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Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


I really am going to have to get better at explaining myself some day.

Honestly part of it is I hold back too much because I can go overboard talking about poo poo and I don't want to bog you guys down. But yeah- Charred is straight up a 1950s sci-fi/giant monster novel. I'll just post the blurb that's, probably, going to be on the back of the book

Paul Wainwright is dying. Nearing thirty, he’s got nothing to his name except a lung-cancer diagnosis, PTSD from the Korean War, and a one-way ticket to Point Hope, Alaska. Piloting for an oil-baron in middle of nowhere isn’t the most exciting work, but there’s not much else for a war vet to do in 1956. At this point, good pay and companionship are about all he can ask for. Point Hope is supposed to have both. Instead, it has a sky full of foreign bombers, invaders from another world, and a dome that cuts the town off from the rest of the world.

The town he escaped to, seeking a new lease on life, instead offers only misery and certain death. The alien power that has ensnared them begins to unleash monsters and abominations, and Paul must choose what to do with his dwindling time and health. The end looms, and Paul alone will decide how he faces it.

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Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Burkion posted:

Paul Wainwright is dying. Nearing thirty, he’s got nothing to his name except lung-cancer, PTSD from the Korean War, and a one-way ticket to Point Hope, Alaska. Piloting for an oil-baron in middle of nowhere isn’t exciting work, but there’s not much else for a war vet to do in 1956. Point Hope was supposed to have both $NOUNS. Instead, it has a $DANGERS.

Paul must choose what to do with his dwindling time and health. The end looms, and Paul alone will decide how he faces it.



I'm no self pubber, so I think everyone else's advice takes precedence over mine.

I like the starting sentence. It would be neat if Paul had some stakes or something he can lose.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


Cover update

Some details still need to be finessed and we're currently going back and forth on if one, both or neither arms should glow but

Steely Dad
Jul 29, 2006





KrunkMcGrunk posted:

It is very exciting!

Yesterday, we sent them a synopsis of the book and the first 7 chapters. They said they'll be able to make a "quick decision" about signing or not. The publishing world is extremely slow, so I'm guessing we'll actually hear something after the holidays.

Regardless of what happens, we still need to have a book to publish, so I'm just trying to keep my head down and continue moving forward with the work. I've been in this game for five years with some mild success, I am so ready to for my big break to come around.

What’s the latest?

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

I think most of the people at Thomas & Mercer had a week or two off for the holidays, so I haven't heard anything yet. Dunno! Publishing moves slow. We've got a spot lined up with a freelance editor in March, so if Thomas & Mercer doesn't pick us up, we'll just release it ourselves.

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Quite a few 4-5 figure a month authors have noticed a huge drop in revenue that started around Prime Days. Book ranks and Also Boughts are taking longer to update as well. So it's possible a book's recent poor performance isn't just due to the book itself.

Does anyone here know whether this picked back up? I've been haunting this thread (and its predecessor) for a few years now, and I finally have a space to consider KDP as a business, but I'm getting concerned that it might not be that viable any more.

jazzyjay
Sep 11, 2003

PULL OVER



I finally published the third book in my trilogy - which is almost two years after the last book came out :/ Still, it was great to get KDP to link all three together into an trilogy - its a nice feeling after all this time.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0753KKR7B

Anyway, marketing report: I distributed review copies with BookSprout which seems to be working well for managing the ARCs.

As its the third part of the trilogy, I'm focusing the marketing on two audiences - existing fans on the Facebook page/mailing list are getting the "third book is finally here" messaging - and I'm also promoting the trilogy as a whole to new audiences. The mailing lit is only 123 people but I've sold 22 copies through it. What was nice was I sent out an email saying "Book is out and on sale tomorrow" and a dozen people immediately bought it rather than wait for the price drop.

I'll be using paid email and Facebook marketing ongoing for the latter. I've got all three books on sale for 99c to encourage new readers - I'll go back to usual pricing in a couple of days.

Facebook marketing is a weird beast as I'm sure anyone who has tried it will attest, so I'm going carefully here, with small budgets hitting targeted audiences to see what works and what doesn't. I'll let you guys know if its worthwhile.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Had me a little hard drive scare this past week… but not _too_ scary, because I am religious about making backups! Not one file or word lost. But use my misfortune to your advantage: if you aren't confident you have backups of all your stuff, why not take a little time this week to get that done?

