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freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


feedmyleg posted:

I'm running a Bargain Booksy promotion this week.

Free/bargain book promos in my experience are always the best cost-benefit ratio way of marketing , especially if you're in KU and get flow through. Having said that I've also seen a slow and steady dip in their reliability, I made the first book in my zombie series and my stand-alone vampire book free around the 25th for the Halloween lead-up and had something like 700 downloads for each but saw almost no KU uptick. But then, on the other hand, I've also promoted these books every few months for yonks and there surely has to be some level of diminishing returns...

I don't know. I wish I could give more advice but so much of it is trial and error and when something works you're not always sure why it worked. I haven't tried FB ads myself, or Bookbub ads, but I think the consensus over at Kboards is that Bookbub ads aren't cost effective.


pseudanonymous posted:

I think the key to success via self-publishing on Amazon is to have a big back catalog. If you have like a series of 3 books and 1 book related to them, you give away the 1 book for free as a reader magnet, and people buy the other three after they read the other book.

I think a lot of kindle only readers who buy self-published ebooks are looking for an author with a catalog so they can safely immerse themselves in the story. You can also use the reader magnet to get people on your mailing list, or have a separate mailing list. All the people I see talking about making decent money have like 8+ books.

the other option is to be so good at writing people organically read your book then tell their friends about it. There's probably a middle ground but...

I think trying to make too much of a first book is a mistake. Though I'm definitely not an expert, this is just going by a few months of browsing a lot of "how to" kindle stuff and chatting in discord with various authors.

I think there's a lot to this. When I published my 7-book zombie series I was re-editing something I'd first written in high school/uni and so was putting them out at a pretty good pace. I was fairly successful fairly early (clearing a grand some months, which was great for me). In contrast - even though I now have a mailing list of 200 people instead of about 40ish, even though I theoretically have a bigger profile and more algorithm clout - my stand-alone vampire book has netted me, let's check... $216 since I published it in June. That's partly because it's so short, and so KU reads aren't netting much, but I think readers - especially the kind of Kindle readers who will buy a self-published ebook - really want to sink into a long series. The other thing is that once you've got at least three books you can stick them in a boxset, which tend to make more money than the sum of their parts (because readers are more inclined to keep going when the next book is right there) and which Bookbub absolutely loves for Featured Deals.

So that's sort of both good and bad news: if you intend to keep writing as a hobby anyway, if you enjoy doing it, and want to carry on with it as a series, you shouldn't take the "failure" of an initial book as a sign that it will never be profitable or sustainable. Which is good. But the downside is that, yeah, it could take a lot more work, a lot more books and a lot more years ahead of you before you start making decent money.

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KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

Writing the next book is always good. When I ran fb ads heavily about a year ago, 10% conversion was pretty good. A lot of people click, but don't buy. It just happens. Having a big back list helps mitigate it

feedmyleg
Dec 25, 2004

EVERY FAIRY TALE NEEDS ITS HERO.

Thanks for the advice, all. Just essentially needed to hear that my experience wasn't outside of the norm and I shouldn't give up on the marketing attempt yet. It's just a bummer that writing a (by all accounts) good book in a popular sub-genre with an attractive pitch isn't enough to get a bare minimum of readership. Yesterday was a repeat of Monday with throwing money at zero sales across multiple advertising platforms. But hey, at least a decent number of people liked and loved my ads overnight 😒

I do plan on turning it into a series, but I also want to write another book in between. So hopefully I can knock that one out a lot faster than I did the first book. But seeing that nobody outside of my social circle is particularly interested in reading the first one isn't exactly a great incentive to do it all over again and write a sequel. Guess I shouldn't be surprised that this industry is different than any other—it isn't as if my musician or comedy friends have a significantly different experience in their fields, so I'll just be keeping that in mind.

feedmyleg fucked around with this message at 18:59 on Oct 31, 2019

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


It can be depressing and it can be a long slog, especially these days. But looking at your book and your cover and blurb and all the effort you've put into it, you're a good writer and you're taking this seriously and for a fresh starter you know what you're doing. Plenty of people will tell you (correctly) that most self-published books are garbage and crash and burn. That's because there are so many thousands of "authors" who are either people who suddenly decided to do it on a lark, or young writers who may well have a decent amount of talent but are dumb or arrogant enough to assume that talent alone will see them through in this crowded marketplace. I think most decent writers with a brain in their head, which clearly includes you, will manage to break through and start making a welcome monthly addition to their disposable income if they persevere.

