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Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


So, I had a couple questions after reading the thread, hope no one minds.

Let me preface with this: I was one of those burnouts in 2012 riding the big waves of super-romance publications. I was fairly prolific, with 21 titles currently sitting in the bookshelf, and fairly popular -- my first month in self pubbing between Smashwords, ARe, BN and Amazon netted me over $1200. (I might've cried when I realized.)

I want back in, but I see some things have changed (for one, Kindle Unlimited). I want a piece of that. I'm going to gear up and rework that pen name for shorts, work on the blurbs, covers, etc, and repub everything under Kindle only.

1) How hard is it to get your stuff removed from Smashwords? I've heard some horror stories. Is it just "pull stuff down and wait X number of days" before it's unavailable in the marketplace?

2) What do you guys do for back matter? I usually post a snippet of a related story with a referral link to Amazon, but would I be better suited putting in a blurb and a link instead?

3) Speaking of backmatter, would it be a good idea to have a website link and maybe an attachment to a twitter account? I know it's popular, but I don't have much experience with Twitter and the like. Does it really help/matter?

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Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


I also think people are much more willing to suspend disbelief for a narrative. Especially in romance. When I used to read it heavily, it was comforting to know that eventually, the hero and heroine got together and had a happy ending.

They're simple like that, but I can understand the draw to them. Especially with life as lovely as it is.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


I've been seeing a lot of buzz on the subreddit about using keywords spaced like this: keyword/keyword/etc and using up the whole space for a keyword so that you maximize your allotted keywords. What do you guys think? It seems like a way to edge around the limit.

Was there anything Amazon said about it? I've looked but it all looks pretty vague (which is not surprising for Amazon).

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Trustworthy posted:

As my career transitions from primarily ultra-romance to primarily romance, I see that dynamic changing pretty quickly. Writing "stuff like that Twilight thing all the kids like" is several orders of magnitude less embarrassing to chat about than "stories where tentacle aliens do butt stuff to spacemen."

Yeah, but that's not nearly as entertaining, I imagine. Some of the shorts I cranked out when I was in the thick of the 2012 boom were out there, but I remember them being really fun, too. Still, there's something to be said for being able to actually talk about work with people.

Then again, my dad still thinks I'm writing historically inspired fiction novels, so v:v:v

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Has anyone found anything in your genre they legitimately enjoy and would recommend?

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


EngineerSean posted:

Darling, if you think we hate everything we write or is similar to what we write, you have a lower opinion of us than is really fair.

I suppose that was worded poorly. I meant more in that "Wow, that was really good, I'm really glad I picked that up." kind of way.

I did that with the Dresden series, and I don't normally like first-person, next thing I know I had blown through all of them.

I've actually found a lot that's really good, and I don't hate what I write, otherwise I wouldn't write it.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


I was also doing some reading, and you can elect to pay yourself as an s-corp while still identifying as an LLC. I'd definitely talk to a lawyer and an accountant both for that, though.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


You know, it really doesn't take long to get back into the swing of things. The KDP Select borrows on 25 titles really help, and with the next three books in review now, I think things are looking up. I've already made more in five days just on borrows than I did all last month.

I remember how awesome this used to feel now. Self-pubbed thousandare, here I come.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


@Angel Opportunity - how are you marketing your shorts that you're predicting $200 in sales a month? I'm actually rather curious. Are you bombing with advertisements and doing like free weekends, or is it just you've built up enough of a backlog that it's become lucrative to do so?

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


So I got an Alphasmart Neo2 for Christmas, and I just got the chance to try it out. I have to say, I really like it for what it is. It's essentially an electronic typewriter, with a small screen so you can see what you're composing. Editing is a bitch, but considering I use it to just get the rough copy onto the page, it's nice. (You only see about four lines of text at a time, and you have to navigate with the arrow keys to get anywhere during editing, so it really makes me consider whether or not it's worth editing that thing right NOW.)

I can check my wordcounts and spell check, and when I upload it, it's really simple, just a printer USB connected to my computer, open Scrivener, and it types my whole chapter where I want it because it emulates a keyboard instead of uploading the thing as a text file. It's really neat, and it keeps me off the drat internet when I should be writing.

What a good present.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Does anyone have a recommended mailing list they use?

I hear good things about mail chimp, but I'm not ready (and am unable) to drop the $10 a month just for email automation. All I want is the ability to send a welcome letter upon signup with a link to a freebie story to build the mailing list.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


EngineerSean posted:

I don't know if there's another service that provides email automation for free, but you can customize Mailchimp's "Thanks for signing up" page to include any links you want, including to free books that you host.

Oh, it does, huh? I will look into that, then. Thank you for the tip!

That will get me by for now, until I decide to make the jump to automation.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


My first full romance novel is out now, and it's pinged me a good bit in reads, though sales are slow. This morning, I was yelled at in chat by my friends, who opened their Amazon emails to see my book.

I'm very pleased with this. Writing to niche works, guys. You gotta do it like the pros do if you wanna see the money. Thanks so much to all the people dropping advice in the thread. I've been at this since 2012, with long stretches of inactivity because the smut boom was lucrative, but draining.

I like romance a whole lot better, and it's a whole lot more profitable. People seem to think it's good, too.

Now to write the sequels and churn out a bundle.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


The Fuzzy Hulk posted:

How many words is your novel?

I am just shy of 60k, with the back matter I think it puts it at 66k. (I added an excerpt of another novel I wrote last year that didn't quite make it to maybe drum up some interest.)

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


The Fuzzy Hulk posted:

Sweet! I'm doing my longest right now at 50 thousand. It takes way longer than my 8k ones.

Yeah, I churned it out, two chapters a day for three weeks, and the last week was for editing. It was pretty satisfying, but it's hard to get on the sequel right now. I think I'm a bit burnt out.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


I really wish they'd set a flat page count, but haha that'll never happen, it's Amazon.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Whoof. Second novel of the year done. I just popped it off to the editor, hope to release it soon if there aren't major problems.

Is it still worth it to promote/network on Good Reads? I'm thinking I could do a little interaction with people that way while I wait for the second one. The first one in the series is going to go free to promo the sequel, but I'd like to actually build my mailing list a bit more.

I have...uh. Two people, haha.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Bardeh posted:

Any promotion you can do will help with a mailing list of two. What genre is the book? I'm sure there are paid promo sites out there too that could give you a boost on release.

I would set book 1 free now and book as much promotion as you can for that too. You might get a few more mailing list sign ups out of it.


It's your basic shifter romance, like actual romance and not smut. I'm not able to do as much paid promotion as I'd like to, because I'm still starting out. I'm thinking of running them both free for a couple days, to build the 'also bought' on Amazon for the second one, and letting the first one get me some mailing list subs.

Once the third one goes like (still in the planning stage on that one), I was planning on making the first one permafree.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Really enjoying this sudden burst of productivity. Four days and I've logged 22k words. Not too shabby. The final part of this trilogy should be done by Friday? If I keep the pace going.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Bardeh posted:

I've been deactivated from Slack again. Can someone re-add me?

Seems like this has happened to me, too. I tried signing in this morning.

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Oh, cool. It's fine, I only joined because people wanted me in there, but I'm too busy to actually maintain an active presence in the chat like that. Thanks anyway! :)

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


So I updated a cover on one of my books. It usually takes what, 24-48 hours for it to be updated in the marketplace, or am I misremembering that?

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Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


Make them pay extra for cover consults or whatnot. Could work as an extra revenue stream.

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