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Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Are there any particularly awesome author editing exchange thingies out there for sci-fi writers? I'm looking to branch out and write some pulpy sci-fi serials, and would love it if they didn't suck.

I've surrounded myself with a good community and contacts when it comes to my existing writing, but up until now the sci-fi genre is something I've only played around with as a personal project. So, what's the raddest sci-fi writers community out there?

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Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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FingerbangMisfire posted:

Their website and photoshopping looks so awful that I can't fathom giving them money.

B-b-but it's Where Writing Crime CAN Payoff [sic]! :downs:

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


ravenkult posted:

Back me up here, the ape on the cover is terrible. Just because it's ''different'' doesn't mean it's good.

For what it's worth, the ape caught my eye and interest in a good way, and answered my first instantaneous question about the book's title: "Is this going to be about a real or metaphorical circus?"

edit: Re: the TV ad discussion, the only video-based book ads I can recall seeing in recent years are James Patterson YouTube ads so dumb and low-quality that they made me laugh out loud. But I guess he's the multimillionaire and I'm not, so what do I know.

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 14:16 on Jul 21, 2014

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

I had three romance short stories up for free over the weekend. Gave away about 3k copies. Hit #1 in some small categories and #3 in a very large category. Now we'll see if any sales come of it. Author ranking hit top 500 for a microsecond, so that was exciting.

Sorry if this is all mundane drudgery for you old hands: I'm still a stupid newbie and everything is new and great!

I'm a stupider newbier newbie than you so I love reading about new ebook authors hitting milestones and having early successes. Congratulations; hope you see a nice boost in your sales!

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Nessus posted:

I'm approaching my personal goal of 'OK I have written enough of that poo poo' and am planning to branch out into other fields, probably some kind of fantasy or YA-ish stuff. Since I'd be doing the new stuff under my own name rather than my old nom de spoo I figure I can't really take a mailing list with me or anything. What kind of visibility experiments are you talking about? (I did get inspired to go SLASH SOME PRICES on the back catalogue, at least)

Your current level of progress and freedom is what I aspire to. Go get 'em, tiger! :allears:

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


I'm currently at Gen Con and overall the Writer's Symposium series of panels/workshops has been pretty nice.

But holy cow right now I'm in a panel on e-publishing and it's weird as gently caress. One panelist doesn't even do e-publishing. The other just pimped Smashwords as a really cool, easy-to-work-with service (and also had never heard of D2D). The third unironically cited Amazon's recent bizarro grovel email as a legit guide for pricing your work.

I don't even know man :pwn:

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 17:00 on Aug 16, 2014

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


PoshAlligator posted:

Nobody likes worldbuilding.

My inner instant gratification monkey loving loves worldbuilding! It's the #1 excuse that lets me pretend I'm being productive while I'm really procrastinating on writing.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


ravenkult posted:

Don't ever write this.

Five months after Juan and Lola's passionate reunion, she kidded. With eight new, tiny horns tearing through the upholstery, and sixteen tiny cloven hooves tracking mud across the carpet, life wasn't going to be easy. But for the first time since Juan's return from the Great Barnyard War, their little goat house finally felt like a goat home. THE END.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Um, anachronistic much? Upholstery didn't come into common practice until 20 years AFTER the great barnyard war, dickslice. If I could rate it lower than 1 star I would. Do your loving research, amateur.

Joke's on you; I didn't even take two seconds to Google the actual gestation period or average litter size for goats. And since my last post, my new bestseller "Goating Home" has jumped on track for a November Kindle Select All-Star $20k bonus!

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


I'm a big subscriber to the (iirc) Stephen King theory that everyone starts with a basic, innate amount of talent for writing, and through hard work, everyone can basically move up one tier.

If you're naturally a good writer, you can work hard and one day become a great writer. If you're okay, you can aspire to become good. And if you suck, you might be able to work your way up to okay.

But moving up two tiers (say, lovely to good, or okay to great)... well, that's going to require more than just hard work, and might not be possible at all.

I can't be alone here in thinking that innate talent plays at least a teensy weensy part in ultimate writing potential?

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

On a different note does anybody know if there's a tool or app that will output a graphical WPM display of your target word count? I.e. if you want X words per 2 hours, and that works to Y WPM, it'll just output Lorem Ipsum at that rate so you can get a feel for how damaging those little breaks are?

