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Breath Ray
Nov 19, 2010


Icon-Cat posted:

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. This enchanting short story brews up a mix of coming-of-age, romantic comedy and, above all, shameless parody.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PHWKDL3/

best of luck with this freebie. and this is an indelicate question, but how much do you think you made on two gentlemen?

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Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

quote:

but how much do you think you made on two gentlemen?

I've never said the exact number before, and I'll continue not to do so, but we're among goons so I'll say more here than I normally do.

Remember that TGOL was traditionally published. Low five-figure advance, which I have earned out, so every six months I get another three-figure check.

Low four-figure advance on the audiobook which will probably never earn out.

Plus about three thousand dollars in donations from nice Internet people and theatrical producers during its pre-publication phase. (I never charged for stage rights, but the New York production and one reading gave me money voluntarily. The rights holders won't allow it on stage any more, but if they ever allowed it again I would continue not to charge, or request a charity donation.)

(Mods, if I can't plug this here feel free to delete this line) Also, on the money front, every December I sell autographed books in SA-Mart for a limited-time low price. Get your orders in on or before December 17 for a unique personalized Christmas item.

Plus occasional speaking gigs, nothing fancy, a hundred there, two hundred there, a little help boosting my other projects… I imagine by the time I'm dead I'll have made more off the opportunities it brought me than I ever did in actual book sales. TGOL has never made me enough to bump me into a higher tax bracket, but who gives a poo poo about the loving marmot.

The truest value it brought to my life was opening my eyes to the possibility of writing in other media instead of continuing to bang my head against the Hollywood wall. I would never have tried writing my little stories, which I have a good deal of fun with, or a novel I continue to pitch traditionally, heaven help me. I would never have tried pitching the odd nonfiction piece to publications. I would never have written a (serious-rear end, non-mashup) stage play which was produced in NY last year and is incredibly close to my heart. I still consider myself a screenwriter first and foremost, but I am grateful to TGOL for giving me some encouragement to try other things too and see what sticks.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 01:09 on Dec 10, 2020

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

Don't bother reading my posts. I'm an idiot shilling an e-book. I literally profit from shitposting.

Icon-Cat posted:

This particular cover's complexity is a bit of an anomaly, normally I don't need more than a coupla images, but for this project it was either put something together from spare parts or see if Mary GrandPré was taking commissions.

I do my covers myself. (Yes, of course, most writers shouldn't, but Photoshop is part of my day job, so if I'm not the greatest at least I'm not the worst… I'm actually more of a professional graphics guy than I am a professional fiction writer, maybe I should hire an outside writer!) I have a fondness for the weird world of stock photos, which makes the experience pleasant.

One side benefit of doing my own covers is it forces me to consider, what am I trying to get across here, how would I sum up my tone in an image—I work on the cover _as_ I am writing (or often even before!), and if I can't create a visual that says to my satisfaction, "yes, that'll tell people what I'm trying to do", it's a good sign that something's equally unclear in the writing and ought to be addressed.

being literally professionally qualified to do your own covers is some sort of self-pub holy grail

(currently nagging my artist to get writing stuff for this reason)

Icon-Cat posted:


Plus occasional speaking gigs, nothing fancy, a hundred there, two hundred there, a little help boosting my other projects… I imagine by the time I'm dead I'll have made more off the opportunities it brought me than I ever did in actual book sales. TGOL has never made me enough to bump me into a higher tax bracket, but who gives a poo poo about the loving marmot.


yeah, the nodding-and-smiling racket is where the money is in writing IME. (So 2020, been a bit of an arse in that regard.)

divabot fucked around with this message at 20:39 on Dec 10, 2020

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!




angel opportunity posted:

Are you still publishing?

Nah. We paid off all the debts in our family and then retired to other hobbies. We’re still working on various weird side-hustles, sure, but we’ve put down the pen.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




So I'll be publishing a fantasy book in early march. Got a lot of great feedback from people on this forum and on critique sites about how to improve dragging sections in the manuscript, wondering if I can get people's feedback on how to make this blurb snappier:

As an enforcer for the Order of the Magi, Cantus dreams of glory in magical combat. But the Order has been too effective in its function, leaving the world with a mere smattering of hedge wizards as incompetent opponents. Worse yet, his new partner Evroh is an ancient man who feels more at home in libraries than on the field of battle. When a seemingly simple mission leaves Cantus permanently disabled, he will journey to the center of the Auduwyn empire to track the rogue mage who can heal him before his magic disappears forever. At the same time, internal divisions in the Order become apparent and Cantus discovers Evroh is not what he appears.
A story about hubris, fear, and the occasional fireball, the self-contained novel Order of the Magi should appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles and KJ Parker’s Academic Exercises.


