Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Manifesto of Independent Writing and Publishing (On Writing for Ebook Authors)

RULE ONE: READ MORE THAN YOU WRITE

Welcome to The Manifesto of Independent Writing and Publishing: On Writing for Ebook Authors.
After three years in the publishing business and over thirty-five titles in print, I have much to say about this industry.  I've spoken at Comic Con panels, answered countless emails, tweets, and fielded a wide variety of questions from those of you who are interested in how to be a successful author.
The complete Manifesto is now available for sale on Amazon and includes a much larger volume of information that is not available anywhere else.  It's filled with rules, tips, and formatting instructions, all designed to help you succeed and stay true to the writer's craft.
Inside the book, you'll find the following info:

The Manifesto of Independent Writing and Publishing
1.   Read More than You Write
2.   Do Not Publish Everything You Write
3.   Stay Away From Forums, Unless You Are Seeking Guidance
4.   Do Not Engage Trolls
5.   Provide Excellent Value for Fair Cost
6.   Remember that You Are a Public Figure When Using Social Media
7.   Support Other Independent Authors
8.   Be a Responsible Promoter of Your Work
9.   Reject Conventional Publishing
10. Pursue Excellence Instead of Reward
11. Publish or Perish
12. Reward Your Readers
13. Make Pricing Strategies, Giveaways, and Advertising Work for You
14. Find an Editor You Love (and Hate)
15. On Dirty Tricks
16. Remember to be an Author First and a Publisher Second
17. Shut Up and Do it Already
18. Be Self Sufficient
19. So You Want to do This Full Time?
20. My Personal List of Resources for Production and Sales of Ebooks

2. Simple Ebook Formatting
for the Non-Computer Savvy, Nervous, and Struggling
21. Programs You Need
22. On Second Thought
23. Step One: The Correct File Format
24. Step Two: The Most Important Formatting Key
25. Step Three: Get Rid of the Clutter
26. Step Four: Correct Set Up
27. Step Five: Organize Your Manuscript
28. Step Six: Create a Linking Table of Contents
29. Step Seven: Bookends that Sell
30. Step Eight: Format Your Cover
31. Step Nine: Format Your Manuscript for Kindle, Nook and Kobo
32. Step Ten: Now You're a Published Author

33. Format Your Book for Createspace

We'll begin this lecture series with number one, "Read More than You Write."
This rule has been true since time immemorial, and I first saw it put into writing by either Peter David or Harlan Ellison.  I can't remember which.  But if you look back through history at letters written by the great authors of the past, you will see that they adhered to it as well.
Hemingway often discussed the wide variety of books he was reading, and had a tendency to assess his competitors as rivals he must someday square off against.  When Bill Thompson and I worked together on Whitechapel, Bill asked me my opinion of some of the authors currently on the best seller lists.  He then told me that every single one of them was my competition now, and that I must be able to compete with them and defeat them or go home.
When you are writing a lot (and there are periods over the past three years when I have written A LOT. I'm talking novels, short story collections, essays, and more) you don't realize the slow drain to your creative resources that is taking place.  One day, you wake up and realize your pool of story manufacturing is a little dry.  You find yourself repeating things.  Sure, the mechanics of the work is excellent because your tools are all extremely sharp, but the inspiration, the dream-like substance of it all that allows you to surprise readers and yourself begins to get soggy.
Reading corrects that.
It doesn't matter what format you read in, either.  Print, digital, and audio and are all excellent sources of nutrition to any writer's diet.  If you only have a few hours a night to spare and they are dedicated to your publishing endeavors, go to the library and take out a few audio books on CD.  Listen to them during your daily commute.
I believe that in a short period of time, the publishing industry will collapse.  That will leave the job up to people like us to secure the future of literature for generations to come.  We can leave them a litany of poorly written .99 John Locke books about vapid private investigators or we can create art.  If you're following me along with this list, I'm trusting that you are in the second camp, and I'm grateful to have you.

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