Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Project: A Guide to Writing a Novel!


Now that the Jacob Wonderbar series is wrapped up, I'm very pleased to let you know what I'm doing next: A guide to writing a novel, which I'm planning to self-publish!

I'm incredibly excited to learn more about the self-publishing world, a wondrous land that I currently understand more in theory than in practice. It's going to be an exciting experiment, and one I can't wait to learn from.

And I hope to include you all every step of the way. The reason I'm announcing this now is that I'm planning to open things up and blog about every step of the process, from finding people to edit and copyedit it, to designing the cover, to getting it up for sale, to setting the price, to all the stuff I don't even know about right now but I'm sure will encounter along the way. Are there self-publishing goblins? If you self-publish in the Amazon does it make a sound?

I will soon find out. And then, by the time it's all finished and out there we'll have a virtual guide to self-publishing a book too.


The guide is about 90% written, and is a mix of material drawn from the blog but rewritten and polished with a fine glossy shine plus original material. You may have noticed that I have been light on the writing advice on the blog lately, and that is because I have been channeling my energy into the guide.


Also: I need your help! If there's anything I've learned in the course of writing this blog it's that the commenters are far smarter and experienced than I am, and I'm really looking forward to drawing upon your expertise as I figure out how in the heck one self-publishes a book.

First up in this collaborative experience: Are there any novel-writing topics you would like me to tackle in the guide? If I incorporate your ideas into the guide I will be sure and give you a shout out in the acknowledgements.

Here we go!

Art: Stepan Razin by Boris Kustodiyev {{PD-1923}}






104 comments:

Linda Herren said...

This is awesome!!! I'm a Full Sail University student going for a BA in Creative Writing for Entertainment. I've been wanting to start a novel and this is exactly the guidance I need! I will be following you every step of the way!!
Thanks!

Alaniya said...

brilliant :) good luck with your projects.

Fadzlishah Johanabas said...

Dude, your blog posts itself are gems. Can't wait to buy a copy!

Matthew MacNish said...

I'm sure it will sell well.

If you have any questions about self-publishing, take them to Susan Quinn, who I'm sure you know. She's the most knowledgeable SPer I know.

Judi Bailey said...

Wow...I'd love to be part of this journey. I'd like you to cover deep point of view in your book.

Nathan Bransford said...

Thanks, guys! And yeah, Judi, definitely planning to tackle POV. Still refining that chapter.

Beth Allen said...

I will follow your project. Good luck!

Judith Rivard said...

I really need help in writing description. I could write a novel with just dialogue pushing the story along but I think description is a really important aspect in writing a novel, isn't it?

Lauren said...

I'd love advice on character development. I've always had difficulty fleshing out my protagonists.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome, Nathan. I hope you have a chapter on voice since that is so hard to get right. And it'd be awesome if you'd focus on middle grade voice, which editors have said is hard to get right.

I agree with Matt that you should check out Susan Quinn's blog. She's doing a series on the business aspects of self-publishing now. Here's a link to yesterday's post:
http://www.susankayequinn.com/2013/03/indie-business-talk-hiring-your-team.html

Curtis Edmonds said...

If you're going to be writing about self-publishing, you might want to say a word or two about getting permission to use music - I wrote about that recently:

http://www.curtisedmonds.com/sometimes-its-not-better-to-ask-permission/

Gina Kiyuna said...

Yay! If your blog is any indication of what will come in the guide, I think we are all in for a treat! Your blog has been vital to my efforts in becoming a writer. Thank you, and best wishes on your project.

Ruthy said...

Yes! Best news I've heard all day. I'd love to know what you have to say about repetition of ideas within a story. Sometimes when I pick up a book I had already started I am glad for a reminder here and there. Other times I'm like, "Alright already. I get it. She misses her father!"

I don't want to beat a reader over the head, but when a point is important I want to make sure it isn't missed.

Gina Kiyuna said...

Also...are you going to include tips on writing dialogue? I stink at writing dialogue. It stagnates my story and becomes the waste land of info dumping.

Chelle Marie said...

I'd be happy to help with any self-pub research. I finished my grad thesis this past December on self-publishing innovation in the digital age and its impact on traditional publishers. It's quite an interesting area to explore! And fast changing...



Rick Daley said...

Good luck!

Perhaps a seciton on research, and incorporating fact into fiction (or when NOT to) would be useful.

