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Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Is a 35% markup a safe enough number to cover my rear end with Google Play? They seemed to streamline the publishing operations and I'm gonna give it a try. I just don't want to see some discount-bot gently caress me on Amazon.

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Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



psychopomp posted:

So set GP's price to the first column and they'll discounted it to the second. $3.94 becomes $2.99.

That is perfect! Saves me some calculator mashing. That's almost opworthy if Play becomes more popular.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Icon-Cat posted:

Flickr Commons - old photographs and art from historical archives and governments
https://www.flickr.com/commons

A further note on government pictures: science fiction folks, NASA and the Air Force and such maintain archives of high-quality photos here and there, I just don't happen to have links

I found my first cover image in DVIDSHUB. (Defense Video and Image Distrubtion System) Some of the other US Gov't flickr feeds are non-commercial use only.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvids

Flickr also has a creative commons search. Some stuff was noted as Creative Commons that was most definitely not, so I stuck to browsing government feeds.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Gentlegoons, can you offer me some blurb violence?

My first book sold relatively flat until I hit the blurb right and then it sold great.

First Book Blurb

quote:

In the 22nd Century colonies spread out to the stars, hidden by a secretive industrialist. 80 years later the locations are revealed, one at a time, once a year.

Midshipman William Grace, sole survivor of the genocide on the colony Farshore, is shipwrecked and stranded with a handful of surviving marines and soldiers. The good news, they’re alive. The bad news is that they face the frigid climate, betrayal, a harrowing ocean crossing, terror drones, and a mercenary force intent on holding the planet. But simply escaping isn’t enough; they must complete the mission and warn Earth of a coming invasion. The United Colonies are fracturing and this is the opening shots of a galactic civil war.

This is a full length 80,000 word novel. The first in the military science fiction series, A Star Too Far.

However my second book is not selling nearly as well and I think it's the blurb, it just doesn't pop to me.

Second Book Blurb

quote:

With the assault on the planet Redmond halted, the United Colonies race to secure the borders. On one front the Sa’Ami, human-machine constructs, begin to invade. On the other the Harmony Worlds, Australasian outcasts who number in the billions, hammer through. But no one knows what’s really happening, the territory is too large, the borders too vast.

Lieutenant William Grace, colonist born-Earth raised, is posted to the frigate Malta with a Captain who hates him for his heritage. Marine Major Archibald Theodore is a prisoner of war captured by the Sa’Ami in the first assault. Army Lieutenant Takumi Yamaguchi leads the first suits of xeno designed power armor, suits that seem destined to fail. Abraham Yoder, part of a technologically backwards culture, betrays his own creed.

While the Colonial fleets scramble to advance, they must hold the line. If they fail countless star systems will be trapped behind a veil of tyranny.

This is a full length military science fiction space opera, 100,000 words. It can be read as a standalone, or as part of the series A Star Too Far.

I'm playing with three different styles.

Most Minimalist

quote:

Colonial Navy Lieutenant William Grace suddenly finds himself adrift in space after a sneak nanite attack. With a new posting in his future and war on the horizon, he and the rest of the crew must deliver a fighting force and defend the planet Canaan against human-machine constructs called the Sa’Ami. Embarking on a dangerous journey they must hold the line against a relentless foe that has traded its humanity for raw power.

Minimalist

quote:

In the 22nd Century colonies, spread to the stars, now seek their own future. Across light years the castoffs from Earth rise up and fight to make the stars their own.

Lieutenant William Grace, survivor of the genocide on the colony Farshore, must fight for the Navy that once destroyed his home. The goods news, he has a cutting edge starship, a platoon of powered armor, and a crew to make it all happen. The bad news is that they face human-machine constructs, armies of combat robots, a technologically advanced foe, and a Commanding Officer who hates him for who he is.

The Sa’Ami are coming and with them comes a veil of tyranny unlike anything ever seen before.

This is a full length military science fiction space opera, 100,000 words. It can be read as a standalone, or as part of the series A Star Too Far.

Expanded

quote:

William Grace was born on a planet that burned, the first interplanetary genocide. Now he’s a Lieutenant in the Navy that destroyed his home, a Navy that isn’t entirely sure if it wants him anymore. But the war is coming, and they need everyone they can get.

