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Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Faded Mars posted:

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

Please tell me Diesel is one of them. Please please please!

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Zratha
Nov 28, 2004

It's nice to see you

Sundae posted:

Please tell me Diesel is one of them. Please please please!

Nope!

(it's just Kobo, ibooks, B&N, Smashwords & Overdrive)

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


I don't even bother with Smashwords. Should I? I remember the process to format the ebooks was a pain in the rear end.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



No, still not worth it. The reason I was hoping for Diesel is that Diesel closed months ago.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


I make a fairly consistent 250-300$ from Smashwords every quarter. I depend on it for Steam games.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Roar posted:

I make a fairly consistent 250-300$ from Smashwords every quarter. I depend on it for Steam games.

What percentage is that from your total sales? Which distributors through Smashwords?

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


I use Smashwords to get freebies on Barnes & Noble.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


ravenkult posted:

What percentage is that from your total sales? Which distributors through Smashwords?

Maybe 10%ish? I'm not sure, I don't include them in my normal sales figures. I consider it free money up until tax time. And I generally put poo poo up everywhere that I don't manually put stuff (ie not AZ or BN, pretty much everywhere else)

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
^
|
<- IS LAME-O PHOBE ->
|
V


Icon-Cat posted:

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!

You've been writing high school girl drama for awhile. Last time I asked it wasn't very productive. Which is why I have to ask again. Has something changed? A year ago you were pretty disillusioned with it, but it seems like you're still looking that direction. I can't help but ask, "Why?"

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Mr. Belding posted:

You've been writing high school girl drama for awhile. Last time I asked it wasn't very productive. Which is why I have to ask again. Has something changed? A year ago you were pretty disillusioned with it, but it seems like you're still looking that direction. I can't help but ask, "Why?"

Because I enjoy it. Simple as that. I like to think I write a decent one, too, though Lord knows I could be doing better on the business end.

The fiction I read is primarily literary or YA, so the fiction I write is primarily, etc. (Although I just don't think I'm very good at literary, so I'm less likely to pursue much more with that. Not all of us can be Very Serious Artists, ha ha.)

But I appreciate that you remember me, I haven't been in this thread or its predecessor for a while and it moves so quick. Nice to know I make a distinctive product, or at least have a distinctive avatar!



Look — maybe you've heard my story before. I got into writing fiction because of one traditionally-published humor book I got lucky on. Clearly-defined audience, easy marketing campaign. It sold well and it still plugs along. Seven printings so far. Five-figure check, and more checks to come.

It's nice, I've had a lot of fun with it. But it just isn't close to my heart.

Icon-Cat fucked around with this message at Jun 14, 2014 around 02:52

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


I set up a new store for my premade covers: http://store.ravenkult.com/

Code NEW gets you 20% OFF, but that ends today. Let me know and I'll set you up with a goon discount.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I love that Welcome to Ritual one, makes me wish that I wrote occult horror so I could buy it.

Grammaton
Feb 3, 2004
Cleric

Posting my book here for consideration/critique: Rise of the Blue Sun by James Hight It's a sci-fi novel.

I've redone the cover and blurb since last time, added a prologue (and epilogue) and fixed up the beginning of chapter 1 to make it flow better. Hopefully it's an improvement. This is my first rodeo so I'm still learning the ropes.

Edit: title change


Wow those are really good.

Grammaton fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 05:02

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


EngineerSean posted:

I love that Welcome to Ritual one, makes me wish that I wrote occult horror so I could buy it.

Just write a southern gothic romance or something, I'm sure it'll move some copies.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Grammaton posted:

Posting my book here for consideration/critique: Amissaric by James Hight It's young adult sci-fi.

I've redone the cover and blurb since last time, added a prologue (and epilogue) and fixed up the beginning of chapter 1 to make it flow better. Hopefully it's an improvement. This is my first rodeo so I'm still learning the ropes.


Your blurb is a bit wordy and you'd do better with a face on the cover. Maybe something on a layer behind what you've currently got, staring at the reader.

Grammaton
Feb 3, 2004
Cleric

Thanks, I'll try to make the blurb more concise. Think I'm going to change the title to Rise of the Blue Sun, too. It's amazing how long the cover on Amazon takes to update. Everything else takes an hour or so.

VVV Good ideas, Sundae. Trying to write this blurb is kicking my rear end.

Grammaton fucked around with this message at Jun 15, 2014 around 17:55

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Grammaton, I took a stab at an alternate blurb. There are some gaps where I don't know your plot, and given I haven't read it, the entire thing could be wrong.

After posted:

The nation of Kettrium faces annihilation as a vast invading army masses on its border. The key to their survival lies in the hands of Amissaric, a soldier tasked with learning the secrets of the [NAME OF IT], an [ancient?] alien talisman that defies the laws of physics.

