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Kicklighter
Jun 30, 2012



I'm publishing a novel on KDP for the first time, and I'm trying to get all my mistakes out of the way before my next go-around. (One such mistake was apparently putting the novel up for pre-order.) Could I get some thoughts on the cover art, blurb, and anything else you guys notice? It's also on KU if you want to skim the first few pages.

One thing I'm really on the fence about is the cover. I went with the hand-painted look to get it to stand out, but seeing it up on Pixel Scroll next to all the shiny contemporary covers makes me worried that it stands out in a bad way.

Link


Amazon blurb posted:

No one cares what you learned in school.

If you fail this exam, the past decade will have been a waste. But even if you pass, will it matter to anyone?

These are the thoughts of Jack Warheist as he prepares for his coming-of-age test: escaping the labyrinth beneath the cathedral before his torch dies. On the other side of the labyrinth, however, he discovers a wider world and a new way to prove himself. He could learn the secrets of the Scheremoth Blackwings, a nation of sorcerers that nearly destroyed his hometown a century ago.

But neither labyrinths nor magic can answer the most important question: what about himself is he trying to prove?

(First in a four-part series, to finish November 2014.)

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Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme


My main concern about the cover is that in a smaller icon the mountain looks like a tree stump. This is compounded by the grass in the foreground and the feathers. I don't know if this would have any impact, but if your book is about a boy traversing a dangerous maze under a cathedral...I'm not getting that from this cover. The feathers especially seem very whimsical.

Blurb: The first two sentences I don't care for. Personally I like to know who is having thoughts before being told said thoughts. The blurb starts to get good with the setup about the maze and limited time with the torch. But the very next sentence says he makes it through, so that anticipation is now gone. Could you instead say it's rumored that a whole world exists beyond etc? The "He could learn..." sentence doesn't pose any stakes or conflict, and it reads as passive as "I could get up and change the channel."

And the last sentence is boring. It's way too early for me to care what this character is trying to prove to himself. Is there a tangible benefit if he succeeds? Is there a dire consequence if he fails?

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Kicklighter posted:

Could I get some thoughts on the cover art,



It ain't pretty.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


ravenkult posted:

It ain't pretty.
Agreed, it doesn't look like anything in thumbnail and you can't read the author or title in thumbnail. The worst of both worlds. Also there's no range of value in the art, it's all mid-tone blurgh.

Kicklighter
Jun 30, 2012



Thanks for the feedback. Should have trusted my gut!

Is this any closer to the mark?



I'll work on the blurb too. I'm having a problem with the novel coming across as YA when it's really for the 18-34 crowd.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Kicklighter posted:

Thanks for the feedback. Should have trusted my gut!

Is this any closer to the mark?



I'll work on the blurb too. I'm having a problem with the novel coming across as YA when it's really for the 18-34 crowd.

Better. Less black and more glow so it looks less photoshopy.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I've been speaking to someone at the OP-recommended PubYourselfPress about my struggling comedy writing and we hit upon an idea I kind of stupidly never considered, which is straight-up serialising my primarily comedy work, social networking funny bits and the like.

If I wanted to post serial updates what would be the best platform for that? Just some sort of free WordPress or something?

e:
I have an author website with a blog, https://www.oscartk.co.uk but I don't blog all that much. I could just update the blog with, I don't know, a chapter or something and then tag it appropriately so a tab can be created to take the reader to just those posts?

Or is there a dedicated serial website I could use? Jukepop is interesting, but you have to get votes to continue, right? I think I'm looking for something fully in my control.

PoshAlligator fucked around with this message at 00:19 on Sep 28, 2014

laxbro
Apr 20, 2013
Relax.

It takes a while to build a blog that gets decent traffic, but yeah it makes sense to use your already existing author blog. I think your best bet is to do both. Publish your content on your blog then try to find popular genre websites where you can post your best shorts. You need to find one where they allow you to link back to your blog. You can also try to find relevant subreddits to post your content if they allow you to link back to your blog in the post.

