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EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


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 beat me to it that romance is the mmost lucrative but you'll definitely need explicit sex scenes. If paranormal is your thing, check out the catalogs of Milly Taiden and Mina Carter.

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Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

Man, I need to learn to discipline myself on the research angle. I could easily blow weeks of my life on "research" (which is largely retreading similar material at this point and not necessarily even covering all the things I should cover).

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

If you want to know which content is selling, Sean posted this link to the bestselling authors:

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

There's also a subreddit, but bear in mind they do the weird stuff there. Take all their advice with a quarry's worth of salt - by their own admission in a stickied thread a while ago some of the authors are trying to throw newcomers off with bad advice.

Mortley
Jan 18, 2005

aux tep unt rep uni ovi

So is there any advantage to paper'n'glue bound-book self-publication anymore? I was thinking about it because a guest on Professor Blastoff who happens to have terminal cancer and an upliftingly positive view on life and death got $6k on Kickstarter or GoFundMe or whatever to self-publish his book. I immediately thought, "Great for him, but doesn't that cost $0?"

If y'all could get $6,000 for it, would you want a "real" book with a collection of your stories or the like?

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


A good editor can easily cost thousands. Proofreading, marketing, layout, cover design, interior illustrations... it adds up.

Blue Scream
Oct 23, 2006

oh my word, the internet!

psychopomp posted:

A good editor can easily cost thousands. Proofreading, marketing, layout, cover design, interior illustrations... it adds up.

Yeah :( Depending on the editor, if I wanted to get professional copyediting help, I'd be looking at a layout between $1500-2000. I know that getting your work edited is super important, but I simply can't make that kind of money magically appear in my bank account. It isn't a question of not wanting to.

I found one indie editor's site, recommended by a writer friend, where you can pay $15 to get a beta reader. That sounds better than nothing to me. There's also a romance forum on Goodreads where you can ask for betas who will (presumably) read your book without charging you for it, but you have to be careful to find one who might actually give you feedback instead of just grab at a free book.

A friend who ran her own business said that you have to get used to the idea of spending money to make money. For a salaried minion, that's a scary idea.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I feel like if you're going to self-publish, you have to eat the work and/or cost of the stuff the publisher usually does rather than just shrugging your shoulders and not worrying about it. "Typesetter" is like a full-time career that some people have, so if you just throw poo poo into Word and don't even think about it, it's going to look less professional. "Editor" is another full-time career, and probably gives you more bang for the buck than good typesetting. Unfortunately having a good cover seems to be almost as important as the contents of your book (see Hard Luck Hank.)

You can probably learn to do some minimal typesetting yourself that will bring you above the average pack, and you can definitely spend extra time proofreading and editing, or trading proofreads with other authors etc. If you are making good money, then you can pay for this kind of thing to spend more time writing. You don't really just want to ignore all this stuff because you're a self-publisher. Unless you draw really well, you probably aren't going to be able to do your own covers...and to me paying for a cover on something I don't know if it will even sell is the scariest part.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


angel opportunity posted:

Unfortunately having a good cover seems to be almost as important as the contents of your book (see Hard Luck Hank.)

"unfortunately" we need quality covers instead of trash in order to sell, what a world we live in

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

It's unfortunate because most people here are trying to write books not draw covers, and good covers are expensive. This means it's an added cost and hurdle. Not sure why you are being a dick about it?

Blue Scream
Oct 23, 2006

oh my word, the internet!

angel opportunity posted:

I feel like if you're going to self-publish, you have to eat the work and/or cost of the stuff the publisher usually does rather than just shrugging your shoulders and not worrying about it. "Typesetter" is like a full-time career that some people have, so if you just throw poo poo into Word and don't even think about it, it's going to look less professional. "Editor" is another full-time career, and probably gives you more bang for the buck than good typesetting. Unfortunately having a good cover seems to be almost as important as the contents of your book (see Hard Luck Hank.)

