point in working on something new because it’s just going to end up in my edit folders one day and will never be touched again.
So I’m working on these two projects–I’m hoping I find results.
I have another novella coming out October 17
I have two episodes of a serial I’m co-writing with Lauren Lee coming out September 4th with a new episode released monthly.
It would be a nice win if I could put out my first full length novel soon.
By Tuesday I will be done with all my exams and final essays. Summer will finally be here and I will have more time to focus on writing and editing. My two main goals for the summer are release two novellas. Nothing substantial, each over 100 pages. Third Life is in its final edits and I’m hoping to publish it either the end of May or the start of June.
The second project I hope to publish this summer is a bit more whimsical. It’s a world where reapers create balance by not only guiding souls from one world to the next but also returning life to our world in the form of gardens.
This story is completely outlined and ready to go, I’ve just been waiting for exams to finish before I actually get started. I know it’s silly. In the time it takes me to write this blog I could’ve probably knocked out the first chapter, but for some reason, I enter full freakout mode if I start working on anything creative during finals week (and weekend). My time is divided between studying and recharging so I can get back to studying.
While my publishing plans are set I do have plans to continue editing The Absolute, however, I have changed the name to Skipping Over Sundays. I don’t know how a book that has gone through so many edits is a complete mess. Not even a mess, it’s just boring and I don’t think I explain the cool aspects of it at all so people who read it will end up being bored and confused, which is never a good combination. I really wanted the weight of his wife’s death to haunt him, and it’s just such a shitty representation of it. Also the ending drives me crazy cause it just all wraps up nicely and I dont think I–yeah doesn’t matter. I’ll just let it be for now. Probably send it off to a couple readers who can tell me exactly where the problems start. A fresh set of eyes will probably help.
I also plan on editing The Pathetic Tycoon especially now that I restructured it and deleted all the unnecessary points of view. It has become a cool rivalry between an old criminal and a young businessman.
My final project in the making is a MG series I plan on writing starring my new niece and all the adventures she is going to go on. I’m excited to take a crack at MG. I know there are a lot of amazing writers in the genre who produce phenomenal stories, and I’ll have my work cut out for me to find a voice in it, but I’m really excited because it’s a genre that’s more welcoming of the whimsical, and it’s something I really enjoy including in my writing because I don’t know, it just feels like a mason jar of happiness. Sorry this is such a bad ramble, I’ll end this post here, I just wanted to keep you all up to date on my upcoming plans.