I'm building a genre blog right now. My plan is to publish my short stories as a free collection and use that to encourage visitors to sign up for my email list. Plan to start working on a full length novel in November.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

e: meant to edit to say this is all just my opinion, seems to be backed up by the brief research I did when trying to build my platform last year though:

One weird tip about blogs: if you're just getting started and don't have much of a following, it's my opinion that you are much, much better off using a platform like blogspot, or WordPress.com as opposed to your own hosted wp install.

Wordpress.com & blogspot have a crapload of promotion tools that will bring new users to your site through their tags, and for the most part they're SEO already so you don't have to gently caress about with that. Plus people are more likely to have a google account with which they can subscribe or follow you.

People will tell you that your own hosted site looks more professional, but to start with while you're still building an audience, just get a domain name and point it at a blogspot (I prefer blogspot because you can put google ads on it and the customisability isn't hidden behind various paywalls).

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 11:42 on Sep 28, 2014

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Interesting, thanks.

If I did like a serial I guess I could crosspost updates, one on my Author Blog, and another on either [SeriesTitle].blogspot or .wordpress Would you definitely recommend Blogspot over Wordpress for audience?

I've also signed up to participate in the Kindle WriteOn Beta, though I don't really know what that is.

I've been getting Error 500 messages when trying to edit my ebook on Draft2Digital to a $0 price point, it won't let me progress past the first page of "editing my book" at all.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

PoshAlligator posted:

If I did like a serial I guess I could crosspost updates, one on my Author Blog, and another on either [SeriesTitle].blogspot or .wordpress Would you definitely recommend Blogspot over Wordpress for audience?
I would personally recommend blogspot because the setup is easier, you can place google ads on it and make a little bit of cash out of the views, and it makes connecting with other writing blogs incredibly simple. I haven't updated my blog in about a year and I still get about 30 views a month. It also has email subscriptions built in.

Wordpress... It's open source, but most of the features you'd want are behind a paywall, unless you host it on your own web space in which case it's a nightmare to optimise and you don't get the benefits of the social side of it, defeating the entire point of it.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Bobby Deluxe posted:

I would personally recommend blogspot because the setup is easier, you can place google ads on it and make a little bit of cash out of the views, and it makes connecting with other writing blogs incredibly simple. I haven't updated my blog in about a year and I still get about 30 views a month. It also has email subscriptions built in.

Wordpress... It's open source, but most of the features you'd want are behind a paywall, unless you host it on your own web space in which case it's a nightmare to optimise and you don't get the benefits of the social side of it, defeating the entire point of it.

My Author Blog is on my own WordPress install, but that's because I don't use it "as a blog" as much as I use it as a sort of online portfolio and About Me which has come pretty in useful.

I guess I'll shoot for a blogspot and try and connect them up tangentially somehow. I don't really know much about Blogspot but I'll get into it sometime soon. I'm going to continue on with my self-published novella so I'll wait until I can get that listed as free then repub it on the blog as the three parts and continue on from there. So can we be like blog buddies?

What writing do you put on your blog? Is it segregated to just one sort of topic, a series or "writing blog posts" or something? I'm trying to figure out where to split my content between sites and where to not.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

PoshAlligator posted:

So can we be like blog buddies?
Yeah, I'll have to check what my URL is, it's been that long. But having someone subscribing who knows me outside of the blog might be the boot up my arse that gets me taking it seriously again. Like I say, I get 30 views for doing absolutely nothing to the site, I'm pretty sure if I updated every other day it'd be a good source of new readers and at least wine money.

PoshAlligator posted:

What writing do you put on your blog? Is it segregated to just one sort of topic, a series or "writing blog posts" or something? I'm trying to figure out where to split my content between sites and where to not.
At the moment, free writing exercises and old rants about video games. I'm actually not concentrating on that writing persona at the mo because I'm throwing my efforts at 'romance' right now.

In terms of content I'm maybe not the best advisor, but I can tell you that even terrible writers have large followings on blogspot. They are great at giving you a place to grow a fan base, it reminds me of the old GeoCities community from waaay back.

Tumblr is pretty nice too, their tags work better than Twitter's and the user base is (according to traffic during the Olympics) about the same size. Just be prepared to watch out for saying anything too non-pc like a loving hawk.