Major Archie Theodore is a Marine, the finest in the fleet, and has the distinct honor of being the first Prisoner of War. Though he discovers that all is not as it seems, and he may be forced to watched the next solar genocide.

Lieutenant Takumi Yamaguchi leads the first suits of xeno-designed power armor. Suits inspired by alien technology, stolen and bought. Quite possibly the most amazing thing ever, or a horrible mistake.

Abraham Yoder is part of a group who fled Earth generations before to seek there own freedom. Only now they find themselves on the front lines of the battle. Once a pacifist, he now finds himself the first to betray his creed.

While the Colonial fleets scramble to advance, they must hold the line. If they fail countless star systems will be trapped behind a veil of tyranny.

Yooper fucked around with this message at 20:57 on Jun 20, 2014

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Thanks for the feedback guys! I've done a bit of modifying. The opening paragraph should flow better while also adding more background.

Nuevo Minimalist

quote:

Across light years exiles from Earth rise up and fight to make the stars their own. What Earth once discarded is now returning with a vengeance. Hundreds of colonies find themselves caught between the advancing hordes and the whims of Earth.

Lieutenant William Grace, survivor of the genocide on the colony Farshore, must fight for the Navy that once destroyed his home. The goods news, he has a cutting edge starship, a platoon of powered armor, and a crew to make it all happen. The bad news is that they face human-machine constructs, armies of combat robots, a technologically advanced foe, and William has a Commanding Officer who distrusts him for his birthplace.

The Sa’Ami are coming and with them comes a veil of tyranny unlike anything ever seen before.

This is a full length military science fiction space opera, 100,000 words. It can be read as a standalone, or as part of the series A Star Too Far.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Power armor aside I can verify that Google Play is not nearly as lovely to publish to as before. The pricing thing is still a pain though, so I set it to charge Google Peoples more. The layout is still rather odd, and not as intuitive as Amazon, but it's passable. The only thing I'm not sure on is how people actually find stuff. At the moment I can type my keywords and see a few dozen books, but none are mine. Hopefully it just needs time to propagate.

On top of that I used D2D again and man, does that poo poo work nice.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



That's lovely and now I hope I haven't wasted my time getting my poo poo up there. I'll give it a bit and yank it if nothing looks good about it. The pricing thing definitely didn't make me happy, and now to hear of the lying reps, bah. Thanks for that story man.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



gently caress, it's like they are literally Hitler. The more I read and research the worse everything seems. To top it off there's absolutely no upside. I'll be sticking to KDP and D2D.

Screw Google.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grammaton posted:

How much do editors usually charge per 100k words?

Line edit : $350 to $1000

Developmental/Copy : $850 to $$$$

There is a huge variance in price. I'd check out the Goon Recommended list. There are a ridiculous amount of people doing it and quality/delivery is not in line with price.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian" at the moment. After that it'll be "The Power and the Glory".

To top it off is a few Warhammer 40k novels. I like to keep abreast of the modern pulp.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Ghostwoods posted:

That's wildly unrealistic for a professional, Yooper. Check out the Editorial Freelancer's Association standard rates card.

I totally agree that charging standard rates is no guarantee of quality, but sadly the opposite holds true -- undercharging means that either the person has no idea what they're doing, or they're totally new (i.e. unproven) and desperately need some income. For a 100k novel, even a proof-read starts in at a minmum of ~$925. A cheap basic edit -- on a reasonably well-written book, in other words -- will be $1750+. Useful developmental editing will be significantly more.

Yah. And that's the rates my editor charges me. The two I hired (and fired) from EFA were both deadbeats. I've seen rates below the $350 for a basic line edit too.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



While adjusting a few things at Amazon I noticed a new button on the pricing area.



Which gives me this.



Now in my genre if I shifted price to where they want it I would sell next to nothing. If I did so with a new book I'm fairly positive I wouldn't move a copy. A new author would definitely get boned by that recommendation.