If not I'll just write it but I want to check if it exists first in some capacity.

IIRC there used to be a "hey nerds build me a little program that does X" SHSC thread. Might be worth digging around for that, because I'm sure a competent programmer could slap together what you're talking about in like ten minutes.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


No Gravitas posted:

It will be a long while off still, but... How much should I charge for this? 20-30k words... 2.99 feels low, but I don't know...? I want to avoid perpetually exclusive deals with any one publisher too, just in case...

Unless you have a clear, research-driven reason for not charging $2.99, the correct answer is probably $2.99.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Try not to be neurotic about refreshing your KDP chart. Just set a certain time of day and check it at that time.


Uhhh but then how would I know whether or not I am worth a drat at any given moment?!

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Mr. Belding posted:

The first thing I did was write some stories. The second thing I did was write a script that would scrape my sales from KDP three times a day and let me know what I'm on pace to hit for the month.

I wish I had a wall mounted display that showed this number in realtime. I'd get pretty loving motivated when my number started plummeting after a few random slump days.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

Okay well I fly back to Rome tonight

Oooh will there be proscriptions?

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


ExtraNoise posted:

Thanks so much for this. And I agree: If there's one thing I've taken away from this thread it's that I need to sit down and hammer out a novel ASAP. I'm going to wrap up part five in the series (almost done) and then get to work on something bigger. You've inspired me!

And thanks for the kind words everyone.

I hope you're planning to release a really slick-looking boxed set when you're finished. I doubt it would push you up into the promised land of phat novelbux, but it couldn't hurt!

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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ravenkult posted:

Thanks for posting it, man.

I'll be writing a series of articles for LitReactor on how to do your own covers on the cheap, with some actual tips and how-tos. They'll be up in March, I'll make sure to link them.

Chalk me up as someone else who's really looking forward to this. I feel like I've really hit my stride with romance covers, but I'm definitely not where I want to be design-wise to be able to cobble together a sweet cover for a fantasy YA project I'm working on. Some tips and tricks from the master would be rad.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


the brotherly phl posted:

Hey guys, what stock image sites do you use? I'm thinking about making some promo banners and such, but shutterstock is 2 images for ~30 bucks, which doesn't seem very economical to me. Any suggestions?

Depositphotos using a popular Mightydeals package deal that pops up from time to time. Good site, good selection, good ToS, etc.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


The typesetting/formatting stuff has always kept me from thinking too much about print versions. When I make an ebook, I strip everything to barebones for compatibility's sake. With print, I'd quickly get caught up in making sure every page looked just so. Does Createspace take you are through some sort of intuitive formatting/compiling process, or do you have to come to the table with an already polished and perfected file?

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 17:16 on Mar 28, 2015

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

To be fair, a lot of the time people turn to books looking for simple problems with easy solutions that can eventually be solved without fuss. There is a lot of stupidity along the way but people are also quite happy to suspend disbelief about unreasonable character actions if it propels the narrative.

It's a lot easier to drag on and then resolve satisfactorily a simple comical misunderstanding in a book than it is: "over the past twenty years, two careers and three children we have raised to adulthood together I can no longer divorce our problems from our sex life and the only time I can enjoy unfettered sex is with my infertile college ex-girlfriend. You discovered my infidelities and everything we have built over the past lifetime is crumbling around us but we can't make a clean break of it because when all is said and done we are both still hopelessly, miserably in love with each other and terrified of losing what little there is left to our relationship. Also youre still waiting to hear back from the doctor about that mammogram and my employer just axed the health insurance from my contract"

But then it depends what sort of book you're looking for

Unnngh keep going, I'm almost there


edit:
On the topic of sharing your writing career with people in your real life...

My partner and a couple intimate friends know what I do (and have always been supportive and tactful in mixed company). Generally in conversations with friends and acquaintances, however, my strategy is to try to bore everyone to death with talk of freelance writing gigs and technical articles and web copy and blah blah blah until they yawn and move on to greener conversational pastures.

As my career transitions from primarily ultra-romance to primarily romance, I see that dynamic changing pretty quickly. Writing "stuff like that Twilight thing all the kids like" is several orders of magnitude less embarrassing to chat about than "stories where tentacle aliens do butt stuff to spacemen."

