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moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Grammaton posted:

Would I be stupid to lump sci-fi, fantasy and romance novels all under one author name?
yes.

quote:

For a romance novel in the first person, is it customary to write it all from the protagonist's perspective, or switch perspectives, and if so, should they be in first person too?
You should read some romance novels if you plan on writing one. Read some of the bestsellers in your genre.

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Aaronicon
Oct 2, 2010

by primus


You could maybe get away having the same pen name for sci-fi/fantasy but definitely use a different one for romance.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


I've used the same name for contemporary, suspense, and mystery, but I'll definitely do a pen name for romance.

Blue Star
Feb 18, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


Back on the first or second pages of this thread, you guys talked about genre-mixing for a bit. I get that we should limit ourselves to specific genres so that we can better market our books, but obviously there are successful books which mix genres a bit, so its not like it can't be done. So how do you determine what amount of genre mixing is okay?

Also, how well do novellas sell, as opposed to novels and short stories?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I'm working in earnest on my second self-published novella. Like my first novella it will probably barely sell, but at least it will be fun and it will be available somewhere. I don't think it's at all marketable to the traditional market, which is why I'm doing it.

Would it be advisable to make my first novella free permanently or drop the price or something?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Blue Star posted:

Back on the first or second pages of this thread, you guys talked about genre-mixing for a bit. I get that we should limit ourselves to specific genres so that we can better market our books, but obviously there are successful books which mix genres a bit, so its not like it can't be done. So how do you determine what amount of genre mixing is okay?

Here's my stupid opinion on this: if you know how to write one genre really well already, then go ahead and mix genres. But too many authors (myself included) come up with a bad idea and use "genre-mixing" when we really mean that we didn't understand how to write a proper genre story in the first place or we really wanted to shoehorn in an idea that didn't belong. You shouldn't break the rule until you can follow it first, yah?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


moana posted:

Here's my stupid opinion on this: if you know how to write one genre really well already, then go ahead and mix genres. But too many authors (myself included) come up with a bad idea and use "genre-mixing" when we really mean that we didn't understand how to write a proper genre story in the first place or we really wanted to shoehorn in an idea that didn't belong. You shouldn't break the rule until you can follow it first, yah?

Could you give me an example of bad genre-mixing I will have heard of? Is just anything with a touch of something else genre-mixing? Like, sci-fi/romance you mean? Like, The Time Traveller's Wife?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


PoshAlligator posted:

Could you give me an example of bad genre-mixing I will have heard of?
Probably not b/c they don't get famous if they're bad.

quote:

Is just anything with a touch of something else genre-mixing? Like, sci-fi/romance you mean? Like, The Time Traveller's Wife?
Don't you DARE say TTW is bad! It is great!

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


The thing with Time Traveler's Wife is that the scifi (if you can even call it that) is a device rather than what the book is about. It is still absolutely a character-driven romance, just like Battlestar Galactica is a series about war rather than about spaceships.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


My big issue is that I'm getting tired of having the dozen pen-names I made up when I first started two and a half years ago. (Jesus has it been that long?) I still get a trickle of income from everything, so I'm disinclined to just un-publish everything. All the platform maintenance is a real time sink, though.

I'm wondering if I could just publish everything under my own name, or if that'd just end up a confusing cluttered mess to readers. If I boiled it all down to a few categories, I've written (and will likely continue writing) steampunk (and alt history) mysteries, metaphysical/bizarro/weird fiction poo poo, depressing literary drama, horror (psychological atmospheric and supernatural), fantasy (epic and urban), and sci-fi (near future techno-thrillers, post-apocalyptic, hard sci-fi, and space opera).

I think I can manage two platforms, possibly three, but I really want to diffuse my branding as little as possible given what I've already written. Any idea which genres fit well together under the same pen-name brand?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Your question is: How can I write everything under the sun without having a separate platform for each individual genre? There's a few possible answers to that question and I don't think you'll like any of them. The easiest one is to become a ghostwriter, but there's a lot of hoops to jump through in order to do that and you'll still have to write to reader and even publisher expectations. Another is to lump them under a single pen name (or your own real name) and just deal with the same kind of people who say "I read Dolores Claiborne and Lisey's Story, not like Cujo at all!" (I'm in this group even though I make fun of it). The solution that I most favor is just to buckle down and stick to one thing for a while. I don't know man, you've been doing this longer than I have and I respect that, but it sounds like you've been needing to take this to the next level for a while now.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


EngineerSean posted:

Another is to lump them under a single pen name (or your own real name) and just deal with the same kind of people who say "I read Dolores Claiborne and Lisey's Story, not like Cujo at all!" (I'm in this group even though I make fun of it).