Robena Grant said...

Fabulous! I'll be first in line to buy this book. ; )

inklings Anon said...

topics to tackle. I'd love to see examples of really excellent query letters. I know there are some out there but if you're going to do this, you ought to include some. I think with that you could do a critique on a couple of them but then add some additional in the glossary. I would like to see some stuff on first chapter character development. Or just character development in general.

inklings Anon said...

Oh yeah and I'll definitely buy the book. Your blog is my google for writing. There's no sense on googling anything about writing because it all points back to your blog anyway. To have a hard copy of those kinds of resources to underline and highlight and read and refer back to will be fantastic. I'll have my three testaments, Sol Stein on Writing, Nancy Kress's Dynamic Characters, and Nathan Bransford's guide to writing a novel. fantastic project man. this will be in classrooms everywhere and I'll promote it like I do Kress and Stein

Jillian said...

Sounds awesome! I'd love to read your advice on writing a good chapter one from a writers perspective and a (former) agent's perspective. I'm pretty sure you've blogged about it, but I'm always looking for articles that go into depth about chapter one. Good luck!

Lauren Blakely said...

Good luck! My son loved Jacob Wonderbar! As for novel writing topics, I think writers might benefit from guidance on how to show, rather than tell!

Maya Prasad said...

Cool project, Nathan. I'm looking forward to see how it progresses! Good luck!

Jodi said...

I'd like to see something about choosing content, such as your thoughts on the overused advice, "write what you know." Personally, I just jumped head first into the deep end without my floaties. The novel I'm working on is a hot mess of taboos, that made me quite nervous until I read about other authors who write about stuff they know nothing about, and it turns out great.

Along those same lines, I would like to learn how to have confidence in my own writing. I know I'm good, but I don't always feel I'm good. It's a strange conflict that can become paralyzing at times, when you find yourself saying, "Why bother writing, it's all rubbish anyway."

Love your blog. Long time reader, first time commenter.

Richard Pieters said...

Brilliant. I'd love to have your take on the planner/pantser spectrum--how to build an outline and how much detail should go into it. I need to know a starting point, the players (most of them, anyway), and the end. Between is often a forest with many trees and trails, and it's easy to get lost. But outlining in detail is a formidable task and can put off actually writing. Where do you fall and what's your advice? Look forward to reading this book and following your process as you share your learning curve on SP.

Nathan Bransford said...

Wow awesome, thanks everyone! So far it sounds like I'm on the right track - a lot of this is in there.

K.E. Skedgell said...

Very interesting, Nathan. Looking forward to the updates on this new journey of yours. Good luck.

Sara said...

Sounds like a book that will need a good index. Too many self-published books skip that, but they add a lot of value. Says the book indexer (and ex-librarian).

DianeBransford said...

Once again, Nathan, you move fiorward with amazing insight, knowledge, skill and bravery. The art today is fitting as well. We will be with you as you set sail and throughout the voyage!

Sara said...

Very exciting and the topic and self-pub make a lot of sense.
In terms of content ideas, I'd throw out there:
-How to take a vague idea or theme and weave it in/make it a book
-How to get unstuck creatively
-How to find the best editor for your needs/budget
-How to find a critique partner
-How best to work with a critique partner
-How to know when it's "done."
...I could go on... :)

Kourtnie McKenzie said...

I'd like if you included a chapter on incorporating humor and/or voice. I always feel like "how to write" books do a dodge maneuver around these topics. The "you just write and find your voice" suggestion isn't bad necessarily, but half the reason I read these sorts of books is to find out the author's personal methods of success. I anticipate each writing strategy to sound wildly different and refreshing. And that includes reading about his or her journey in finding voice!

M. J. Joachim said...

Sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading your posts on this subject.

Lisa Grace said...

I wouldn't give advice yet on self publishing, but stick to technique, or you're going to get blasted for any misinformation by the dozens of self publishers making over six figures a year who know what they are doing.

A good place to start is visit kindleboards.com which changes its name on the 8th to kboards.com
Hugh Howey, Bella Andre, Bob Mayer, and all the tops visit the Writers' Cafe at Kboards.

Also pick up a copy of Jason Matthews ebook "How To Make, Market, And Sell Ebooks All For Free."