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

Echoing Freebooter's advice, just stick with it. It's hard to judge the viability of a series based on book 1 alone. Both of my series didn't really out-earn their ad spend until Book 3-ish (which is why I wrote 3 books before releasing the first).

That being said, don't be afraid to change gears if the series simply isn't selling. There's no shame in that. Sometimes your tastes don't appeal to the tastes of a big audience. The only real tricks are don't half-rear end it, and don't quit!

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Doesn't your blurb contain two fragments right off the bat in the first paragraph? Also it's in italics making it a little tough to read. Who is this greaser talking to?

I can't give exact feedback on the writing, but the stuff I read was... stilted. It was like there were too many commas all in the wrong spots. Did you have this book copy edited?

The only portion available on the look inside is a weird scooby doo style prologue. What does this prologue have to do with the main story? If this is supposed to be the sales pitch for the book, it didn't work for me. I was mostly confused and had to re-read sections to tell what is going on.

feedmyleg
Dec 25, 2004

EVERY FAIRY TALE NEEDS ITS HERO.

The quote is new in the blurb and cut down from a longer paragraph in an attempt to keep as much above the fold as possible, so it's more fragmented than in the actual prose. I tried to pick something that had a mysterious feeling to like I saw in some others, it but might have gone a little too obtuse there. I'll swap something else in and see if it moves the needle at all.

If you don't like the "weird scooby doo style prologue" then yeah the book isn't going to be your cup of tea as it very much is a riff on exactly that, but the prologue does tie into the rest of the book for sure. It's an in media res end to a previous adventure that sets up a new story. The stilted prose is a throwback to mid-century YA fiction like Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys which have a more formal approach to their prose. It's something I specifically asked early readers about and nobody else bumped up against it, but it's good to know that it does rub some folks the wrong way.

Still, honest feedback appreciated.

feedmyleg fucked around with this message at 23:53 on Oct 31, 2019

Megazver
Jan 13, 2006


feedmyleg posted:

Well, that's the thing, though: I'm not trying to make money. I'm just trying to get anyone at all to click that Buy button and read it. I'm happy to be in the red on this thing, but my $60 customer yesterday did not instill confidence that I can do that in anything resembling a sustainable way.

If you truly don't care about immediate sales and would prefer to just built your reader base, consider serializing it online on Royalroad and Wattpad etc?

Pull the book out of KU if you do, because having stuff online is against their rules, and leave it for regular purchase, but add some book-only bonus material so that there is incentive for the serial readers to buy it.

It's what I'd do if I was trying to start out on my own.

n8r
Jul 3, 2003

I helped Lowtax become a cyborg and all I got was this lousy avatar

Getting impartial feedback can be difficult as an author. I cannot count the number of times we've had authors bring us manuscripts that they swear are ready for publication because all of their friends have read it and say it's amazing.

Zaepho
Oct 31, 2013


n8r posted:

Getting impartial feedback can be difficult as an author. I cannot count the number of times we've had authors bring us manuscripts that they swear are ready for publication because all of their friends have read it and say it's amazing.

My wife has a rule, Never submit a manuscript that has not been read and critiqued by at least one person who is not your friend or relative.

On another note, Amazon won't let us list paperbacks for pre-sale because reasons? The more I get into the publisher side of Amazon the more I loathe it.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

feedmyleg posted:

I launched my book on the 18th and have had sold ~80 copies across Kindle and paperback. I'd say at least half of those are people I know, if not closer to 75%. I've been running small Facebook ad sets to hone in on my audience and I'm down to a $0.35 cost-per-click, which I understand to be quite good.