Jithendra
May 23, 2009


On Wordpress vs. Blogspot...

The big downside with Blogspot is privacy issues. Because it's connected to Google, anyone with some connection to your Google email address will see that you have a blog. I know several blog authors who have had people find out that they have a Blogspot blog without ever telling them, and in a couple cases this has been pretty uncomfortable for the authors, because it involved them suddenly being out to those people about their sexual orientations/religious views.

So if you write under a pseudonym or about any sensitive topics, make sure that the blog is connected to a separate gmail address than your personal one (probably a good idea anyway, so that your readers won't accidentally find out about any of your other activities on the internet). Some care with what browser you're using might be necessary as well, as any comments that you post on other blogs (which I recommend doing to get others interested in your own blog--if they like what you say, they may want to see more of it) can show up as coming from a different google account if you've logged in to more than one. Chrome has been especially bad about this, but I think they've been working on addressing the issue. Unfortunately too little, too late for my friends!

One other little thing about Blogspot... trying to comment with their captcha system on frequently doesn't work, so you should be aware that some would-be commenters will just give up after 4-5 tries. If there's some way to disable it, it's worth considering. As I understand it, this mostly seems to apply to those who try to comment with OpenID (meaning mostly blog authors from any other site but Blogspot) or anonymously.

As far as what content to put on your blog... I'd recommend you post more than just some examples of your writing. Posting something about your writing process can get people interested, but more than that... ranting about things and engaging with the world will get people who agree with you more interested in what sort of things you write. Post links to other blogs, and discuss your own take on whatever concepts they're talking about. Making friends with other bloggers and regularly interacting with them is probably the best thing you can do to (passively) promote your work. They will link and reblog your posts in conversation with you. Don't make everything you post about your writing. Show readers that you're an interesting person, not just someone spamming the internet with promotions and such, and they'll be more interested in checking you out.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Will I be able to create tabs to sort categories by tabs in the future with my Blogspot?

For instance "Story A Updates" and "Story B Updates"? I'm so amateur at Blogspot compared to Wordpress.

But here's my blog http://oscartkfiction.blogspot.co.uk/

I'm posting my novella up first split into the segments it's normally split up into, then my first project I'll work on is continuing that story. Then hopefully I'll write some other stuff.

e:
So just putting stuff like "fiction", "comedy", "writing" in the labels is the sharing function?

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Jithendra posted:

As far as what content to put on your blog... I'd recommend you post more than just some examples of your writing. Posting something about your writing process can get people interested, but more than that... ranting about things and engaging with the world will get people who agree with you more interested in what sort of things you write. Post links to other blogs, and discuss your own take on whatever concepts they're talking about. Making friends with other bloggers and regularly interacting with them is probably the best thing you can do to (passively) promote your work. They will link and reblog your posts in conversation with you. Don't make everything you post about your writing. Show readers that you're an interesting person, not just someone spamming the internet with promotions and such, and they'll be more interested in checking you out.
I strongly agree with this from a subscriber's point of view. On twitter, my newsfeed regularly gets completely out of control and needs culling. First to go are always the accounts that haven't made me laugh or posted interesting stuff in ages. Like I really like Jon Richardson on TV, but his twitter (last time I checked) was just tour dates. Compare this to George Takei, who's facebook page has taken on a monstrous life of it's own thanks to the sheer volume of funny stuff he posts, compared to incredibly rare posts about his own projects.

PoshAlligator posted:

Will I be able to create tabs to sort categories by tabs in the future with my Blogspot?
Probably not, unless you know how to code it yourself in HTML and can get round blogspot's incredibly bizarre limitations in that direction (it's basically impossible unless you're using a theme).