You can probably learn to do some minimal typesetting yourself that will bring you above the average pack, and you can definitely spend extra time proofreading and editing, or trading proofreads with other authors etc. If you are making good money, then you can pay for this kind of thing to spend more time writing. You don't really just want to ignore all this stuff because you're a self-publisher. Unless you draw really well, you probably aren't going to be able to do your own covers...and to me paying for a cover on something I don't know if it will even sell is the scariest part.

I have zero design skills and I don't mind shelling out for a cover--even a couple hundred bucks. A couple thousand bucks (for any service) is different, and this is my first book. I'm okay with doing my own formatting, since I've done some trial runs on Scrivener and they've all come out looking good. And sure, I'll edit and proofread the poo poo out of my work before I'd dream of showing it to somebody else, but it's always easy to miss a couple little things that readers will inevitably find.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


angel opportunity posted:

It's unfortunate because most people here are trying to write books not draw covers, and good covers are expensive. This means it's an added cost and hurdle. Not sure why you are being a dick about it?

mostly just the use of the word "unfortunate", but this is the self-publishing thread and not the write a good book thread. Part of the reason traditional publishers took such a large percentage of book sales was that they hired cover artists, blurb writers, proofreaders, etc. A lot of the stigma against self published books is because people saw that they could take home 100% of the money their books sold and said to themselves "well I don't need any of that".

There are plenty of fiction writing threads and I'll (almost) never tell you that your writing is terrible but when it comes to publishing, having a terrible cover is guaranteeing a book is not going to sell and there's nothing "unfortunate" about that, and I think we've done our best to let people know when the cover they've made has shot themselves in the foot.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Yes, that's why the first sentence in my post was: "I feel like if you're going to self-publish, you have to eat the work and/or cost of the stuff the publisher usually does rather than just shrugging your shoulders and not worrying about it," that includes the cover.

If I ever get super rich I'll probably have a fun time shelling out money for good covers, but people like Blue Scream and I are working day jobs and this "getting money on novels" thing is a scary thing that may or may not work for us, so it's actually quite unfortunate to me that a cover is such a big important piece of the whole package. I'm not arguing "you're a writer, gently caress the cover!" I'm arguing, "I'm a writer, so now I've gotta pay money for something that I can't do to try to sell this book."

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I'm sorry if I misunderstood then, the way I read it was "Man Hard Luck Hank shouldn't have sold at all but unfortunately a good cover made it sell a bunch of copies"

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

My lesson from Hard Luck Hank was that a cover is the most important thing of all. He spent the most money on the cover, and the most time trying to get it to match the tone/genre/contents of what he wrote and it worked out super well for him. That is an unfortunate necessity to me, because I wish I could just not have to worry about doing that :(

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


angel opportunity posted:

My lesson from Hard Luck Hank was that a cover is the most important thing of all. He spent the most money on the cover, and the most time trying to get it to match the tone/genre/contents of what he wrote and it worked out super well for him. That is an unfortunate necessity to me, because I wish I could just not have to worry about doing that :(

There is a way (get a publisher)

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


HLH spent a phenomenal amount of money on his cover, way more than you need for most genres. (Now that I word it like that, I imagine Hank himself e-mailing cover designers in his torn bathrobe.) You're looking at a few hundred tops for a perfectly great cover.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Sundae posted:

HLH spent a phenomenal amount of money on his cover, way more than you need for most genres. (Now that I word it like that, I imagine Hank himself e-mailing cover designers in his torn bathrobe.) You're looking at a few hundred tops for a perfectly great cover.

That's reassuring, thanks!

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


The most I've spent on a cover was $750, and that's because it was completely custom illustration. My other covers were done by designers using stock photos; they look great and the ebook versions cost less than $100 (print editions cost a bit more because of spine and back cover content).

Blue Scream
Oct 23, 2006

oh my word, the internet!

Hijinks Ensue posted:

The most I've spent on a cover was $750, and that's because it was completely custom illustration. My other covers were done by designers using stock photos; they look great and the ebook versions cost less than $100 (print editions cost a bit more because of spine and back cover content).