You can probably do better. I can routinely get CPCs down to $0.20 if my ad reaches relevance 10 (or whatever the new vague equivalent is). Half that if it's to my permafree. Yours is in KU so you should be making it very clear that it's "FREE in KU!" if you're not already. Testing is key. It's been a while since I ran a cozy ad though.

quote:

The problem is that none of these seem to be converting to sales—I ramped up my Facebook ad-spend yesterday for Halloween week (my book is somewhat spooky) and spent $60 to get ~200 link clicks that resulted in... 2 sales. And even then, one of those was paperback, which I believe only show when they ship, not when they're bought, so let's call that 1 sale. I'm even getting a smattering of likes and comments on my Facebook ads and have converted a whopping 13 of those to page likes. Like... how did I get 8 likes on my ads last night but 1 sale?[quote]

FB likes are worthless and you shouldn't read into them. There are people that just scroll through their feed and "Like" everything. The bigger concern is the low conversion rate. A 1% or lower conversion rate is not good. But you can probably get to the bottom by checking a few things:

Is the ad consistent with the Amazon page? What I mean by that is, if your FB ad features a stock photo bare-chested stud, but the ad sends them to the Amazon page where your book cover features a cartoon female character, that's going to be an issue.

Does your cover/blurb/price (not as much of an issue because you're in KU) match bestsellers in it's genre?

Is your blurb doing everything it can to sell your book? Whats the tag line? What's the hook? Do you leave them with a clear impulse to purchase right now?

[quote]I've got the thing on KU but I'm not seeing a single unit shipped there, despite running a couple of ads specifically calling out that it was on KU.

KU activity is measured by page reads, not borrows or sales or units. It will be a very large number but each page read is like half a penny or less.

quote:

I've got seven 5-star reviews, all from friends. I've changed my blurb a few times but have seen no uptick in sales associated. I ran a couple of ads on BookBub which had dismal 0.08% and 0.18% CTRs. I'm running a Bargain Booksy promotion this week. I know this isn't terribly outside of the norm, but it's very demoralizing. I figured I'd at least be able to get a few sales per day with a pretty low ad spend.

Bookbub ads are tough to make work. The audience is primed to buy book but only when it's a deal.

quote:

I thought I'd gotten a pretty good handle on my prime demographic, the "Cozy Mystery" reader. According to Facebook insights my clicks are mostly coming from liberal women in their 30s-60s so I've been trying to target them, but I'm just having such a hard time getting any traction at all.

How are you targeting initially? Author names? Genre? I find author names to be the best, and I don't limit anything else except to focus on USA if that's my market.

quote:

It makes me feel like I'm missing something extremely obvious. Can anyone take a look at my Amazon listing and tell me if anything obviously doesn't work there?

Your book self identifies as a cozy mystery but you're in the Teen/YA subgenre. Cozy readers skew a lot older than teens, so you might be hiding your book in a section your readers don't check out. If you do want to target teens with your book, you might want a new cover. Yours is a throwback to those 50's classics, but all the bestsellers in your genre have more photo realistic covers.

If it is a cozy, is there a murder? There is almost always a murder that's being investigated. You might just be off on the tropes and cozy readers are not finding what they're looking for.

quote:

At this point I wonder if my book isn't just too niche?

I mean there are readers out there, it's just a matter of setting your expectations. Were you expecting hundreds of sales? Is that a reasonable expectation?

quote:

I know my next step is to get out there more and just feel skeezy plastering my book all over Facebook groups and messaging individuals on Tumblr and reaching out to blogs

That will result in just about zero sales. CPC ads and exclusive newsletters are just about the only things that push the needle these days.

quote:

and figuring out how to convince people to get on a mailing list

Reader magnet! Whip up a little free story they can only get by subscribing to your list. Put a link to sign up at the end of all your books.

quote:

and whatever, but I was hoping to at least get a steady drip of sales from ads before then so I could focus my time and energy on it. But I've been putting ~4 hours a day into this since launch and seeing nothing come of it is pretty depressing.

What are you doing for four hours a day post-launch?

In the end it's good to keep in mind that this industry is absurdly competitive right now. This year I published 1.1mil words and next year I'm going to almost triple that.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


Zaepho posted:

My wife has a rule, Never submit a manuscript that has not been read and critiqued by at least one person who is not your friend or relative.


A very good rule. One guideline I always give writers is to never have one's mom be a beta reader, because there are two types of moms: one won't say anything bad, and one won't say anything good. Both are no use for feedback and critique, though the won't-say-anything-bad mom is good if you're having a bad day and need an ego boost.

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

Assisted Living Dracula of Wikipedia

DO NOT BELIEVE THIS MAN'S LIE!
Statist shill spreading FUD!

