What’s another way of saying…? a Quora question

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.


Question: What’s another way of saying “in my opinion”?


Answer: That’s actually a great question.


First, it’s important to note that writers are thinkers. Writers are people who write down what they are thinking, but people, all people, have choice words and phrases, which is why, despite what Stephen King says, it’s important to use a thesaurus.

Stephen King, the greatest detriment to writers
Stephen King, the greatest detriment to writers


Here’s what I think: While you’re writing, writing your first draft of a novel, the first draft of a blog post, or the first draft of whatever, it’s important to just write your thoughts down as they come. After you have the entirety of your thoughts, scenario, chapter, book, you need to go back through and clean it up, right? That’s when you should actually bust out the thesaurus, and if that’s what King meant then that’s fine, but we all know that he has teams of editors who most assuredly use a thesaurus even if he doesn’t.


Why do we need to use thesaurus, though? Is it not okay to say “big” all the time?


Well that depends; are we writing a children’s book, a one page blog post, an e-mail?


Let me tell you, if you’re writing a full length 400 page novel for an adult audience, you’d better find another word for big, but is huge the right word? Maybe, a better word is enormous; it depends, but that’s not exactly what I want to touch on here because the question was about a phrase, specifically.


What’s another way of saying “in my opinion”?


What I think.

What I believe.

My thoughts are.

I have heard.

I have been taught.

In my experience.

It seems to me.

Considering what I’ve learned.

Judging by my evidence.

According to my views.


The list is practically endless, but the point is that there are numerous words, phrases, thoughts, that each of us, individually, gravitate towards; for instance, I use “for instance” a lot. I also use “a great deal” quite a bit, and it isn’t so much that the repetition is stagnant, rather there are times where a certain phrase or word will work more effectively; I’ve gone through this with a post called A Word, so rather than rehashing all of that here, I just want to add something.


Characters, especially the protagonist, antagonist, love interest, and support crew must sound different from one another, but how can that be accomplished without learning to think from a view that is not your own?


Well, the answer is not quite so complex. First of all, the view has to, per force, be your own, but not your normal view. Here’s what I mean: As I stated, I say “for instance” and “a great deal” a great deal…a joke, but a true joke.


Now, in order to make my characters sound different, I employ specific phrases, words, and mannerisms–just a handful for each character.


For instance (another joke), Martinez, while speaking to his mates, may end most sentences with “ya’ heard?” Martinez might rub his nose quite often. Martinez might employ tons of hand gestures.


This means that Flora and Jimmer can never say “ya’ heard?” unless mocking Martinez. This means Flora and Jimmer can’t do the things that Martinez does. Flora needs to take long pauses and stare people in the eye for an uncomfortable period before speaking. Jimmer needs to chew his mustache when he thinks. Feel me?


Looking for words you don’t normally use by utilizing your thesaurus is what makes your story better. Listening to people speak, and trying to find new ways of phrasing ideas, is what makes your story better.


This doesn’t just apply to stories though, this applies to all writing. Should an informal cooking blog sound the same as NYSE blog? Probably not, right?


If you like this post, make sure to share.


Enjoyed this slice of information? Tell your friends.


Be sure to let people know where they can find quality information.


All ways of saying the same thing, but the impact varies, right? Thanks!

Niki Nyan’s Book Blog is the place for honest, indie reviews!

Black cat

Niki Nyan’s Book Blog is a new book blog site. There, you can read reviews and excerpts of great books, or perhaps, not so great books.

Niki specializes in indie books, mostly from Smashwords, and so far, her book reviews have varied somewhat from genre to genre, though she prefers speculative fiction–scifi and fantasy–she’ll read anything that tickles her fancy.

Her love of reading, and her love of reading real books, books written by people who enjoy reading and writing over companies who have published books for a broad audience in order to earn a buck, has led her not only to Smashwords, but Goodreads, too.

She has been kind enough to review some of my books, not from my suggest or submission, and in turn, I showed her how to make money via Smashwords and book review blogs.

You can check that out here.

I hope that you all treat her as kindly as you’ve treated me. Please, do go peek at her site, Niki Nyan’s Book Blog. Be her friend on Goodreads, and follow her on Twitter.

