Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


You say there's moneys to be had here I'm in. All I gotta do is string words together I can do that.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

Any tips on how to grow a mailing list would be sweet too. Plugging it in the books isn't doing much.
I've been lurking among the writers and agents and editors on Twitter lately, and I'm beginning to think that Twitter (among other social networks) is replacing the mailing list. That, a tumblr and an instagram. It's all about building the rapport with the target audience without shouting constantly about your own book.

Look at Joe Hill or Chuck Wendig's for example. For every tweet they've got about their own books, there's 10-20 about other poo poo, retweets, etc. Wendig also has one of the most prolific blogs I've seen, rolling out collections as how-to-write-harder eBooks a LOT.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Very good points. And the more I think about it... most of the retweets or replies are from other writers. drat this game.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


A year or two ago, I convinced my father to self-pub his book, (after he spent two years looking for an agent, and then giving up and doing nothing with the book).

He's not doing ANYTHING to promote it, but it's sold a few copies locally by word of mouth, picked up by two different reading clubs in Atlanta. It's a mystery based around Savannah, and I think that with a few changes to the listing on Amazon, he could reach a bigger audience.

He picked just two categories
Books > Literature & Fiction > United States > African American > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Women Sleuths
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > United States > African American > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Women Sleuths

Could you take a look at the listing and give me some suggestions, if you think of anything?
http://www.amazon.com/Speak-Secret-Name-Van-Hall-ebook/dp/B00CUXP262/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403966505&sr=1-1

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Thanks!

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


It's worth noting that a newer editor may not be as fast, but can still be good.

I'm working with one now and she's great, but considers herself a fledgling editor. Her feedback is dead-on, and she's working with me on the overall story, not just grammar or plot points. I feel like it's a solid partnership, not just a business transaction.

In my case, time isn't a major issue; I've got a day job, wife, kids, a meth lab, producing that reality fishing show, along with actually trying to tighten up my MS, chapter-by-chapter, before she gets to that chapter. If I had more time to work on my novel, if I'd spent the amount of time on it that I wish I could, and felt the only thing between me and publishing is the editor?

Sure, I'd want an editor to devour it and get it back to me asap.

As it is, I prefer the slower pace, working in installments of a few chapters at a time. I can sit on her feedback and think it over. I don't know if I'd have that luxury with an editor that took a week to go through the entire MS and sent it back with a bill.

I've decided to go with self-pubbing this book instead of seeking an agent and a publisher. Since it's my first book, I think the time I'd spend querying and tracking queries, revisions to the query, networking with the agents, and then to repeat all that for a publisher -- I think it's wiser to take that time and effort and put it into doing it myself. Sink everything into this book, market the hell out of it, and then, if it's successful, it'll be easier to approach traditional publishers with my next one.

And if it fails miserably? Then it's time to take up a different hobby. I always liked improv.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Interestingly it's trad published but he ended up doing most of the work himself, so it's pretty much self published.
This - this is what I'm talking about. When you consider the amount of work current publishers expect an author to do, regarding marketing, promoting, etc, what's the point of trad publishing?

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

If your protagonist isn't an orangutang, I'd change that first and foremost.

With zero experience with self-pubbing, I think the cover would stand out in a sea of covers featuring sexy alluring protags. If anything, I'd want the ape to pop more.

I did a quick search for indie book covers; this was the first result's sample page:


After awhile, generic protag person/ambiguous scenery just overlaps. I understand why you want to align to your target audience, but the ape immediately interested me in the story. Generic Han-Solo guy wouldn't tell me anything other than "yup. that's the hero."

But - again. I know very little about self-pub, and zero experience with selling my own. But I have been a designer for 25 years.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Oh yeah? This got me to buy the book within the hour.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5swoHS21tBw

And got me interested in writing, (after I read it).

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

It's a cost vs efficiency thing. Most forms of advertising have a terrible efficiency ratio so especially in publishing it's not a good idea unless you're a multimillion dollar company.

