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LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




I also have been using that book report (I was a tester) and it works great. Also, the app dev. Is doing it on his own and is also an author, totally worth checking out.

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LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Jalumibnkrayal posted:

It's pretty shocking how helpful this thread is. I mean, rags-to-riches helpful if you can hammer away at it for a while.

I like never post here, but this is totally true. About two years ago I saw this thread and started to quietly publish super romance because of it. I also learned a lot from some of the more... selective groups over on reddit. I've made thousands from it. Since the changes in KU.2.0, I've gone from working on super romances to working full time on regular romances and a mystery/thriller series I look forward to showing you guys (and gals) the cover and blurb of very soon.
This is my full time gig, and that all started from the very free advice I've received in this thread. :)

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Sundae posted:

Book trailers never made much sense to me. You still have to find a way to get them in front of your customer, so why not just get the book itself in front of your customer. Also, they appeal to... what audience, exactly? The people who like to read but would rather learn about their word-based entertainment in video format? People who watch youtube for entertainment but will suddenly decide to read your book instead of catching their usual show? I don't think the media formats overlap quite that much. I could be wrong, of course. I often am.

Totally Agree. That's a lot of time and money that could go towards writing another book, editing, and paying for regular old promos.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Aferisan posted:

Does anyone here write Mystery/Thriller?

I do!

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




angel opportunity posted:

This will have to be a good year for me. It feels like if I can't do it this year, I won't be able to do it at all.

I'm getting a novella out every month, and unless/until my romance income explodes, I'm going to try to knock out one erotica short every month. The main reason for that is I realized my erotica back catalog is making ~$400/month and I haven't published anything new since August. I know that number isn't great, but we're talking like 18 shorts and one bundle.

I also have close to enough published to release another 10-book bundle. I'm releasing a short on Friday and monitoring how much it earns alone, and also how much it boosts the back catalog income for the 30 days after release. Depending on how much it pulls in, I may just keep doing a short every month or so, provided it doesn't slow down my romance at all.

My latest romance release did very well as far as reviews go, but not so amazing as far as money goes.



I have romance book three totally finished and ready to go, but I'm deciding to wait until January 22nd to release it. I want to give the ARC reviewers PLENTY of time. I rushed it too much on book 2, and I think that hurt the release quite a bit.

I see people on the subreddit (and by the way, the eroticawriters subreddit is like the biggest pit of "what not to do" advice I've ever seen) launching romance novels that are just complete failures compared to mine, and they're happy about it. They then somehow pull in like $4,000/month by writing a lot of romance novels that basically bomb. I think and hope that means that I'm right on the cusp of doing really well. I'm making sure my books keep improving on all fronts with each release, and hopefully one will--sooner or later--penetrate the ranks that really make big money.

This is true. However there is a private Reddit thread (several in fact, though I'm only in one at the Moment) that deals with the romance side of things that has great advice. (A lot of the same advice that's here btw).

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Roar posted:

Pssh, look at this casual. Some of us professional fatties have been in the big leagues for years.

Hehe big leagues. Remember it's not crumbs of old food in the ratty beards, it's crumbs of success on the hairy romance gravy train.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




All of this "quality checking" concerns me with my romance pen names. However my thriller mystery pen name, I'm in the middle of going through final edits on book 1 with an editor, and it should pass muster no problem.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Jalumibnkrayal posted:

It begins.


Edit: One of the prominent smutlords on Reddit is reporting that many authors are seeing KENPC reductions of 10-60% on their titles. I didn't see mine drop alarmingly or at all.

You're talking about Throwie aren't you. That dude is awesome.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




angel opportunity posted:

Just an IRC update:

There have been like 5-10 of us that are active every day on IRC and talking about (mostly) romance self-pub, with a few genre people as well.

We realize IRC sucks and is hard to use, especially on mobile, so we've moved to Slack. It's easy to use, syncs automatically, and has good mobile apps. If you want to join, just email me at josefjakobus ATTTT gmaiiilll (trying to beat spambots here...)

