Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
newts
Oct 10, 2012


I found beta readers on https://www.reddit.com/r/BetaReaders/. Yes, I know itís reddit, but they were actually very good. And quick. Your blurb needs to be interesting and the readers skew towards fantasy/sci-fi genres, but it wasnít hard to get good responses.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

newts
Oct 10, 2012


You are making me never, ever want to self-publish anything. Which is probably whatís best for everyone :ohdear:

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Megazver posted:

If he's the one who wants a print edition with a back cover, tell him to make time for it or shut up, lol.

Uh, yeah, absolutely this. Iíve done plenty of covers and the back was always quick as long as no one wanted any new art. He should be able to fit it in.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Grand Theft Autobot posted:

I appreciate the recs.

Here's the pitch from my query letters/in person script:

Flint, the son of a feral cat chief, is doomed. Assassins hired by rival heirs hunt him; a doomsday cult, the Golden Circle, summons terrors from a dead future; and the American Civil War descends on Flintís city, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

In the middle of a Union naval raid on the riverfront, assassins attack Flint. Kulke, an old war ally, saves him. To pay his life-debt, Flint enlists in Kulkeís religious order, the Ratkillers, for a mission beneath the city, to disrupt a Golden Circle summoning ritual. Flint, Kulke, and their allies fail their mission. Monsters embodying the horrors of Late Capitalismóglobal warming, white supremacy, the surveillance state, among othersóemerge from the underworld to destroy the secret societies of cats.

Flintís conscience wonít allow him to flee Vicksburg alone, but time is running out on the doomed city. To save his family, Flint must return home to face ruthless political enemies. To save his best friend, he must join the war against the Golden Circle and their army of drowned dogs, possessed rats, and insane cats. To save a love lost to the cult, Flint may have to become a lost cause himself. To save them all, he must find the one force that can contend with the madness of the cult: Solidarity.

SIEGE CATS is a gritty, urban, left-wing Warriors, with a mature style like The Wicked Deep and The Night Circus, where cats battle time-traveling forces of Late Capitalism, connecting readersí experiences of contemporary issues with the enduring legacy of slavery.

Okay. I missed the fact that they were cats at first and was very confused.

This doesnít read like a YA pitch to me at all. It reads more like a political allegory. But with cats. Iíd be expecting something more like Animal Farm. I canít see how this would appeal to a YA audience. I probably donít know what Iím talking about, though, so feel free to disregard.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Leng, Iím enjoying (sort of?) reading about your struggles. Very informative, if daunting.

Iím also thinking about covers. Considering drawing my own for my crappy novel, even though illustrated covers are not the genre convention. Unless itís a book featuring a witch protagonist in a cozy mystery, which mine is not. I realize thatís probably shooting myself in the foot. Maybe Iíll just draw it and see if I hate it.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


ravenkult posted:

What's the genre?

Iím actually not sure of the right genre yet. Paranormal mystery? Psychic detective? Sci-fi mystery? Mystery? Police procedural? It doesnít fit neatly into any of those, although there are very similar book series in each of those categories.

Still, none of those have illustrated covers as the norm.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Dumb question incomingÖ

Is there a way to see what keywords or categories people are using for their books on Amazon? Iím trying to figure out keywords for mine and itís a confusing mess. Like, there are some appropriate ones if you search in the kindle section, but not in books, or vice versa. Some books that are very close to mine have seemingly nonsensical tags or categories: ĎVampire Fictioní for a book with no vampires in it, for example. If I search in books for Ďpsychic detectiveí I get a few books like mine, but if I search in kindle for Ďpsychic detectiveí I get nothing but erotica shorts (not even paranormal mystery, just random erotica, no psychics, no detectives).

I knew this would be a slog because I already have trouble searching out books I want to read on Amazon using keywords.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


DropTheAnvil posted:

Launch day is in a few days for me. This was very much a first-time publishing thing/vanity project. Would there be any value in me posting my thoughts/processes here?

Yep, go for it.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Okay, guys. I havenít posted in here before because I havenít had a reason to. But I wrote a book. Now I need a cover for my Mystery/Detective/Sci-Fi novel. Itís the first in a series. Please tell me how much it sucks.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Thanks for the feedback, guys. Yeah, my series name is just a placeholder. No robots in this bookóitís more AU than sci-if, I guess.

Any font suggestions for main title and subtitle/author name?

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Thanks! Iíll try out some of those fonts. I get overwhelmed with all the choices out there.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


So, font issuesÖ

I love the look of serif fonts and I wanted something noir-ish but modern for my cover. But itís super easy because of the title to tip into horror or vampire-lit with a serif font. Iíve been sticking to sans serif fonts because theyíre more Ďmoderní, I guess.

The other issue is, if I stick with this image, I feel like I need a clean font to offset the blurriness of the background. Ugh.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


DropTheAnvil posted:

Looks cool. Judging by the cover I believe this is a mystery novel, with a woman being a central character. Would flip over and read blurb. Send a link when it's out!

Cool! Itís working :)

quote:

Below is only minor nitpicks:
I don't know what "joint-investigation" is, or rather, I don't know why I should care. "A Sherlock Holmes Mystery" on the front cover tells me what to expect, and what the novel is about.

Yeah, Iím just having trouble picking a good series nameóthey all sound super lame to me.

ETA: Updated based on feedback:

newts fucked around with this message at 00:12 on Aug 23, 2021

newts
Oct 10, 2012


ravenkult posted:

I'd make the title smaller, it's crowding the artwork. Or just move it down a bit and put the author name up top. I wouldn't let the title go higher than where the raincoat ends.

Thanks! Iíll try that out.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Author bios. If youíre publishing under a pen name, how truthful and specific do you get? Or how vague? My gut is to be truthful but not include anything really identifiable.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Now I have a new question! Iím currently trying to format my manuscript for paperback, but Iíve run into a problem I canít solve.
I figure there must be someone else here who has formatted a manuscript for paperback using MS Word and dealt with similar issues, so why not?

I want to have a fancy first line to start off each new chapter, as you do, but Word adds extra spacing after this line, like so:



I know the issue is caused by the large font size of the first letter. And the most common suggestion to fix is to change the line spacing from Ďsingleí to Ďexactlyí in the Paragraph dialogue box. However, no combination of lines selected, or specified point sizes seems to fix the issue for me: I can squeeze that extra space between the first two lines down, but lines further down now have huge spaces. Nothing has worked!

I realize using a drop cap on that first letter (instead of the larger font size) would solve this issue, but drop caps donít work for me either: the letter is always cut off at either the top or the bottom. I canít fix this after hours of work. Iím totally stuck. Iíve been all over the internet trying to find a solution to this problem, but I justÖ canít. Unfortunately, Iím stuck with Word.

Anyone have any suggestions? Iím pulling my hair out here.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


ravenkult posted:

Using Word for layout is an exercise in futility.

I know it is, but this is what I have to work with right now :(

Fuschia tude posted:

I think newts is asking, what's the morality of inventing a wholly fictional biography and persona for your penname, rather than just writing vaguely-but-truthfully about yourself?

Yeah, this. Sorry, I shouldíve been more clear: Do people using pen names also use fictional biography details?

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Hey, guys! I just published my book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09KP5NVZ1/ Itís a Mystery/Sci-fi thing. More detective fiction than sci-fi, I suppose.

I didnít post much in here, but the thread was an invaluable resource. I worked on this from start to finish in the Creative Convention forum, so it really feels like an SA baby :love: Not really sure if I care if it sells at all because Itís been mostly a fun learning experience. Spent zero dollars (but not zero effort) and this is the result. Yes, I know my cover is not the best. And my blurb could be better. Iím okay with it right now.

Got a sequel in the works now, so Iíll start caring more once thatís ready to go.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


DropTheAnvil posted:

Would you be able to talk more about how you formatted your ebook?

I just used Kindle Create, which worked fine for me because I didnít have anything fancy. I basically formatted the book in a docx file, using styles for formatting, and imported that into the app, which spits out an editable file. There, you can customize it a little bit: adding drop caps, making a ToC, and changing how it looks. Not many options, but a few.

The issues with it are that you canít preview the actual ebook on your own devices (you can use the Kindle Previewer which isnít always accurate). It also produces a file type thatís, as far as I understand it, proprietary to Amazon, so you canít use it anywhere else. Also, the ĎLook Insideí feature reads the formatting in a different way than most devices, so while it looks fine on Kindle, it looks wonky in the ĎLook Insideí (which is something Amazon should really get on top of).

I am probably the least-qualified person to ask because I just chose the easiest route.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


I think I read that there was a vulnerability in the acx system that allowed people who werenít the author to claim works and submit them to potential voice actors for audiobook recording. I remember being told to claim my book as soon as it was published to avoid that, even if I had no intention of every making an audiobook.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Anyone have experience using Kindle Create here?

I know it sucks, but itís what Iím familiar with and it (mostly) worked for me. The issue Iím having is that the ĎLook Insideí feature on Amazon is messed up, even though the actual ebook looks fine. Apparently this is a known issue with Kindle Create. Probably a long shot, but does anyone have a trick for fixing this? Or just avoiding it?

Ebook:



ĎLook Insideí, the first few lines are all hosed up:



I guess if I have to Iíll switch to a better formatting program. I was looking at Atticus. Iím just not in a place right now where I have time to deal with learning something new.

newts fucked around with this message at 17:56 on Feb 15, 2022

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Oh, I had no idea the book formatting on D2D was free. I just assumed I had to publish with them.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Does Amazon allow cover images that depict smoking? I know you canít have that in any image used to advertise a book, but I canít seem to find anything about the content allowed on actual covers.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Iím working on the cover and blurb for my sequel, while my writing group buds work furiously to proofread my manuscript. I honestly love them :love:

I think Iíve finished the cover art (I did not paint the bricks, they are a texture):


The next step is an epic battle with fonts because I think I need to update the cover to the first book too. So that will be fun.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Guys, I have font problems.

Anyone have any suggestions for better font combos? Current choices are Montserrat (which I love, but maybe not here) and Orator STD (which I hate, but couldnít replace with anything that looked better after a number of tries). Iím basically stuck with choosing whatís available on Google Fonts, so Iím limited. Considering just writing my own letters, for the title at least. Iím truly terrible at graphic design. I just canít do it :smith:

Hereís the cover:

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Thalamas posted:

Comment on/destroy my blurb please.

Blackbird and Memory

A terraforming accident has ruined the distant colony world Chantico, causing trillions of dollars in damage and killing hundreds. In the wake of the disaster, a boy opens his eyes, unsure of who or where he is and surrounded by falling ash on all sides.

On their way to Chantico to scavenge the settlements destroyed in the accident, Gandra of the star ship Blackbird and their first mate, Lew, try to keep fresh food on the table while avoiding entanglements with Humankind. When they meet Enrico, he offers them a job too lucrative to pass up.

Uki, captain of a Humankind patrol cruiser, is dispatched along with others to investigate the terraforming accident and search for survivors. She stops the Blackbird for a cargo inspection, an act that will have repercussions all the way back on Earth.

Without backup, Farouk hunts a threat to the galaxy that has slipped away more than once, but a chance encounter leads to the confrontation he seeks.

Obscured behind a curtain of ash, Chantico will intertwine their fates. (176 words)

Just my first impressions. I get that these are intertwined plots in the same story, but they feel so disconnected right now that they are just separate ideas to me. Is there a way you could link each of these plots a bit better in the blurb? Also, there are a lot of names but no sense of who these characters are, no personality to any of them. Like, that third paragraph introduces three characters but none of them have any description.

newts
Oct 10, 2012



This reads much better already, with basically just inverting it. I think the last line works especially well as a hook.

If weíre spreading the pain around, hereís my blurb. It sucks.

quote:

A murder with no motive. An invisible killer. A detective with a talent thatís both a blessing and a curse.

Inspector Sam Rushís tumultuous life is finally looking up. Heís got a new partneróLucia Kowalski, a homicide detective from the human side of the city. The harsh laws that his people lived under for more than thirty years have been lifted. And the two sides of the city have been unified once again. Sure, heís been ordered to attend therapy if he wants to keep his job. And he still has nightmares about the violent ending of their last case. But itís only natural to be affected by everything, especially when heís the only empath on the police force.

Sam and Luciaís new case seems straightforward at first: an abusive man has been murdered in his own bed, and his nocturnum girlfriend is on the run from the law. But what seems simple enough soon takes a turn for the bizarre. The girlfriend insists she has no memory of killing her boyfriend. Sam knows sheís telling the truthóthe real murderer is still out there. And as Sam and Lucia follow the trail of a killer through the twisting back alleys and shadows of the night city, he canít shake the feeling that someone is watching their every move.

When the mystery threatens the fragile peace Sam has found, he will have to make a choice. Between a life with his human partner in the city he loves, or with his own people.

The night people.

ETA: Hereís the cover art without the text on it, if anyone wants to suggest or play around with fonts. This is not a book about vampires, I swear!


newts fucked around with this message at 13:22 on Apr 17, 2022

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Icon-Cat posted:

I think the Montserrat looks niceÖ not the Orator. Too "techy" for your handmade image, to my eye. Some Google fonts to try instead of Orator: Oswald, Bebas Neue, Anton, Barlow Condensed. And try them in all caps, not small caps.

Thank you! Iíll give these a shot.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Okay, after trying another 30 or so fonts, these are the few I liked best.

Barlow:



Cambria:



Averia:



Seeing them as thumbnails, I think I like Barlow the best. Iím tired :smith:

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Icon-Cat posted:

I personally like Barlow best of those, but I tend to gravitate toward sans serif.

I wouldn't go with Cambria in any case. It's one of the Microsoft Word default fonts or something like that, it has the same made-on-a-home-computer vibes that Times New Roman would.

One vote for Barlow wins at this point. Iím just so tired of looking at fonts. Thanks for the suggestion and the help.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Megazver posted:

And if you wanted a little extra spice, perhaps something like this would work:



I believe you can fiddle around further with it if you click here:

https://www.canva.com/design/DAE-m3...rce=sharebutton

Oh, I like this. Now I have some new ideas. Stop making me think thoughts!


Bobby Deluxe posted:

That's almost perfect (I did think it needed more of a margin) but the fact that 'night' and 'people' aren't the same width is very grating.

Heh. Same. I fiddled with text on mine until they were exact even though I knew Iíd probably be changing them..

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Doesnít bother me at all. Mess away! I think it looks amazing, btwóI love it!

Now to see if I can recreate this in PSD because I have another cover that has to match.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Megazver posted:

The .psd version on the right with the name fixed:



It looks incredible! I love it!

newts
Oct 10, 2012


I donít have books to compare myself, but Iíve noticed a lot of people complaining of the same thing lately in many of my writing groups. More than usual, anyway. Some are speculating itís just the Ďpostí-covid Ďeveryoneís tired of sitting at home readingí phenomenon.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Megazver posted:

Really cool design stuff

Megazver, Iíve recreated your cover design in PSD and Iím going to use it because itís awesome. How would you like me to give you credit? I donít have pms, unfortunately, but Iíd really like to make sure to include you in the acknowledgments. And thanks again! I love it.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Megazver posted:

You can just put 'A thanks to megazver for the cover ideas' or something similar on the credits/thanks page, I suppose!

You're welcome. Good luck with the book!

Done! Thanks again.

AndÖ itís published! The Night People Iím not going to spend money on advertising until I get the third book done, so this will probably just sit on Amazon. I did make the first book free starting tomorrow until Friday, which is my only promotion right now.

Also, forgot to put my little Ďplease reviewí blurb at the end, so Iíll need to upload again.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


Has anyone used Fussy Librarian to promote a free or cheap book? If so, how did that work out for you?

newts
Oct 10, 2012


freebooter posted:

They're one of the few non-Bookbub mailers I regularly still use (alongside Robin Reads and Free/BargainBooksy) but I've noticed all three giving increasingly lower returns, to the point where they're only barely giving ROI. Having said that I'm promoting the same old backlist, so YMMV.

Thank you! I was just curious because their prices for some of the genres Iíd be using are much better than BookBubís.

newts
Oct 10, 2012


freebooter posted:

Bookbub isn't what it used to be but it's definitely still the king, hence why it's so expensive (and competitive).

I get the impression that all the free/discount mailing lists in general have started to lose a bit of their power compared to four or five years ago, though I'm not entirely sure what they've lost it to. The only answer I can think of is Amazon/FB ads, but when I've dabbled with them I've personally never found them to be very cost effective.

Iíve heard a lot of people express the same thing. Maybe the market is oversaturated? It will be a couple years at least before I have enough books to make it worth the cost for me. Who knows what the state of things will be then. Although, I should probably start trying to get a deal now because it could take ten years to get one.

To those who gave me advice and help on my cover, thank you so much! Paperback looks pretty sweet:



Megazver, you got a special dedication. Thanks so much for your helpóI did my best to replicate your cool design. I think I got it mostly right.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

newts
Oct 10, 2012


divabot posted:

oh that cover works so well on the paperback!

Yeah, I really like it. It looks a little washed out because of the matte finish, but I donít mind much.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply