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I was pointed to this site by a member of GoodReads and, frankly, I'm impressed.  It's like Pinterest for readers.  Authors post short stories (generally less than 2,000 words).  The stories get sorted into various categories, so you can pick which types of stories you're interested in reading.  You can take a gander at stories that are new, trending, or staff picks.

This is a quote from Rob Tucker of Readwave:

ReadWave is a new social reading platform, which focuses on handpicked short stories from fresh new voices. If you're the type of person that would like to read more, but doesn't have the time to read a full novel, then ReadWave is perfect for you. Everyday the ReadWave homepage is updated with brand new stories from up-and-coming writers to read for free.

ReadWave is accessible on all mobile devices, so whether you’re sitting on the train or bored at work you can instantly dive into a great read. If you’re tired of Amazon recommendation engines, or if you don't have time to explore new writers, then just visit ReadWave.com and read something that has been lovingly chosen by real editors.
What I like about this is two fold.  It allows authors another avenue for building a platform and it works on a viral platform like Pinterest, where the more people like something, the higher placement it gets.  You can share across your various social networks, spreading the word about your favorite stories and authors.

They also offer a weekly email of hand-picked stories you can choose to have sent to your mailbox and you can add you favorite stories to your website or blog easily using a widget.  The button to get the widget code for the story looks like this: </>  You can see an example of the widget below.
Read on ReadWave.com
All in all, I think it has a lot of promise and intend to see what it can do.
 
I've come to think that a lot of new authors have this erroneous idea of "the editor".  They see an editor as this end all and be all of editing that makes your book perfect and that's that.  I was probably like this at some time as well.  In truth, "the editor" largely doesn't exist - especially for self publishing.  I've known people that published their books through publishers that were completely unsatisfied with their editors assigned by the publishing company.  Some are better than others.  And even then, you should never rely on the editor.  After all, editors are human too. They'll miss some too, so it's always a good idea to put your book in as many hands as possible.

For clarification, I'd like to also eradicate some myths with regarding to the editing process as well.  Editing is not a one step process.  It has many steps and they can seem endless.

Steps to Editing:
  • Writer Edits (and there are many)
  • Beta Readers
  • Copyediting
  • Proofreading

Though I've only mentioned four stages here, you must also understand that the editing process loops back a lot.  So you've finished the writer edits?  Yay!  On to the beta readers.  Beta readers finish?  Back to the writer edits!  On to the copyediting?  Yay!  Then back to writer edits. Repeat as needed.  And you can get stuck in a vicious cycle, looping between copyediting and writer edits (for example) as you try to work with your editor correcting what he or she sees.

By the time you finish editing, you've seen the book so many times you feel like your eyes should bleed and you get to where you really don't like the story anymore.  I got that way a few years ago and have severely rewritten it since then.

So, whether you are self-publishing or going through a publisher, be paranoid about editing.  It will save you from being surprised by a reviewer later.
 
In the early days, novels came about as serials.  Serials were books published in magazines much like how TV works today.  Each new "episode" (think chapter) would come out maybe once a month.  The readers were dying to get the next installment.  Readers waited breathlessly for the next copy of The Strand Magazine so they could get their Sherlock Holmes fix or any of a number of other well known authors and series.  But then printing costs went down and the era of the serialized novel evaporated.  It had no place anymore and simply disappeared.

But now we are seeing a new trend.  As new authors try to gain an audience, or maintain their audience between books, many are turning to serialized novels.  The books will eventually be published but, until the book is finished, authors are starting to give readers a jump on their next books.  The era of blogs and email subscriptions has revived this old art and created a new venue for writers and readers to connect on a regular basis.

I think it's great.  I did this with Forever After when I was writing it.  I wrote every week and posted it to my website.  It kept me writing and was rewarding knowing that people were interested.  I loved hearing people ask me when the next installment would come out (there were a couple times when I had to postpone installments due to a heavy class schedule).  I got feedback and the serialization actually helped to mold Justine as I got comments from the woman who is her namesake.

I plan on serializing Book 2 in my series here once the first book gets published.  I hope that it will keep readers engaged and stick in there with me as I finish the book (which is at about 40,000 words right now).

I will keep a list on the sidebar of serialized novels that I find.  Stay tuned and come back often to find more.  Here is what I have so far.

Kirk Allmond
What Zombies Fear

EJ Spurrell
Children of the Halo 
The Liar's Law
Twenty Past Midnight

Yezall Strongheart
Captain Lanie Romein, A.K.A The Ice Queen
 
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but a list of a few that I saw referenced in a blog and got curious.  I was already seriously considering Smashwords for ebook publishing... still am.  But I thought I would put together a comparison so my reading writers can make their own minds about what is right for them.

Smashwords:

Smashwords has probably become a leader in the Indie ebook publishing market.  They have everything a (and this is the key part) self-motivated  writer needs to get started.  It is the bare bones service it'll take to get your polished manuscript into ebook formats in as many markets as possible.

Pros:
  • Completely free
  • Wide range of ebook formats including HTML, JAVA, ePub, MOBI (Kindle), PDF, LRF (Older model Sony eReaders), PDB (Palm), plain text, and RTF.
  • Wide range of distributors including Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Diesel ebooks, Kobo, Sony Reader Store, Baker & Taylor's Blio.com, Aldiko, Stanza, and, of course, Smashwords.
  • Relatively fast and straight-forward process for converting to ebook formats.
  • The books have no DRMs, allowing for less hassle for your readers.
  • They will give you names of third party vendors to go to that won't break the bank.


