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CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


So the OP mentions publishing serially has become viable thanks to self-publishing, but how does that work exactly? What avenues do I need to pursue? I want to write full-time, but I'd like to have some form of income while writing my book, and a serial seems the way to go.

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CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Bit of a dumb question here: is it possible for a non-American author to get their book published in the States (or the West in general, at least), as the last few pages seem to be painting a bit of a grim picture. If so, what do you guys think of the PubYourself site mentioned in the OP?

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Is there any way to get digital payments from Amazon if you're trying to self-pub from, say, Malaysia like I am? Or will I have to hope against hope that our postal service won't screw things up if Amazon decides to send a check? I admit, I wrote some naughty stuff for a quick buck (quickie buck?), and when going through the rigmarole for payment plans, tax numbers and such, it seems Amazon can't pay me electronically for some reason. Did I miss something?

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

Why not just sign up to Payoneer or something if you need a US bank account to receive payments?

Because I'd forgot about that option :downs: Hopefully there's a way to change it later.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Bit of a dumb question here, but does anyone know how to format a document so that each chapter begins on its own page on a Kindle? Also, how does one use Payoneer to receive online payments as a non-US citizen? I can't seem to find any line on the Amazon tax information form that would allow me to do so; just the usual stuff about receiving stuff by check. Never mind, found the option- it was in the 'Bank Account' section :downs:

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Aug 9, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


So, uh, between a really weak Malaysian Ringgit and some personal financial problems, I might have some trouble springing for a proper cover. Any recommendations for someone wanting to make a cover on the cheap, besides 'Photoshop your own'?

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008



Science fiction/fantasy. I know I might be asking a bit much here :(

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Thanks for all the tips, guys, especially this:

Canadian Surf Club posted:

Also a good rule to stick to: no characters. It takes away so much from description and characterization inside the work if you just paste someone on the cover.

Because I was actually thinking about doing something like this :downs: I thought having some people on the front would make the thing more atrtractive. Would it be all right if I post a mockup cover and blurb sometime this weekend, after I've had some time to work on it?

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Man, this is what I get for not opening the thread before I got started on the covers :suicide: That being said though, I would like a critical eye on the mockups I have already made; they all use the same stock photo (what can i say, I like it), and all I did was change the fonts between them. I wish I could say I did more, but to be honest I don't know what more I could do. I didn't want to get all complex and poo poo because I know I'd just have messed something up.

Anyway, here are the rough covers. I personally like the third best, but I'll wait for you guys' opinions first. If it helps, the original stock image I used is here:


And my blurb:

quote:

On the edges of the galactic empire known as the Concord, an elf named Shara Torellon finds herself hobbled by a ramshackle ship and crippled finances. Desperate, she takes up a seemingly harmless offer from Concord Intelligence, only to find herself in far more trouble than even her most paranoid fantasies anticipated. An eldritch horror from before time seeks to avenge itself on the mortal races, using lost technologies that would tear the very fabric of reality apart. In its presence, the faithful, loving and patriotic are twisted into villains, while traitors and demons find themselves on the side of righteousness. In the end, though Shara is anything but a warrior, she and her ragtag crew find themselves the only ones who stand in the way of a galactic Armageddon.

What do you guys think? Part of me thinks it's a little too 'IN A WORLD GONE MAD', but that might just be me.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


So what does this mean if I'm a new writer just starting out? I've got a full-length novel of around 118k words ready to publish once I've got the cover and blurb bits down, and now I'm all confused whether to simply go with Kindle Unlimited (that's an Amazon thing, right?) or spread my words all over the Internet.

Anyway, while we're on the subject, here's a new test cover and a somewhat revised blurb:



quote:

On the edges of the galactic empire known as the Concord, an elf named Shara Torellon finds herself hobbled by a ramshackle ship and crippled finances. Desperate, she takes up a seemingly harmless offer from Concord Intelligence, only to find herself in far more trouble than even her most paranoid fantasies anticipated.

