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Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



The book could be great for all I know. I'll never read it to find out with that blurb and cover, though. Go back to the drawing board, take those questions in the OP, and redo the blurb and cover [and title, IMO] based on that.

Pull the book once you've answered those, use them to design a cover/blurb, republish under a new ASIN and give it a freebie drive in Select. Or even better, post the cover and blurb here and let us dig into them first.

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LLCoolJD
Dec 8, 2007
I'm a huge piece of shit #MAGA chud that thinks Donald Trump is good. But I'm also so completely stupid that I think I'm just a rational thinker who uses common sense to call it like it is and really, you're the racist for talking about it. I probably should just fuck off to Stormfront.

Grammaton posted:

Writing your book is the easy part. Selling it is the pain in the rear end.

I went ahead and published my first book to Amazon KDP Select. It's sci-fi with elements of fantasy. I did the cover myself so it's not that good. If a single copy sells I'll probably poo poo my pants. I'm very open to critique. http://www.amazon.com/Amissaric-Jam...02071963&sr=1-1

A new cover is a must.

Your blurb needs to be changed. Just like it pays to read your genre, it also doesn't hurt to see what the "professionals" do with their blurbs.

Here are the blurbs for a couple of high-selling science fiction novels on Amazon. The differences between what you wrote and these two blurbs should be apparent.

quote:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

quote:

When Nick Hall wakes up in a dumpster—bloodied, without a memory, and hearing voices in his head—he knows things are bad. But they're about to get far worse. Because he’s being hunted by a team of relentless assassins. Soon Hall discovers that advanced electronics have been implanted in his brain, and he now has two astonishing abilities. He can surf the web using thoughts alone. And he can read minds. But who inserted the implants? And why? And why is someone so desperate to kill him?

As Hall races to find answers, he comes to learn that far more is at stake than just his life. Because his actions can either catapult civilization to new heights—or bring about its total collapse.

Extrapolated from actual research on thought-controlled web surfing, Mind's Eye is a smart, roller-coaster ride of a thriller. One that raises a number of intriguing, and sometimes chilling, possibilities about a future that is just around the corner.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

Abusing the selfpub thread again with my small press stuff.

I just put out this thriller/crime novel. Amazon page looks a bit bare now, but working on getting some reviews and quotes.

Gina French is not a Waste of Roofies



After escaping a sexual assault, Gina French is outraged by the lack of sympathy and when a questionable opportunity falls into her lap—one that could both turn things around and prove everyone wrong—she takes it.
As she chain-smokes her way through the paranoia and fear of the inevitable violence, those she’s left behind wonder who the real Gina French is: a tragic single mother desperate to shortcut her way to a better life—or a bitter, self-serving narcissistic bitch?

Looks great! I hope to get time to read it in the future.

If anyone wants to look at how an Amazon page should be done, this is probably it.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the nuggets in front of me

Interesting article on the 'War on Amazon' that's apparently happening:

http://www.theguardian.com/commenti...lishing-writers

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Interesting article on the 'War on Amazon' that's apparently happening:

http://www.theguardian.com/commenti...lishing-writers

As I get richer and richer I find myself voting against my self interests more and more, but as long as you're not an Amazon shareholder it is in your self interest for Hachette to win this fight whether you agree with the way they treat authors or not.

jeffLebowski
Mar 6, 2006

Obviously, you're not a golfer.

I launched a book yesterday. It's my first, so I don't really have an audience to hype up. I released it mainly so family, friends, and goons could check it out and hopefully drop some reviews. Then I'll make a bigger push (assuming all the reviews aren't awful--in which case it might be time to just move on to another project).

But doing this led me to some really depressing realizations. I sold a handful of paperback and kindle copies yesterday. That was enough to move me from #250,000 on the best sellers list all the way to #25,000. It also put me at #37 on one of the crime fiction lists. So that means on any given day, ~225,000 books on the amazon marketplace sell a near negligible amount of units. That's pretty sobering.

jeffLebowski fucked around with this message at Jun 7, 2014 around 14:36

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


Of course.

The vast majority of books on Amazon never sell anything for months at a time, if ever. Indie books are particularly at risk of this.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Whenever I sell a copy of that horror anthology I did, it jumps to like #20 for Horror Anthologies. It's bizarre.

