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Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



I've just uploaded my second short to Amazon and it's being processed. When you have two shorts out is it the time to start buying presence on mailshots? My first has sold two copies, and three KU borrows from other Goons. I have three good reviews, one five star from a goon, one four star from a beta reader and one five star from someone who went on to sign up to my newsletter. Her review actually made me smile.

The first is a romance with a steamy scene, and my second is straight up romance. They're both 10k shorts as part of a series and I'm starting the third tomorrow. Will the fact that I haven't written one short and disappeared, and have a follow up coming to Amazon make any difference?

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The Fuzzy Hulk
Nov 22, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT CROSSING THE STREAMS




laxbro posted:

My first month isn't over yet, but I'm pleasantly surprised. Wish I had taken my stories off my blog and thrown them into an ebook earlier. Working (slowly) on the next collection of short stories now, and hope to get a full length YA thriller out in time for Halloween.

I also hope to flex my rapidly growing email subscription list better next time. Kind of screwed up with this book by setting it at .99 and just asking my email list to buy it even though they had already read all the stories since they were previously posted on my blog. On the next book I will set it to free next time and ask them to review it!

What do you have book report's borrow price set at?

laxbro
Apr 20, 2013
Relax.

The Fuzzy Hulk posted:

What do you have book report's borrow price set at?

1.34?

edit: which is what book report is automatically set to.

laxbro fucked around with this message at 22:51 on May 28, 2015

The Fuzzy Hulk
Nov 22, 2007

ASK ME ABOUT CROSSING THE STREAMS




That makes sense. I have about 10x as many borrows but I always set it at $1.00 so I'm pleasantly surprised (hopefully) when they announce the real rate. Last month was 1.36 but I think book report's default was 1.40 something.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Hey, just throwing this out there, but could we get the IRC info in the OP? Is that a good idea? There are a few of us who hangout in there every day, might be useful for others.

irc.synirc.net:6697
#selfpub

Not sure if this has been said already or not. Sorry if it has.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Done. :)

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I have one hour on Monday for an AMA in the IRC on self publishing, let ravenkult know what time I should do it and he'll let me know what time I should show up.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Let's Get Visible on sale for $3 this weekend. It is probably the best $3 a digital publisher can spend. Ignore all the non-Amazon parts though.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CPQ6YYI

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




EngineerSean posted:

I have one hour on Monday for an AMA in the IRC on self publishing, let ravenkult know what time I should do it and he'll let me know what time I should show up.

Anyone who's interested should PM me or catch me on IRC.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Ok I'll be in the IRC channel starting at 3 PM Eastern time. I might be there a little earlier than that depending on how my work day goes, but I'll almost certainly be signing off right at 4 PM

fruit loop
Apr 25, 2015


Are 6k-word super romance shorts viable or is 10k a hard minimum?

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


6K is probably viable. Most of my wife's stories are 7K-10K.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


I vaguely remember people talking about 3-5k as the absolute minimum, but that was like 2 years ago so the market has probably moved on.

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




Wow, really? That's a little surprising; looking at the top 20 list, they're nearly all novel/novella-length, with the exception of one author who seems to average 28-36k.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

so you see, that's where the trouble began.
that smile.
that damned smile.

It's an odd thing, but then it depends on what you're aiming for. A lot of people buying power romance are literally doing it to get straight to the good bit.

There's a large proportion of the audience who would probably actually be put off by an extra 10k of character development.

e: to clarify, you won't make the top 10 and ludicrous cash by writing 5-10k shorts, but you can make enough of a steady income. As others have said, it's a numbers game.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 20:34 on Jun 1, 2015

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


Omi no Kami posted:

Wow, really? That's a little surprising; looking at the top 20 list, they're nearly all novel/novella-length, with the exception of one author who seems to average 28-36k.

You don't have to be anywhere near the top 20 to be doing okay for yourself. You do have to be willing to put out a ton of the shorter material, though.

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




I've been reading through aubrey rose's romance structure linked in the OP, does the same general narrative arc apply to short-form fiction, or are they literally looking for nothing deeper than "This is a boy; this is a girl. They're right for each other but don't know it, let's watch them figure it out"?

Metropolis
Apr 6, 2006


So I want to get into self-publishing books for fun and profit, major emphasis on the profit.