I'm shopping around for good, cost-effective cover designers (I know about goonwrite.com), is it cool to ask you for recommendations? I also have PM if you'd rather.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


The two best I could recommend right now for the price are (1) Moana here in this thread, and (2) Damon Za.

There is also a list of others in the OP.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


Goonwrite did my first three novels. He wasn't available for my fourth, so I used http://www.litteradesigns.com - am very pleased with the results.

Mortley
Jan 18, 2005

aux tep unt rep uni ovi

That's interesting, and it was silly of me to say $0; I guess I meant you could potentially spend $600 instead of $6,000. But is anybody super focused on getting a paper and glue book published someday, or are the majority content with ebooks? Is the only difference for you in cost of self-publication?

Faded Mars
Jul 1, 2004

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

A lot of people (especially the more successful ones here) will go the extra step and make their book available in paperback through Amazon's CreateSpace service. This gives you a few extra hurdles to jump over. You have to design the entire dust jacket, for one. Front, spine, back, etc. You also need to double and triple check your typesetting so that the book doesn't look like crap. It doesn't cost you any extra money to do yourself, just time. However, many cover artists will charge extra to do up the whole jacket.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Faded Mars posted:

It doesn't cost you any extra money to do yourself, just time.
This though is the kicker. In the time it would take an author to learn the design principles and programs involved in making a decent cover (as well as the legalities of asset rights), they could have been writing, while paying someone else to do it professionally.

Ultimately the choice comes down to losing a few days cobbling together a substandard product, or a couple hundred quid to get a pro cover that will make you back what you paid many, many times over.

Ravenkult is also very good, but I don't know if they just do horror covers.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


My covers are the best covers, it's true. I do a $50 extra charge for the Createspace version, it's really not that hard if I already have the layers for the ebook cover in Photoshop.

Mortley posted:

That's interesting, and it was silly of me to say $0; I guess I meant you could potentially spend $600 instead of $6,000. But is anybody super focused on getting a paper and glue book published someday, or are the majority content with ebooks? Is the only difference for you in cost of self-publication?
I do createspace for one reason: to boost the pagecount on the Kindle purchase page, since the real pagecount always comes out to more than the Kindle estimate they do. Nobody buys them except my mom and a few superfans. They're also nice for giveaways (I guess that's two reasons).

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


moana posted:


I do createspace for one reason: to boost the pagecount on the Kindle purchase page, since the real pagecount always comes out to more than the Kindle estimate they do. Nobody buys them except my mom and a few superfans. They're also nice for giveaways (I guess that's two reasons).

ah I'm so glad you said this. I've been thinking about doing paperbacks for my books for this reason exactly. I'm glad it's not insane.

Is typesetting for print / create space a pain in the rear end? I think I'm savvy enough with PS to make the full cover probably, but I'm not sure how much time I want to dedicate to layout.

ps looks like March is going to be a 1k+ month! I'm psyched. slowly growing.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


the brotherly phl posted:

ps looks like March is going to be a 1k+ month! I'm psyched. slowly growing.

super congrats! :)

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


I always do a print version. Even though I make most of my money off ebooks, I don't like reading ebooks very much. It feels like "work" to me. Plus print copies are good for giveaways, and some bloggers prefer print copies for reviewing.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


The typesetting/formatting stuff has always kept me from thinking too much about print versions. When I make an ebook, I strip everything to barebones for compatibility's sake. With print, I'd quickly get caught up in making sure every page looked just so. Does Createspace take you are through some sort of intuitive formatting/compiling process, or do you have to come to the table with an already polished and perfected file?

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 17:16 on Mar 28, 2015

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Trustworthy posted:

The typesetting/formatting stuff has always kept me from thinking too much about print versions. When I make an ebook, I strip everything to barebones for compatibility's sake. With print, I'd quickly get caught up in make sure every page looked just so. Does Createspace take you are through some sort of intuitive formatting/compiling process, or do you have to come to the table with an already polished and perfected file?