I believe she’ll keep up the great work and run a very successful book review blog, so be sure to share this post and her site!


How to write a novel or series, a Quora Question

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

Question: How do you write a novel or series?


Addendum: I’ve been reading the writer’s journey and I’m curious as to how some of the authors on quora go about their writing projects – I’m not looking for their writing advice insomuch as I’m interested in looking at what they actually do.


Answer: I think about the story. I envision a scene, a character, his perspective, his goal, the problem, the solution. I mull it over. I obsess over it. It consumes me. I see it all. I hear it all. I smell it all. I am the character, or I am his friend, or I am the unseen sojourner beside him.


Then, one day, I have to commit it to paper. By the time I’m four pages in, everything changes. I stop. I reassess and re-obsess. Before long, I have to write again.


A chapter, two chapters in, I see a twist, or a character comes to life and takes itself in a new direction. I follow, wondering where it all goes.


I just write; I just get the story down. That’s all anyone should do. There is nothing else that can really be said until the story has been written to completion. Completion doesn’t mean perfection; it doesn’t mean the story is ready to be published. It just means the first draft is done, and all the basics are down.


Occasionally, while writing, I go back and re-read former chapters to make sure there are no inconsistencies, but mostly, I try to just keep going forwards. By the time I get to the end, it’s never what I had envisioned. Because of this, I never use writing software, I never use outlines; all that crap is a creativity killer.


It is my belief that stringent outlines, which don’t allow for deviation, destroy inspiration. You can’t plan a garden. You can just plant flowers, and watch them grow. You can’t predict or control how they grow. After they start to grow, you can guide them. Once they’re fully grown, you can maintain them, but you can’t possibly plan on how flowers will grow.


You can plan for life with a newborn, but until you’re married, and your child is born, and growing, and learning, and adapting, there is no way to know how to live your life. You can’t plan for every contingency. Maybe, your boy won’t like baseball. Maybe, your girl will be too shy for dancing. Until you’re married with children, there is no way to know what will happen. The same goes for stories; there is no way to accurately outline what will happen, when, and how; you just write, and once it’s down, you can edit.


The story should be alive within the writer, and should come to life during the writing process. The writer should be as surprised as the audience.


I can’t tell you guys and gals how many characters I thought were good guys suddenly planned, and plotted, and derailed the story, but that’s what readers love, and they think I planned it that way, but no. Sometimes, events simply occur. Other times, something new comes to mind during the re-reading/editing process.


This happens after I get the story down. I read it, you know, like I’m reading it for the first time as a reader, and I find nuances, which I explore.


Oh, look, John wants to be with Carol even though she’s with Mike. Maybe John can try to woo her, and maybe that’ll make for some cool character growth!


Thoughts like that jump out at me after I’ve written the first draft. I explore those thoughts. Sometimes they work out. Sometimes they don’t. The first draft of the story is not the end product and should never be taken as such. The story isn’t finished until there’s nothing else that can be added, and then it’s time to cut everything superfluous, even if I like it because I have to think about what the audience will want, and if I force them to read every single little tiny thought I have, they’ll feel as though the story is pulling every which way; it feels jumbled, disorganized, confusing.


I know different methods work for different people, but fierce structure and routine destroys imagination, and at the end of the story, there is an editing process during which all the mess gets cleaned up and tied into everything else, which keeps my work from becoming convoluted. An outline should be only a limited tool, a guide, a loose idea, which is there only to bloom, to be modified as the occasion arises.


For, say, a single novel, there should only be a single plot twist if any at all, but I mostly write series, so things can get messy, which is why I do keep a notepad handy, and in it, I jot down a sentence or two in the event that I want to add a certain event during the editing process.


For instance, in the newly released Dragon Slayer

The Dragon of Time Two, Dragon Slayer By Aaron Dennis
The Dragon of Time Two, Dragon Slayer
By Aaron Dennis

I had intended for Scar, the protagonist, to kill a support character, but by the time I reached that portion of the story, that action no longer made sense, so I adapted, and it will seem as though what does happen was planned that way from the beginning.


