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DropTheAnvil
May 16, 2021


Leng posted:

So there are three big authortube channels making trending "unpopular writing opinions" videos that have all said they agree with the hot take "indie/self-publishing well requires financial privilege", which made me kind of mad. Mad enough to make a 13 minute video about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_D-9JXCRHg

I don't fully understand what the context is around self-publishing requires financial privilege. I do know people can have polarizing opinions around privilege, so I don't want to go in with a half-assed response here. I'm gonna watch the videos you sourced from and come back if I have anything worthwhile to add.


newts posted:

Okay, guys. I havenít posted in here before because I havenít had a reason to. But I wrote a book. Now I need a cover for my Mystery/Detective/Sci-Fi novel. Itís the first in a series. Please tell me how much it sucks.



Looks cool. Judging by the cover I believe this is a mystery novel, with a woman being a central character. Would flip over and read blurb. Send a link when it's out!

Below is only minor nitpicks:
I don't know what "joint-investigation" is, or rather, I don't know why I should care. "A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" on the front cover tells me what to expect, and what the novel is about.

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newts
Oct 10, 2012


DropTheAnvil posted:

Looks cool. Judging by the cover I believe this is a mystery novel, with a woman being a central character. Would flip over and read blurb. Send a link when it's out!

Cool! Itís working :)

quote:

Below is only minor nitpicks:
I don't know what "joint-investigation" is, or rather, I don't know why I should care. "A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" on the front cover tells me what to expect, and what the novel is about.

Yeah, Iím just having trouble picking a good series nameóthey all sound super lame to me.

ETA: Updated based on feedback:

newts fucked around with this message at 00:12 on Aug 23, 2021

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




I'd make the title smaller, it's crowding the artwork. Or just move it down a bit and put the author name up top. I wouldn't let the title go higher than where the raincoat ends.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


ravenkult posted:

I'd make the title smaller, it's crowding the artwork. Or just move it down a bit and put the author name up top. I wouldn't let the title go higher than where the raincoat ends.

Thanks! Iíll try that out.

DropTheAnvil
May 16, 2021


Leng posted:

So there are three big authortube channels making trending "unpopular writing opinions" videos that have all said they agree with the hot take "indie/self-publishing well requires financial privilege", which made me kind of mad. Mad enough to make a 13 minute video about it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_D-9JXCRHg
/rant over

So I watched the videos you sourced. Something to note is all of the videos are answering the same question, and they all reference each other's channels.

The question is too vague to answer correctly, so I think everyone hedged their bets. You even touched on it in your video, the question asked is "To do Indie publishing well (... more details ...) takes a level of financial privilege that many don't have. Well is vague and each response covers things from marketing, editing and even profitability.

If I ignored how vague the question was, I would agree with the videos you sourced. Taking a look at developmental editing costs, at 9 cents a word, an 80,000 word manuscript can cost $7,000 just for a developmental edit https://marykole.com/how-much-does-an-editor-cost. That gets into numbers where people may not have the money to take that gamble. I haven't researched into marketing, or covers, but I think to do "Well" in those categories, the costs there are hitting a thousand dollars.

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


DropTheAnvil posted:

So I watched the videos you sourced. Something to note is all of the videos are answering the same question, and they all reference each other's channels.

Yes, that's the nature of YouTube. The original question came up as a response to an anonymous survey Kate Cavanaugh ran on her channel, then her video elicited responses.

DropTheAnvil posted:

If I ignored how vague the question was, I would agree with the videos you sourced. Taking a look at developmental editing costs, at 9 cents a word, an 80,000 word manuscript can cost $7,000 just for a developmental edit https://marykole.com/how-much-does-an-editor-cost. That gets into numbers where people may not have the money to take that gamble. I haven't researched into marketing, or covers, but I think to do "Well" in those categories, the costs there are hitting a thousand dollars.

Yeah, no one is contending it doesn't take money. It does take money.

My point is that to jump from "it takes money" to "it requires financial privilege" ignores a whole heap of things. It ignores considerations like access to financing (other than from your own pocket), start up costs and risks relative to other industries but mostly it ignores that there's difference between people who are self publishing as a hobbyist and people who are self publishing in order to earn income.

The cost for a book doesn't change depending on whether it's being published by a traditional publisher vs a self publisher. The difference is, in self publishing, you're also starting a business as a publisher, in addition to being an author.

If you're in this just because you want your name on the cover of a book, that's cool, but that's also a hobby, and just like any other hobby, if you want to produce something that's at professional standards, then yeah, it's gonna be an expensive hobby and I won't argue that expensive hobbies require financial privilege.

But if you're in this to earn income, then calling it a financial privilege is a real stretch and makes light of things that are actually privileges. You'd have to call starting any other small business (like a restaurant) an endeavor that requires financial privilege too, and self publishing is considerably less risky in comparison, given how little you actually have to front up in investment costs.

Camo Guitar
Jul 15, 2009


I'm been wondering how to spruce up my rough looking $30 Gumtree writing desk for a while and then it finally dawned on me. A couple of minutes with the work printer printing out my covers and under the removable glass top they go! Now spill proof and also inspiration when I get stuck on my latest work in progress while thinking 'Well this isn't going anywhere, let's start again...'




One more space left for whatever I write next. When I finally get around to it..

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


Amazon KDP just went wide with their hardcover printing beta. Everybody who has ever wanted to do a hardcover but didn't want to hassle with IngramSpark, login to your Bookshelf now!

(unless you're publishing with square/custom trim sizes like me, in which case continue to grit your teeth and bear with IngramSpark...)

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


Leng posted:

Amazon KDP just went wide with their hardcover printing beta. Everybody who has ever wanted to do a hardcover but didn't want to hassle with IngramSpark, login to your Bookshelf now!

(unless you're publishing with square/custom trim sizes like me, in which case continue to grit your teeth and bear with IngramSpark...)

had a look at this, didn't get around to working out the resizing of my cover art

but I absolutely concur: OFFER A HARDBACK. I got this advice from a self-pub author who finds it useful for pinning a high price point, thus making his paperback and ebook look cheaper by comparison. He'd previously do the hardback through Lulu, but this will increase the convenience.

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


Annnnnnnd KDP are doing that thing where I can't ship a proof copy of the hardcover to an Australian shipping address.

:suicide:

I might have to do the thing where I just live publish it and then sneak order a copy to myself to double check. Whhhhhhy.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

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

Anyone have a recommendation for a layout person that can do simple interior layouts with some photos. These are simple non fiction books (about dogs).

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


Leng posted:

I might have to do the thing where I just live publish it and then sneak order a copy to myself to double check. Whhhhhhy.

Annnnnnnd 3 days later, my hardcover is live. But I STILL can't ship a copy to Australia because apparently "the book is not available for Australian customers right now". WHHHHHHY???? It's a book! You can ship it anywhere!?!??!?! I do not get it.

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

Well, maybe it needs more stickers?

In other news I started posting my web serial on royal road and itís been an experience.

https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/46687/red-mist

Have a look and see if my multiple rounds of edits have made it any good! 3 chapters are up and Iíve started queuing up a week ahead.

I think that doing review swaps has helped a bunch but thatís a whole thing on its own and I hope to have a bigger picture in a month.

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

White Chocolate posted:

Well, maybe it needs more stickers?

In other news I started posting my web serial on royal road and itís been an experience.

https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/46687/red-mist

Have a look and see if my multiple rounds of edits have made it any good! 3 chapters are up and Iíve started queuing up a week ahead.

I think that doing review swaps has helped a bunch but thatís a whole thing on its own and I hope to have a bigger picture in a month.

Dropped from 34,000th to like 3,860 after two weeks of consistency, so itís not very difficult to get up there, but I think thereís some strategy to it.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Author bios. If youíre publishing under a pen name, how truthful and specific do you get? Or how vague? My gut is to be truthful but not include anything really identifiable.

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


newts posted:

Author bios. If youíre publishing under a pen name, how truthful and specific do you get? Or how vague? My gut is to be truthful but not include anything really identifiable.

It's part of your marketing, treat it as such.

Doom Mathematic
Sep 1, 2008


Leng posted:

Annnnnnnd 3 days later, my hardcover is live. But I STILL can't ship a copy to Australia because apparently "the book is not available for Australian customers right now". WHHHHHHY???? It's a book! You can ship it anywhere!?!??!?! I do not get it.

As I understand it there are actually laws about this. I think the idea is to protect publishers in the country in question from being undercut by insanely cheap publications coming from outside the country? Or something like that?

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Now I have a new question! Iím currently trying to format my manuscript for paperback, but Iíve run into a problem I canít solve.
I figure there must be someone else here who has formatted a manuscript for paperback using MS Word and dealt with similar issues, so why not?

I want to have a fancy first line to start off each new chapter, as you do, but Word adds extra spacing after this line, like so:



I know the issue is caused by the large font size of the first letter. And the most common suggestion to fix is to change the line spacing from Ďsingleí to Ďexactlyí in the Paragraph dialogue box. However, no combination of lines selected, or specified point sizes seems to fix the issue for me: I can squeeze that extra space between the first two lines down, but lines further down now have huge spaces. Nothing has worked!

I realize using a drop cap on that first letter (instead of the larger font size) would solve this issue, but drop caps donít work for me either: the letter is always cut off at either the top or the bottom. I canít fix this after hours of work. Iím totally stuck. Iíve been all over the internet trying to find a solution to this problem, but I justÖ canít. Unfortunately, Iím stuck with Word.

Anyone have any suggestions? Iím pulling my hair out here.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Using Word for layout is an exercise in futility.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



divabot posted:

It's part of your marketing, treat it as such.

I think newts is asking, what's the morality of inventing a wholly fictional biography and persona for your penname, rather than just writing vaguely-but-truthfully about yourself?

newts
Oct 10, 2012


ravenkult posted:

Using Word for layout is an exercise in futility.

I know it is, but this is what I have to work with right now :(

Fuschia tude posted:

I think newts is asking, what's the morality of inventing a wholly fictional biography and persona for your penname, rather than just writing vaguely-but-truthfully about yourself?

Yeah, this. Sorry, I shouldíve been more clear: Do people using pen names also use fictional biography details?

Madurai
Jun 26, 2012



First experience using the Kindle formatting app: surprisingly not terrible. I managed to convert a book into publishable format on the first try, without having to export through Scrivener a dozen times with increasing levels of screaming each time.

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

I used the epub generator that you get from royal road premium andÖ itís not terrible??? My book isnít done but for five dollars a month you can get it just put into the right format easily. Anyone that wants to see the result, Iíll gladly send it to you.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Those of you doing KDP hardcovers, interested in your reviews and/or photos when the copies come in. I know it may never be as high-quality as Ingram's or as pretty as a dust jacket, but I'm glad they're dipping their toe into those waters, and it can only get better from here, presumably!

I have kind of stepped away from fiction this year, most of my creative time was spent with my first love, scripts. But I knew I wanted to do something about our first post-pandemic Halloween, and maybe do something a little different (just a little) from my John-Hughes-ish Halloween romcoms. Giveaway ensuesÖ



Samantha hates her job, her debt and her general circumstances, and if that werenít enough, her first post-pandemic Halloween isnít shaping up to be any fun. Unenthused about the prospect of another day (and week and month and year) stuck working in a boring health food store, Samantha hopes that dressing as a witch will help recapture the magic in her lifeÖ or at least conjure up a little Halloween fun.

But when a mysterious black cat crosses her path, Samanthaís holiday hijinks take a turn for the weird, culminating in a spooky confrontation with the scariest horror of all: her own future.

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 wistful-yet-witchy short story explores the mysteries of improvised cat care, growing up, and whatís really important in life.

Free through Sunday Oct 24: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B09JDGJBKM/



Fuschia tude posted:

I think newts is asking, what's the morality of inventing a wholly fictional biography and persona for your penname, rather than just writing vaguely-but-truthfully about yourself?

Purely on a gut level I say go for it. Especially if you're writing fiction. If you're concerned about ethics, don't make yourself sound more "qualified" than you are or give yourself expertise you don't have (like, don't write a story about the police and have your pen name claim he did X years with the NYPD). JK Rowling did something like that with Robert Galbraith, which makes me inclined to side-eye her, but maybe we're just all used to side-eyeing Rowling these daysÖ

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at 16:21 on Oct 20, 2021

White Chocolate
Jan 23, 2007
Sweat Baby, sweat baby

Thatís awesome. When I order my author copies Iíll make sure to show the results.

My question is, what kind of awards merit recognition as a self-published author? Winning a watty? NY times bestsellers? #1 on their genre on amazon?

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


Icon-Cat posted:

Those of you doing KDP hardcovers, interested in your reviews and/or photos when the copies come in. I know it may never be as high-quality as Ingram's or as pretty as a dust jacket, but I'm glad they're dipping their toe into those waters, and it can only get better from here, presumably!

My hardcover for my low content book came in last week. Pages are still somewhat see-through but it was better than I expected. Sorry about the lighting, but hopefully this gives you a good idea.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


How does the hardback paper and printing compare to the paperbacks?

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Hm - based on that, the cover is nicer than I was expecting, the paper worse. Although maybe the see-through-paper issue is only a problem because your pages have so much white on them to see the other side, it doesn't look bad when I'm looking at your text and graphics, only the white space. Thanks!

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


Ya know how big publishers are having a paper shortage right now? Gossip it's hitting Amazon print on demand too.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AaronFown/status/1452252280913371140

I sell signed books from a box I ordered (maybe a pair a week?) - might be worth getting a spare box in while I can.

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


divabot posted:

How does the hardback paper and printing compare to the paperbacks?

Icon-Cat posted:

Hm - based on that, the cover is nicer than I was expecting, the paper worse. Although maybe the see-through-paper issue is only a problem because your pages have so much white on them to see the other side, it doesn't look bad when I'm looking at your text and graphics, only the white space. Thanks!
My KDP paperback is a kid's book with full color interior so it's not exactly comparing apples to apples. But I do feel like the paper is similar - there is some slight transparency in white spaces (especially if one side has a lot of color and the illustration on the other side is a smaller spot as opposed to a spread) but overall it's okay. I like the IngramSpark printing better, personally.

divabot posted:

Ya know how big publishers are having a paper shortage right now? Gossip it's hitting Amazon print on demand too.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AaronFown/status/1452252280913371140

I sell signed books from a box I ordered (maybe a pair a week?) - might be worth getting a spare box in while I can.

This was only a matter of time. Pretty glad I decided to delay my second book to next year!

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Hey, guys! I just published my book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KP5NVZ1/ Itís a Mystery/Sci-fi thing. More detective fiction than sci-fi, I suppose.

I didnít post much in here, but the thread was an invaluable resource. I worked on this from start to finish in the Creative Convention forum, so it really feels like an SA baby :love: Not really sure if I care if it sells at all because Itís been mostly a fun learning experience. Spent zero dollars (but not zero effort) and this is the result. Yes, I know my cover is not the best. And my blurb could be better. Iím okay with it right now.

Got a sequel in the works now, so Iíll start caring more once thatís ready to go.

DropTheAnvil
May 16, 2021


Would you be able to talk more about how you formatted your ebook?

newts
Oct 10, 2012


DropTheAnvil posted:

Would you be able to talk more about how you formatted your ebook?

I just used Kindle Create, which worked fine for me because I didnít have anything fancy. I basically formatted the book in a docx file, using styles for formatting, and imported that into the app, which spits out an editable file. There, you can customize it a little bit: adding drop caps, making a ToC, and changing how it looks. Not many options, but a few.

The issues with it are that you canít preview the actual ebook on your own devices (you can use the Kindle Previewer which isnít always accurate). It also produces a file type thatís, as far as I understand it, proprietary to Amazon, so you canít use it anywhere else. Also, the ĎLook Insideí feature reads the formatting in a different way than most devices, so while it looks fine on Kindle, it looks wonky in the ĎLook Insideí (which is something Amazon should really get on top of).

I am probably the least-qualified person to ask because I just chose the easiest route.

John Cenas Jorts
Dec 21, 2012


Follow the advice in this thread and you too can have a #1 NEW RELEASE in an INCREDIBLY NICHE category on the Kindle Store

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

A polite little mouse!


Ultra niches are great. The loved one just released an album on Bandcamp and it made #1 in Light Music and #5 in Modern Classical!!

on sales of 4 downloads

And #1 in Mood. It's officially a big Mood.

here it is

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Camo Guitar
Jul 15, 2009


Anyone else doing discounts for Black Friday? While it's probably in the minor leagues compared to some of the authors on here, 11 book sales so far today has finally got me across the $100 US payout threshold for Aussie authors so I'm stoked!

(Just don't ask me how many years it took to get there..)

I mean who wouldn't want some cyberpunk fiction to go with their new bargain fridge? Wait..

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