It would be cool if we had a few non-romance people in here, and it would be even cooler (to me) if we had some more active romance publishers in there

Okay, I'll join tomorrow. I write both romance (I consider it my day job so around 5 hours a day) and mystery thrillers (I haven't published yet but will be doing cover drops for the first four books in a series here soon! )

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Okay, I said awhile ago I wanted to join that slack... And then slacked (that pun had to happen). But I wanna join for sure! Who do I email to get in?

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Popular Human posted:

I'd argue that you could call Chuck Tingle an author working in 'absurdist fiction', but yeah. There's money to be made in self-publishing, but something insane like 80% of the market is romance/erotica, thrillers or sci-fi/fantasy. If you're not writing one of those three things, you're peddling to an almost impossible to profit off of segment of the market.

Agree on Tingle. Also, thank god I picked romance novels as my day job, and thrillers as my second job. (I don't mind writing romance, but I like writing thrillers).

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Okay group.
Here's the deal, long time reader of the thread and long time self published writer (of romance and you know what) but I'm finally branching out into my thriller/mystery series I've been working on for... a long rear end time. Book one just got sent to the editor, and I'm well on my way with book two (I'm going to launch one every month for the first four).

Basically the elevator pitch for the series is it's Veronica Mars in college meets Silence Of The Lambs meets Harry Potter (No magic, but each book covers a year of school).

Now here's where you come in... Here's the cover I've got so far.

http://imgur.com/a/WdVpo

When I get it back from my editor I'll also be posting the blurb for the book for thoughts here too.

LionArcher fucked around with this message at 23:28 on Jul 21, 2016

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




ravenkult posted:

It ain't great. The typography especially is garbage, but the image itself is just not interesting.

This is my concern. I can do romance covers easy. But this one I'm having an issue nailing.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




ravenkult posted:

Feel free to post some stock images you like here and we'll give you an opinion. Or join the Slack, why don't you.

Slack's easier. It's not in the OP right?

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Okay gang, just posted this on the slack chat as well. This is my former cover for my mystery/thriller.

http://imgur.com/a/gAZb5

Something about it wasn't working for me, and others agreed. Not great. Which lead me to these.


http://imgur.com/a/fyHen

http://imgur.com/a/aiOL0

http://imgur.com/a/2Agr8

Thoughts? Preferences between these three?

LionArcher fucked around with this message at 06:06 on Jul 30, 2016

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Szmitten posted:

I think it would be better to go for the orange gradient text for the title but ditch the transparency. White (non-transparent) series/author names is good, and either ditch the box around "Katie Bell Mystery" or find a way to taper the sides to make it less boxy.

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Chokes McGee posted:

Advice from someone who literally just went through this process. I'm fresh off the boat so take this with a huge grain of :salt:.


1) Find the name for your genre first. This'll be hard given your description. Try starting from YA Horror, maybe? If there's no magic I wouldn't mention Harry Potter at all, it sets expectations you don't meet.

2) People aren't kidding about the first steps. If you don't do research, this is an exercise in futility. Once you've figured out your genre, I'd look at least five or six different covers. Good sellers, not crap. You should be able to quickly spot the difference. If not, keep going until you can.

3) If you have the budget for it and really believe in your book, just hire a cover artist. Most are several hundred though and that's a risk a lot of people me can't take or afford.

4) If you don't hire an artist, look for a readymade that's ~$50. There's a very small chance it'll work out of the box, so make sure to use info from #2 and don't start from something that sucks.

5) You can and should edit the ready-made after you get it, if you're handy with Paint.NET. Here's some things to utiliize/familiarize yourself with:
a) The lasso select is your friend, as is Magic Wand plus Invert Selection. Use Ctrl to add to current selection and Alt to subtract from it.
b) Highlight and move individual elements into their own layers to start with, it'll make life easier later.
c) Grab a good high pass filter plugin. Use it to turn uncanny valley 3D graphics and normal photos of people into a softer, more "painting" looking cover. This will do a lot of the heavy lifting towards making your cover not suck—assuming you've followed the rest of the steps.
d) Grab BoltBait's plugin pack, it's got a shitload of good stuff. Mostly you want the Bevel Text plugin, though. Use it on each text layer, slide radius all the way to the left, and bump up by one until you can start seeing the bevel. You're done. Don't go any higher.