I promise, you’ll never who I wanted him to kill or why. You’ll never know where it was supposed to happen.


So, as the question was asked: How do I write a novel or series?


I begin with an idea, no matter how undeveloped. I think about the idea, and jot down little notes. Inevitably, more and more scenes, actions, thoughts, and emotions come to mind, and when I have enough, I begin to write.


Maybe, my beginning is under developed. No big deal. Maybe, my middle is shaky. That’s okay. Maybe, I planned for one ending, but it no longer makes sense. That’s fine.


I just write, and as I write, more and more comes to mind. Eventually, I find myself wrapping up all the events, and the story has ended. Sometimes, I have some ideas for an aftermath, in which case, I’ll hold on to it for the sequel.


If there’s no after math, it’s time to get away from the novel. I need to forget it because the people reading it won’t be in my head.


Once I’ve forgotten the tale, I read it as a reader. I correct little mistakes. I fluff out the portions, which are lacking in description, dialogue, action, whatever, and I go through it over and over, probably more than 20 times by the time I’m ready to publish.


While re-reading, I cut whatever’s superfluous. I make notes for the sequel. I scan for inconsistencies. I search for better ways to show versus tell. I make sure to keep from repetitious retelling. I make certain that the main characters, the support crew, they’re all different. No stock characters–they cannot all sound like me when I talk or think. I give them choice words, mannerisms; I make them living people.


It’s a daunting undertaking, but this is why there are whole institutions devoted to writing; publishers don’t just accept a written body of work, and print it. They normally only take a look at vetted stories.


A literary agent accepts a finished product. They hand it off to a publisher. The acquisitions editor reads the story. If it looks good, they send it to editors and people who function as test readers. If the story can be edited for a large audience, and it appears to be attractive enough to reach a broad audience, that story gets picked up, and then the actual editing process occurs, and I promise you that it takes a long time to rewrite the entire story from that stage.


There’s a lot of people out there, readers, new writers, aspiring novelists, who think that writers just sit down and write out a perfect manuscript from word one to the end. Far from it; it’s a long, arduous process fraught with editing and re-writing. Many eyes have to look over the manuscript before it can be safely published, and for independent writers, this can be a most intimidating task.


Fortunately, there are writing groups, reading groups, beta-readers, and freelance editors. There are also numerous writers out there who blog, who answer questions, who give advice, who show the process, and so anyone who takes the time to learn, can start their career off properly.


Thanks for reading. Share with your friends! Come back anytime, and make sure to check out my resources, and download my free stories.

Oh, no, it’s YouTube restricted mode!

youtube restricted mode
youtube restricted mode

What is YouTube restricted mode? Restricted mode is an optional setting used to screen out potentially mature content, or at least that’s what YouTube says, but the company seems to be deciding on its own who is potentially mature and who isn’t; i.e. Pewdiepie, Paul Joseph Watson, Alex Jones, Tim Pool, etc.


It appears, now that Google AdSense is having some trouble with advertisers backing out, that YouTube is censoring certain channels in order to try to keep advertisers from leaving, or at least that’s the story.


What does YouTube restricted mode mean for you?


Consider yourself the UK, and YouTube is the EU. Invoke a Brexit. Leave YouTube!


Look, it means that if YouTube decides you’re an extremist, you can’t get organic views to your channel, because your videos cannot be found, or they demonetize your channel for a while, like when a new episode first airs, and then reinstate monetization after your big influx of views. That means you either get less views and subscribers, which leads to less revenue from Google AdSense, or it means that after you’ve lost monetization from your initial influx of viewers, you can earn some pennies after monetization has been reinstated, but Google AdSense is NOT your only option. Think about investment portfolios; you don’t invest in a single company, right?!


I’m a huge fan of many YouTube personalities. These are self made people who have found real ways to connect with a fan base, and make money from their own ideas and presentations without having to go through the mainstream, garbage conglomerate. I don’t, however, understand why they are all crying about this embargo YouTube has created. I mean, it’s an inconvenience, sure; it’s like getting fired from work, or getting your hours cut; you get pissed first then you get a new job with a new company. When you work on your own, you just have to find a new way to monetize.


