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Joe90
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16 May 2022, 6:01 pm

I've written 4 books (3 sequels to the first book) about my life. Each book is a different year of my life (mostly during the teen years). I so badly want to see if I can self publish but even after researching about it on the internet I still have no idea of what to do. I really need to chat to someone about it but I don't know who.

Here are some reasons why I feel I might not succeed at all:-

1. I've handwritten my books
2. I've used my family's and friend's real names
3. I've mentioned existing TV programmes and singers, and I'm not sure if I will have to get permission

Also I still haven't thought of a title yet. I was a wimpy kid and it's written in diary form, but obviously I can't name my stories Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, even though it's basically what they're all about.
I didn't copy the DOAWK books, I just got the idea of the style from them (as I'm a huge fan) but obviously it's about me and real things that happened in my life. So the plots are original.

Where do I start? Am I getting too old, or can you become a writer at any age? A few members of my family have read my books and I asked them for honest feedback (I really don't mind any criticism in this case) but they truthfully said that my books were very enjoyable. I'm not sure if the public would feel the same.

My dream is to get a book published. What can I do? Could I start by going to the local library and maybe talking to the people about it there? Or what?

I mean, you never know, I could become the next JK Rawling. My books could be made into movies. I could be a millionaire. All I need is a push in the right direction by knowledgeable people.


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kraftiekortie
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17 May 2022, 4:35 am

Just type up the books.

Change the names.

Unless you use their material in your book, it’s okay to mention actual people and events.



mohsart
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17 May 2022, 4:45 am

Something like this?
As for it being hand written, did you look into Open Office that I told you about in another thread?

/Mats


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Radish
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17 May 2022, 7:02 am

As others have suggested, get it typed up on a computer and change real people's names to fictional ones. Get friends and family to read your book(s) through to pick up on any spelling, grammar or other mistakes. Finally you can go onto Amazon and publish your books there, but you may need some technical help as you have to sort out the size of the pages you want, a cover design and spine for the book, what price and whether to make it available for Kindle, paperback or both. I've published a couple of novels on there, a sci-fi novel and a crime thriller. Typically don't expect to make a lot of money from self publishing though. It is more something you do for the fun rather than financial reward.

If you want lots of sales from self publishing, that is only the beginning. You then need to market your book and that will take a lot of time and effort. Personally I didn't bother. You could of course try going direct with a publisher, but that is typically via an agent. Tricky to find a decent agent and if you do they'll probably want you to rewrite the books, virtually from scratch taking on board their suggestions. They will also drag out the publishing process, possibly by years! They'll also take a big chunk of your profit if the book does actually sell well in the end.

Beware of third parties. There are unscrupulous people and businesses that offer to self-publish your book for you but they charge up front and even if your book sells, you probably won't even cover the costs of getting it to sell! Similarly there are folks who offer to proof read your writing for a stiff fee. Unless your work is likely to become a best seller, you'll likely throw money away there too.

Best bet is to do it all yourself, but don't expect to get rich. Do it for the process and enjoyment of self publishing.


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Joe90
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17 May 2022, 11:51 am

I do have LibraOffice Writer on my computer but I want my document in book format, but I can't find the option anywhere. There's literally everything but.

Also I get frustrated typing on a computer keyboard. And it will literally take ages to type up my stories, as each book is actually quite long, like a real novel with lots of pages (over 400).

Just how did books get published before computers, when people wrote with pens and ink? (Other than using a typewriter, which not everyone used).


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Radish
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17 May 2022, 12:14 pm

Don't worry about the book format at the moment. Just type it in using A4 paper layout. When you are ready to publish way down the line, you'll need to decide what dimensions you want your book to be. Amazon will offer suggestions for this. At that point you set the height and width of pages in Libre Office to match the book size, then add page numbers (I forgot this step with my first book).


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Radish
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17 May 2022, 12:17 pm

Sooner or later your text will have to be transferred from paper to a computer, which realistically means you or someone else has to type it in or use speech recognition or scanning software. The latter two are quite error prone, so you'd end up going through and correcting the text anyway. If your work was being published by a recognised publishing house they could arrange for the text to be typed up, but they'd likely only do that nowadays if the book is really really good and they expect to sell millions of copies.


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Joe90
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17 May 2022, 12:49 pm

Well the reason why I wrote them on paper is because I like to write whilst in the bath, and also it's easier to pass around the family without them having to need a computer or phone to read. I like handwriting much better than typing. I use my phone nearly all the time when online, hardly ever the computer.
I don't have a printer but if I did I would have to keep buying ink because it only takes one or two pages of text and the ink runs out.

Also I still haven't come up with a title for my book. What can I call a diary story about a wimpy kid without calling it Diary Of A Wimpy Kid?


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Last edited by Joe90 on 17 May 2022, 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Radish
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17 May 2022, 12:56 pm

No need to print your text. When you've typed it in let others read it on your screen or send it to trusted friends as a PDF. When you are happy upload it to Amazon.


