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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

moana posted:

Super romance is stories, not novels, so definitely too slow.

Romance I would say you can do one every other month and be okay. I'm doing one a month this year. It's hard but hey, can't complain.

If I want to slam out a romance story in a month and dump it out to amazon to try to make money, what is the most cash-efficient word length and genre?

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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I can definitely do 2,000 words a day. So a completed "speed-romance" book would be something like 10,000-15,000 words? I'm assuming I want it to be serialized or within the "same world" rather than self-contained?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

What makes the most money? I actually am not too interested in this genre at all, I just want to make money, but if I had to make the choice I'd rather write some kind of over the top supernatural romance without having to write out explicit sex scenes. Does that tend to make more money than explicitly erotic stuff, or is it the other way around?

I can blast out 7,000-15,000 words pretty fast once I get the formula down, so that length sounds nice to me. Do you have a recommendation for something that I can read which is kind of an archetype of this format?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I feel like if you're going to self-publish, you have to eat the work and/or cost of the stuff the publisher usually does rather than just shrugging your shoulders and not worrying about it. "Typesetter" is like a full-time career that some people have, so if you just throw poo poo into Word and don't even think about it, it's going to look less professional. "Editor" is another full-time career, and probably gives you more bang for the buck than good typesetting. Unfortunately having a good cover seems to be almost as important as the contents of your book (see Hard Luck Hank.)

You can probably learn to do some minimal typesetting yourself that will bring you above the average pack, and you can definitely spend extra time proofreading and editing, or trading proofreads with other authors etc. If you are making good money, then you can pay for this kind of thing to spend more time writing. You don't really just want to ignore all this stuff because you're a self-publisher. Unless you draw really well, you probably aren't going to be able to do your own covers...and to me paying for a cover on something I don't know if it will even sell is the scariest part.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

It's unfortunate because most people here are trying to write books not draw covers, and good covers are expensive. This means it's an added cost and hurdle. Not sure why you are being a dick about it?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Yes, that's why the first sentence in my post was: "I feel like if you're going to self-publish, you have to eat the work and/or cost of the stuff the publisher usually does rather than just shrugging your shoulders and not worrying about it," that includes the cover.

If I ever get super rich I'll probably have a fun time shelling out money for good covers, but people like Blue Scream and I are working day jobs and this "getting money on novels" thing is a scary thing that may or may not work for us, so it's actually quite unfortunate to me that a cover is such a big important piece of the whole package. I'm not arguing "you're a writer, gently caress the cover!" I'm arguing, "I'm a writer, so now I've gotta pay money for something that I can't do to try to sell this book."

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

My lesson from Hard Luck Hank was that a cover is the most important thing of all. He spent the most money on the cover, and the most time trying to get it to match the tone/genre/contents of what he wrote and it worked out super well for him. That is an unfortunate necessity to me, because I wish I could just not have to worry about doing that

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Sundae posted:

HLH spent a phenomenal amount of money on his cover, way more than you need for most genres. (Now that I word it like that, I imagine Hank himself e-mailing cover designers in his torn bathrobe.) You're looking at a few hundred tops for a perfectly great cover.

That's reassuring, thanks!

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Checking out a blurb from an author someone in here recommended, and the blurb contains this--above the actual blurb itself:

quote:


***This is a STANDALONE SHORT. This a NOT a full-length book. This short ends in a happily ever after with no cliffhanger***

The ***This is a STANDALONE SHORT...*** thing, is that a good idea to explicitly state that it "ends in a happily ever after with no cliffhanger"? Are they doing this because it's such a really common problem that people are looking for standalones, buy what they think is standalone, and get really mad when it ends on a cliffhanger?

edit: fixed for rules

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 15:46 on Apr 1, 2015

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Sundae posted:

My wife spends about ten hours per week on one of our pen-names and makes a small fortune off of it.

What length stuff is she writing, and about how much is she publishing per month? Does the income really start ramping up when you hit a critical mass of "stuff published and available to buy"?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

What do you think made it bomb, in hindsight?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

So to be clear, and I know I sound like a broken record dumbass here, but I should literally go to the top 100 list, buy a book on there, and try to like break it down into a formula and then just write something that follows that formula that also is about the same fetish or whatever?

I wanted to just kind of get in the groove of writing porn, so I wrote something that was more fun to me without targeting a market, but now that I'm 90% done with that I'm ready to target some markets directly.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

So I should probably like take notes on all the covers and blurbs within the top 100, and maybe read like two or three of them, but focus mostly on what they are doing with their covers/blurbs/overall aesthetic?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Dr. K, come on IRC

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm only aware of the Thunderdome IRC and the Long Walk IRC (check for that thread also in CC)...both Dr. K and I are doing self-pub romance/erotica for our Long Walk goals, so I was going to talk to her about it there

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I finished my first short and am ready to start looking for covers. I read through recommendations in the OP, but am not seeing what I need. Anyone have recommendations for paranormal erotica cover artists that are not too expensive? Ravenkult's stuff is a bit too dark/horror, because my short is kind of sort of dark but still has a lighter tone to it.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I already know how to use photoshop, and Ravenkult gave me the crash course, so I think I'm good to do this.