This was basically my game-plan this year, and I might be second-guessing myself here.

quote:

The solution that I most favor is just to buckle down and stick to one thing for a while.

Yeah. I've got a tentative schedule written up for next year that's basically four releases in the same series, and I can stretch that out for another four the year after.

But I've got all these other already-written books across diverse genre that I'm wondering if there's a more effective pen-name/brand scheme I can consolidate them under.

quote:

I don't know man, you've been doing this longer than I have and I respect that, but it sounds like you've been needing to take this to the next level for a while now.

Thanks. I'm just not sure exactly what the next level is or how to get there, besides writing more books and hoping I reach a critical mass while slowly building my mailing list.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


psychopomp posted:

Thanks. I'm just not sure exactly what the next level is or how to get there, besides writing more books and hoping I reach a critical mass while slowly building my mailing list.

I don't know your pen names but it sounded before like you have a daily word count of 5k a day, which is way more than I do. The next level is getting a large set of at least categorically similar works on a single pen name so that you become an author that people go to when they want to read X. I'm not sure what X is but I remember you saying horror and maybe some sadbrains stuff (for lack of a better word). I'm not familiar with the horror market at all but there are names in science fiction and thriller in particular that I always turn to when I want to read something, and that's what you want to become. I even have my favorite romance authors, and they aren't the kind of authors that did a one-off romance novel and then wrote a steampunk novel next.

When you say "critical mass", it seems to suggest that you just need to throw enough works in a pile for it to go critical. But if some of your works are uranium and some are lead, your pile might remain hot enough to make you a living but will never go nuclear.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

I hate the platform maintenance stuff. I only have one identity (and it's not very good), and I still can't be arsed with twitter, can barely be arsed with stacking tumblr posts and have pretty much just put up a Facebook page that points straight back to tumblr.* I can't imagine how much it sucks managing that many IDs.

Maybe just add a line to each cover making the genre clear? Although the genre should be clear from the cover anyway.

* disclaimer: I'm barely making any money at the moment so don't think I'm recommending this or saying it's a good idea.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


moana posted:

Probably not b/c they don't get famous if they're bad.

Don't you DARE say TTW is bad! It is great!

Haha no, TTW is pretty good... For a debut novel. :smuggo:

It's very self-indulgent. Especially the 9/11 chapter that comes out of nowhere.

I'm just not entirely sure what bad genre mixing really looks like then and I would love to know because it sounds like the kind of thing I'd end up doing and with self-pub there'd be nothing to stop me exploding.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

I think it's that there are certain conventions popular within each genre, and they don't necessarily mix well.

Off the top of my head one example I can think of is that thrillers tend to open with an action sequence, whereas romance novels tend to establish the protagonist and have them meet and be drawn to a mysterious newcomer.

You can mix the two, you're just making it much harder on yourself if you try.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


PoshAlligator posted:

I'm just not entirely sure what bad genre mixing really looks like then and I would love to know because it sounds like the kind of thing I'd end up doing and with self-pub there'd be nothing to stop me exploding.
If it's your first novel (and that's what it sounds like), don't genre mix. There. I saved you several months of pain. The only way I would genre mix is if it's something that's already been done by someone else and seen decent success (romantic suspense, for example) so that I could read a bunch of those books as research.

Also TTW makes me cry every time I read it, it focuses SO well on the romance and the flaws don't detract at all from the love story.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


TTW is literally one of my favorite books and I was literally a crying mess at work when I was reading it at work, and I never cry about anything.

That being said it is in no way a sci-fi book, it is 100% romance with sci-fi elements.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


moana posted:

If it's your first novel (and that's what it sounds like), don't genre mix. There. I saved you several months of pain. The only way I would genre mix is if it's something that's already been done by someone else and seen decent success (romantic suspense, for example) so that I could read a bunch of those books as research.

Also TTW makes me cry every time I read it, it focuses SO well on the romance and the flaws don't detract at all from the love story.

I hate to say it but I still don't really understand what you mean. So like, just don't do, I don't know, sci-fi spy fiction?

e: What I guess I'm saying is don't genres mix all the time otherwise nothing would have anything to it? Sometimes romance needs a little dash of adventure, sci-fi might have thriller, spy, or political intrigue elements to be interesting.

ee: I know it seems dumb and I feel dumb asking this.

eee: I cried when my granddad died but that doesn't make it a good time.