This begs the question: Is there a way around this censorship? Yes! You can leave YouTube, let the Libtards and their 5 fans have it, and move on to a different venue.


It is just as easy to earn a living from Vimeo and Dailymotion as it is YouTube. You are simply not familiar with it is all. People don’t talk as much about Dailymotion and Vimeo stars because the majority of those stars are also on YouTube, but why in Hell would you limit yourself to a single platform anyway? Recall what I said about investment portfolios?


You can monetize Dailymotion without Google AdSense, so let ‘em suck a dick! Vimeo allows people to donate tips; half of you are already out there begging people through GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and Patreon anyway. At least on Vimeo, your fans can see that you are actually working and releasing new content, but you can still keep you crowdfunding platforms as well.


Now, at the end of a Kickstarter campaign, I don’t usually know if that movie I funded ever gets made! On Vimeo, people donate after they see your work, so you’re going to have work, but again, my point is that since YouTube may be giving you a hard time, you can work around it, and as more and more people leave YouTube for Vimeo and Dailymotion, I guarantee the opportunities for monetizing will accrue; the advertisers will follow.


That’s the way the world works. Don’t get angry that YouTube is ruined. Leave it. Don’t be scared that you’re going to have to get a day job in order to support your filming hobbies! Start slowly moving your content from YouTube to Vimeo and Dailymotion, and tell YouTube restricted mode: Suck a dick!


See, here’s the thing; YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion didn’t always exist. If you cannot earn money through them, you will stop using them. If you stop using them, investors and advertisers will also stop using them because viewers will be leaving to follow their favorite performers where ever they go.


You can place videos on your own website!!! Ask for donations! Sell merchandise! Leave YouTube!


Then, someone will engineer something new. That’s the way business, technology, and business technology works!


You have options. Use them!


For one, all of these people that I mentioned; Paul Joseph Watson, Alex Jones, Tim Pool, Pewdiepie (who shouldn’t even be in the same category) already have tons of fans who not only watch their videos but also visit their websites, so there’s an easy way to make extra money through either blogging or merchandise, or both! Trust me, if Paul Joseph Watson made a shirt that read: Populism is the new Punk! I’d buy it! That’s easy money!


The moral of this story is that you people making a living from YouTube are businessmen, and businessmen can recognize market patterns, so recognize the patterns.


You also have to understand that social media monetization is still in its infancy. What was the first social media platform? MySpace? Is it still around? Not in its original format. FaceBook won’t last; neither will Twitter, or anything else. Something new will come along to fill a niche market, and it will have monetization accessibility.


Companies come and companies go, and if YouTube is committing suicide, leave YouTube, and go somewhere else; the fans will follow, and so, too, will the advertisers. If the existing venues aren’t effective, improve them, or create something new. That’s the beauty of business! It’s why I don’t need a mainstream publisher to earn a living. It’s why producers have gone indie. It’s why game developers have gone indie.


I’ll never tire of saying this: we are living in an indie age! Musicians, writers, directors, actors, producers, artists, video game designers are all going indie. YouTube is no longer indie. That’s all it is!


To all you performs, who I cherish; Paul Joseph Watson, Tim Pool, Pewdiepie, Alex Jones, please keep doing what you’re doing, and rather than bunching your panties over Leftist YouTube, start uploading you work to new platforms. We will follow you.


Thanks for reading. Please like and share.

Can you succeed even without a solid publicity plan?

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

self aggrandizing aaron meme

Question: Would a great book succeed even without a solid publicity plan?


Answer: No, and I’m speaking from experience.


When I first began writing, I tried to tell everyone that my book was out, it was great, well written, edited, the whole shebang, but who did I tell?


Consider the question. With no publicity plan, who is there to tell that you have a book, and that it’s great, and that everyone should buy it?


With no publicity plan, you have no Twitter followers, no blog followers, no one subscribed to your website, no friends on FaceBook or Goodreads, no contacts on LinkedIn, etc. You must have a receptive audience. You must be able to tell receptive people, who are already interested in your kind of writing, that you have released a book, and how can you have people following your every move without a publicity plan?