I've managed to get two of my books optioned for a movie (which is currently in development through Motion Picture Pro Studios)and have over 55K ebooks out under my brand, Lisa Grace, which isn't bad (but nowhere near as much as some of my friends who do that in a month) for just self publishing a year & nine months.

I just picked up an agent (through the movie producer) who is working on a paperback deal to work with the release of the movie.

I believe more agents/publishers will be signing successful self publishers because they've proven they can build a reader base.


Francesca Kaplan said...

Thrilled and excited. Awesome.

Francesca Kaplan said...

Thrilled. So awesome. Can't wait.

Bryan Russell said...

HUZZAH.

I knew it had to happen at some point.

Susie Lindau said...

I just checked your blog yesterday to see if you had any of this kind of advice. I must be psychic!
I am finishing up rewrites on my novel and am facing sending it out to be critiqued before going to an editor. Outside of family, I am having a hard time deciding who to send it to. I will be interested in how you go about this process. It will be fun to go through it with you!

Joya said...

I'm looking forward to reading about your process. I'm actually reading Guy Kawasaki's book right now about self-publishing. It's called APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur and has a lot of good information that might be helpful to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you'll do fine. There are a ton of great cover artists out there and many are very reasonable. Same with editing.

In June, I'll mark my three year anniversary of self-publishing and it's been quite a ride. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Okay, well maybe I would for a big six figure deal--but only if the terms were right. ;-)

I think you'll find you get a certain satisfaction from learning the process from this side. Also--you are going to love the way you can check sales--just hope you don't start to check too obsessively. It's a common indie affliction. I suffer from it myself. :D

Serenity said...

This is fabulous, Nathan. I can't wait to purchase and support the heck out of this project. It's probably way too basic, but conflict is what I struggle with the most. I'm sure it comes easy to most storytellers. But for me, I get so focused on theme and internal conflict. When people say, "You need to put your characters in the worst situation you can imagine for them," I totally flinch. And so far creating conflict feels like I'm forcing something instead of finding my characters' authentic story. I need some good, sound advice on what exactly it means for a story to have conflict. What qualifies as external conflict? Do things have to go all wrong before they get better? :)

On another note, I self-pubbed last year through Book Baby. I had the cover done by a local design/pub company, and I learned a few little things. I doubt I know anything you don't, but @me if there is a Q I could answer. You're going to love self-publishing, I think. You were born for it.

Christine Monson said...

Nathan, Can you tackle outlining vs freestyle writing? I've done both and find pro and cons for each of them. Your thoughts?

Also, have you participated in National Novel writing Month (NaNoWriMo) or CampWriMo? Do you believe it is a waste of time of does it really help? Can it help when querying agents? Should you mention it?

Kate Sheeran said...

Wow, this is great news! I'll snap it up as soon as it comes out :)

David Kazzie said...

I think a section on how to weave in backstory would be very useful. Also somewhat related, flashbacks.

Last, the simple mechanics of a novel -- how many scenes in a novel, where to put the big plot twists. A blueprint for keeping everything organized.

Suzie F. said...

This is fantastic! I've referred to your blog numerous times for advice on writing and publishing.

Topics I'd love to read about:

- writing through the middle when the honeymoon of brand-new-shiny-idea is over
- tips on hooking a reader in the first paragraph
- developing the setting in a novel; setting as character

Can't wait to read your book and about your self-publishing journey.

Mary said...

This is really cool. Can't wait to read this book, even though it's not quite done yet. I can already see myself recommending it to aspiring authors. :D

When I first decided that I wanted to get published, one of the hardest things for me to learn on my own was the benefits of the writing community. There's a big emphasis on beta readers and writing/critique groups, and how important it is to let others look over your work with "fresh eyes" before sending it anywhere. I'd love to see something about the professional (and personal!) benefits of connecting with other writers.

Calliopenjo said...

Dialogue and opening lines I think should be topics to be covered. What is dialogue? How to make it work? Accepted tags? That sort of thing.

Opening lines or that hook that snags the agent or editor. Maybe from a former agent's perspective would give more insight as to what that means.

I won't even mention show don't tell or show vs. tell.

Ted Cross said...

Not sure if it fits with what you are looking for, but there are a couple of things that have held me up from self-publishing because I can't find answers. I would like to have the reader be able to pop up a map (Hey, it's epic fantasy!) at any point in their reading without having to leave their place in the book. There must be some way to have a button or link or a new 'tab' or something in a Kindle that would allow a reader to view a map while remaining on the page they are currently reading. If there is no such thing as tabs on a Kindle page, there should be! Readers might want to pop open things like artwork and such without having to depart their current page.