Excellent, here's mine with a post about how to generate ideas I seem to type out a lot:
http://dansclayton.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/where-do-ideas-come-from.html

PoshAlligator posted:

So just putting stuff like "fiction", "comedy", "writing" in the labels is the sharing function?
Yes. In the same way that tagging a post #funny on twitter will get the attention of anyone searching that hashtag, the same is true of blogspot's tags. The drawback to this is that tags like 'funny', 'comedy' and 'blog' update so fast your blog post will most likely be lost before it's seen. So get clever - tag it with labels that you think a lot of people will be searching for, but not everyone will be posting about (harder than it sounds, I know. I'm poo poo at SEO).

technofiend
Jan 3, 2012


The posts above about blog buddies reminded me of the latest Writing Excuses Podcast (MP3 link) where a book publicist mentioned one of her jobs was arranging "blog tours" for newly released books. Since you guys are self-publishing and always looking for new venues, maybe you could recycle the blog ring concept and have goon writers link to each other?

I am envisioning a widget you include on your own blog that randomly links to another self-pub blogger. If you don't care for that, there's always what Scalzi does where he just mentions another author he likes and links to their book.

Without volunteering to bell the cat, as it were, arranging for goon visits to each others' blogs would also be good. The publicist mentioned preparing three or four guest pieces you can hand off to fellow bloggers. The only real issue besides driving off your own readers if it comes off as a puff piece or astroturfing effort is that parity is tough to maintain. Some of you (Hard Luck Hank's author) may have many times the number of readers than the next guy. I think you'd have to limit the quantity of cross-promotion just to keep your own readers interested and not have them consign you to the spam bucket.

technofiend fucked around with this message at 19:53 on Sep 29, 2014

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Cross-promotion is great when you have similar genres and audiences. I would not cross-promote with random goons just because "goons".

Jithendra
May 23, 2009


moana posted:

Cross-promotion is great when you have similar genres and audiences. I would not cross-promote with random goons just because "goons".

This exactly.

Blog rings/networks really need to be carefully curated with a specific type of audience in mind. There should be some sort of shared theme or genre at the very least. Random links will garner very little interest. Being in someone's blogroll (list of blogs linked to in someone's sidebar, for those not familiar) would be more useful, but it isn't that significant overall. In the past week, only about 17% of the links people clicked on my blog were from my blogroll (and some of those could have been from people clicking on people's aliases in the comments instead). Mostly, it's better to get people engaged with links to specific content (as in, a single post from a blog) that they would be interested in placed somewhere within the body of a post. A lot of people tend to read blogs from readers only these days and will never even see any links you add in the blogroll or in a widget that links to a network.

Guest posts can be a successful way to promote, but I don't think it's wise to just write a guest post and then go try to look for bloggers to push it to. I've had a guest posting policy up for a few years now and the ONLY offers I have ever received have been for things that aren't even remotely relevant to my audience, and in most cases things that would actually be harmful. It's VERY clear that the people offering have never even read my guest post policy, much less the rest of my blog. I've still featured a few guest posts, but they're things I specifically had to seek out. In my experience, it works much better if you approach others with the idea of THEM writing a guest post FOR YOU, or with the idea of you conducting an interview with them. They may be willing to feature a guest post of yours in return, but it's really not very likely that any given blogger is going to be interested in just giving you publicity.

Guest posts work on the same principle as submitting to things like literary magazines. You need to understand why that blog exists, what its focus is, who the intended audience is... basically, why this specific blog should be interested in featuring any of what you have to say, and what you have to offer to that blogger's readers. You should really only ever be writing guest pieces to a specific audience... otherwise why wouldn't you just publish the piece on your own blog?

If you do decide you want to offer to write guest posts for someone else's blog... don't pester. Offer once, and if you don't get a response, move on. I've had quite a few people just keep sending me emails about it, some only days after their initial offer. There's no surer way for me to ignore a request than that.

One other thought about blogging that might be helpful... remember to turn on sharing buttons! A few months ago I changed the layout of my blog to make them more obvious, and since then the number of shares I've had has gone from 250ish (over a period of around 5 years) to 637.

Kicklighter
Jun 30, 2012



Szmitten posted:

Better. Less black and more glow so it looks less photoshopy.

Yes, the image definitely needed that. Thanks for helping a Photoshop doofus.

I revised all four covers in the series to make them fit in more with the fantasy genre. Any other feedback is welcome, especially on the finer points of Photoshop that I probably missed while going through a handful of random Internet tutorials.

(My own hosting:)




magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Regarding blogspot vs. wordpress.

