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moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


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

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moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Probably they just hand out ARCs like candy. The smart ones do, anyway

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


I would say I see about a 5,000:1 free download to review ratio. Maybe it's more like 1000:1 or 2000:1 for paid sales, but yeah, not many people review at all.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Do you give a poo poo about selling your book or not? It doesn't look like you give a poo poo. What advice do you want, other than "maybe start giving a poo poo about selling your book"?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Are you just writing for fun or do you want a critique?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Icon-Cat posted:

Me, hey, critique if you like.
I didn't want to put in the effort if you don't give a poo poo about sales. Which it seems like you don't, but:

quote:

People want the genre they were promised on the cover.
Your romance book does not have a romance cover.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Grammaton posted:

How many of you self-publish but also seek a literary agent for traditional publishing? Will an agent be soured by the fact that I self-published?
I actually got a book offer AFTER I self-published and did well, and got a couple of agents interested when I was like "hey, I have this offer." But I kept self-publishing because gently caress that poo poo and also I wanted to hit the NYT/USAT bestseller lists and you can't do that at retarded high publisher prices.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


I thought a platoon was a group of people, a platoon of armor sounds weird. But I don't read much scifi nowadays so w/e

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Sundae posted:

I wanted to see how the New Adult subject matter could mix with fantasy, and I gave "The Magicians" by Lev Grossman a shot. Honestly, didn't like it and apparently neither did a lot of people who weren't sure what the book was supposed to be. People who wanted fantasy felt that it fell short there and ended miserably, and people who wanted NA fiction felt that it hadn't focused enough on the angsty angst.
Really? I loved the Magicians and the sequel to it, I thought it did a great job at hooking me even with a completely irredeemable main character. Quentin is perfectly flawed in the same way I was back when I was an overachieving high school kid, and I loved the meta-narrative he has running through his head with references to Narnia and Harry Potter whenever something "magical" happens to him. But I can see how people wouldn't like it, and I do wish there had been some more original fantasy elements. It was a dark, adult Harry Potter with a dick for a main character. He grows a lot over the course of the book, but never redeems himself, at least not in the two books in the series I read. I would think most NA fans would hate that sort of unfinished character arc. I loved it, because hey, some people are just dicks no matter what they go through.

Also, there's totally bestiality in it and it weirded me out, especially since Amazon makes a big deal out of blocking that poo poo so I did not expect that scene when it came. But I guess if it's Lev Grossman, it's okay? Blech.

Right now I'm reading through a collection of stories by Wallace Stegner, I've been disappointed with everything I've read of his since Angle of Repose but I still keep giving him another shot because Angle of Repose was so good. And I got a free trial copy of Beautiful Oblivion, which is fun and light and has nothing at all happening except NA drama, so if you want a good reference for how to do NA drama well, I'd recommend it.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Their excuse was that they're only a small publisher so they couldn't really do the book justice. I have a terrible memory so this might not be accurate, but I think he did the cover and the promotion himself.

They've been helpful in trying to introduce him to bigger agents and publishers, but it does seem like they've basically just printed and edited it and let him do the rest.
God drat it that is such loving bullshit. I wonder what chunk of royalties they're taking for their lovely (non)service.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


jazzyjay posted:

The Silent Circus
Ulis' childhood ended the night the planes burnt his city to ashes.

Orphaned, traumatised and mute, his only companion a fellow orphan named Lidyja [girl or boy?], he flees Nazi death squads and Soviet partisans and is driven deeper [deeper? was he already there?] into an ancient, malevolent forest.

Lost in an endless mire, they are rescued by the strange denizens of a circus hiding deep within the forest. For a while, Ulis and Lidyja think they are safe, having found a new family, a strange and peculiar family of Siamese twins and silent ape kings and freaks and mystics. [long awkward sentence, break it up]

But the Ringmaster is dead and children [children? the children] soon learn that the war outside holds no monopoly on horror.

Which author's readers are you targeting here? If you haven't read Geek Love, I'd suggest it, it sounds kinda similar and you might be able to go after her fans.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


jazzyjay posted:

#1 - People who will like my book will also like Neil Gaiman, Cormac McCarthy
These are not the same audiences, yo. You might be mixing and matching a bit too hard. That's what went wrong with my first novel, I couldn't decide which genre it was in and it ended up being a bad mishmash that sank immediately upon release.