6) Keep trying. It's really hard to get compliments around here, but it's not to be mean, honest. (Seriously, take a look at my recent posts through this thread, I laid out some real turds before I finally got it right.) You gotta give your stuff the best chance you possibly can.


Going through this process for about a week made a man out of me, and gods willing, it'll make a man out of you. :clint:

I really appreciate the work you put into this post. I'm already doing fine as a romance author, but I wanted to have eggs in more than one basket. I'll go back to work on this thing and go for a round two.

As for people suggesting looking at covers of other books in the genre (thriller/mystery) I have done that. My biggest issue is that unlike a genre like Romance/sci-fi/fantasy, Thriller mystery's have a wide range of okay to good covers, but it's not nearly as coherent. That isn't meant to be defensive, just my impression of what I've seen. Hence why I've been struggling.

As for my elevator pitch, great point about Harry Potter. It isn't like that at all. I'll scrap that from the pitch.

Book is split narratively between a college freshman (Katie) solving one murder at college (and all the college shenanigans that she would normally go through) and her famous FBI profiler father chasing after a serial killer who's the disciple of the serial killer who murdered his wife (Katie's mother).

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




I'm back, this time with a blurb. (I'm still reworking the cover, thanks everyone).

Okay, here it goes...


Fireflies (A Katie Bell Mystery)

Katie Bell is a survivor. Haunted by the demons of her past, she hopes she can finally have a fresh start at college. Fate however, has other ideas.

At the first big party of the year, Katie witnesses a murder.

The police dismiss the case as an act of jealousy, but Katie's investigative instincts tell her otherwise. With the help of an eccentric hacker and a mysterious journalist, Katie begins to unearth a dark conspiracy at the university. But even armed with sharp wit, red hair and pepper spray, does she have what it takes to catch the real murderer? Or is the amateur detective about to become the real killer's next target?

With his daughter Katie in college, Arthur Bell can finally admit to himself horrors of his job have taken their toll. The FBI's most famous profiler doesn't believe he still has what it takes to catch any more psychopaths.

Until the latest case lands on his desk. This time, he's hunting the disciple of the serial killer who murdered his wife. As the body count rises, Arthur realizes that the disciple isn't just planning on copying his teacher, but something far more insidious. Does Arthur still have what it takes to stop a madman? Or is he too broken to stop a monster, one last time?

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




RedTonic posted:

I'm ready to shank someone for 2 4-stars.


Yeah!

Check them hourly. :kheldragar:

Or just have Book report running in a window on your browser at all times. Motivates you when hear the sweet sweet sound of "Chi-Chang"

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




On writing program chat, remember that JK Rowling wrote her first two harry potter novels by hand and then typed them up on a type writer. Point being, we can all get very into our tech, but it really doesn't matter that much.

That being said... Scrivener all the way. The IOS app is also rock solid. If you time it right with NW, you can get the main computer program and the app for $45 bucks. Once bought, that's it. syncs between the main computer program and IOS with dropbox like a charm. And yes, if you're using a windows computer, it still works with IOS syncing.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Toaster Beef posted:

Sooo here's a question.

I started a new pen name (primarily for shorts) about a year and a half ago. It did pretty okay! Not great, but not awful. Put together a mailing list, which picked up about 100-150 folks. For a while, I was putting out a few stories a week. Then life got in the way, and I wasn't able to produce anywhere near as much—then, finally, nothing.

I haven't written anything on that pen name—or sent anything to that mailing list—in more than a year.

My question is: Do you think it would be at all feasible to start writing novels under this name and reach out to that same mailing list, with a "HEY ____ IS BACK, EXPECT A NOVEL LATER THIS MONTH, LOOKING FOR FOLKS WHO WANT A REVIEW COPY" kind of message? Or do you think that might be a lost cause?

One of the biggest romance writers I know did just that. He said it went well. If you've already got the mailing list, go for it!

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Just a heads up everyone, apparently it is a known issue that KU reads are not working properly. There's a thread now on K boards, and in more... knowledgeable forms. people have been complaining about it for a few weeks.

Romance writers seem to notice it more than others, since page reads is such a huge part of their (and my) income. Amazon has been silent when people have emailed about it, other than saying it was a server issue. Thought I'd mention it in case others have had a rough couple of weeks. Who knows if it's actually just a server issue or if they are actually planning on putting out K.U.3.0 or something.