Soichiro
Oct 16, 2012

I'm a writer of erotica.

Life is an experience. Enjoy it.

Hey Romance writers,

Have any of you noticed diminishing sales for your romance titles, or is that just me being a lazy gently caress bag who doesn't produce anymore? I've taken a pretty bad hit over the last two months and this month isn't looking promising either.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Sales always diminish over time, especially for older or shorter titles. Constant production is key for any genre.

I'm not seeing anything particularly unusual about sales over the last two months. They haven't been great for me, sales-wise, but it's not like the floor fell out or anything.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Soichiro posted:

Hey Romance writers,

Have any of you noticed diminishing sales for your romance titles, or is that just me being a lazy gently caress bag who doesn't produce anymore? I've taken a pretty bad hit over the last two months and this month isn't looking promising either.

I know what kind of romance you're talking about and you definitely need to pump out more stuff. It looks like you have one release in may, a lesbian romance which you know doesn't sell great. In addition, your stuff (or at least your three most recent) are priced at 99 cents? That's going to severely limit your earning potential.

Grizzled Patriarch
Mar 27, 2014

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




Question for those that self-pub short stories:

Is there any downside to submitting them to print publications first just to get publishing credits and such? I have to admit it would be awesome to see something I wrote in print in a physical magazine or journal. It seems like most legitimate print sources revert rights back to the author after a certain period of time, at which point you could self-pub it. Is it worth doing that way? I'd love to hear anyone's experiences with this.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


You should absolutely publish them in pro-paying fiction markets (5cents/word) first if you can, then self-publish after the exclusivity period ends. It's like advertising you get paid for.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I know I'd love to get a short published someday in Analog/Asimov, I don't see much downside to be honest.

Grammaton
Feb 3, 2004
Cleric

Thanks for the tough love! This post has helped me quite a bit, though it's been really difficult writing the blurb. I think because my book is so hard to describe.

Grammaton fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2014 around 17:45

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



What is your cover supposed to be? All I see is an extremely low resolution burst of something. Also, it's still terrible.

What the gently caress is this poo poo? posted:

Amissaric I assume this is a person? screws up during shield corps training. He screws up badly enough to be sentenced to death. Good thing for him the Marshal of Kettrium Is that a country? needs subjects to test a magical - or highly technological - alien device.Which is it? Sci-fi or Fantasy? It could give his people the edge they need against the WaveThe what? massing on Kettrium's borders to invade. Hang on... he's a test subject for it, but what people? His people? Are those the same as the Marshal's people? Why does this sentence even exist? Who IS HE? Also, why is the Wave capitalized?

Amissaric puts his hands on the cold, shimmering stave What staff? Is that the device? Stave out of nowhere.. Vivid dreams and lucid thoughsThis typo is the least of your problems come to his mind Do they now? That's nice. Why do I care?. He discovers something in the device. Or is it in his mind? A blue light -- mysterious, flitting about. He coaxes it closer, binds with it. It changes him, unleashes something troubling... something powerful. You just wasted a trillion words on NOTHING. You said absolutely NOTHING until the final sentence!

Flung into enemy captivityHow? Why? Where? Huh?, he begins a journey across the Southern Ring of the planet? Gevda. He encounters new cultures. Bizarre cults. Provinces and cities he never knew existed outside insular Kettrium.

And he comes to meet his enemy: the UltimateThe Ultimate what? itself.


Your blurb is still completely incomprehensible. Want to give us a rundown of what your book is really about, and maybe one of us could take a crack at it?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Grammaton posted:

OK I can't win.

Let's write a book and then make sure no one reads it! I mean, I get that a writer's ego is fickle, but this notion just seems stupid to me. Why are you giving up when you are two steps away from the finish line? I agree with Sundae that your blurb is bad, but writing a good blurb is just a part of writing that you need to learn, like exposition, dialogue and action scenes. You published your book because you thought it was good. The blurb is supposed to show the prospective reader that the book is good, because if you can't sum up your book in an engaging way in a couple of sentences, how on Earth are you going to present an engaging plot that spans the entire book?