Cons:
  • No additional services like cover art, editing, formatting and et cetera.
  • Conversion service is completely automated and relies on the author to get it right (or whoever the writer pays to format the book).
  • The books have no DRMs, increasing the potential for piracy (if you are concerned about that... I am not).
  • Distribution through Amazon is currently down, however a writer can easily publish the book through Amazon's own services reasonably enough so this isn't too much of a hurdle.


FastPencil:

FastPencil has a free service, like with Smashwords, however they also have packages that allow a writer who isn't as comfortable going it on her own to get the services she wants to get her book to her audience.

Pros:
  • Extensive services like custom covers, interior book design, editorial reviews, formatting reviews, and et cetera.
  • Packages can be tailored to match the writers needs.


Cons:
  • Costs $299 to get the same distribution Smashwords give the writer for free.
  • A writer could probably find many of the same services from Third Party Vendors for less, especially if she can negotiate a bartering of services.
  • Can't even get a free ebook unless you pay for a certain tier package.


Your Ebook Team:

Your Ebook Team is a lot like FastPencil in the type of service it gives, although this publisher seems more focused on the success of the writer than milking you for every last dime of your budget.  One of the things I found interesting about this one is that they claim to work with you even after the book is published to make it a success.  This is a one package deal, with variability is cost being largely due to the amount of editing required.  That being said, it doesn't say anywhere on the site how much it costs to use their service.

Pros:
  • Full service from start to finish - by far the most user friendly service.  The writer has no question as to what she needs.  It's all included.
  • 25 complimentary paper books (didn't see that anywhere else).
  • They help you build a marketing plan and implement it.
  • Is both ebook and print.


Cons:
  • I have no idea how much this service costs...


Book Stub:

Not a publisher, but a unique service.  Book stub allows you to sell your ebooks in person by basically selling vouchers with the book cover on it.  Afterwards, the reader can redeem the voucher from a participating service.

Pros:
  • Could potentially boost sales by allowing writers to sell ebooks at events.


Cons:
  • New and limited availability.  Only available on the following imprints: AuthorHouse, Abbot Press, Balboa Press, booktango, Inspiring Voices, iUniverse, Palibrio, Responder Media, Trafford Publishing, and West Bow Press.
 
What's the right price for your ebook?  This is a question I've been asking myself more and more often in the past few days.  I know what I think is too high (75+ % of the paperback price is too much therefore $8 for an ebook of a title that costs $10 in paperback is too much) and I know what I think is too low ($0.99 is too low for a full sized book so long as it is not temporarily on sale).  But what is the right price?  I just don't know.

I've been checking out a lot of new authors recently (a lot of self published because that's what I intend to do myself - I'm just too independent to do things someone else's way).  While I don't think I've seen a self published author list her ebook (I'm using her because a lot of these authors are female) for more than five dollars, the book prices can fall anywhere in the spectrum between free (for promotionals and sometimes the first book in a series to get a reader hooked) to 4.99.

So, I thought I'd do a poll (and encourage people to comment on the why of their pricing schemes and how successful it has been for them.  What do you sell your ebook for?


 
Every year, November comes around and all of my (writer) friends start getting into a frenzy.  Planning and organizing so they can get that necessary 1,667 words a day in for the month of November.  For some friends, they'll easily do five times that quantity, but all I hear about is NaNoWriMo this and NaNoWriMo that.  It hurts knowing that I'll be left out.

I am in graduate school this year, but in years past, I've always been taking a class at the time (while working full-time) and simply didn't have the time.  This year is no different.  If I were to participate in NaNo, I'd need to plan in October (and I am far too much of a procrastinator to get it done before then).  October is a terrible month for me.  Always is.  I had two papers and two exams in October, not to mention my photography obligations (I attend arts festivals throughout the month of October).  So planning in October is definitely out.

But why November?  Where did that come about?  What made someone think that was a good idea?  I mean, you have, for many people, an entire week at the end of the month taken up by family.  You have decorating for the holidays and buying presents (pick you poison as to which holiday but there are at least 4 major holidays for various religions in December).  We, as writers, do have other obligations and there are plenty of months which would have fewer obligations for us than November.  If we are going to become completely absorbed in our writing for a month, shouldn't it be a month when our obligations are minimized?

So, I'm thinking I'm going to be participating in JuNoWriMo come June.  It's basically the same as NaNo, but doesn't restrict to novels and June is a far better month.  Classes end in the beginning of May, giving me time to plan and brainstorm beforehand.  I'll only have my research to work on outside of that.  Will you join me?
 
Kaycee is an obsessive compulsive copyeditor from Fort Worth, TX and probably has the best grasp of the English language of anyone I have ever met.  She is the daughter of a writer friend of mine and there are two things I find unique about her service to writers.  

The first is that she will work with you on pricing.  Kaycee has been known to work for barter, coordinate with you with regard to scheduled payments and on and on.  She knows how hard it can be for a struggling author to shell out the type of money it takes to get a book professionally edited (because she is one) and she really tries to allow her authors to get the editing their books deserve.

The second is that her service is not simply copyediting.  You are not paying for a single edit but a work in progress, no matter the tier.  She will work back and forth with you, asking questions and for clarification.  If you pay for the Level 3 tier, she will help with plot holes and inconsistencies with world building and character generation.  She once had a science fiction novel that she asked for the author to write a summary of the world so that she could compare back to it as she edits.

Her testimonials page is filled with rave reviews and I have never heard a bad word about her editing.  She has reviewed novels that people actually commented on how well they were edited, that became #1 bestsellers in the genre on Amazon.  She helps the author to move the story forward when he or she is blocked by posing questions that can get an author out of a corner.

Kaycee Hawn offers a full service to authors that doesn't stop at the initial edit.  She is a resource that cannot be appreciated enough.


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