Monday, August 23, 2010

Preparing to Sell Your Work

It seems I've reached stage two of the journey toward publication. Stage one is the initial part all about writing. You know this part, where you have an idea for a novel or story and you write it. You work hard for weeks or months to complete your writing project, polishing it so that it is ready to go out into the world.

Stage two is all about selling your work. The selling process changes a few things. For example, during the writing phasing I kept the draft of my book in a single file.  Now, however, I need to give out pieces to editors and publishers so that approach isn't the best. What I need is a way to write individual chapters so I can send them out when needed and still create a single complete copy for anyone who want to see the whole thing.

I also need to single-source the novel so I don't have multiple copies of the novel floating around. Microsoft Word won't do for this, which is unfortunate because the distribution format still needs to be .doc or .rtf since that's what most places want.

InDesign would good except it doesn't export to .doc or .rtf. I need something else.

Enter Scrivener. On a whim I decided to check out this software. It meets all my requirements beautifully. The only problem it is not cross-platform. It is only available for Mac OS X. (Now there's a switch). For me, that's not an issue. My Macintosh box is my primary writing machine. For others, it will be. However, Windows users can use FrameMaker which can support this same workflow once you add an extension to export to RTF. One caution: FrameMaker requires a lot of time to learn to use it properly so if you can't do that, look for another authoring tool. FrameMaker is also pricy. Scrivener is only $40.

Another change, as least for me, is patience. I hate waiting and it seems to me that in the submission process that's all I do. I suppose, that gives me more time for other things since simultaneous submissions is generally frowned on. 

And then of course there's the promotion aspect. I need to promote what I have, my blog, my ideas, my skills and experience. That means surfing the web looking for places and ways to sound the trumpet and let people know I'm here. That's a huge time-sink. Guess, I know what I'm doing between sending out submissions.

However, before I do that I need to get all my house in order. The blog just got a small makeover. I added a menu bar at the top, and added some images to a few older posts.

Next, I need write about my fantasy world to show it's depth and breath. I started a web site for this information last year but abandoned it in favor of completing the first book in my fantasy series. Now I think I need to reverse that a little and give it some attention while I complete book 2.

What else do I need to do to prepare for selling my work? I don't know,  but I'm sure I'll think of other things. For now this is enough. After all, I still working in stage one too creating new stories and working on new ideas and I don't won't to overload myself.

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