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4.3 Nanowrimo

I don’t know how many people reading this have heard of this Nanowrimo thing, if not, visit their website, it really is quite interesting. The idea is that they find all those people out there that think ‘I could write a book one day, but maybe not right now, I’m rather busy’ the people that put it off to tomorrow, next year, whenever, and say to them, start on this particular day, do just this much every day, noone cares how well just yet, and actually get something done. Tens of thousands of people all doing the same thing at the same time, offering advice, discussing problems, comparing the worst of their work and laughing over it, getting to know people with similar interests, generally having fun. And at the end, some will have produced a pretty reasonable book, some have given up half way, and a great many will have done what they kept putting off, have made a start and created a rough first draft that they can then work on over the next few months, now that the really difficult part is done. They have seen how easy it can be, and how much fun, and a whole new generation of writers has been created.

There are some people out there that disagree with the whole idea, I am not sure why, but they must have some reason. I have been taking part in this the last two years, and will again later this year, even though I had already spent some time writing before that, and made quite a bit of progress on my first couple of stories. My sister started the year before me, tried to get me interested at the last minute that year, but right then I couldn’t see the point, and had no idea what I would write about. After that, though, she got into writing throughout the year, and often we would sit next to each other and type, though quite soon I gave up trying to keep up with her.

And, the great thing is, once you get to the end, they direct you to a certain website, that usually works at printing copies of people’s books. There you can arrange to recieve a proper printed copy of whatever you created, though they do advise working through a couple more drafts first, correcting all the mistakes and so on. Perhaps it isn’t quite having a book on sale in a shop, but it still looks nice sitting there in the shelf. And it is entirely free. After that, should you want to, you can arrange with them to print and sell more copies of the book, to anyone that wants them. They work by only printing as many copies as are ordered, and send a small portion of the profits back to the author, the more the book costs, the more you earn from each, and the less you sell. So, you sit there and try to work out, how much should you charge, anything over the base price that covers their costs, how much would someone be willing to pay for this, what might be seen as a good deal. And of course all the prices are given in foreign money, which complicates things a little, trying to convert over. Admittedly it is unlikely to make more than the odd few pence there, but it is a start. I know someone that had managed to sell nearly a dozen copies of theirs through this website.

And that is where the trouble started. I thought, I could give that a go, before I had been reluctant to go on with that part of the site, but then I couldn’t think why, if people were willing to send me money, why not take it. And then I hit on the difficulty. Sure, I had recieved a free copy, and sure I could arrange to sell that through the website, but if I wanted to make any changes, correct any of the little spelling mistakes I had spotted, which was after all the whole point of this free proof copy, I would have to send them the corrected text, and then order a second, almost identical, copy before they would release it for sale, supposedly so I could check it through once more and make sure it is up to my standards, and of course this time I would have to pay for it. Not a huge amount, but paying to recieve a book I already own a copy of, and over the internet where buying anything is rather complicated, rather put me off. Of course, I am now carefully checking through the second book, making sure there are absolutely no mistakes, but as a sequal, it is rather pointless without the original.

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