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Joe90
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17 May 2022, 1:08 pm

Radish wrote:
No need to print your text. When you've typed it in let others read it on your screen or send it to trusted friends as a PDF. When you are happy upload it to Amazon.


Yes but I meant by doing that they'll have to read it from a screen and sometimes it's easier to read from a book, as some of my relatives are elderly and don't use phones or tablets or computers.


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Radish
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17 May 2022, 1:18 pm

There might be a printing company that would run a copy off on A4 from a PDF. Maybe cheaper than printing it yourself if there are a lot of pages.


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mohsart
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17 May 2022, 4:26 pm

In my country you can print stuff at the library.

/Mats


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17 May 2022, 4:57 pm

Joe90 wrote:
. . . I still haven't thought of a title yet.
Any working title will do.  You can always change it later (before publishing).
Joe90 wrote:
I was a wimpy kid and it's written in diary form, but obviously I can't name my stories Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, even though it's basically what they're all about.
I didn't copy the DOAWK books, I just got the idea of the style from them (as I'm a huge fan) but obviously it's about me and real things that happened in my life. So the plots are original.
A diary is from a first-person perspective ("It was a blustery day, so I decided to stay indoors.").  To avoid comparisons with DOAWK, try writing from the third-person perspective ("She stayed indoors on that blustery day.") of an anonymous narrator.
Joe90 wrote:
Where do I start?
In the middle of an action scene ("The wind howled about the chimney-tops, forcing its way in through the chinks and cracks in the brickwork.")
Joe90 wrote:
Am I getting too old, or can you become a writer at any age?
You can become a writer at any age.
Joe90 wrote:
A few members of my family have read my books and I asked them for honest feedback (I really don't mind any criticism in this case) but they truthfully said that my books were very enjoyable. I'm not sure if the public would feel the same. . .
Every writer has doubts, and I imagine some would go back and change their stories decades after they were first published.
Joe90 wrote:
My dream is to get a book published. What can I do? Could I start by going to the local library and maybe talking to the people about it there? Or what?
Start with a basic outline of what you want the story to be about -- a chronological construction of the plot.  One classic example is "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl rescues boy (or vice-versa), they fall in love, they live happily ever after".  Variations on this plot occur in just about every rom-com there is.
Joe90 wrote:
I mean, you never know, I could become the next JK Rawling.
Without all the recent controversy, I hope!
Joe90 wrote:
My books could be made into movies. I could be a millionaire. All I need is a push in the right direction by knowledgeable people.
While I am by no means "knowledgeable", one of my writing teachers told our class that the most important thing in writing is to write -- to put pen to paper and let the story flow, warts and all.

I hope this helps.



Joe90
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17 May 2022, 6:01 pm

Quote:
To avoid comparisons with DOAWK, try writing from the third-person perspective ("She stayed indoors on that blustery day.") of an anonymous narrator.


I've read books by other authors that were similar to the DOAWK style of writing. I like diary form, because you don't always have to use big words or too many similes and all that. And my books are aimed at teenagers.

Quote:
Start with a basic outline of what you want the story to be about -- a chronological construction of the plot. One classic example is "Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, girl rescues boy (or vice-versa), they fall in love, they live happily ever after". Variations on this plot occur in just about every rom-com there is.

I've already written the books I want to publish, sequels and all. I used my teenage diaries to help me remember what happened during those years, and listened to songs that reminds me of those years, and relied on my memory - I have lots and lots of memories that I can very easily pull together to make a lengthy story. It's just about the only talent I have (if you can call it a talent).

I suppose I'll have to write up my stories on the computer, which will be a long-winded process. Also I don't know where to pose the book while I'm copying from it without having to keep picking it up and finding where I was up to. I do hate typing though, because my fingers always press several keys at once that even spell check can't correct so I have to keep pressing the back space nearly every other time I type a letter. Tapping on my phone keyboard is so much easier and quicker, but I can't really type out my stories on my phone because it will take up too much memory and will probably require like 5 SD cards. Yes, they're full lengthy novels, not quick 10-page stories. We're talking like 500 pages in each book here - so that's like 2,000 (A5-sized) pages worth we're talking about - plus another 500 because I'm thinking of writing a fifth (and final) sequel book.

Yep, it's all well thought out, and well written too. I'm naturally good at spelling and punctuation and all that so I hardly need spell check for that.


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Joe90
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18 May 2022, 7:02 am

Oh, and I'm not doing it for the money by the way. I was just saying that it would be cool if they did turn it into a movie.

Quote:
Without all the recent controversy, I hope!


I never even knew about that until I looked it up just now. 'Transphobia' seems to be the cause but after all those Harry Potter books and movies that got so popular all people can worry about is something like that.


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kraftiekortie
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18 May 2022, 8:11 am

I know what you mean, in a way.

I don't like to physically "write," though. I'd rather type. I do much better at that.

Typewriters were invented about 1880; the printing press was invented about 1450. Between 1450 and 1880, people would send what they wrote to an entity which had a "printing press." There were professional printers who would "set type," and print what you wrote. Being a "printer" was a major profession from about the 16th century till rather recently.