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Heathbourne
Jun 3, 2019


Virgin account, for the same reasons others have pointed out previously. Plus it's nice to help Lowtax.

drat, I wish I'd have discovered this thread earlier. All of you people seem to know your way around this business, and I really could have done with some of the tips just on the past two pages. For starters, I'd have written the next book in the series and published everything simultaneously, not as they are actually finished.

So I did a thing, and I've been running ads in some of the usual places. The sad part is, I'm not selling much at all. And I think the reason is that I absolutely suck at writing short blurbs. Or maybe my cover is too boring? I've got thousands of impressions on my ads, and hundreds of clicks have gone through to the ebook or paperback page (different blurbs on both), but my actual conversion rate for people who click is way below 1%. My day job is not in sales, though, and maybe that's what I need here?

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Heathbourne
Jun 3, 2019


I sort of agree on the cover – on the other hand, I do have heaps of books that I've bought with similar designs standing around. So I guess I would click on that listing

As for the title, that's yet another problem. It started out as satire, but ended up going in a wildly different direction. The blurb is what I thought would explain better what it is – hoping to reach a "bored and might like reading a slightly off kilter clancyesque bromance novel" audience – but I can't really get anything to stick. And it doesn't help that Amazon takes days to update a description, so I can't just run with something during a marketing push, see how it goes, and then tweak it.

I was considering putting it up for free for a week, just so people can pick it up and hopefully read it and leave a review; do you have any experience trying that out?

Heathbourne
Jun 3, 2019


Thanks guys, this was exactly the kind of helpful advice I had my fingers crossed for!

Bardeh posted:

How about a Charlie's Angels style sillhouette with two big ol' muscly dudes standing back to back brandishing their gavels? Give it a bright, colourful background, a cool font, and you got yourself a cover.

I actually tried commissioning pretty much exactly this(!) but was put off by the quotes I got. I get that it costs money to make money, but $500 was the best price out of the three talented people I checked with. For what's effectively my first foray into the world of self-publishing, and thus something of an experiment to start things off, that was way above what I was prepared to pay. Hence, sucky cover.

As for your other advice, I'm taking it to heart! I've stopped all ads with running costs, but is there any downside to keeping it listed while I figure out the rest of it – like cover, blurb, perhaps even title? Or for that matter, while I punch out the next book set in this universe?

Jalumibnkrayal posted:

I definitely cringed when I saw the title, just like all the "Jordan Peterson DESTROYS SJW Feminist!" poo poo on Youtube.

Yeah I'm pretty sure that crowd would hate most of what's on the inside of this book. Or maybe not, they might love it. There's a whole lot of male masculinity going on, after all.

Heathbourne
Jun 3, 2019


Dadliest Worrier posted:

For what it's worth, I think you've used the word "fleeting" incorrectly here. It means "lasting only a brief time."

Antivehicular posted:

Yeah, you're looking for "flowing."

poo poo, you're right. I'm not sure how that happened. Or how that was allowed to remain.

freebooter posted:

I get not wanting to outlay cash on something that may not prove successful, but putting out a book with a self-made cover that looks like a high school textbook guarantees it won't be successful, and you've already invested a lot of your own time in writing this. You can still get a decent cover from some places for much less than $500. I was in the same position as you for my first book, I used the $85 option here for my whole first series and was perfectly happy with the results and my books sold great - https://www.alchemybookcovers.com/clients.

Yes. Garnering reviews is very important when you're starting out. Once you've relaunched with a new cover, definitely do this, and advertise it as free on the various newsletter listings - https://www.readersintheknow.com/list-of-book-promotion-sites. It's tedious and time-consuming, but rack up all the free-to-advertise ones you can, and be more cautious about the ones that want money; a lot of them do not give worthwhile ROI. Robin Reads is still decent, other people might recommend others. The real Holy Grail is Bookbub, but you've no chance of getting one until you rack up a decent amount of reviews.

Thanks – you make great points. I'll be checking out those links!

Heathbourne
Jun 3, 2019


angel opportunity posted:

Since I started again I've been releasing 2-3 50,000-word novels per month to hit that kind of income again as fast as I could.

Holy poo poo, that's amazing. I've spent since I last posted, more than a year ago, to come up with the 80k words or so that went into my latest.

But it's also inspiring as poo poo. Time to get typing.

(And eventually to take everything down, relist with proper covers, and generally follow all the other solid advice I got in here. I just never knew book covers were harder than book writing)

Heathbourne fucked around with this message at 17:41 on Nov 3, 2020

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Heathbourne
Jun 3, 2019


Ccs posted:

As an enforcer for the Order of the Magi, Cantus dreams of glory in magical combat.

Instantly hooked and craving more.

Ccs posted:

But the Order has been too effective in its function, leaving the world with a mere smattering of hedge wizards as incompetent opponents.

Already here I'm dropping off. If it's already decided, why should I care? Besides, hedge wizards are like cockroaches compared to the awesome powers a proper mage should have at his or her fingertips.

Ccs posted:

Worse yet, his new partner Evroh is an ancient man who feels more at home in libraries than on the field of battle.

This makes me think I'm looking at a detective story in a fantasy setting. While I can appreciate a good whodunnit, that's not necessarily what I'm after in a high fantasy setting, even if I like the original premise.

Ccs posted:

When a seemingly simple mission leaves Cantus permanently disabled, he will journey to the center of the Auduwyn empire to track the rogue mage who can heal him before his magic disappears forever.

Now we're back to something interesting, and something more than your average whodunnit.

Ccs posted:

At the same time, internal divisions in the Order become apparent and Cantus discovers Evroh is not what he appears.

This is back to piquing my interest. What internal divisions? Someone isn't who they appear?

Ccs posted:

A story about hubris, fear, and the occasional fireball, the self-contained novel Order of the Magi should appeal to fans of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles and KJ Parker’s Academic Exercises.

While neither Rothfuss nor Parker are names I immediately recognize, I like the setup in this sentence. It's got promise of something interesting; character development, maybe some trauma, and fireballs.

Ccs posted:

In particular wondering if the last sentence before the comparisons could be stronger as a hook. An alternative I'm playing with is:
"Meanwhile, centuries of peace have left the Magi unprepared for a growing new threat that may challenge the very fabric of their Order."

To be honest, this leaves me thinking "generic fantasy" more than anything.

All that said, I'm atrociously bad at blurbs myself. But I've gotten a lot of good help from peeking in this thread, so these are my blunt, unfiltered, immediate thoughts. I hope they can be of at least some value.

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