The publicity plan builds exposure; by its nature, it calls people’s attention to you. Then, when people know you exist, you can let them know what you’re peddling, and how it’s different or better than what’s on the market now.


Exposure is absolutely necessary, and even books that are not so great tend to fly off the shelves when a publicist somewhere says, “these are great.” However, since such a thing was said to numerous individuals, who then told others, who then told others; the exposure led to readers, which led to conversations about those books regardless of how great those books were or weren’t; if they were terrible, they surely had great sells at first, because of a publicity plan, and then tanked when they failed to live up to the hype, but that’s a different discussion.


It’s tough to build a publicity plan, for sure. It’s even tougher to build a free publicity plan, but it is not impossible.


The simplest way to build fans is to engage with likeminded people. People are social creatures who enjoy discussing their likes and dislikes. They value their own opinions as well as the opinions of their peers, so it’s imperative that you, a writer, ask yourself some serious questions. What genre do you write? For whom are you writing? Like whom do you write? How are you different? Better?  More important? Be friends on FaceBook, Google+, Goodreads, and Twitter with those likeminded people. Discuss what they like. Discuss what you like. Start a book review blog or vlog—learn more about that here!!!


In the meantime, write your book, hire an editor, and engage beta-readers. Then, once you have loyal fans, show them that you’ve written a book, too.


There are other routes as well. If you have the money, you can sign on with netgalley and get your book in the hands of serious reviewers. Reviewers are important because those people discuss their likes and dislikes with likeminded people, so they are promoting for you; of course if your book sucks, you’ll never sell, or at least not for long. You can also purchase media release packages. Kirkus has some great packages, but you better have a fat wallet already. There are cheaper media packages, but even if you find them, they don’t guarantee great results.


I’ve personally spent as much as $100 on media packages, and saw virtually no increase in sales, so you get what you pay for, and no, Kirkus won’t guarantee you sales either, but their reach is far more extensive than any cheaper media package you’ll purchase. I still believe that spending money is the quickest and easiest way to inform potential readers that your book is available, but that exposure won’t guarantee sales. No exposure of any kind guarantees sales, but the more people you reach, the more likely you are to land a sale. It’s always a numbers game.


Free promotions, though slow moving due to the inherent difficulty in reaching people, by way of engaging likeminded audiences before releasing your debut novel, are far more efficient because what happens is that you build loyal fans who wish to discuss your book with others, and word of mouth is the best way to sell a product; you don’t buy Black and Decker because an ad told you to buy Black and Decker. The ad only informed you that Black and Decker exists, that it’s great, that it’s a deal. You buy Black and Decker because you asked your neighbor what brand of drill they use, and they informed you that they like Black and Decker; it’s the same with books.


Books are just a product. It doesn’t matter how great your book is. If no one knows it exists, no one can buy it. On the flip side, just because your book is great doesn’t mean that everyone will like it. There’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like Harry Potter.


On top of everything, it’s important to know that you aren’t selling a book anyway; you’re selling an idea. The title, cover art, and blurb portray that idea, and then the book explains the idea, so with no publicity plan, there is no way to sell anything.


Once again, be sure to read this article from Journal. I explain how to earn money from reading, but the importance of the article is that by design, the plan reaches numerous readers, so that when you do release your own book, you already have hundreds and maybe thousands of receptive fans.


Even Stephen King, who I can’t stand, tells writers that to be good writers they have to read a lot. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about because reading a lot doesn’t make anyone a good writer, however, if you do read a lot then chances are that you discuss what you read, which means that if you have an audience for your book discussions, you have audience for your original material. Of course, King doesn’t explain that…. He should be telling aspiring writers to engage readers because they build exposure, and they learn what their peers enjoy reading.


Before anyone jumps me, I won’t to point out a few things about King. I don’t believe he reads much. I don’t believe that he read much before he started writing, and even if he did, and you do, the idea that reading a lot makes you a better writer is invalid. Think about the fact that the version of The Stand that you read is not the version that King wrote. The version you read is the one rewritten by his editors, and you’ll never write like an editor because editors change their voice based on their authors’ voices, their publishers’ voices, and their projected readers’ predilections.