An eldritch horror from before time seeks to avenge itself on the mortal races that once defeated it, using lost technologies that would tear the very fabric of reality apart. In its presence, the faithful, loving and patriotic are twisted into villains, while traitors and demons find themselves on the side of righteousness. While they're no warriors, Shara and her ragtag crew now find themselves the only ones who can halt a galactic apocalypse.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


So if I'm a new sci-fi author with a novel-length book, I'm guessing I should somehow get a few positive reviews beforehand or in the first 30 days? I suppose I could press-gang some relatives find some willing would-be customers to leave reviews. I'm not sure what I can free offer though, nor how I could even begin to do something like that.

Sundae posted:

CommissarMega - want to send me a link to the background image you're working with? My wife and I have been intending to practice cover typography for a while now (she wants to start designing covers), so perhaps we can give it a go and fixing up the text. :)

Sure, no prob.

EDIT: All right, here it is.

Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Blurb: Shorter sentences. Your blurb is five sentences and Hemingwayapp says one is hard to read, four are very hard to read. I want to know more about Shara and her crew. I want to know more about how the eldritch horror connects to Shara's story specifically. I think you need to sharpen your hook. Also for some reason I don't like reading that she's an elf. I would be fine discovering that in the book, but it turns me off in the blurb (unless you're going with a theme where her crew is a bunch of fantasy races in space?).

Gotcha, nor problem. And yeah, the story does revolve around a bunch of fantasy races in space (there's an orc, a centipedal creature and later, a possessed man among her crew). That being said, if it detracts from the hook (which I'll do my best to improve further), I can remove it. I just want readers to know what they're getting into, that's all.

Malloreon posted:

On the edge of Concord space, captain Shara Torellon grapples with a hobbled ship and crippled finances by taking a job that goes all wrong fast.

Banished long ago, a horror from the depths of space is back seeking vengeance, armed with lost technologies that boggle the mind. Nothing is as it seems.

The only thing standing between it and galactic apocalypse is Shara and her ragtag crew.

Says the same thing but way more concise.

Holy poo poo, this is awesome. May I take this wholesale?


thousandcranes posted:



Also I think your name is more important than the size you are giving it

Thanks for the tip; I'll get to improving the cover ASAP. It does look better with a orange-yellow/gold shadowed font, I must say. As for the author name, I wasn't sure I had enough clout to make it larger, and I was afraid I'd be seen as one of those egotists who put their name as large as their novel title.

Pinky Artichoke posted:

It still needs way bolder/heavier text.

Noted, I'll work on that too.

And seriously, thanks for all the help, guys!

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 02:42 on Aug 17, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


All right, here's a revised cover and blurb for my book (sci-fi/fantasy, if it helps), with credits and a lot of grateful thanks to the awesome goons in the thread:



quote:

At the edge of the known galaxy, captain Shara Torellon struggles with a crippled ship and an exhausted bank account.

Desperate for an escape, she finds herself forced to take on a secret mission- one that will see her face a horror from beyond time and the ancient technologies at its disposal.

At stake are not only the lives of billions- but the very fabric of reality itself.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


angel opportunity posted:



I agree that stock image is pretty cool, but it will be a struggle to get good colors on it since it's so orange/yellow all over.

Try messing around with some shades of violet and purple, including gradients from violet to purple, and see if it looks any better. Sometimes it may end up looking more readable, but still not aesthetically pleasing. Since your background is mostly warm, you want some darker and cool violets. This is a suggestion, and it may end up looking awful...I'm having a hard time visualizing it, but I think it's worth trying.

All right, I've recoloured the cover text. To be honest, I'm not sure if purple goes well with the cover, or whether it's just my own lack of skill that makes it look so. In any case, here are the redone covers (links, because they're big files):

I'm partial to these:
Aquamarine
Light Aquamarine
Green

They're not the only ones I've got, though:
Light Blue
Dark Blue
Slightly Dark Green
Light Green
Light Bluish Purple
Purple

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Fair enough; I'm just starting out with image editing myself, and I haven't quite got a grip on how to do all that fancy stuff with font effects and whatnot. I think what makes The Dark Forest's title work is that it's bright where it needs to be and vice versa; I'm not sure how to do that myself, so it's all one solid colour block. I tried embossing and shadowing the text, but as you can see, there's only so much I can do for now.