When Amissaric touches the [NAME OF IT], a strange presence inside it merges with his mind and grants him powers like nothing the world has seen before. The power inside him slaughters his enemies without even raising a hand and [something else... makes him smoothies? Protects him from harm? Turns him into the super-soldier Kettrium needs?], but with Amissaric's new-found powers comes grave danger. A relentless [evil?] from before time called The Ultimate controls the invading forces and seeks the same talisman that granted Amissaric his powers. With the [NAME OF IT] in its clutches, The Ultimate could finally break free from its prison and unleash its full power to [plunge the universe into darkness? make a great apple pie?].

[So what's the decision point here? What does Amissaric have to do? I don't believe the book's choice really comes down to "give it to him or say no." Does he have to destroy the talisman? Lead the troops to war against The Ultimate? You need one more sentence or short paragraph here to call out the action.]


Anyone else want to take a crack at putting some polish on this version? It's a 10-min job and could use some work.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I'm still fixing up my humour novella A Dark Hand. I'm just slow as hell at doing things to it when nobody is buying it. But nobody will buy it if it looks bad. So there's a cycle there and I know it's bad.

Let's play the game: "is my new cover terrible?" I've not uploaded it yet because I want to get it right first.

Here's the new cover design:


And here's the previous one for comparison:


I'm thinking maybe I should lose the quote. And I'm unsure about the grey font. Is the "sold over two copies" thing too dorky and dumb?

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

PoshAlligator posted:

Here's the new cover design:


Is the "sold over two copies" thing too dorky and dumb?
It was the icing on the cake in terms of showing off the sense of humour people can expect, personally it got a laugh from the missus and I. I thought if anything, you could lose the quote.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Even if its used ironically, I wouldn't look twice at a comedy book that has only "several" (read: two or more) funny scenes.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

I'd also say lose the quote. My feeling on quotes is, either the quote needs to be wonderful or the source does — but a half-hearted-sounding quote from a non-famous source, eh, it makes it sound like you were desperate to find someone who said something nice and this is all you could dig up.

I kind of dig the inverted-Twilight colors. One thing - if you're gonna do a white cover where any side opens up to complete white (as your bottom bit does), put a very thin black border around it, or it may look a bit odd on Amazon and other online stores, sort of falling off into white.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Icon-Cat posted:


I kind of dig the inverted-Twilight colors.

Is that what it's supposed to be? In that case I'd just make it as close as possible.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

Is a 35% markup a safe enough number to cover my rear end with Google Play? They seemed to streamline the publishing operations and I'm gonna give it a try. I just don't want to see some discount-bot gently caress me on Amazon.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


I found this on kboards awhile back, and can say that it's been accurate at the $2.99 price point:

Set Price = Discounted Price
99c = no change (royalty = 52%)
1.49 = no change (royalty = 52%)
2.49 = 1.92 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 67%)
2.99 = 2.09 (Discount = 30%. Actual royalty = 74%)
3.49 = 2.65 (Discount = 24%. Actual royalty = 68%)
3.94 = 2.99 (Discount = 24%. Actual royalty = 68%)
3.99 = 3.03 (Discount = 24%. Actual royalty = 68%)
4.50 = 3.44 (Discount = 23.5%. Actual royalty = 68%)
4.99 = 3.82 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
5.18 = 3.99 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
5.25 = 4.04 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
5.99 = 4.61 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 67.5%)
6.48 = 4.99 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
9.99 = 7.99 (Discount = 20%. Actual royalty = 65%)
8.99 = 7.52 (Discount = 16%. Actual royalty = 62%)
15.99 = 9.99 (Discount = 37%. Actual royalty = 83%)

So set GP's price to the first column and they'll discounted it to the second. $3.94 becomes $2.99.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

psychopomp posted:

So set GP's price to the first column and they'll discounted it to the second. $3.94 becomes $2.99.

That is perfect! Saves me some calculator mashing. That's almost opworthy if Play becomes more popular.

Icon-Cat
Aug 18, 2005

Meow!

Some of you will know these places, some won't, but here are some neat resources for good high-res FREE stock photos I've been compiling recently.

Unsplash - has a very 'literary fiction or upscale women's-fiction book cover' feel
http://www.unsplash.com

Flickr Commons - old photographs and art from historical archives and governments
https://www.flickr.com/commons

A further note on government pictures: science fiction folks, NASA and the Air Force and such maintain archives of high-quality photos here and there, I just don't happen to have links

Wikimedia Commons - very hit-and-miss but sometimes you find a good high-res thing
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Getty Open Content - lots of old art from the Getty Museum et al
https://www.getty.edu/about/opencontent.html

Splitshire
http://splitshire.com/

Gratisography
http://www.gratisography.com/

IM Free - Be careful and check the Creative Commons license for each individual pic - some of the pics are free to do anything with and some aren't.
http://www.imcreator.com/free

Morgue File - very hit-and-miss
http://www.morguefile.com/

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Yooper posted:

That is perfect! Saves me some calculator mashing. That's almost opworthy if Play becomes more popular.