Ted A. said...

I'd love to hear you talk about dialog. I consistently get feedback that my characters dialog is wooden. I'd love to hear your ideas on how to make it better.

Marilyn Peake said...

Best of luck to you! I've been self-published on Amazon for some time now. I sell books on a regular basis even when I don't have time to do any PR whatsoever and have found the experience very rewarding! InFree

Marilyn Peake said...

LOL, Blogger just included my "prove you're not a robot" word at the end of my comment. InFree wasn't supposed to be part of my comment. HaHa.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck to you, Nathan. I self-published my first book almost 3 years ago and it's been a great ride. I am really glad I went ahead and did it and got off the query merry go round.

There are some great reasonably priced cover artists out there, and also some editors. I'm sure you probably have plenty of contacts as well.

Suggestion--incorporate some of this orange color into your cover. I see that color and think of your blog and if I do, I bet other people who frequent or used to frequent it over the years will make a connection as well.

Marilyn Peake said...

I just finished reading through the comments and thoroughly agree with Lisa Grace whom I recognize from the Kindle Boards. There are quite a few extremely successful writers on the Kindle Boards, Lisa included. Many have blogs and offer free advice; some have also published eBooks on writing. Hugh Howey, mentioned by Lisa in her comment, is an astoundingly good writer, has recently had some HUGE successes through self-publishing and has a fanatstic blog that's worth checking out.

stv38 said...

please write a chapter about first chapters and how to write them.

Christy Luis said...

Very cool!
I would love to read any advice on structure. Writing classes and critique groups cover lots of basic, unconnected skills (description, the basic plot arc or “Hero’s Journey,” etc.), but structure is more difficult to cover in a short space. A book with in depth advice on this would be awesome. I agree that “deep pov” would be a great topic as well, particularly deep 3rd, which I’ve heard is difficult.
Best of luck on your new journey!

Saul said...

Wish you the best of luck, Nathan. You've always been a straight-shooter, so I'll return the favor and ask point blank: How will your guide differ from all the other craft books already out there? Also, who's your target audience? If it's self-publishers, what about the rest of your followers? I know a lot of your fans are those still looking for a traditional publishing path. Will they benefit as well? My thoughts on that are yes, since it doesn't matter which path one takes; craft is craft.

If you want solid advice on self-publishing, definitely begin with a good craft book (whether yours, King's, Lamont's, Stein's, or any other's), but then get a copy of David Gaughran's Let's Get Digital. Join the community at KindleBoards, where there's immeasurable wealth in experience - both the good and the bad. Finally, explore the best ways to self-promote and market your book. (May I be so bold as to recommend The Essential Book Blog, of which I am one of several contributors?)

Feels strange to be offering you advice. I guess it's just another sign that indie really has achieved a considerable level of respectability.

Elizabeth said...

All the input in these comments is great. Mine focuses less on the writing of the novel and more on what you learn about publishing yourself, e and otherwise. Please share whatever insights you can gain about self or e-publishing literary novels. Can it be done? Models for genres exist but wondering if the landscape has yet changed for books that fall outside of those.

Matthew J. Beier said...

Congratulations, Nathan! I'm sure it will be an extremely interesting process, coming from the other end of the publishing spectrum. I'll be curious how you feel about having 100% control with your project from the ground up, as it compares to your experience with "Jacob Wonderbar."

Best of luck!

Mary Tod said...

Hi Nathan ... I imagine you will have APE by Guy Kawasaki for reference. If you're interested in seeing a copy of a project plan I'm developing for self-publishing, please let me know. You can reach me at my blog A Writer of History - although you probably also have my email.

Jessica McBrayer said...

Promotion for your ebook. Specifically for KOBO and B&N. There search engines are horrible. Would love to know how to promote and tackle those :)

Katie said...

Nathan, I am so excited about this. Self-publishing has been very, very good to me and I hope it's good for you too. I wish you the very best of luck.

Patricia Smith Wood said...

Good luck with this, Nathan. One piece of advice I can pass along is this: I've had so many positive comments about the fact that the chapters in my book, The Easter Egg Murder are short, no more than five pages throughout. Many are shorter. This is perhaps most relevant to mystery writers, but I can't help wondering if more readers would appreciate that. Just a thought.

