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Anais Nun
Apr 21, 2010


PoshAlligator posted:

Back when I was interning for a literary agent in the middle of last year one of the things she asked us to do was to go through some self-published stuff and see if there was anything worth picking up.

I actually got her in talks with Anais Nun, who is in this thread sometimes, but I'm not sure it panned out? It was just as I was finishing up my internship.

She approached me, I said I'd be thrilled to talk more with her and then she didn't call me back. No idea.

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Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Looks like Amazon is soon going to roll out Kindle Unlimited, a $9.99/month all-you-can-read program ala Scribd and Oyster. It looks like books that are part of KDP Select are automatically a part of Kindle Unlimited.

Edit: the graphic for the service also mentioned audio books.

Edit2: http://the-digital-reader.com/2014/...d/#.U8cEmlZH1FK

Jalumibnkrayal fucked around with this message at Jul 16, 2014 around 23:03

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Looks like Amazon is soon going to roll out Kindle Unlimited, a $9.99/month all-you-can-read program ala Scribd and Oyster. It looks like books that are part of KDP Select are automatically a part of Kindle Unlimited.

Any word if/how they are going to monetize that for the authors?

syscall girl
Nov 6, 2009

I'm not in the business. I am the business.

ArchangeI posted:

Any word if/how they are going to monetize that for the authors?

I'm just doing napkin math here but it looks like $9.99 x n subscribers / infinity.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

ArchangeI posted:

Any word if/how they are going to monetize that for the authors?


syscall girl posted:

I'm just doing napkin math here but it looks like $9.99 x n subscribers / infinity.

Unless they're willing to make it a subsidized loss leader in order to put Scribd/Oyster out of business, the payouts aren't going to be good. On the other hand, if their payouts are too low, people will just pull out of KDP Select and the service won't have any content.

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


quote:

Update: There is now confirmation from Scholastic that their titles will be included in Kindle Unlimited under the existing contract they negotiated with Amazon.

As with KOLL, Scholastic will get paid their full wholesale price every time one of their ebooks is opened by a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.

It looks like payouts will be just fine I guess? Unless I'm dumb and am not reading it right.

Unbelievably Fat Man
Jun 1, 2000

Innocent people. I could never hurt innocent people.




Big publishers get paid a set amount per book regardless of what Amazon sells it for. It's not really comparable to how they treat small presses and self pubers. I doubt Amazon's terms will be too onerous but I'm not sure I like anything that gives them a further stranglehold on the ebook market.

jazzyjay
Sep 11, 2003

PULL OVER

This thread has inspired me quit waiting four months to hear back from trad publishers and try the selfpub route, so thanks to everyone who has contributed.

With that in mind, and taking in the OP advice to heart that your blurb/cover is 50% of the ballgame, here's my cover and blurb. Any and all feedback is gratefully appreciated.

DELORTED SHITEY COVER

The Silent Circus
Ulis' childhood ended the night the planes burnt his city to ashes.

Orphaned, traumatised and mute, his only companion a fellow orphan named Lidyja, he flees Nazi death squads and Soviet partisans and is driven deeper into an ancient, malevolent forest.

Lost in an endless mire, they are rescued by the strange denizens of a circus hiding deep within the forest. For a while, Ulis and Lidyja think they are safe, having found a new family, a strange and peculiar family of Siamese twins and silent ape kings and freaks and mystics.

But the Ringmaster is dead and children soon learn that the war outside holds no monopoly on horror.

jazzyjay fucked around with this message at Dec 10, 2015 around 04:09

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


If your protagonist isn't an orangutang, I'd change that first and foremost.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

If your protagonist isn't an orangutang, I'd change that first and foremost.

With zero experience with self-pubbing, I think the cover would stand out in a sea of covers featuring sexy alluring protags. If anything, I'd want the ape to pop more.

I did a quick search for indie book covers; this was the first result's sample page:


After awhile, generic protag person/ambiguous scenery just overlaps. I understand why you want to align to your target audience, but the ape immediately interested me in the story. Generic Han-Solo guy wouldn't tell me anything other than "yup. that's the hero."

