Many writers are obsessed with the number of books they’re going to write in their life. Initially I also thought about how many books I could write. But later I decided to take a different route. Fewer well written books is a much better option. Now that I have more experience, a book takes approximately 4 months to appear, provided I write an hour and a half every morning. First, I read the bit I’d written the day before and then I write on.
In spite of this, a novel takes another 4 to 6 months to take final shape. During this time I read it through a few times, making corrections along the way. This second phase is even more important than the first. But many writers who are too obsessed with the number of published books devote insufficient attention to this phase, which is a big mistake.
It’s necessary to keep reading the book until there’s hardly anything left to correct. And I don’t mean just words and sentences, but the story itself. The writer must feel everything his main characters feel. You must follow your heart and add or remove sentences, paragraphs and even pages. And with every chapter, you must ask yourself if it’s necessary at all.
I’ve realized that it is best if 3 to 4 weeks pass between two readings. This gives your brain a chance to clear and you can experience the book almost anew each time.
Below you can see that I have earned 247.45$. That means that I have sold 707 books. (707 x 0.35$ = 247.45$). Because my price of book is below 2.99$ Amazon gives me only 35% of royalty (0.35 cents per book). If my price of book would be 2.99$ then I would gain 75% of royalty (2.24$ per book).
Not bad for the beginner. I’m very proud that 14.000 new readers have uploaded the book: Only the Strongest Survive in one day. In because of that the next day I have sold about 200 books for 0.99$. And the day after about 150 pieces. And so on.
You must understand that if you sell so many books (even for free) in one day, then you have positive consequences for the whole week. Amazon has a computer system that rates you higher and consequently you sell more books.
Imagine how much would I have earned if the sell price of my book would be 2.99$. In that case I would earn about 2.24$ per book.
Here is the calculation:
707 books x 2.24 $ = 1.584 USD
But I have decided to work on readership. Here is an interesting article about pricing the e-book: LINK
A few months ago I read an article about Amanda Hocking on http://amandahocking.blogspot.com. I must admit I was very impressed. It gave me a lot of ideas about self-promotion. If you read her blog from the beginning, you’ll see that she too tried to find an agent in America, but without success. In April 2010 she began publishing books in electronic form and a year later she’d already made 2 million dollars. And two months later another 2 million. The woman isn’t even thirty yet and she’s already financially secured for life. Unbelievable. Amanda is very honest in her blog, revealing important information that every future self-publisher needs. She is a decisive and persistent person who didn’t give up as soon as agents rejected her. And it was her stubbornness that allowed her to succeed where most people fail. Besides, we mustn’t forget that she loves her work and is narrowly specialized and, of course, writes interesting novels that people like.
Thank you, Amanda. You were a great inspiration to me and a source of excellent advice.
Another intriguing opening marks Ian Fox's style, which is to grab the reader's attention from the first paragraph of description: "Emely Donnovan, the CEO of Donnovan Corporation, slipped out of her black Porsche
Carrera GT sports car and hurried to the entrance of the office building. "Here are the keys, Mr. Kruger," she said to the porter. "The usual space, please."
The day proves anything but usual for fast-paced CEO Emely, one of the wealthiest women in America, when she is kidnapped and buried alive; and the story that evolves will delight mystery and thriller readers who would initially predict quite a different outcome from the initial events.
As Emely and her kidnapper evolve some unusual bonds, a strange dilemma comes to unfold: what happens when terrorism and a plot for financial gain changes to unexpected romance which is experienced on both sides?
There has been much written about emotional connections between victims and captors that evolve as a response to a struggle for survival on the victim's part - but none hold the depth and dilemma of ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE, where the captor himself is drawn to his victim.
At first the two are separated by their different objectives: hers to survive, his to reap financial gain: "When she lay on the bed or sat at the desk, she replayed the memory of what had happened to her. She thought about it so much that it gave her a headache. When she wasn't thinking she was crying, and when she wasn't crying, she was asleep.
John was not thinking of her. His thoughts revolved around the money that would soon be in his account. Every morning he rang his bank to check the balance. He knew that a transfer from abroad took at least three days, but still hoped that things would perhaps happen sooner."
Add to the budding romance other protagonists who have different interests in the changing situation plus swiftly changing motives and treachery and you have a story that follows no predictable path ... and herein lies its delight.
Ian Fox's writings will prove compelling to readers who seek complexity and difference in plots. ONLY THE STRONGEST SURVIVE is especially recommended for readers who, in the past, have read many thrillers with too few real surprises. Those who seek the thrill of the unexpected will find Ian Fox's works satisfying on many levels: filled with the depth, detail and turns that you just don't find in too many novels nowadays.
Here is an interesting article about e-books: LINK
Traditionalbooksare slowlywithdrawing. Thereis no doubt any more. It is true thatthetraditionalbook looksprettier and moreattractive, but ifone thinks ofhow manytreesarecut downeach dayin the woodsthen it isslightly different. Everything isjust a matter ofhabits. I wasverypleasantly surprised whenI firsttouched the Kindle. WhenI saw that thescreennolongershinesand theman canreadall daywithoutadverse effectson the eyes, I immediatelyfell in love in it.