I did a trailer for the first book my press published, I think it has 300 views on youtube. Waste of time.
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.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I saw that post.

In the nineties and early 00s, radio took a poo poo, thanks to the mp3, youtube, pandora, and napster of course. Their argument was that it takes a well-oiled machine to curate the music for the masses; it was unimaginable that a musician could cut a record at home, publish and promote it themselves without the help of corporate music channel, and (god forbid) even give away the music. It just didn't make sense.

Hell - Billboard Records took forever to include digital sales in it's chart calculations.

Any system can be gamed. My question though is, what will my $2,000 GET me? What do I get for being an active member of the HWA? If I get a gold throne and priority seating at movie theatres? gently caress it I'm in.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Oh rock on! Great job!

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Has anybody got any experience with self-pubbing books with lots of illustrations? Not a graphic novel, not a kid's picture book; kind of like Shel Silverstein books or Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Great information; thanks!

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


A1989 Honda Accord posted:

Cover



Almost ready to go. Any advice?

I think it looks badass as hell.
It harkens back to the glory days of paperback books.

I googled paperback book covers, and found this. Similar, no?


You could push it even farther, adding faded creases and a cheesy imprint going down the top left or right corner. But that's me.

I agree that you're branding yourself, but you're also branding your story. I should note, however that my own personal experience is only limited to dreaming of finishing a book. One day.

edit - on a completely unrelated note - I follow this person on twitter: https://twitter.com/AgentVader. I get the feeling He/She is an anonymous literary agent taking the piss out of the agent/publisher system.

quote:

Literary agencies can and should start signing #selfpublishing authors with a track record of sales. They should start marketing services

It's encouraging to see their posts, calling out agents to take on self-pubs with a proven track record, or even publishers to recognize them. I'm STILL struggling with whether to waste my time finding an agent or waste my time micro-managing the self-pub structure and annoying the poo poo out of everybody I know to buy my book. Surely there's something in between? Self-pub, and then pay a PR agent?

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 18:53 on Sep 19, 2014

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Regarding blogspot vs. wordpress.

What about Tumblr?

Or - especially if it's to publish a serial - has anybody used Wattpad.com?

It looks like it's the facebook of serial writers. One of the top (most popular) writers on there inked a movie deal earlier this year; she's 20-something and it was fan-fiction about ONE DIRECTION.

I've been looking at it, considering it. I'd originally started to put my novel on there in chapters, until many many people told me to stop doing that if I intended to seek a pub deal. My latest idea was to start a serial about one of the characters in my novel; going back 70 years so the two stories aren't critical to each other, but would build up interest in my writer skills and characters.

And I never got around to it. I was way to busy putting off revising my novel to focus on putting off writing a new story.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


PoshAlligator posted:

WriteOn seems pretty cool so far, though it's a bit quiet right now due to the beta.

Here's my last beta code, though you can request not so if whoever redeems this can do that and share those that would be nice I guess: NWHV6TKW

I requested a beta code, but it hasn't arrived yet. Should I grab yours, or just wait? How long before you got one? Will they give me more to give away? What is air made of? Does a fish mind drinking piss?

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


PoshAlligator posted:

Yeah you just post in this forum thread they have and they just give everyone some now. It's at the "spread everywhere" beta phase now.

Hey - I totally never responded to this. I didn't use the code - I would just use it to poke around and go, "hmm. welp." I don't know if you were keeping it because I asked, or anything like that.

Now. ABOUT THIS ELLO poo poo. What's that about?

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I've got a hybrid publisher (trad/self-pub shop) who is interested in my book.

They're a local publisher, my book takes place in our city, so that too seems like a good pairing. Two of their authors have been presidents of the Atlanta Writer's Club, (one of those just published his third book with them). To me, that speaks volumes about the legitimacy of the company.

They've done vanity press work and they've published works that sold over 5,000 copies locally.