But - again. I know very little about self-pub, and zero experience with selling my own. But I have been a designer for 25 years.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

jazzyjay posted:

The Silent Circus
Ulis' childhood ended the night the planes burnt his city to ashes.

Orphaned, traumatised and mute, his only companion a fellow orphan named Lidyja, he flees Nazi death squads and Soviet partisans and is driven deeper into an ancient, malevolent forest.

Lost in an endless mire, they are rescued by the strange denizens of a circus hiding deep within the forest. For a while, Ulis and Lidyja think they are safe, having found a new family, a strange and peculiar family of Siamese twins and silent ape kings and freaks and mystics.

But the Ringmaster is dead and children soon learn that the war outside holds no monopoly on horror.

What genre will this be? Historical fantasy? Horror? What search terms does your audience put into Amazon to find new books? Can you pack your blurb full of those words? This seems to take place during World War II, yet if someone searches for "WW2 fiction" they might not see your book. As for the content of your blurb, Hemingwayapp.com has some suggestions on how to make it more readable. I'm also not a fan of your last sentence (it's convoluted).

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


jazzyjay posted:

The Silent Circus
Ulis' childhood ended the night the planes burnt his city to ashes.

Orphaned, traumatised and mute, his only companion a fellow orphan named Lidyja [girl or boy?], he flees Nazi death squads and Soviet partisans and is driven deeper [deeper? was he already there?] into an ancient, malevolent forest.

Lost in an endless mire, they are rescued by the strange denizens of a circus hiding deep within the forest. For a while, Ulis and Lidyja think they are safe, having found a new family, a strange and peculiar family of Siamese twins and silent ape kings and freaks and mystics. [long awkward sentence, break it up]

But the Ringmaster is dead and children [children? the children] soon learn that the war outside holds no monopoly on horror.

Which author's readers are you targeting here? If you haven't read Geek Love, I'd suggest it, it sounds kinda similar and you might be able to go after her fans.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



jazzyjay posted:

This thread has inspired me quit waiting four months to hear back from trad publishers and try the selfpub route, so thanks to everyone who has contributed.

With that in mind, and taking in the OP advice to heart that your blurb/cover is 50% of the ballgame, here's my cover and blurb. Any and all feedback is gratefully appreciated.


JazzyJay - what genre would you put yours into? It could go several directions from the blurb. While I like the 'grit' of the cover, I honestly don't think the monkey works. That being said, I don't think you have to go toward the sexy hero either (unless you're in romance, which your blurb certainly doesn't imply).

What's the feeling / genre to your book? Horror? Historical magical realism? Etc. It'll change your style.

If you can answer the set of pre-marketing questions in the OP, we can probably help you a bit more.

Edit: Congratulations on finishing a book, too!

Sundae fucked around with this message at Jul 17, 2014 around 14:53

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

While adjusting a few things at Amazon I noticed a new button on the pricing area.



Which gives me this.



Now in my genre if I shifted price to where they want it I would sell next to nothing. If I did so with a new book I'm fairly positive I wouldn't move a copy. A new author would definitely get boned by that recommendation.

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be some eye-candy or what the gently caress Amazon is working on.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Is it saying that you should price at 6.99$?
What is it basing that on?

Soichiro
Oct 16, 2012

I'm a writer of erotica.

Life is an experience. Enjoy it.

It's telling me that my 5k erotica story that currently set at $0.99 should continue to be sold at $0.99 to maximize my profit potential, so that's a thing I guess.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I believe the only thing that price recommendation tool looks at is categories selected and word length, which yeah is pretty useless. One thing that I wish it had was a y-axis, I mean I am pretty sure I am way above their line for most books so would I be shooting myself in the foot by following their advice?

A cool person
Feb 2, 2012


Hey all, so I finally bit the self publishing bullet. Making my crime/thriller/noir whatever book free on Amazon from now until Monday if any of y'all want to check it out.



http://www.amazon.com/The-Opportuni...u_up_thanks_hdr


Any feedback would be killer

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

I don't know what the words 'a novel' are doing there and tipped my interpretation of the cover almost into comedy.

If you feel you have to include it, make it 'a novel by...' or 'a [name of series] novel' or even 'a [name of main character] novel.'