I could feasibly write decent romance, but I think my real strength, passion, and knowledge of genre is in fantasy and sci-fi. But, all of my speculative fiction ideas are novels which would take me a rather long time to write, whereas I could probably do faster ~20k word novellas in romance. I could also potentially adapt my speculative fiction novels into serials, but I have no idea how well that works. And I think if you're doing a serial properly you're kind of locked into it so it's just like doing a novel in terms of spending time on one project. Frankly, I'd just do erotica but I always hear about all the filtering and getting accounts blocked and stuff those authors have to deal with, and I'd rather not worry about that unless there was a very high reward compared to other genres.

My understanding is, the standards for the quality of fiction in the romance genre are a bit lower and the beginning payout for shorts is higher. I don't know if that's still true or if it ever was. If it is, then I feel I could write much faster because getting a book from pretty good to great takes about as much effort for me as getting to the "pretty good" part. And I'm figuring that as far as money-making goes, it's better to have two sellable books out than one. I don't really see myself lowering my standards of quality to increase the amount of books I publish for sci-fi and fantasy, but I'd do it for romance if it would work, to a point. I have no intention of shoveling poo poo onto the internet but I'm not going to be trying to win any awards with romance either.

But I think even with a great book with a great cover, title, and blurb, it seems hard to stand out in fantasy/sci fi and I don't have much money or even really time to put toward marketing. Though if I spent more than two months writing something I'd be willing to shell out a couple hundred bucks for a cover if I thought I would get a return on the investment down the line. Editing too. I don't really know how well buying ads works or if it would be worth it for an author with only one book to sell.

What is the difference in sales potential for a beginning author who doesn't totally suck in those genres? I'm talking short-term here, six months in, writing 3k words a day (but needing more time to edit. Probably the same amount of time to edit for romance and double that for fantasy/sci fi.) Would I be better off money-wise with one really good professional fantasy novel (just humour me in assuming I can do this), or the equivalent in ~20k length serials (probably five or six), or would I be much better off with like 10 romance serials that are not heartrendingly poignant but competently written and have some thought put into them?

Money aside I'd rather write the fantasy novel, but I don't imagine a first novel by an author without a lot of resources to push it will hit the ground running. I can wait on doing my passion projects if some other writing would pay the bills in the meantime. How much I would be making six months from now matters to me because that's when my current day job ends and my employment status will be a bit up in the air.

Pinky Artichoke
Apr 10, 2011

Dinner has blossomed.

Metropolis posted:

My understanding is, the standards for the quality of fiction in the romance genre are a bit lower and the beginning payout for shorts is higher. I don't know if that's still true or if it ever was. If it is, then I feel I could write much faster because getting a book from pretty good to great takes about as much effort for me as getting to the "pretty good" part. And I'm figuring that as far as money-making goes, it's better to have two sellable books out than one. I don't really see myself lowering my standards of quality to increase the amount of books I publish for sci-fi and fantasy, but I'd do it for romance if it would work, to a point. I have no intention of shoveling poo poo onto the internet but I'm not going to be trying to win any awards with romance either.

I don't know, man, I've read some intensely lovely traditionally-published scifi, things that are every bit as much of a lightly-reskinned fan-fiction stinkpile as "50 Shades". The big difference is that those scifi writers made a lot less money for their questionable efforts.

quote:

Money aside I'd rather write the fantasy novel, but I don't imagine a first novel by an author without a lot of resources to push it will hit the ground running. I can wait on doing my passion projects if some other writing would pay the bills in the meantime. How much I would be making six months from now matters to me because that's when my current day job ends and my employment status will be a bit up in the air.

My guess is that if you just write and post some random thing without doing any marketing research or promotion of any kind is that in 6 months you will be the proud recipient of up to a few hundred dollars. Keep in mind, beyond the part about wanting to make money without doing the work of attracting customers to your product, you don't get paid instantly for this stuff.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Metropolis posted:

My understanding is, the standards for the quality of fiction in the romance genre are a bit lower

fantasy is romance for wizard nerds
scifi is romance for space nerds

They're all genre fiction. Write them as well as you can (and publish well) and you'll find a career somewhere.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


The #1 standard of quality for any genre, regardless of anything else, is can you tell a story people want to read?