Regina Richards said...

Cool! Though I've already self-published one novel that is doing well on Amazon, I basically did it without knowing how. I just sort of stumbled around until things worked and was fortunate to have a bout of beginner's luck. But now I'm ready to get serious and really learn the in's and out's of self-publishing.

For me your announcement feels like a case of when the student is ready, the teacher appears. This is exactly what I need right now. Can't wait to learn all I can!

Chris Bailey said...

One of the great things about self-publishing is that no one can tell you your book is too long. You'll be able to incorporate all these ideas without multiple print volumes.

From reading your blog, I expect that you'll share some of the best-of-Malcolm-Gladwell advice. Please include something about transitions, as well-scene to scene, chapter to chapter.

All the best with this new project! Can't wait to get my copy.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! My novel Reflections is self-published released Dec 2012 and what is difficult to find is an editor/formatter that can make your book look professional. How well do they know the self-publishing market and what will attract agents? It's very difficult to get an agent interested in self-publishing. I am learning query letters are different as well. The best of luck and have fun on this new journey. My cover on my book is beautiful.

Kathy Cyr said...

Congratulations! I can't wait till it comes out.

I am a very visual person and would love help on plot/structure/outlining. I'd love to know when the MCs should meet, how far into the story should things really start moving, etc. I like to see things in detail, on paper, before I actually begin writing. Anything would be appreciated.

Christine Califra Schiff said...

Dear Nathan,

I fully encourage this endeavor. Your blog posts have been an inspiring part of my writing life since a friend sent me your article on voice in 2010. Your generous and humble approach has helped me a great deal through my first draft and I am now 2/3 of the way through a revision. If I think of anything you haven't covered I will let you know. For now, I'll just say this is great news.

Sharon Forster said...

I would love a chapter on creating platform. Would it be possible to include various paths to a great platform? Maybe, round up a group of people who have achieved a substantial platform, starting from zero, and record their stories. (Especially authors who self-publish)

Ben Campbell said...

Welcome to the self-publishing sphere. I've had some monetary success ($3,800.00 in 2012) via self-publishing through amazon KDP and smashwords. Read Mark Coker's Smashwords Style Guide for a little extra imput in text formatting. Congrats on the decision, I know all will go well for you. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52

Cathi Stoler said...

This is great! Thinking about doing this myself for my novella and am at sea. Can't wait to see what you have to say.

Laurence King said...

What fantastic news, Nathan! I am so looking forward to follow your journey :)

Keisha Martin said...

I am at the stage in which I finally got smart and stopped querying in order to polish my novel and also write few more first draft novel, so I would love a guide that has a chapter on issues within query or first few pages of mss that will cause an agent to not give a second look, basically a what not to do type of thing and then what to do type of thing. YOU ARE AWESOME NATHAN!!! So excited you are paying it forward to writers.

Sally Hepworth said...

Nathan, I am so excited about this. What a great idea. I would be interested in a chapter on Creating Likeable Characters - or making them likeable in the editing process. Most writers I know have trouble with this.

Can't wait to buy a copy? How far away is it, do you think? Months?

Lauren B. said...

This is fantastic! Can't wait.

For what it's worth, here are the things I struggle with and would love to see covered:

- Voice (particularly when writing in 3rd person)
- Polishing prose during revisions
- Internal dialog/reflection/reaction moments. Basically writing from inside the character's head. How much to do it. How to do it well. Again, especially when writing in the 3rd person.
- Literary/character-driven plotting
- Writing satisfying endings

Madara said...

Hey Nathan,
As someone who spent time as a literary agent, I would be interested why you made the decision to self publish as opposed to traditional publishing.

Andrea said...

Hi Nathan! This project sounds great and I am so excited to follow your journey! I would be interested in how to self-publish and market to middle-grade readers, as it seems there are a few extra challenges in building a platform since middle-graders are probably not following the blogs and tweeting to their friends what they're reading (unlike YA and Adult). Best of luck to you and looking forward to reading!

Gianetta said...

It's like we're trading places: I've already self-published with moderate success and am now embarking on a trilogy which I hope to get published. You never know what can happen, right?

thewriteedge said...

I'd like to add my congrats to everyone else's, Nathan. I've learned so much from reading your blog, and I can't wait for the guide to come out.

