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Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Silvyfox posted:

Then again, my dad still thinks I'm writing historically inspired fiction novels, so v:v:v

Someday when I'm a romance kajillionaire, I'll be able to take six months off and write what I REALLY want to write... An epic, coming-of-age, 19th century whaling adventure where the only romance is a between a young sailor and his terrible mistress, the sea.

Exactly five people will buy it, and maybe someday one of them will even read it.

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Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


Non-genre fiction does not necessarily equate "zero sales." I have a stand-alone contemporary/literary novel that's sold several thousand copies, and I'm happy with that.

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


Silvyfox posted:

I've been seeing a lot of buzz on the subreddit about using keywords spaced like this: keyword/keyword/etc and using up the whole space for a keyword so that you maximize your allotted keywords. What do you guys think? It seems like a way to edge around the limit.

Was there anything Amazon said about it? I've looked but it all looks pretty vague (which is not surprising for Amazon).

Amazon only counts the commas, no spaces. So as long as you have a maximum of six commas, you can fill up the entire character count. As far as I know, Amazon don't much seem to care.

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



TheForgotton posted:

I'm creeping towards self-publication of my first novel, which is a dark comedy/crime thriller. How does this cover strike you for something in the neighborhood of Carl Hiaasen and Tim Dorsey? I'm still trying to nail down an appropriate blurb as well.



Blurb version 1.

Stealing the tricked-out sports car was the easy part. Enjoying his date afterward was another story.

For a neurotic projectionist afraid to jaywalk, Martyís night just keeps getting more complicated. Dodging the police and his girlfriend, he tries to seduce his new coworker with a late-night joyride through the streets of South Miami. Had he known what was in the trunk, or what the carís terrifying owner would do to get it back, he probably would have picked a different day to start his life of crime.

Blurb version 2.
Marty didnít mean to steal the car, but there was something about the concession stand girlís eyes. He wasnít going to let the mounting paranoia, hallucinations of his girlfriend, or the Miami-Dade Police spoil their late-night joyride and impromptu date. So what if the trunk was filled with gruesome baggage, or if the carís rightful owner started calling Martyís phone? A few minor setbacks, but nothing he couldnít handle with the help of a street-pharmacist with a penchant for pigtails and kimonos. Who knew crime had such a steep learning curve?

I know this is a couple of pages back, but I was just going to say that I think you should move the key/keyring to the center of the page so that the keyring isn't bleeding off the right edge.

I also agree with ravenkult: Increase the author name so that it is larger than the title.

Looks good!

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


Anybody had issues with Amazon's payments?

I've set up Payoneer and I'm starting to see payments trickle through from Amazon for the first few months that I started. However, the payments are all wrong. I check their royalty spreadsheet for February and it tells me that the US marketplace is 10x higher than what they're transferring into my account. Even if you exclude KU books it's still off by quite a bit. The same is true for the other marketplaces - not 10x the number, but double or more. Only CAD had the right number, which was 1 sale.

I haven't been paid for January or earlier either, and I'm wondering if that's related to the fact that I only changed my details from Wire (min $100 which I wouldn't have reached yet) to EFT (with Payoneer etc - no minimum for most marketplaces) last month. But I would have assumed that my unpaid royalties from Dec + Jan would have rolled over into this payment cycle, and in fact the opposite has happened - from what I can see, they're not paying about 90% of what their own royalty report tells me I'm owed.

Has this happened to anybody else? Have I missed something fundamental in the fine print, do I wait a bit longer to see what actually comes through, or do I get in touch with KDP support now?

e: Oh man, I just found this on the KDP forums.

quote:

Q What happens if I switch from check payment to EFT?

A Your first EFT payment will be 60 days after the end of the month in which you switch, assuming you earned royalties during that month. At some point you'll get a check for accumulated royalties from before you made the switch.

That's a bit of a poo poo - assuming it counts for wire as well as cheque. I might get in touch with them and confirm this is correct and what amount I can expect, just in case.

Sulla Faex fucked around with this message at 08:03 on Apr 21, 2015

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

So which one of you is this?

http://www.bustle.com/articles/77077-self-published-author-mark-dawson-makes-450000-a-year-from-amazons-kindle-direct-publishing-and-no-you

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007




Meanwhile, I've made $14.70 in seven months...

Oi. Just gotta keep at it.

I'm not at all surprised, as I've been writing fiction shorts and nobody wants to read fiction shorts. I did outline a couple of ideas for novels last week and my goal is to write at least one novel this year. I'm trying to wrap up a sixth short story in my series before venturing into novel territory, though.

