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Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


I know it's an artifact of how Amazon cuts off the borrow reporting at either 7 or 8PM each night, but there's something intensely satisfying about logging in and seeing 185 borrows sitting on your graph for the day when it's not even 9AM yet.

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brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Sundae posted:

I know it's an artifact of how Amazon cuts off the borrow reporting at either 7 or 8PM each night, but there's something intensely satisfying about logging in and seeing 185 borrows sitting on your graph for the day when it's not even 9AM yet.

It's satisfying to see 13 :)

I didn't know they cut off at that time, though. Makes sense.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


the brotherly phl posted:

It's satisfying to see 13 :)

I didn't know they cut off at that time, though. Makes sense.

It makes no sense but I don't really check my sales in the middle of the day either. If I were OCD about that it would drive me absolutely bonkers.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


EngineerSean posted:

It makes no sense but I don't really check my sales in the middle of the day either. If I were OCD about that it would drive me absolutely bonkers.

Oh I guess I meant it makes sense as to why I keep seeing most of my borrows show up overnight. But yeah, I mean, I should really stop checking my sales, but it's all so new right now that I can't help myself. I feel like if my sales were consistently decent, I wouldn't check it so often.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009



EngineerSean posted:

So do what they do. Here is the list of Top 100 supergenre authors, find someone who you like and copy them.

http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/Erotica/digital-text/157057011/ref=ntt_at_kar_B008GFU7UO

Holy poo poo. On the fantasy sublist, three people I've never heard of are outselling George RR Martin (on the eve of the next season of Game of Thrones) and Terry Pratchett (right after his death and all the subsequent media coverage and online remembrances.)

http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/Fantasy/digital-text/158576011/ref=kar_mr_nav_kstore_3_158591011

edit - And Paula Hawkins, who has no author photo and only two books, is outselling James Patterson? What's the deal here?

http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/ref=kar_mr_unv_kstore_0_157028011_2

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

Wait, I thought bared chests were strictly verboten. There's a lot of man-cleavage on those covers.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


No, only for advertising I believe. You can't advertise on Amazon's (useless) promo banner ads with man-chest. Covers, totally okay (depending on context).

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


freebooter posted:

edit - And Paula Hawkins, who has no author photo and only two books, is outselling James Patterson? What's the deal here?

http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/ref=kar_mr_unv_kstore_0_157028011_2

This is kind of a joke by Amazon. The other book doesn't matter at all but the "Girl on a Train" book is being given away as far of Kindle First and is part of Amazon's own traditional publishing imprints. They've given away thousands of copies and every one of those is being recorded as a paid sale. I mean I guess when you own the site you can do whatever you want but it doesn't sit well with a lot of authors. I'm still making a ton of coin and I've never been #1 in Kindle anyway so I don't really care. Nevermind, this isn't the book I was thinking of, I don't know anything about that book. It's got 9000 reviews so a lot of people have bought it for sure.

Also you linked the "All Authors" list when it is more appropriate to click down to "Kindle eBooks" to see who is selling a ton of eBooks rather than physical copies.

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at 18:15 on Mar 23, 2015

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


freebooter posted:

Holy poo poo. On the fantasy sublist, three people I've never heard of are outselling George RR Martin (on the eve of the next season of Game of Thrones) and Terry Pratchett (right after his death and all the subsequent media coverage and online remembrances.)

http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/Fantasy/digital-text/158576011/ref=kar_mr_nav_kstore_3_158591011

edit - And Paula Hawkins, who has no author photo and only two books, is outselling James Patterson? What's the deal here?

http://www.amazon.com/author-rank/ref=kar_mr_unv_kstore_0_157028011_2


Paula Hawkins: Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC Girl on a Train is a #1 NYT bestseller. She's a legit superstar (based on a book count of N=1 success, of course) coming up in trad-pub. (8,985 customer reviews)


On the fantasy sublist, your #1 is Bella Forest. The name / context ring any bells for you? She basically picked up where Twilight left off and snagged the entire vampy fanbase for herself. She makes bucketloads of money and her presence at the top of the list is absolutely not a surprise to me whatsoever. Ruby Shae is a paranormal romance author who does shifters, apparently. I'm not surprised to see a shifter romance person in the top five, but I'm surprised to see that it's Ruby.

Sundae fucked around with this message at 18:17 on Mar 23, 2015

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

Sundae posted:

On the fantasy sublist, your #1 is Bella Forest. The name / context ring any bells for you? She basically picked up where Twilight left off and snagged the entire vampy fanbase for herself. She makes bucketloads of money and her presence at the top of the list is absolutely not a surprise to me whatsoever. Ruby Shae is a paranormal romance author who does shifters, apparently. I'm not surprised to see a shifter romance person in the top five, but I'm surprised to see that it's Ruby.

