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Michael C. Sahd

Michael C. Sahd

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      • Michael C. Sahd Michael C. Sahd 3 months ago
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      • This is a difficult question to answer. I know that many authors complain about many different practices. Editors cost too much, cover artists cost too much, advertising costs too much, etc. But I'm not one of those. I know this is a business, and I'll only make what I put into it. You have to spend money to make money.

        I'm lucky because I'm married to a professional editor, which after researching Reedsy, has saved me close to $5,000. Again, I'm lucky because I'm quite good at Photoshop, and was able to hire an artist to "coach" me for $100, which saved me another $150-250 dollars (or more). These things add up. A Kirkus review costs close to $500.00, and then so many of the other advertisements will nickel and dime you to death. As you can see, it can cost anywhere from $6,000 plus to get published properly.

        So would I call any of this unethical? No, I don't think I would. It's part of the business.

        On the other hand (I didn't go this route), most traditional publishing houses will force an author to sign a contract. I'm unfamiliar with the content of these contracts, but I have heard some horror stories where the author loses the rights to his or her work, and that, I believe to be unethical.
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        • A P von K'Ory A P von K'Ory 3 months ago
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        • You are lucky indeed, Michael. I started out with trad publishers and was happy until a New York publisher (Algora Publishing) practically stole my book >Darkest Europe & Africa's Nightmare: A Critical Observation of Neighbor Continents< by paying me an initial $1,000. Suddenly I got no annual statements as stipulated in the contract, then they said they don't send statements when the book has sold less than $10. That went on for three years and then I told them to give me my rights back and they refused! From Germany, I hired a New York law firm that cost me $450 per hour. This is when I discovered that I had overlooked a wee little word when I was signing the contract. The word was "perpetuity" - so I'd sold them my entire book plus the photos and diagrams for 1K and they could claim "no sales" more than $10 each year to this day and there's zilch I can do about it. When I tell them that since they're making no money on the book; why not give me my rights back? Nope, they say. But they're willing to give me my rights back if I pay them $25K for all their publishing pain. Otherwise, I can claim my rights back when it expires - in 30 years' time.

          That's when I decided to become an Indie author.
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      • Michael C. Sahd Michael C. Sahd 3 months ago
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      • I've been known to liken writing to sculpting, and I'll stick to that metaphor. When sculpting, you're creating a three-dimensional picture. When writing, you're sculpting a grand portrait, but with perhaps more dimensions than three. In my opinion, it's this portrait that you're painting with words that is the most important element in writing. You want a reader to see what the character sees, feel what the character feels, hear what the character hears, smells, thinks. Basically you want to immerse the reader into the world and the story.
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      • Michael C. Sahd Michael C. Sahd 4 months ago
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      • I have plans for many different genres, and I hope that I don't get shunted into any specific one. The Unfettered Child is a dark fantasy, and Assassin Marked is a short crime story in a sci-fi setting. I have plans for a comedic fantasy, a steam punk, and some horror stories. Nope, I don't want to focus on one at all.
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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 4 months ago
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    • Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
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      • Michael C. Sahd Michael C. Sahd 4 months ago
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      • I am unaware of a writer that doesn't, to some degree, incorporate their real life into their stories. In addition to incorporating places I've been into scenes, I have stolen real-life dialog as well. The relationship between Samara and Illtud, for instance, in The Unfettered Child mirrors a very traumatic experience from when I was a child, as does her amnesia. I'm not going to go into all of the details, but a lot of things in that book have something to do with my life. My characters also tend to be loosely based on people I know or have known in the past.
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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 4 months ago
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    • Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
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      • Michael C. Sahd Michael C. Sahd 4 months ago
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      • This has been said many times by many people, but as an author, you have to develop a thicker skin. When it comes time to market, reviews will make or break you, and reviewers won't always drop five stars in your lap. Sometimes, they may even say some hurtful things. Recently, I received a three-star review, which was well written, but complained about my writing, stating that it felt very plain and straight-forward, with lots of repetition. I, of course, can't deny that this was the case for this particular reader of my ARC, but I have since edited the book, and the final product is much better after I removed a lot of the repetitive words and improved certain areas of the book. Regardless, these words ate at me and gave that inner demon (depression) a bit of sway on me that day.

        Not everyone is going to like your story, and as a writer, you're going to have to shrug it off. That said, I can be a pretty tough reviewer myself, although I don't generally give low reviews unless poor grammar, typos, and misspellings are rampant. I'm personally very lucky to have my wife, who edits professionally, and is perhaps the best editor I've ever come across. If for some reason, I were to lose this wonderful editor (God forbid!), I would drop the money to get anything I publish professionally edited. After all, you have to spend money to make money, and doing so would help prevent some of the more terrible reviews.
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      • Michael C. Sahd Michael C. Sahd 6 months ago
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      • When I was very young, I used to watch my father writing tirelessly at our kitchen table on whatever media he found available. At the age of 9 or 10, I started reading voraciously. I started by reading newspapers to my father, then I moved to novels, finishing Stephen King's It when I was in second grade. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I picked up my father's writing bug. I started with poetry and later moved on to short stories. The Unfettered Child is my first full-length novel.
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