I met with them on Sunday at a book launch for one of their authors-- I got to see first hand how they support their artists.

I've researched the company to make sure they're not a scam, or have any history of shady dealings, (they do not). They've been in business for over 15 years, everything looks very legit.

Here's what I want out of it:
- A distributor who'll share in the marketing, alongside their other published books
- Strategic guidance on how to reach my target audience, plus connections
- Creative control over the final product, (cover design, final manuscript approval)
- Copyright ownership

Here's what I want to be responsible for:
- Editing
- Cover design
- Website, etc.

Here's what I want to split 50/50
- Printing costs
- eBook distribution/management

The contract has all of these things. I control the things I want, and they contribute the services I need, and we share in the costs and the profits. This ensures that they're motivated as much as I am to see the book succeed.

Is there anything I'm missing?

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Grizzled Patriarch posted:

Paying for half of the printing costs seems a little odd... a 5k print run with no guarantee that you'd ever make that money back. Unless you just want to see something of yours in physical print and the cost is something that you don't mind eating in a worst-case scenario.
He does small runs (250 to start) unless I ask for more. Like me, he doesn't want boxes and boxes taking up space. I have one last case of CDs from my CD release of 2005.

ravenkult posted:

Do they actually have distribution? Because everything else sounds like poo poo you can do on your own, especially if you're paying half for printing.
They do. I think they're going to offer me an a la carte contract, so I can retain them do the things I can't/don't want to do. I'll write you offline about the details, I wanted to ask you some publisher-related questions about it.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Have any of you had experience with publishing your books in audio format? On Audible, for example?

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Kindle Scout has launched.

https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about#how-it-works-authors

Looks like you can only submit Romance, Mystery, and Sci-Fi/Fantasy. They also upped the auto-renewal threshold from $5k to $25k every five years.
Dammit what the hell? SO then, what's WRITE ON supposed to be? How many different amazon indie-author/self-pub portals can they create?

edit. Oh. It's a battle-of-the-bands for authors? F that.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Has anybody ever done a successful kickstarter for your self-pubbed book? I've been looking through the book KS projects.

List of successful fiction KS projects.
https://www.kickstarter.com/discover/advanced?state=successful&category_id=47&sort=magic

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Hmm. Great insight. Thanks.

I like the idea of skipping KickStarter and just begging instead. Do everything that Kickstarter does, just without Kickstarter, and without a "meet it or gently caress it all" goal. I'll take what I can get.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Ghostwoods posted:

Specific Awesomeness
Thanks for all of this. A ton.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


In all honesty, you're not going to get off the forum, pick a genre, and start making GBS threads out great stuff.

What's going to happen is you're going to write an incredible first draft and you're going to be excited as hell. Bathe in that thrill.

Then you're going to get half-way through revisions, having hopefully taken the time to read a few books on writing, discover how you killed 10% of your manuscript, and how you completely hosed up the other 90%.

You're going to write a second book. That one's going to be good. Not great. You're still going to have to work at it. These people who are cheering you on to get to writing right away are seasoned pros. Your path sounds a lot like mine. If I had a dime for every goon who told me to get off the forum and write, I'd have more money than I've made from selling my books. Even if it was one goon.

However, I've learned a gently caress ton. I've learned that I am a really good story teller, I do have not so lovely ideas, and I've learned I suck horribly at keeping my story easy to read. You'll be horrified once you've written 10,000 words at how redundant you are, at how confusing your poo poo might be to somebody who doesn't know the story you're telling.

Or maybe you're a genius. It could happen. I am/was just like you. I'm working on my third book now. The first one is buried under a dead cat in a car graveyard. That was the one that was going to redefine the voice of a generation.

But, like you, I found a lot of encouragement in just talking about writing, asking questions and picking people's brains instead of writing. I think for some of us, that actually works. But to a lot of folks, it looks like procrastination mixed with delusions of genius. Which it also is.