EDIT: One final set of attempts before I go to bed:

Gold
Slightly Lighter Gold
Silver

Also, I'm guessing Draft 2 Digital isn't where I should start my literary career? :v: I was planning to go Kindle Unlimited anyway (it's a long book, around 100k words post-editing); is that a good idea?

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 16:33 on Aug 18, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

IPart of the problem is that b/c of where the background image is placed, "Sundered" and "Heavens" are on very dark/quite light backgrounds respectively, requiring a medium tone to give any contrast at all, thus giving neither of them particularly good contrast. Also, notice the sphere of the sun is nearly centered vertically on the cover, vs. The Dark Forest cover, where it is much closer to the bottom. If you drop the image, possibly shrinking the author name (which right now is getting nearly equal prominence as the title--unnecessary for an unknown self-pub author), then you can put "Sundered Heaven" entirely on a dark background and have a lot more options. I can't envision of a pale cool color that would work well here, but if you sampled one of the lighter yellows from the flaming sun and put it over the dark clouds, I think that would give the pop of contrast needed. Then you could also remove the darker outline which I think looks gross and was mostly there to make the text readable against the lighter parts of the background image.

Thing is, that IS the whole image I'm using; I'm not sure how I can drop it any further. That said, it is a large image, and I fon't have to use all of it. I could put a darker-coloured title in the bright area above the sun/shattered planet, maybe?

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Lift up the "Boon of the Prophetess Saga" so it's not sitting on the sun, consider making black or just deleting, since I haven't read any of the other books in the saga and presumably they don't exist and I have no idea what that means.

Fair enough; I suppose I can put that bit in once I've finished the other books in the series. I'll also reduce the author name, no worries.

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Personally, I think the centered, medium-weight serif font looks amateur and boring. I'd try doing something like on The Dark Forest, with Sundered and Heaven being different sizes so they take up the same width.

Could work; I'll give it a go tomorrow.

Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Can you post just the background image you are using, preferable prior to any cropping you have done?

Sure, here you go.

ravenkult posted:

IMO the problem is that everything is orange and it looks like poo poo.

Any colours you could recommend? Something darker (e.g. space and some planets) maybe?

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 16:59 on Aug 18, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Bobby Deluxe posted:

We're just going to end up doing a kickass cover for free, aren't we?

Curses! You've seen through my cunning plan!

But seriously though, like you said there is an awesome cover there, it's just that none of us (me least of all) seem to have ny idea on how to bring it out. If push comes to shove, I'll probably use either yours, Doc's or Sundae's. That said, before I do that, I've got one more idea I want to try out. What do you guys think of this, or at least something like it?:



It's not the final cover, not by a long shot, but it's an idea I had while at work.

anime was right posted:

designing by committee is fun

Well, while I do have *~my vision~* about how the cover should look, it's people like you guys who'll be reading :) Might as well do some market research.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Fuego Fish posted:

Since we're all giving it a go, I thought I'd try my hand. (Click for big)



I am the father to this; not the sole father, but father regardless.

Goddamit now I have to rewrite my book to fit the cover :stonklol: Seriously though, can I use this? How much do you usually charge for this sort of thing? I'll try to make it up to you if I could.

EDIT: Taken the good advice below.

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 15:59 on Aug 19, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


All right, I'm uploading the book as we speak. Is $5.99 too much to ask for a first book of around 100K words?

EDIT: And should I sign up for KDP Select?

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Thing is, KDP Select/Unlimited seem to make the book exclusive, including websites and blogs. And how do I make the book free for a weekend?

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Oooh, okay. I was looking for a 'free weekend' link all over the pricing page :shobon:

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Yooper posted:

I've got 6 Scifi novels out and I've never priced them at $5.99. $3.99 is a good spot to start at. If it starts selling like a bastard then you can always up the price.

Righto; I'll start at $2.99 and price the later books (god willing, there'll be a market for them) at $3.99.