So, yeah. You can't win if you don't try.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


You post here to get feedback. A good 75% of the regulars who post here have achieved some modicum of success in the field. Writers need thick skin to make it in this business - anything said here is going to be much more honest and helpful than anything you get from an Amazon review - and that's assuming people are actually going to buy your title.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Grammaton posted:

OK I can't win.

Nope, if you aren't willing to engage and learn from people, you indeed cannot win.

A better suggestion would be to spend ten minutes writing up an explanation of your story for us. I seriously was going to write you a starter blurb once you did that. Once that happened, everyone else would rip into it and you'd end up with something relatively awesome coming out the other side.

Right now, we can't give you feedback other than "it's crap" because that's all we have to work with and that's all it really is. We know it's sci-fi, but that's about it. Hard to help without more info, other than to point out that what you're currently doing doesn't work.

Or we could just applaud your creative genius and send you on your merry way, and watch as your book's rank sinks into the 1.3M range. Your call, I guess!

Zypher
Sep 3, 2009

Rutgers

Your 2006
Mythical National
Champions!


I mostly only lurk this thread to read books, but even I was turned off by your blurb, Grammaton.

I stopped reading mid-way through your third sentence. Just some honest feedback if you get the courage to rework it again.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Can we add this video to the OP? Because if you can't read your blurb in one of these people's voices, then throw it away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQRtuxdfQHw

A cool person
Feb 2, 2012


Anyone have any experience with these guys?

http://www.partnersincrimetours.net/

I have a few unpublished crime novels lying around but not much idea of how to market them or find an audience among the glut of books on Amazon. Was wondering if this kind of marketing would be a worthwhile investment.

FingerbangMisfire
Feb 16, 2007

It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, honesty, and decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.

Their website and photoshopping looks so awful that I can't fathom giving them money.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


FingerbangMisfire posted:

Their website and photoshopping looks so awful that I can't fathom giving them money.

B-b-but it's Where Writing Crime CAN Payoff [sic]!

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Is Bookblast still worth trying? It says on their website it's unlikely they will accept a short story collection that's not free, anyone know how strict they are about it?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


ravenkult posted:

Is Bookblast still worth trying? It says on their website it's unlikely they will accept a short story collection that's not free, anyone know how strict they are about it?

i haven't been using booksends (same thing, right?) ever since they started requiring my company to buy onto the bestseller list rather than the romance list. i feel that the ROI is negative for it at the $225 they charge for that. i'd contact them but if they say anything about thir bestseller list, walk away.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


EngineerSean posted:

i haven't been using booksends (same thing, right?) ever since they started requiring my company to buy onto the bestseller list rather than the romance list. i feel that the ROI is negative for it at the $225 they charge for that. i'd contact them but if they say anything about thir bestseller list, walk away.

Sent them an email. The Literary category is like 10$ too, so worth a shot.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



EngineerSean posted:

i haven't been using booksends (same thing, right?) ever since they started requiring my company to buy onto the bestseller list rather than the romance list. i feel that the ROI is negative for it at the $225 they charge for that. i'd contact them but if they say anything about thir bestseller list, walk away.

Agreed with this. Every time I try to list with them now, they want me in their bestsellers list (laughable - I'm only a bestseller in the sense that I put the word "BESTSELLING" in my blurbs). Way, way too expensive to justify, and the efficacy just isn't there. It's okay for an expensive last push in the same way that Kindle Nation Daily is, but with their new pricing, you're not going to turn a profit with it.

Their bestseller list used to be $100, which made the $0.99 breakpoint much more reasonable. You could reasonably expect to sell 286 copies through it at $0.99. You are not going to sell 642, though.

I can't speak for their other lists beyond romance, but the base romance list is still worth it.

Sundae fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2014 around 16:08

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Sundae posted:

Agreed with this. Every time I try to list with them now, they want me in their bestsellers list (laughable - I'm only a bestseller in the sense that I put the word "BESTSELLING" in my blurbs). Way, way too expensive to justify, and the efficacy just isn't there. It's okay for an expensive last push in the same way that Kindle Nation Daily is, but with their new pricing, you're not going to turn a profit with it.

Their bestseller list used to be $100, which made the $0.99 breakpoint much more reasonable. You could reasonably expect to sell 286 copies through it at $0.99. You are not going to sell 642, though.