PoshAlligator fucked around with this message at 14:42 on Aug 23, 2014

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I think the issue is really which genre is dominant in the book. Some genres just don't mix well. A romance story in a sci-fi universe that explains the principles of their faster-than-light engines at length probably won't sell. Romance readers will be bored to tears by it, and sci-fi readers just want to know why in God's name the story is focusing so much on the interpersonal relationship when there are new planets to visit and space battles to fight. A little dash is never the problem, but I think most people here assume "genre mixing" to mean a full blend of two genres, where Wizards fling spells at each other from the bridges of spaceships that are also sailing vessels IN SPACE.

Sci-Fi Horror, on the other hand, is fairly well-established as a subgenre, and even then Alien was mostly a horror story that borrowed sci-fi elements for its setting.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


ArchangeI posted:

Wizards fling spells at each other from the bridges of spaceships that are also sailing vessels IN SPACE.

Would unironically read this.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Roar posted:

Would unironically read this.

You're in luck.

http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Moons-David-Cook/dp/B000GRM6RM/

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ArchangeI posted:

I think the issue is really which genre is dominant in the book. Some genres just don't mix well. A romance story in a sci-fi universe that explains the principles of their faster-than-light engines at length probably won't sell. Romance readers will be bored to tears by it, and sci-fi readers just want to know why in God's name the story is focusing so much on the interpersonal relationship when there are new planets to visit and space battles to fight. A little dash is never the problem, but I think most people here assume "genre mixing" to mean a full blend of two genres, where Wizards fling spells at each other from the bridges of spaceships that are also sailing vessels IN SPACE.

Sci-Fi Horror, on the other hand, is fairly well-established as a subgenre, and even then Alien was mostly a horror story that borrowed sci-fi elements for its setting.

Oh, okay, thanks for explaining this. So like, don't wildly mismarket your book. That makes sense.

I mean, I don't think I'm doing this with anything at the moment, but I like to know to make sure.

At the moment I'm vaguely working on a novel but I'm focusing on short stories and novellas right now.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Don't forget the difference between setting and genre. A genre encompasses the whole 'feel' of a book; it's writing style, it 's setting and usually the structure of the plot. With romance for example there's such an expected structure that Mills & Boon won't publish anything that doesn't adhere to their structure, even if it's absolutely brilliant.

A romance in a sci-fi setting could work. A SciFi romance genre clash would be difficult to pull off.

Not sure if this clarifies or further complicates things.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




I'm broke as gently caress, so take advantage of me if you need a cover.
Use code FIFTY to get 50% off any cover(s) when you spend 100$ or more.

http://store.ravenkult.com/

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

I'm broke as gently caress, so take advantage of me if you need a cover.
Use code FIFTY to get 50% off any cover(s) when you spend 100$ or more.

http://store.ravenkult.com/



Covers so badass that I wish I had a project that would suit them but I'm not good enough.

Welcome to Ritual so good.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


EngineerSean posted:

Whoever took 1% of borrows last year probably thinks that he or she can make the same amount this year, even if it's a smaller fraction of a bigger pot.

Hey this rear end in a top hat was right by the way.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

by sebmojo


How do you see what the total number of borrows was, or are you just back-calculating based on the payout per borrow?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Sundae posted:

How do you see what the total number of borrows was, or are you just back-calculating based on the payout per borrow?

I ran a Monte Carlo simulation based on numbers pulled completely out of my rear end.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Might be of interest to selfpub authors with identity crises: The next version of Chrome has an account switching menu.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I ran a few promos after releasing my third book. I tried out bknights on Fiverr to promote book #3, and ran a KND promo on book #1 in the series. Good results for all the titles. The bknights promo really helped spike the first book, I didn't see nearly as much of a rise on the KND promo, but I saw higher sales on all three books. So it all balanced out.

Polishing the draft on my next novel. What do you guys think of the blurb?

quote:

The world is not what it seems.

The dogs of the planet Forge are selectively bred to be soldiers in an interstellar empire, an empire that sees them as nothing but fodder. But the dogs donít know, they canít know, instead they live as savages. Savages bred to be warriors.

Denali lives on the planet Forge, a world so harsh that only the largest, toughest, meanest dogs survive. She is none of these things. She is a runt, saved from a crashed starship, and striving to find her place in the pack. Now her second birthday approaches and she must pass a trial to become an adult. If she completes the trial she will earn the respect of the pack, a set of implanted metal teeth, and get to keep her consciousness. No one knows what happens to those who fail, theyíre never seen again.

