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ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Grammaton posted:

OK I can't win.

Let's write a book and then make sure no one reads it! I mean, I get that a writer's ego is fickle, but this notion just seems stupid to me. Why are you giving up when you are two steps away from the finish line? I agree with Sundae that your blurb is bad, but writing a good blurb is just a part of writing that you need to learn, like exposition, dialogue and action scenes. You published your book because you thought it was good. The blurb is supposed to show the prospective reader that the book is good, because if you can't sum up your book in an engaging way in a couple of sentences, how on Earth are you going to present an engaging plot that spans the entire book?

So, yeah. You can't win if you don't try.

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ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I think it is easier to sell if you focus on one of the genres. People generally aren't looking for straight up fantasy/sci-fi fusion, but they might be looking for something that is sci-fi or fantasy with a new twist. Star Wars managed to be sci fi with literally magic and sword fights, but it is still primarily thought of as sci-fi. On the other end of the spectrum, World of Warcraft has literally aliens but is considered a fantasy universe. So I'd ask which element is stronger, and focus on that.

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.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Personally I like the minimalist one better. it's nice and structured, tells you what is going to happen in the book and gives you a primer if you are new to the series. The expanded version seems too unfocused, like going "Hey here are a bunch of people who will appear in this book. They might interact. Or maybe not. Who knows!" The most minimalist version just seems thrown together to me. Doesn't make me feel like there is an engaging story, to the point where I genuinely wondered if it actually described the same book the other blurbs did (also suddenly is a bad word and shouldn't be used in the first sentence of a blurb).

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Sundae posted:

Made a few changes. Not bad! :)

What's the issue with powered armor?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


syscall girl posted:

You know Starship Troopers by Heinlein? It's like that, just a robot suit that goes over your body and armors you and holds weapons or something. It's cool if you don't. Heinlein was something else.

Nowadays it's mostly an anime thing I think. And Mechwarrior in the tabletop/PC games world.

Well Mechwarrior is mainly giant robots (:sperg:). But yeah, it's a sci-fi staple, which was why it surprised me. The average sci-fi reader probably knows the term.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


magnificent7 posted:

This - this is what I'm talking about. When you consider the amount of work current publishers expect an author to do, regarding marketing, promoting, etc, what's the point of trad publishing?

I will say this for trad published authors: They probably never fret about not having sold any/enough copies in the first 8 hours of release because they simply don't get that data. Incidentally, I have just released my first work on a new pen name. How do you guys deal with post-release anxiety?

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?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Sundae posted:

I'm gonna advertise my next romance on the jumbotron at the superbowl during the halftime show, then go for a NASCAR sponsorship and paint my book cover on a car for an extra 500 miles of exposure.

Make it a gay romance and reap the benefits of moral outrage from the far right. 20 minutes on FOX = 20 minutes of free advertising.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I think the issue is really which genre is dominant in the book. Some genres just don't mix well. A romance story in a sci-fi universe that explains the principles of their faster-than-light engines at length probably won't sell. Romance readers will be bored to tears by it, and sci-fi readers just want to know why in God's name the story is focusing so much on the interpersonal relationship when there are new planets to visit and space battles to fight. A little dash is never the problem, but I think most people here assume "genre mixing" to mean a full blend of two genres, where Wizards fling spells at each other from the bridges of spaceships that are also sailing vessels IN SPACE.

Sci-Fi Horror, on the other hand, is fairly well-established as a subgenre, and even then Alien was mostly a horror story that borrowed sci-fi elements for its setting.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Blue Star posted:

Does anyone else really hate worldbuilding? I am writing a sword-and-sorcery novel and to be honest I'm kinda making the world up as I go along. I have a basic idea of what kind of world it is, what the tone of it is, and what sort of things and events may happen in it. But I don't have maps, detailed histories, or anything like that. This particular novel takes place in a single city, and I'm sort of playing fast and loose with it. I'm just concentrating on the characters and story.