I can't speak for their other lists beyond romance, but the base romance list is still worth it.

Any other places besides Bookbub that are worth doing for sales?

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



I have no idea for anything outside romance, I'm afraid. Bookbub is definitely great for pretty much everything. Possibly KND (not cost-effective) and KFD (usually not cost-effective), but I neither read nor write horror, so my input's basically worthless.

Grammaton
Feb 3, 2004
Cleric

I do appreciate the help. It's just that this can be a frustrating process. Is it possible to present a book as a fusion of sci-fi and fantasy, or does it need to be one or the other?

V yeah I'll stick with sci-fi.

Grammaton fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2014 around 18:49

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I think it is easier to sell if you focus on one of the genres. People generally aren't looking for straight up fantasy/sci-fi fusion, but they might be looking for something that is sci-fi or fantasy with a new twist. Star Wars managed to be sci fi with literally magic and sword fights, but it is still primarily thought of as sci-fi. On the other end of the spectrum, World of Warcraft has literally aliens but is considered a fantasy universe. So I'd ask which element is stronger, and focus on that.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


By The Horns
Aug 6, 2012

When in doubt, always correct to "pounding"


Grammaton posted:

I do appreciate the help. It's just that this can be a frustrating process. Is it possible to present a book as a fusion of sci-fi and fantasy, or does it need to be one or the other?

V yeah I'll stick with sci-fi.

Unless you're Gene Wolf I think that's probably your best bet.

FWIW goonwrite.com has a sale on at the moment and he has a couple solid, if not very generic (which isn't always a bad thing) science fiction covers (http://goonwrite.com/book-covers-scifi_pre-made.htm). His fantasy ones are pretty awful though. An overtly SF cover is probably a safer better than the abstract ones you've had so far.

By The Horns fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2014 around 11:43

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Making a minor edit to the OP under the WHO SHOULD POST section. Just realized that it totally cuts amateurs looking to get into self-pubbing and new writers out.

I'd warn against mixing sci-fi and fantasy unless you're really good at it. It muddies the waters and can get really weird really quickly. I don't know if it was just me, but I read Anne McCaffrey's Pern series when I was a kid and remember being turned off by the sudden switch from dragons to genetic engineering + spaceships + super-intelligent computers 2/3 of the way through the series.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Been quite a while since I had something new, but my newest short story is FREE through Sunday. Grab it! Deprive both me and Amazon of income!





Single girl Casey moved to New York for love and adventure and even she knows what a cliché that is. At least she knows how to stand out: she's a magician, available for parties, events and, one fateful night, an impromptu card trick for a handsome stranger.

Now Casey's got a crush and Ryan seems to like her back—but turning attraction into a real relationship, that's the real trick. Can the plucky performer win him over? As Casey spins her tale with warmth and wit (and a couple of sleight-of-hand secrets), she learns where the real magic lies in connecting with someone.

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, his first short story for the new adult audience, he tackles the messy trappings of modern romance, the twentysomething hustle, and the gulf between expectations and reality.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00KTMO528/

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Are you just writing for fun or do you want a critique?

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

moana posted:

Are you just writing for fun or do you want a critique?

Was this addressed to me or Grammaton?

Me, hey, critique if you like. My Kindle stories are for fun in the sense that I write what I want when I feel like it (you won't see me worrying about what genre to write in and what not, for instance), but I certainly hope readers enjoy them and that the prose is pretty and all that.



But I think it's a good question you raise, either way. I am all over the place with my genres because I simply enjoy writing what I feel like doing; my advice to Grammaton would be, if you want to write fantasy / sci-fi fusion, go for it, but make it clear to the reader what they're getting into, and be prepared for the fact that some folks are very clear about what they want and don't want, and are not necessarily shopping for surprises or unique twists. People want the genre they were promised on the cover.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2014 around 21:08

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Icon-Cat posted:

Me, hey, critique if you like.
I didn't want to put in the effort if you don't give a poo poo about sales. Which it seems like you don't, but:

quote:

People want the genre they were promised on the cover.
Your romance book does not have a romance cover.

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Faded Mars
Jul 1, 2004

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

Shocking development: Smashwords, years behind the competition, finally offers daily sales reports for several of its expanded distribution channels!

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