That said, my interest is piqued now whereas before it wasn't. So you need to work on your cover/blurb to reel in readers like me who love MR and McCarthy. If you'd like a second set of eyes on the book for blurb/cover ideas, send it over - my email is moanaevans at gmail.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


gently caress facebook, they'll probably make you pay for the buttons eventually

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


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

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Guessing he meant SW, or Smashwords

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


EB Nulshit posted:

Is short romance a thing that sells? My mom is writing short erotica but she'd much prefer to write straight-up romance.
No, he's being tongue in cheek about erotica. Romance has to be long(er) to sell.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Are you doing Select? If so, free at launch, hit up a ton of freebie promotion sites.

If not, 99c at launch, hit up a bunch of 99c promotion sites.

Once your rank stalls, raise the price to normal and reap $$$.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Works for me, I've made six figures already this year with that strategy.

It's short-sighted to start your book off at full price if you don't have an established fanbase. Readers need to be able to take a chance on your book. You have to remember that you're building a fanbase as well as upping your rank with a low price. And then write the next one super fast to capitalize on the success of the first. I had a book hit the top 100 last month and I'm publishing the sequel next week. When something hits big, you have to move. But it won't hit big if it's your first book and it's at $3.99 or whatever.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Nessus posted:

Can you elaborate a little here? I guess the psychological block for me is "won't everyone who's interested just get a copy at free/99 cents and then I'm missing out on sales?" Obviously from Amazon's perspective it doesn't matter, they kind of win no matter what.
[I'm assuming you're not an author with an active fanbase of thousands already]:

Nobody gives two shits about your book. Nobody knows about your book. The only way people will buy your book is:
1. If they see it (it has to be ranked highly).
2. If it's cheap enough to make them give it a chance.

The strategy here is that for everyone you get to read your book for free/cheap, you have a chance at making conversions:
1. They go back and buy books from your back catalog.
2. They sign up for your mailing list and buy your next book.

Also, you have a boosted rank so that more people will see your book and therefore buy your book. Once your rank stalls and you raise the price, you still get a ton of people who are seeing your book at the high rank and buying. Not as many, but a lot.

There's such a huge huge huge potential readership on Amazon, you're not possibly going to reach all of the people who would be interested in your book UNLESS you have a high rank and get more visibility.

Case in point: my last book launched at 99c and sold 500-1000 a day at the 99c price point, enough to get me up to the top 100 and a bunch of subcategory bestseller lists and VISIBILITY. Then I raised the price to $2.99 and have been selling around 200-400 a day. All of my initial fans bought it at 99c. Who cares? Now I'm reaching new readers, new potential fans. The next book I write will have more people buying it on day one, launching it higher. Then the next book will launch higher, etc, etc. If you're playing this game with one book, you're already losing. Plan for long-term success.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Nessus posted:

Huh. Well, that makes sense I suppose. What fields are you writing in, moana?

And for that matter, how do you go about setting up a mailing list? I've heard that mentioned a few times, is there some tool or service for it online?
Romance, and I use Mailchimp but I've heard good things also about Aweber.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


mostkillingest posted:

Blurb:
Twenty-five years ago, a virulent strain of the influenza virus emerged. It tore across the world, ravaged the population, and viciously killed three-and-a-half billion people. Evangeline’s parent’s survived. Five years after it ended, during society’s ascent back to normalcy, she was born. She’d grown up reading about the plague in books and hearing somber stories from the people surrounding her. She often wondered what it would be like to survive a pandemic or catastrophic event, being forced to watch as all of one’s family and friends died along the way. She never anticipated having to answer the question, but fate would cruelly propel her into responding and the resulting inferno would engulf her entire life.
This blurb needs a ton of work. If there's a typo in the blurb, I assume that the book is going to suck poo poo, because if they didn't proofread the blurb, they sure as hell didn't proofread the whole book.
"Evangeline’s parent’s survived."

After "it" ended. After what ended? the virus? Viruses don't "end"

"fate would propel her into responding" - responding to what? The resulting inferno of what? I don't know if it's another virus outbreak or a big fire or some other catastrophe, that's how generic the blurb is.