What about Tumblr?

Or - especially if it's to publish a serial - has anybody used Wattpad.com?

It looks like it's the facebook of serial writers. One of the top (most popular) writers on there inked a movie deal earlier this year; she's 20-something and it was fan-fiction about ONE DIRECTION.

I've been looking at it, considering it. I'd originally started to put my novel on there in chapters, until many many people told me to stop doing that if I intended to seek a pub deal. My latest idea was to start a serial about one of the characters in my novel; going back 70 years so the two stories aren't critical to each other, but would build up interest in my writer skills and characters.

And I never got around to it. I was way to busy putting off revising my novel to focus on putting off writing a new story.

Imperfect
Sep 24, 2009


magnificent7 posted:

Regarding blogspot vs. wordpress.

What about Tumblr?

Or - especially if it's to publish a serial - has anybody used Wattpad.com?

It looks like it's the facebook of serial writers. One of the top (most popular) writers on there inked a movie deal earlier this year; she's 20-something and it was fan-fiction about ONE DIRECTION.

I've been looking at it, considering it. I'd originally started to put my novel on there in chapters, until many many people told me to stop doing that if I intended to seek a pub deal. My latest idea was to start a serial about one of the characters in my novel; going back 70 years so the two stories aren't critical to each other, but would build up interest in my writer skills and characters.

And I never got around to it. I was way to busy putting off revising my novel to focus on putting off writing a new story.

I interviewed for a job at Wattpad, actually. Really cool place, with really good ideas, processes, people, etc. They seem to respect their authors and their readers a whole lot. That said, as I understand it, you don't sell your stories through them - they're for publishing free stories.

So I mean if you wanted to publish serially on Wattpad and then sell the collection on Amazon, or use the Wattpad stories to drive traffic to Amazon, maybe that would work? But it's not really a social network or anything like Facebook, and it's not really a blogging engine like Wordpress. It's like a free Amazon with some social stuff.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


I had a story picked up by wattpad and featured, which resulted in around 20k views, but it's lead to negligible conversion.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


WriteOn is Amazon's equivalent to Wattpad, they're still in beta right now but they'll be taking over soon probably, and they're pushing their own publishing platform for chosen books published through there. I'd try to get into the Amazon beta thing if I were going to do anything like that.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


WriteOn seems pretty cool so far, though it's a bit quiet right now due to the beta.

Here's my last beta code, though you can request not so if whoever redeems this can do that and share those that would be nice I guess: NWHV6TKW

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


PoshAlligator posted:

WriteOn seems pretty cool so far, though it's a bit quiet right now due to the beta.

Here's my last beta code, though you can request not so if whoever redeems this can do that and share those that would be nice I guess: NWHV6TKW

I requested a beta code, but it hasn't arrived yet. Should I grab yours, or just wait? How long before you got one? Will they give me more to give away? What is air made of? Does a fish mind drinking piss?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


magnificent7 posted:

I requested a beta code, but it hasn't arrived yet. Should I grab yours, or just wait? How long before you got one? Will they give me more to give away? What is air made of? Does a fish mind drinking piss?

Yeah you just post in this forum thread they have and they just give everyone some now. It's at the "spread everywhere" beta phase now.

DukeRustfield
Aug 6, 2004


Some advice, when making covers, look at the full size cover. Maybe a poster-sized cover if you want to go that route. An amazon-sized cover. And dinky little covers. Some covers simply turn to poo poo at small thumbnail (think Goodreads, 50x75) sizes. Also, if you plan on going audio book, they are required to be square (1x1) and not stretched. Like CD-cover format. So having some extra real estate at the top and bottom will allow you to chop them up. Keep your titles and name on different layers so you can move them around or blank them out if you want to later.