Look at pretty much any bestseller in genre fiction. They're all pure crap from a literary perspective, and that's perfectly okay with the readers. Why? Because the readers care first and foremost about the story. Twilight is pure trash, but it's pure trash that set up a paranormal love triangle with an empty-vessel lead female that permitted the readers to insert themselves into the storyline. It did exactly what it set out to do. I hate Dan Brown's writing with a passion, but--again--story. I'll be damned if he can't tell a story that seriously entertains his target audience.

Same thing with basically everything. Harry Potter isn't some amazing work of art, but it's a perfectly-targeted, competently-written fantasy series that aged with its target audience. It told a great story in a way that its target audience (and more) could easily relate to, and the characters grew up at almost the same rate as the audience. To a lesser degree (in terms of success), you also see this with Lemony Snickett's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books.


Tell a story people want to read, hit the notes the audience wants to hear, and do it in a way where your writing doesn't actively distract from the story. If you can do this, you'll make it (relative to your chosen genre's standards for "making it") in any genre.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

This week will be a costly marketing experiment. Dropped $100 on a freebooksy blast for a PNR short that's 3 months old and did very well for me. Then another $50 on a booksends promo for a brand new PNR short that is starting out strong. These both coincide with 5 day free promos, so I'm hoping for low three digit free rankings. I also did a bunch of free promos for both so hopefully this will work out.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

This week will be a costly marketing experiment. Dropped $100 on a freebooksy blast for a PNR short that's 3 months old and did very well for me. Then another $50 on a booksends promo for a brand new PNR short that is starting out strong. These both coincide with 5 day free promos, so I'm hoping for low three digit free rankings. I also did a bunch of free promos for both so hopefully this will work out.

Good luck!

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


quote:

What is the difference in sales potential for a beginning author who doesn't totally suck in those genres? I'm talking short-term here, six months in, writing 3k words a day (but needing more time to edit. Probably the same amount of time to edit for romance and double that for fantasy/sci fi.) Would I be better off money-wise with one really good professional fantasy novel (just humour me in assuming I can do this), or the equivalent in ~20k length serials (probably five or six), or would I be much better off with like 10 romance serials that are not heartrendingly poignant but competently written and have some thought put into them?

If you want to write serials it's tough. Romance readers are more accepting of the format because they're used to it. SF/F readers are just getting to the point where they'll read them to. If you want to succeed with serials you are going to have to release VERY frequently and VERY consistently. Like, one 20k episode every three weeks to a month. Each episode must be more or less self-contained, but tie into the larger narrative. Think about it like an episode of a story-driven TV show like Supernatural or X-Files; there are "monster of the week" eps and "metapolit" eps, but there's a complete story with a beginning, middle, and end.

So if you have the time and focus to plot out a story, write it, edit it, polish it, and publish it every month, serials might work almost as well as novels. Maybe. If you get lucky and stumble on a really marketable premise at just the right time that gets in front of the right eyes.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


Sales have been so in the tank the last couple weeks that I am seriously considering trying to get a free BookBub just to get some traction (I really hate the idea of giving stuff away, though).

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Hijinks Ensue posted:

Sales have been so in the tank the last couple weeks that I am seriously considering trying to get a free BookBub just to get some traction (I really hate the idea of giving stuff away, though).

We've been over this in a couple other writer's groups, but sales beget sales, even free ones. Of course, the ratio is like 100:1 free: paid, but I think that if you've got a back catalog, you really won't regret it.

I gave away 12k books last week and now I'm selling more.

Toaster Beef
Jan 23, 2007

that's not nature's way


Seriously, free promos are a fantastic way to bring more attention to a struggling or slow back catalog. I've never understood the concept of "I don't want my work with links to a bunch of non-free stories of mine to be seen by thousands more people than it normally would."

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Toaster Beef posted:

Seriously, free promos are a fantastic way to bring more attention to a struggling or slow back catalog. I've never understood the concept of "I don't want my work with links to a bunch of non-free stories of mine to be seen by thousands more people than it normally would."

I think it hinges on the notion that the audience is smaller and more stagnant than it actually is. Under that view, I could understand people seeing free copies as lost sales. But the reality is that it's a gigantic pool of customers and some only shop on Amazon once a week or once a month. Running a five day free promo won't poison the well for future sales.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


I'm going to go for it and try for a free BookBub for book 1 of my two-book suspense series. That seems like the best choice for a free promo (all my other books are stand-alones).

