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rune
April 7th, 2001, 03:12 AM
I have noticed some people set up their own WebSites and publish their own stories on the Internet.

I know this way its for free, that doesnt bother me.
I was just wondering if this is worth doing, as anyone else tried this?
What are the pros and cons in doing this?

yurisverdlov
May 6th, 2001, 08:22 AM
Interesting post. Here is one person's opinion. First, it doesn't have to be "free"; second, the "pros" outweigh the "cons."

The Internet is chock-full of "free" writing. It certainly has its place, but if you are going to write a novel or screenplay, or develop a game idea, there has to be an incentive for spending months or years of your life working on such a project. The bigger the incentive, the more energy, creativity, time, effort, etc., will go into the product--a benefit to the ultimate consumers. J.R.R. Tolkien didn't scratch away at stories in Oxford pubs for years upon years without the expectation of reward. James Cameron didn't produce "Titanic" simply because he thought it would be an interesting thing to do.

For a new writer, however, it can be tough to rise above the noise and gain recognition (or even access to publishers and agents). Certainly one way to do it is give it away, but nothing should be "free."

One of the most important things that a writer should try to get from such a "give-away" effort is criticism. In writing, you have to throw away ego and solicit and accept criticism. Good criticism is hard to find. No many people know how to do it well.

The pros to setting up your own web site far outweigh the cons. Here is one person's list of plusses and minuses:

CON:
* The cost may be on the order of $10 per month. (If you want to register with big search engines, it can be even more.)
* It takes some time and effort to develop and manage the site.

PRO:
* You can use the site and the product on the site as a "calling card" for discussions with readers, publishers, agents, producers, and other authors.
* You can use the site to solicit constructive criticism.
* You can generate revenue from the site in various ways (in my case, by selling books).

In summary, starting your own site may not be for everyone, but for a budding author, it may be a necessary option.

-- John Morrison

[This message has been edited by yurisverdlov (edited May 06, 2001).]

Erebus
May 6th, 2001, 04:52 PM
I have to agree, John.

I too have set up a dedicated set of web pages for my fantasy trilogy, The Erebus Equilibrium. Book One, Reflections, was published last year as an ebook, and then as a paperback early this year.

My Erebus web site, while containing some freebies, does not have a complete work available for free. There are, however, links to get to the right sites for ordering the book in various formats.

I also agree with you how difficult it is to attract attention from mainstream publishers and a voice, no matter how small, on the Net seems to be the way to go. After all, had it not been for this particular part of the Web I would not have found details about your work, nor would you ever had stumbled across mine, no doubt. www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/ (http://www.wn.com.au/clubclad/erebus/)

Cheers,

Neil

[This message has been edited by erebus (edited May 06, 2001).]

yurisverdlov
May 7th, 2001, 07:34 AM
Cool site, Neil, and an interesting concept for a series! Where in Australia do you live?

-- John Morrison

Erebus
May 7th, 2001, 06:01 PM
Thanks, John, glad you liked the site.

I live just south of Perth, Western Australia.

Regards,

Neil

Erebus
May 7th, 2001, 06:21 PM
John, I forgot to congratulate you on securing the film and TV options for your novel. Wow, you must be pretty excited by all of that? How did it come about, or do you "know" someone in the industry?

Anyway, well done. I hope to see it on the screen one day soon!

Neil

yurisverdlov
May 8th, 2001, 07:42 AM
RE: "How did it come about, or do you "know" someone in the industry?"

When I wrote the novel, I also wrote a screenplay based on the same story. It was really the screenplay that The Woofenill Works, Inc. optioned. I sent it in blind, and they called me back after a while and said they wanted to option it.

Unfortunately, having the story optioned is not the same as having it made into a movie. There are a lot of hurdles, and some very good screenplays lurk in limbo forever.

Right now I'm working with Woofenill and a finance guy to try to make it happen. We have the package in the hands of a few very good producers who are looking seriously at it. Naturally, I have my fingers crossed.

I have a couple of other screenplays that Woofenill has optioned, and one of them will be actively marketed in the near future(after Cannes, which is consuming everyone's attention at the moment).

-- John Morrison

Spacejock
May 28th, 2001, 07:43 PM
"I have noticed some people set up their own WebSites and publish their own stories on the Internet. I know this way its for free, that doesnt bother me. I was just wondering if this is worth doing, as anyone else tried this? What are the pros and cons in doing this?"

I reckon anyone considering self-publishing should join an online writing workshop (there are two free ones specifically targeted at SF/F that I have used - the delrey one is quicker for feedback. http://delrey.onlinewritingworkshop.com/)

Get some feedback on your work. If people pick out flaws, or make lots of suggestions then you're probably not ready for a public release. It was feedback from the Delrey workshop that moulded the first chapters of my own novel into shape. Once I found out what people liked, I went ahead and wrote the rest of the book.

I wasted 12 months trying to get a publisher interested my funny SF novel but have now taken the plunge and self-published.

I wouldn't have done it if I didn't believe in my novel, and if I didn't have a reasonably busy web page already.

If you're going to submit to publishers, then you don't have to worry about a web page. If you're going to sell your own book you need to have a decent web page, and you can't just get people there by posting 'come and buy my novel' messages to newsgroups. You need to think about getting traffic in, too.

Cheers
Simon Haynes http://www.spacejock.com

Erebus
May 28th, 2001, 08:07 PM
Hi, Simon, nice to see you at the forum. I hope you got my email about the E-books versus Paperbacks topic?

As you already know, I have published through a US publisher, but I can certainly sympathise with your comments about time wasted with mainstream publishers!

Cheers,

Neil

Spacejock
May 28th, 2001, 11:27 PM
"Hi, Simon, nice to see you at the forum. I hope you got my email about the E-books versus Paperbacks topic?"

Sure did. A bit of shameless promotion never goes astray :-)

"As you already know, I have published through a US publisher, but I can certainly sympathise with your comments about time wasted with mainstream publishers!"

I sent my book to a US e-publisher last year. I'm really glad they didn't take it up. (They thought it should be more zany, like Hitchhiker's Guide. A pity, because I deliberately made it a straight plot with comic moments rather than a cheap monty python/HHGTTG ripoff)

Cheers
Simon