I don't know who Evangeline is, what she's like, or anything about her. Is she a strong hero? Will she help save the world? It kind of sounds like she's a passive survivor, which is boring as hell. The cover is pretty but doesn't give me a sense of what the book is about at all. Change the cover and blurb to give the audience a better idea of what the heck they can expect inside. It's a romance and you never mention the hero or the love story at all? What?

Also, not to burst her bubble, but I wrote a science fiction romance once, and what took me to another level was: never writing a science fiction romance again.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Mistakes were made; it was my first novel. Everybody hates their firstborn, right? RIGHT?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Grammaton posted:

Is it better to write a romance novel in first or third person?
Depends on the subgenre. Check your subgenre's bestsellers. New adult is mostly 1st, historical is mostly 3rd, for example.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


mostkillingest posted:

Evangeline is ordinary. [WOW THIS MAKES ME TOTALLY WANT TO READ ABOUT HER] She lives an ordinary life. Her friends and family are ordinary. Only one of these statements turn[TURNS, JFC PROOFREAD YOUR poo poo] out to be true. [GREAT, YOU LIED TO ME TWICE AND STILL NONE OF THOSE STATEMENTS WERE INTERESTING ENOUGH TO MAKE ME WANT TO READ THE BOOK] At twenty years old, Evangeline Rolieux has an idyllic life. [WELL I GUESS SHE DOESN'T LIVE AN ORDINARY LIFE, THAT ONE IS OUT] She understands how lucky she is, being born just five years after a pandemic. Her parents were survivors of the infamous influenza virus that swept through the world and ravaged the population, killing three-and-a-half-billion people.[HOW IS THIS IDYLLIC?] She’s read about it in books and has heard the stories, but a spark, lit from a simple history assignment, sets fire to her curiosity and pushes her to delve deeper. [SO BORED. YOUR STORY IS ABOUT A BORING PERSON WHO STARTS LEARNING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT MIGHT BE INTERESTING.] Soon she’s[SHE'S, PROOFREAD] tumbling down a path towards a startling discovery that may destroy everything she cares for. Unbeknownst to her, the currency for this knowledge will be exchanged in blood, and it’s[IT'S, NOT THAT IT MATTERS BECAUSE NO READER IS GOING TO GET THIS FAR] far more than exists in her body.

Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Light this blurb on fire and start again. Is this really a romance?
Yeah, there's nothing good at all about this blurb. It's like they don't want to give anything away about the book, and so it ends up being totally generic and uninteresting.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Mr. Pumroy posted:

On the subject of covers is there like a database of bookcovers so I can collect a bunch and tell her "like this!"
The Amazon bestseller list in your subgenre.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Grammaton posted:

Would I be stupid to lump sci-fi, fantasy and romance novels all under one author name?
yes.

quote:

For a romance novel in the first person, is it customary to write it all from the protagonist's perspective, or switch perspectives, and if so, should they be in first person too?
You should read some romance novels if you plan on writing one. Read some of the bestsellers in your genre.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Blue Star posted:

Back on the first or second pages of this thread, you guys talked about genre-mixing for a bit. I get that we should limit ourselves to specific genres so that we can better market our books, but obviously there are successful books which mix genres a bit, so its not like it can't be done. So how do you determine what amount of genre mixing is okay?

Here's my stupid opinion on this: if you know how to write one genre really well already, then go ahead and mix genres. But too many authors (myself included) come up with a bad idea and use "genre-mixing" when we really mean that we didn't understand how to write a proper genre story in the first place or we really wanted to shoehorn in an idea that didn't belong. You shouldn't break the rule until you can follow it first, yah?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


PoshAlligator posted:

Could you give me an example of bad genre-mixing I will have heard of?
Probably not b/c they don't get famous if they're bad.

quote:

Is just anything with a touch of something else genre-mixing? Like, sci-fi/romance you mean? Like, The Time Traveller's Wife?
Don't you DARE say TTW is bad! It is great!