I'm hesitant to self-publish my novel when it's complete, at least at first. I hope I'm not alone in wishing to still land the dream of having a book picked up by a publisher the old way.

Question: Assuming I picked up a pen name to do some--ahem--work on the side, what is the best way to go about getting a headshot to use on authorpages/etc? Stealing someone's face without paying them seems icky.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


ExtraNoise posted:

Meanwhile, I've made $14.70 in seven months...

Can you tell me really quick why your work isn't in KDP Select? A lot more people will be willing to try out your work if it they don't have to pay for it.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


ExtraNoise posted:

Meanwhile, I've made $14.70 in seven months...

Oi. Just gotta keep at it.

I'm not at all surprised, as I've been writing fiction shorts and nobody wants to read fiction shorts. I did outline a couple of ideas for novels last week and my goal is to write at least one novel this year. I'm trying to wrap up a sixth short story in my series before venturing into novel territory, though.

I'm hesitant to self-publish my novel when it's complete, at least at first. I hope I'm not alone in wishing to still land the dream of having a book picked up by a publisher the old way.

Question: Assuming I picked up a pen name to do some--ahem--work on the side, what is the best way to go about getting a headshot to use on authorpages/etc? Stealing someone's face without paying them seems icky.


First: Exactly what Sean said. 1 sale a month is really low even for short-story fiction, and KU changes the game there. The other distributors clearly aren't netting you any sales either, so drop the dead donkeys and go Select / KU. That's my recommendation.

Second: Nothing wrong with trying to go with a publisher if that's the thing you want to do. It depends entirely on your personal situation / comfort levels. Personally, pretty much the only publisher I'd touch these days is an Amazon-owned imprint given the shift in the power balance, but that's just me. I'm biased given the easy access I have to readers in romance and super-romance, though.

Third: Stock photos. Pay for the photo, manipulate it a little to make it less traceable, and go hog wild.

Sundae fucked around with this message at 00:41 on Apr 22, 2015

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



Great answers guys, thank you. I'm going to try going 100% with Amazon and seeing if it helps sales!

The Gilded Age
Mar 28, 2010


Hey thank you guys for this thread! I just released a short story and a humor book today because I stumbled upon this thread two months ago! It inspired me to take a serious shot at my dreams.

Again, thank you all for inspiring me!!

:neckbeard:

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


I have some questions about publishing my first paranormal romance books

1) I have read here that making your first book free is one of the best ways to get readers. Is this something you would recommend doing right off the bat? Or charge money first, then make it free when you have more books in the series? (Does this even matter with Kindle Unlimited?)

2) Length: A few posters have said that Romance needs to be 20k+ but at 20k you get complaints that books are too short. But then I think EngineerSean also said that he wrote a "full length" romance novel and it wasn't worth the effort? Is there a kind of agreed-upon length for the $2.99 romance price point? Does anyone know if readers expect paranormal romances to be longer? Or is there a good way to tell how many words a kindle book is? I read them, but other than thinking "wow this is short compared to the YA fiction I also read," I don't really know how long they are. The ones I'm working on now will probably be about 65k, but if shorter works, I will probably try to come up with smaller stories in the future.

3) Explicit sex: Is it required in romance? :(

Based on the best seller lists, I'm going to be reading a LOT of shifter romance over the next few months. Bleh.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

One thing I keep hearing is that $2.99 is no longer a valid price point. Much like readers know that 99¢ is scrub tier for super romance, they know that searching at $2.99 will net every novel everyone has ever published, good or not. Even at $3.99 you might inspire a little more confidence.

As for giving it away free, it depends. You could always try a well timed and advertised freebie weekend, see how you get on. Giving it away free would certainly net you more readers but traditionally this is only really an idea to draw people in so they buy the rest of your catalogue. If you don't have a catalogue yet, you're drawing people in for nothing unless you get them to sign up for a mailing list.

Depends which is more important to you right now - money from sales, or potential readers from sales.

Not an expert though.

Oh, and on the score of #3, you want it to be sensuous, not explicit. Describe feelings rather than actions. With proper romance it's about the build up not the culmination.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 11:33 on Apr 23, 2015

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Has Google Drive gotten better with Scrivener?

I used to use Google Drive for my writing storage but after a few days losses I put it all on Dropbox. No losses since, but it'd be nice to have everything in one spot.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


There's successful romance with naught but a chaste kiss planted betwixt m'lady's lips, and there's successful romance with as much hardcore explicit sex as any erotica short.