If my story is a love triangle, do you think I would need to have two dudes and a girl on the cover, or can I go more abstract and just have the standard sexy guy with abs etc.? I want the cover to do a good job giving an instant idea of what the story is about, but I don't ever really recall seeing three people on a cover so I am probably overthinking this.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Is it okay to post an erotica blurb in here and get feedback, or is that breaking the no erotica rules? It's pretty standard vampire stuff no incest or hosed up poo poo

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Actually I'm getting good feedback in IRC...I will hold off until I have something more polished, then post here if it's okay.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

My first erotica short is pending preview on Amazon. Thanks for all the help from people in this thread, especially ravenkult and romantique!

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

syscall girl posted:

Your posts in the China thread should be published as well

I'd like to, but I don't have rights to any of the images

What does this mean exactly?

quote:

Live - Updates In Review
Your recent changes are currently under review. Titles are typically reviewed and published within 72 hours. Review times vary and may take longer if publishing rights need to be verified. Meanwhile, the previous version of your title is live in the Kindle Store and is available for purchase.

The links to view my book on Amazon all go to a dead page.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm trying it now, and from what I can tell you cannot setup an Author Central page without having a book that is already available to buy on Amazon. It makes you find your book before you can finish the Author Central account creation.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

When you guys give out free copies to people on forums, what format do you give them out in? Is there a way to give them free official Kindle editions without paying? Or should I create .mobi files and/or PDFs to give out? Is that breaking the rules with Kindle Select/Unlimited to give out free copies like this?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

The version without the dots looks better to me. The dots version has some really rough looking edges and artifacting that makes it look cheap to me.

Even on the hand-drawn one I have issues with the white line on his pants, for instance

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

My erotica short just hot top ten in free paranormal erotica!!!

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

This twitter posted my short https://twitter.com/Laday2727

Does it just trawl through the free lists and tweet them? Or is someone pruning it? Is this like a lucky break for me, or do most all free stories end up getting posted here? It seems like it just spams everything...but it does have a lot of followers at least.

I slaved away the past two days--working like 15 hours straight yesterday--and submitted another short at like 5am last night so that it would come available during the free promo period for my first short. I'm exhausted, but hopefully it will be worth it!

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Sorry if I'm just spamming this thread with dumb questions, but here we go:

Here are my "sales" so far:



I used my free giveaway immediately because I wanted to have some momentum and motivation on my first release, and I also did the fiverr thing with BKnights. I'm guessing that's why I had the initial boost in downloads, which is dying down fairly hard. My first story broke into top 10 free in some fairly specific sub-categories, but one was "erotica --> paranormal," so that seemed pretty good. It also went into top 1,000 in the free store.

Despite that, it still has no reviews, and no one signed up for my newsletter that was in the back of the book.

I know 90% of the answer to all of my questions is "just keep writing more," and I therefore went crazy and wrote another 10,000-word short in like two days. It was released yesterday, so it will be out for two total days while my first story is still free.

This second short is directly targeting one of the best selling markets rather than a less popular paranormal genre. The cover I did for this second short is really good; it and the blurb are modeled after other best sellers in the market that I am targeting. I'm doing this as a three-part series to hopefully help strengthen sales with each new part's release. Each part is ~10,000 words, which I'm thinking may be too short. I'm thinking of selling all three parts as a $5 bundle once they are done, though each single part is $3 as I release them. I may do the tactic of listing part I for free on another market so that Amazon price matching kicks in (once the KU period is over).

All of my stuff is on KU.

My second short has not sold a single copy or had a single KU borrow. I feel like there's nothing I can do to get it noticed. Is the answer to just keep writing so that in three months when I do my next free offer, I have a lot of other stuff available to buy?

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 14:13 on May 4, 2015

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Bobby Deluxe posted:

What fiverr thing?

Some people from this thread recommended it to me in IRC: https://www.fiverr.com/bknights

Basically during your free promo period, you pay like $15-20 to them and they put your free book on a bunch of Facebook pages and newsletters to help it get exposure.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

The problem though is that there is already a popular book by that title, making your book even more obscure and hard to find.