In particular wondering if the last sentence before the comparisons could be stronger as a hook. An alternative I'm playing with is:
"Meanwhile, centuries of peace have left the Magi unprepared for a growing new threat that may challenge the very fabric of their Order."

Ccs fucked around with this message at 18:32 on Jan 5, 2021

Heathbourne
Jun 3, 2019


Ccs posted:

As an enforcer for the Order of the Magi, Cantus dreams of glory in magical combat.

Instantly hooked and craving more.

Ccs posted:

But the Order has been too effective in its function, leaving the world with a mere smattering of hedge wizards as incompetent opponents.

Already here I'm dropping off. If it's already decided, why should I care? Besides, hedge wizards are like cockroaches compared to the awesome powers a proper mage should have at his or her fingertips.

Ccs posted:

Worse yet, his new partner Evroh is an ancient man who feels more at home in libraries than on the field of battle.

This makes me think I'm looking at a detective story in a fantasy setting. While I can appreciate a good whodunnit, that's not necessarily what I'm after in a high fantasy setting, even if I like the original premise.

Ccs posted:

When a seemingly simple mission leaves Cantus permanently disabled, he will journey to the center of the Auduwyn empire to track the rogue mage who can heal him before his magic disappears forever.

Now we're back to something interesting, and something more than your average whodunnit.

Ccs posted:

At the same time, internal divisions in the Order become apparent and Cantus discovers Evroh is not what he appears.

This is back to piquing my interest. What internal divisions? Someone isn't who they appear?

Ccs posted:

A story about hubris, fear, and the occasional fireball, the self-contained novel Order of the Magi should appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles and KJ Parker’s Academic Exercises.

While neither Rothfuss nor Parker are names I immediately recognize, I like the setup in this sentence. It's got promise of something interesting; character development, maybe some trauma, and fireballs.

Ccs posted:

In particular wondering if the last sentence before the comparisons could be stronger as a hook. An alternative I'm playing with is:
"Meanwhile, centuries of peace have left the Magi unprepared for a growing new threat that may challenge the very fabric of their Order."

To be honest, this leaves me thinking "generic fantasy" more than anything.

All that said, I'm atrociously bad at blurbs myself. But I've gotten a lot of good help from peeking in this thread, so these are my blunt, unfiltered, immediate thoughts. I hope they can be of at least some value.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Seems mostly fine to me. Couple things:

Ccs posted:

But the Order has been too effective in its function, leaving the world with a mere smattering of hedge wizards as incompetent opponents.

I would try to rework this. In particular the phrase "too effective in its function" is dull and awkward.

quote:

Worse yet, his new partner Evroh is an ancient man who feels more at home in libraries than on the field of battle.

"more at home in the library," since it's followed by "the field of battle," but that's just personal preference.

quote:

When a seemingly simple mission leaves Cantus permanently disabled, he will journey to the center of the Auduwyn empire to track the rogue mage who can heal him before his magic disappears forever.

Probably drop "permanently," if the crux of the book is him seeking out healing? Maybe use a different description than "disabled" if what's happened to him is an inability or hampering of his ability to use magic, since "disabled" implies a physical problem. Also Auduwyn Empire should be capped if it's a proper noun.

quote:

A story about hubris, fear, and the occasional fireball, the self-contained novel Order of the Magi should appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles and KJ Parker’s Academic Exercises.

"Will" appeal not "should" appeal. Always back yourself.

quote:

"Meanwhile, centuries of peace have left the Magi unprepared for a growing new threat that may challenge the very fabric of their Order."

Yes - this is stronger than the phrase "internal divisions," which sounds like dull factional politics. I would change "unprepared for" to "vulnerable to" and "may" to "will."