Thing is, people seem to like worldbuilding these days. They want big detailed worlds that have "verisimilitude" and magic systems. I don't feel like doing all of that. I don't feel like coming up with constructed languages, holidays, or whatever. I know a bit about what this city's culture is like but again, I'm just taking that basic idea and running with it, making up details as I go along. And if I write more novels that take place in the same world, they will be stand-alone stories. And even though they may take place in the same world, that basically just means I'm drawing from the same well, not so much that they all belong to some chronologically-ordered series of historical events.

I think people will hate it :smith:

Honestly, I've always followed the idea of world building as stage setting. No one cares if the house in the background is just painted cardboard as long as the house in the background isn't relevant. No one will even notice unless someone points it out. I think part of it is that you have a different view of the book than your readers, because you know what you didn't write. If you never talk about holidays, no one will write a review about the book saying "would have given 5 stars but only gave one because of a lack of holidays". As long as you can evoke the feeling that there is a world behind the stage setting, people won't complain. As long as you remain consistent, you can keep making it up as you go along.

How does the magic system in the Harry potter novels work? You wave a stick around, say the magic words. That's it. Kids get taught what words to say and how to wave the stick around, but it is never explained how stick, motion and words interact, because it's not needed.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I think a lot of it has to do with the approach to writing. If you consider writing purely an art, then it is already above most criticism. You don't tell a modern painter that his brushstrokes are wrong, and consequently you can't tell a writer that his dialogue sucks. You have to consider writing at least to some degree a craft, and your goal needs to be to perfect that craft.

Another part is, in my opinion, how modern society approaches literature and especially genre literature. If you look at the discussions of genre literature, especially online, it is always discussions about who is loving whom, how the magic system works, what those spaceships weigh and who the murderer is. Rarely do you see any discussion about story structure or character design (except when discussing how two characters are totally in love with each other) or dialogue writing. So when you read a lot and are active in those communities, you get a warped view of what matters in a story - the magic system has to make sense and the hints about the murderer have to be hidden just well enough to not be instantly obvious. When you then start to take up writing, you focus on those parts rather than perfecting your storytelling, and end up confused as to why people say your story is bad (or worse, ignore your story completely).

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Sundae posted:

I've seldom wanted to bash my own skull in quite as much as the (one and only) time I attended a writer's group out where I used to live in Connecticut.

The group was best summed up by the phrase "Time-traveling librarian who likes to knit visits all her favorite famous people from the past, falls in love with Napoleon, and changes the course of history all while teaching the reader tasty recipes in a time-travel culinary romance."

That was probably the most salable book there, too.

Was it written by a librarian with a fondness for knitting and cooking?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


If the book is in Kindle Select, the option will be under Manage Benefits. You can either set the book free for up to five days in a quarter (which don't have to be consecutively), or set it to a lower price for five days. Both options are mutually exclusive, though (so you can't do five days free and five days cheap).

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Hijinks Ensue posted:

Just remember to read and respect each blogger's review policy. Don't send them your vampire Western if they've stated they only review literary fiction. If the blogger is swamped and says he or she can't take any new review requests for two months, then check back in two months.

The vast majority of them doesn't take self-pubbed books, though. At least that's how it seemed to me.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Imperfect posted:

It's actually kind of a refutation of the old adage of "write what you know," which is both heartening and disheartening in equal measure.

Imagine if the only people who wrote sci-fi were rocket engineers.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


the brotherly phl posted:

Do KU/KOLL borrows change sales rank?

I fairly certain they do.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


chthonic bell posted:

1. "What works and what doesn't": is this a way of saying that you have to write things a certain way or they simply won't sell? That you have to hit certain tropes and archetypes for people to buy the book?

Would you read a fantasy novel that has neither elves nor dwarves nor dragons nor swords or magic? A novel labeled as "romance" but dealing with a man's love for his car? The fact of the matter is that people who buy genre fiction look for that genre, and these genres have certain expectations. Doesn't mean you have to play it 100% straight.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Amazon sent me the mail telling me my book was available at 3 AM on Friday, April 10. The bookshelf has it as published on the 9th. The shop page lists it as published on the 8th.

Give it to me straight guys: Can books travel backwards in time?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Honestly a word count is better for my motivation than a number of hours. I aim for 2k a day, 5 days a week (so ~40k a month). Anytime I used time I would just spend it gazing at the ceiling or browsing, then feel guilty for not doing any work. With a word goal, that time becomes "creative planning", because you still gotta pound out those words later.

As much as we like to call this a business (and it really is), there is still a degree of art in writing a book, and you can't really force yourself to be creative. Or at least I can't.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Faded Mars posted:

Is it really that different with the Brits? As a Canadian, I applied for and got an EIN and then submitted a W8BEN to Amazon/the rest of my publishers and that takes off the 30% IRS withholding.

Yeah, a lot of countries have tax treaties with the US that reduce your withholding to 0. At least Germany does, and we fought two wars against the US. I would be surprised if Britain didn't have one, too. Recently, Amazon even changed it so you don't have to get an EIN, you just fill out a form under account management and get your withholding rate set to 0.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


angel opportunity posted:

When you guys give out free copies to people on forums, what format do you give them out in? Is there a way to give them free official Kindle editions without paying? Or should I create .mobi files and/or PDFs to give out? Is that breaking the rules with Kindle Select/Unlimited to give out free copies like this?

When you upload a document to the kdp page you are able to download a preview file. That's the .mobi amazon will distribute.

I'm not 100% on the rules but I think as long as you give them out specifically to reviewers it's fine. You just can't put the .mobi on your website for everyone to download.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I really wouldn't fret too much about how many sales you did or did not have on your first two stories out. Just keep writing. And yeah, sometimes stories just bomb for no obvious reason. When I had my first 1k+ month it was on the back of one story that accounted for more than half of that. Of course, I quickly pushed out two more stories that were virtual copies of the first, with slightly different storylines and new characters, obviously, but targeting the same niche. Both of them combined haven't made half as much as the first story.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


If a novel flops hard enough, not enough people will have read or seen it to associate your name with it. It's not like people google your back catalog before they buy your book.

Now, if you've had five or six great ones and publish two or three shitters, then you might be in trouble.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


SquirrelFace posted:

I am writing right now! My words are always better in the night. Really conflicts with the whole job thing.

My whole motivation for making money at writing is so I can stay up as late as I want and no one can tell me when i have to get out of bed in the morning. :colbert:

Yeah, same here. Some weeks get so bad that I sleep during the day to write during the night.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I'm gonna go with a resounding ehhhhhh about splitting it up. Action/Adventure/Thriller does need some length or people will assume you're stringing them along. 15k seems far too short. Take a look around in the genre, see how similar books are doing it. If you can't find any similar books, reconsider approach entirely.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Omi no Kami posted:

18-45 sounds reasonable, although in practice I suspect most of the plot I'm writing will come off as excessively silly past a certain age- it's basically juvenile wish-fulfillment with bigger words.

I think that in terms of pure format, keeping it together does make more sense, I'm just trying to make sure that I'm not cheating myself out of money- selling a single work for 2.99 when I could be selling it in four 0.99 chunks.

0.99 only gets 35% royalties on amazon, though. So Selling one 2.99 story gets you 2 bucks in royalties, selling four 0.99 stories only gets you 1.4. You do get a little more exposure since more people are willing to take a chance at 0.99, but in my experience it doesn't make up for the lower rate.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


the brotherly phl posted:

My fist book got put into the erotica category (and nothing else, not sure why). I took all the erotica-related keywords, but it won't come out. Any tips, or should I just contact them directly and beg?

I think I've spotted your problem

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Pete Zah posted:

1. Do you guys see eBook publishing as an economic bubble? The meteoric rise of self-pub seems to have occurred in the past 5 years. The whole thing feels like a cash train that is tearing rear end through town and you either get on now or pick up the exhaust-coated nickels left behind.

