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EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I am going to talk about hard luck hank excessively in this thread, what a book.

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EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Bobby Deluxe posted:

So what's the situation with names, do they have to be unique? Like if there are already books called Dead Heat and Stolen Hearts, would I get any grief or problems for calling my book Stolen Hearts book one: Dead Heat?

(Not actual titles I'm considering, just examples used to illustrate the question)

Also great OP. People have often told me there's a formula to writing romance, but rarely has anyone ever actually linked to any decent resources on it.

A lot lot lot of titles have already been used. Obviously don't use something like "Dr. Sleep" or "Fifty Shades of Grey" because those really are going to land you in hot water, but if you really want to use the title "Stolen Hearts", all I'd do is check the genre that I'm going to publish it in to see if a hit book with that title exists that could cause me trouble. In this case, if I check romance or erotica for "Stolen Hearts", I see nothing that would be a problem.

Also remember that there is nothing new under the sun and the Simpsons already did it.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


moana posted:

You all just wait, one of these days I'mma write the bestest book.

I honestly can't wait until one day, a famous author says "I couldn't have done it without the thread on something is awful dot com". I'll be there one day.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


LLCoolJD posted:

I see a lot of fresh e-books from "new" authors that have tons of reviews. I assume these people pay for favorable reviews to get people reading (and buying)?

Are you trying to emulate them or are you thinking you should buy the book? Either way, I guess just assume the worst, always.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Oh yeah haha, free downloaders will only review your book to say the following:

Luckily this book was FREE, I still want my money back, I want $2.99 from the author of this book for this 0-star abomination.

5000:1 might be a little high but it's definitely somewhere in the thousands of free downloads for one bad review in general. Even paid sales aren't all that likely to review it.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I can't imagine writing 100,000 words and then skimping on the cover, then spending sixty seconds writing the blurb. What does Amissaric even mean?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Interesting article on the 'War on Amazon' that's apparently happening:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/04/war-on-amazon-publishing-writers

As I get richer and richer I find myself voting against my self interests more and more, but as long as you're not an Amazon shareholder it is in your self interest for Hachette to win this fight whether you agree with the way they treat authors or not.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Soichiro posted:

Hey Romance writers,

Have any of you noticed diminishing sales for your romance titles, or is that just me being a lazy gently caress bag who doesn't produce anymore? I've taken a pretty bad hit over the last two months and this month isn't looking promising either.

I know what kind of romance you're talking about and you definitely need to pump out more stuff. It looks like you have one release in may, a lesbian romance which you know doesn't sell great. In addition, your stuff (or at least your three most recent) are priced at 99 cents? That's going to severely limit your earning potential.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I know I'd love to get a short published someday in Analog/Asimov, I don't see much downside to be honest.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Can we add this video to the OP? Because if you can't read your blurb in one of these people's voices, then throw it away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQRtuxdfQHw

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


ravenkult posted:

Is Bookblast still worth trying? It says on their website it's unlikely they will accept a short story collection that's not free, anyone know how strict they are about it?

i haven't been using booksends (same thing, right?) ever since they started requiring my company to buy onto the bestseller list rather than the romance list. i feel that the ROI is negative for it at the $225 they charge for that. i'd contact them but if they say anything about thir bestseller list, walk away.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I love that Welcome to Ritual one, makes me wish that I wrote occult horror so I could buy it.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I like your pricing spreadsheet except for the european countries on Amazon. Why would you price at $2.60 instead of $2.90? One makes the price show up as $2.68 and one at $2.99, which probably gets as many sales as the $2.68 books.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


$2.6 is the lowest price you can set it to and still get the 70% royalty rate, so I doubt it was a tax issue, probably just someone who didn't care. Then again, they care about all the other outlets, so it's kind of weird. I mean I think they even had the correct 1.93 price for the UK. I dunno now because you took it down <:mad:>

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


CommissarMega posted:

So the OP mentions publishing serially has become viable thanks to self-publishing, but how does that work exactly? What avenues do I need to pursue? I want to write full-time, but I'd like to have some form of income while writing my book, and a serial seems the way to go.