It's also impossible to Google. "Caught erotica novel the brotherly phl" vs. "UNIQUE TITLE"

You probably need to weigh how much you like that title vs. how many logistical problems the title will cause for you.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

moana posted:

Won't know until the 15th when we find out the KU rate, but I'm pretty sure this'll be my first six-figure month


You inspire me...to get rich

I'm trying to write 30,000+ words this month, probably going to be closer to 40,000-50,000

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 01:44 on May 7, 2015

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Fire_Upon_the_Deep

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

my new erotica writing schedule is to just stay up really late until I finish my words

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I noticed that an erotica short series in the genre I am targeting just uses the same blurb for each edition. This seems bad to me, but I want to copy what works. Should I set the blurb up that it just fits all of the stories, or should the blurbs give an idea of what happens within each released part?

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I've been doing about 2,000 words per night, getting out a 10,000-word short every week. There are days I don't quite hit the goal, and some days I go out and don't write at all. I work 40 hours per week 8-5, so it's hard to have a day where I go out AND write 2,000 words, but as long as I release something every week it feels pretty good.

edit:

Here is my plan for my current series, please let me know if any of this is bad, and if so, how I can fix it:

I released a paranormal erotica short as my first release, and I used fiverr and the 5-day promotion on it. Since then, I've released two shorts of a billionaire story that will be three parts in total. Only the paranormal story has had sales (very few) and KU downloads. It's made like...$16, while the billionaire stories have made $2. I think this is happening because I have not done a free promotion on the billionaire stories.

My plan is to release the final part of the billionaire story this weekend, or on Monday. Is there a general best time of the week to start a five-day promotion? As soon as part III is live in the store, I am going to do the fiverr promotion again and make Part I of the series free for five days. When I last did the five-day promotion, my short got over 1,000 free downloads and hit top 10 in its sub-category, but I had NOTHING else for sale, and that story was not even part of a series. I really hope that having direct follow-ups to what people read for free available to buy and read on KU will translate to a lot of sales. My only concern is that with thousands of free downloads, I still had very few KU reads relative to the free download number. I don't think there's any solution to that beyond "write more" though.

I've also taken some advice from people in IRC and priced all my 10,000-word shorts at $0.99. I've heard people say this is bad in general, because it comes off as low quality. I've seen ~20,000 word shorts on the best seller list going for $2.99, and I'm only doing 10,000 words. $2.99 seems a bit steep. People in IRC were also saying that the key is to get a lot of KU downloads rather than actual sales, and maybe by having a lower price point I will make up the lost sales revenue in a higher borrow volume on KU?

Once I start writing longer stuff, I will definitely price at $2.99, but $0.99 seems appropriate for a 10,000-word story.

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 12:29 on May 12, 2015

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I don't really know, I'm just floundering around

I'm guessing--and what I heard on IRC which was passed down by successful people in this thread--is that by doing the lower price point you are trading in the 70% share of your sales by selling more volume, which increases the exposure, which increases the KU borrows, which presumably is where most people are making their money now?

I'm not the best example, but my $18 total revenue is like $15.50 from KU and $2.50 from purchases.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

What length was your stuff though? My concern with pricing 10,000-word stories at $2.99 is that people will feel ripped off.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Hmm...I'll wait to see what more people say. I'd heard someone in this thread who makes a lot of money was advocating $0.99

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Toaster Beef posted:

There are authors making an absolute killing pricing 5,000-word stories at $2.99, but as you may imagine, they aren't publishing normal romance. If you're dealing with 10,000-word eroms, $2.99 is an okay price point. I doubt that word length or price would hold up under the standards of a normal romance market, though.

Well, I'm writing explicit erotica, so I guess $2.99 is actually okay...

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

What do you guys use for your ebook files? I've been using Direct2Digital's tool to knock my google doc writing into a formatted ebook file, then I open it in Calibre and modify the html as needed. With Calibre I'm mostly just using my custom "Also By AUTHOR NAME" page with links to other books and my "About the Author" page. I actually really like Calibre because I can modify the file to make it look exactly how I want, but I also just spent like 1.5 hours last night dicking around with HTML errors instead of writing more words.

I know that typesetting and this whole aspect of self-pub is its own skill set, and if I start getting really money I'll probably just pay someone to do it for me, but for now I'd like to use the optimal tool to learn how to do it on my own somewhat efficiently.

I'm trying to get everything clean and organized in Calibre so that when I release new books I can quickly go back to older books that are still getting downloads/buys and updating the "Also by" page to include links to the new stuff. It's still pretty tedious to update these through Calibre and then Amazon even with only three total shorts for sale; I can't imagine when I have ten or more.

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angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Until someone else responds, you can give this a shot: https://www.draft2digital.com/

You can use their converter and not actually publish on their site. Just do the conversion, then it lets you download the file.

The tool will carryover any italics, bold, etc., and it does some paint-by-numbers formatting method. If you have block paragraphs in GoogleDocs it converts automatically to indented paragraphs, for instance. You have to use something like Calibre afterward though if the tool makes any mistakes (don't try to use direct2digital's about the author or copyright pages, for instance).

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