Used to be that it was that mythical easy work, good pay, work your own hours kinda deal, writing erotica back in 2012, when people told each other that you could live off the passive income from two dozen shorts. Not anymore. Personally, I don't think we're headed for a crash. More and more people are adapting to e-books as a viable form of content, and with the wide spread of tablets and smart phones to consume that content, the market is going to grow for a good long while yet. Eventually it will slow down, but that doesn't mean books don't sell anymore.

The biggest problems are the sheer amount of white noise that's being put out, getting people to see your book will become an ever increasingly difficult task. As a self-pub writer you're already considered barely above fanfiction in most genres, anyway.

But then again, fan fiction is also massively popular, so w/e

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

You're doing it wrong. You're supposed to argue with the thread while humble bragging about your innate talent. Throw the combined knowledge of our bestselling authors back in their face and poo poo all over their recommendations about "genre". Buy a brand new retina MacBook Pro, install Scrivener and Vellum, then never write a word and never come back to the thread.

That's how we do in CC.

actually the book I'm writing is going to challenge the notion of "romance" as such, featuring only a single character who never interacts with anyone else. I've looked over the rest of the so-called "bestseller"-list on amazon and i think my book will really stand out

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Last paragraph doesn't work for me.

quote:

Their only defense is an armored assault with a bunch of convicts in the lead all inside of untested tanks based on Vasilov tractors.

The sentence simply drags on too long. Consider splitting it up into several sentences ("Their only option is an all-out attack. All they have are a bunch of convicts and untested tanks based on tractors. Failure means an alien invasion of all of human space.").

Also, what is a Vasilov tractor? Does your average reader know what it is?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


ravenkult posted:

Keep in mind this is book 2 of a series.

I dunno, I feel like the second book needs to be pretty "If you're just joining us, here is what is going on" instead of "this book will literally not make any sense unless you read the first one". You don't want to restrict the readership of book two to only the people who liked book one. Ideally, you'd want to funnel people to buy book one and join the series.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


I don't see how it would be a problem to ask for a status update by the end of the week. no need to be an rear end in a top hat about it, just telling them that you'd like to know where you stand. Because if they've really been hit by a bus waiting won't help.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


For me it would be the grave doubt about the editing abilities of someone who can't compose a simple mail within a reasonable timeframe.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


Pretty much. Some genres are compatible, though, like Sci-Fi and fantasy.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


EngineerSean posted:

cats and dogs living together
families will become broken
cthulu rises from his watery grave
bezos cackles from his ivory tower

quote:

Cats and Dogs, living together no matter how unlikely such a scenario might be, seeing how cats and dogs are habitually opposed to each other's presence


Families broken, shattered by the strains of an ever-changing world that forces them apart against their will


Cthulu, the great old one, the devourer of sanity, the eater of souls, the crusher of worlds, rising form his bed in the deepest depths of the deepest ocean, to come and end the earth

Am I doing this right?

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


EngineerSean posted:

I would guess that it's the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing but I hope that it's a backtrack.

For any organization the size of Amazon, if in doubt assume a fuckup.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


fruit loop posted:

I'm sorry, but what does ARC stand for?

Advance Reader/Review Copy. Basically giving out a book to a select few people before release so they can get you feedback and/or write a review as soon as the book comes out.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


angel opportunity posted:

For erotica shorts, I'm doing okay at $2.99 just on Amazon. My "going wide" hasn't published yet because it's taking forever for D2D to publish. I submitted like 36 hours ago, and only Kobo and Tolino have gone through. Kobo is incredibly small and almost insignificant looking, and I couldn't even figure out what the gently caress Tolino is from googling.


Tolino relates to a company called Hugendubel like Kindle relates to Amazon. If you haven't heard of Hugendubel, I don't blame you, it looks like they are only active in Germany. So basically completely useless for most authors in this thread.

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ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


angel opportunity posted:

If you don't have a full-time job you should be able to make like 5+ shorts per week.

That's 30k words a week. 120k a month. Two and a half novels.

Crazy.

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