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ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



Liam Emsa posted:

Anyone here publish short stories? What's the general word length and how are they priced?

I sell all of mine for $0.99 each. They generally run long for short stories, at 5,000-10,000 words.

That being said, no one wants to buy short stories.

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psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Just sell your shorts to magazines. After they're published and the rights come back to you, you can bundle them into a collection and market using their appearances as a selling point.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Yeah - nobody's going to buy short stories outside of The Genre Which Won't Be Named. If you want to do short fiction, either got here or write 20-30K serial pieces.

Faded Mars
Jul 1, 2004

It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga.

Even 20-30K serials are going to get you a lot of ire. People will buy and read them, but they'll bitch to the ends of the earth about how they "thought it was a novel" even though you state in three or four different places the length. Just write series of novels. Less of a headache.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Faded Mars posted:

Even 20-30K serials are going to get you a lot of ire. People will buy and read them, but they'll bitch to the ends of the earth about how they "thought it was a novel" even though you state in three or four different places the length. Just write series of novels. Less of a headache.

This is good advice but man can it be daunting to "just write novels".

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

EngineerSean posted:

This is good advice but man can it be daunting to "just write novels".

Tell me about it. I'm not sure when I should put in the time to make the transition from shorts to novels. I have trouble with larger plot arcs and real character development. Any good books you can recommend by any chance? Lets Get Visible was great, btw.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


No books but I do like howtowritearomancenovel.com

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

EngineerSean posted:

No books but I do like howtowritearomancenovel.com

Thanks!

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


So is it a bad idea to write a 25k fantasy novella and price it either free or 99 cents?

It's a prequel to the full-length novel I'm working on now and I thought I could release it first to get my toe in the water before the novel release.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

chthonic bell posted:

So is it a bad idea to write a 25k fantasy novella and price it either free or 99 cents?

It's a prequel to the full-length novel I'm working on now and I thought I could release it first to get my toe in the water before the novel release.

I don't think it's a bad idea. As long as you consider it a marketing tool more than a revenue product I don't think you'll be disappointed. What I see sometimes in romance is a distinct numbering system to let the reader know that this is a shorter story set in the same world (so like 1.5 for a shorter work published between novels #1 and #2). Just something to telegraph to the reader that it won't be a series of 25K novellas.

But 25K is a nice chunk of words. If that's as long as the story is, so be it. But if there's another 25K worth of story to tell, now you've got something that can generate revenue. I'm assuming there are 50K fantasy novels out there somewhere. If they're all 100K tomes like the ones I read, then this advice probably doesn't apply.

And if you haven't published before, it's probably a good idea to run through the entire process once before you launch a big novel.

Faded Mars
Jul 1, 2004

It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga.

Different genres have different expectations. As Sean said before, in romance you can get away with 50-60K word novels (depending on subgenre; if you intend on writing historical stuff it's expected to be much longer for instance). Once you start start getting into SF/Fantasy, you're looking at minimum 75-80K with upwards of 100K being the expectation/norm.

A prequel novella could be a good marketing tactic, but it would depend on how you go about it. Were I you I'd consider writing the companion novel as well and then offering the prequel story for free to people who sign up for your mailing list (you have one of those, right?) as an incentive.

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


Oh, I'll be writing another novella to offer as a mailing list incentive. :v:

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


Christ. Yeah, writing isn't for me with such word counts. I hate padding and things tend to end up being very spartan at the end. Wins prizes, does not earn money. Eh... Was nice knowing you guys!

:suicide:

I guess "write for its own sake and publish since it is written anyway", right?

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


No Gravitas posted:

I guess "write for its own sake and publish since it is written anyway", right?

That's how I got started. I knew I was never going to traditionally publish my contemporary, as I had no more ideas for that (non)genre, so I figured, what the heck, I'd give self publishing a try.

