Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Wattpad

Ten Publishing Predictions for 2017


2017 Book Industry Predictions I’ve been published by Lulu and FastPencil and Amazon and Wattpad… 

One of these days, I want to get around to being published by Smashwords

Perhaps (whenever I decide it’s “complete”), I’ll put my Story Bazaar there…

Nevertheless, if you put “Mark Coker(the Founder of Smashwords) into the search box at the upper right, you’ll find around 23 informative posts (including this one) about the BookWorld.

His article, 2017 Book Industry Predictions: Intrigue and Angst amid Boundless Opportunity, begins with these thoughts:

“If you could see into the future, what would you do to change it?

“Each year I polish off my imaginary crystal ball and attempt to divine how the boiling crosscurrents of technology, competitive intrigue, author aspirations, and reader tastes will shape the opportunities facing authors, publishers and retailers for the year ahead.

“As I caution each year, the prediction game is fraught with folly.  No one really knows what will happen tomorrow, though there are plenty of clues.

“Book publishing is in the grip of multiple long-term macro trends.  Like strong trade winds, these forces will fill the sails of those who can harness them while swamping those who don’t.

“2017 will mark a special milestone for the ebook industry.  It marks the ten year anniversary of the Kindle.  It’s also the ten year anniversary of Smashwords’ incorporation.  In early 2007, after three years of crafting our business plan, I hired our first programmer and began active development on the Smashwords platform which we launched in early 2008.”

He then has a fascinating section entitled, Ten Years of Indie Publishing in Review

Then follow his ten predictions (do take the link to the full article for Mark’s enlightening commentary on each of these predictions):

1.  Indie authors will continue to capture greater ebook market share in 2017 

2.  The glut [of books] will grow more pronounced

3.  Ebooks will face greater commoditization pressures in 2017

4.  The publishing industry will begin to recognize KDP Select as the cancer that it is

#5 is “missing” or it’s called Boiling Frogs

6.   Large ebook retailers pushed to the brink

7.  Kindle Unlimited will continue to harm single copy ebook sales in 2017

8.  Many indies will quit or scale back production

9.  Industry consolidation will hit self-publishing

10.   Amazon to face anti-trust scrutiny for unfair business practices

And, here are some of Mark’s closing remarks (directed straight at self-publishing writers — if you aren’t one, share this post with any you may know...):

“Okay, so I’ve painted a stark picture for 2017.  What are you going to do about it?

“First, remember that you are not powerless, despite the efforts of those who seek to beat you down and take your power.

“Recognize that the collective actions of authors and publishers like you will determine the course of this industry.  If you have strong feelings about a particular future you’d like to see realized, it’s incumbent upon you and everyone you know to take a stand, organize with fellow authors and put words to action.

“I realize some authors are unable take a public stand.  I’ve spoken with many of them – including many big name NY Times bestsellers – who’ve privately thanked me for speaking out for them, and they’ve encouraging me to continue speaking out.  Some of these authors have confided to me they’re unable to speak publicly for themselves.  They’re afraid of recrimination from Amazon; they’re afraid of recrimination from their friends; or they’re afraid of seeing their books carpet-bombed with one-star reviews from Amazon partisans.  If you must remain silent, I respect that.  But if you have the ability to share your concerns with your readers and author friends, whether publicly or privately, please do.  Do it for you.

“Despite the challenges writers and publishers face, I continue to believe as I’ve believed for the last decade that there’s never been a better time to be a writer.  There’s never been a more exciting time to be involved in publishing.”

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A Fascinating Story from Wattpad


If you scroll down to the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar and click on “Wattpad” you’ll find this post and 25 more (perhaps more yet if you’re reading this post well after Dec. 2016…).

And, if you can’t find the Top Tags (phones often cut off the side-bar) just click on that last link :-)

If you do take that link you’ll find posts about why I began using Wattpad, plus a number of interesting interviews with Wattpad authors, plus some of the benefits of exploring the Wattpad World…

Today I want to show how folks on Wattpad help each other.

Mary L Tabor - Wattpad First there’s Mary L. Tabor who has 22 different works on Wattpad, has been there since March, 2014, and has this to say in her profile:

“Reader, author, professor, radio show host, columnist. Best advice I ever got? ‘Only connect …’ — E.M. Forster.

“This writer believes the process of writing is an ongoing, changing effort—a deeply human experience. We all have language and the ‘word’, as Emerson said, ‘if traced to its root, is found to be borrowed from some material appearance. “Right” means “straight”‘ he explains in Nature, Chapter IV, ‘Language.’

“Thus, we all own metaphor in our words.”