If reading isn't your bag, subscribe to audible and force yourself to listen to some stuff. That's helped me a lot in figuring out a wide variety of ways to say "Shrugged", "nodded", and "held out hands in a gesture of surrender."

The ONE thing I'll tell you right now, above all else:
1. Stick with "Said." never loving ever say "She questioned." or She kidded, she joked, she lilted. Stick to said. So then, when you absoutely HAVE to use "she kidded" it means something.
2. Learn how to write from a single goddamn point of view per chapter. It puts your reader inside the character, they're more vested in what happens next.

Those are the two biggest mistakes I've seen make a story just a string of words nobody wants to read. The critical thing here, to me, is that you consider yourself a storyteller, not a writer. I am a storyteller. I am not a writer. I use words to describe a movie in my head. Other people use words to paint beautiful pictures and intense emotions, and all that literature stuff that people go to college for. The greatest writers do both. But if you have stories, focus on how to tell a good story.

And prepare to be crucified when you post your first writing sample on here. You've drawn too much attention to yourself to avoid it. Just brace yourself, and bask in the horror of it.

Don't give up. Unless you really suck.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 15:08 on Nov 5, 2014

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

Honestly, there has to be something that explains how a lot of people can keep writing and reading, yet continuing to suck at writing forever. Is it just because they have no self reflection or they don't listen to feedback or what, 'cause that poo poo's spooky.
I had no idea you attended my writer's group.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Has anybody had experience with booktrope.com? Looks like a great solution for self-pub+ options. (like, you WANNA self publish, but would benefit from people who can help you).

http://booktrope.com/

They're currently accepting submissions, which apparently is not an "always open" thing. I just submitted my MS, (which I plan to self-pub next month), to see if they can help me.

Which leads me to an update about a previous note about my book's status: I'd decided to go with a local publisher who would help me self-publish for a fee... but after losing my job, that fee was something that had to wait. And now, a couple of months farther away from the initial OMG! moment, I'm back to looking into doing everything myself.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 00:27 on Jan 20, 2015

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

Just put that poo poo up on NetGalley for god's sake. Join a collective and you can put your book up for 20$ a month.
I have so much to learn...

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


My book is slowly coming together. I'm working on the cover now.

I hate photoshopped stock photographs; it seems to be the big trend now in covers. I want something different, hand-drawn art or artsy art with big chunks of solid colors.

Here's some covers as a frame of reference for what I'm going after:


The story follows an old serial killer, trying to find incriminating photos before he's caught by his family.

Here's the cover.


Here's a tiny thumbnail to see how it'd look on Amazon or other book sites:

Thoughts?

Should I add a callout or something? "Southern Horror For Your Mom" or something?

edit: here's the cover with my illustration, without the halftone dots applied. I felt like it looked too Graphic-Novel ish.

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 14:36 on Apr 30, 2015

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Sulla-Marius 88 posted:

Two things immediately stood out to me,

1. The items he's holding should be of a different graphical style than the rest of him, possibly solid colours.

2. I feel like the title should be bigger

Thanks - the title is driving me nuts. I think the typeface ain't helping. Why do you feel the objects should be a different style? For clarity?

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


ravenkult posted:

It's...not a good cover.
go on...

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


angel opportunity posted:

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

What the hell does that have to do with my cover?

I kid I kid! Congratulations.

Thanks everybody for your feedback, I appreciate it. I'll go back to the drawing board some more.

Side note - is there seriously a proven track record in creating covers that look like other covers in your genre? I see that comment a lot, and, to me, it screams, "crappy knockoff" MOST of the time. (Not Ravenkult's covers goddammit, those things are loving amazing)

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


I can actually answer my own question. Yesterday I was flying through Audible looking for my next audiobook; checking the cover, the title, and the rating. Never even read the description, (I had like five spare minutes, so i was in a rush).

Given THAT criteria, my book will fail on two fronts - dull title, bland cover.

