To share, or not to share?


So, I have a close friend who really enjoys my writing. Recently, she got a Kindle and has been lovin’ on that bad boy. She says she can get all kinds of free things for it, too. So she’s been downloading stuff to read and not coming around my blog so much.

She’s also a big, big proponent of FanFiction.net. She loves reading stuff there, and I guess a big-named writer, Rhiannon SomethingorOther (she couldn’t remember the last name) got her start on FF.net too. She’s a fan of my writing and has urged me to share the work I’m already giving away on a couple of those sites to promote myself, make a name, develop a fanbase and following.

Now, with non-fiction, GENERALLY, you need to have a platform to make a proposal. If you don’t have a platform, which means a following, an established audience and the promotional skills to move it forward, you aren’t likely to get accepted to write the book. Exceptions are celebrity authors, doing crap no one wants to read and getting seven-digit advances for it.

With fiction, however, there is GENERALLY no need to have a platform prior to querying an agent or editor. They may, however, ask you for your proposal (which means they want to know how hard you’re willing to work for free and how much of your own money you’re willing to spend). Nevertheless, in general, an agent is the first step in the publication process and they generally handle most of the other aspects of marketing the book to the publishing houses behind the scene.

Still … some of the writers have very high numbers for followers and people who avow to spend hard-earned CASH to buy something when their favorite authors put something up for sale. Money, after all, is a great motivator for me. More money? More motivation. You’d be amazed how much I can write when I’m paid to do it.

What do you all think? Is it a good idea to give up my fiction blog as my place for free samples (yeah, right) of my work? Should I hit a higher traffic site? Does having a following make any difference to an agent?

Sound off and lemme know. I’m curious. I already have one strong “DO IT!” in my corner. Where do you fall?

-JDT-

All original content copyright 2010 DarcKnyt
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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17 thoughts on “To share, or not to share?

  1. I don’t know. If you’re talking about a following of fifty people, that probably wouldn’t help. 1000 might.

    I know, and either way there’s no guarantee of a following, just like on any other site.

      • I think that’s like self-publishing. Might ruin your chances to sell those stories to publishers, but if you’re making money off them then it wouldn’t matter. Why not try it? If it doesn’t work out you can always quit.

        Yeah, I know, but the idea was to build an audience and if I’m not giving it away I don’t know if the point becomes moot or not. Who’d buy anything from an unknown? And I’d only use stories I wasn’t trying to sell anyway. Clean up some of the ones which weren’t marketable before.

        One problem you might run into is the tightwad problem. I don’t buy short stories because there are so many for free on the Internet. But not everyone is a tightwad like me. 🙂

        I think a lot of people are, especially where Internet availability for free comes in. Don’t feel so alone. 😉

        • Oh and btw, you never sent your story back to me for a second look.

          You’re right. I haven’t been able to, for a lot of reasons, but it’s coming your way soon. 🙂

  2. I’m not sure I *entirely* understood what you said… but from the gist I did, my initial feeling is “DO IT!”, too!

    Okay, here’s what was suggested: Should I post my writing on a site where people can download eBooks? The suggestion is, I give my stuff away (because I already am on my blog), and build a readership so when I publish something people are familiar with me and will buy it.

    Opportunities are a wonderful thing, especially the ones that make you think. Maybe look at what you have to gain by doing so, what you have to lose, and how much risk is involved, but keep in mind that the best opportunities don’t come without at least a bit of risk on the side.

    No real risk, far as I can see, except I can never publish those things with a traditional publisher, ever. Meh. Not sure I would’ve done that anyway.

    Higher traffic sounds like a good thing. I follow a number of vlogs on YouTube, and a number of them have made jobs out of it, and are making quite a mint by doing so. Traffic draws attention, the more traffic you have, the more likely you are to get other people who aren’t “followers” of anything specific so-to-speak, because frankly, items with higher hit counts tend to pop up first.

    I’m not sure how any of that works. I’ve wondered for a while now, and I’d love to have so much traffic I can make a living doing it, but I’d have to have something to say (I don’t), I’d have to have a huge number of hits (I don’t), and I’d have to have my own domain to work with (I don’t). So for now, I guess I’ll keep wondering. 🙂

    Good luck with whichever you chose, and if you do change platforms… please let me know where I should go to find you.

    Or I’ll harass you with emails.

    LOL No worries, I’m not going to abandon my blog; I’d only be sharing my writing on other sites.

    (:

    (do it)

  3. A post so important, you should make it 4 times. Oh, wait… 😉

    Well, I know how I have to repeat myself to get through to you, B. 😉 (J/K, J/K)

  4. And as far as getting a following goes, it worked for Scott Sigler and Seth Harwood. In fact, for my next book (assuming I ever get this one done) I’m going the audiobook route like they did.

