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PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

Abusing the selfpub thread again with my small press stuff.

I just put out this thriller/crime novel. Amazon page looks a bit bare now, but working on getting some reviews and quotes.

Gina French is not a Waste of Roofies



After escaping a sexual assault, Gina French is outraged by the lack of sympathy and when a questionable opportunity falls into her lap—one that could both turn things around and prove everyone wrong—she takes it.
As she chain-smokes her way through the paranoia and fear of the inevitable violence, those she’s left behind wonder who the real Gina French is: a tragic single mother desperate to shortcut her way to a better life—or a bitter, self-serving narcissistic bitch?

Looks great! I hope to get time to read it in the future.

If anyone wants to look at how an Amazon page should be done, this is probably it.

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PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I'm still fixing up my humour novella A Dark Hand. I'm just slow as hell at doing things to it when nobody is buying it. But nobody will buy it if it looks bad. So there's a cycle there and I know it's bad.

Let's play the game: "is my new cover terrible?" I've not uploaded it yet because I want to get it right first.

Here's the new cover design:


And here's the previous one for comparison:


I'm thinking maybe I should lose the quote. And I'm unsure about the grey font. Is the "sold over two copies" thing too dorky and dumb?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


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.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


It's like a forever KickStarter. "Patrons" pay you money every X weeks in exchange for you making content. I have actually searched and the only writer pages I found were depressing and, of course, devoid of patrons.

I could see it working out if say Neil Gaiman or someone did 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?

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?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

Nobody's gonna take you on, or even publish, with a short story collection. They sell like crap too.

Well, if you somehow got famous as a short story writer in a bunch of high profile magazines if day someone might want to pick you up. But it's probably more likely an agent or publisher will ask you if you've thought of writing a novel (I have only second hand accounts of this though I'm afraid).

e: though this chat is probably better suited to the Fiction Writing thread at this point, but it is important to remember self-publishing isn't usually either/or (directed at nobody)

ee: oh right, beaten anyway

PoshAlligator fucked around with this message at 21:30 on Jul 19, 2014

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


TheForgotton posted:

I'm working on polishing the manuscript for my first novel. It is a crime thriller with a goofy tone, sort of like a more noir Tim Dorsey or Dave Barry. Could I have a blurb critique, please?

When neurotic horror-movie buff Martin Bowers sins, he sins big. An abandoned set of car keys in a theater inspires him to take his attractive new coworker on a joyride in the middle of the night. Hallucinated voices threaten to ruin his impromptu date as he worries about getting caught by the police or by his long-term girlfriend, but those are the least of his concerns when after he finds the chloroform, handcuffs, and knives in the trunk. Martin calls on his perpetually stoned stoner friend Jerry for advice on navigating the steamy streets of South Florida's underbelly and soon learns that getting rid of the stolen car won't be easy, especially now that it's rightful owner has his number --- [three dashes?] and his girlfriend.

The only people that get names in this blurb are the men. Maybe don't?

I feel like this is telling me a bit too much, actually. I'm not great at blurbs, though. This doesn't really come across as the kind of fun, goofy that would sell me, it sounds more like a generic stoner adventure. Amp it up. Excite me.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Please teach people about self-publishing.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

Here's a book my small press has put a lot of work into. It's available for pre-order, but it'll be on Amazon on September 18th.



(hosting mine)

The Mind is a Razorblade is a supernatural neo-noir horror novel of a man born into death. Drowning, he wakes beside two corpses. His memory has been wiped clean. He doesn’t know his name, what he’s doing here, who these people are, or even why one of them is a cop. Nor can he explain his strange telekinetic abilities. Questions plague his mind like hellfire, questions that begin a journey leading into the rot of downtown America, a journey that will not end until every one of his questions have been answered, despite who has to die in the process. Even if those who have all the answers aren’t even human.

A story of identity and redemption, satanic cults and funny bunny slippers, The Mind is a Razorblade is the deformed lovechild of a lunatic raised on cheesy ‘80’s science fiction movies.



Hope this one does well. Small press sucks.

Creepy cover, love it. Good job.