This in no way is meant to be a panic post, just something people have been grumbling about. Also, the best theory I've seen is that they may have changed it to pages actually read, over pages you've skipped past. I know I've always borrowed my own works, and then skipped to the thank you in a way to quickly get more pages. Until now that's worked fine.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Be aware everyone due to an orange STD being our next president.... our sales this month won't look great. At least that's a main theory from a lot of pretty big romance authors. Judging by the way the markets are looking, id say that's a good hunch.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Benson Cunningham posted:

You're saying that a predominantly female audience isn't going to be interested in escapism right now?

I think they will be, but it will take till December. Either way, good luck with us paying for healthcare! Gotta adjust my budget to include how much more I'll have to pay.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




angel opportunity posted:

Shifters and vampires aren't the same thing. I make a lot of money doing romance; I know the market. If you want to do romance to make money, do the romance that makes money. Show me three demon romance novels by three different authors that are sub-1k rank right now and aren't Bella Forest

In romance as a whole, anything lower than four figures per month is very bad. All the authors in my writing group who do romance in the right sub genres are usually making close to 10k/month or higher. So saying that demon poo poo "won't make four figures but is still good" is NOT good compared to simply choosing to write in a genre that sells big.

If you don't care about money, write what you love with no regard for the market. If you are trying to sell out and make big money, don't sellout halfway and write demon romance.

What are your favorite sub genres of romance these days? Bad boy bikers have been my thing for awhile, but I'm needing a break for at least a book or three

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




angel opportunity posted:

I just stoped doing sci-fi because while you CAN get top 200, it's wildly variable. The chances of getting like...top 50...in sci-fi is also way lower. However, the chance that a shorty book where you duck some stuff up randomly spiking to top 200 is also higher than in badboy.

I did a series of like six books and my peak ranks were like (in order): 600, 200, 650, 650, 700, 750

The earlier books held rank a lot longer. That series was enough to hold my average monthly income around $10k. In sci-fi, facebook ads are way more expensive than in badboy, but I only ran like $40/day in fb ads and my daily income hovered between $300-400. I think it's actually a viable genre to go for--you can also get away with doing like 35k word novellas.

The risk though is that you peak at like 2k or 3k rank and in the back of your mind know that the same effort in badboy would have peaked higher than that. I was afraid if I continued my sci-fi series the ranks would keep dropping and the ranks would drop even faster and faster.

I just launched my first badboy book and it's top 100 right now, which is the best rank I've ever hit. I'm really glad I took the risk and bailed on sci-fi, but it is currently a fairly viable thing with a big enough audience (though still not as big as badboy).

There is like...soooo much poo poo you can do wrong and gently caress upon romance; picking the right genre isn't some instawin button, but picking the wrong genre is definitely and instalose button

Wait, top 100 in whole store or sub cat? Also, what size mailing list and how much money are you throwing at FB ads?

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




If anybody is thinking of updating the OP, can I recommend Chris Fox's books? They are short, most are available in KU, and they offer good advice that can be applied to most genre's. he just released a new guide that I haven't read yet, but will be doing this holiday weekend.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Sundae posted:

Honestly, I think Mailerlite is better than Mailchimp now. The only reason I'm still on Mailchimp is that I don't want to rebuild all my templates (can't directly import them) and deal with importing all the names again.

So if I'm staring a new list or too (yay romance mirrors!) I should probably start with Mailer?

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Sundae posted:

I would, based on the pricing benefits as you scale up. That's just my opinion though.

I have about 4,700 people on my lists right now and I cringe every time I see the monthly Mailchimp bill.

Good to know. There's also nothing stopping me from having multiple mailing lists (like four or five) for different pen names that would all be free from them right? As long as I have under 1,000 subs. The joys of different romance kinks :) and also writing Mystery/Thrillers.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




angel opportunity posted:

Yeah, someone I know is beta testing it I think and said the same. Pretty awesome :D

Omg that would be amazing. I need to go talk to my beta guy.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




The Fuzzy Hulk posted:

HOLY poo poo, Book Report is even better now.

I've been in the beta since last week, and it's basically flawless. Logged in on four devices too (laptop, IMac, phone and iPad) and it just works.

Just like macs really.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




freebooter posted:

Released the second book in my series a few days ago and somebody on Goodreads who didn't even rate the first has given it one star, which somehow breaks the space-time continuum and gives you a -2 rating.... https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34447188-end-times?ac=1&from_search=true

edit - My mistake, they also gave the first book a meh rating. I'm just bemused by how it's actually possible to get a sub-zero rating.

edit 2 - Goodreads is really fascinating. I never would have thought the vast majority of readers of a zombie series would be women.

Thank you for posting this. I never looked up my mystery on Goodreads, and even with my lovely cover I have a 4 star rating. :woop:My romance series (different name) has 2 stars :(

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Bardeh posted:

Are any other romance authors struggling to get decent traction these days? It seems like the market is so ridiculously saturated right now that I'm really finding it difficult to get my new releases to stick. I am writing in probably the most competitive genre (Bad Boy) so maybe it's time to switch things up a little and try another niche.

Try M/M.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Fuschia tude posted:

Those of you who are Americans working at this part- or full-time, how do you have things set up tax-wise? Any incorporation?

General rule is if you make $30,000 or more you should have an LLC and an S corp. until then, usually the benefits aren't worth it. Depends on the state though. Talk to a tax person.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




angel opportunity posted:

Someone is trying to doxx me I'm never posting in this thread again, bye!

Just came in to say the post earlier you wrote was great... and then I see this poo poo. Come on folks. Be better than this!

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Bardeh posted:

Most likely someone attempting to guess AO's pen name. This forum (SA in general) and this thread in its various incarnations has managed to chase off every single successful author who ever posts in them and dares to reveal that they're making (good) money off their work. It's loving ridiculous.

E: And it was much, much worse than just 1 star brigades and Amazon reports. People actually had goons calling their places of work and their families, telling them that they were writing taboo erotica etc.

Yeah, I think I'm out of this thread too. It's what got me going, and I've made a career out of it.. thanks thread. There are safer communities out there now. Thanks to everyone who helped along the way.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Eyeneedle posted:

It sucks that goons are still doxing self-pubbed writers. I was hoping to re-read this thread for all the pre-pub advice, now that my book is near completion. How do I find another community like this one? Reddit self-pub seems like it gives bad advice. The official Kindle forums?

Kboards has an okay hub. A good first thing to look at in the morning place. Erotic authors (Reddit) has terrible advice at times, but also great authors in there too that help out. If you read the big threads there , you'll find the right redditors to follow.

I won't really post here due to what I just saw with dox, but this thread Will always hold a special place in my heart for getting me started on my self publishing career. That was three years ago, and it's changed my life. It's not a get rich quick scheme like it used to be, but if you're willing to work hard you can still make plenty of money.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




Aferisan posted:

Could anyone kind of provide insight on to what the current climate of genres or self pubbing in general is like right now? General impressions, anecdotes etc.

Treat it like a real job and get paid real money.

I think there was a gold rush of easy money that has gone away. That being said, the market is still growing. We are at the beginning of a new normal, and now is a fine time to jump in.

That being said, there are genres that sell better than others. Romance, mystery thriller, cozy mystery, urban Fantasy, military sci-fi, all have solid numbers if you put in a lot of work and can write a solid yarn.

If you want to write poetry, have fun. You most likely won't get paid, but sure. Same with "fiction," and they sort of jazz.

Make a mailing list. Read the OP. Read the thread. There's several good to great posts in here.

Also, read. Read your genre. Read out of it. Pay for KU, read more.

Go over to Kboards. Read more. Don't post. Just read. You'll quickly see who's actually giving good advice.

I got Kinda crapped on for mentioning this earlier in the thread, but Chris Fox has a bunch of books on self publishing. I think they are great basic how to guides. Most of what he writes can be found here and on Kboards, but his books are short and are an easy source for a lot of solid info.
Another classic book is 2 k To 10 k.

Lastly. Write. A lot. How much is a lot? 3 to 5 k a day, 5 days a week.

LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010




POOL IS CLOSED posted:

This happens to me sometimes. Not sure why!

They just announced KU 3.0 so that might be why.

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LionArcher
Mar 29, 2010





And mystery thrillers

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