Aspiring author and random thinker

Tag Archives: Publishing

On Writing: That Golden Idea

So I have been working on my third book, or fourth if the merging of the two volumes of my first book does not count, and am half way through the first part, consisting of five chapters. So far, I have a mild idea of the big idea – I call it the Golden Idea – I want to conclude my story with.

While writing my first book, it took me two months to come up with a Golden Idea. This time, however, I am trying to force it out and its clearly not working.

I noticed that the Golden Idea is not something that you can force out, but it is a concept that slowly materializes before your eyes as you write and experience life – by simply living and having new or old experiences. It is possible that the initial idea can be forced, but it won’t be refined this way. My current theory is that any concept can become a Golden Idea once it has been properly embedded within a story which is nearing its end.

There are many ideas being considered at the moment, all which need not be addressed at the moment because the book is still in its early stage, but I believe that at least one of them will develop into a Golden Idea as I reach the end of this book. I guess the only way of knowing it is by finishing my third book which I am considering calling ‘Deliverance’ or ‘Emperor’s Deliverance’.


On Publishing: Attempt One

Just in case some of you have not been following my writing posts, I will give you a short summary about what happened so far before going on with my first attempt at independently publishing.

I started seriously writing about a year ago and finished three fantasy books for a series I named Book of Kayal. I knew that the first two books would not be very good, yet I tried my luck finding a literary agent for them. Because there was somewhat of a cliffhanger in the end of the first book (Rise from Exile), I decided to merge it with my shorter second book (Broken Shackles), I named it (Wolf Emperor). Needless to say, I got rejections left and right. At first, doubt started to take over and it felt rather depressing, but I realized that this would not be an easy journey and kept writing just for the enjoyment of the process.

The third book I finished revising and all last week. It was by far the best work I have ever done in terms of concept, idea and plot. I spent some time researching the characters and integrated the same idea from the first book, with a great deal of tinkering, of using mythological and historical characters in the story. For example, Thalia was the Greek Goddess of drama, I made a character having similar features to what I expect a talented artist to be like – I named my character Thalia too.

This books outline was my second attempt at making one, I wrote the first book using a method referred to as discovery by Brandon Sanderson (author Mistborn series and many other books),  and making a coherent plot to bind all elements together while focusing on sub-plots during each chapter. After reading a lot of books, I mean over 40 in a span of less than six months, I found the exact style I wanted my books to have, that ending that makes everything suddenly seem so logical – the big ‘Ahhh’. Additionally, I read a great deal of short stories which provided a quick insight on the conceptual elements, not ideas, I wanted to have in my books. I finally decided to write each chapter as a short story with its own moral or philosophical lesson to it, some were better than others though. The hardest part, however, was finding this golden idea that made a mediocre book – I know this sounds strange – great by incorporating a hinted sub-plot that unveils itself in the end – the reason behind all of what happened.

So I finished my third book, revised it and decided on the platform I wanted to publish it on. From my experience with literary agents, I realized that most of them don’t even consider unpublished authors regardless of how well a synopsis, query or sample chapters are written, and you can’t blame them for it. Amazon Kindle seemed the best way of publishing my book, after some research.

Two days ago, I posted my book on kindle and started sending emails to various book reviewing websites/blogs. I am not sure what happened regarding the emails yet. Nevertheless, I could not sit and wait for the reviewers to respond, so I went with the second part of my plan and created various announcements on different forums, including relevant reddit subreddits, deviant art, facebook and goodreads. I know that there is practically no way I might make a single sale unless I have reviews or the book was offered for free, so I enrolled in the kindle select program and offered my book for free on Friday and Saturday 14-15. Yesterday at 11:00 am (+2 GMT) was my first book download. The amount of happiness I felt when seeing that 0 become a 1 was incredible, in spite of the face that it was a free promotion. Now, and 190 downloads later, I find myself reaching a halt about my next step. I guess the only thing to do is wait for reviews to pop in and see how it goes from there.

For a book to be successful it needs to have thousands of copies downloaded, but I do not expect mine to reach this level yet, unless by some miracle or great marketing. Being an author is a difficult thing, but when you see the slightest improvement or interest by someone else in your work, it is a reward which outweighs all the hard work and effort spent in this beautiful hobby/profession. I still have leagues and leagues to go, but perhaps one day I might be able to be good enough to make a living out of writing.

You can find the book on Amazon US here and Amazon UK here It is free today (Saturday 15/6/2013) and will be offered for free again on (Friday 21/6/2013). I will keep you updated about any other free promotions on this blog and on my twitter account (@TarekCherif3), which I seem to be horrible at managing.

On Writing: I Just Want to Write

Ever since I published my book on kindle,  I have been going through websites and blogs to spread the word…it has been over ten hours now and I still can’t stop. This will be a problem if it keeps up.

On Writing: Finally Ready to Publish

I am finally done with the editing and cover design processes of my second book and will be publishing it on Amaozon Kindle very soon. I will inform you all of the days I will make my book for free so you can check it out if you want.

Mock Book Cover

Book Cover

Book Cover

On Writing: Submitting Shorties

I recently submitted one of my short stories to Guerrilla Graffiti Magazine, the first one I ever officially submitted. Although the story got rejected, because it was not something they specialized in, I am extremely satisfied by their elegant and polite manner by which they responded to my submission. The response e-mail even had a suggestion to another magazine which might specializes in the genre of my story.

That was the only purpose of this post.

I would suggest checking it out regardless if you are interested in submitting a piece or not. <;

On Writing: Independent Publishing

Not knowing how pressed on time I will be after two months, I decided to contemplate pursuing several parallel courses of publishing for my book while I still have the time (How vague!)

Today I was contacted by Xlibris publishing, an independent publishing company which helps authors publish their work and assist in non-writing activities.

Assuming that the research I do about Xlibris does not convince me to dismiss them entirely, I am resistant to the idea of independent publishing for some reason. Although that I expect everything to operate in that way by the end of the century (Individual efforts rather than corporate ones), I am still highly affected by the traditional way of doing things.

What do you think I should do? Do I wait for a very small chance of being given a chance by a literary agent and a following traditional publisher? Or do I pursue the independent rout in parallel to the traditional one?

On Writing: Publishing Preparation

I spent the last two hours preparing a query letter and a synopsis to hand out to literary agents. Never had I imagined that two pages would sap all my energy reserves. Although I know that my chances of being accepted by a traditional publisher are close to null, I feel satisfied with the effort. If my book ever gets published, I promise to post both letters on this blog.

My First Book’s Draft Cover

My First Book's Draft Cover

I got carried away trying to make up a book cover by standards.