Dammit. Steven King never had to put "The Horrific Gore of Bloody What What" as a title. His poo poo was supertight. Yes, I know. I know. I'm not Stephen King. And yes, I know, I spelled his name both ways. Just because he was my favorite author doesn't mean I committed his preferred spelling to memory.

SO then; back to the drawing board X2. The Deadly Photograph, and the cover is a severed hand holding a camera.

Boom. NYT Best-seller here I come.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Snapshot is way better. It reminds me of the film Blowup (though it probably won't remind very many people of that, since it's an old not-very-popular movie).
EXACTLY!

in response to why it's a great idea for a title (Blowup, Rear Window, Pulp Fiction), and why it's a weak idea for a title (people will have to be familiar with titles like that instead of "The Very Scary Bloody Story."

I hate being creative. I always overshoot or undershoot what I'm after. SO, perhaps, I should say, I hate being kind of creative.

Bobby Deluxe posted:

You could put it on two lines, like:

SNAP
SHOT

I have actually tried this a dozen times and keep seeing "SLAP SHOT", the 70s hockey movie with Paul Newman. And/Or, "What? A book about a gun shooting in a snap decision?" Perhaps I've spent too drat long on this story and it's time to move on.

Here was one, trying to go with "Old book, and a photograph too."

magnificent7 fucked around with this message at 15:20 on May 3, 2015

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


moana posted:

I have no idea what genre you're shooting for. What genre are you shooting for?
Good point.

Horror/suspense/reluctantly also paranormal but hardly.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


moana posted:

None of your covers fits in here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/157323011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_4

Make it so that it fits into the bestsellers list. None of the examples you posted look anything like these. They look like literary fiction.
I think every one of those covers are forgettable, kind of like a Halloween 5 movie poster. Sure, it plays to the expectations, but at the cost of being memorable.

I just read this - I started it on Saturday - picked it for the blurb as well as the cover. It's a horror book. This is pretty close to what I'm after.


So - thanks for the link to all the horror books - I absolutely understand what you're trying to say. I realize I'm coming across as one of those, "tell my why my X is no good... oh, wait, that's your answer? Well you're wrong." -- I swear I'm not trying to be that person, as I hear myself saying it. Yeesh.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


moana posted:

Are you trying to sell books or massage your ego?
I'm trying to sell books, but with a cover that doesn't make me shudder.

No wait.

I'm not trying to sell books. I'm trying to publish a book that I spent over a year scrutinizing every little lovely word. Once I've knocked out twelve books and my cherry and dreams are both busted, I'll probably give no shits. But this first book? I'm not trying to sell books as a means of support. I'm trying to publish a creative thing I toiled over that means a lot to me. So, there. Sadly, no, no I am not trying to sell books. I'm trying to publish my book.

Toaster Beef posted:

This is exactly what I was thinking. Like, I totally get what you're saying in wanting a memorable, iconic sort of cover, but there's a reason covers are done the way they are. Would you rather bank on the minuscule chance that you're going to stumble across a classic, or bank on the style that has been determined by the market to sell the best?
Yes. Exactly. I'm trying to find a midpoint somewhere in all that. Iconic, different cover that I'm happy with, but not so far away from expectations.

I just came. Okay, so fine. I'll hire you to design my cover. Are you on Booktrope yet? If not, tell me where to send you money and (I AM NOT loving KIDDING) please make the cover of my dreams.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


moana posted:

gently caress off if you're going to waste people's time and energy. I don't give advice to be told "oh I didn't really wany any advice anyway, I'm going to do whatever poo poo makes me feel good about ~my artwork~."
Fair enough. I have become that kind of person regarding this, so I'll shut up now.

Thanks everybody for your input.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


moana posted:

Aight, peace. I hope your book sells a million copies anyway and you get forced to sell out on the cover to the sequel ;)

Oh I will bitch and I'm'a call it MOVIECLIP.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply