Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Looks like Kindlemas is over for me. Had an incredible few days right after Christmas, and the elevated sales continued until Jan 5th. Then my borrows dropped 30%, and they're still falling.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


I posted this question earlier, but no one answered: obviously romance is where the big money is, but how does fantasy do, comparably? Is it worth it at all?

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


I honestly have no idea. My first novel was a fantasy that sold literally one copy. Ever.

That being said, I knew jack poo poo about marketing, cover design, anything back in 2009. Someone with more than half a brain stem might've done much better. :v:

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


Also: speaking of marketing. I've read your posts about sending out ARCs, but you said you got people's attention via a mailing list, which I obviously don't have yet. Are there other ways of finding reviewers? Legitimate reviewers, of course.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


There are review groups via Goodreads that you can hit up, KBoards (maybe?), other reading sites you might know, maybe The Book Barn here, etc etc. You could also book a review tour with some blog company and find people willing to read and review your book.

Heck, you could even see if your local library has reading groups who will do local authors and review them if they liked it. I haven't gone to that level yet, but hey.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

chthonic bell posted:

Also: speaking of marketing. I've read your posts about sending out ARCs, but you said you got people's attention via a mailing list, which I obviously don't have yet. Are there other ways of finding reviewers? Legitimate reviewers, of course.

What might help is having a very strong and convenient call-to-action in your backmatter. An embedded link that brings them right to their Amazon account where they can leave a review for your book. Book blog tours and stuff sound time consuming, and that's probably time better spent writing your next book. Nothing is better promo for your current book than your next book (with the exception of something like BookBub).

By The Horns
Aug 6, 2012

When in doubt, always correct to "pounding"


chthonic bell posted:

I posted this question earlier, but no one answered: obviously romance is where the big money is, but how does fantasy do, comparably? Is it worth it at all?

About 40% of the books currently in Kindle Store Top 100 Bestselling Fantasy books are actually romance books, with about half of them being self-published. I didn't see much in the way of self-published non-romance fantasy in there. Well, there's Blake Crouch stuff, but that's really more Sci-Fi/Thriller than fantasy.

There are some people who do OK with it I guess, but those that do tend to be with big novels and I rarely see them ranked any higher than several people here regularly get with short erotica and romance and I can't see how they're particularly profitable or making a living. There might be some people who push out a lot of serials, but in terms of genre fiction, and outside of romance, I can't recall a straight-up fantasy series I've seen do well. It's more military SF or post-apocalyptic stuff.

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


Hrm. Well, thank you for the input.

Looks like I might have to switch gears and pump out some post-apocalyptic stuff before doing the fantasy project I've got my heart set on.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Also - there's nothing wrong with doing a project you have your heart set on. A lot of us are gung-ho about "WRITE FOR THE MONEY" and all that, but we're also either career writers or trying to break out of our day jobs and become career writers. It's totally okay to write a book for a market that might not sell if you want to write it. You just ought to know your odds of selling before jumping in so that you can set your expectations accordingly.

I may have only sold one loving copy of my fantasy novel, but I enjoyed every second of writing it anyway. :3:

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


Well, I want to write my baby project and make money. :v: A conventional job is not an option for me right now.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


chthonic bell posted:

Well, I want to write my baby project and make money. :v: A conventional job is not an option for me right now.

If a conventional job is not an option for you (and I totally get it) then the only genre that you don't need to be lucky in to succeed is erotica. We don't discuss erotica here, though. Other genres are VERY hit or miss.

Of course if you're still living in your parents basement and there's no "write or starve" ultimatum over your head, you might as well get started on your fantasy career now.

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



Two days ago I thought to myself I should come to CC and see if there was a self-publishing thread, as I started self-publishing this summer and have been really enjoying it so far.

Two days later, I finally made it to the end of the thread! I have some questions!

1. Sean has recommended a few times the title "Let's Get Visible" by David Gaughran when romance writing is brought up. Is this book useful to authors not writing in erotica/romance?

2. I feel like I'm walking into a club of old friends when I read the thread. It's been mentioned that moana is a New York Times Bestselling author; is there somewhere I can see her work? And for those of you who have been published, do you have links to your stuff on Amazon? I'd like to poke through it. As far as I can tell no links have come up in the thread, so perhaps its a rule that I didn't notice outlined in the OP.