I'll absolutely add it tonight. I'm going to add in a table someone gave me with how to price for VAT taxes in EU/UK as well, throw it all into the second post.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Anyone got any nifty spreadsheets for calculating royalties and such?

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

Icon-Cat posted:

Flickr Commons - old photographs and art from historical archives and governments
https://www.flickr.com/commons

A further note on government pictures: science fiction folks, NASA and the Air Force and such maintain archives of high-quality photos here and there, I just don't happen to have links

I found my first cover image in DVIDSHUB. (Defense Video and Image Distrubtion System) Some of the other US Gov't flickr feeds are non-commercial use only.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvids

Flickr also has a creative commons search. Some stuff was noted as Creative Commons that was most definitely not, so I stuck to browsing government feeds.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Also, keep an eye on MightyDeals.com because DepositPhotos tends to run an Image Pack deal there every 2-3 months. $99.99 for 100 images, any resolution you want. Fantastic deal for getting all your cover images at once.

Edit: Check the 2nd post. Psychopomp's post plus a USA-specific pricing table are now in it.

Sundae fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 23:58

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I like your pricing spreadsheet except for the european countries on Amazon. Why would you price at $2.60 instead of $2.90? One makes the price show up as $2.68 and one at $2.99, which probably gets as many sales as the $2.68 books.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



I suspect that was either a goof by the original author of it or maybe it's taxed differently in her country. You're right - for USA people, that's not accurate whatsoever.

I'll remove that graph and fix it up before reposting. Good catch!

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


$2.6 is the lowest price you can set it to and still get the 70% royalty rate, so I doubt it was a tax issue, probably just someone who didn't care. Then again, they care about all the other outlets, so it's kind of weird. I mean I think they even had the correct 1.93 price for the UK. I dunno now because you took it down <>

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Yeah, they had the correct UK prices for taxes. (The table was from Helena, by the way.) I'll correct it tonight. I ended up writing all last night and didn't get a chance.

Started out with about 2,000 words in a partial chapter, wrote 1,500 more, ended up with 1,429 total words at the end.

Grammaton
Feb 3, 2004
Cleric

Thanks to Sundae and the others offering constructive criticism.

Grammaton fucked around with this message at Jul 3, 2014 around 16:09

Grammaton
Feb 3, 2004
Cleric

How many of you self-publish but also seek a literary agent for traditional publishing? Will an agent be soured by the fact that I self-published?

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Grammaton posted:

Will an agent be soured by the fact that I self-published?

Only if it's a lovely agent with weird prejudices.

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

Grammaton posted:

How many of you self-publish but also seek a literary agent for traditional publishing? Will an agent be soured by the fact that I self-published?
Only if it fails spectacularly. My understanding is if you can go to an agent and say 'I have a book I can prove people are already buying, and I want to cut you in,' they'd have to be spectacularly bad at their job to turn you down.

e: It's sort of like theatre. You put on a cheap production in a tiny theatre and then use that / the reviews you got to approach a bigger theatre and get funding. Except with self pub there's no capacity on the first venue so if you do well enough, there's no need to contact the bigger theatre. And I guess self publishing there's less chance of getting fingered by unscrupulous agents who promise you Broadway but leave you crying in a dressing room.

I think what I'm saying is I have no idea and should probably abandon this metaphor.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2014 around 00:42

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Grammaton posted:

How many of you self-publish but also seek a literary agent for traditional publishing? Will an agent be soured by the fact that I self-published?
I actually got a book offer AFTER I self-published and did well, and got a couple of agents interested when I was like "hey, I have this offer." But I kept self-publishing because gently caress that poo poo and also I wanted to hit the NYT/USAT bestseller lists and you can't do that at retarded high publisher prices.

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Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Grammaton posted:

How many of you self-publish but also seek a literary agent for traditional publishing? Will an agent be soured by the fact that I self-published?

I can't speak for other genres, but in romance, there has been a wave of publishers snapping up print / sequel rights to top-selling self-pubbed novels over the last few years. Sara Fawkes, Jessica Sorensen, Colleen Hoover and Jamie McGuire come to mind right off the top of my head. Moana had an offer as well.

Some agents may shy away from trying to sell a previously self-published book (unless it was a super hit), but nobody's going to shy away from self-pubbers in general in this day and age. Several of my acquaintances self-publish and also publish different books through Harlequin.

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