Anyway, that problem solved, I'm giving away another one of my stories—free through Sunday February 23. This one's a dark one.



Parker Sabatini isn’t popular, or pretty, or quote-unquote cool. But at least she’s the star of her school’s little chess club. Not that anyone cares about the chess club—at least, not until Ali Wolfhart joins.

A passionless neophyte on a temporary leave from cheerleading, the beautiful, mysterious Ali turns out to be an undiscovered chess prodigy, mixing astonishing artistry with peerless tactics. Before long, she’s put the chess club on the map and relegated Parker to the sidelines. As Parker’s jealousy and resentment gives way to obsession, the drama of court intrigue and teen insecurity culminates in a shocking act of violence.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this deliciously dark short story, ingeniously told as a multi-perspective oral history, he examines the nature of envy, divinity, and art as a duel between queens in the game of kings.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B084QK3SG5

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


Icon-Cat posted:

Had me a little hard drive scare this past week… but not _too_ scary, because I am religious about making backups! Not one file or word lost. But use my misfortune to your advantage: if you aren't confident you have backups of all your stuff, why not take a little time this week to get that done?


nothing quite like discovering that Dropbox wasn't actually enabled and running on the laptop you've spent many hours during the last month building up the LibreOffice documents for your next book ... (shudder) it is now

so, go check your :yaybutt: storage is active and working, ok

The Fuzzy Hulk
Nov 22, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT CROSSING THE STREAMS




I'm making my books free this week. For Corona virus people at stuck home.

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


The Fuzzy Hulk posted:

I'm making my books free this week. For Corona virus people at stuck home.

as of about an hour ago, that's the whole uk!

(well, they're recommending work from home where at all possible. I expect an enforced lockdown this week.)

got a link? social media etc?

The Fuzzy Hulk
Nov 22, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT CROSSING THE STREAMS




divabot posted:

as of about an hour ago, that's the whole uk!

(well, they're recommending work from home where at all possible. I expect an enforced lockdown this week.)

got a link? social media etc?

My books are all erotica so nothing really to share here. I’ll tweet it tomorrow but that’s about it. I’m in Oregon but my work sent me home and I figure I’m not the only one bored with nothing to do. Hopefully people will want to read about falling in love with a were-horse or a lactation vampire.

The Fuzzy Hulk
Nov 22, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT CROSSING THE STREAMS




I got an email saying audible is going to pay 5% extra the next three months as a corona thing.

Wonder if KU is going to do the same thing?

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


UK LOCKDOWN SLAMS DOWN!!

so, yeah. This is a good time to get books out on Kindle for the cooped up with the family market, who are gonna need something to distract them from wanting to stab each other.

Print, I'm not so sure about - Amazon has already stopped restocking physical books, because they're going essentials ASAP.

Not sure how Kindle Print, formerly our slightly beloved Createspace, figures into that tho. Anyone know?

D-Pad
Jun 28, 2006



divabot posted:

UK LOCKDOWN SLAMS DOWN!!

so, yeah. This is a good time to get books out on Kindle for the cooped up with the family market, who are gonna need something to distract them from wanting to stab each other.

Print, I'm not so sure about - Amazon has already stopped restocking physical books, because they're going essentials ASAP.

Not sure how Kindle Print, formerly our slightly beloved Createspace, figures into that tho. Anyone know?

This is what I thought too, but I have seen some of the authors I follow on twitter saying their sales have tanked. I think people are too scared to spend money they don't have to at the moment.

Steely Dad
Jul 29, 2006





KU should be up, though. Any word on that?

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

After 16 years on these forms I don't know why I'm still surprised that there's a thread to learn everything I need at any point in my life.

My wife is self publishing her poetry book. She wanted it to stand out and arranged the poems into 5 sections that tell a story of insecurities manifesting into existential crisis. It's very therapeutic, in a way, and I'm incredibly proud of her work.

We went through a self publishing consulting company because I didn't know what I was doing (for example, not checking SA). $550, terrible editing, accusatory tones, no guidance and a refund later, she's back on her own to self publish. I'm doing everything I can to help but for poetry, I have no idea about the cover.

We're on version 2 and it's simple, gets the point across, but I'm afraid it has that 'self published' look. Any tips on basic mistakes to avoid, or am I better off lobbing this over to a paid cover designer?

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

Thanks for a MONSTER of an avatar, Awful Survivor Mods!