The first book in that top author's series sounds super non-consensual and kind of creepy ("oh hey, the only way I can not-die here is being boned by you...welp, I guess it's love"). Other than the vampires, how does this differ from straight up writing a human-trafficking romance? Which I assume would not be well-received by Amazon.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Pinky Artichoke posted:

The first book in that top author's series sounds super non-consensual and kind of creepy ("oh hey, the only way I can not-die here is being boned by you...welp, I guess it's love"). Other than the vampires, how does this differ from straight up writing a human-trafficking romance? Which I assume would not be well-received by Amazon.

Couldn't tell you. I hate vampires. :haw:

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Pinky Artichoke posted:

The first book in that top author's series sounds super non-consensual and kind of creepy ("oh hey, the only way I can not-die here is being boned by you...welp, I guess it's love"). Other than the vampires, how does this differ from straight up writing a human-trafficking romance? Which I assume would not be well-received by Amazon.

Stockholm Syndromance is absolutely a thing and has been since bodice rippers were invented, you just have to accept that sometimes some people might like something that you don't.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Ohhh - that actually reminds me. Pinky Artichoke - human-trafficking is often a core plot point of the "dark romance" genre. If you want an example, go grab "Tears for Tess" (Top 20 book at its prime, if I recall correctly) and see how far you make it before you throw up and/or gouge out your eyes. The genre outright upsets me and I can neither read or write it.

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


The Girl on the Train is just kinda ... there. It's certainly not good, but it's not bad, either. It just exists. Does some neat things with perspective switching, I guess?

I know that's neither here nor there, but I find it amazing that book's been chillin' up at the top of the charts for this long. Audiences are a weird lot.

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

EngineerSean posted:

Stockholm Syndromance is absolutely a thing and has been since bodice rippers were invented, you just have to accept that sometimes some people might like something that you don't.

It's less about whether I like it or not and more that I'm surprised that it's acceptable, since I thought Amazon cracked down on certain themes.

Edit to add:

Sundae posted:

Ohhh - that actually reminds me. Pinky Artichoke - human-trafficking is often a core plot point of the "dark romance" genre. If you want an example, go grab "Tears for Tess" (Top 20 book at its prime, if I recall correctly) and see how far you make it before you throw up and/or gouge out your eyes. The genre outright upsets me and I can neither read or write it.

I could see writing it if the heroine ends up in a really kickass place in the end. The historical story of the Roxelana for example is pretty dope.

Pinky Artichoke fucked around with this message at 20:10 on Mar 23, 2015

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Something is only really unacceptable to amazon if its written to titillate. See "Tampa" for a book that features several sex scenes between a 14 year old boy and a grown woman. Or "Lolita" for that matter.

A cool person
Feb 2, 2012


So I have a question, a couple years ago I got into the self publishing game and wrote a bunch of super-romance stories, probably around 30. I got burned out and stopped writing about two years ago to focus on other stuff, and my sales slowed to a trickle. I've been considering getting back into it, since I've heard kindle unlimited is promising I've removed my stuff from other vendors and put it all on KDP exclusively.

Anyway, I've been working on some new stuff and wondering if I should publish it under my old pen name, or start a new one from scratch. I have a lot of stuff under the old name, but I'm worried the long gap will make it hard to build up a lot of sales momentum.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


I'd do one of two things:

#1 - Unpublish everything under the old name, start republishing it all under a new name, and treat it as a fresh start. (This might not apply if your old stuff sold like hot-cakes and people remember it.)

#2 - Start over with a new pen name, start from scratch, and sell all your old stories to someone else for cash up front.



The first one is probably the better bet ASSUMING they sold in the first place and didn't all suck. The second one is just my way of saying "hey, wanna let me buy the rights to your old stories?" :haw:

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


When I moved to a new pen name, I just downloaded all of the old stories that were relevant or could be made relevant to the new pen name's schtick, then went through and rewrote/expanded the hell out of them. Voila, whole new story for the new pen name in a fraction of the time.

I think I ended up taking about five from the old pen name. I didn't exactly set the world on fire with them back in the day, but they're doing just fine now.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

EngineerSean posted:

Something is only really unacceptable to amazon if its written to titillate. See "Tampa" for a book that features several sex scenes between a 14 year old boy and a grown woman. Or "Lolita" for that matter.
To be fair to Amazon though, the same could be said of movie, TV and photography censorship. If it's art, all of a sudden you're not a pervert, you're 'pushing the boundaries.'

I think the hard line is basically "If we decide you're taking the piss."

