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Old 20-06-2017, 03:09   #31
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Thumbs up Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

Thanks for the replies, everyone. Here is my attempt to answer most posts:
@VirtualVagabond, no worries the book is about how to start long distance cruising on a budget and while we add our experience to show the reader one possible way of how to go about it, it’s not a “all about me” book.
@BandB, it contains tons of sex and violence! J Just kidding, it’s more a practical guide with real life examples, but there is actually a short paragraph titled “Sex sells”

@ nhschneider, I’ll check out the blogs. Seems there is a lot one can learn from a successful blog.
@ daga good idea- just did it!
@ BandB, yes it’s the pleasure of writing and the urge to explore, to research a topic until I really understand what’s important or how something works and then the challenge to explain it in an easy to read format. Not sure if I succeeded but I tried.
@ Mike OReilly, thanks for your thoughts – we did write a blog on our website, but the book is more about the technical stuff we learned while cruising, our experiences and a bit of our adventures. But I’ll think about including “sex with pirates”

@ Stu Jackson it might be a vanity project or a hobby if you will -I enjoy doing it, so it’s fine with me. But I still hope that some folks might find it useful and will read it. So great that you are interested, I’ll let you know ones it’s in a readable format – probably a good idea to have some more experienced sailors read it first anyway.
@ maxingout sounds great, after all the feedback here I’ll definitely go with Kindle ebooks. Also it seems easy and quick to update the book and publish a new version if one wants to add new info.
@ Julian Alcorso, yes I think it’s important that the book is written well. Turns out my mother in law was once a copy editor, so she will go over the entire book. I also learned today that Amazon has the “Look inside” feature also for kindle books, so I can make parts of the book accessible for free hoping that this will get people interested in reading it all.
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Old 20-06-2017, 03:36   #32
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

"...it would most likely be vanity publishing..."
many, many, many,...MANY! have been there before! do not overrate other people's interest in your peregrinations...
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Old 20-06-2017, 07:26   #33
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

The point is tv195, that unless you have a pretty unusual story to tell, or are well connected, or have a lot of friends (who will buy your book), and/or are very lucky, there’s really not much of a market for the book you appear to be planning.

I’m not saying there’s no market, but the fact is most people turn to other online sources if they want “technical stuff.” This is why some people have suggested a straight forward website as a good approach. Youtube vids are another.

Lessons learned while sailing around the world … already lots out there. Cruising in a small old boat on a small budget … tons of good ones already available. I’m not trying to diminish your achievements, but many have done the same, and a number have beaten you to the publishing punch.

There are a few ways I could see this being a financially useful endeavour:

Aim at a focused niche market: Sailing with old dogs, or sailing with autistic children (this might be a good one these days), or sex with pirates, or perhaps one aimed at 'sailing away from Trump-Land'. I can’t think of any good focus for “technical" aspects of sailing, but maybe there are some. A very focused book on a narrow aspect might sell. The point is, I think a niche-market focus has a better chance of netting you some actual profit.

However, another way to look at a book project is as part of a greater whole. A book is a lousy way to make money, but still a good way to create credibility in a subject. This can open other doors like speaking gigs, sponsorships and other media appearances. A book as part of a broader marketing/communications strategy still makes a lot of sense.

Anyway, whatever you do, have fun (as you’ve clearly been doing ).
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Old 20-06-2017, 15:05   #34
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

I don't have any helpful advise for you about publishing but, I just wanted to say that this was the only link i opened in the newsletter, so i must be interested in what you are doing.
I like to read a good story, and I like getting tips and ideas that I can use in my cruising life. And I like to be inspired. So, while I have quite a pile of business cards with the blog addresses of cruising couples, I almost never read their blogs, unless I have become attached to them and want to know where and how they are. But if you made a book with a pretty, striking, modern cover (rather than a photo of your boat at a pacific island, like all those 70s and 80s cruising stories), and it turned up on my facebook newsfeed, I would click on the link. And if I liked the tone of the writing and it offered something that actually sounded useful, or just a good story, i probably would buy the book. I find I read paper books more often than electronic ones while cruising because they don't need charging and i find them easier to look at.
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Old 20-06-2017, 23:22   #35
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

...& don't overestimate value & validity of your opinions/experiences (particularly to others!) after just 1 rtw!
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Old 21-06-2017, 07:32   #36
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

I think it was in 1954 at a major writers' conference in Kansas that a struggling science fiction author told the attendants "If you want to make money, don't be a writer. Start a religion."