Yeah, this is what I'm wondering too. I mean, we could probably just log on and screw around with it. The only reason I haven't done that yet is because I don't need another thing to distract me from writing. But if it's valuable, I think might go ahead and play around, see if I can figure it out.

Unless there are any good tutorials on createspace anyone would recommend? I'll google around if not.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


My husband does Createspace formatting for $50 a novel, but it's all magic to me.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


I haven't done it but I gave it a brief look a while ago and it doesn't seem that daunting. Createspace has various Word templates that match the page/book dimensions you want, you input the text into the template (or make your own template edited from a copy of your manuscript file), switch on or off options like widows that stop pages consisting of only a few words or lines from happening, page breaks, page numbers, headers, alternating margin sizes so the spine facing margin is thicker, make sure chapter one is on the right, (really just pick up a physical book and emulate it), convert it into a pdf (maybe?) and submit it. There are also paid typsetting programs that have more specific options since Word may or may not have weird kerning and justification. You kinda have to go through it page by page since it is more clearly defined than an ebook and in many ways like a work of art in the sense that the layout you have is going to be the one true final universal layout.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


moana posted:

My husband does Createspace formatting for $50 a novel, but it's all magic to me.

PM me his info? I might give him a try once all this sweet sweet cash begins to flow into my bank account.

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


What's a decent indie editor going to cost? I don't mean a copyeditor, necessarily, but more story-structure, etc. editor.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




chthonic bell posted:

What's a decent indie editor going to cost? I don't mean a copyeditor, necessarily, but more story-structure, etc. editor.

Like a 1cent/word or so and upwards.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


"Oh god taxes oh god" - me every year

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


chthonic bell posted:

What's a decent indie editor going to cost? I don't mean a copyeditor, necessarily, but more story-structure, etc. editor.

Drop me a line at booksidemanner@gmail.com if you'd like to discuss. I can provide story structure, characterization, pacing, etc. feedback in addition to copyediting, and my rates are reasonable.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Checking out a blurb from an author someone in here recommended, and the blurb contains this--above the actual blurb itself:

quote:


***This is a STANDALONE SHORT. This a NOT a full-length book. This short ends in a happily ever after with no cliffhanger***

The ***This is a STANDALONE SHORT...*** thing, is that a good idea to explicitly state that it "ends in a happily ever after with no cliffhanger"? Are they doing this because it's such a really common problem that people are looking for standalones, buy what they think is standalone, and get really mad when it ends on a cliffhanger?

edit: fixed for rules

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 15:46 on Apr 1, 2015

Sulla Faex
May 14, 2010

No man ever did me so much good, or enemy so much harm, but I repaid him with ENDLESS SHITPOSTING


I think quoting blurbs for super-romance might be skirting the rules just a bit too much as there is no way to avoid mention of specific niches (unless it's a terrible blurb), so be careful. You could have quoted just the ** part at the top and played it a lot safer for the mods.

Anyway, that warning is to make it crystal clear to the reader that they're getting a short (5-10k super-romance) story that's not a part of a series. I don't think it being part of a series matters much, they seem to have conflated genres with normal romance a bit - I wouldn't have thought super-romance needed a Happily Ever After or a Happy For Now rule, let alone a clarification in the blurb, but maybe it's a romance-heavy super-romance.

Pointing out the length is a reminder that it's not a full 120-500k romance so people don't drop $3 on it and then get mad when they realise it's only 30 pages. And vice versa, it'll help tell super-romance readers that yes, this is what they're looking for, it's not a 300k epic that'll take a solid week to get through.

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Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Honestly, I don't bother with any of that. In spite of being readers, none of your readers actually read. They will somehow still miss that bit of the blurb and leave an angry review anyway.

The sensible ones never leave reviews on that genre. The insane ones that actually do leave negative reviews on super-romance are insane, so there's no point catering to them.

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