    Who’re Sigler and Harwood? Nevah hoid of ’em. And good luck with the audio thing! Sounds like fun!

  5. I say do it. Really, what have you to lose at this point?

    Nothing, I suppose. Just time. But it’s looking like I can’t GIVE the stuff away, and who’d pay a nobody for their stuff?

  6. People who give it away for free are sluts. Those who charge, whores. Who would you rather be?

    OH, I’d rather be a whore any day. I mean, if I’m gonna get it either way, might as well charge for it. Funny thing, I said this once to a girlfriend of mine. I told her she was a slut and if she had any brains she’d be a whore instead and charge for it. She didn’t like the comment, interestingly. Thanks for commenting on ALL FOUR of these. *Sigh*

  7. I say hoard it all. Don’t let anybody on the net see it. The internet is nothing but a bunch of thieves and tricksters.

    Saaaayyyy … you’re right! They are! DAMMIT, SCREW ‘EM ALL!!

  8. Decide on your goal and do what will get you there. Your imagination isn’t limited. You can always make more stories. Why do you write? Who do you want to reach? You probably know what you want to do. You don’t need us for validation. Do that old standard of listing pros and cons and then do what you want.

    Good luck with whatever choice you make!

    Thanks, Marta! Not a bad bit of advice, that Ben Franklin pro’s and con’s thing. 🙂

  9. What would Konrath say?

    Not sure I know who Konrath is, Annie. Sorry. 😦 I be ig’nant.

    Basically it depends on what you are giving away. Short stories, novellas, novels? And are they polished to within an inch of their existence? Crucial.

    Well, I’ve polished them as much as I can. I’d also be asking for help from betas (interested?) and get as many eyes on it as I can before going through with this. So yes, I’d agree with this, it’s crucial to ensure the product is at its best. And it would be short stories and stuff I’ve posted on my blog. I have no novels to give away; my manuscript didn’t survive its editing process.

    That said. A lot of writers do this. There are ways and/or forums. But don’t be married to the idea of making money. Promoting yourself. Building a fanbase. Publishing excellent material (which I should have listed first).

    Well, making money is a nice draw, but I’d only be able to charge about 99 cents for anything; maybe $1.49US if I’m lucky. My research indicates setting a price at 0.00 isn’t going to work, unless you’ve gotten permission or have a special contract or are a publisher, unfortunately. But yes, the goal is building a fan base.

    What do you have to lose?

    Time, really. Thank you for sounding off; it’s nice to see you around. 🙂

    • J.A. Konrath. If you are thinking about selling e-books, he is the go-to guy and his blog is full of helpful info based on his own work. His site is The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.

      I’ll have to check him out, thanks.

      I don’t have the extra time to beta read at the moment. I am swamped into early July with yoga training and my own writing, but perhaps in the fall.

      I’m kidding. I may not have a manuscript to read by then.

      For polish, you should probably consider someone who freelance edits for a living. They can be surprisingly affordable and are worth the investment because a single e-book that is anything other than professional looking can haunt you a long time.

      I don’t know whether I’m talking about a full-on eBook. I don’t have the time to be a publicist. But I may release a couple of them to the general populace. And yes, they’re ready. I don’t think they’d do me any harm at this point. I don’t THINK.

      And you can’t lose time. You use it or you don’t. It exists separately from us really.

      Oh, I don’t want to get all existential. So I’ll let that one go. 🙂 Thanks for the info!

  10. J.A. Konrath – another mini-celeb who gained an audience by giving away his fiction.

    I had no idea he gave it away. I did look him up as much as I could after Annie mentioned him; seems he’s a local boy ’round here. Interesting.

  11. finally merged the comments I see

    Yeah, and don’t think there wasn’t some effort involved in that either. Stupid WordPress … why’d it post the same entry four times?!

  12. I’m willing to try anything once, twice if it hurts. I would research it at least. Will you be making money for you or for Amazon? How much would you have to spend to get started? Bryce is right about J.A. Konrath, one of my favourite authors, but how much do you give away until you get something back?

    I’ve never read Konrath; what kind of stuff does he write? Anyway, it doesn’t cost anything to start doing this with Amazon, far as I can see. I don’t have to go through CreateSpace, their self-publishing arm; I can just post my stories, sort of like Storiesville used to be. But with a price tag. Do they make money? Well, you can’t get a Kindle without coughing up the $400, so I guess so, and the author makes somewhere between 35-70% royalties, BUT, they don’t like short stories, and if you’re not a publisher or have the capability from Amazon, you can’t give the work away, you have to charge for it. Since the point was to build a following, charging for my stuff seems self-defeating.

    As you can see, I have done some research. 🙂

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