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Bobby Deluxe posted:

To be fair to Amazon though, the same could be said of movie, TV and photography censorship. If it's art, all of a sudden you're not a pervert, you're 'pushing the boundaries.'

I think the hard line is basically "If we decide you're taking the piss."

I don't think they're too light on the ban policy. I don't think they should block any books really. They should ban accounts for scammy behavior (publishing a one page letter and somehow getting a thousand borrows on it) but they police erotica way too much.

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


EngineerSean posted:

I don't think they're too light on the ban policy. I don't think they should block any books really. They should ban accounts for scammy behavior (publishing a one page letter and somehow getting a thousand borrows on it) but they police erotica way too much.

I agree they police it too much, but honestly I'm more bothered by how completely inconsistent they are with said policing. I'd be totally fine with them cracking down if they would actually explain any their parameters, but right now their policy with regard to what they'll find objectionable is, literally, "pretty much what you'd expect."

I don't write any of the stuff that's skirting the edge of their rules, so it hasn't really impacted my bottom line, but it's crazy to see how much wringing of hands goes on over this stuff because Amazon refuses to define their terms. Then again, it's done that way so they can take things on a case by case basis and I really don't know the happy medium.

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

EngineerSean posted:

I don't think they're too light on the ban policy. I don't think they should block any books really. They should ban accounts for scammy behavior (publishing a one page letter and somehow getting a thousand borrows on it) but they police erotica way too much.

I kind of wonder...in the early days of Amazon there was famously some pretty bad stuff on there (in printed book form, obviously), including a quantity of bestiality literature. I sort of wonder if they felt burned by the response to that to an extent that guided their actions.

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

Thought there was some pedophilia stuff, too. Like a user's guide. :iit:

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


RedTonic posted:

Thought there was some pedophilia stuff, too. Like a user's guide. :iit:

I think its still up there. I don't know, whats next? Picketty's capitalism? Pieces critical of Paul Ryan or Abraham Lincoln? How-to guides on purchasing weed? If it doesn't break a US law, how much control do we really want Amazon to have over what we read?

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

EngineerSean posted:

I think its still up there. I don't know, whats next? Picketty's capitalism? Pieces critical of Paul Ryan or Abraham Lincoln? How-to guides on purchasing weed? If it doesn't break a US law, how much control do we really want Amazon to have over what we read?

I mean, a how-to on grooming minors so you can do terrible things is really toeing that legal line. Comparing it to something like :420: buyer's guide isn't a great analogy. Limiting advertisement of bodice rippers over man nipple covers is loving silly; telling Gacy that he can't put his 12 easy steps to boy flesh book up is something else.

:ohdear: Maybe that was sarcasm? My detector is weak by day's end.

POOL IS CLOSED fucked around with this message at 23:52 on Mar 24, 2015

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Steppin out because this is the self publishing thread and not the corporate censorship thread.

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at 01:31 on Mar 25, 2015

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

It's difficult to consider that side of things without discussing content and kinks, which (as I understand) is what got the last thread shut down. I've typed up my two cents on the subject and deleted it twice now, but I really don't want to be seen to be encouraging replies, especially about theme and kinks.

So to change tack, how important exactly is momentum? I mean, I get that it's important in terms of overall productivity, and obviously the quicker I publish titles the larger my library is, and therefore the larger the chance of people discovering & buying my books.

But say I have 12 'speed-romance' titles. If I publish one a week for three months and then nothing the rest of the year, will that make me more likely to have better sales at the end of the three months than someone who publishes one a month over the course of a year? Or publishes them in sporadic clumps throughout the year?

I ask because the missus has been trying to be supportive while I pursue this, but there are regular distractions that can throw me off for a few days. Neighbours building projects, the wife's erratic day off schedule, my sister in law around the house and - now we're heading into spring - house maintenence.

I feel like I start to get myself into a rhythm of getting up and getting working, and then I'll be unable to work for two days for whatever, then have to spend the next two trying to build up momentum again. The worst was in mid February when the sister in law got a sports injury and was at home for a week.

As I say, the missus is starting to take this more seriously, so I feel like if I had a clear explanation on why momentum is important, it might help her take my side on things a little more, understand why it annoys me so much when people ask me to run errands for them.

Sundae posted:

I know it's an artifact of how Amazon cuts off the borrow reporting at either 7 or 8PM each night, but there's something intensely satisfying about logging in and seeing 185 borrows sitting on your graph for the day when it's not even 9AM yet.
Is that GMT? Just so I can work out when to check tomorrow, I did a bunch of promo experiments and I'm curious to see how they turn out.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 01:55 on Mar 25, 2015

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Momentum is everything, but most of those distractions can be fixed with a "No Girls Allowed" sign and a pair of noise cancelling headphones. One a month for a year is absolutely too slow.