Not a lot of sales my first year, but the feedback from readers and reviewers was so positive I went full steam ahead with my other books. Now I can't believe I banged my head against the wall of trying to get a literary agent for so long. :bang:

I don't make enough through my writing to pay the rent, but I make enough to pay for covers, editing, promotions, etc. and still have enough profits left over that last year I bought my plane ticket to Florida out of my book profits.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


No Gravitas posted:

Christ. Yeah, writing isn't for me with such word counts. I hate padding and things tend to end up being very spartan at the end. Wins prizes, does not earn money. Eh... Was nice knowing you guys!

:suicide:

I guess "write for its own sake and publish since it is written anyway", right?

Don't pad things -- actually make them longer or deeper. (Shut up, erotica writers.)

Just start writing more intricate plots, etc. You don't have to bury a story in purple prose to make it 60K words.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Yeah, make more things happen. More plot, more scenes, more conflict.

midnightclimax
Dec 3, 2011

by XyloJW


Has Creative Commons licensing gained in popularity among (ebook) writers? Anyone in here have experience using it, or doesn't like it?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


midnightclimax posted:

Has Creative Commons licensing gained in popularity among (ebook) writers? Anyone in here have experience using it, or doesn't like it?

You mean for cover images? No, we avoid it like the plague.

midnightclimax
Dec 3, 2011

by XyloJW


EngineerSean posted:

You mean for cover images? No, we avoid it like the plague.

No, I mean for your own (written) work. But, just curious, why do you avoid it for cover images?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


midnightclimax posted:

No, I mean for your own (written) work. But, just curious, why do you avoid it for cover images?

Well in response to your original question, because I enjoy getting paid for my written work.

But in response to this question, because there's a usually a highly dubious chain of custody between model, photographer, and licensee. For an object cover this is probably fine, nobody's going to get too ignorant about you using their picture of a beach if they find out you're using it without permission. However, if there are models involved, they usually haven't signed a waiver to appear on commercial works. This can cause problems in pretty much any genre fiction, where a guy might not want their picture associated in a book about a drug dealer or a woman might not want her picture associated with a book about an interracial romance. The alternative is so cheap (stock photography, usually around $5 per image and I never use more than two images per cover) that there's really no reason to go that route.

midnightclimax
Dec 3, 2011

by XyloJW


EngineerSean posted:

Well in response to your original question, because I enjoy getting paid for my written work.

Is there evidence to suggest that CC licensing has a substantial impact on revenue?

EngineerSean posted:

But in response to this question, because there's a usually a highly dubious chain of custody between model, photographer, and licensee. For an object cover this is probably fine, nobody's going to get too ignorant about you using their picture of a beach if they find out you're using it without permission. However, if there are models involved, they usually haven't signed a waiver to appear on commercial works. This can cause problems in pretty much any genre fiction, where a guy might not want their picture associated in a book about a drug dealer or a woman might not want her picture associated with a book about an interracial romance. The alternative is so cheap (stock photography, usually around $5 per image and I never use more than two images per cover) that there's really no reason to go that route.

Thanks for clarifying.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


midnightclimax posted:

Is there evidence to suggest that CC licensing has a substantial impact on revenue?

It can be problematic if you've promised exclusivity (KDP Select) or if someone tries to resell it (because they don't understand Creative Commons). I'd be interested in hearing the other side, where it can have a positive impact on revenue.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


If you wanna be a super cheapskate it's better to go through things that are explicitly free to use commercially or public domain.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


I don't understand why I'd even consider Creative Commons licensing, honestly. Can you explain why I wouldn't just ignore the entire existence of it and keep doing what I'm already doing?


Seriously curious, not ragging on you.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Szmitten posted:

If you wanna be a super cheapskate

a great idea for any business :rolleyes:

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

My experience with people licensing things under CC is for one of two reasons. The first is because it's just a hobby, and they just want something that they made to be seen by a lot of people - they don't particularly care about the money.

The second is that people license some stuff as CC for exposure, but keep their best stuff for stock sites. Shutterstock has strict standards for acceptance, so some of their submitters put their rejected stuff on sites like flickr under CC. They're still good photos, they're just not up to SS's exacting standards.

I've been using CC stock images simply because I have to have something on the front cover. It's purely on a 'better than nothing' basis though. I'd much prefer to use proper stock, but I've been put off by the monthly subscription most of the decent sites seem to be asking. I've yet to see a site that has reasonable one-off fees.