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 18:33 on Apr 18, 2015

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Silvyfox posted:

Then again, my dad still thinks I'm writing historically inspired fiction novels, so v:v:v

Someday when I'm a romance kajillionaire, I'll be able to take six months off and write what I REALLY want to write... An epic, coming-of-age, 19th century whaling adventure where the only romance is a between a young sailor and his terrible mistress, the sea.

Exactly five people will buy it, and maybe someday one of them will even read it.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


There's successful romance with naught but a chaste kiss planted betwixt m'lady's lips, and there's successful romance with as much hardcore explicit sex as any erotica short.

Your success as a romance writer will depend far less on the level of explicitness in your love scenes, and far more on whether you're targeting the right subset of romance readers, and giving your audience (most of whom will have bought your work based on the strength of your cover and blurb) something that's in the ballpark of what they expect in terms of heat level.

In other words, it's fine to release a sweet, innocent romance if your product has the telltale signs of a sweet, innocent romance. Ditto for a filthy, no-holdsholes-barred fuckfest (so long as that doesn't outshine relationship-building as the main focus, and there's the obligatory HEA/HFN).

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 13:43 on Apr 23, 2015

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


I've used Scrivener for ages and like it well enough, but some people in my writing group have been getting awfully excited about Vellum lately. It's worth putting on y'alls lists of potential ebook creation software, especially if you're some kind of oil baroness who gives zero fucks about discretionary spending.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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Pinky Artichoke posted:

I really don't know what I'm talking about from a professional perspective, but as a reader that sort of thing makes more sense for after the novel is already out, and possibly as a freebie. I have in the past bought tie-in novellas (e.g. Mira Grant's "Countdown"), but only after reading and being sold on the author's longer work.

Yeah, a freebie to drive sales of the main novel would be the way I'd go. If you have a bunch of them, maybe price a few at 99¢ but have the best or most important one be the freebie...? Its promotional value would almost certainly outweigh the bit of money you'd lose.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

Actually if anybody wants to swap pen names (I write terrible super romance) for KDP borrow then PM me. Happy to throw some goons a few free bucks on their back catalogue, super romance or no, I don't make enough use of my unlimited account and I need to start reading up + researching more, so this'll be good incentive

Be careful with reciprocal borrowing, Amazon has been getting cranky about that lately.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Well I made my pre-order deadline and got my first romance novella manuscript uploaded. Looks like I picked a good time to make the big move up and out of smut shorts. :haw:

Gimme alllllllll the Bezosbux!

edit: Sean what is my spirit animal pen name?

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 16:30 on Jun 17, 2015

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


EngineerSean posted:

It's supposed to automatically advise you when a new book is out but it's kind of broken. It doesn't do it for all releases and then seems to send like 3 or 4 at once. You don't get any input on the email that is sent out.

I follow my own pen names, just to see what kind of notifications Amazon sends out on my behalf. They've been very inconsistent, and the most recent email I received was a NEW RELEASE! notification for a book I released like five months earlier. :rolleye:

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


You can set up a Mailchimp account and mailing list form in like 15 minutes, and there's really never a good excuse to hold off on doing that. Seriously, just suck it up and put a damned mailing list link in your first book. Don't wait until your second. It'll still be an equally annoying busywork task then, and in the meantime you'll have missed a bunch of potentially valuable sign-ups.

edit: You don't even have to think about newsletters or whatever right now, just get on that first step of capturing (i.e., letting Mailchimp capture) the information of any and all interested parties.

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 13:10 on Jun 30, 2015

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


angel opportunity posted:

Judging by what I've seen, most people are dropping out. The payout is just so loving low that only the dumbest of the dumb would stay in for short erotica, so my readers are going to suddenly find themselves with little to no options in KU.

In one rather large romance/super-romance writing community that I'm involved with, our pulling out vs. non-pulling out poll has been hovering steadily at 50/50. Lots of worried people are jumping ship, sure, but I wouldn't call it a strong majority. Not yet, anyway.