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


PoshAlligator posted:

I'm just not entirely sure what bad genre mixing really looks like then and I would love to know because it sounds like the kind of thing I'd end up doing and with self-pub there'd be nothing to stop me exploding.
If it's your first novel (and that's what it sounds like), don't genre mix. There. I saved you several months of pain. The only way I would genre mix is if it's something that's already been done by someone else and seen decent success (romantic suspense, for example) so that I could read a bunch of those books as research.

Also TTW makes me cry every time I read it, it focuses SO well on the romance and the flaws don't detract at all from the love story.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


A1989 Honda Accord posted:

Cover



Almost ready to go. Any advice?

Your author name and title are floating in a sea of cover. Author name bigger, at least. You're branding yourself.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


psychopomp posted:

Would you give lifetime royalties to middlemen when you could hire a cover designer and editor yourself, then run a bookbub, all for flat fees?
All of the rich writers in this thread are saying yes, if the middleman is Amazon, we'd consider it. There's a reason for that, and the reason rhymes with Abracadabramazon.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


ravenkult posted:

It ain't pretty.
Agreed, it doesn't look like anything in thumbnail and you can't read the author or title in thumbnail. The worst of both worlds. Also there's no range of value in the art, it's all mid-tone blurgh.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Cross-promotion is great when you have similar genres and audiences. I would not cross-promote with random goons just because "goons".

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


WriteOn is Amazon's equivalent to Wattpad, they're still in beta right now but they'll be taking over soon probably, and they're pushing their own publishing platform for chosen books published through there. I'd try to get into the Amazon beta thing if I were going to do anything like that.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


glitchtember is the annual Amazon holiday month of glitches where they break all their poo poo make crucial updates. Now we're back in normal mode, publish away!

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


You find authors who write books like you and go after their fans with a sharp knifeARC copy.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Let me see if I've got this right. Your book is a special snowflake that can't be categorized by genre. It's a memoir, though, which means it's competing with the memoirs that every single retired person ever is writing. "I can't find anything like it." Rather than being unmarketable, though, that means it's special and obviously trad publishers would want it even if nobody would actually buy it themselves if you self-pub it. You have great storytelling skills, but this is the first thing you've ever written and you can't even figure out how to outline the story.

I'd recommend Save the Cat but I think you're wasting your time completely. I say this with all the kindness in the world, because if you don't like writing (and you don't, or you would have written something in your life) you're in for a real bad time once you realize that coming up with the idea is the easy part.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Aliquid posted:

I've obviously had a difficult time finding a memoir written by someone under 30 who wasn't a teenage runaway.
Usually, if you have a hard time finding a product, it means the market for the product isn't there. I'm not saying don't write the book - if it's something you'd enjoy writing, then write it, put it up for free, spam the poo poo out of it everywhere to try to get people to read it. You said it yourself - this clearly has no visible audience that you can target. Sorry if I'm being too blunt and not morally supportive, flowers and sunshine all over; I don't want you to waste your time sending out a hundred query letters to agents and publishers.

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moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Aliquid posted:

Plan B: Right after I left Nigeria, I took my savings, built an old bicycle from parts, and rode it from Austin to San Salvador from this time last year to May 2014. I have pretty extensive journals from nearly every day on the road, and camped or stayed with locals for three thousand miles. Things got more interesting than I wanted at times, but that's the whole point. These types of books sell a lot better according to Amazon. The market looks saturated with similar travelogues, but there aren't many books by tour cyclists, especially not in rural Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The advice from the two of you on finding an audience really is helpful. I'm not writing these for my grandkids; they're to help me save for the next bicycle trip. Does the second premise have more promise?
Link to similar travelogues? What are the ranks on these books? Again, I'd warn against searching for a niche that doesn't exist yet; you can do just fine capturing a piece of an existing market. If you're doing this for profit, I'd start a blog on the side with excerpts from your journals as you put together the books and so you can build up a mailing list before you put your books out. I'd serialize the journals as "Biking through Mexico", "Biking through Guatemala", Biking through El Salvador" or something like that to target specific markets for those individual countries.

You can make money from Amazon affiliate sales for bicycle parts and travel gear so link to those in your blog posts and on your site. Then write up a few really informative blog posts, post them everywhere as free advertising. You might consider reading through the BFC thread on Blogging for Bucks: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3447030

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