Judge Schnoopy posted:

After 16 years on these forms I don't know why I'm still surprised that there's a thread to learn everything I need at any point in my life.

My wife is self publishing her poetry book. She wanted it to stand out and arranged the poems into 5 sections that tell a story of insecurities manifesting into existential crisis. It's very therapeutic, in a way, and I'm incredibly proud of her work.

We went through a self publishing consulting company because I didn't know what I was doing (for example, not checking SA). $550, terrible editing, accusatory tones, no guidance and a refund later, she's back on her own to self publish. I'm doing everything I can to help but for poetry, I have no idea about the cover.

We're on version 2 and it's simple, gets the point across, but I'm afraid it has that 'self published' look. Any tips on basic mistakes to avoid, or am I better off lobbing this over to a paid cover designer?

The best place to start is looking at Amazon's top sellers in whatever category you're shooting for.

Poetry, for example (specifically poetry by women, but you can look at the parent category): https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Poetry-Women/zgbs/books/10159402011/

"by Rupi Kaur" is a genre all its own, but it's clear that you don't need to be fancy to succeed, just don't let it look low-quality. You can get an expert cover designer for well under $550 if that's the route you want to take, and there's dozens of goons who'll be happy to help you through the self-pub process

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

Oh my God my cover is hideous why have I done this

I'm trying to incorporate a photo my wife wants on the cover. The photo is busy, so I centered it, gave it a flat border, and put the title up top. I at least tried to put some faint texture on the background. It's high resolution at least but it doesn't look at all like what's in that link.

I like the photo she picked but it doesn't look like other covers feature real photos, they're mostly illustrations. Is it more recommended to stick with illustrations over photos?

Second edit, I realize I'll only get help if I post what I've got. Authors name is below the crop here in the same font as the title. Willing to listen to all criticism on where I'm going wrong.

Judge Schnoopy fucked around with this message at 13:45 on May 19, 2020

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009



Judge Schnoopy posted:

I like the photo she picked but it doesn't look like other covers feature real photos, they're mostly illustrations. Is it more recommended to stick with illustrations over photos?

The recommendation is to stick with whatever covers look like from the best-selling authors in the genre.

But, in my limited experience, poetry doesn't really sell - whether self-published or not. So if you're not expecting to recoup your outlays and that photo makes her happy, go ahead and use it, in that cover which very much looks like what it is: an amateur effort, no offence. Otherwise I'd approach a professional cover designer, you can pay between $100 and $500 for a decent cover. Happy to point you towards specific designers if you'd like, or you can search on Kboards to see what people are recommending lately.

If she's really set on that photo you can probably ask a professional designer to incorporate it. When you say she picked it, though, do you mean she took it? Or found it online? Don't use something you don't have copyright permission to use.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Judge Schnoopy posted:

Willing to listen to all criticism on where I'm going wrong.



I think you did a fine job inasmuch as you could, I think the pitfall is that taking a photo and sort of putting it on a cover centered gives off I-made-this-cover-myself vibes no matter how good a job you do with the border.

If I were you, for an easy solution, I would save that nice textured background and border you made for promotional materials; I would blow the picture up to fill your cover space and have the text on top of that. My crummy two-minute example is on the left below.

Or if resolution allows, crop out some of the trees and green and make the water and reflection take up more of the image, it could be rather striking. An extreme example is on the right below.

feedmyleg
Dec 25, 2004

EVERY FAIRY TALE NEEDS ITS HERO.



That crop, uh, kinda misses the point.

Otherwise agreed. The beige needs to go, the ricepaper texture needs to go, the dropshadow and outline on the text need to go, the arbitrary boxes need to go. All that stuff makes it look extremely self-published in a bad way—reminds me of small-press books from the 90s in a bad way. Just make the photograph full-frame and lay the text over it. Also seems weird to not to have an author name on the cover when it's a memoir.

Super quick and dirty with zero thought given to the text, but:



Feels much more modern to me in terms of framing and layout. I like the asymmetrical text in Icon-Cat's example, which adds a feeling of class and/or poetry.

Judge Schnoopy
Nov 2, 2005

dont even TRY it, pal

See, I was doubting myself and thinking a full frame photo, when it's that busy, doesn't look like a good cover. I thought it looked more self published being a 6x9 with flat text overlayed. There's really no other crop I could go with that makes the photo work.