I have no idea why anyone would put writing up under a CC license though, unless they were just doing it because they didn't care about the money.

On the money side of things, does anyone have much experience with BookBub for UK promotions? The prices seem pretty impressively low and I was just wondering if anyone had any experience using it. I know the US user base is larger, but might it be a cheaper way for people to get a few reviews in?

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 18:26 on Feb 3, 2015

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Bobby Deluxe posted:

I've been using CC stock images simply because I have to have something on the front cover. It's purely on a 'better than nothing' basis though. I'd much prefer to use proper stock, but I've been put off by the monthly subscription most of the decent sites seem to be asking. I've yet to see a site that has reasonable one-off fees.

I can help you with this one.

Go sign up to receive deals via e-mail from https://www.mightydeals.com (or just check the site regularly). Every few months, they run a deal on DepositPhotos bulk download packages - $99 for 100 photos of any resolution. This gets you around the subscription or one-off pricing fees, and it also convinces you to write more poo poo because what else are you going to do with 100 stock photos? :D

DepositPhotos is a pretty good site, and they often have the same photos that are on other stock photo sites. If you prefer, for example, 123rf.com's search engine, search for a photo there and then cross-reference it to DepositPhotos through Google Image Search.

midnightclimax
Dec 3, 2011

by XyloJW


EngineerSean posted:

It can be problematic if you've promised exclusivity (KDP Select) or if someone tries to resell it (because they don't understand Creative Commons). I'd be interested in hearing the other side, where it can have a positive impact on revenue.

Yeah, I've worked in publishing and seen cases were people flat out ignored Creative Commons' specificality, and treated the content as public domain.

Sundae posted:

I don't understand why I'd even consider Creative Commons licensing, honestly. Can you explain why I wouldn't just ignore the entire existence of it and keep doing what I'm already doing?


Seriously curious, not ragging on you.

I'm in the same boat, I'm curious about it and came here to get some opinions.

Bobby Deluxe posted:

I have no idea why anyone would put writing up under a CC license though, unless they were just doing it because they didn't care about the money.

You mentioned more exposure for photographers, that would be my reasoning as to why someone would use it for publishing written works. I did some googling, and the only high-profile writer (NYT bestseller) using CC seems to be Cory Doctorow. He treats it as a form of advertising, and considering people still opted to buy his stuff, maybe he's right.

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

midnightclimax posted:

You mentioned more exposure for photographers, that would be my reasoning as to why someone would use it for publishing written works. I did some googling, and the only high-profile writer (NYT bestseller) using CC seems to be Cory Doctorow. He treats it as a form of advertising, and considering people still opted to buy his stuff, maybe he's right.

He's not a great example for new/unknown writers since he has a legion of fans who will buy his stuff even if they could get it for free.

midnightclimax
Dec 3, 2011

by XyloJW


Pinky Artichoke posted:

He's not a great example for new/unknown writers since he has a legion of fans who will buy his stuff even if they could get it for free.

Yes, that's right, he's catering to a crowd that's likely to support ideas like Creative Commons, and want to see it succeed.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


SFWA votes 6-1 that self-published authors are good enough for membership.

quote:

In a referendum with a third of voting members participating and over 6 to 1 in favor, the membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has approved bylaw changes that enable SFWA to accept self-publication and small-press credits for Active and Associate memberships in the organization. We are using existing levels of income but are now allowing a combination of advances and income earned in a 12 month period to rise to the qualifying amounts.

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



I think I've got my latest short's cover ready to go. What do you guys think of this and the blurb (it's a little different than the direction I normally take)?



What drives the madness behind plotting murder? What lengths would a person go to gain the success they believed robbed from them in their youth? And what if it meant traveling backward through time and murdering an innocent man to do it?

In the latest chapter of
The Chronology Division, we follow the path of a woman seeking revenge while battling an internal moral struggle. And with her as a partner-in-crime, an artificial intelligence who may not be all that they seem.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I'd read it, though I haven't got around to rreading your other ones yet.

midnightclimax
Dec 3, 2011

by XyloJW


ExtraNoise posted:

I think I've got my latest short's cover ready to go. What do you guys think of this and the blurb (it's a little different than the direction I normally take)?