I think I mentioned this before, but just in case I didn't, I use my own programs to email people and get fan mail and opt ins. Most major email providers have an API you can use. If someone submits a form on my website it comes to one of my inboxes and if it doesn't pass the right rules (to get out bots at least) it's sent to trash. I can then run a program and pull all the email addresses for a mailing. Or the fan mail goes to my email and I can reply--not like I have so much I'm overwhelmed. Besides, people seem to be pretty happy when I respond in person and it doesn't go through FuckOff@no-reply.com

Talas
Aug 27, 2005



Could I have a blurb critique, please?

quote:

In the year 2044, the daughter of a Mexican millionaire, María Pérez-Castillo, is kidnapped in the middle of her quinceañera party. The main suspect is her “arti” nanny, a constructed superhuman being created to serve and never lie.

Eloy “Exjed” Layer, a Texan Secession War veteran, is hired to travel deep into Mexico to find the girl. The cybernetic implant in his brain makes him the right person to do the job, even if most of the people around him fear the giant metal X in the back of his head. The investigation puts him in the direct path of Galatea, a self-styled heroine with super-strength who is also in the search for María.

Among cartels, bands of vigilantes, strange cults and corrupt police, both of them find themselves in the center of a strange conspiracy tied to the same international conglomerate involved in the Texan War. All of them linked by a 15-year old girl.

Note: The book is written in Spanish, quinceañera is (almost) untranslatable. Also, my English is terrible :ese:

Thanks in advance.


Edit: Changed "arty" for "arti".

Talas fucked around with this message at 02:31 on Oct 3, 2014

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

magnificent7 posted:

Regarding blogspot vs. wordpress.

What about Tumblr?
The biggest problem with Tumblr is that it's primarily a microblogging site, so the news feed is designed around numerous small posts. If you write anything longer than about 250 words, it comes up as this huge annoying wall of text that's likely to make people unsubscribe. If you want to post your stuff to tumblr, it's generally best to post it on another site and then link it there with applicable tags and an excerpt.

The other two problems are lack of pagination (or even basic truncation within feeds) for posts, and recent changes to the layout that have decimated earnings among some of the more longstanding users. In short, more and more parts of the site link to your content via a sidebar view which you cannot customise with ads, and therefore people are making zip out of pageviews where they used to be able to make a living.

What it is though is a fantastic tool for gaining new followers who love to read and will enthusiastically spread the word about your books among themselves. The tags work like twitter should, and the newsfeeds work like Facebook should. Oh, and the queue is great because you can stack up a bunch of posts once a week, and it'll spit them out to your followers at regular intervals.

It has a lot of advantages that should put it on par with Facebook and Twitter, but for some reason nobody ever really mentions it.

Ed Zeddmore
Dec 12, 2011

:h:love will turn you around:h:


Can the romance authors here give a rundown of the best times to release a book over the next few months? I'm trying to get my act together in time for Kindlemas.

TheForgotton
Jun 10, 2001

I'm making a career of evil.

Talas posted:

Could I have a blurb critique, please?


Note: The book is written in Spanish, quinceañera is (almost) untranslatable. Also, my English is terrible :ese:

Thanks in advance.

Is "arty" a term to describe the type of being that the nanny is, or are you trying to say that the nanny is of an artistic persuasion?

Talas
Aug 27, 2005



TheForgotton posted:

Is "arty" a term to describe the type of being that the nanny is, or are you trying to say that the nanny is of an artistic persuasion?
That would be the first. Actually, "arti" would be a better term. It's a contraction of "artificial" and it works in both languages.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Bobby Deluxe posted:


What it is though is a fantastic tool for gaining new followers who love to read and will enthusiastically spread the word about your books among themselves. The tags work like twitter should, and the newsfeeds work like Facebook should. Oh, and the queue is great because you can stack up a bunch of posts once a week, and it'll spit them out to your followers at regular intervals.

It has a lot of advantages that should put it on par with Facebook and Twitter, but for some reason nobody ever really mentions it.

So how do we, as authors, take advantage of that tool?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Ed Zeddmore posted:

Can the romance authors here give a rundown of the best times to release a book over the next few months? I'm trying to get my act together in time for Kindlemas.

Glitchtember has come and gone, I just published a book today and will continue to do so until January at least.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

psychopomp posted:

So how do we, as authors, take advantage of that tool?
Disclaimer: I'm still finding my feet, but had decent results last year. I'm not saying this is the be-all and end-all, just a starting guide you can build on.