Take everything I've said with a grain of salt because I also struggle with blurbs!

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Are you allowed to name drop other authors in your blurb? Thought that was disallowed.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




moana posted:

Are you allowed to name drop other authors in your blurb? Thought that was disallowed.

Hmm one of the "How to write blurbs" sites I checked said that if you don't have a pull quote from a major publication that compares you to similar books that are more famous, add it yourself. "It highlights Mark’s central marketing message: “If you like Jack Reacher, you’ll also like my John Milton books.” Just look at Mark’s cover designs, and you’ll see that this Reacher connection is no coincidence."

But maybe that's changed since the article was written.

pseudanonymous
Aug 30, 2008

When you make the second entry and the debits and credits balance, and you blow them to hell.

Ccs posted:

Hmm one of the "How to write blurbs" sites I checked said that if you don't have a pull quote from a major publication that compares you to similar books that are more famous, add it yourself. "It highlights Mark’s central marketing message: “If you like Jack Reacher, you’ll also like my John Milton books.” Just look at Mark’s cover designs, and you’ll see that this Reacher connection is no coincidence."

But maybe that's changed since the article was written.

I think it’s pretty common, trad book publishers do it all the time.

Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Yeah I did find one example on one of my favorite books, Marina and Sergey Dyanchenko's "The Scar'

"Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten."

Sadly I don't think those comparisons helped the book sell outstandingly well, as it was part of quartet and the other 3 were never translated.

pseudanonymous
Aug 30, 2008

When you make the second entry and the debits and credits balance, and you blow them to hell.

Ccs posted:

Yeah I did find one example on one of my favorite books, Marina and Sergey Dyanchenko's "The Scar'

"Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten."

Sadly I don't think those comparisons helped the book sell outstandingly well, as it was part of quartet and the other 3 were never translated.

I also don't think it helps there's another fantasy novel called The Scar.

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes



The name dropping rubs me slightly the wrong way but I can't explain why - it may just be my personal taste.

If you do go that route, though, I'd make it much clearer why you have name-dropped those particular series. At the moment, you have the following:

Ccs posted:

A story about hubris, fear, and the occasional fireball, the self-contained novel Order of the Magi should appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles and KJ Parker’s Academic Exercises.

It isn't apparent to me that the first half of your sentence (bold) has any relation to the series that you name. Is it supposed to? Having only read The Name Of The Wind and never heard of Academic Exercises I could maybe see the link regarding hubris to TNotW but that's about it. You need the blurb to sell to people who have never read your comp titles. Compare to the example you gave for The Scar

Ccs posted:

"Plotted with the sureness of Robin Hobb and colored with the haunting and ominous imagination of Michael Moorcock, The Scar tells a story that cannot be forgotten."

Even if I had never heard of Robin Hobb or Michael Moorcock, I still know exactly what attributes you are trying to sell me on. If I have heard of them or read them, even better.

I'm not saying you need to use this sentence structure exactly but as a potential reader I need to know what about those comparisons is going to appeal to me. After all, not everybody is going to like everything about your comparisons as novels themselves. Take TNotW - if you said "... will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss' elaborate magic systems" then I'm on board. If you said "... will appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss' rich world building", well, I can't remember a drat thing about his world beyond generic medieval european fantasy. Comp titles are a tool for highlighting the best parts of your book, not just name recognition.

Chris Pistols
Oct 20, 2008

Piss Crystals


First time posting in this thread, hope I can get a few pointers!

My Dad has been writing for a few years and started off with (what I would call) a vanity publisher. He fell out of love with that and self-published on Amazon. He's asked me for help with the Kindle advertising side of things and I'm desperate to help him, but I know there will be pitfalls that need to be avoided.

I'm not an author and the closest I got to the publishing industry was working in Waterstones for a few years. Before I start researching Kindle advertising, are there any big things I need to be aware of? He recently mentioned a 'must buy piece of software' that would help with Kindle advertising and, rightly or wrongly, that rang alarm bells with me.

I know it's cheeky asking for support when it's not even my own book, but I trust this website of strangers over other websites of strangers. Grateful for any advice you can offer!

Zaepho
Oct 31, 2013



Chris Pistols posted:

started off with (what I would call) a vanity publisher. He fell out of love with that and self-published on Amazon.