What Denali discovers shatters her view of the world. What begins as struggle to survive is now a struggle for freedom. Through it all she seeks to find her place, to know her past, and do what is right. Oh, and she has a 1200 year old artificial intelligence stuck in her skull.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

September KU/KOLL payout pool set at $3 million.

Yooper posted:

Polishing the draft on my next novel. What do you guys think of the blurb?

It's a story about dogs on a planet, and the protagonist has an ancient sentience? Are the dogs pets of the people who flew the crashed starship, or did the dogs fly the starship? It's an unusual premise, not sure how I feel about an animal protagonist.

Fate Accomplice
Nov 30, 2006




Yooper posted:

But the dogs donít know, they canít know, instead they live as savages. Savages bred to be warriors.

Grammatically, this should be:

"But the dogs don't know; they can't know. Instead, they live as savages. Savages bred to be warriors."

I don't like that whole paragraph, though.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I'm not fond of the paragraph either, but want to work in the story details. It is a planet inhabited by dogs, left there a millenia ago, and selectively culled to be bigger/badder/meaner dogs.

Imperfect
Sep 24, 2009


So I'm looking to get into self-publishing, and well, let's be honest, writing. While I'm not looking to sell big at the start, I'd at least like to know I'm headed in the general correct direction.

I have a rough idea for a book I want to throw down during NaNoWriMo, and I'm filling up my time in the interim doing some outlining and planning. Part of that planning is writing short stories starring characters that are going to be in the book. This, I figure, gives me the opportunity and impetus to flesh out the characters and the world a bit.

Also, it gives me other shorter ebooks I can sell for $0.99 or free and link back to the book with. At least, that's the theory I developed based on reading similar threads on this:

1) Release the book at $2.99 or whatever,
2) Release the short stories for $0.99 or free and refer people back to the book to boost its sales,
3) Put the short stories together in a collection for $2.99 for more sales/more links.

Is this even close to a good idea? Oh, and sci-fi - is that just a bad idea from the start? I keep hearing that romance/fantasy/children's books are what's selling in ebooks, and I'd like to think I'm not going to waste a bunch of time writing in a doomed (for certain values of doomed) genre.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Short stories don't sell, unless you're already famous for something else. I personally wasted a lot of time pursuing it, the thread always advises against it and the figures speak for themselves.

Exception for short erotica, but we don't discuss it in here (previous writing threads got horrible fast because of it).

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

by sebmojo


Imperfect posted:

children's books

Where on earth did you read this? Got a link?

Or do you mean YA?

Imperfect
Sep 24, 2009


Sundae posted:

Where on earth did you read this? Got a link?

Or do you mean YA?

I can't for the life of me remember. I've been devouring so many threads on this lately, it was probably anecdotal from someone here or reddit or something.

It was also potentially very, very old.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Imperfect posted:

Is this even close to a good idea? Oh, and sci-fi - is that just a bad idea from the start?

I'd say focus on the novel, and put serious thought into expanding it into a series. Readers want series: it inspires confidence in the quality of the product and if they like the first one, they'll pick up the rest. Especially with sci-fi and fantasy, which are notorious for worldbuilding. I don't want to read a hundred pages of description of how one particular universe works if it's a standalone book.

The op features at least one goon who has found great success writing sci-fi, so that's no impediment.

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Blue Star
Feb 18, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


Does anyone else really hate worldbuilding? I am writing a sword-and-sorcery novel and to be honest I'm kinda making the world up as I go along. I have a basic idea of what kind of world it is, what the tone of it is, and what sort of things and events may happen in it. But I don't have maps, detailed histories, or anything like that. This particular novel takes place in a single city, and I'm sort of playing fast and loose with it. I'm just concentrating on the characters and story.

Thing is, people seem to like worldbuilding these days. They want big detailed worlds that have "verisimilitude" and magic systems. I don't feel like doing all of that. I don't feel like coming up with constructed languages, holidays, or whatever. I know a bit about what this city's culture is like but again, I'm just taking that basic idea and running with it, making up details as I go along. And if I write more novels that take place in the same world, they will be stand-alone stories. And even though they may take place in the same world, that basically just means I'm drawing from the same well, not so much that they all belong to some chronologically-ordered series of historical events.

I think people will hate it :smith:

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