Also where it is is weird. Put it across the top or under the title as a subheading.

Apart from that, looks good.

jazzyjay
Sep 11, 2003

PULL OVER

Thanks guys - it always amazes me that people I've never met are happy to take the time to consider my work so I appreciate everyone's comments.

My genre is magical realism as its a gritty historical story with fantastic & surreal elements. For comparisons think some of the earlier work of Neil Gaiman or the TV show Carnivale.

RE COVER: The ape is a main character (but not the protagonist) so it is relevant to the story. As magnificent7 said I wanted something different from a generic cover to make it stand out. Plus its one of my own photos so no rights issues there! But I was unsure if it was a good cover so thanks for the feedback. I'll revisit the design and the blurb.

MOANA, I hadn't heard of Geek Love but definitely will check it out.
SUNDAE, here are some answers to your hard marketing questions (and you weren't lying about them being hard.) And thanks for the congrats!

#1 - People who will like my book will also like Neil Gaiman, Cormac McCarthy and Milorad Pavić.

#2 - People who will like my book will like it because of lyrical storytelling and surreal cast of characters.

#3 - People who will like my book will like it because it didn't drag.

#4 - My book is similar to The Road, Sandman and The Dictionary of the Khazars.

#5 - My book is different from the books in #4 because it has a unique setting that allows the story to go to unexpected places.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


jazzyjay posted:

#1 - People who will like my book will also like Neil Gaiman, Cormac McCarthy
These are not the same audiences, yo. You might be mixing and matching a bit too hard. That's what went wrong with my first novel, I couldn't decide which genre it was in and it ended up being a bad mishmash that sank immediately upon release.

That said, my interest is piqued now whereas before it wasn't. So you need to work on your cover/blurb to reel in readers like me who love MR and McCarthy. If you'd like a second set of eyes on the book for blurb/cover ideas, send it over - my email is moanaevans at gmail.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011


Back me up here, the ape on the cover is terrible. Just because it's ''different'' doesn't mean it's good.

By The Horns
Aug 6, 2012

When in doubt, always correct to "pounding"



This sort of book is pretty popular in the UK so don't neglect them in any kind of marketing you do!

ravenkult posted:

Back me up here, the ape on the cover is terrible. Just because it's ''different'' doesn't mean it's good.

I agree. It's not so much that the ape is the focus (it shouldn't be) as the fact it is the only distinguishable image on the cover. The colors and design also suggest gothic horror (possibly involving an ape hanging people) than magical realism which tends to be a little more uplifitng... then again it's being compared to The Road so uplifting may not be appropriate.

And yeah, "being different" isn't something I'd aim for with a cover. Especially not for a new author and especially not for self published books. Being different is a luxury for people who have already made it, so their name is what sells the book, not the cover.

From a purely marketing/maximising audience point of view I'd get a burning nazi flag, an adorable scruffy kid and a big top in the mix. I'd also be thinking along the lines of Book Thief meets Night Circus rather than Dictionary of the Khazars and Sandman when considering how I marketed something like this.

All that said. As a fan of Carnivale I will buy this book.

By The Horns fucked around with this message at Jul 18, 2014 around 09:35

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

A cool person posted:

Hey all, so I finally bit the self publishing bullet. Making my crime/thriller/noir whatever book free on Amazon from now until Monday if any of y'all want to check it out.



http://www.amazon.com/The-Opportuni...u_up_thanks_hdr


Any feedback would be killer

I downloaded this to my kindle, and noticed some formatting issues:

1. The spacing between lines is too generous. An average paragraph takes up the entire screen of my paperwhite.
2. Your alignment is "right ragged". Consider going fully justified instead.

Looks like you have a shot at breaking top 20 for Crime novels. Congrats!

Edit: And it looks like they rolled out Kindle Unlimited to the US. Upped the global fund to 2mil for July as well. Lets see how big these crumbs are.

Jalumibnkrayal fucked around with this message at Jul 18, 2014 around 14:22

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



On Kindle Unlimited...

quote:

Make your books easier to find with Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service currently available to customers in the U.S. With Kindle Unlimited, customers can read as many books as they like and keep them as long as they want for a monthly subscription fee. Any customer can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. They don't need to be Amazon Prime members, they simply need to pay the subscription fee.