Your success as a romance writer will depend far less on the level of explicitness in your love scenes, and far more on whether you're targeting the right subset of romance readers, and giving your audience (most of whom will have bought your work based on the strength of your cover and blurb) something that's in the ballpark of what they expect in terms of heat level.

In other words, it's fine to release a sweet, innocent romance if your product has the telltale signs of a sweet, innocent romance. Ditto for a filthy, no-holdsholes-barred fuckfest (so long as that doesn't outshine relationship-building as the main focus, and there's the obligatory HEA/HFN).

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 13:43 on Apr 23, 2015

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I've made a literal fortune writing full length romance novels so I don't think I said that. My first novel bombed and that's just something you have to be prepared for.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


EngineerSean posted:

I've made a literal fortune writing full length romance novels so I don't think I said that. My first novel bombed and that's just something you have to be prepared for.

Just out of curiosity, what's 'bombed'?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I spent more on promoting it than I got back from sales. At the time my erotica career made up for it easily but it was also a blow to the ego and your average self publisher doesn't have that kind of money to just laugh off.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

What do you think made it bomb, in hindsight?

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


angel opportunity posted:

What do you think made it bomb, in hindsight?

Yeah, ditto this question.

Do you think it has done better in the long run, or have you taken it down? I mean, eventually it would probably start to make a profit, right? Even just from sell-throughs from your other books.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Yes of course it has made money by now, at $10 a week it almost certainly paid for itself inside of a year, but it was still disappointing. It still spends most of its time ranked 100k+ even when much worse books of mine make more money.

There was a very popular book called "The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden" that spent months in the Top 100 that my wife and I tried to emulate, and I think we just came up very short. The book is good but not perfect, the trend (girls and guys broken by childhood trauma finding comfort in each other) stayed hot for most of 2013 but by now has been replaced by "all of that plus the guy is a billionaire/biker/stepbrother/playboy". It's really hard because if someone were to submit the book to me today, I'd still publish it largely as it exists today. I just wouldn't write such a theme to begin with.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

So to be clear, and I know I sound like a broken record dumbass here, but I should literally go to the top 100 list, buy a book on there, and try to like break it down into a formula and then just write something that follows that formula that also is about the same fetish or whatever?

I wanted to just kind of get in the groove of writing porn, so I wrote something that was more fun to me without targeting a market, but now that I'm 90% done with that I'm ready to target some markets directly.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


angel opportunity posted:

So to be clear, and I know I sound like a broken record dumbass here, but I should literally go to the top 100 list, buy a book on there, and try to like break it down into a formula and then just write something that follows that formula that also is about the same fetish or whatever?

I wanted to just kind of get in the groove of writing porn, so I wrote something that was more fun to me without targeting a market, but now that I'm 90% done with that I'm ready to target some markets directly.

It's not just "buy a random book", try to get a feeling for ALL books in the Top 100 of a category, but this is good advice for literally every genre (not just "porn").

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

So I should probably like take notes on all the covers and blurbs within the top 100, and maybe read like two or three of them, but focus mostly on what they are doing with their covers/blurbs/overall aesthetic?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I didn't know exactly how to put it but yes, "overall aesthetic" is definitely what you're looking for. If you're looking for a longer-term career, reading a few of the ones that fit what you'd want to write is definitely necessary, but the presentation is definitely what is key.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


EngineerSean posted:

Yes of course it has made money by now, at $10 a week it almost certainly paid for itself inside of a year, but it was still disappointing. It still spends most of its time ranked 100k+ even when much worse books of mine make more money.

There was a very popular book called "The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden" that spent months in the Top 100 that my wife and I tried to emulate, and I think we just came up very short. The book is good but not perfect, the trend (girls and guys broken by childhood trauma finding comfort in each other) stayed hot for most of 2013 but by now has been replaced by "all of that plus the guy is a billionaire/biker/stepbrother/playboy". It's really hard because if someone were to submit the book to me today, I'd still publish it largely as it exists today. I just wouldn't write such a theme to begin with.

I was really disappointed to see how that book's reception was. I thought you had a pretty nice story there. Also, Callie and Kayden has the worst acronym ever when you try to shorten the title.

Looking forward, I'm not sure what to emulate in romance at this point for 'long term' story styles. I'm leaning more toward following in Colleen Hoover's footsteps rather than J.S given J.S seems to have fallen off a cliff ever since Breaking Nova.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Has anyone found anything in your genre they legitimately enjoy and would recommend?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Silvyfox posted:

Has anyone found anything in your genre they legitimately enjoy and would recommend?