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be some eye-candy or what the gently caress Amazon is working on.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I'm expecting my third novel to be back from the editor in a couple of weeks and 33k words into my fourth novel. Trying to keep at the daily goal while also remodeling the house... Kindle Unlimited has given me a nice boost as well.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Could I get a blurb check?

quote:

Lieutenant William Grace, the sole survivor of the Farshore genocide, has held the line against the invading Sa’Ami and cleaved a gap for the United Colonies to assault Sa’Ami space. Now he finds himself cast aside by the Earth born Admirals, a colonist pariah in a fleet that trusts only those born on Earth.

But with a Navy that distrusts him, a corporate renegade who wants to manipulate him, a colony set on the path of treason, a crew of misfits and miscreants, and a ship that will disassemble itself just in case he goes rogue - will they find empty space, or a new enemy?

If he follows orders he might keep his career, but if he makes a stand he might find his place, or lose everything.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Awesome! Thanks folks.

Might as well toss the glove on that last line. Gotta convert with that copy, might as well make it big.

quote:

If he follows orders he’ll keep his oath, but if he makes a stand he might save the starsystem, or lose everything.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



A bit more refinement here. I've always wanted to keep it sparse in the blurb, but here's a version with some more details.

Is the blurb cutoff the same word count, or does it depend on screen resolution?

quote:

Lieutenant William Grace is the sole survivor of the Farshore genocide, the son of a rebel General that won the war and lost his planet. That genocide led to the creation of the United Colonies, the thing William believes in most. The thing that seems to be falling apart in front of him. The Sa’Ami are held on one front and the Harmony Worlds advance on another.

Now he barely retains a command, an officer in a Navy that distrusts anyone not from Earth. He must lead a convoy to abandon a planet to its own fate. A mission designed to send him away from the war, a mission that goes against everything he believes in.

Luckily he’s not alone. He has an untested warship grown from an asteroid, and a crew of colonial misfits. But with a Navy that distrusts him, a corporate renegade who wants to manipulate him, a colony set on the path of treason, and a ship that will disassemble itself if he goes rogue - will they find a silent front, or a new enemy?

It will take every bit of his tactical skill, his innate sense of zero gravity combat, but most of all his will to see the colonies survive. If he follows orders he’ll keep his oath, but if he makes a stand he might save the starsystem, or lose everything.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grammaton posted:

Is 2k to 10k the best book to read to improve your writing process? I've gotten a lot of good ideas from it. (I've also found four mistakes in it. Maybe I should become an editor instead of a writer.)

I've also found Outlining Your Novel to be helpful as well.

2k to 10k helped me quite a bit. The author is now following the self-pub path too, for what its worth.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



This is a pretty exceptional article about book covers.

http://www.creativindie.com/book-cover-cliches-why-using-them-will-actually-help-you-sell-more-books/

They really get into the symbolism and the genre. Check out #2, Woman holding a birdcage for some reason, for a great display of what a talented cover artist can do with the exact same stockphoto.

Clichés don’t matter - Design matters.

Man, that's some good advice.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



On launch day do you guys run a reduced price for a few days, or start at full price?

I've got a piece coming out next week and am debating how to structure my pricing.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



moana posted:

Are you doing Select? If so, free at launch, hit up a ton of freebie promotion sites.

If not, 99c at launch, hit up a bunch of 99c promotion sites.

Once your rank stalls, raise the price to normal and reap $$$.

I'll be going Select, but I'm nervous doing my release as a free one. I was thinking $0.99, keeping it Select, and seeing how the Unlimited sales go.

There's a list at http://www.trainingauthors.com/places-to-promote-99-cent-ebooks/, any others I should tap?

Regarding mailing lists I use mailchimp. Been very pleased with the layout creator, and also the tracking tools.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Hey I know that guy!

Bravo to Max.

That cover is creepy as gently caress. I thought it was a tree limb. Nope, it's a giant loving spider. (Edit-That's a compliment by the way, the cover is awesome)

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Mr. Pumroy posted:

Carrie Collier is no stranger to constant change. First her parents divorce, then her father moves to the city of Bybridge she must grapple with an entirely new level of culture shock. Bybridge, a city on an artificial island off the coast of New Jersey, is home to Earth's largest population of superhumans, aliens, and other strange and aberrant folk.

