Oh No! It’s the Writing Bug Again!

Image: Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

As if I didn’t have enough creative ideas buzzing around in my head, a bus ride home from school yesterday spawned an idea for a brand new Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel.  Problem is, I’ve only just published the first book in my existing Fantasy trilogy.  I also manage this blog, manage So Powered Productions, use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and (soon) After Effects.  I’m also at school half of the day and I work part-time.  When will I have time to write something new?  I honestly don’t know.  All I can do right now is make notes in Notepad and save them someplace where I won’t forget about them.  Sometimes I think I have just too many hobbies and not enough time to follow them!

The Benefits of Audiobooks

You’ve probably heard of audiobooks, the sound recordings of books which you can play on your iPod or Sansa (etc.).  But perhaps you’ve been avoiding them, or just not bothering with them at all.  You think, ‘I’d rather read the book,’ or maybe ‘I’d rather read my Kindle.’  So why bother with transferring those long mp3 files to your player?

Personally, I’m a fairly busy person.  I get up early in the morning, ride busses for an hour and a half to get to school, half an hour to get back home, and when I’m not hanging out with friends I’m probably working on my website, playing in Photoshop, or checking my Facebook account.  I don’t make a lot of time for actual book reading.

Then, along came Rick Riordan’s ‘The Son of Neptune’, a book I’d been waiting a year for.  Upon its release, I decided to seriously cut the time spent on my library’s waiting list by downloading the audiobook from their electronic lending library (note: if your library has a system like mine, where you can check out electronic items for a week or two, do make use of it!).  I put the files on my Sansa Fuze and listened to them on the bus, while surfing the web, and in bed before deciding to go to sleep.  By listening to that audiobook, I discovered that audiobooks:

  • Allow you to ‘read’ in the dark
  • Allow you to ‘read’ where fiction books might not be welcome
  • Save space in your home or backpack (after all, what’s a few MB of space on your player nowadays?)
  • Allow you to multi-task (i.e., ‘read’ while washing dishes, or while surfing the internet)
  • Save you the trouble of figuring out how to pronounce Greek names (okay, a little specific here, but you get the point)

So far, my experience with audiobooks has been good, and I certainly recommend them to anyone who hasn’t yet discovered their benefits.  How have your experiences been?

Registering Copyright Licenses

When publishing your work on Lulu.com, you will be asked if you want to select a copyright license.  You’re given a list of ten or so licenses to choose from, and now you’re thinking, ‘what’s this madness?’

If you are really concerned with people stealing your work, then I’ll make the decision easier for you: the first choice on the list, a standard copyright license will probably be the best match.  It’s really not that hard to register (disclaimer: I have not personally tried this method, so please don’t consider any of this legal advice).

Filing

Now, Lulu.com does not require any kind of registration code when it comes time to put in copyright information during the publishing process, which means you could just put in the year and your name and you’d be good (again, this is not legal advice!).  Here’s an article which I found quite helpful in understanding the copyrighting process.

Basically what you have to do is download and print a form, fill it out, then send it in to the Library of Congress with 2 copies of your finished book (here we’re implying that you’re printing your book.  I’m not sure yet how you would submit 2 ebook copies and a form to obtain a copyright for that ebook).  There’s more information on Lulu.com on the process.

Cost

If you decide to go for a standard copyright license, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost.  If you have already published your book, then it will cost whatever you pay to get 2 copies of your own work, the $45 filing fee, and postage.  You then send out your package, wait for a while for confirmation(your copyright takes effect as soon as the package arrives at the Library of Congress), and then you’ve got your books legally protected and (bonus!) in the Library of Congress.  Then you can take a trip to Washington D.C. and try to find your work!

Hopefully this answers some of your questions concerning copyrighting.  If you have any remarks or questions please feel free to comment!

Some Slight Changes

You may not have noticed it just yet, but SoPoweredProductions.com has been upgraded in minor ways!  Check out the navigation bars as you click around the site, and you’ll notice that buttons change when you’re on their page.  Also, the Technically Heroic section has had sub-navigation added just above the content.  Small changes, to be sure, but upgrades nonetheless.  So, what do you think?