If you have a book enrolled in KDP Select, it will automatically be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. It will also remain enrolled in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which is currently available to Amazon Prime customers in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, and Japan.

In order to be eligible to be included in Kindle Unlimited you must meet the KDP Select requirements and enroll your book in KDP Select. Learn how to enroll.

If you do not want your book(s) in Kindle Unlimited, you have the option to immediately remove your book from KDP Select. To do so, please include the ASIN for your book when you complete this Contact Us form. We will remove your book from KDPS right away and contact you to confirm.

How customers get your book
When customers subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and search Amazon.com for Kindle books, they will see a badge next to your KDP-Select-enrolled book indicating that the book is available in Kindle Unlimited. They can also visit the Kindle Unlimited page and see available books there.

Once a customer reads more than 10% of your book, or a Kindle Owners' Lending Library customer downloads your book, you'll receive a share of the KDP Select Global Fund.


So to recap:
#1 - Must be in Select
#2 - If you are in Select, you must be on Kindle Unlimited.
#3 - More than 10% counts as a borrow, not a sale.
#4 - No indication of its impact on your sales rank / algos.
#5 - USA only



If you use a Select "Free" drive, your book will not be available in Kindle Unlimited for the duration of the drive. No borrow revenue applies to Free books through Unlimited.


EDIT: THIS POST IS WRONG. YOUR BOOK REMAINS IN KU DURING THE FREE DRIVE.

Sundae fucked around with this message at Nov 4, 2014 around 00:14

Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


If you're into the whole Select thing, I don't see why the unlimited thing would be a big concern. You're more likely to see money from it as opposed to Select Borrows, I think. vv

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



The question I have is how strongly it'll dilute the value of borrows. The borrows pay out of a single global fund, so an enormous spike in total borrows due to people going through tons of books would drive down individual borrow royalties.

I've never had a lot of borrows, really, and this has been a pretty good month for me so far at 114 borrows to approx 1,500 sales. Borrow dilution won't mean much to me because I hardly make a dime off of it in the first place. However, I'm acquainted with an author who literally took in more than 1% of the entire Kindle borrow total last year. A dilution on borrows of that size would be huge.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Whoever took 1% of borrows last year probably thinks that he or she can make the same amount this year, even if it's a smaller fraction of a bigger pot.

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at Jul 18, 2014 around 17:25

A cool person
Feb 2, 2012


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

I downloaded this to my kindle, and noticed some formatting issues:

1. The spacing between lines is too generous. An average paragraph takes up the entire screen of my paperwhite.
2. Your alignment is "right ragged". Consider going fully justified instead.

Looks like you have a shot at breaking top 20 for Crime novels. Congrats!

Edit: And it looks like they rolled out Kindle Unlimited to the US. Upped the global fund to 2mil for July as well. Lets see how big these crumbs are.

Thanks for the input. Messed with the settings and I think I fixed it. First time using calibre to convert the source doc and I'm kind of retarded when it comes to that stuff

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

A cool person posted:

Thanks for the input. Messed with the settings and I think I fixed it. First time using calibre to convert the source doc and I'm kind of retarded when it comes to that stuff

I ended up doing the same thing with my books so I'm sensitive to it.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Anais Nun posted:

She approached me, I said I'd be thrilled to talk more with her and then she didn't call me back. No idea.

I'm sorry to hear that, but I hope you're doing just fine with the self-publishing stuff. I'm sure you could find someone else if you're really into the idea though. Agents looking to pick up self-published work is definitely still a thing, because then 98% of all the work is done for them already. Not too sure what that can offer the self-published person though. I guess if the author is struggling to get the sales they want?

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:

Not too sure what that can offer the self-published person though. I guess if the author is struggling to get the sales they want?
If the author either can't be arsed to do the promotion and marketing or - like me - is terrible at it.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Bobby Deluxe posted:

If the author either can't be arsed to do the promotion and marketing or - like me - is terrible at it.

I guess you're right. Have you gotten an agent for your self-published work yet? Are you actively looking for one? Do you think you would take one up on an offer?