She really wanted 'classic literature', but I totally get that attempt landing on '90's faux class' instead. I honestly think getting to a state of better is going to require actual design study, and I'm probably better off getting a cover designer for $100.

The authors name is at the bottom in the same font but I'm not ready for y'all to know my wife's name.

And I took the photo so no worries on the copyright. She likes that it fits the theme she's going for of a broken person looking for good in a bad situation the went through.

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


Judge Schnoopy posted:

I'm probably better off getting a cover designer for $100.

this is the answer about 95% of the time, or probably more than that

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009



Interesting thread on the normie forum about Goodreads bot rating bombing:

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,323657.0.html

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Here's a freebie from me, and it comes with a lesson… if you're gonna write about the present, write faster than I do, because the present can change. When I started to write about life in quarantine, my concern would be that the quarantine would lift and we'd all be going back to normal before I finished. Things took a turn, but not toward normal, huh. But I frankly don't know what the overlap is between people who snap up self-published fiction and people who will go out against social distancing guidelines to protest. Who knows.

On the up side, I had no trouble with Amazon when it came to using words like 'coronavirus' and 'pandemic' in my keywords etc. (although it took some hours longer in review than normal). I have been reading rumors that they are cracking down on that, and perhaps so, but at the very least, my piece got through without an insta-reject. Good to know no one thinks I'm publishing medical misinformation.

Anyway, free through Sunday June 7:



Indoor Cat is about someone who stays inside all day with nothing to do but eat and sleep and stare out the window. It is also about her cat.

Maddie’s cat doesn’t really understand pandemics, or the coronavirus, or why his human being stopped going outside. All he knows is that something’s gone wrong in her life, and that he’s hungry. He hopes that both problems might be solved when a friendly food delivery boy starts turning up. But there are some things even wet food doesn’t fix.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this quirky, tender character study and unorthodox romance, he sets an un-fur-gettable (… sorry) narrator upon the themes of love, isolation, connection and unprecedented times.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B089GP615P/

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


So, a friend of mine recently put his first book out

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08C32KJL3/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+magpie+wizard&qid=1593566965&sr=8-1

I'm not the one who wrote it, but I was his sounding board for it enough that he put me first on the dedications page. This started out as a very bitter deconstruction of light novel romance bullshit that slowly evolved into something more sincere- partly because he didn't have the heart to be that mean the entire book.

It's the first novel he's ever finished and seen through multiple stages though, and if you want a weird fantasy romance kind of thing with a severe anime bullshit edge to it, eh. I could find worse.

Sulla Faex
May 14, 2010

No man ever did me so much good, or enemy so much harm, but I repaid him with ENDLESS SHITPOSTING


freebooter posted:

Interesting thread on the normie forum about Goodreads bot rating bombing:

https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,323657.0.html

I.. did not realise that Amazon owns goodreads

gently caress

feedmyleg
Dec 25, 2004

EVERY FAIRY TALE NEEDS ITS HERO.



I was bummed when I found out they own Abe Books, too :(

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


fwiw, i was horribly blocked on my next book and then I did a mind map and an outline and now it's CRANKING AHEAD

I tried doing a daily twitter thread of my wordcount. Seems to be working to get me writing just so i don't post "0 words" too often. Including on-topic blog posts, though 1000 blog words is as much work as 200 book words. Currently bogged down in summarising a couple of six-hour House/Senate hearings, because they're absolute gold. (The book is about Facebook's Libra crypto coin BS, and I'm stunned at the bipartisan loathing of Facebook, and cribbing good lines from the honorable gentlemen and gentlewomen. It turns out politicians are good talkers, and boy can they show it when they're pissed.)

so if you, uh, "tweet", try a daily word count thread, it works for me and others

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009



Sulla Faex posted:

I.. did not realise that Amazon owns goodreads

gently caress

The least they could do is copy the exact same system Goodreads has and let you flag reviews that have spoilers to place them behind a warning and a cut, but no.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


freebooter posted:

The least they could do is copy the exact same system Goodreads has and let you flag reviews that have spoilers to place them behind a warning and a cut, but no.