Cherry picking but the vanity publisher bit twigged me. Lets go back to the beginning. Has the book been through al least one round of professional editing?
Next up, consider the cover. Is it constructed/designed similarly to the books near the top of the rankings in the category? (Also is the book categorized correctly?)
Then the Blurb and Back Cover copy. These need to be good to get people to buy it.

I would work through those items before throwing money at getting people to the amazon purchase page. If the cover isn't great or the blurb isn't catchy/intriguing no matter how many people you get to land on that page it'll be a losing game.

pseudanonymous
Aug 30, 2008

When you make the second entry and the debits and credits balance, and you blow them to hell.

Chris Pistols posted:

First time posting in this thread, hope I can get a few pointers!

My Dad has been writing for a few years and started off with (what I would call) a vanity publisher. He fell out of love with that and self-published on Amazon. He's asked me for help with the Kindle advertising side of things and I'm desperate to help him, but I know there will be pitfalls that need to be avoided.

I'm not an author and the closest I got to the publishing industry was working in Waterstones for a few years. Before I start researching Kindle advertising, are there any big things I need to be aware of? He recently mentioned a 'must buy piece of software' that would help with Kindle advertising and, rightly or wrongly, that rang alarm bells with me.

I know it's cheeky asking for support when it's not even my own book, but I trust this website of strangers over other websites of strangers. Grateful for any advice you can offer!

What does your dad actually want? Like does he want to make money writing self published books on Amazon? That generally requires writing 4-6 books per year minimum and building up a back catalog. Does he just want to be heard or feel like a writer? I would try to find out what he really wants before you invest a lot of time or money.

Chris Pistols
Oct 20, 2008

Piss Crystals


Thanks, both!

Zaepho posted:

Cherry picking but the vanity publisher bit twigged me. Lets go back to the beginning. Has the book been through al least one round of professional editing?
Next up, consider the cover. Is it constructed/designed similarly to the books near the top of the rankings in the category? (Also is the book categorized correctly?)
Then the Blurb and Back Cover copy. These need to be good to get people to buy it.

I would work through those items before throwing money at getting people to the amazon purchase page. If the cover isn't great or the blurb isn't catchy/intriguing no matter how many people you get to land on that page it'll be a losing game.

This book hasn't been through professional editing, no. Having seen a lot of self-published stuff working in bookshops, I'd say the cover and blurb stand up pretty favourably against other YA books (and much better than his previous 3!). Not sure if it's the done thing to share Amazon links in this thread; he's very happy with his two 5 star reviews so far ("It's technically a 5 star rated book!") so I wouldn't want to ruin that by inviting criticism he hasn't sought out.

Everything I've read so far points to categorisation being key; I'll run through the prompts in the OP with him as a starting point!

pseudanonymous posted:

What does your dad actually want? Like does he want to make money writing self published books on Amazon? That generally requires writing 4-6 books per year minimum and building up a back catalog. Does he just want to be heard or feel like a writer? I would try to find out what he really wants before you invest a lot of time or money.

This is a great question and one I'm not certain he has an answer for himself. I think he mainly likes the idea of being an author: he's retired from his old field but still doesn't seem to click with the idea that creative fulfilment and commercial success don't necessarily go hand in hand. He's not worked in a creative industry before and I think this is a challenging lesson for him to learn.

What's clear is that he's not looking for input, feedback or criticism on his already published book; he just wants to reap whatever it is he's sown. If he has a stab at advertising and nobody picks up the book, I think he'd find peace with that. What I'm worried about is him putting money into a scam that preys on inexperienced authors. What software could be be talking about that helps with Kindle advertising? Why would you pay for that on top of what you'd be paying for the advertising in the first place? This could be a legit thing, this just isn't my industry and I can't say for sure either way!

Again, thanks for your answers. I know this feels like I'm asking "what plate should I serve food on to make people like it? Do not ask about what food is on the plate", but I'm just trying to be supportive without pouring cold water on what he's worked hard on!

Staggy
Mar 20, 2008

Said little bitch, you can't fuck with me if you wanted to
These expensive
These is red bottoms
These is bloody shoes



Chris Pistols posted:

What software could be be talking about that helps with Kindle advertising?