HODL!!


feedmyleg posted:

Thanks for the advice, all. Just essentially needed to hear that my experience wasn't outside of the norm and I shouldn't give up on the marketing attempt yet. It's just a bummer that writing a (by all accounts) good book in a popular sub-genre with an attractive pitch isn't enough to get a bare minimum of readership. Yesterday was a repeat of Monday with throwing money at zero sales across multiple advertising platforms. But hey, at least a decent number of people liked and loved my ads overnight 😒

Exmond posted:

I think what you have is extraordinarily good, and that what you are struggling with is just a sign of the times. It's hard to get people interested in reading, and even harder to ask them to try out your first book.

yeah it is. Nothing's wrong with the book, you just ("just") haven't cracked how to market the drat thing.

Get people writing reviews. Get your friends, acquaintances, dentist's dog etc to write reviews of it - Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, do people even have frickin blogs any more, etc. Stress the Kindle Unlimited aspect.

You won't get rich out of it, but you may get your name out there.

Heck, do you have a local newspaper? Call and see if they want to fill a space. TRY IT ALL.

edit: also i just tweeted it so there, get your volunteer shills to do that too

https://twitter.com/davidgerard/sta...290704627347456

divabot fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Nov 9, 2019

Facebook Aunt
Oct 4, 2008

a cat




Ham Wrangler

Get your dad to tweet about it.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump...190844012122113

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


So, I've worked in the publishing industry and I do pro book production stuff, and I'm doing a thread about it that I figure has some crossover here. So, yeah. Hi.

feedmyleg
Dec 25, 2004

EVERY FAIRY TALE NEEDS ITS HERO.

Thanks for all the advice, folks. This whole world is very new to me and there's just so much confusing and disparate information out there. I'm sure it'll just get easier over time but as someone just entering this arena as a total outsider it's a bit overwhelming.

Jalumibnkrayal posted:

How are you targeting initially? Author names? Genre? I find author names to be the best, and I don't limit anything else except to focus on USA if that's my market.

Mostly genre and a few different interest-adjacent groups on Facebook. I spent some time last week focusing on author names and learning more about the niches of the sub-genre, so I'll be looking to apply that for next week. Up until now I've been trying a lot of things that probably have been dead-ends like targeting fans of certain movies and TV shows who also like mystery fiction/cozy mysteries. On Facebook ads I can't seem to go granular in ways I want (like targeting "Nancy Drew" or smaller authors), but I've been figuring Amazon ads out a little more this past week so I'll try to get more focused on authors there.

quote:

Your book self identifies as a cozy mystery but you're in the Teen/YA subgenre. Cozy readers skew a lot older than teens, so you might be hiding your book in a section your readers don't check out. If you do want to target teens with your book, you might want a new cover. Yours is a throwback to those 50's classics, but all the bestsellers in your genre have more photo realistic covers.

If it is a cozy, is there a murder? There is almost always a murder that's being investigated. You might just be off on the tropes and cozy readers are not finding what they're looking for.

Definitely something I've been concerned about. There's no murder in the book which I know sets me apart from a lot of other titles in the category, but unless I'm missing something there doesn't seem to be another sub-genre it slots into better. When I'm looking at the results for my manually-targeted ads on Amazon, I definitely get the highest CTRs for people searching for cozy mysteries, though. I played around with a more realistic cover at one point, but it felt like a bad fit—my book is decidedly light, and anything that had a darker feeling felt like I was selling something else. So far my highest ranking that I've seen is #22 in "Teen & Young Adult Detective Story eBooks" so maybe I'll just re-double my efforts in that direction.

quote:

I mean there are readers out there, it's just a matter of setting your expectations. Were you expecting hundreds of sales? Is that a reasonable expectation?

That's fair. I suppose my expectations were a bit arbitrary—I would've been really happy with a few hundred sales and absolutely over-the-moon if I cracked a thousand, but that might just not be the reality of the market. At this point my goal is to just get a review from someone I don't know.

quote:

What are you doing for four hours a day post-launch?

Mostly reading about self-publishing and tweaking ads. I also wasted time making social content that isn't going to reach anybody. I've still got a ton to learn, I know. I was just trying to learn it while doing it, which is surely folly.

divabot posted:

yeah it is. Nothing's wrong with the book, you just ("just") haven't cracked how to market the drat thing.

Get people writing reviews. Get your friends, acquaintances, dentist's dog etc to write reviews of it - Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, do people even have frickin blogs any more, etc. Stress the Kindle Unlimited aspect.

