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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Actually I'm getting good feedback in IRC...I will hold off until I have something more polished, then post here if it's okay.

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Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


angel opportunity posted:

Is it okay to post an erotica blurb in here and get feedback, or is that breaking the no erotica rules? It's pretty standard vampire stuff no incest or hosed up poo poo

Nope. Don't post anything about erotica content in this thread. No blurbs, no covers, no story excerpts, no "please explain this fetish to me" threads, no nada. Pricing? Maybe. Anything else? Nope.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Yeah, the last thing that was said was that the business side is OK to mention, content is not.

In terms of trying to help, you could use the SCOPE framework as a start:

http://amandaonwriting.tumblr.com/post/91835906305

Also run it through the Hemingway App:

http://www.hemingwayapp.com

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 17:21 on Apr 28, 2015

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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EngineerSean posted:

Honestly having the stories be available on your blog was problematic anyway, you're opening yourself up to Amazon accusing you of theft.

I like the cover personally.

You just got a buck thirty from me, enjoy.

The Martian was available on Andy Weir's blog simultaneously with Amazon. I don't think it's "problematic", although it may not work with Kindle Unlimited.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Mr. Belding posted:

The Martian was available on Andy Weir's blog simultaneously with Amazon. I don't think it's "problematic", although it may not work with Kindle Unlimited.

Without looking him up, either Andy Weir is someone who I should know and therefore probably went through some kind of talk with Amazon about it (because he's a Big Deal), or he's nobody I should know and Amazon probably never even noticed.

Now that I've looked him up, comparing yourself to a New York Times bestseller and not having any idea what kind of strings he pulled, whether he got a copyright notice from Amazon, or anything like that is probably a bad idea.

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

I picked up The Martian when it was still self-published and I don't think it was KDP Select. He just had it set to $0.99.

Fate Accomplice
Nov 30, 2006




incidentally, The Martian is loving amazing. I read it in 6 hours and I would pay money to be able to read it again for the first time.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
^
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EngineerSean posted:

Without looking him up, either Andy Weir is someone who I should know and therefore probably went through some kind of talk with Amazon about it (because he's a Big Deal), or he's nobody I should know and Amazon probably never even noticed.

Now that I've looked him up, comparing yourself to a New York Times bestseller and not having any idea what kind of strings he pulled, whether he got a copyright notice from Amazon, or anything like that is probably a bad idea.

He wasn't a New York best times best seller. He was a guy with a blog who is NOW a New York times best seller.

Originally The Martian was a series of blog posts. Then people wanted to read it on ereaders, so he set it up on KDP for 99 cents (while still available both for free on his blog and as a downloadable epub). It got big and he eventually got a standard contract for it and later a movie deal.

And obviously, there is no exclusivity deal with Amazon outside of Select so there's really no reason someone not using select should hesitate to publish in other avenues if they feel they are beneficial, including blogging or the like outside of the hearsay that "oh amazon might not like that!"

Of course, for most people select is probably a better bet anyway, but I digress.

Mr. Belding fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Apr 29, 2015

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I'm not even talking about Select here, I'm just saying that people have gotten Amazon breathing down their neck for having something available for free on their own personal websites that was also submitted through Kindle Direct Publishing. All I've got is anecdotes and not policy but seriously, saying "This guy was able to do it just fine" is not proof that it IS fine with Amazon.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

My first erotica short is pending preview on Amazon. Thanks for all the help from people in this thread, especially ravenkult and romantique!

syscall girl
Nov 6, 2009

by FactsAreUseless


Fun Shoe

angel opportunity posted:

My first erotica short is pending preview on Amazon. Thanks for all the help from people in this thread, especially ravenkult and romantique!

Your posts in the China thread should be published as well

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

EngineerSean posted:

I'm not even talking about Select here, I'm just saying that people have gotten Amazon breathing down their neck for having something available for free on their own personal websites that was also submitted through Kindle Direct Publishing. All I've got is anecdotes and not policy but seriously, saying "This guy was able to do it just fine" is not proof that it IS fine with Amazon.

I believe it, but is the Amazon machinery smart enough to determine that a serialized story is the same as the collected story? I mean, the rights to "Ender's Game" the short story and Ender's Game the novel are not the same thing, so it seems like they'd have to be a bit careful to really be sure they had the right thing with a serialized story.

...Or maybe they're just like "We're Amazon, we have you over a barrel."

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Amazon's robots are not smart and Amazon's policy is "Shoot first, never ask questions."

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

syscall girl posted:

Your posts in the China thread should be published as well

I'd like to, but I don't have rights to any of the images :(

What does this mean exactly?

quote:

Live - Updates In Review
Your recent changes are currently under review. Titles are typically reviewed and published within 72 hours. Review times vary and may take longer if publishing rights need to be verified. Meanwhile, the previous version of your title is live in the Kindle Store and is available for purchase.