Your press looks pretty good and small presses always interest me, though I guess running it is a chore? How's that going? How did that anthology go?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I'm working in earnest on my second self-published novella. Like my first novella it will probably barely sell, but at least it will be fun and it will be available somewhere. I don't think it's at all marketable to the traditional market, which is why I'm doing it.

Would it be advisable to make my first novella free permanently or drop the price or something?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


moana posted:

Here's my stupid opinion on this: if you know how to write one genre really well already, then go ahead and mix genres. But too many authors (myself included) come up with a bad idea and use "genre-mixing" when we really mean that we didn't understand how to write a proper genre story in the first place or we really wanted to shoehorn in an idea that didn't belong. You shouldn't break the rule until you can follow it first, yah?

Could you give me an example of bad genre-mixing I will have heard of? Is just anything with a touch of something else genre-mixing? Like, sci-fi/romance you mean? Like, The Time Traveller's Wife?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


moana posted:

Probably not b/c they don't get famous if they're bad.

Don't you DARE say TTW is bad! It is great!

Haha no, TTW is pretty good... For a debut novel. :smuggo:

It's very self-indulgent. Especially the 9/11 chapter that comes out of nowhere.

I'm just not entirely sure what bad genre mixing really looks like then and I would love to know because it sounds like the kind of thing I'd end up doing and with self-pub there'd be nothing to stop me exploding.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


moana posted:

If it's your first novel (and that's what it sounds like), don't genre mix. There. I saved you several months of pain. The only way I would genre mix is if it's something that's already been done by someone else and seen decent success (romantic suspense, for example) so that I could read a bunch of those books as research.

Also TTW makes me cry every time I read it, it focuses SO well on the romance and the flaws don't detract at all from the love story.

I hate to say it but I still don't really understand what you mean. So like, just don't do, I don't know, sci-fi spy fiction?

e: What I guess I'm saying is don't genres mix all the time otherwise nothing would have anything to it? Sometimes romance needs a little dash of adventure, sci-fi might have thriller, spy, or political intrigue elements to be interesting.

ee: I know it seems dumb and I feel dumb asking this.

eee: I cried when my granddad died but that doesn't make it a good time.

PoshAlligator fucked around with this message at 14:42 on Aug 23, 2014

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ArchangeI posted:

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.

Oh, okay, thanks for explaining this. So like, don't wildly mismarket your book. That makes sense.

I mean, I don't think I'm doing this with anything at the moment, but I like to know to make sure.

At the moment I'm vaguely working on a novel but I'm focusing on short stories and novellas right now.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

I'm broke as gently caress, so take advantage of me if you need a cover.
Use code FIFTY to get 50% off any cover(s) when you spend 100$ or more.

http://store.ravenkult.com/



Covers so badass that I wish I had a project that would suit them but I'm not good enough.

Welcome to Ritual so good.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


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:

Nobody likes worldbuilding. It's just readers don't like if things come out of nowhere and are unbelievable (as in unbelievable in the context of the story).

Don't worry about it too much, they're not quite the same thing.

If magic can do a bunch of poo poo in your world but for some reason it can't kill people then don't just throw that out in the final few chapters make that known somehow. This is why people write more than one draft.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Bobby Deluxe posted:

I'm assuming you mean from an authorial standpoint, because George RR Martin's fans loving love it. There again, he's much better at world building than plotting stories, so that might be why.

My own take on it is to give the reader enough to picture it themselves. For instance if I say "The golden bridge glistened with dew, burning orange as the sun rose over the valley," I don't need to tell you the colour of the grass, the political system of the country or what you can hear in the background for you to picture it.

If it's important that a character goes east to get to a city, specify it's to the east. Otherwise leave it to the reader to imagine the land. Maps and poo poo are only important if you make them important.

I meant nobody likes worldbuilding as a reader, because they won't know about it. Unless you plan on releasing a whole bunch of history stuff and everything like Tolkein. But you won't, so don't.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Trustworthy posted:

My inner instant gratification monkey loving loves worldbuilding! It's the #1 excuse that lets me pretend I'm being productive while I'm really procrastinating on writing.

Amended statement:

Nobody (but you) likes (your) worldbuilding (because it's not very important anyway).

My novel is an alternate history novel set specifically around one city so I mean I have a list of historical changes and some notes on how the city is different to how it actually is and the sort of world it has become, but I'm not going full 100 page document on it here.