KL Candela - Wattpad Then, there’s KL Candela, who has 4 works on Wattpad, has been there since March 2016, and says in her profile:

“Endless gratitude to Mary L. Tabor who I met here on Wattpad and who then took me under her angel/professor wing for over a year, never asking for a thing in return, except for me to show up and work hard. During this time she taught me much about the craft of creative writing, while always being fast to remind me not to mess with that mysterious place of invention. (See, this is a good teacher.) This fabulous and whip smart woman taught me not only how to write better, she taught me how to read better, and believe me, I know well, because of her, how these two acts must go together if you want to create great writing. Please check out her award winning writing here on Wattpad.

And for me: Published:
Poetry in Launch Magazine; Short Story in Lake Effects 7 Anthology 2015, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON;

Shortlisted in the Glimmer Train Top 25 Short Fiction Contest 2015

That kind of interaction and instruction and friendship is happening all over Wattpad…

Of course, you can use Wattpad to only read, for free (on your phone, if you like…)…

You might also let the authors you read know what you think about their works…

You might try your hand at some original writing…

And, you might post writing you’ve already done…

The thing is, if you hang around long enough, you’ll find friendly, helpful people (from all over the

World:-)
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Is It Really Worth Reading a Classic Book like “Les Miserables” ?


Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables

Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables

I’ve been working to shorten and tighten up the stories in my new series (a fresh tale every Friday) because I also publish them on Wattpad and most of the 45 million folks over there are around 18 to 20 and read on their phones.

But, does that mean a story like Les Miserables, at 1,400 pages, is something folks just don’t or soon won’t read anymore?

I doubt it—even though some will continue to love the shortest of forms, the longer and classic stories will remain…

And, those 1,400 pages are really 5 novels of about 280 pages each; and, lots of folks love reading a series, right?

David Langness, writer and literary critic, has published, over on Paste magazine, the article, Les Miserables at a Century and a Half, that 150 years having past us by in 2012…

He begins with some interesting aspects of the book:

“365 chapters long.
“One of the ‘half-dozen greatest novels of the world’, said Upton Sinclair.
“Packed with 11 major and 40+ minor characters.
“The source of countless dramatic adaptations, including the musical, which has played in 42 countries to about a billion people.”

There are plenty of other interesting facts listed; but, I’ll only share one more and let you discover the rest:

“Still universally loved and critically panned. Flaubert didn’t like it, many reviewers called it ‘immoral’, and French literary lions the Goncourt brothers despised it. As you can tell, critical opinion doesn’t count for much.”

Here’s one of many of David’s own thoughts about this classic book:

“Reading Hugo’s work today lets you meander slowly through the forest of his mind and see what the great writer and poet and playwright saw as Europe reeled from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment into the Industrial Age. This huge change in human fortunes took a gigantic toll, and that toll justifies the monumental scope of Les Miserables and its focus on the poor people who bore the brunt of the vast social movement from monarchy to democracy through revolution and war and hunger.”

And, this fascinating remark:

“Everything Hugo writes in Les Miserables, and the key to the book’s remarkable longevity and impact, revolves around one central thesis—that a universal moral order exists, far above and beyond the day-to-day vagaries of sect, sanctimony and the secular laws of civilization. Each human being has that morality within, Hugo argues and his characters continue to exemplify. And every one of us, he insists, has the potential for charity, courage and compassion—we all possess an essential, inherent human nobility. We’re not born in sin, but in beauty…”

So…

If you’ve never read one of the Classics, Les Miserables just might be a good one to start with
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Author Interview ~ Adrian G Hilder


I’ve been waiting what seems a long time to have today’s interview…

In fact, regular readers may be surprised there’s no re-blog today.

Well, there won’t be a re-blog tomorrow either—I must leave this interview up both days…

It was in January of this year that Adrian and I “met”—when we followed each other on Wattpad.

Then, about three months later, after quite a bit of conversation, I began reading his book…

From my experience with this man, I can say, with gusto, pay attention to what he says :-)

{Also, Adrian has something special to reveal, for the first time, in this interview…}

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Adrian, let’s begin with when you first knew you wanted to write and why you began. Adrian G Hilder - Author

I read and loved many fantasy novels in my teens and early twenties.  My favorite authors at the time were David Gemmel, David Eddings, Raymond E Fiest, Terry Brooks and of course, Tolkien. When I was seventeen (we are talking 1988), I promised myself I would write a fantasy story one day.  I had the urge to create a tale that would be dramatic and gripping the way my favorite movies and books were. I wanted to give the reader a sense of excitement as they read a story I created.

What has the writer’s journey been like for you?

