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Forums » Smalltalk » AMA: Self-Published Author

Hi there. As the title says I'm a self-published author. I've been writing since I was 11 years old, so 14 years now, and have been officially published 1.5 years. I write romance (often spicy), with a focus on queer romance, but I really just write whatever pairings come to me. The genre I write the most in is contemporary, second urban fantasy/paranormal, and third fantasy. Feel free to ask me anything! About my books, my writing process, editing process, or formatting process. Covers, marketing, royalties, reviews, social media and making connections. Everything is on the table!

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Claine Moderator

Hi Mercy!! Can you please explain your initial pre-writing process. And what do you do if your ideas radically change later down the line?
MercyInReach Topic Starter

Claine wrote:
Hi Mercy!! Can you please explain your initial pre-writing process.

Hii!! Of course. I am a big ole planner/plotter. Which means I usually plan the plot from start to finish, it's just how my brain works and makes writing the first draft much quicker for me. I start with:

Basic Idea (a few sentences of the first idea I ever have about a project)

Then:

Beginning

Middle

End.


Then expand that further to:

Beginning > Hook > Inciting Event

Middle > Pinch Point > Crisis

Climax > Resolution > End


And so fourth, expanding until I have each chapter plotted out, sometimes in just a few sentences, sometimes several paragraphs.

While I'm doing all this I'm coming up with character names, backstories, relationships. Their quirks and such. Sometimes it comes while I'm working on the initial idea, other times it comes together in pieces.
Claine wrote:
...what do you do if your ideas radically change later down the line?

Usually radical changes for me come in the plotting stage. I might be working on the end and realize something I need to add into the beginning or change about the beginning. So, I go back and rewrite the plot to fit these new ideas in.

If a brand new idea comes in while I'm actively writing chapter 22 that would require previous chapters to radically change, I just note down all the things that need to change in those chapters, and then continue writing chapter 22 and onward as if I already rewrote the previous chapters. Once I'm done with the entire draft, then I go back and actually rewrite those chapters.

I have personally never had my ideas change so radically that I cannot continue forward without going backward and rewriting everything first. Usually writing down at least in the notes of the previous chapters what needs to change and then continuing on works for me.

There's one...lonely solitary case, in which I wrote a book, published said book, and a year later realized it isn't anything like what I wanted it to be. It doesn't represent my true interests that I discovered only after publishing, and just doesn't feel like I wrote it. So, I decided to unpublish it and will one day rewrite it entirely. Potentially removing an entire secondary character that was important in the first version that will no longer be in the second. I was sad about it for a while, very anxious...but, I feel weight off my shoulders now that I don't have a published book up that doesn't really represent my brand and what I want to be known for writing.
Claine Moderator

Thank you for your response! I think I'll try to break down my own work into that format!
Kim Site Admin

I seem to recall that I bought your book via Amazon, for my Kindle. What has your experience been working with/selling via Amazon?
MercyInReach Topic Starter

Kim wrote:
I seem to recall that I bought your book via Amazon, for my Kindle. What has your experience been working with/selling via Amazon?

Sorry for the delay I didn't see the notification! Publishing and selling via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing so far has been fairly problem free for me. I've had a couple issues with needing to prove ownership of my work being a little harder than I'd like but not many other issues. It's incredibly easy to get my books uploaded and available for people to purchase, as well as have my books available for people to read on Kindle Unlimited. I make most of my sales from Kindle Unlimited.

If I had to change one thing about the Amazon experience it would be that I wish they monitored reviews more strictly and didn't allow reviews from people who didn't actually read the book but just don't like the concept.

My favorite thing about selling via Amazon is that I can very easily set up free book deals for a few days and count down deals to entice people to purchase my books. It's fairly straight forward and easy, with most of the issues being customer service issues and issues relating to the aforementioned review system.

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