I just think you do need to be careful not to full in its trap. Nothing is more important than your words and a finished first draft.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I don't even know what font my CreateSpace book is. Draft2Digital just rolled up with a nice interior and I said "yeah".

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Cover art was a bit of a headache, yeah, and I've still not bothered to update it to my new ebook cover art.

It looks nice, yeah. CreateSpace was just an aside for me so I figured I'd just use D2D as the easy route. Similarly they're easy enough for other non-Amazon markets. Amazon is my focus so I go straight through them.

Not that I've made much money from either, though.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

Here's some pics of the paperback of the antho I edited.





Looks really great all put together like that!

You have a good spread of reviews on Amazon too. Hope you're proud!

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

I can't decide. One one hand it's kinda retro-looking, on the other hand the title font and background is kinda janky looking. I like the dude though.

Yeah the cover image is good creepy but something feels a little off with the cover as a whole and I think it's the font or text layout or something.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


magnificent7 posted:

It's encouraging to see their posts, calling out agents to take on self-pubs with a proven track record, or even publishers to recognize them. I'm STILL struggling with whether to waste my time finding an agent or waste my time micro-managing the self-pub structure and annoying the poo poo out of everybody I know to buy my book. Surely there's something in between? Self-pub, and then pay a PR agent?

What agents wouldn't take on self-pubs with a proven track records? Agents even get interns to sniff out good ones for them. I don't it needs "calling out", agents love money, and already do this.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


I've been speaking to someone at the OP-recommended PubYourselfPress about my struggling comedy writing and we hit upon an idea I kind of stupidly never considered, which is straight-up serialising my primarily comedy work, social networking funny bits and the like.

If I wanted to post serial updates what would be the best platform for that? Just some sort of free WordPress or something?

e:
I have an author website with a blog, https://www.oscartk.co.uk but I don't blog all that much. I could just update the blog with, I don't know, a chapter or something and then tag it appropriately so a tab can be created to take the reader to just those posts?

Or is there a dedicated serial website I could use? Jukepop is interesting, but you have to get votes to continue, right? I think I'm looking for something fully in my control.

PoshAlligator fucked around with this message at 00:19 on Sep 28, 2014

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Interesting, thanks.

If I did like a serial I guess I could crosspost updates, one on my Author Blog, and another on either [SeriesTitle].blogspot or .wordpress Would you definitely recommend Blogspot over Wordpress for audience?

I've also signed up to participate in the Kindle WriteOn Beta, though I don't really know what that is.

I've been getting Error 500 messages when trying to edit my ebook on Draft2Digital to a $0 price point, it won't let me progress past the first page of "editing my book" at all.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Bobby Deluxe posted:

I would personally recommend blogspot because the setup is easier, you can place google ads on it and make a little bit of cash out of the views, and it makes connecting with other writing blogs incredibly simple. I haven't updated my blog in about a year and I still get about 30 views a month. It also has email subscriptions built in.

Wordpress... It's open source, but most of the features you'd want are behind a paywall, unless you host it on your own web space in which case it's a nightmare to optimise and you don't get the benefits of the social side of it, defeating the entire point of it.

My Author Blog is on my own WordPress install, but that's because I don't use it "as a blog" as much as I use it as a sort of online portfolio and About Me which has come pretty in useful.

I guess I'll shoot for a blogspot and try and connect them up tangentially somehow. I don't really know much about Blogspot but I'll get into it sometime soon. I'm going to continue on with my self-published novella so I'll wait until I can get that listed as free then repub it on the blog as the three parts and continue on from there. So can we be like blog buddies?

What writing do you put on your blog? Is it segregated to just one sort of topic, a series or "writing blog posts" or something? I'm trying to figure out where to split my content between sites and where to not.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Will I be able to create tabs to sort categories by tabs in the future with my Blogspot?

For instance "Story A Updates" and "Story B Updates"? I'm so amateur at Blogspot compared to Wordpress.

But here's my blog http://oscartkfiction.blogspot.co.uk/

I'm posting my novella up first split into the segments it's normally split up into, then my first project I'll work on is continuing that story. Then hopefully I'll write some other stuff.

e:
So just putting stuff like "fiction", "comedy", "writing" in the labels is the sharing function?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


WriteOn seems pretty cool so far, though it's a bit quiet right now due to the beta.