Remora
Aug 15, 2010



Wait, wait. A novel a month for a year is too slow? Is that just for super-romance?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Remora posted:

Wait, wait. A novel a month for a year is too slow? Is that just for super-romance?
Super romance is stories, not novels, so definitely too slow.

Romance I would say you can do one every other month and be okay. I'm doing one a month this year. It's hard but hey, can't complain.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Remora posted:

Wait, wait. A novel a month for a year is too slow? Is that just for super-romance?
I meant super romance shorts, yeah. A novel a month would be a terrifying output and assuming you passed them on to an editor or two, you would be making roughly all of the money.

I may not have gotten my query across correctly though. I think a better way of asking would be - is a consistent output important? Like if my output comes in fits and bursts, is there something in Amazon's algorithms that would move me down the rankings if - for example - I don't publish anything for two / three weeks?

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


EngineerSean posted:

Momentum is everything, but most of those distractions can be fixed with a "No Girls Allowed" sign and a pair of noise cancelling headphones. One a month for a year is absolutely too slow.

Also, unplugging your computer from the internet or installing Cold Turkey. My biggest distraction in the evening is called Dungeonmans. :v:

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


My findings: With 'speed-romance' (I love that term and will be using it from now on), consistent output will never become entirely unimportant but it becomes less important as you get more and more of a catalog going. There are people who can coast for a few weeks without really putting anything out because they've got the momentum to carry them through those periods. People with smaller or less popular catalogs might find their sales drop hard after a few days without producing. Your mileage may vary.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

moana posted:

Super romance is stories, not novels, so definitely too slow.

Romance I would say you can do one every other month and be okay. I'm doing one a month this year. It's hard but hey, can't complain.

If I want to slam out a romance story in a month and dump it out to amazon to try to make money, what is the most cash-efficient word length and genre?

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


angel opportunity posted:

If I want to slam out a romance story in a month and dump it out to amazon to try to make money, what is the most cash-efficient word length and genre?

How long does it take you to write? 'Speed-romance' romance runs a bit longer but tends to sell well, and you could probably put together one a week if you can bang out 2,000 words a day. One romance novel a month, though ... man, I don't know. I wrote about 24,000 words over the past five or six days and I kinda wanted to die by the end of it.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I can definitely do 2,000 words a day. So a completed "speed-romance" book would be something like 10,000-15,000 words? I'm assuming I want it to be serialized or within the "same world" rather than self-contained?

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


I need to drop the lingo we're using to better explain this without driving myself nuts (keep in mind, these word counts are not at all absolute):

Erotica Typically a short story, around 4,000-7,000 words. Fastest and easiest to produce, but the catch is you have to keep producing them. Build up a big enough (or well targeted) catalog and you can make a lot of money over time.
Erotic romance A longer story, ranging from around 7,000-15,000 words. They don't necessarily have to be serialized or part of a larger series, but more and more often I've heard talk of that being the way to go.
Romance The longest, typically 20,000 words and over (but you'll get a lot of complaints if your story's only 20,000 words long, so tread lightly). If it's novella length, the best option would almost certainly be serializing.

That's what I've found, anyway. Again, your mileage may vary.

Content is another story, and one we can't really talk about for erotica or erotic romance in this venue.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

What makes the most money? I actually am not too interested in this genre at all, I just want to make money, but if I had to make the choice I'd rather write some kind of over the top supernatural romance without having to write out explicit sex scenes. Does that tend to make more money than explicitly erotic stuff, or is it the other way around?

I can blast out 7,000-15,000 words pretty fast once I get the formula down, so that length sounds nice to me. Do you have a recommendation for something that I can read which is kind of an archetype of this format?

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Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


angel opportunity posted:

What makes the most money? I actually am not too interested in this genre at all, I just want to make money, but if I had to make the choice I'd rather write some kind of over the top supernatural romance without having to write out explicit sex scenes. Does that tend to make more money than explicitly erotic stuff, or is it the other way around?

I can blast out 7,000-15,000 words pretty fast once I get the formula down, so that length sounds nice to me. Do you have a recommendation for something that I can read which is kind of an archetype of this format?

Others could probably speak to what makes the most money. To my knowledge, romance wins far and away, but it also takes the largest investment in time and energy. Again, I don't want to venture too far into a discussion of content, but what you described sounds to me, an admitted non-expert in large swaths of this field like it would do pretty well. Keep in mind also that nothing's a slam dunk.

As far as stuff you can read to better acclimate yourself, browse around Amazon's top 100 in a bunch of different Kindle categories, especially the ones you're keen to focus on. Best way to make money is to do what the money makers are doing.

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