3. The OP is great. I'd love to see a brief section outlining what works best in pricing, such as: Free for the first five days using Select, then $0.99 for short stories (won't sell unless it's erotica) and $2.99 for pretty much everything else. That would be really helpful I think as a new user going over the OP for the first time.

Lastly, I have a template for HTML formatting KDP titles that I'd be willing to share for new authors who aren't happy with trying to write their own HTML. Is that something that would benefit the thread?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


ExtraNoise posted:

1. Sean has recommended a few times the title "Let's Get Visible" by David Gaughran when romance writing is brought up. Is this book useful to authors not writing in erotica/romance?

Yes absolutely. it's completely genre-neutral, somewhat mathy, and in fact many of the techniques in it are completely unable to be used with erotica. I wouldn't take the author's catalog as an indication of whether the book is worthwhile or not in this case. David Gaughran himself is the author of like Spanish historical novels that don't sell. I'd like to think that someone who has written a book like "Let's Get Visible" is self aware enough to know that he knows more or less how to get a horse to water but the water he's providing is pretty unappealing.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


EngineerSean posted:

If a conventional job is not an option for you (and I totally get it) then the only genre that you don't need to be lucky in to succeed is erotica. We don't discuss erotica here, though. Other genres are VERY hit or miss.

Of course if you're still living in your parents basement and there's no "write or starve" ultimatum over your head, you might as well get started on your fantasy career now.

How much luck is involved in Romance? Seems like that's the most lucrative, even more than erotica.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


If you're already used to writing novels, it can be very lucrative for sure. However, shorts don't sell in it (like any genre but erotica). You can find yourself spending a ton of time on something that sells a single copy. My wife and I took a month off erotica to write our first novel, and it didn't even pay off the money we spent on cover and advertisement (it has by now for sure but not by the second novel, released four months later). This is, of course, a potential problem that literally any novelist in any genre is going to run into.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


ExtraNoise posted:

As far as I can tell no links have come up in the thread, so perhaps its a rule that I didn't notice outlined in the OP.
I don't post my pen names here just to make it a bit harder for the people who hate me from back when I was a mod to dig up my poo poo and 1-star my books, but if you PM me I'm happy to share (your inbox is full btw)

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


EngineerSean posted:

If you're already used to writing novels, it can be very lucrative for sure. However, shorts don't sell in it (like any genre but erotica). You can find yourself spending a ton of time on something that sells a single copy. My wife and I took a month off erotica to write our first novel, and it didn't even pay off the money we spent on cover and advertisement (it has by now for sure but not by the second novel, released four months later). This is, of course, a potential problem that literally any novelist in any genre is going to run into.

First off, thanks so much for all this info. You're a huge help.

So is it reasonable to expect a first romance novel to not sell well, if at all, and it usually takes a few releases to start seeing a return?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


What you want is a nice catalog of very similar books (same length, subgenre, writing style) so that when one of them breaks out big, fans can go back and buy all your poo poo. Or you can do what I do, which is switch subgenres until you strike a breakout hit and then write a sequel lightning fast to capitalize on it, and then get bored and wander away to another subgenre. God, I need to not do that.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


the brotherly phl posted:

So is it reasonable to expect a first romance novel to not sell well, if at all, and it usually takes a few releases to start seeing a return?

Hard to say really. There's luck. There's doing your homework. I don't think there's any critical mass to a pen name's success.

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


moana posted:

What you want is a nice catalog of very similar books (same length, subgenre, writing style) so that when one of them breaks out big, fans can go back and buy all your poo poo. Or you can do what I do, which is switch subgenres until you strike a breakout hit and then write a sequel lightning fast to capitalize on it, and then get bored and wander away to another subgenre. God, I need to not do that.

Would writing a series in the same subgenre achieve the first part of your advice? I have a couple of ideas suitable for a series.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


That's what I'm doing right now, actually. Going to write three 20k novellas in a series and put them all out in KU at once. I'm thinking I'll price them all at 99c and do a free run on the first one at the outset. Any thoughts on this strategy are welcome!

Now I just have to write them all before the FSOG movie comes out. If they flop hard then I'll put them together as a novel instead.

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



moana posted:

(your inbox is full btw)

Oh, wow, I had no idea it had gotten so full. Thanks for the heads up, I cleaned it out a bit.

chthonic bell posted:

Would writing a series in the same subgenre achieve the first part of your advice? I have a couple of ideas suitable for a series.