On that note, be sure to follow my blog on Quora, where I often discuss editing tips as well as other topics revolving around reading, writing, and selling books.


How can I show readers that my stories are well written and edited? A Quora Question

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

writer editor

Question: With all the terrible self published books on the market, how can I show readers that mine are well written and edited?


Answer: The same way you sell your self published books…build a fan base. The question then is: How does one build fan base?

In the last post, I touched on the signs of a bad publishing contract, and I added that some of the smaller presses don’t really employ editors. Editing is a huge part of becoming a successful novelist, which is obviously why someone cared enough to post this question on Quora.

Since I’ve been through the ringer, let’s assume the writer in question is myself—it isn’t, but that’s not the point.


I did start off incorrectly with my career, so when my first books were released by Eternal Press, not only were they not properly edited (even though EP employed “editors”), but I had no fans to purchase my books!

First, I thought EP was going to market my books, and that’s a tale for another time, and no, these books weren’t truthfully “Self published books”, but they were treated as such. I’ll explain.


Here’s what I did after publishing through EP, and after hiring numerous editors and actually landing a good one who taught me what editing is: I rewrote everything I had ever written, which included my short stories. This way I also had the chance to really apply the principles of proper editing, and pit them against unedited, or improperly edited, books.


I showed pieces of those short stories in their original form on my blog, and then I showed the rewritten segments. I also re-released those short stories, for free, with new covers and blurbs to Smashwords.


Without even promoting those stories, since they were free, people downloaded them, and people learned that my work is edited.


I also published a fanfiction novel to fanfiction.net, a site where serious readers are looking for serious authors to write new material for an existing franchise. My Skyrim fanfiction, also free, did well on fanfiction.net, and I also published, for free, to Smashwords, and since it passed the premium catalog, it is also available through all online retailers (with the exception of Amazon, which I don’t use anyway), so people can download my fanfiction and learn that my writing is properly edited.


After building a fanbase through free short stories and fanfiction, I released new novels. Usually, when I release a new novel, I make it free for the first month so my current fans don’t have to spend money on my new work; this also gets me a few more new fans.


At this point, everyone knows my work is properly edited because numerous people have been able to download my work for free, and I now have a substantial fan base; the two went hand-in-hand.


It is imperative that an indie author hires an editor, a competent editor, but it is perhaps more important for an indie author to amass an extensive fan base before publishing their first novel.


A fan base can be built in numerous fashions, but I suggest building a fan base as a reader who dissects and reviews all kinds of books (mainstream and indie). Other readers will take your critiques seriously, and you will build a fan base of actual readers that way, (not just other writers) plus you can actually sell Smashwords books while doing this, thus learning how to sell books along the journey. Then, once you have a fan base, you can begin showing your fans that you, too, have written something.


Use your blog; release your entire novel one chapter at a time, and show people how you edit. This worked splendidly for Chris Paolini. You can build a huge fan base through fanfiction. That was how E. L. James rose to stardom, right?


The truth is that anyone with even a half assed idea for a story, even an uninspired idea, can rise to witness mega fandom; build a loyal fan base before writing a debut novel, hire a competent editor, engage avid beta-readers, release tons of short stories, and other free bodies of work, and just work hard everyday.


You can learn about selling books through Smashwords here


You can learn more about proper editing here:

Editing One Shot by Lee Child

Less is More


Don’t forget to follow my blog on Quora where I talk about all kinds of things reading, writing, and editing, as well as some other stuff, too.


What are the signs of a bad publishing contract?

Since Quora likes to collapse my answers in an effort to keep me quiet, I’m copying and pasting some of the Quora Q and A’s in which I’ve participated. Here’s a question from Quora.

writer editor

Question: What are the signs of a bad publishing contract?

Answer: It depends on what the meaning of bad is….


If a writer is offered a contract from a traditional publisher—a major publishing company like Penguin, or even a smaller company like Baen—all contracts will be fairly standard; advances, 5 years service, 25% royalties from print copies, maybe 33% to 50% from e-book sales.