Depends on the genre that you want to write in. I've found that science fiction serials are doing awful but romance ones are doing fine, particularly "The Arrangement" by HM Ward. The fantasy serials I've seen are all like 100k word tomes anyway so I dunno what to tell you about that.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I might as well share my experience here about Google Play. I had stopped publishing any of my work to Google when my erotica catalog was removed, not out of malice but just because it had never been worth it. I had started publishing there on their old interface and was paying someone $20 a book to upload it, and I was underwater on that and it just wasn't worth it. Anyway, I got a rep asking me to publish a certain bestseller there, a romance book. I asked her what was in it for me, especially when I had my entire catalog pulled with no notice before. She said she could guarantee that that wouldn't happen again and reinstated a large portion of my erotica catalog (not all of it, some of it was still unacceptable and I was okay with that). By then they had changed the interface and I began to upload my works there myself. About a month later, they purged the erotica works away again. I asked what had changed, why works that she had promised me would remain up were removed again. She confessed that she had no power to make deals like that and basically just told me a lie to get my romance catalog up, so I pulled my work. People have gotten Google Play to amend their Terms of Service to remove the credit check or other onerous terms like the automatic discount, and if Google wants my business, they need to come to me as a business partner and not some ingenue author that they can take advantage of with lies. I stop short of recommending that nobody use them, but nobody who makes any significant money in publishing makes any significant percentage of it at Google, and between their refusal to price according to how you ask and their reps lying to authors and publishers, I'd as soon see them operate at a loss in Google's giant empire rather than what it should be (since Google Play is installed by default on Android devices).

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Your Dead Gay Son posted:

One of my books on google play has like... Aggregated reviews from books that share the same name. Cool google. Really cool.

Yeah Google's been loving up more and more. Check this poo poo out. At least they told this author the truth, instead of lying to them.

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,188587.0.html

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


yoyomama posted:

That all said, I could see a smaller site selling e-books and really taking off, as long as they were targeting specific niches, and the perception of quality writing could be maintained across their catalog so that they could build themselves up to be a go-to source for their targeted audience. But, this, in some ways, would be replicating the models of traditional publishing, which wouldn't need to be a bad thing. Having a viable model, good authors that are treated well and with good contracts, and the right advertising could at least work. Not sure how profitable it would be, though. But, from what I've seen with other products that Amazon doesn't dominate in terms of online sales, a site that could present itself as legit, trustworthy, and a good source for quality could at least get a loyal following.

What you're basically talking about is an imprint, a publisher, and I'm all for publisher who targets a niche and releases quality materials for it. However, once that imprint is created, it's still going to be better off selling on Amazon than not selling on Amazon. The only niche eBook selling concept that even makes sense to me is erotica, because it's a product that people want to pay for but that Amazon won't allow in its entirety.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


if there's one aspect of this business that i will never try to vertically integrate, its "becoming the retailer", amazon can have my 30% (or whatever they decide to take) for life.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Unbelievably Fat Man posted:

On the other end of the spectrum I wonder what effect Patreon will eventually have on the market. If I could build up a decent following I think I'd prefer to release all my stuff for free and live off literal patronage, mostly out of my distaste for the major players in the ebook and comics markets. But I'm still a ways away from that.

I tried to look this up, I really did, but I still have no idea what a Patreon is.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


ravenkult posted:

Is Bookblast still worth trying? It says on their website it's unlikely they will accept a short story collection that's not free, anyone know how strict they are about it?

I wanted to reply to this again and say that I had to use this because it was the last piece of paid promo that I hadn't used for a book I really wanted to succeed, and it was a huge letdown. Delta(Copies Sold) between July 3/4 and July 5 was less than 10%, what a waste of money. :negative:

In good news, Pub Yourself Press is pubbin' along. :)

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Sundae posted:

Glad that PYP is working out well for you. Got any new ones coming along? I saw your first two went pretty nicely. :)

Probably not this month due to our summer vacations but we've got a couple slated for August. One of the books we published deserves a sequel and we'll publish it as quickly as the author has completed it. It's holding rank pretty steady at 700, would love to have every book we publish have that kind of performance.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Hey, if anyone here has had pretty disappointing sales results with a romance novel and would like me to take a look at it, send me a PM with your Amazon link. Full disclosure, I'm looking for books to republish under my company but even if that's unacceptable to you, I should be able to provide you with some tips for your next work.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


aw shucks guys

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I believe the only thing that price recommendation tool looks at is categories selected and word length, which yeah is pretty useless. One thing that I wish it had was a y-axis, I mean I am pretty sure I am way above their line for most books so would I be shooting myself in the foot by following their advice?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Whoever took 1% of borrows last year probably thinks that he or she can make the same amount this year, even if it's a smaller fraction of a bigger pot.