Darling, if you think we hate everything we write or is similar to what we write, you have a lower opinion of us than is really fair.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


EngineerSean posted:

Darling, if you think we hate everything we write or is similar to what we write, you have a lower opinion of us than is really fair.

I suppose that was worded poorly. I meant more in that "Wow, that was really good, I'm really glad I picked that up." kind of way.

I did that with the Dresden series, and I don't normally like first-person, next thing I know I had blown through all of them.

I've actually found a lot that's really good, and I don't hate what I write, otherwise I wouldn't write it.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Silvyfox posted:

Has anyone found anything in your genre they legitimately enjoy and would recommend?

I'm definitely not the target audience for my genre, but there are a few I definitely appreciated. "Dear Rockstar" from Emme Rollins, "Leo" from Mia Sheridan (kinda - liked the MC's voice, at least; well characterized), "Maybe Someday" by Colleen Hoover. I really like my own books, too, but I'm not going to count those. ;) A lot of Julia Kent's stuff makes me laugh (Random Acts of Crazy in particular). The rest is kind of lost on me in the sense that I get it but don't relate to it the way its target audience does.

Ed Zeddmore
Dec 12, 2011

:h:love will turn you around:h:


Anyone who wants a good overview of the romance genre and how to write it should check out On Writing Romance. It's a whole Romance 101 course in book form with lots of specific advice, excerpts and checklists. Beyond Heaving Bosoms, by the founders of the great Smart Bitches, Trashy Books site, is a much lighter but still very informative take on the genre and its tropes. There's even a Choose Your Own Adventure section. :v: Aside from the books, you can get a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't just from going to that site and looking through the F and DNF reviews vs. the As and Bs. I still love it that they were just too bored to finish Fifty Shades, back when it seemed like everyone on the internet would not shut up about how it signaled the end of English literature, or possibly the world.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


That's good information. I'm going to try our writing a romance novella this year, and while I've read some in the genre, I could stand to learn more about it.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


EngineerSean posted:

I've made a literal fortune writing full length romance novels so I don't think I said that. My first novel bombed and that's just something you have to be prepared for.

This is comforting to hear. I must have misremembered a really old post or something.

Does anyone have recommendations for substantive editors? (i.e. not copyediting/proofreading, but more like "here is where your plot breaks down" stuff)

I looked at the Flourish Editing listed in the OP and it would be ~$2400 for a 60k novel and I am hesitant to spend so much right away.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


thats a lot of money, I'd just go with a freelance option, I can't recommend any though

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

This is comforting to hear. I must have misremembered a really old post or something.

Does anyone have recommendations for substantive editors? (i.e. not copyediting/proofreading, but more like "here is where your plot breaks down" stuff)

I looked at the Flourish Editing listed in the OP and it would be ~$2400 for a 60k novel and I am hesitant to spend so much right away.

Never done a romance book before, but maybe I can help you out. I charge roughly 1 cent/word. Unless someone else knows of a romance editor, 'cause that would probably be better for you.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

This is comforting to hear. I must have misremembered a really old post or something.

Does anyone have recommendations for substantive editors? (i.e. not copyediting/proofreading, but more like "here is where your plot breaks down" stuff)


I do line editing as well as copyediting/proofreading. Here's my site: http://booksidemanner.com. You can email me at booksidemanner at gmail.com (I don't have a PM account here at SA).

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

"It's time....to DIE!"


ravenkult posted:

Never done a romance book before, but maybe I can help you out. I charge roughly 1 cent/word. Unless someone else knows of a romance editor, 'cause that would probably be better for you.

If I was doing horror, I'd hire you for sure, but right now I need someone with expertise (since I have none) :)

Hijinks Ensue posted:

I do line editing as well as copyediting/proofreading. Here's my site: http://booksidemanner.com. You can email me at booksidemanner at gmail.com (I don't have a PM account here at SA).

Cool, I have your info saved for copyediting already, will email you re: line editing. Thanks!

Oh, based on your site, I'm looking for something even broader than line-editing. Overall structure, plot, characterization/motivation, pacing, is the romance actually believable or is it strained and awkward, etc.

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at 00:47 on Apr 25, 2015

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Dr. K, come on IRC

Fate Accomplice
Nov 30, 2006




angel opportunity posted:

Dr. K, come on IRC

is there an SA writers/self publishers IRC?!

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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm only aware of the Thunderdome IRC and the Long Walk IRC (check for that thread also in CC)...both Dr. K and I are doing self-pub romance/erotica for our Long Walk goals, so I was going to talk to her about it there :)

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