A writer will be offered a reasonable advance from a large company; the advance is based on the projected sales of the book over the course of 6 months, sometimes it’s longer, and even though the writer is generally contracted for 5 years, if the book does not sell, the publisher has a right to release the writer; that is the end of your career in the mainstream publishing industry, period.


A smaller company will offer a smaller advance, if they offer one at all, but they won’t usually cut a writer free for failure to sell, although they may choose to not renew the contract after 5 years.


There are other kinds of contracts, ones from presses who claim to be mainstream publishers or even indie presses, and they are not. Here are some things to scare a writer off.
If the publisher demands a fee, run.

If the publisher wants you to do anything more than write, run.

If the publisher wants you to crowdfund the money to publish your book, run.

If the publisher wants you to promote the books of their other authors, run.


Most “indie publishers” are little more than three people publishing through Amazon and CreateSpace anyway. You can do everything they do on your own and keep all your money.


I went through an indie press that seemed reasonable, but they then charged $7 for my ebooks; how in Hell was I supposed to sell with my prices that high?


They never got me any reviews, they failed to edit my work properly—the biggest no-no—and they even “lost” my contracts.


There are real indie publishers like Baen Books, Rocking Horse, and Edge, so if you’re unsure about the publisher you’ve approached, research the company; when were they established? How many employees do they have? Which books and authors have they published? Then, track down an author, through their website or Twitter, and talk to them. Ask them how they like working for that publisher.


The basic premise to stand by is the following: If you can’t land an agent, you won’t land a publishing contract with a real company. If you want to land a contract with a mainstream publisher, learn how to land an agent; they’ll do the rest for you.

Be sure to follow my Quora blog for more information

Get your money for nothing Read your books for a fee

Get a professional reading of your story from Tall Tale Tv
Get a professional reading of your story from Tall Tale Tv


Playing off Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing, but seriously, folks….


I’ve been repeating myself ad nauseam; you can read books to earn some sweet cash if you do a little extra work. If you’re a book blogger, vlogger, or voice over talent, though, it’s no extra work at all.


Let me begin by sending you to this up and coming site called Tall Tale TV where Chris Herron reads excerpts and even whole short stories to YouTube. In this video, he reads a short excerpt from my Voodoo novella, Otherside.



By accumulating views, likes, and subscribers, Chris earns money through Google AdSense; he links his YouTube account and monetizes through Google AdSense, but that’s not all.


Smashwords, an indie publication platform for e-books, provides you with a special referral link. You can see it in this screen shot; by sending people to this special link, Chris earns a percentage of the book’s sale.


smashwords affiliate marketing aaron dennis
smashwords affiliate marketing aaron dennis


Obviously there’s no percentage of sale earned from free e-books, but there are numerous priced e-book on Smashwords amidst the countless, free, short stories. Besides, free e-books performed to his YouTube channel, Tall Tale TV, are still monetized via Google AdSense, so he still makes money from free stories.


Now, I’ve explained over and over again in numerous articles how you all can make money by reading books, books downloaded from Smashwords; all you have to do is discuss those books and add your special, referral link, and if you choose to simply download a free sample of a book, you don’t even have to purchase the book, so everything’s free.


Here’s the link to an article I wrote for Journal, which explains absolutely everything required to earn free money from reading books. It’s exactly what Chris does with Tall Tale TV!


Read books for a living


I’m providing more information now, because more and more people are following my advice, and you should, too. There’s no reason you can’t start earning 1, 2, 3, 10 dollars a day for very little work, and at no cost, and just for reading books.


By spending 5, 10, 30 minutes a week, you can add numerous YouTube performances, book reviews, and discussions to a vlog, blog, or review site, add your specialized, referral link, and earn real money, not Bitcoin, Satoshis, or some, other, BS, faux currency.


This is not a joke. There’s a serious potential to earn real money, and quite a bit of it if you follow the advice from my Journal article. Just think about it; $10 a day is $300 a month, and if you’re serious about discussing books, you can easily earn much more, especially with the nearly inexhaustible supply of e-books available from Smashwords.