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at 17:25 on Jul 18, 2014

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Train station ads? In what century did you receive this degree in publishing? It's a different game today than it was even two years ago, but I'd like to think that even when I started that there were more eyeballs on the Internet than at West Chestershire Station.

edit: someone pointed out to me that you might not be American and that train station ads are big for thrillers in UK, but here in America where I get 90% of my sales, I've never even seen a train station

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at 13:20 on Jul 19, 2014

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I think "do quite well" is, at a guess, not as well as you think. But then again they have the advantage of actually having their books in airport and train station bookstores. But thanks for the heads up about TV ads, can't wait for them to start saturating the air waves with Stephen King's latest and greatest.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Just rented out a plane to drag one of those banners around to advertise my new sex book, I'll let you how many sales I got from it.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


magnificent7 posted:

Good point. I remember I got to that video through cracked.com - the author is one of the editors there, so, he had some advantages there I'm sure.

Leveraging your existing platforms is Publishing 101. If you have a following by whatever other means, you can get things done.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


On the other hand, there has been very little change in quality of self-published books. Anyone can poo poo out a book with incomprehensible prose and tortured plots, upload it to Amazon and B&N, and call themselves a published author. And in the current paradigm, they would not be wrong to call themselves that. This is something of a slap in the face to those of us who actually put effort into our craft, those of us who work hard and pay our dues in the trenches of rejection and the classrooms of trial-and-error to earn the title of published author.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Oh sorry, I was quoting from the self-righteous blog. It's probably the biggest bullshit I've ever heard.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I put no effort into my craft which is why it's such a surprise to be a millionaire, take that trad published horror author.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


moana posted:

You loving alpha males just loving taking my future girlfriend on a date instead of paying your dues with rejection the way I have~

Haha is that it? Have we found the "nice guy" of publishing?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Kindle Unlimited is either going to make this the best month of 2014 for me or the rate paid per borrow will be so low that it will be a PR disaster for Amazon.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

When do we find out about the KU payment rate? When does Amazon usually update the month's global fund?

Probably on or around August 15. Based on my own increase (roughly 1000% over last month) and everyone else's (I mean, there's two or three people on this page that have said "I normally get zero borrows but this month I got three!") I think they've way underestimated the amount that people would go through books in Kindle Unlimited, and the rate per borrow will be less than a dollar. However, that also heavily plays against their current PR show of "We care more about authors than Hachette" if they go around paying people 50 cents for each book of theirs that was read, so they might just up the prize pool retroactively. Otherwise people will cry from the rooftops about how lovely KDP Select is and there will be a huge egress from the program (probably not me though because I'm a big dum dum).

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


I take full advantage of everything KDP Select has to offer me so, haha, yes I don't actually consider myself a dum dum regardless of how many get my books for dirt cheap.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Yeah congrats dude, a victory is a victory and I hope you get some attention to your work.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Grammaton posted:

What's a good length for a $2.99 romance novel, about 50k words?

The romance market will support up to $4.99 for an indy romance novel, and a 50k word book is considered the bare minimum for a novel. No matter what you price it at, no matter what your length, people will complain that it is too short.

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EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Nessus I remember you used to write erotica, not sure if that's what you're still writing. One thing is, there's no possible way that you're even hitting 1% of the people that might be interested in buying your book. It's not that they're looking at it and not hitting the buy button, it's that they have no idea it exists. If you get eyes on it, over and over and over, you'll eventually get those people to be like "Okay what's the hype about this book, why do I keep seeing it everywhere when I'm shopping?" I have a book that I continually am running visibility experiments on, and the book continues to sell. Most of these visibility experiments are coupled with the promotional price point of $0.99, and I just don't care because I know there are always more people who want to buy this book.

PS woop woop for the KU royalty rate! :D

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