That was L. Ron Hubbard, who shortly afterwards started Dianetics and Scientology.

And if you do self-publish on Amazon, really DO find a real typesetter and copy eidtor, or at least a literate proofreader, to prepare the final manuscript. An awful lot of Kindle ebooks are horribly produced and obviously OCR scanned or typed without even using a spellcheck. I've even seen one that mentions "world ware two". To a *reader*, that's just a sloppy author.

Amazon really has no production standards, much less help to offer, in the way of making a professional product. And the Kindle format is a bit starkers, compared to what real publishing software would do.
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Old 21-06-2017, 08:18   #37
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
...And if you do self-publish on Amazon, really DO find a real typesetter and copy eidtor, or at least a literate proofreader, to prepare the final manuscript. An awful lot of Kindle ebooks are horribly produced and obviously OCR scanned or typed without even using a spellcheck. I've even seen one that mentions "world ware two". To a *reader*, that's just a sloppy author.
+1

BTW, I currently work with small publishers and self-publishing authors to copy and style edit, design and layout, both print and e-books. I’ve found this to be far more lucrative than actually writing books .
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Old 21-06-2017, 08:47   #38
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

Okay, here’s my two pennyworth of experience.

Many years ago I took two years off work and wrote a 150,000 words American Civil War novel. It was accepted by a book publisher but they couldn’t print it for two years and only offered me 5% royalty. So I self published it in hardback, by having 300 books made—which I had to pay for in advance. I sold them all to Civil War buffs and made a small profit. I then put it on Amazon in two volumes at $2.50 per volume. It has not brought in any money to speak of, and I no longer bother to look how sales are going.
My answer to the OP is, don’t go either of these routes. It’s a time consuming dead-loss.

When I bought my Down East 45 six years ago I started a website by writing about all the alterations I was making, really just for my own pleasure. HOME
Then I read, “Selling your writing to the boating magazines,” by Michael Robertson, Amazon Kindle books, on line.
I decided there would be no harm by sending one of my website “articles” to a boating magazine, and would you believe, they offered me $500 for it.
That was two years ago, and I now have over fifteen published stories in six boating magazines, with others to follow later this year. It has now become a very nice little sideline, which I have expanded with stories other than about Britannia. The fees I now get just about cover my time writing and taking pictures for the pieces, but by no means enough to consider it as a full time occupation.
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Old 21-06-2017, 09:56   #39
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

I read a lot. I think I've read just about every "I sailed around the world" book. Having done so I've come to realize there are a million different "styles" of cruising. From an education point I've learned something from all of them even if it was "I'm not going to do it that way". So while there are a ton of books out there on the subject, if your a good storyteller there will be interest.

For me I'd rather read a story about your trip with the "how to"s worked into the story vs a manual of how to. It may be the ADHD though

Not sure if writing is a viable money maker though.
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Old 21-06-2017, 11:16   #40
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

Mike-
I'm absolutely amazed that you can make any money at that. Unless "working with" means "taking hostages".(G) Going back a good 20 years, I knew a major financial publisher where management had decided the proofreader was an unnecessary expense, everyone could just do their jobs and be careful about it. Took a month or so, something got missed, a postal deadline had to be met for an SEC filing deadline, the publisher paid about 1/4 million out of their own pocket to fix the mistake. All to save about $50k a year in salary. From all I've seen, it has only gone downhill for everyone in the years since. After all, who needs expertise?
But some of the stuff I've seen on Kindle...The phrase "persons in need of adult supervision" comes to mind. (sigh)
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Old 21-06-2017, 12:36   #41
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