This is the only thing I can help with but this might - and I stress, might - be a reference to PublisherRocket.

It's a tool used to gather information on books on the Amazon store without having to manually search over and over. It can do things like evaluate the competition using a given keyword, suggest search terms for your book, show what terms and categories specific books are using, etc. For example, searching for the "young adult" keyword/phrase, I get the following:

From this I could see that while this is a potentially lucrative market it is also incredibly crowded (and as you can imagine, that estimated monthly earning is probably heavily distorted by the top players - think Harry Potter or Divergent) and I may wish to instead use a suggested alternative such as "young adult adventure" which is slightly less crowded.

Now, a lot of that information is available by just searching the Amazon store - a large benefit of the software is not having to do this over and over for each variation. This way you can choose useful (popular but not over-crowded) keywords - search terms that your book should display for - which may be what your dad is referring to by "helps with Kindle advertising".

It's certainly legitimate software and, at ~$116 including tax as a one-time purchase, it's probably not going to break the bank. It's by no means a requirement to self-publishing, though.

Probably worth checking with him what he's actually seen.

Spokes
Jan 9, 2010

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

Yeah, as stated before Publisher Rocket (formerly KDP Rocket) does a good job of showing niches where you might want to focus on writing/categorization/advertising. The other paid service worth noting is K-Lytics, which is more about writing to market rather than how to advertise something you already have.

Doing the bare minimum of research and getting the cover/blurb formatted appropriately for the category is a million times more important than any of this, tho

Chris Pistols
Oct 20, 2008

Piss Crystals


Enormously helpful, thanks a lot! Feel a lot more confident moving down this line now that I know what this software actually does. I think this is as much as I can help him without moving to to a more critical approach of his work (which neither of us want), so thanks very much for helping me with this.

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

Don't bother reading my posts. I'm an idiot shilling an e-book. I literally profit from shitposting.

Draft2Digital has just dropped 24Symbols as a distributor, no reason given. Anyone have any idea why?

Zaepho
Oct 31, 2013



divabot posted:

Draft2Digital has just dropped 24Symbols as a distributor, no reason given. Anyone have any idea why?

Looks like they were being excessively slow to pay based on the email sent.

Draft2Digital posted:

We have been closely monitoring 24Symbols for several months and have determined that the operational and accounting timelines of the platform do not currently meet the minimum requirements we have set for our distribution partners.

As a nice gesture, D2D are covering royalty payments due from 24Symbols to Authors/Publishers.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





I have a rough draft of a thing but I need someone to do a very very heavy edit on it, what would I google for something like this or what service is that

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


How rough are we talking? Have you done a self editing pass through it already? Have you tried getting feedback on it from a few trusted people? What are you looking for help with? Macro stuff (structure, plot, character) or micro stuff (prose, copy editing, proof reading)?

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





It's a rough but technically accurate translation of an out of print/copyright polish diamond in the rough (author is long dead with no next of kin etc), so plot/pacing wise it's really excellent, but needs a native english speaker to do some, uh, treatment and bring it up to literary grade

Not really sure if this is the right thread, but it's called self publishing, and that's what I'd be doing

Leng
May 13, 2006

One song / Glory
One song before I go / Glory
One song to leave behind


No other road
No other way
No day but today


Sounds like you're looking for somebody to go over the prose. From the fiction writing advice thread OP:

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

EDITING

If you don’t bother to edit, you are just quitting in the middle.

As with everything in writing, there are tons and tons of ways to edit. I’m going to talk a bit about “levels” of editing, what things to consider and look for when editing, and then some “tips and tricks.”

Levels of Editing

It is not helpful to finish your first draft, scroll back up to the first paragraph, and start looking for punctuation mistakes. First consider your book as a whole, then start narrowing your focus, in steps. Punctuation mistakes are last. Don’t spend time fixing punctuation mistakes when you might just delete the whole scene (or chapter, sigh….) later.

Book Level

At this level, it actually does not matter what exact words you have on the page. What matters is what happens and why. Does the flow of events make sense, especially based on the characters and their motivations? Where can it be made stronger? Tighter? More interesting? This is level where I’ve rearranged when things happen in the story, added subplots, deleted subplots, added foreshadowing, revised character goals so their actions are consistent throughout the story, and decided to eliminate what appeared to be a major character (everything he did could be done by someone else, and it would make things more simple and more interesting).