You won't get rich out of it, but you may get your name out there.

Heck, do you have a local newspaper? Call and see if they want to fill a space. TRY IT ALL.

edit: also i just tweeted it so there, get your volunteer shills to do that too

https://twitter.com/davidgerard/sta...290704627347456

Really appreciated! And yeah, I'm planning a few ground-effort things here and there, but over the past week I've just been continuing to try and hone my Facebook and Amazon ads. I'll hit up some more F&F for reviews this week and do a push in some other directions. I've for sure got some avenues left unexplored.

Also, a big part of feeling really down on this was that I was totally misreading part of my KDP dashboard—I'd been under the assumption that "Free Units Ordered" represented KU downloads, not books that are priced at free. So I thought my ads weren't even getting any KU traction, which felt absurd for how many clickthroughs I was getting—it really is dumb that they don't let you see that figure anywhere. But I assumed all of my page reads were coming from the purchased ebooks, so I'm feeling a lot better about that.

And sadly my father's biggest social media following was on his MySpace, so I can't even rely on nepotism.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


feedmyleg posted:

Also, a big part of feeling really down on this was that I was totally misreading part of my KDP dashboard—I'd been under the assumption that "Free Units Ordered" represented KU downloads, not books that are priced at free. So I thought my ads weren't even getting any KU traction, which felt absurd for how many clickthroughs I was getting—it really is dumb that they don't let you see that figure anywhere.

https://www.getbookreport.com

This thing's great and it's a free plug-in if you're earning less than $1,000 a month. I crack that these days but happily pay for it, can't imagine going back to KDP's hideous dashboard.

Scooty Puff Jr.
Oct 2, 2004
Who's ready for safe fun?

Wondering if anyone else has taken to posting their short stories on itch.io?

I recently moved my only self-pub short story there because I was having major issues with Kindle payouts - no matter what I did my bank acct info wasn't accepted - and I have been getting into the indie rpg scene on itch.io so I thought I'd try posting it there and I'm liking how much control I have and how directly I can track engagement.

Just curious if anyone else is on that train. Apologies if this has come up recently, I literally haven't logged onto this site in a decade.

York_M_Chan
Sep 11, 2003



The Kindle version of my humorous fantasy novel LINGERIA: Book One Of One free for the next few days.

https://www.amazon.com/Lingeria-Boo...k/dp/B07NZ7YQ52

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


My first novel came out 8 days ago. Tamsyn Muir said she loves it, and it's already getting some lowkey awards buzz. It's selling alright, some real honest-to-god bookstores are stocking it, and honestly I'm a bit overwhelmed at everything that's happening

I self-pubbed because I got burnt-out by querying (and a few other timing factors—worldcon/gideon created some issues) and I'd kinda assumed it would just disappear but this is actually going places and I wasn't really emotionally prepared for that aaaaah

Exmond
May 31, 2007

Writing is fun!

Scooty Puff Jr. posted:

Wondering if anyone else has taken to posting their short stories on itch.io?

I recently moved my only self-pub short story there because I was having major issues with Kindle payouts - no matter what I did my bank acct info wasn't accepted - and I have been getting into the indie rpg scene on itch.io so I thought I'd try posting it there and I'm liking how much control I have and how directly I can track engagement.

Just curious if anyone else is on that train. Apologies if this has come up recently, I literally haven't logged onto this site in a decade.

I have had success taking my short stories and sending them to magazines. https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/ is a great site, I heard duotrope is also useful (But you have to pay?)

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

My first novel came out 8 days ago. Tamsyn Muir said she loves it, and it's already getting some lowkey awards buzz. It's selling alright, some real honest-to-god bookstores are stocking it, and honestly I'm a bit overwhelmed at everything that's happening

I self-pubbed because I got burnt-out by querying (and a few other timing factors—worldcon/gideon created some issues) and I'd kinda assumed it would just disappear but this is actually going places and I wasn't really emotionally prepared for that aaaaah

Congrats dude!

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

I've been working on this co-authored story that is in a different subgenre from what I normally write, and it's been a shitload of fun. it's both new and familiar. And I get to do lots of research on boats and boating, so that's cool. I'm also trying to create a book that is more honest to me and my worldviews. Maybe it's my insecurities, but I've felt like mysteries and thrillers have a majority conservative, boomer readership, and I'm leaning pretty hard on my anti-corporate beliefs here, esp. as it pertains to drug manufacturers.