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

I'm not doing 'proper' writing at the moment, I'm trying to get going on the erotica. First book would probably have been out end of last week if it hadn't been too hot to turn on the big PC - I had to work on my little Ubuntu laptop which doesn't have kindle converter or graphics software to finish the cover.

Plus my sister in law is off work as well so getting any peace and quiet to write is a loving miracle. Between my crappy living situation and the depression stemming from it, I've managed to drag out a fairly simple 12,000 words of bad zombie survivalist porn into 6 months of crippling self doubt.

So no, I've not found an agent. Sorry if I'm venting but it's too hot and with the windows open all I can hear is my neighbour being a drunken stinkyhole outside.

I hate summer.

e: To answer your question, if I had a novel and an offer I probably would get an agent and accept the 14% loss (which would translate to an overall gain since i'm bad at promotion and they're not). I'd much rather be spending my PC time writing than marketing.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at Jul 18, 2014 around 23:13

HPanda
Sep 5, 2008


I could certainly relate to wanting an agent. My writing under my main name isn't getting any sales, and I don't have the money to market myself. I try doing the free stuff myself every now and again, but inevitably, I come to the conclusion that the little bit of spare time I have is better spent writing (or at least I would much rather write).

If getting an agent actually did mean moving to just writing and not marketing while still building audience, then that would be super tempting, regardless of income potential loss. This does not seem to be a thing, though. If I understand correctly, even big six publishers expect authors to do the marketing themselves.

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

Publishers and agents are not the same thing. A good agent will negotiate on your behalf with a list of publishers they know. A publisher will print and distribute your book to their network of shops, so even just the fact that your book is on a shelf in a store is a kind of promotion in itself - especially if the store in question knows you're local. They'll also usually send review copies out to genre appropriate reviewers and handle the editing and typesetting. If it starts to gain traction they might even place some ads in papers (train platforms also seem popular places to advertise 'electrifying debut novels').

These are all things that most people (with a little reading up in advance) should be able to do for themselves -apart from the train station ads. Probably. I don't know if Sean could bankroll it.

However I can see this tailing off into another trad vs self publishing debate, so let's just say i mention it only because eventually I'd like to just write and pay someone else to handle that side of things for me, because I suck at it.

e: Note though that I said 'good' agents and publishers. Big does not necessarily mean 'good' in the sense of 'willing to help all of their authors.' A lot of them will just take their 10-14% and leave you to DIY, which is why you need to shop around and ask what they can do for you.

e2: this is stuff I learned on the degree I did, though a lot of it comes from published lectures and agents who spoke to us during the course.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at Jul 19, 2014 around 07:56

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Train station ads? In what century did you receive this degree in publishing? It's a different game today than it was even two years ago, but I'd like to think that even when I started that there were more eyeballs on the Internet than at West Chestershire Station.

edit: someone pointed out to me that you might not be American and that train station ads are big for thrillers in UK, but here in America where I get 90% of my sales, I've never even seen a train station

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at Jul 19, 2014 around 13:20

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005

Wheeeeeee!



Big publishers put book ads on the Long Island Railroad and NYC subway platforms as well. Decent exposure given the commute conditions, but I suspect the efficacy is just as bad as you'd expect.

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

EngineerSean posted:

edit: someone pointed out to me that you might not be American and that train station ads are big for thrillers in UK, but here in America where I get 90% of my sales, I've never even seen a train station
Train ads do quite well over here, especially if placed in the hub stations like Reading or Birmingham New Street which have branches of Smiths that tend to stock the advertised books. It's something I've noticed over the last 10 years or so and it must be working because I'm seeing it more and more.

For reference the degree was 2008-2011 and from the complaints we heard from the agents, the trad publishing industry is just starting to wrap its head around TV advertising, let alone social media and YouTube. That's one of the major advantages you self pub guys have is that you're balls deep in ad methods the trad industry is still largely unable / unwilling to understand.

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EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I think "do quite well" is, at a guess, not as well as you think. But then again they have the advantage of actually having their books in airport and train station bookstores. But thanks for the heads up about TV ads, can't wait for them to start saturating the air waves with Stephen King's latest and greatest.

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