My short story series is following this method, but because they're short stories, they don't exactly sell well. Still, it's built up a small following of fans that continues to grow who will pick up each release as they come out.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


moana posted:

That's what I'm doing right now, actually. Going to write three 20k novellas in a series and put them all out in KU at once. I'm thinking I'll price them all at 99c and do a free run on the first one at the outset. Any thoughts on this strategy are welcome!

Now I just have to write them all before the FSOG movie comes out. If they flop hard then I'll put them together as a novel instead.

Do novellas do well? I have ~30k written right now, and there's a great breaking point at 20k which would lead nicely into the next section. Or should I just stick with a normal 50k novel, and go from there? I know there's no right answer, I'm just curious.

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


I have a question about Kindle Select: say that before offering the book on Amazon, I sold it through another retailer or via my own website in various formats (ePub, PDF and Mobi) and that once I put it on Amazon, I would stop selling through other means. Would that mean I can still make use of Kindle Select?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


the brotherly phl posted:

Do novellas do well? I have ~30k written right now, and there's a great breaking point at 20k which would lead nicely into the next section. Or should I just stick with a normal 50k novel, and go from there? I know there's no right answer, I'm just curious.
My series is dark romance with a lot of erotic parts in the first novella. I would say the more it's erotic romance, the shorter you can get away with. Note that you may not have the promo opportunities available to you since lots of ad sites require a 50k minimum to promote your book. Also readers will 1-star you because it's too short so be ready to deal with that. The main reason I'm trying this out is to see if I can do better in KU with shorter works. If you're not planning on using KU, I would keep it as a novel.

chthonic bell posted:

I have a question about Kindle Select: say that before offering the book on Amazon, I sold it through another retailer or via my own website in various formats (ePub, PDF and Mobi) and that once I put it on Amazon, I would stop selling through other means. Would that mean I can still make use of Kindle Select?
Yes, but you have to take it down first BEFORE you submit to Amazon.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


moana posted:

My series is dark romance with a lot of erotic parts in the first novella. I would say the more it's erotic romance, the shorter you can get away with. Note that you may not have the promo opportunities available to you since lots of ad sites require a 50k minimum to promote your book. Also readers will 1-star you because it's too short so be ready to deal with that. The main reason I'm trying this out is to see if I can do better in KU with shorter works. If you're not planning on using KU, I would keep it as a novel.

Ah, ok thanks! There are erotic parts, but I think I should stick with a traditional length for my first release.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Blurb help please! (posting for someone who wants to remain anonymous)

If You Want Me

Fresh out of design school, Sandra Dane has landed a plum position at a prestigious Manhattan firm catering to the idle rich. She's dating an heir to one of New York's oldest, wealthiest families. Her life seems to be right on track, which is exactly how she likes it--until she meets the man who will send her off the rails. The main problem? He's her boyfriend's uncle.

People say Charles Magister's name in whispers. After pulling his family back from ruin, the fabled financier makes the world tremble before him. But ever since the death of his beloved wife, Charles has let no one get close to him. Now, when an ambitious, beautiful young woman walks into in his life on his own nephew's arm, Charles must wrestle with his reputation, his conscience--and his desires.
***

My changes:
If You Want Me

Sandra's life is right on track. Fresh out of design school, she lands a plum position at a prestigious Manhattan firm catering to the idle rich. Her boyfriend is an heir to one of New York's oldest, wealthiest families. Things are finally starting to go right for her.

Then she meets a man who sends her perfect life completely off the rails.

People say Charles Magister's name in whispers. After pulling his family back from ruin, the fabled financier makes the world tremble before him. Since the death of his beloved wife, Charles doesn't let anyone close to him. But when an ambitious, beautiful young woman walks into in his life on his nephew's arm, all that changes.

Ruining your own reputation is one thing. Ruining a young woman is something else entirely. Can obsession lead to love, or will their fiery desires turn both of their perfect lives to ash?

thehomemaster
Jul 16, 2014

by Ralp


I figure this is the best place to ask.

I am looking at doing Amazon promotions for the publishing companies I work for, but I can't work out how to do so!

So far I have worked out that in Vendor Central you have to go to Contact Us (I did this to ensure pre-orders for some books) but then am not sure what to do from there.

How do I set a free period? How can I sign up for deal of the day? What other options are there?