Here's a possible topic to cover in it: when do you know your novel has become dead weight? Because, let's face it, most of us have written something terrible in our lifetimes, and some of those stories aren't going to get better now matter how much we revise them. So when do we know that it's time to let those novels just stay in the bottom drawer and move on to something new?

Thanks for considering my suggestion, Nathan! All the best to you!

Mira said...

Nathan, you just reminded me of how brilliant you are. :)

This is wonderful. You're writing two books, and both will be so helpful. What a gift you are giving to the writing community to do this on your blog!

I think you're going to love indie publishing. You'll love exploring all the options and making your usual extremely well-thought out choices. It will be your creation from start to finish, from cover to content to pricing, and I think you'll love that.

And clearly, you'll be getting alot of support along the way, so I think you'll have the best of both worlds - independent with a community.

In terms of your question, a couple other commentors mentioned these, but I have two possible suggestions.

I think an extremely relevant topic for indie writers is: How do you know when your writing is ready for publication?

You also haven't written a post about writing humor. That's sort of a narrow focus topic, but if you wanted to take that on, I'd be interested in what you had to say about that - you write humor very well! :)

Really looking forward to this! :)

Mira said...

p.s. I love your picture.

p.p.s. I really am very, very happy about this! :)

Joanna said...

I cannot wait to buy a copy. You might enjoy reading Nina Amir's blog: How to Blog a Book: http://howtoblogabook.com and also Lee Steele at Hamaca Press is a gem: http://hamacapress.com/

wendy said...

Wow - this sounds exciting. Good luck with the project. I'd like to know more about creating fascinating antagonists. I'm noticing more and more that the best stories have antagonists which aren't painted black or one-dimensionally but are, in their own ways, as interesting as the protagonist. Hoping you will also detail the self-publishing process for us hoping to follow in your footsteps.

Lesley Moss said...

Editing and rewriting, especially structural editing, which is difficult to do without an editor.
How to know when the book is done.

Terin Tashi Miller said...

Congratulations, Ex-Mr. Agent Man!
I invite you to contact me if you want/need any details/advice from someone who self-published two "literary" novels in the past few years using Amazon.com's CreateSpace.

I was on the verge, actually, of publishing a third when...both self-published novels have been picked up for "traditional" publication by a new publisher based in India.

But my heart is still in "Indie" efforts. Which is also why I'm proud to have both picked up by a new, "Indie" publisher!

Best,
T

Brenda Pierson said...

(It's been said before, but here's my two cents...) I'd love to see some content on narrative distance--keeping your POV close to the character, how to decide on the perfect little details to place in the narration to give that extra bit of pop (both for character and worldbuilding purposes), how best to avoid the filler words of "see/felt" and give the sensations a real in-your-face air to them.

I can't wait to see what you'll come up with!

Pat said...

Hi Nathan, this is great. Can you take a look at psychic distance, and how to vary it (modulate it?) in a novel without going to omniscient point of view. So, ways to move into and away from the point of view character, to get some breathing space in close first person.
Plus everything everyone else has asked for!
Thanks and good luck,
Pat

Nicole L Rivera said...

How do you know when you are "done"? When the project is as good as it's going to get and it's ready to press the send button? Do you ever go back and say, "Drats, missed that."


abc said...

Yay! I'm very excited about this! I'm also hoping that there will be a section on tense, because I tend to struggle with this. Sometimes I think that I need to repeat 4th grade--both for the grammar education and for the math skills.

Magdalena Munro said...

Fantastic. I'm so curious how your previous publisher feels about this decision but that's none of my business.

What I would love to see addressed is how aspiring authors commit to dedicated writing time when life doesn't give a hoot about the time you have set aside to write. As a full time working mom, I struggle to find time and when I don't touch my WIP for more than four days, fall into a mini depression about it.

Anonymous said...

Would REALLY like more perspective and specifics on MG...outlines, how to start and not be overwhelmed.

How to organize projects/ideas/simple writing.

More "real" advice...I can peruse internet and pick up a lot of books with technical jargon that seem written from a MFA course...I want real advice for some one like me (lost, hair-puller, feel scattered and confused).

Thanks.

I really like your MG books and kinda wish you'd share more kidlit talk or blog links, books, writers on your site also! Thanks.

LM Preston said...

Well I'm wishing you the best in your journey to becoming a publisher!