The links to view my book on Amazon all go to a dead page.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


It's totally standard.

TheForgotton
Jun 10, 2001

I'm making a career of evil.

What's the order of operations? Sign up for a page on Author Central and then start the KDP process with the manuscript?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm trying it now, and from what I can tell you cannot setup an Author Central page without having a book that is already available to buy on Amazon. It makes you find your book before you can finish the Author Central account creation.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

When you guys give out free copies to people on forums, what format do you give them out in? Is there a way to give them free official Kindle editions without paying? Or should I create .mobi files and/or PDFs to give out? Is that breaking the rules with Kindle Select/Unlimited to give out free copies like this?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


angel opportunity posted:

When you guys give out free copies to people on forums, what format do you give them out in? Is there a way to give them free official Kindle editions without paying? Or should I create .mobi files and/or PDFs to give out? Is that breaking the rules with Kindle Select/Unlimited to give out free copies like this?

When you upload a document to the kdp page you are able to download a preview file. That's the .mobi amazon will distribute.

I'm not 100% on the rules but I think as long as you give them out specifically to reviewers it's fine. You just can't put the .mobi on your website for everyone to download.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



AuthorCentral is completely separate from KDP. You don't have to have an Author Central page to publish.

All of my stuff is Select and I hand out copies all the time. I'll give them a .mobi, and if they request something else I send that too.

I think as long as it isn't freely available, where the Amazon crawler can find it, then you should be OK. But even then I don't know the criteria as my poo poo can be downloaded in a torrent from all sorts of sites.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

angel opportunity posted:

When you guys give out free copies to people on forums, what format do you give them out in?

I don't.

quote:

Is there a way to give them free official Kindle editions without paying?

You can run a free promo through KDP for five days every 90 days.

quote:

Or should I create .mobi files and/or PDFs to give out? Is that breaking the rules with Kindle Select/Unlimited to give out free copies like this?

I believe it's breaking the rules.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


It is breaking the rules but just don't yell about it like viola rivard (who probably hasn't even got in trouble for this)

http://violarivard.com/where-can-i-find-your-books/

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


My book is slowly coming together. I'm working on the cover now.

I hate photoshopped stock photographs; it seems to be the big trend now in covers. I want something different, hand-drawn art or artsy art with big chunks of solid colors.

Here's some covers as a frame of reference for what I'm going after:


The story follows an old serial killer, trying to find incriminating photos before he's caught by his family.

Here's the cover.


Here's a tiny thumbnail to see how it'd look on Amazon or other book sites:

Thoughts?

Should I add a callout or something? "Southern Horror For Your Mom" or something?

edit: here's the cover with my illustration, without the halftone dots applied. I felt like it looked too Graphic-Novel ish.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Apr 30, 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


Two things immediately stood out to me,

1. The items he's holding should be of a different graphical style than the rest of him, possibly solid colours.

2. I feel like the title should be bigger

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

Two things immediately stood out to me,

1. The items he's holding should be of a different graphical style than the rest of him, possibly solid colours.

2. I feel like the title should be bigger

Thanks - the title is driving me nuts. I think the typeface ain't helping. Why do you feel the objects should be a different style? For clarity?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

The version without the dots looks better to me. The dots version has some really rough looking edges and artifacting that makes it look cheap to me.

Even on the hand-drawn one I have issues with the white line on his pants, for instance

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


Just saw your edit and I prefer the one without the dots as well. Toss the white line in his pants. I don't like his face, it's distracting and removes the tension - you could black it out and maybe play around with the title, making it bigger and actually superimposing it over his head.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




It's...not a good cover.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

It's...not a good cover.
go on...

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Honestly, it's a total wash for me. The covers you posted are all pretty cool, but you didn't really make yours similar. Does there have to be a weird old guy on the cover? There's no need to be literal with your book cover. What else is important in the book?

Kramdar
Jun 21, 2005

Radmark says....Worship Kramdar


Get rid of the diagonal lines on that background. Apply some texture showing age or something if you're trying to emulate the look of the other covers, there are plenty of tutorials. Or just stick with a solid color.

And your font, start with handwriting it yourself. Then you can scan it. Don't have a scanner? Snap a pic with your smartphone. It's amazing how much more natural it will look, rather than picking a suitable font. And either with Photoshop, or importing and vectorizing it in Illustrator, you can make a good clean text that is pretty scalable.

As for the drawing, it's not good enough for a cover. But it's not unusable. It's just not good enough for a cover in its original state. Play around with filters, but don't get stuck in the obviously default look of a standard Photoshop filter. Anyone that has used Photoshop in the last 20 years can spot them from a mile away.