What drives the madness behind plotting murder? What lengths would a person go to gain the success they believed robbed from them in their youth? And what if it meant traveling backward through time and murdering an innocent man to do it?

In the latest chapter of
The Chronology Division, we follow the path of a woman seeking revenge while battling an internal moral struggle. And with her as a partner-in-crime, an artificial intelligence who may not be all that they seem.

Love the cover. Don't like the blurb. Maybe shorten it? just mho

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ExtraNoise posted:

I think I've got my latest short's cover ready to go. What do you guys think of this and the blurb (it's a little different than the direction I normally take)?



What drives the madness behind plotting murder? What lengths would a person go to gain the success they believed robbed from them in their youth? And what if it meant traveling backward through time and murdering an innocent man to do it?

In the latest chapter of
The Chronology Division, we follow the path of a woman seeking revenge while battling an internal moral struggle. And with her as a partner-in-crime, an artificial intelligence who may not be all that they seem.

Your poo poo is Attractive with a capital "A" man. Love that cover. Good minimalism and eyecatching. I'd buy it based on the cover.

First paragraph of the blurb I like a lot -- the questions work well I think.

The second paragraph is less good... I don't know... a bit passive maybe? A bit bland. Doesn't feel like it fits with the first.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


My first book is sitting at a 3.76 right now on Goodreads with 34 ratings. I plan on launching it officially next week.

My question is, how important are early ARC reviews? Especially on Goodreads, can these tank a book?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


the brotherly phl posted:

My first book is sitting at a 3.76 right now on Goodreads with 34 ratings. I plan on launching it officially next week.

My question is, how important are early ARC reviews? Especially on Goodreads, can these tank a book?

3.76 is actually a pretty high rating on Goodreads.

On Amazon, if you get a lot of early 5 star reviews, that helps out. If you don't get a lot of early 5 star reviews, and one of your first reviews is a 1 star, it can tank a book before it even takes off. It's a moral gray area but ask your mom to give you a 5 star review on it, seriously.

edit: I didn't read your "especially on Goodreads" part, for the most part Goodreads reviews won't affect your sales negatively.

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at 14:12 on Feb 4, 2015

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


EngineerSean posted:

3.76 is actually a pretty high rating on Goodreads.

On Amazon, if you get a lot of early 5 star reviews, that helps out. If you don't get a lot of early 5 star reviews, and one of your first reviews is a 1 star, it can tank a book before it even takes off. It's a moral gray area but ask your mom to give you a 5 star review on it, seriously.

edit: I didn't read your "especially on Goodreads" part, for the most part Goodreads reviews won't affect your sales negatively.

hm okay, so Goodreads basically won't affect it much. I mean, I didn't realize 3.7 is decent (didn't use GR much before starting this). I guess I should stop obsessively hitting refresh now.

I already got my wife to leave a nice, glowing review on Amazon when it releases. And I think some of my more interested ARC people are going to leave reviews on Amazon day of.

Speaking of which, my hope/goal for this first book is to sell enough copies to pay for professional proofing/cover work for the next one. That seems pretty reasonable, right?

Also, I've been writing and publishing poetry for like 10 years now, and this is without a doubt the most fun I've ever had writing and putting stuff out there. People/strangers will actually read my book and give me feedback on it? Unheard of, basically.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Yeah I've literally seen "Wow, really liked this book, will have to follow up the rest of the series. 3 stars" on Goodreads, it is definitely different than the Amazon ecosystem.

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Faded Mars
Jul 1, 2004

It is I, his chronicler, who alone can tell thee of his saga.

Goodreads is a great place to mine for reviews on Amazon, however. Just send a polite note thanking them for giving your book a rating on Goodreads and request that they write a short review on Amazon (give them the link so they don't have to hunt for it). I think my conversion for requests is about 1 review for every 7-10 people asked.

This also lets you cherry pick the 4 and 5 star ratings. :)

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