Bonnie McKernan said...

Self-Publishing topic:
HOW TO OBTAIN CREDIBLE REVIEWS WHEN YOU'RE A NOBODY

Maybe give a heads up as to which review organizations require a look at the book BEFORE it's published (Booklist for example), which review sites charge a fee (Kirkus Indie), and which kinds of reviewers should be avoided.

NetGalley is a great way to get reviews for the biggie sites like Amazon, B&N & Goodreads. Also the book giveaway on Goodreads is a great way to invite feedback...

I would have LOVED advice like this when I first started!

Ben Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben Campbell said...

Since you're the media guy you already know about this; include a section on Enhanced eBook technology in your guide to writing a novel. Here's a link to a short article: http://www.quepublishing.com/blogs/blog.aspx?uk=What-you-really-need-to-know-about-enhanced-ebooks I'll be using some of this in my future eBooks although I most write fiction.

Jessica A. said...

A section on clearance would be fantastic. Figuring out what names (public figures, brand names, song lyrics, movie titles, hotel names, products, etc) that are 'safe' to use and why was a difficult process for me and my writing partner when self publishing our novels. We ended up changing the names of certain items to be safe, but we could never figure out if it was necessary or not. And all of the research we did online never led us to any answers.

Anonymous said...

Structure - how do you structure and if you are a pantser, how do you go back and add structure to all those pages you've spewed out.

birdinabowler said...

I'm so excited for this to come out! Not only for the writing advice, but to see how the great Nathan Bransford tackles self-publishing.

I'm especially looking forward to seeing how you handle the promotion of a Self-Pubbed book.

Speaking of, will there be a chapter in your book devoted to what an author can do to help promote their book, even if they have an agent and a publisher who are already trying to promote it?

Jenny Maloney said...

I LOVED (and keep coming back to) your one sentence, one paragraph, and two paragraph pitches. And not just for writing queries, but I've discovered if I can put my story into those formats, then the story is pretty set. Maybe a section on knowing your story with some emphasis on those summaries?

Cynthia said...

That's a cool idea for a book. Good luck with your plans to self-publish!

I had to think for a few days what I would like in a book about novel writing from you, so I hope you're still checking comments for this post!

Some stuff I'd like to see:
-In general, I like books about writing to have some sections presented in a workbook format with exercises and areas where the user can write down stuff.

-I'd like to hear a step-by-step method for revising effectively.

-Sometimes I hear authors say they had to completely re-write their story or start again from scratch. I want to believe that a WIP showing no promising vital signs can still somehow be resuscitated. But I'd like to know what the signs are that it's time to cut our losses and reboot.

Hope this helps!

Brigita said...

Ah, wonderful news and just in time as I'm starting on my first novel. Will be delighted to follow your posts and buy the book. But your self-publishing the book won't be exactly representative of the SP business as everyone already knows you're a fantastic writer with helpful advice to offer so everyone will buy the book. It's a bit more difficult for us, the new/unknown writers. ;)

Fiction Writer said...

I'd love chapters on finding the best editor to help get your book in shape and ESPECIALLY on the best marketing tools for selling the book once you finish writing it.

Good luck with the book!

abc said...

I'm waiting for a Douglas Adams related post today (since Google informed me it is his birthday). How about a Hitchhiker's inspired writing contest? Flash fiction? Yeah, I kinda like those little contests of yours.

abc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WitLiz Today said...

I approve this post. Fourscore and ten minutes ago, I was a self-published author.

Last time I looked, I still am. And I have never regretted sailing on that boat, even though I admit there were times I steered my bad self right into a glacier. But I'm fine now, though I dropped about 50 lbs of ice, and frostbite, or death, is still a possibility with the constant threat of avalanches. But don't let that worry you!

Enjoy, Mr. Bransford. And I wish you great success!

T. M. Crone said...

Self publishing is easy. It's gotten a bad rap because too many people who can't write self publish and the product is poor and badly edited. I've selfpublished an anthology of my previously published short stories and was pleased with the product. Finding readership for someone like me is hard, since I'm virtually an unknown (but hopefully not for long ) But for someone like yourself it will be a profitable experience.

Michael Allison said...

Great idea. Is there any way, do you think, that you could persuade people to stop writing novels about vampires, Amish love stories, and books copying Shades of Grey? Where is the Jane Austen of our times?

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