A high-level summary of your book should make sense. Get it to that point before continuing. If you don’t have a solid story, making different parts of it better isn’t going to magically transform it into a solid story.

Chapter and Scene Level

Once you have a solid story, make sure that everything in the story is actually on the page. Do you have the scenes you need? Do people do what needs to be done and say what needs to be said in the scene? Is there a balance between action, dialogue, and description that is appropriate for the scene?

At this point, it’s also useful to start looking at the items mentioned in the macro-level critique section below: POV, motivation, tension, tone, voice.

Line Edits
Finally we get to the point of really looking at the words, sentence by sentence! The guidelines for doing line edits on your own are the same as for doing line edits for others, as described in the next post.

Proofreading/Copy Editing
Get all your grammar and punctuation right. I find this extremely difficult to do for myself, because once I’ve read, rewritten, and read again, I’ve become blind to misplaced commas.

Since you're doing a translation, it sounds like you're after a line edit:

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

There are more detailed styles of crits, as well!

Line Edits

A line edit looks at the story sentence by sentence, pinpointing specific places where things go wrong and ways that the story could use improvement. It covers the same things as a Macro-Level Critique, but on a more precise level, often identifying exactly where something went off the rails.

A non-exclusive list of other things to address:
- Effectiveness (or not) of the beginning of the story in hooking the reader, and why
- Confusing sentences
- Awkward Phrasing
- Passive voice (the ball was thrown vs. Bill threw the ball)
- Weak words (usually will be words that are generic/imprecise, often accompanied by a modifier. Big house v. Mansion. Sometimes appropriate, but can make prose weak.)
- Over-use of the thesaurus (opposite of above, yes you could say Bill defenestrated Jane, but you should really say “Bill threw her out the goddamned window!”)
- Ineffective (and probably unintentional) repetition of words/phrases
- Failures in pacing (e.g. this paragraph drags on forever)
- Incorrectly used words
- Words that are technically used correctly, but still don’t fit well
- Similes and metaphors that don’t work/are confusing/are distracting
- Where things are too vague
- Information that feels superfluous (please, no more info on clam lifecycle, thank you)
- Dialogue that goes on for too long or feels unnatural or doesn’t make sense
- Unanswered questions that hurt the story
- Punctuation problems, especially ones that lead to confusing sentences (as you notice them, this isn’t proofreading)

If there are problems in the story that are too big to address in a line-by-line, everyone is better off if you just do a Macro Crit. A line-by-line doesn't help, because the problems are over-arching, even if there are a bunch of punctuation and word-choice problems piled on top of them. If a story fails on a structural level, there's no point in explaining how adverbs work, because even if you fixed all of the superficial problems, the underlying story would still fail.

Line-by-line doesn't make sense until the problems are on a line-by-line level. When they are deeper than that, a summary crit may be all that is useful or possible. And sometimes all you can say is "I have no idea what the gently caress just happened." That’s a useful crit if it’s true!

Copy Editing/Proofreading
These aren’t really critiques, but instead fix technical errors.

Line Edits:
Formatting these for full inclusion sucks, so links (thanks flerp!):
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3758791&pagenumber=39&perpage=40#post458776782
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3758791&userid=208822&perpage=40&pagenumber=8#post467541193

There's a few editors listed in the OP that you could try as a starting point. Not sure of what your budget is, but editors will charge either by the word, page or hour.

As a starting point, you might want to post a sample in the crit thread first just to see what the feedback is like and whether it's within your ability to address. If so, it would probably be worth it to do a second pass through and address the feedback before you spring money for an editor to comb through the whole thing.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004





Ah this is extremely useful, thank you!

Boba Pearl
Dec 27, 2019

She / Her

I do CYOA's on the Forums a Webcomic, and An Eldritch Facility Mystery

Everyday you try, you get a little better. Never give up!


I want to write a book, but I also want to use my own illustrations in it, either full color or black and white. Is there a way to self-publish a book that has illustrations in it? What are the limits? How do images work on e-readers?

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!




Boba Pearl posted:

I want to write a book, but I also want to use my own illustrations in it, either full color or black and white. Is there a way to self-publish a book that has illustrations in it? What are the limits? How do images work on e-readers?

Illustrations on e-readers? Welcome to Hell, buddy. Every single reader will handle them differently. You will get 1-star reviews from people with the Kindle app on their phones that they can't make out your pictures. E-Ink devices will randomly decide all your colors are actually the same shade of gray, just because they can.

It's doable. You can make it work. It's going to hurt getting there, though.

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

Don't bother reading my posts. I'm an idiot shilling an e-book. I literally profit from shitposting.

best I've found:

* black and white line art
* hand-edit the epub with arcane XHTML trickery - a construct like this is what I used to full-page a couple of B+W illustrations in my most recent:

<div><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" version="1.1" width="100%" height="100%" viewBox="0 0 553 574"><image width="553" height="574" xlink:href="images/image.png"/></svg></div>

- the magick there is the 100% width and height, and the viewBox matching the pixel dimensions of the image

* check in the Kindle Previewer app to make sure it doesn't gently caress it up
* check in every epub reader to make sure it doesn't gently caress it up
* make it pass epubcheck ... you poor bastard
* swear a lot

jonboy8871
Sep 25, 2003
What the deuce?



Edit: We got it figured out.

jonboy8871 fucked around with this message at 03:43 on Feb 20, 2021

Thumbtacks
Apr 3, 2013


I have a question that I'm not 100% sure fits in here but it kinda does so I'll ask anyway.

My wife has a decently successful but small blog, a few thousand pageviews a week I think. She used to run a tumblr with the same content with like 40,000+ subscribers or followers or whatever Tumblr has but for a variety of reasons, mainly the fact that it's Tumblr, she shut her page down and moved to a blog so she can have a bit more control over it and the content and stuff. Posts roughly once or twice a month, hopes to post a bit more.

I've noticed that she has a tendency to worry a lot when people have negative things to say or don't respond necessarily positively to the content (both on the blog and the tumblr), and I feel like I'm not very equipped to actually help her. She put up a post earlier today and with every post she sends out an email saying it was recently updated to a subscriber list and she's hunched over her computer watching the unsubscribe number and every time there's another one (she's at 3 unsubscribed on this email with ~800 subscribers) she keeps asking me if she did something wrong or if people don't like the content or something.

I've read it and she's good at what she does, it's a very niche community and topic so even for the numbers she's pulling she's doing great. But I don't think I'm really qualified to give advice on it, because my advice is pretty much just "yeah but 797 people did like it and actively asked for you to tell them when you upload something" or "just don't worry about it" which isn't "advice" and I feel bad whenever I say it.

I'm assuming you guys have had your fair share of (likely more severe) rejections or negative feedback, what's some advice from actual authors that might help?

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Anybody who runs a small business and copes with Tripadvisor etc will be able to tell you that people are far, far more likely to complain or disagree than praise - in fact I am guilty of this myself as a customer - so what you see coming back in is disproportionate.

I mostly get positive reviews but I'll freely admit that the bad ones bother me more than the good ones make me feel good. I think that's true for lots of people. We're still basically chimpanzees and aren't wired to take criticism well! Unfortunately I can't offer any more advice than what you're already giving her: those 797 people, even if they're silent, like what you're doing, so try to focus on that rather than the complainers.

Calico Heart
Mar 22, 2012

"wich the worst part was what troll face did to sonic's corpse after words wich was rape it. at that point i looked away"





Hey there fellow goons. I recently finished my first Tabletop RPG, DEAD IN THE WEST, after it was funded on Kickstarter. I have about 85 physical copies to ship off, but I'm ordering 120 in total. I've ordered extras to give to several local gaming shops, who have seemed interested in the product.

I have an incredibly basic-bitch baby question: ... How much do I sell the book to the distributors for, per book? I ordered 120 books which came to £1974, or £16.45 per book. I'm selling the digital edition online for £16.49 on gumroad and backers paid £26 for the physical release when the project launched. I'd like to be making a profit here and I know this is incredibly basic stuff, but I am like little baby to this world and don't know what price I should name for retailers.

I must say, even by my own admission, the book is THICK and looks really nice.

And if any goons are interested, you can get the Digital Edition PDF here, and go ahead and use the code "goonsgowest" for a discount.

Calico Heart fucked around with this message at 16:11 on Feb 26, 2021

Zaepho
Oct 31, 2013



Calico Heart posted:

I have an incredibly basic-bitch baby question: ... How much do I sell the book to the distributors for, per book?

Booksellers typically pay 50% or less of the retail/cover price and demand full return rights for 100% refund.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


whoops sorry, wrong thread. I'm dumb.

brotherly fucked around with this message at 11:42 on Feb 28, 2021

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Your book looks cool as hell but that print cost is wild. We only deal with perfect bound but on a $3 cost we want to sell for $19.95-24.95. This involves dealing with distributors taking 40-55% discount.

I don’t know much about hardcover but I’m under the impression that manufacturing is all in China. Were you dealing with someone there directly? Printing is all about volume and often times 2000 copies is nearly the same price as 500.

Quite an accomplishment to produce a work like what you did, congrats.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Has anyone tried to publish in Spanish? Any tips/pointers on getting started. We have no in house Spanish speakers and I think the fees to get started might be too high.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I have started my very first non-romance project and it's doing "pretty well" (hard to say for sure since I've never done this before).

It's a LitRPG that I am putting up chapter-by-chapter onto Royal Road. The LitRPG elements are fairly light in this compared to most LitRPGs. It's a lot more fantasy and a lot less "watching numbers go up." It's really close to cracking the front page of Royal Road, so if any of you read and and enjoy it, please consider giving me a star rating (just the rating, not a review) and it can likely get me to the front page.

I have a Patreon for the book which just hit $100/month. The top end I've seen from stories like this on Royal Road is over $5,000/month, but I have no clue if I am realistically on target to hit anything like that.

Royal Road is a site with a lot of really active readers who are willing to pay to "subscribe" to stories that they read chapter by chapter. When you subscribe to an author on Patreon, you usually are just getting to "read ahead of the release schedule," but a lot of people are willing to pay like that to continue binge reading and to support authors. It's the first time I've done something like this, and I think it's a cool way to get writing in front of people who actually will want to read it, vs. just throwing it on Amazon with no promo and having it die immediately.

Anyway, I am shamelessly plugging my poo poo here, but to bring it in and make it more on topic, if you have any questions about this method of publishing or want to ask me about how to make it profitable, please ask away and I'll try to answer I'm planning to double-dip and make this an Amazon release in KU after it's done on Royal Road.

Here is the book, cover, blurb, etc.: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/41003/bronze-sun-the-red-smith-litrpg-crafting



quote:

Adrian had never started a fight in his life, but then his best friend stole his girlfriend. He knew it would be trouble when he tried to get her back, but he didn’t expect it would get him killed.

He woke up in a bronze-age world full of magic, with a blacksmith’s hammer in one hand, and a pickaxe in the other.

The higher-dimensional beings that sent him here have told him to break the world of Antium. It’s forbidden for anyone outside of the guilds to learn magic, so what better way to break everything than to use forbidden Red Magic to craft armor and weapons more powerful than Antium has ever seen?

But before he can even craft his first piece of armor, he’ll have to fight his way out of the infested forest with nothing but a rusty sword and his smithing tools.

He’s one of many that has been sent in to shake things up and breathe new life into a dying world. If the others are sent to shatter the world, then Adrian will be the one to build it back up to something glorious, even if he has to do it one bronze ingot at a time.

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Ccs
Feb 25, 2011




Hmm that's an interesting idea, I'm publishing something in April on Kindle Unlimited, as I hadn't considered Royal Road and it's ilk (Wattpad, etc.) to be serious ventures.

If I have something up on Amazon KDP for a year and have paid for some promotion and it's still not doing any numbers, should I consider taking it off KDP Select and putting it on other sites? I'm not really looking for money, mostly just readers, and I have an amazing cover from a big name illustrator (I'm hoping him sharing the cover around when it releases will help download numbers, cause he's has hundreds of thousands of followers across his social networks.)

This is all sort of a vanity project for me as a way to express some unencumbered creativity as my day job as a "creative" is just working inside some insipid client scripts. The fact that I might make some money on it is more of an inconvenience come tax time.

What's your release schedule like?

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