Also, just a reminder that none of us knows what the hell the payout will be. Everyone's getting over-the-top hysterical about the $0.0057 or whatever number, but that's just one possibility out of several outcomes. And in my opinion, it's not even the likeliest outcome. Amazon regularly, artificially adjusts the KU fund to whatever the hell they want, to pinch authors' pockets while trying to avoid pissing off a critical mass to the breaking point. There's no hard evidence that they won't continue that practice and throw us something meatier than a ha'penny bone when August rolls around.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Oh and I wonder if someone in charge at Scribd knew in advance that Amazon would be making its KU adjustments this week. What fortuitous loving timing for them. Their completely egregious (frankly unforgivable) treatment of romance authors is going to get completely lost in Amazon's sewage tsunami.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


EngineerSean posted:

are you loving serious

Yeah, I worded that shittily, but it's really frustrating to see people jerking dozens--even hundreds--of titles from a service that done very well for them so far, just a few days after getting a pretty vague email and a day after the rollout of a new dashboard (the latter of which Amazon has never not hosed up). In the absence of hard data about what July earnings will really look like, it seems like people are mostly feeding off each other's anxiety and making some really rash decisions that might not be the smartest ones in the long run.

I feel like a whole lot of worried people are going to waste a month converting and cramming their shorts through Google Play and D2D/SW or a bunch of individual storefronts, and then next month when it turns out Amazon has a shred of common sense/decency and boosts the KU fund to a not-ideal-but-still-ehhh-acceptable-I-guess level, all those same people are going to be slapping their foreheads and hating that they wasted so much time.

Sure, it might go down totally differently and we could all be hosed, but the mob seems way more reactionary at this stage than it necessarily needs to be. Don't get me wrong, I'm super concerned--I'll be sending my angry emails to Jeff and posting #ShowMeYourFiguresJeffrey hashtags and poo poo too--but the KU withdrawal grace period is pretty long, so I'm going to take some deep breaths and ride it out for a month to see what happens. Or, at the very least, wait for some actual, useful information to come down the pipes.


Bobby Deluxe posted:

I read this the wrong way.

:pervert:

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 19:51 on Jul 2, 2015

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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EngineerSean posted:

don't make this mistake

Yeah you should've seen the pained grimace I was making as I typed that

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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angel opportunity posted:

Is ANYONE still making money off erotica shorts? I just made less money this weekend than last weekend even though I had three new books out vs. only two new books last weekend.

Well all KDP/KU drama aside, it is also halfway through loving July. Ain't nobody settin' no smut sales records in the dog days.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


Sundae posted:

I can't vouch for thrillers, but my list is only for romance / e-rom for now. No erotica or other mainstream genres yet, because I haven't been marketing to those genres.

Can you post a link to your ARC service info? Now that I want it I can't seem to find it.

I'm about to launch my first mainstream PNR novel on a new pen name (after a couple years of being lazy and squirting out occasional erotica shorts and gay PNR novellas). I'm basically writing full time now and need to get eyes and reviews on my forthcoming releases so I don't die naked in a gutter from ramen poisoning.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal



Thanks you steward of steaminess :allears:

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal



gently caress ravenkult, there's a new sheriff in town

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 21:07 on Dec 14, 2015

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Yes, go jerk off now, you'll TOTALLY come back and hunker down (for real) and write a couple thousand words as soon as you're done.

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
upon our prey we steal


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

I think as long as the cover meets Amazon's standards, yeah.

bknights was getting weird about gay stuff a while back. He blamed it on Amazon policies or something like a turd but I'm pretty sure it was just saturating his list and readers were complaining. Not sure if he's back to accepting m/m or not; haven't tried in a while.

Also, for new authors... If you have a sale running for a few days on a new title, and are lining up multiple promos, I recommend doing bknights a day later than the others. His list will often get you some weird-rear end also-boughts on a virgin title. IMO it's way better to have some also-boughts already locked in from more targeted promos before your book hits his list. (Hardcore Xtreme Thread Pros feel free to contradict me if you think I'm talking out of my rear end.)

Also I think I have the bra claps, should I see a doctor or will the burning go away on its own?

Trustworthy fucked around with this message at 16:04 on Feb 6, 2016

Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

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upon our prey we steal


And while bknights isn't great about answering questions, he's pretty solid with timing-related special requests. I'll be, like, "Hey, can you please run this one on Thursday?" And the canned confirmation will almost always come back "Your book is scheduled to run on Thursday!"

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Trustworthy
Dec 28, 2004

with catte-like thread
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"Publish it" is the easiest way, but the very BEST way would probably be:

#1 Be Walt Disney
#2 Sink enough cash into Washington lobbyists that legislators scramble over themselves to suck you off, changing copyright laws for your personal benefit until the end of time
#3 Profit
#4 Cryogenics

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