Very long! In some respects it started in 1988 when I first invented a character—a young man with tumbling black hair falling to his shoulders, sitting on a rock and holding a magic sword of some kind.  He had a grave look on his face, and I knew he had an immense challenge to overcome—one that his mentor never resolved.  I even gave him a name: Corylus or “Cory” as he would be called—the Latin name for the Hazel tree, because he would be a tough nut to crack.  That’s all I knew.  Lacking the life experience to create the kind of story I wanted to tell, and then being busy with starting a career in IT and getting married, it remained one of those things I would do “one day”.

In 2009 I had just finished reading Robin Hobb’s Farseer Trilogy. It was brilliant, but slow paced and exhausting for me to read because I wanted to extract the story faster than the dense narrative would allow. I yearned for something faster paced—so hard to find in the fantasy genre. The following day, scrap printer paper and pen in hand, I began writing about Prince Cory on the train to work. Cory had a famous grandfather—a general—who was also his mentor and the war he could not end was the challenge never resolved. I wrote about Cory at his grandfather’s funeral, but soon gave up because I didn’t feel the quality of the writing measured up to published works.  Sadly, I didn’t understand at the time that first drafts are always bad, and you need to take a leap of faith spending time (months or more) writing to develop your “author’s voice”.

Fast forward to October 2013 when the movie Enders Game was released. It caught my attention because Harrison Ford was in it.  I decided to read the book first and then see the movie.  I loved the story and the ending I didn’t see coming.  Orson Scott Card tells us in the forward that he had the idea for the story concept when he was eighteen but did not write it until his mid-thirties.  I was forty-three when I read this, and it struck me that the time for writing Cory’s story was long overdue.  I started to write again and didn’t stop for the two years it took me to finish a first draft of The General’s Legacy.

How do you find the time for writing alongside family and work commitments?

I move work location every once in awhile (I’m a freelance IT consultant) and often work in London (UK).  Commuting there means spending over two hours a day on the train—so there is ten hours a week of writing time.  I listen to music, there are no internet distractions, and I find it a productive place to write.  On the London Underground, sitting at the station waiting for a late train, or in the car while one of my boys is busy with an activity such as cricket practice at the weekend, are all places I can be found writing.  I’m working close to home right now. Fortunately, my wife understands when I spend the same amount of time at the office before and after work keeping up my writing routine.  It can be an inefficient way to write. When time is short, I might only get a hundred words down, but this is better than nothing.

Adrian, you said you wanted to write a story that was dramatic and exciting, the way some movies are. How did you go about doing this?

I felt early on in writing The General’s Legacy that I needed a way to pace the story and have some structure or plan to guide me. By the time I had written the prologue and first two chapters, I was daunted by the prospect of creating a whole story, with all its complexity to manage, without some form of plan. I felt the same way I did when I first started computer programming—you can sit down and just write a small computer program by the seat of your pants, but how do you build a large and complex IT system? At college, I learned how to design software. I was convinced I needed to learn how to design a story. It only took minutes of searching online for me to find Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.  This book taught me how screenwriters and many novelists plan their stories, define their characters, and more. This approach to planning a story forces me to come up with plot twists, conflicts, and dramatic moments that I might not otherwise have thought of. Knowing that these “plot points” are coming, and what the goal of each of the four story phases are, I have plenty of page time to spin the story in their direction.

So, would you describe yourself as a “plotter” rather than a “panster”?

For me, a bit of “seat of the pants writing” is an essential part of discovering character and story, but I need a plan before I go too far. Sometimes the story goes off plan for the better—so the plan is updated. I believe the method and the plan must serve the story and not the other way around… but, as Larry would say, structure is story (a ton of authors might disagree). However much I might stretch the structure rules, all the essential points are there by the end.

Where does the inspiration for what goes into your stories come from?

Mostly, what’s going on in the world around us right now and in recent history.  I’ve avoided creating a fantasy story that draws too heavily on medieval history for storylines and setting. The General’s Legacy is set in a fictional world partly inspired by 18th and 19th century Europe—there is even orchestral music. I’ve used differing fictional religious beliefs, divisions within religions and characters with no religious beliefs for inspiration—without preaching or disrespecting any particular point of view. This also applies to future stories in the planning process.

For some elements of the story, I’ve used my own experiences. Every so often, life can throw many of us a curve ball that we’re not equipped to catch. These can be stressful times—sometimes too stressful for us to cope. I wanted to make something positive out of such hard times. Anxiety and stress come into play in The General’s Legacy, mainly in connection with the use of magic in the story and one character in particular. All great heroes need an inner weakness to triumph over as they try to overcome the antagonists in a story.