Here's my last beta code, though you can request not so if whoever redeems this can do that and share those that would be nice I guess: NWHV6TKW

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


magnificent7 posted:

I requested a beta code, but it hasn't arrived yet. Should I grab yours, or just wait? How long before you got one? Will they give me more to give away? What is air made of? Does a fish mind drinking piss?

Yeah you just post in this forum thread they have and they just give everyone some now. It's at the "spread everywhere" beta phase now.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Icon-Cat posted:

New freebie (through Sunday) out of me. I was initially working on this for a 'nerdy love stories'-type anthology that (perhaps predictably?) fell apart. I was happy enough to continue plugging away on my piece for my own amusement, although I confess it may have made more sense alongside other themed stories than on its own.




http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OAC62I8

That sounds like a cute anthology idea and I'd definitely have contributed if I knew about it. Ring my bell if anything like that resurfaces, looking forward to reading yours.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Szmitten posted:

For pretty much all my life I've been told that I'm really good at writing and am naturally gifted and it's innate and I do it really well and I'm articulate and yadda yadda yadda; but even so, I've spent the last half-decade reading more and relearning everything from the ground up because, unsurprisingly, an echochamber of "Wow you're such a gifted writer!" doesn't do a good job of helping identify whether what I'm doing is right or wrong.

You're both right, but I reckon a high degree of self-awareness and being able to have fun with writing (or at least tolerate it really loving well) could pull you through both scenarios.

This is more Fiction Advice thread stuff though which is kinda where I think All Else Failed should be heading before they burn out focusing on the stuff that isn't the actual writing part.

People have told me this too but I am mostly bad.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Roar posted:

Five stars. Came everywhere. I liked it almost as much as my own books, which you can find here.

Please forward me the details of your web designer I'm really interested in having a terrible web 1.0 website for myself.

e: I literally can't tell if it's a joke website or not.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Some people can just learn better than others.

Ironically (?) learning also has to be learned.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


SaviourX posted:

So with the mad holiday season approaching, what's everyone doing to prepare or promote their works?

I'm still waiting on Amazon to price match my novella to free like everywhere else, despite me telling then where it was free more than once.

Guess they're making too much money off it!! (they're not)

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

cant even give your stories away :smith:

It's free on like Kobo and Nook or whatever. Apple store too.

If anyone wants a PDF of whatever I'd happily hook them up.

But it would be nice to be able to push my free poo poo out on the largest ebook marketplace.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Sundae posted:

To who? To yourself? Or to a publisher? $10.99 trad pub will net you less than a $2.99 self pub royalty. For most authors, I think that self pub is the most profitable approach. There are clearly exceptions, but I doubt most of them are in this thread.

I just don't think I can market myself for poo poo if I want to publish a ~full real novel~

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


No Gravitas posted:

Yup, you guys are right. Does seem like self-publishing has the money thing going for it. Ok, I'm convinced. I still won't quit my day jobs, but since I like art might as well get some loose change. It is, at best, an experiment.

I started writing a novella a short while back, originally just for the kick of it. It will be ready for an editor in January. Genre is magic realism, so "good loving luck" applies. I have a cover artist and an editor lined up. I'm working on the blurb. I did the painful checklist from the OP. Clearly it will be a great success and I'm the next J. K. Rowling! :suicide:

It will be a long while off still, but... How much should I charge for this? 20-30k words... 2.99 feels low, but I don't know...? I want to avoid perpetually exclusive deals with any one publisher too, just in case...

It feels low because the pricing you're "used to" are via traditional publishing where multiple parties get a cut, with the author getting only a small amount. Per unit 2.99 is probably more than you would make if it were "full price" in a store through trad.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


EngineerSean posted:

I used to be very against 99 cents as a price point but with the advent of Kindle Unlimited, if I were to start a new pen names today, I'd probably have it at all at 99 cents until the the KU gravy train ground to a halt.

Is there something in particular about 99c and KU? I haven't really be up on my self-pubbing since KU came out properly.

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PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


Working on large writing projects with a full-time job is pretty tough you guys.

I want to make money and be the writer.

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