I want to stress once more that the most important thing is to write that which you’ve always liked reading. Future writers must ask themselves what sort of books you’ve always liked reaching for. You must also at the very beginning think about your target readership. I have a friend who wrote rather demanding, intellectual books. Later he was very disappointed by the rate at which his books were borrowed in libraries. Not to even mention the fact that he couldn’t sell a single copy. If you’ve always liked reading intellectual content, then that is what you must write. But you must be aware that you’ll reach a much smaller circle of readers. There are many writers who write a single book and then, due to disappointment, throw in the towel. If you don’t expect too much to begin with, your disappointment will be smaller.
I’ve made many mistakes in life, but they were probably all necessary for me to arrive at the knowledge I have today. I’ve realized that only strict specialization brings results and personal satisfaction. But before you specialize, you must know what you like doing. And therein usually lays the problem.
FOCUSING ==> SPECIALIZATION ==> HIGH QUALITY PRODUCTS OR SERVICES
School and university education only give you a basic knowledge. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have to begin specializing in a specific area, be it cooking, hairdressing or chemistry.
A UNIVERSITY DEGREE IS NOT A PRE-CONDITION FOR SPECIALIZATION AND YOU ARE NOT SPECIALIZED WHEN YOU GET A UNIVERSITY DEGREE.
You can find books on any subject at Amazon.com. All you have to do is find and read them. Journals and other written material on the internet are also important. I’ve realized that if you specialize, you find out after three to five years that you stand out from the average. Besides, you begin to see things that others can’t or are unable to because they don’t have the same knowledge and experience.
ENJOYMENT IN YOUR WORK è SPECIALIZATION + HARD WORK ==> SUCCESS + GOOD PAY
There are three main problems that stop most people from being more successful:
They have a number of interests and they can’t decide what they like doing most.
They can’t be bothered.
They’re not persistent enough.
I could be bothered and I was persistent, yet I still needed many years to find out which work I liked best.
Here are two reviews that have been published recently on amazon.com:
I didn't know that an author could ever express the passion felt between 2 lovers, like Mr. Fox does in this book. NO, this is not a girlie romance book. IT'S SUSPENSEFUL, breath taking , relief and surprise! I just purchased another one of Mr. Fox's books and can't wait to start it. PLEASE Mr. FOX, GIVE US MORE EMELY DONOVAN!
This book is up there on my list of one I will always remember. It was definitely a page turner. I stayed up late a couple of nights as I just couldn't put it down. The twists and turns in this book was crazy, just like a few people in this book! But that is what made it such a page turner. Great book that I highly recommend.
I liked very much the sentence: “This book is up there on my list of one I will always remember.” Those kinds of statements make me tears in my eyes and because of them I will always continue to write.
PROMISE ME ETERNITY opens with a dark, stormy night, a physician stumbling in the darkness with a syringe of insulin and a guilty conscience and murder on the mind, and a plan that moves from cheating on his wife to plotting a man's demise.
How did Dr. Patterson arrive at this literal junction in the road of his life? Chapters flash back to the events which led him from being a successful neurosurgeon to associating with a powerful mobster's wife: a relationship which immerses him deeply in the mobster's dangerous world.
Like layers of an onion, PROMISE ME ETERNITY peels back the events that influence Dr. Patterson's moves; from his personal research trying to develop an anti-aging vaccine to his growing alienation from a money-hungry wife whose own obsession with wealth eventually lands her in danger.
It's over 370 pages long, but there's not a chapter wasted nor dull: a fast progression of strong, believable protagonists keeps the plot and its events moving along quickly, with enough unexpected twists and turns to keep even seasoned mystery readers guessing about its possible outcomes and the relationships between and choices of all the protagonists.
There are even moments of humor in the midst of detailed descriptions, such as when Carlos the mob boss is breaking and entering: "He said to the other two, in an almost soundless whisper, "I hate it when people cook fish in the house. That's what restaurants are for.""
Solid dialogue, minute descriptions of setting and place, and detailed surveys of the backgrounds of all protagonists lead to a depth and complexity most mysteries simply don't offer, and will prove inviting to a more educated reader audience than most.
What at first seems a predictable progression of events in fact offers many satisfying twists towards an ending which is totally unexpected, making PROMISE ME ETERNITY a top recommendation for mystery readers who want close psychological inspection, detailed protagonist histories, and a plot that keeps readers guessing right up to the end. Bravo!
After I completed college and specialized in power supply, which I wasn’t really interested in, I enrolled at university for a course in economics, but I finished it rather late, at the age of 28. The reason for this was that I was interested in so many other things, even though economics had always attracted me.
There was a special way of learning I used at that time, involving cassettes. I would underline the most important things in a course book and then I recorded the underlined information on tapes that were around 60 minutes long. In the end, I had over 200 tapes and I’d listened to each one up to 20 times. I don’t think many people could do that. Often, when I went out on my bicycle or for a walk, I had earphones on and listened to one of my tapes.
It wasn’t until later that I realized that this had also given me a lot of grammatical knowledge as all books must be edited. Besides, I gained a feeling for how sentences must follow each other. And as I recorded the tapes myself, I had also learnt to read out loud. A famous Russian writer once said that reading out loud greatly influenced his success. Before I started writing, I also recorded writers whom I’d always liked, such as Sidney Sheldon, Shirley Conran and Mary Higgins Clark.
There are different genres of writing and beginners must decide on one of them and find out as much about it as possible. Only later, when they’re sufficiently confident and experienced, they can create their own variant of the genre.
Vanity can cost you your career. If you’re convinced at the very beginning that you can write fantastically well and you don’t need to learn from anyone, then the cards won’t be stacked in your favor.7