Jalumibnkrayal posted:

After you enroll in KDP Select you click the Promote and Advertise button on the bookshelf and you can then arrange either a time limited reduced price sale or five days of being free (you can space them out or run them concurrently). You get to do one of these for every KDP Select enrollment period (90 days).

So I can either do a free weekend or a price reduction, not both? That's a bugger.

EDIT: I've also finished setting up the promo period (22-23 August); I'm guessing I should only start spamming ebook sites tomorrow then?

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 22:35 on Aug 20, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

If you don't have any promos lined up yet I would cancel your free weekend (if that's what you're doing) and get those promos established first. Ideally it would've been before the book went live but you can't put that genie back in the bottle.

Okay, so I'll cancel the 22/23 August free weekend and start emailing free ebook sites, and hold the free weekend next week, then?

Sundae posted:

Sure you can, if you haven't done any promo and it's a brand new release. You unpublish it, duplicate it all under a new entry on your dashboard, and relaunch without hurting anyone at all. :)

Aw man, and after I've got it uploaded and all :v: Meh, I guess I can use the time for some last-minute edits. That's also something else I'd like to ask- if a book is up and I make some edits, will it update the copies bought by earlier buyers? I doubt it would, but if customers have complaints I'd like to remedy them (you know, customer service).

CommissarMega fucked around with this message at 04:02 on Aug 21, 2015

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Yes. I know it's disappointing when you've been looking forward to your first KU promo, but you really want to maximise the visibility boost by advertising the promo in as many places as you can.

Also, a lot of the better promo sites will have webforms you can fill in. Google free ebook mailing lists / sites / facebook pages / goodreads groups, and look for an 'authors / promotion' link.

Hah, you're right, I was looking forward to telling the world about my book :v: As for sites, I've found this list; has anyone had experience with these sites?

Bobby Deluxe posted:

The wife discovered this the other night - a few of the books on her kindle said they had 'updates pending' or something, and gave her the option of downloading updates for them. I think there's a setting somewhere that lets it autoupdate when you're on wifi, but i'm not sure.

Awesome; I'll definitely be taking advantage of that, to be sure.

EngineerSean posted:

It's actually a lot more complicated than that, you have to actually email Amazon and request that your books be able to be updated, and you have to make a case for it. "Significant edits" is the magic word, though. Everyone who had bought the book gets an email that there's an update, in this form:

Yeah, I'm not going to change small typos and such (though I'll certainly be taking advantage of the next week to do so), but if there are any big, glaring mishaps that I didn't spot, I'll do my best to fix 'em. I'm aware I have this avatar for a reason, after all :shobon:

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Great, now I want to write a romance so I can get in on this ground floor :allears:

Speaking of which, Sundered Heavens is free for the next two days (assuming Amazon is using Malaysian time). Pick up your copy today!

EDIT: Also, this may be bad form, but whether you like the book or hate it, could you leave some reviews? I won't know what I'm doing right or wrong unless someone tells me, sorry. Also, some promotional sites won't promote it unless I've got a whole bunch of reviews, the sods.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


EngineerSean posted:

All promotions begin and end at midnight Pacific time.

Right then, so I'm guessing it's already begun, then? Assuming my own computer's internal clock is telling the truth.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Goddamn do I want to read that now.

Same here, that's some intriguing stuff. When in October is it coming out, exactly?

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


magnificent7 posted:

Somewhere between 1 and 7. Probably closer to 7.

Cool, I'll keep an eye out then.

Also, I've got a bit of a dumb question: Are the free books permanently free, or just for the weekend? Just want to know bwfore I put up a 'Hey, if you like the book, why not drop me some change?'-style notice on my FB :shobon:

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Say, what increases a book's ranking on Amazon? Reviews? KENP? Sales?

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CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


So... if I somehow get people to buy my book and just have them flip through the pages, I still get paid, right? How does KENP work, exactly? Because my free weekend didn't work as well as I thought it would (around 100 free books, 6 sold :(), and I'm planning to get the word out this weekend at a family gathering. Basically I'll be astroturfing, is what I'll be doing.

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