Adrian, since we connected on Wattpad, I’d like you to share what your experience there has been like…

At first, it felt like I was publishing story parts into the void.  Hardly anyone took notice of what I was doing. When I had twenty or so story parts up, and I had gone mad following other fantasy and science fiction readers and authors, I managed to secure a few regular readers. Shortly before I published the last parts of the story, the Wattpad Community Team approached me about having The General’s Legacy Featured in fantasy. Many more readers arrived after this and continue to trickle in today. I had been on Wattpad for about eight months by this point. Wattpad has given me many readers, some have commented and voted on the story throughout; and, a few have agreed to review The General’s Legacy Part 1: Inheritance on Amazon and similar sites when it’s published in November this year.

It has been exciting to have someone other than one of my closest friends read and respond to the story.

The highlights of my Wattpad experience have been the day I saw one reader spend sixteen out of twenty-four hours of his Easter Sunday reading and voting on the story, plus the period of time when you were reading and commenting on it—it was a lot of fun!

Well, I was completely taken away by the story, Adrian…

You mentioned there are more stories in the planning process. What does the future have in store for your writing?

The General’s Legacy will be published in two parts – Inheritance (by November 2016) followed a few months later by Whiteland King. The editing process has been consuming much of my writing time since October 2015, but I am planning and “world building” for a series of four more stories to follow on from The General’s Legacy. There are characters, little snippets of information, and bits of history dropped into The General’s Legacy that set some things up for the future stories.

The last thing I would like to share with you and your blog readers is the “cover reveal” for The General’s Legacy Part 1: Inheritance. It has never been shown anywhere else before.

The General's Legacy

And, Alexander, thank you, so much, for inviting me to interview.

It was great having you share your story about your stories with my readers, Adrian! :-)

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And, folks, here are some places you can find Adrian and his books online:

Adrian’s WebSite

Adrian’s Space on Wattpadwhere you can read The General’s Legacy, Free…

Adrian’s Facebook Presence

Also, please, do, ask Adrian any questions you may have in the Comments…
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#Wattpad Expands Reach ~ Attracts #Publishers


I’ve written about my experience with Wattpad a number of times—the Top Tags widget (down a bit in the left side-bar) shows 23 posts (naturally, this one’s there, too…)Wattpad

In fact, I have eleven Wattpad Author Interviews here

I thought it was time for an update on the phenomenon called Wattpad when their blog had a post called, 300 Million Story Uploads and One Big Thanks.

Two excerpts:

“That number [300 million] is more than five times larger than the New York Public Library’s entire catalog and almost double that of the Library of Congress.”

“At Wattpad, we know that everyone has a story to share. It’s why we support over 50 languages and connect storytellers and audiences from virtually every country in the world.”

As a matter of fact, there have been over twice as many readers of my short novel, Notes from An Alien, in the Philippines than in the U.S.A.; plus, it has strong showings in India, the UK, and South Africa (…last count, there were readers in 34 countries…)

A fascinating look into ways Wattpad’s expanding was covered in an article in Publishing PerspectivesCanada’s Wattpad Studios at BEA: A Few Words With Aron Levitz—where it’s said:

“Established authors, of course, have seen value in experimenting with Wattpad, notably Margaret Atwood. More recently, news from The Bookseller’s Charlotte Eyre in London is that British children’s author Jeff Norton has launched a novel, ‘Star Pressed’, on Wattpad. ‘…rather than going down the traditional publishing route, Norton’, Eyre writes, ‘had more than 340,000 reads on Wattpad of an earlier work, ‘Metawars: Fight For the Future’, also published by Hachette.'”

So, they have 45 million monthly readers, loads of writers (at all levels of experience and expertise), and now publishers are urging their authors to serialize backlist books so new ones will sell better

One example of this new trend is detailed in a recent article, again at Publishing PerspectivesMarketing Experiment: A Canadian Publisher Spins an Old Title on a New Platform.

These comments from Dundurn Press‘ publicist Michelle Melski:

“We approached Don Easton about the project, but he immediately jumped on the idea. Since the 10th book in the series is about to come out, ‘A Delicate Matter’, we wanted to do something to mark the occasion and to introduce the Jack Taggart mystery series to new readers.”

“…Don is adding all of the chapters himself. This way he can get to know his readers and respond to their comments. It’s also an interesting experience to have an author get feedback on a book in real time, as someone is reading it.”

“We always encourage our authors to consider using Wattpad as a promotional tool and have posted chapters of books there before, but this is the first time we’re serializing an entire book. Everyone here is excited about the project and we can’t wait to see what we learn at the end of it.”

About all I can add is that I, too, am excited about my project on Wattpad ( 4 books completely uploaded and the most recent book getting a new short story every Saturday you can also read those shorts here every Friday at the Story Bazaar } :-)

The most fascinating thing about Wattpad, to me, is that the readers and writers participating there enjoy the experience for Free

And, finally, a somewhat balanced look at the Wattpad phenomenon
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