Lulu.com and NaNoWriMo

As you may have heard, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), where you sit down and write a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days.  While some of you may be up to that challenge, and indeed at it already, some of you may be just too busy to write a 50,000 word novel in a month.  That’s where Lulu.com comes in!

This month, Lulu.com is running a short story contest, where you write a 600 word short story and publish it on Lulu.com.  From Lulu.com:

lulu.com logo

Lulu.com

“Throughout the month of November – all the way to December 1st – anyone can participate in our Short Story Contest and take the pressure off the creative process.  Better yet, we want to help folks see their creativity available to the public as quickly as possible too, so we’re gonna help you create an eBook out of your short story that’ll go live in the iBookstore and on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK.”

Did I mention the prizes?

  • First – Barnes and Noble Nook and $500 cash (plus free publicity!)
  • Second – Barnes and Noble Nook
  • Third – $100 Barnes and Noble gift card

All participants get a 20% off Lulu.com coupon when they enter, good for up to $100 savings! 

With all this good stuff involved, why not put that imagination of yours down on Word and give Lulu’s contest a shot?  600 words will flow before you know it (in fact, one of my previous posts was just over 600 words long).  Hop to it!  There’s still plenty of time. As a bonus prize, if you read this post, enter the contest, and rank in the top 3, let me know and I might just feature you in a post! That in itself makes it worth entering, right? ;)

Click here for complete rules

What does it take to get published?

Whether you’ve just finished writing, or have had your manuscript lying around for years, it is now easier than ever to publish your writing for the world to read.  And the best part?  You can do it on almost no budget at all!

Ebooks Everywhere

In today’s society, the Ebook is becoming increasingly popular.  Ebook reading devices such as the Kindle and the Nook are becoming more and more advanced, introducing capabilities similar to Apple’s iPad, which also reads Ebooks.  However, one does not need a special device to read an Ebook.  Free downloads and plug-ins allow users on virtually any computer to read and enjoy Ebooks.  All of this means that by simply publishing your writing as an Ebook, you can reach millions of readers all over the world.  This is where online publishers like Lulu.com come in.

Lulu.com as an Ebook Publisher

While Lulu.com is not the only online publisher out there, it’s the one I’ve personally used and had good results with.  Here’s how it works:

  • You create a FREE online account at http://www.lulu.com
  • You start a new project for your writing, following the given directions to create your Ebook and submit it for distribution
  • You wait for iBookstore and BN.com approval

You are published now for Apple devices, Nooks, and on Lulu.com for pretty much everything else.  The only thing missing now is…

Kindle Publishing

Getting published for the Kindle is just as easy as Lulu.com.  You go to www.kdp.amazon.com and create an account.  Then you upload your document and cover art, set your distribution options and price, then submit and wait.  The process is quite simple, and it doesn’t take very long at all to get your book published for Kindle.

Lulu.com for physical publishing

Okay, people all over the world can read your books on their electronic devices.  But what if someone wants a hard copy?  There are still people out there who would rather hold a physical book in their hand and read it, and since you want to reach as many people as possible, your next move would be to get your book published as a hard copy.  This used to be a lot more difficult and costly, but with sites like Lulu.com, you can do it for practically nothing.  The steps are pretty much the same as Ebook publishing.  You upload your document, create a cover using Lulu’s cover creation wizard, set your price and distribution, and you’re published!  Now, if you want your book available on Amazon.com as a hard copy as well as for Kindle, Lulu will handle this for you for FREE.  You must, however, order a proof copy of your book before submitting it for distribution.  This should only cost you for shipping, as Lulu.com will send you a discount code which will cover the production costs of your book.  This kind of publishing is called Print-On-Demand, where your book is only printed whenever someone orders it, and I believe it is the most cost-efficient way to published in the physical world.

Published for practically nothing

My experience with Lulu.com has been a good one.  I spent no more than $4.00 to get my book published on Kindles, Nooks, iPads, iPhones, PCs and Macs, and as hard copies (you can see my results at my website).  With a combination of digital and Print-On-Demand publishing, you can get your book out in the world on any kind of budget.  I hope that by sharing my experience that you will take the initiative on publishing your works.  Try it out, and tell me what you think!  If you have any questions or anything to add, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.  I look forward to hearing your story!