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… But some of the stuff I've seen on Kindle...The phrase "persons in need of adult supervision" comes to mind. (sigh)


Quote:
I'm absolutely amazed that you can make any money at that.
Yes, well... I didn’t say how much money I make .
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Old 21-06-2017, 13:30   #42
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

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I think it was in 1954 at a major writers' conference in Kansas that a struggling science fiction author told the attendants "If you want to make money, don't be a writer. Start a religion."

That was L. Ron Hubbard, who shortly afterwards started Dianetics and Scientology.

And if you do self-publish on Amazon, really DO find a real typesetter and copy eidtor, or at least a literate proofreader, to prepare the final manuscript. An awful lot of Kindle ebooks are horribly produced and obviously OCR scanned or typed without even using a spellcheck. I've even seen one that mentions "world ware two". To a *reader*, that's just a sloppy author.

Amazon really has no production standards, much less help to offer, in the way of making a professional product. And the Kindle format is a bit starkers, compared to what real publishing software would do.
Obviously, a spell-check program would not catch that error. Only a live human proof-reader could do so. And it is notoriously difficult to proof-read your own work. After all, you know what you meant to say, so the mind will often skip over small errors.

The modern publishing model also leaves all marketing and promotion up to the author, except in rare instances. So if you really want to sell any copies, you've got to spend time and money on self-promotion. Sounds exhausting to me. I want to retire from all that stuff and go sail!

I recently bought a couple of volumes from an author who promotes his "how to" cruising books through a web-site, lectures, and seminars. He has put enough stuff out there, in a limited field, that Google searches for common questions tend to link back to his pages. I have to say the writing is atrocious and riddled with errors both technical and grammatical. Whole blocks of text were even displaced by a couple of chapters. I would think that anybody who has paid money for these books would feel ripped-off.
On the other hand, a few years ago, I read a news article about an author who received the largest book-advance in history. I looked him up on-line because I'd never heard of him. He turned out to be a prolific author of trash fiction - certainly nothing I would spend time or money on. But the publisher is sparing no expense in promoting these books. Because of that one search, three or four years ago, I am daily inundated by banner adds and emails promoting his latest offering.
Algorithms gone wild in a mad race to the bottom.
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Old 21-06-2017, 13:39   #43
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I'm just going to be brief and blunt - forget about it.
Big effort, no return.
If you just want to share, post snips here (and the other few sizable cruising forums) with links to a website with the full material.
Funny reading this from you. I would have thought you'd be more generous about the return. Maybe not from just the book itself, but form all that came along since it was written. I'd say looking forward to sharing an anchorage some day, but I don't like the cold....:-))) g
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Old 21-06-2017, 13:45   #44
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

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When I brought our bot up to Vancouver Island from San Francisco last summer, I wrote about the trip literally daily. I'd write, wait a day, proofread, and then email to a select group of friends. I eventually re-edited it and posted it as a blog because more folks were interested in reading it and I could add pictures. I left the text as one long story, headed each day by day, date and day of trip, with lessons learned at the end. Then I added photos with captions separately, rather than putting the photos in with the text because I'd seen too many blogs with photos inserted in the text which rendered the photos too small.
Stu, I can't find you blog anywhere. I would love to read about your trip north...how's about a link?
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Old 21-06-2017, 13:51   #45
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Re: Writing about sailing adventures - and the stuff learned?!

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I think it was in 1954 at a major writers' conference in Kansas that a struggling science fiction author told the attendants "If you want to make money, don't be a writer. Start a religion."

That was L. Ron Hubbard, who shortly afterwards started Dianetics and Scientology. ....
Will "all hail Neptune" work as well?
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