No, you cannot sell books from Barnes and Noble, not to my knowledge. Yes, you can sell books from Amazon if you wish to download third-party software, and go through Click Bank, and earn something like 4% off a title. 4% isn’t nothing, but Click Bank is a convoluted pain in the ass, where as my instructions for utilizing Smashwords is immediate and pain free. Furthermore, the minimum earned through Smashwords is usually 11% from a sale, and in the case of my titles, the minimum I pay out is 25%, but often times, I give out more; I’m giving out 30% of my profits for the month of April.


Here’s the deal; millions of people read everyday. Millions of people discuss the books they read. Discussing books, either through conversation or posting reviews to a book blog or vlog, creates buzz for that book, for that author, for that publisher, and it’s because of reader testimony that others buy books, so why shouldn’t you earn money for marketing?


Yes. You are marketing books. You are selling books every time you discuss your latest read. Many of you already belong to reader groups, either on Goodreads, or Google+, FaceBook, or LinkedIn. You read and talk. You review and discuss. You entice new readers to purchase books, so you might as well nab a simple URL from Smashwords, add it to your vlog, blog, or review site, and provide people a simple way to buy the book, and thus earn money directly from the sale. This also secures more likes and subscribers for YouTube. You need likes and subscribers in order to get the most out of monetizing YouTube content!


This is certainly affiliate marketing, but this is simplified affiliate marketing. There’s no cost to you. You are not selling a class or program. You do not have to e-mail people or track down leads. There is nothing to buy, not really, and you don’t have to try to sell anything; you just be yourself and talk about the books you read. The books sell themselves through your discussion to anyone who happens by your vlog, blog, review site, or YouTube channel.


While it’s true that people who are familiar with affiliate marketing can earn exceedingly well, even people who have no notion of affiliate marketing can earn a lot of money through my method. Certainly, people passionate about reading and discussing books will excel, but even people who don’t particularly enjoy reading can still earn decent cash by utilizing my method—it’s all explained in the article, and I’ll add the link again at the bottom of this post.


What I really want to get across is that anyone can earn money today by optimizing their time and internet usage. This is an internet age, an indie age, where anyone with just a bit of daring and creativity can earn a great deal of income through some very simple acts, passive income. This is income that accrues without you having to do any overt work—post once and let the post generate your income.


Do you know that there are people out there, on YouTube, flipping water bottles and earning hundreds of dollars because people look at those videos? People are flipping freaking water bottles for a living. Isn’t that nuts? You can make a living reading. That’s not so nuts!


Naturally, the more posts—reviews, discussions, readings—you provide, the more exposure you’ll obtain, and thus increase your earnings over time. Understand that I’m not trying to sell you on a get rich quick scheme, far from it, this will take some time for you to begin earning a steady stream of income, and at the outset, you will probably only earn a few dollars, but if you have the passion, the connections, the fan base, you can blow up overnight, and easily earn upwards of $1,000 per month, but even $50 a month is nice, right?


On top of all this, if you’re an aspiring voice actor, you can build a really neat portfolio by reading excerpts from a variety of books, and earn cash every time a book sells. Then, when you break into the voiceover world, you’ll already have mad experience and financial success. If you’re an aspiring actor, you can partner with friends and perform skits from the books. If you’re just a reader, you can simply blog, vlog, or review on your website, and add the URL in order to profit from sales. If you’re an internet marketer, an affiliate marketer, this is the simplest kind of selling you will ever do, and while the payoff from a single e-book priced at $5.99 won’t net you the earnings from selling a dishwasher through Amazon’s third-party software mess, you can certainly sell more books per day than dishwashers.


This kind of affiliate marketing is perfect for college students, part-time workers, stay at home parents, retirees, and young people who simply can’t find the kind of employment they enjoy. (Ahem, 4:20 enthusiasts) This is also perfect for readers. It’s also perfect for aspiring writers because you can learn how to sell books. Plus, you’ll expand your fan base by showing readers what kind of books you enjoy. Then, when you publish your own book, your fans will already know where to buy!


I cannot stress this enough: I am providing everyone in the world a way to earn free money. Do yourself a favor. Change your life. Read this article from Journal. Sell books. Read for a living. You can succeed outside the strict bonds of a “job”.

Read books for a living