Anyway, it might blow up in my face. It might not. I'm not printing hammers and sickles on every page, and I think just about everyone can agree that the current drug market in the US is utterly hosed. Perhaps even retired boomers (many of whom are directly affected by price gouging of drugs) will identify with the things I'm writing.

Also, I got to do a bunch of research on Catamarans yesterday, so that was cool.

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

Ahhhhhhhh HOLY poo poo! My co-author got a meeting with the Editorial Director at Thomas & Mercer next week!!!

e: triple post, but oh well! I'm so excited!

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Another season, another one of my not-that-short short stories. (I resist the term 'novelette' for whatever reason.) Free through Sunday, December 8. I like to think of this one as "Glee" meets "Rocky" meets, depending on your age, your mom or grandma's favorite radio station.



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B08287F8LS/

Meet the Gossamer Girls of James Garfield High. When they’re not singing upbeat songs from the past, they’re freaking out about their futures.

An unpopular and underfunded a cappella group from a tiny Rust Belt town, the Gossamer Girls have exactly two things going for them: their love of the golden oldies, and the all-consuming passion of their strong-willed captain, Jen. They used to have the power of friendship in their corner, too, but Jen and star singer Cody are months into a fractious falling-out.

But when the group lands a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a prestigious competition, Jen, Cody and the rest of the squad will have to pull together. It’ll take all they’ve got in their hearts to heal the wounds. It’ll take a Christmas miracle to win.

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Adam Bertocci has been praised by Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, The New Republic, GQ, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Back Stage, Broadway World, E!, Maxim, IGN, Wired, Film Threat and more. In this spirited short story, he pits an unforgettable group against impossible odds, armed with nothing but the greatest hits of a world gone by.

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

The meeting with Thomas & Mercer went really well! The Editorial Director there liked our initial idea, and she wants to see what my co-author and I are working on, so we're going to send them the stuff we've both worked on.

I almost can't believe this is happening!

Death Ray
Jan 20, 2010
Probation
Can't post for 3992 days!


Dare I ask if graphic novels are appropriate for this thread?

divabot
Jun 17, 2015

Assisted Living Dracula of Wikipedia

DO NOT BELIEVE THIS MAN'S LIE!
Statist shill spreading FUD!

HODL!!


Death Ray posted:

Dare I ask if graphic novels are appropriate for this thread?

by all means, if you're self-publishing it!

Saint Isaias Boner
Jan 17, 2007

hi how are you







Plaster Town Cop

divabot posted:

by all means, if you're self-publishing it!

dodged a bullet there, that guy's work is uh... yeah.

anyway hi thread, I was here a long time ago and the advice ITT really helped with my self-published book Star Bastards. It sold ok! Later on I made another book and it sold even better. Now I'm working on a third one.

Here's the covers I went with for my books just for content:



Steely Dad
Jul 29, 2006



KrunkMcGrunk posted:

The meeting with Thomas & Mercer went really well! The Editorial Director there liked our initial idea, and she wants to see what my co-author and I are working on, so we're going to send them the stuff we've both worked on.

I almost can't believe this is happening!

That must be incredibly exciting. What’s the latest?

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

Dadliest Worrier posted:

That must be incredibly exciting. What’s the latest?

It is very exciting!

Yesterday, we sent them a synopsis of the book and the first 7 chapters. They said they'll be able to make a "quick decision" about signing or not. The publishing world is extremely slow, so I'm guessing we'll actually hear something after the holidays.

Regardless of what happens, we still need to have a book to publish, so I'm just trying to keep my head down and continue moving forward with the work. I've been in this game for five years with some mild success, I am so ready to for my big break to come around.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


My sci-fi novel Charred is nearly complete. I'd say I'm maybe 95% away from my final, publishable draft. Just one last editing pass and phrase usage to work through.

So now focus is starting to shift to the more cosmetic stuff. If we end up self publishing, which is always an option, this is the rough draft of the cover we're thinking about using.



Thoughts?

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



is it...supposed to look like an MS Paint?

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


ketchup vs catsup posted:

is it...supposed to look like an MS Paint?

Rough draft, remember. We're just getting the general idea across before going into it.

ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



Burkion posted:

Rough draft, remember. We're just getting the general idea across before going into it.