However, it's Carrie who's declared the anomaly when the city government declares her a security risk. Then her father is kidnapped by a rampaging robot. It's a bad start to what was supposed to be a new life. Carrie must save her father from a grisly fate in the forgotten ruins far below the city, aided only by the undead, a mad scientist-in-training and a pack of insane chefs.

Then comes the hard part: having a heart-to-heart talk with her father before it's too late.

I'd punch it up a bit. The start of the blurb plods, until I got to rampaging robot nothing grabbed me.

Max is good people, he'll do you well. Make sure your cover is up to par, not just artistically but fonts, contrasts, colors and that it fits the genre.

This link explains that well - http://www.creativindie.com/8-cover-design-secrets-publishers-use-to-manipulate-readers-into-buying-books/

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I ran a few promos after releasing my third book. I tried out bknights on Fiverr to promote book #3, and ran a KND promo on book #1 in the series. Good results for all the titles. The bknights promo really helped spike the first book, I didn't see nearly as much of a rise on the KND promo, but I saw higher sales on all three books. So it all balanced out.

Polishing the draft on my next novel. What do you guys think of the blurb?

quote:

The world is not what it seems.

The dogs of the planet Forge are selectively bred to be soldiers in an interstellar empire, an empire that sees them as nothing but fodder. But the dogs don’t know, they can’t know, instead they live as savages. Savages bred to be warriors.

Denali lives on the planet Forge, a world so harsh that only the largest, toughest, meanest dogs survive. She is none of these things. She is a runt, saved from a crashed starship, and striving to find her place in the pack. Now her second birthday approaches and she must pass a trial to become an adult. If she completes the trial she will earn the respect of the pack, a set of implanted metal teeth, and get to keep her consciousness. No one knows what happens to those who fail, they’re never seen again.

What Denali discovers shatters her view of the world. What begins as struggle to survive is now a struggle for freedom. Through it all she seeks to find her place, to know her past, and do what is right. Oh, and she has a 1200 year old artificial intelligence stuck in her skull.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I'm not fond of the paragraph either, but want to work in the story details. It is a planet inhabited by dogs, left there a millenia ago, and selectively culled to be bigger/badder/meaner dogs.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Sundae posted:

So how did that process go? I haven't worked through them for CreateSpace books yet, and I'm curious what it was like.

I've used D2D twice for Createspace PDF's and it looked good on both accounts.

The cover art ends up being the biggest headache, but it's easier now that I've done it a few times.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I've seen a handful of scifi serials and none seem to do all that well. One particular dude has like 60 episodes out, each 10k-30k words. Maybe the combined royalties add up, but it seems to be a dud.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



The series is slated for a run of 100 segments...

http://www.amazon.com/Aer-ki-Jyr/e/B007R6913W/

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



EngineerSean posted:

Guy has been working on it for over two years, looks like the more recent ones get more love, yeah I can believe 25k sales lifetime.

At an average of 75 pages per volume, he's at 4500 pages of text for those 25k sales though.

$1200 a month, not too shabby really. I see other scifi writers cranking out a trilogy, or a set of novels and doing much better. Those same 4500 pages of text would have him 15 300 page novels, and scifi readers love the trilogies.

Once I wrapped up the trilogy my sales, on all the books in the series, shot right up. I'm seeing more borrows in a day now than I used to get purchases in a week.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Hijinks Ensue posted:

Has anyone been setting their books up for pre-order on Amazon? My next book won't be out til November but I've put it up for pre-order and already have a few orders. I'm hoping I get more next month when I have a BookBub promo going.

I tried the early release on my last book. I had two weeks of early release and had a few dozen sales. Not sure how much it helped as my sales didn't take off until two weeks after release.

I don't see much reason not to use it.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Is there any search benefit to adding age-grade ranges? I don't want to alienate older readers if they see it listed as a '9th to 12th grade' piece.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Soulex posted:

What about connecting it with like a narrative thing? I won't use this example, but the closest thing I can think of is possibly a story thing around a camp fire.