If anyone knows it will be self-pubbing goons!

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


LOL I wish you could sign up for deal of the day. You can only do free days if you enroll in amazon's KU program.

Also what publisher do you work for? I am so curious. :allears:

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


If the book is in Kindle Select, the option will be under Manage Benefits. You can either set the book free for up to five days in a quarter (which don't have to be consecutively), or set it to a lower price for five days. Both options are mutually exclusive, though (so you can't do five days free and five days cheap).

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

thehomemaster posted:

I figure this is the best place to ask.

I am looking at doing Amazon promotions for the publishing companies I work for, but I can't work out how to do so!

So far I have worked out that in Vendor Central you have to go to Contact Us (I did this to ensure pre-orders for some books) but then am not sure what to do from there.

How do I set a free period? How can I sign up for deal of the day? What other options are there?

If anyone knows it will be self-pubbing goons!

You most likely have a different interface than self-published folks. We don't have Vendor Central at all. We use Kindle Direct Publishing, as Archangel explains.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

You most likely have a different interface than self-published folks. We don't have Vendor Central at all. We use Kindle Direct Publishing, as Archangel explains.

I would assume that anyone who has a separate, non-KDP interface would also know how to use it. It's probably a print publishing company that has decided to make a digital arm.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Just got approved for my first BookBub!

Should I do anything special to maximize the bump? I'm hoping my newest novel will be out by then, if so I'll definitely have a sample chapter in the back.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


Congratulations! BookBub is a wonderful thing.

Depending on how long your sale goes for, you may want to do some other promos during that time to maximize the sales. But the beauty of BookBub is that once you get it, it's so powerful that you can just sit back and watch the sales roll in.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Yooper posted:

Just got approved for my first BookBub!

Should I do anything special to maximize the bump? I'm hoping my newest novel will be out by then, if so I'll definitely have a sample chapter in the back.

Congrats! What genre and how many reviews did your book have? I'm not up to writing novels yet, but once I do I'll be looking into BookBub.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Military science fiction, the novel is the first in a series of three and has been out since November 2013. It's at 71 reviews right now. This is the third time I applied to Bookbub.

Compared to my other marketing efforts this looks to be the greatest impact. I recently did a test with banner ads on some niche websites. I had 51,000 impressions, 850 clicks, and one sale. So my conversion cost for the test was about $20.... on a $2.99 book.

Putting a good number on my previous KindleNationDaily promo is a bit tougher as I can't track how the follow up sales will go. I saw a spike for sure, but not sure how it translated out into sales.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Hey guys, so I've been working pretty hard recently, and I have a manuscript coming along (47k words, going through my first round of edits). I had a really good time writing this and felt super productive.

I was wondering if I could get some feedback on my blurb and my cover. Both below. Thanks for any help you guys can offer!



I didnít expect this online dating thing to pan out, but I canít stop my heart from hammering every time he sends me a message.

On top of that, Iím about to sell my own app to a huge corporation.

Is he worth the potential distraction? Can I trust myself with him?

I couldnít have seen this coming.

When we finally meet, heís not at all what I expected.

Heís a billionaire, but he has more secrets than money.

There are new rules now, and itís so much more dangerous.

Can I follow his rules without breaking my own?

I didnít understand what private meant before I met him.

And I never thought Iíd learn to love a mystery.


I also have another version that I can throw out there if anyone is curious. Thanks again.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I really hate when I'm reading something

and it's broken up into these one sentence paragraphs.

Not only does it look kind of bad to my eyes,

but it also makes the customer click that "Click this button for more description" or whatever link.

I think that you can combine some of these sentences into paragraphs.

Also it's really vague, and while some vagueness is good

I think yours is too much

Welp thanks for listening.

Your friend

EngineerSean

Fate Accomplice
Nov 30, 2006




Also regardless of whether your story is written in first person I wouldn't write your blurb as such.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


EngineerSean posted:

I really hate when I'm reading something

and it's broken up into these one sentence paragraphs.

Not only does it look kind of bad to my eyes,

but it also makes the customer click that "Click this button for more description" or whatever link.

I think that you can combine some of these sentences into paragraphs.

Also it's really vague, and while some vagueness is good

I think yours is too much

Welp thanks for listening.

Your friend

EngineerSean

lol, thank you. I'll cut out the one sentence paragraph thing. And more specificity!

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply