Why study classic fiction? To improve your real-world results.

Posted: July 25, 2013 by myflyoverzones in Release Technique

Why study classic fiction? To improve your real-world results.

The point of republishing classic fiction is more to help authors improve their craft than trying to "make money" republishing books already in the public domain. And so a Writers’ Club was born…

  1. classic-fiction-books
  2. The start was to find what the top fiction books of all time were. So various lists were visited, and three were selected to cross-compare to get the top books. These were Wikipedia, Gutenberg, and Goodreads.

    While we started with the top 100 out of Gutenberg, it was narrowed to what a person could study in a year. Optimistically, an arbitrary 2 weeks was chosen – though later I found that some of these classics were immense (War and Peace, Les Miserables, and a few other thousand-plus page-turners.)

  3. We had 26 books. Then the process of editing, cover creation, and descriptions was entered in – same as an author would do with their own books, the marketing necessary to create bestsellers.

    This was all another test of the publishing process I laid out in “Just Publish! Ebook Creation for Indie Authors.” 26 books to edit into shape, plus 26 covers, as well as compiling a Forward for each and extracting a hooking description – that’s a lot of work. (Took me a around three part-time weeks – starting with the best-quality text I could find.

    Here’s the video laying out how to do it – imagine this being done on an assembly-line basis…

  4. How to publish a book on Linux or Windows – at no cost
  5. (One note: a lot of distributors try to dissuade you from publishing public domain books. Most already have a wide selection. But Lulu, iTunes, B&N, and Kobo don’t seem to mind – so now there are just that many more truly great books out there by truly great authors, thanks to their tolerance.)
  6. As I went, I gave some updates from time to time, so people could follow along. Not too surprisingly, I found that there’s not too much interest in long-dead authors compared to all the other exciting stuff like riots, wars, disasters, and royal births.
  7. A challenge for writers which might be impossible.
    Seriously. It’s only 26 books to read over the course…
  8. But the point is to give people a way to study the all-time greats in order to learn how these perennial bestsellers stay that way.

    It was Stephen King, in his “On Writing” which gave me the impetus for this. In that, he recommends that writers read regularly. Not so much to dissect the other author’s craft, but to immerse themselves in the worlds of fiction, to keep their muse fuelled up and ready for routine production.

  9. All of which means this list is ready to go.

    And I put the covers up on Pinterest so you could have links to them (well, most of them made it..)

  10. YouTube Classic Fiction Videos for your entertainment…

  11. Classic Science Fiction Documentary
  12. Classic Literature Series – Charles Dickens
  13. The Twiterverse Weighs In:

  14. Assume I’ve read no fiction classics. What one classic do I HAVE to read?
  15. @etiberland Dickerson’s historical fiction retakes of fairy tales. Most of the classic remixes I read are Austen-based, hehe (2/2)
  16. CLASSIC 1950’S SCIENCE FICTION FILM THEMES: youtu.be/FfOqqEj_ip0 via @youtube
  17. Alas, Babylon – A science fiction classic – $2.99 bit.ly/1bghNuR
  18. “Sebastian” reminds us why classic literary novels are classics. 12 x 5stars, No.39 in Jewish fiction goodreads.com/book/show/1783… … …
  19. @maggiehendricks: Also, on the fiction classic front, George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 are two of my favs. Pretty dark/twisted though.
  20. It’s amazing how many free books there are for Kindle. Really and truly. Classic fiction, cookbooks, self-help, you name it.

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