EDIT:

I'm really bored at work and started doodling. Here's a idea:


That takes care of tying the title to an image for the cover, way more clearly than the polaroid in the guy's hand. As for the knife, well, make something on the cover red. I guess the background color around the text inside the polaroid.

Kramdar fucked around with this message at 21:07 on Apr 30, 2015

Aaronicon
Oct 2, 2010

by primus


magnificent7 posted:

I hate photoshopped stock photographs; it seems to be the big trend now in covers. I want something different, hand-drawn art or artsy art with big chunks of solid colors.

Depending on the genre, trying to be different actually makes selling your work harder when it comes to covers. People have expectations when they're in a genre - they expect covers for a thriller to look one way, covers for a romance to look a different way - so while you might gain some attention from people who would normally scan over your book, there's going to be just as many if not more who'll look at it and pass it over because it looks too different from what they're expecting.

Blue Footed Booby
Oct 4, 2006

got those happy feet




Slippery Tilde

Aaronicon posted:

Depending on the genre, trying to be different actually makes selling your work harder when it comes to covers. People have expectations when they're in a genre - they expect covers for a thriller to look one way, covers for a romance to look a different way - so while you might gain some attention from people who would normally scan over your book, there's going to be just as many if not more who'll look at it and pass it over because it looks too different from what they're expecting.

I read the premise and saw "photoshopped stock photo cover" and imagined the standard sort of shopped together job done in creepy serial killer shrine collage style, possibly with some blood spatter, and title and author on one of the collage fragments. Felt like I have to share that and I have no mental filter.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

These dentures won't stop me from tearing out jugulars in Thunderdome.





Agreed that the cover just isn't working. It looks a bit too cartoonish instead of the minimalist vibe you are going for.

Maybe something like this? Forgive the sloppiness, I literally just stuck some sample photos together in like 30 seconds and I am terrible at photo manipulation.



You could run it through some filters, add a kind of creepy picture to the polaroid, mess with fonts and stuff, etc.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

My erotica short just hot top ten in free paranormal erotica!!!

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


angel opportunity posted:

My erotica short just hot top ten in free paranormal erotica!!!

What the hell does that have to do with my cover?

I kid I kid! Congratulations.

Thanks everybody for your feedback, I appreciate it. I'll go back to the drawing board some more.

Side note - is there seriously a proven track record in creating covers that look like other covers in your genre? I see that comment a lot, and, to me, it screams, "crappy knockoff" MOST of the time. (Not Ravenkult's covers goddammit, those things are loving amazing)

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003

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


magnificent7 posted:

What the hell does that have to do with my cover?

I kid I kid! Congratulations.

Thanks everybody for your feedback, I appreciate it. I'll go back to the drawing board some more.

Side note - is there seriously a proven track record in creating covers that look like other covers in your genre? I see that comment a lot, and, to me, it screams, "crappy knockoff" MOST of the time. (Not Ravenkult's covers goddammit, those things are loving amazing)

You want a cover that will immediately identify what kind of book you are selling. You don't do that by making a totally different kind of cover. You use the style that consumers equate with the kind of book they are looking for.

Imagine if you were sending a demo tape to someone who signs new punk bands. They have to listen to hundreds of demo tapes a day. They pretty much only listen to the first 8 bars of the first song before they skip to the next tape. You're definitely not going to lead off with a cover of Dead Kennedys or whatever, but are you going to start your album with 20 measures of a Brahms Lullaby? Even if it totally turns into an amazing punk song at measure 21, you've hosed yourself.

That might be a bad metaphor because I don't actually know that much about how demo tapes work, but hopefully you get the idea.

You don't copy, but you use the established vernacular.

vseslav.botkin
Feb 18, 2007
Professor

Taking a break from my own cover work.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


I was actually mocking up something like this last night but had to stop and gave up but take this as more than one person thinking you should go for the Memento poster/DVD cover look.

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magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I can actually answer my own question. Yesterday I was flying through Audible looking for my next audiobook; checking the cover, the title, and the rating. Never even read the description, (I had like five spare minutes, so i was in a rush).

Given THAT criteria, my book will fail on two fronts - dull title, bland cover.

Dammit. Steven King never had to put "The Horrific Gore of Bloody What What" as a title. His poo poo was supertight. Yes, I know. I know. I'm not Stephen King. And yes, I know, I spelled his name both ways. Just because he was my favorite author doesn't mean I committed his preferred spelling to memory.

SO then; back to the drawing board X2. The Deadly Photograph, and the cover is a severed hand holding a camera.

Boom. NYT Best-seller here I come.

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