What critique are you looking for? This could work, if the foreground + dude is a lot clearer, and....everything else is a lot clearer too.

What's the dude supposed to be doing? knocking on an invisible wall? getting real mad at something many stories tall?

maybe if you gave us a sense of what the story is about it would help.

incidentally, you mention the cover as cosmetic stuff, which it is, but I won't be the only person who'll tell you that unless people know your name/penname on sight, your cover is more important to selling your book than the words you've written.

Burkion
May 10, 2012

Changeman! And Not A Moment Too Soon!


ketchup vs catsup posted:

What critique are you looking for? This could work, if the foreground + dude is a lot clearer, and....everything else is a lot clearer too.

What's the dude supposed to be doing? knocking on an invisible wall? getting real mad at something many stories tall?

maybe if you gave us a sense of what the story is about it would help.

This is already helpful as is, but the general intent is to evoke the poster of a 1950s sci-fi/monster movie. Dude in a burning forest, staring up at a menacing titan.

quote:

incidentally, you mention the cover as cosmetic stuff, which it is, but I won't be the only person who'll tell you that unless people know your name/penname on sight, your cover is more important to selling your book than the words you've written.

Yeah though I can't sell something I haven't written. Don't misunderstand, I'm not saying a cover is less important, just that priority wise, I needed the story to be finished first. Actual work on getting this published is going to take almost as long as writing it did

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


Burkion posted:

This is already helpful as is, but the general intent is to evoke the poster of a 1950s sci-fi/monster movie. Dude in a burning forest, staring up at a menacing titan.

We would all like to have really cool, unique covers that we think are neat as stand-alone pieces of art. Unfortunately publishing doesn't work that way. The purpose of your cover is to immediately identify your book as belonging to a certain genre, even when it's shrunk down to a tiny Amazon thumbnail. I 100% guarantee you that if you go the traditional publishing route, and are lucky enough to succeed, your publisher is going to give you a cover you think is really boring and generic. Your publisher will be right. If you end up self-publishing: emulate your fictional publisher. There's a reason so many covers looks the same. Don't try to give yourself a cover which is recreating a scene from your book or mimicking a style of art you really like. Cough up the cash and go for a professionally made cover.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




I'll partly disagree with freebooter here out of principle. The advice has been a staple in the self publishing world since forever and it's probably a good one in certain genres, for certain writers, for certain people.

If you're trying to make sales at $0.99 and in genres like romance or thrillers, you probably want the more generic thing as possible. Emulate successful books in your niche as much as possible, to signify to your audience ''Hey this is another of those you like.'' The readers that stick to niches a lot buy and read a lot of books, so you're liable to get their money. I'm personally against this, because art and homogeneity doesn't mix in my book, but hey, if you want to make money I guess you need to do this.

If you're writing other genres or niches, this advice may or may not apply. Horror for example is such a shitshow of bad covers, I doubt there's any specific signifier for the genre. Maybe some lovely CGI monster or a black cover with red text. Then again the horror top 100 is mostly small press and established writers, not very many selfpub superstars, probably because horror isn't that hot a genre.

The thing is I started writing a whole bunch of stuff but realized I misread your post: You only say you want the cover to evoke '50s monster movies, but didn't say if your book is a '50s monster movie type book. In which case I end up agreeing with freebooter: If your book isn't a homage to monster movies, don't imply so on your cover. You're better off finding the closest niche it fits into and seeing what they do with their covers.

KrunkMcGrunk
Jul 2, 2007

Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit.

freebooter posted:

We would all like to have really cool, unique covers that we think are neat as stand-alone pieces of art. Unfortunately publishing doesn't work that way. The purpose of your cover is to immediately identify your book as belonging to a certain genre, even when it's shrunk down to a tiny Amazon thumbnail. I 100% guarantee you that if you go the traditional publishing route, and are lucky enough to succeed, your publisher is going to give you a cover you think is really boring and generic. Your publisher will be right. If you end up self-publishing: emulate your fictional publisher. There's a reason so many covers looks the same. Don't try to give yourself a cover which is recreating a scene from your book or mimicking a style of art you really like. Cough up the cash and go for a professionally made cover.

Solid advice. I agree completely. Cover is all about transmitting genre, and appealing to readers with specific preferences.

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ketchup vs catsup
Nov 30, 2006



Personally I think you should shamelessly use these images for inspiration:



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