Tumblr revolves around two things: tags, and the reblog.

Functionally the same as Facebook's share / twitter's retweet, reblogging basically means you see a post you like, you hit reblog, and it goes up on your page. Anyone who follows you will have that post appear on their dash (their homepage / newsfeed). If they reblog it from you, your name appears on the post on their page as the person they reblogged it from.

When you reblog / like someone's post, it sends them a note telling them you've reblogged it. It also means that when someone looks at the full version of that post, your name will be along the bottom of it as having reblogged it. If you reblog a lot of stuff, there's a decent chance of getting noticed this way and having someone check out your page and start following you.

The upshot of this is that if you reblog / post a cool thing, every time that cool thing is shared / reblogged your tumblr URL is shared along with it, and that leads people back to your page where they can learn more about you, follow you, follow you on twitter / Facebook /good reads etc.

In terms of what you reblog, try to keep it thematically the same as the work you're trying to promote. If you're a comedy writer, reblog funny stuff. If you're a romance or even a romance author, post soulful stuff and gifs of people kissing and being as sexy as possible without actually being naked.* If you're John Green, try to punch people directly in the soul with those upworthy videos (you know the ones). Basically follow people who interest you and reblog stuff that your target audience would like.

The major advantage tumblr has over other networks is that you can queue a bunch of posts. This means that instead of having to take time each day to post something, you can spend one afternoon a week reblogging, then set the queue to post (for example) 3 a day between 9am and 11pm.

Obviously you can create your own posts as well with info about your books or links to your blog, but I would say to try and keep your ratio of reblogs:posts around at least 3:1. Try not to promote more than once a day; too much promotion will annoy your followers, less followers is less people reblogging your stuff, and less reblogs means less people coming back to your page.

The second thing is tags. When you search on tumblr it searches by tags, same as twitter does with hashtags. So tag your posts, and they'll be seen whenever someone searches for that thing. Things tumblr always likes:

- social justice,
- catte gifs
- shipping, especially Sherlock / Dr Who / Supernatural

Things tumblr currently loves but will probably get bored of in a bit:

- pumpkin spice latte,
- skeletons,
- shrek

Generally if a tag is trending it'll be outlined in blue on your dash, so keep an eye out for any blue tags at the bottom of posts, because they'll get you a lot of attention. Tags I have noticed are usually hot:

- lol
- books
- funny
- superwholock

TLDR: Follow relevant blogs. Reblog to get noticed. Queue your posts. Tag your posts. Reblog stuff relevant to your style.

* Sidenote about NSFW: Yahoo acquired tumblr last year and set about getting rid of the porn. Without getting into a long and boring explanation, if you flag your blog as NSFW you're basically invisible to search and most people won't be able to see your posts. So don't post naked people, despite the fact that anything written before Feb 2013 will tell you to do precisely this.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 08:59 on Oct 3, 2014

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


I just got the most adorable fan-letter from a reader, and she asked if she could be a beta reader for my next book as well. :3:

Now I just need to get healthy again so I can write the damned thing. :haw:

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


PoshAlligator posted:

Yeah you just post in this forum thread they have and they just give everyone some now. It's at the "spread everywhere" beta phase now.

Hey - I totally never responded to this. I didn't use the code - I would just use it to poke around and go, "hmm. welp." I don't know if you were keeping it because I asked, or anything like that.

Now. ABOUT THIS ELLO poo poo. What's that about?

Dr. Snuggles
Dec 3, 2012

Tbh some of us (Pick) use this website more than others and I feel that I am unfairly subsidizing picks posting. Unless some kind of fee by post usage is enabled were basically instituting a forced welfare state of posting.

Would February be a good month for romance novels?

It's apparently a great month for break-ups, according to OkCupid. Just like summer is the house-purchasing season, Fall is television series season.

So I would guess when the weather gets lovely, romance novels/books/anything that's an indoor activity in general gets more attention. This would make sense as people spend more time active outdoors and travelling during summer and spring.

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EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


THIS February will have the movie release of Fifty Shades of Gray and I imagine it will be like another rennaissance for erotic billionaire romance novels, so get going on it!

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