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




For those of you who primarily produce high volumes of shorter (20-40k) works, how do the book covers work? Does each individual story still make enough to cover the $50-200 cover * 3-5 times/month?

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Omi no Kami posted:

For those of you who primarily produce high volumes of shorter (20-40k) works, how do the book covers work? Does each individual story still make enough to cover the $50-200 cover * 3-5 times/month?

I learned how to make them myself.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Omi no Kami posted:

For those of you who primarily produce high volumes of shorter (20-40k) works, how do the book covers work? Does each individual story still make enough to cover the $50-200 cover * 3-5 times/month?

What genre are you thinking of doing?

If you're doing romance/erotica, you can 100% do the covers yourself. The standard romance cover is a stock image that you pay a few bucks for with some text on it. You can still gently caress this up pretty bad though, so it will take some practice if you don't have a good eye for this kind of thing. It's worth training yourself at in the beginning though. I'm trying to shoot out three 6k-word stories per week right now, and not having to pay for covers is a huge bonus. If you're doing short erotica, this is all that is really worth doing.

If you're doing an erom book that you are hoping is going to do super loving well, then spending like $200 on a cover seems worth it to me. With some exceptions, the recent top 20 romance titles have had really nice looking covers recently.

In other news, I just started launched my new pen name with a focused niche. I did some good research on keywords, and I'm following Sean's advice about pricing at 99 cents. The keywords and the niche I chose seem to at least be partially working, because I've had a few buys and borrows immediately with no promotions done. The 99-cent price point is working as well, because I'm getting more buys than I usually do. It's kind of unfortunate because a buy is worth so much less than a borrow, but I have to keep telling myself that the increased exposure is 100% worth it.

I'm going to publish another short tonight, and I'm running a $5 bknights promo on Friday, so hopefully I can at least double what I made last month with constant output and promotion.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Let me know how BKNights works out for you.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I've used it for releases on my old pen name and it got me 500 downloads on the first day usually, close to 800-900 through the 5-day period.

I'm hoping with this niche I might get more :D

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



When you set a free five day promo on Amazon, whose timezone does it match to? Will it set different free times for the different days according to the marketplace? So all of the UK would be the same, but if someone from the US views it they could be East Coast or West Coast. And does this make a difference?

Edit: I should have just checked the KDP help site. It has it covered. Promo times are based on PST, midnight to midnight.

Second Edit: So obviously this has implications for you if you're using a non-PST promotion. An e-mail shot might hit your customers, especially in the UK about eight hours before there's a change in the price. Hopefully, the fact it happens at midnight PST would mean it's working by 8am GMT, so most people shouldn't have read their e-mail about an offer, but it's something to keep in mind. Amazon also says their systems can lag and it can take anywhere from a few minutes, to a few hours for the change in price to take effect.

Mrenda fucked around with this message at 13:16 on Jun 3, 2015

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

so you see, that's where the trouble began.
that smile.
that damned smile.

Sundae posted:

Let me know how BKNights works out for you.
It had absolutely no effect on sales for me, but when I checked the page they'd put it on, it appeared after about forty other books. It was way, way down after the point I'd have stopped scrolling, so god only knows where it appeared on the Facebook page.

This has only been my experience and may have been because I'm small-time and it was a romance>erotica short. It seems to have a better effect on full novels going by what others have said, or maybe weekends are vastly over saturated with promos and it's better to run it during the week. All I know is it didn't work for me.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I've never done a free promo without BKnights...I'm afraid to try. I had a similar experience though where my book was quite low on the list.

With that said, I did notice a spike in free downloads as soon as my book showed on the list. It could just be that it was around 10am EST though, which is when more people are awake and downloading.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Bobby Deluxe posted:

It had absolutely no effect on sales for me, but when I checked the page they'd put it on, it appeared after about forty other books. It was way, way down after the point I'd have stopped scrolling, so god only knows where it appeared on the Facebook page.

That matches my one-time experience with them on a Friday promo.

Omi no Kami
Feb 19, 2014




angel opportunity posted:

What genre are you thinking of doing?

Romance or erom, once I figure out which one I'm actually better at writing.

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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Yeah, just make your own covers then. Especially starting out you'll save a lot of money even though you'll end up wasting some time learning to do them. Join #selfpub on synIRC if you need help. Ravenkult (who is better at covers than me) and I usually are in there if you need help.

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