Amazon won't even remove actively harmful, false reviews most of the time. They give no shits unless the author gets doxx'd or there's a physical threat in it. (Or if there is any way that they can play 7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon back to you from a positive review, at which point they'll just delete the review. I had an entire business venture of mine shut down by that policy. :()

Camo Guitar
Jul 15, 2009


divabot posted:

fwiw, i was horribly blocked on my next book and then I did a mind map and an outline and now it's CRANKING AHEAD

I tried doing a daily twitter thread of my wordcount. Seems to be working to get me writing just so i don't post "0 words" too often. Including on-topic blog posts, though 1000 blog words is as much work as 200 book words. Currently bogged down in summarising a couple of six-hour House/Senate hearings, because they're absolute gold. (The book is about Facebook's Libra crypto coin BS, and I'm stunned at the bipartisan loathing of Facebook, and cribbing good lines from the honorable gentlemen and gentlewomen. It turns out politicians are good talkers, and boy can they show it when they're pissed.)

so if you, uh, "tweet", try a daily word count thread, it works for me and others

There's a site called Storyorigin where they recently added a daily word count feature where you plug in your wanted word count and target date and it'll give you a word target per day (which changes the more or less you write each day of course.)
It's free to sign up and comes with a graph which helped me knock off my latest book in a month and a half - seeing how far/close you are to your target is a big motivator for me.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009



Looking for a bit of cover feedback. I'm super happy with it but always good to get another set of eyes for minor tweaks. For comparison, this is the first book in the series (in which I had some reviewers specifically say it perfectly suited the tone of the book):



And this is the second which my artist has only just done:



Thoughts? I think the only thing I'll ask her to change is to make the author name black to stand out better.

jazzyjay
Sep 11, 2003

PULL OVER

freebooter posted:

Looking for a bit of cover feedback. I'm super happy with it but always good to get another set of eyes for minor tweaks. For comparison, this is the first book in the series (in which I had some reviewers specifically say it perfectly suited the tone of the book):



And this is the second which my artist has only just done:



Thoughts? I think the only thing I'll ask her to change is to make the author name black to stand out better.

I freakin love em

feedmyleg
Dec 25, 2004

EVERY FAIRY TALE NEEDS ITS HERO.



Overall I think it looks really good, it's a nice clean composition that fits with your first cover well. If you went with that I think you'd be golden. But to nitpick since you asked, I don't love how the bottom edge of the moon is fully blown out and blends into the clouds, especially with how clear the subject is in comparison. The moon also appears to be using exact same source as the first book cover, which might link them together in a positive way but feels a touch lazy when looking at them side-by-side. The biggest thing for me, though, is that the werewolf's face is a bit too wolf-like. Maybe in your text that's how werewolves look and you want to stick to it, but when scanning across it I think the face could look more monstrous so it reads more as a supernatural creature on first glance instead of an animal. Right now it's not until I stop and look at the details of the body that I see that. Also, just a thought that may be unnecessary: there's nothing to indicate that this werewolf is, in fact, on the western front. I'm assuming that's referring to World War I, so is there any way you could have some detail from the war make it in there? Is that a trench behind the werewolf? If so, some barbed wire or parados perhaps? Again, just a scannability thing to reinforce what makes your book cool and unique compared to any other werewolf story.

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


I think I'd probably just add a thicker outline on the name or more shadows behind instead of making it black. Or just ask her to make it more visible and defer to her judgement as to how exactly to achieve this.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


freebooter posted:

Thoughts? I think the only thing I'll ask her to change is to make the author name black to stand out better.
Disagree, white is better on this cover and black will bleed into that border in not a good way. Background just needs to be darkened a bit.

The first cover is perfect, the second one struggles to keep the same legibility with a white background image, black title, and a black border. Consistency in a series is hard to pull off unless the background images match up contrast-wise. If I were the designer, I would move everything down a smootch, move the moon way down so it's half hidden by the wolf, and mimic the first cover with light text.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




It looks too zoomed in so to speak. Wolf and moon smaller will give it more room to breathe.

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Veni Vidi Ameche!
Nov 2, 2017

by Fluffdaddy


freebooter posted:

Looking for a bit of cover feedback. I'm super happy with it but always good to get another set of eyes for minor tweaks. For comparison, this is the first book in the series (in which I had some reviewers specifically say it perfectly suited the tone of the book):



And this is the second which my artist has only just done:



Thoughts? I think the only thing I'll ask her to change is to make the author name black to stand out better.

The train cover is very good. I don’t care for the wolf.

I would buy the train book, and pass on the wolf book.

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