And yeah, not porn.

The best example I can think of is Max Brooks' World War Z. You've got a bunch of stories from a bunch of people all reacting to the same key events. My first piece I ever published was a collection of fishing/outdoor short stories. I think it has sold like four copies, ever. The worst part of that is it's ranked in that category, there are literally no sales to be had. Beware, people like novels for a reason.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



magnificent7 posted:

Have any of you had experience with publishing your books in audio format? On Audible, for example?

A month after my first book came out I was contacted by a voice actor who wanted to do the Audible version. It was a painless process and I make a few bucks off of it every month. I wouldn't pay to have it done, but use the revenue sharing model, unless you're confident that it'll sell like hotcakes. Mine does not sell like hotcakes, but it sells.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Those of you that do Select, do you go free immediately? Or wait a bit for the buzz to die, then go free?

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



On the scifi side October has been pretty decent. My first novel has been out for a year and the entire trilogy still brings in almost a grand a month. I noticed when KU came about that my rankings all perked up, it was a definite shot in the arm for my sales. I'm hoping to get one more novel out by the end of the year and finally crack that elusive top 1000 rank.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Jalumibnkrayal posted:

and I write until my pomodoro app tells me to take a break.

Whenever I find myself alt-tabbing to inefficiency I break out the pomodoro. My 25 minute blocks gets me about 1000 words. Those 1000 are cleaner and denser than when I spend two hours alt-tabbing and generally loving off to get the same 1000.

I set out a goal to write 1k words a day for an entire year. I made that goal, but have been rather burnt out for the past few weeks. Time to break out the tomato and knock out the next 40k words to finish novel #5.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Sundae posted:

Joke's on you - I'm outsourcing it all to internet marketers.

The weird leaked guide about ebook marketing that everyone should see before they die!

This guide will prove you've been marketing books wrong your whole life!

19 crazy ebook marketing tips that will be fact checked by NSA rabbits!

An author tries to market his book like a pickle. You won't believe what happens next.

A procrastinating novelist got into a fist fight with Jeff Bezos. The reason will shock you!

27 lies all writers cry about.

7 unusual tricks that will be solved by eunechs.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



the brotherly phl posted:

So! My biggest question right now is this: does SciFi sell?

Yes. I write in the military scifi genre and I've done pretty well. Not as good as some of our romance writers here, but well enough that I'm still going at it.

My first series sold really well, and for whatever reason just took off in the UK. I did a standalone novel that was out of my genre, but still scifi, and it pretty well poo poo the bed. So, lesson learned, stick to your niche! I've got a pretty good following, a decent mailing list, and a few retired military officers around the world who have written me fanmail.

A few guys who have done really really well with the milScifi niche : Christopher Nuttall, Ryk Brown, and Jay Allan. It's straight up pulp with bug eyed aliens and swashbuckling captains, but it sells well and is pretty entertaining.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Just got approved for my first BookBub!

Should I do anything special to maximize the bump? I'm hoping my newest novel will be out by then, if so I'll definitely have a sample chapter in the back.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Military science fiction, the novel is the first in a series of three and has been out since November 2013. It's at 71 reviews right now. This is the third time I applied to Bookbub.

Compared to my other marketing efforts this looks to be the greatest impact. I recently did a test with banner ads on some niche websites. I had 51,000 impressions, 850 clicks, and one sale. So my conversion cost for the test was about $20.... on a $2.99 book.

Putting a good number on my previous KindleNationDaily promo is a bit tougher as I can't track how the follow up sales will go. I saw a spike for sure, but not sure how it translated out into sales.

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Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



the brotherly phl posted:

Blah, OK, that blurb sucks. You're right. Writing a blurb is hard! Could I PM you with the summary?

Blurb writing is hard, second only in difficulty to writing the novel. I still struggle with it. I can always look at a well written blurb and recognize that it's well written, or know a bad one is bad. Even if I don't know exactly why. I'll go into a bookstore now and just browse for blurbs in multiple genres just to see how the pros do it. Sometimes they gently caress it up too.

The cover is flat, it doesn't pop. It could use something more, maybe a background or color.

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