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Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Icon-Cat posted:

Been quite a while since I had something new, but my newest short story is FREE through Sunday. Grab it! Deprive both me and Amazon of income! ;)

You've been writing high school girl drama for awhile. Last time I asked it wasn't very productive. Which is why I have to ask again. Has something changed? A year ago you were pretty disillusioned with it, but it seems like you're still looking that direction. I can't help but ask, "Why?"

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Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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EngineerSean posted:

Glitchtember has come and gone, I just published a book today and will continue to do so until January at least.

I don't understand what any of this means.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Aliquid posted:

Well yeah, I realize there are tons of memoirs out there. The first few hundred listed by new/popular on Amazon tend to fall into pretty distinct categories: finding God/purpose, being a Troop, overcoming a disability/disease/mental illness, dealing with death, long-form autobiographies and travelogues (which are further divided into ones written by Jane-Goodall-type experts and snarky thirty-something women). I've obviously had a difficult time finding a memoir written by someone under 30 who wasn't a teenage runaway. I spent twelve months working directly for the Nigerian presidential family, and I had the pleasure to experience a lot of things that are hitting the world news in the last year. Finding a memoir of a person working for a third-world leader has been impossible, unless they were published decades ago or by, like you said, retirees. I guess the closest thing I've found recently is "I have Iraq in my Shoe", but the author is incredibly myopic and never left her compound, whereas I'm chock full of stories of Femi Kuti, child slavery, typhoid, Goodluck Jonathan and cannibals. Thanks for your backhanded recommendation of Save the Cat, it really looks useful.

Is Goodluck Jonothan as much of a useless nut job as he seems?

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Aliquid posted:

Thanks moana & co!


He's not crazy, he's just a schmuck. No ambition, backed into the presidency; I call him the Homer Simpson of West Africa. Spent more time cooking with his family than in domestic policy meetings, which is nice I guess if you're a family man.

From what I heard his wife basically runs everything and he rubberstamps it. When I saw him interviewed he seemed... not smart. This is surely the completely wrong forum to discuss this, but I just became intrigued by him. He was such an oddball, and he is in a position of so much power over so many peoples' lives it just shocked me.

Well, like everyone said. There's some people who would read that. I'm probably one of them. But if I ask myself who I'd recommend such a book to, I can't think of many names, and I'm a huge king nerd who only hangs out with nerds. I have like one friend who might be interested in that too. Probably hard to sell.

I've strongly considered doing an Prudhoe Bay To Ushuaia road trip and writing about it. The travelogues sound more promising to me because there's already a market for them.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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All Else Failed posted:

"I am great" is usually the number one indicator that someone sucks, and this is most true when it comes to writing because stringing words together is something everyone does. I in no way, shape, or form have an interest in proving to you that I have an innate talent for the written word and a vast amount of unlocked potential as a writer.

I know you don't know me, but it is vastly out of character for me to sound the way I do in this thread w/r/t an emphasis on business over creativity, so I am indeed keen on acknowledging what is working for authors that are selling -- my entire aim in the beginning is to exploit that. Deep down, though, I am of the opinion that the average mass media consumer is a loving moron with bad taste. This will work in my advantage for once since I have chosen to accept and exploit it.

If this is your normal voice, the first step to expressing this innate talent will be keeping it out of your work. "I have a talent for the written word," is something a pretentious character in a book would say, and even then the reader would find the line cheesy and overwrought.

I'm not saying don't try to write. But I am saying you need to look at how people actually write and what people are actually reading right now if you want to do well.

Write more like you speak. And if you speak like that, I'm sorry.

Mr. Belding fucked around with this message at 04:14 on Nov 6, 2014

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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EngineerSean posted:

Poster "All Else Failed", let me ask you a serious question. It's been twelve days (give or take) since you first posted in this thread. Have you written or published any erotica works? I've only done one and outlined another in that period of time because I took a vacation, but erotica is definitely a numbers game and if you aren't producing, you aren't going to make it.

Out of curiosity, why do you continue to write erotica given the success of your other stuff (which also, I can't remember, if it's trad romance or new adult)?

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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That's a good answer. If you actually enjoy it more than you do romance then it would make sense that you would write more of it. I do think there's something to be said for them being short too. Finishing something feels good and if you can finish something in 3 days instead of 3 months, then that's a lot of gratification.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Jalumibnkrayal posted:

Congrats. It's easy to post about writing, it's something else entirely to do actually publish. Try not to be neurotic about refreshing your KDP chart. Just set a certain time of day and check it at that time.

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.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Bobby Deluxe posted:

I did have a big post written but ultimately it boils down to this: look up neuroplasticity. At the moment, you want to play league of legends, because that's the reward your brain is used to.

IF YOU SIT DOWN AND WRITE, THAT IS THE REWARD YOUR BRAIN WILL GET USED TO.

If you can't get yourself to the point where you see writing as a good thing that you enjoy doing, your time will be so better served doing something else. You need to be having fun writing, otherwise it won't be fun to read.

And the only way to do that is to put the controller down. I managed it after a bit of kick-up-the-arse feedback. I've only published three, have two in the edit stage and one crafting, and I have horrible motivation.

If we can do it, so can you. Or don't. It's your choice.

This is nice but could you please write the whole blog post?

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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I think assuming that all returns are theft and that any return is a slight is a shortcut to unhappiness and most people when chose that particular brand deserve what they're getting.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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the brotherly phl posted:

That's awesome! Retired military officers writing fanmail is fantastic.

OK, well, that's good to hear. I'm starting to realize though that my scifi novel isn't really super marketable, actually. Which I guess I'm OK with, since it was my first try at the genre anyway. It's more literary fiction in a near-future universe, super Gibson influenced. Somewhat post-apocalyptic. Anyway, thanks for your response, I appreciate it.

Hey, that's not how we do it here. You're supposed to spend a few pages arguing about how the world will not be able to help itself from noticing the genius that is your work.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Sundae posted:

Oh, completely agreed there -- the data is still extremely valuable thanks to Amazon reporting next to nothing for us to work with, and I'd take it over some lovely news article any day. I'm just advising people not to treat it as the be-all, end-all answer to everything. Instead, read it in broad strokes and learn the major points without worrying about whether self-pub really holds 42% of the market share in Genre X or 38%. Just know that, as a self-pubber, your readers will totally give your work a shot and there are millions of them. Just my opinion there, though.

On the topic of sales, I'm trying to stop tracking them apart from the first month of a new major release (and more by rank / A-Bs at that). It induces insanity, and also my F5 key can't take much more. I'm trying to be more hands-off / not micromanage everything quite as much, instead just going with the flow and churning out books. I spend all day micromanaging idiotic crap, so the last thing I want to do when I come home is more of the same. Let me write something creative instead. :D

On a scale of now to never, how close are you to quitting the day job?

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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LLC seems a lot less complicated but with almost all of the same benefits.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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EngineerSean posted:

Honestly having the stories be available on your blog was problematic anyway, you're opening yourself up to Amazon accusing you of theft.

I like the cover personally.

You just got a buck thirty from me, enjoy.

The Martian was available on Andy Weir's blog simultaneously with Amazon. I don't think it's "problematic", although it may not work with Kindle Unlimited.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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EngineerSean posted:

Without looking him up, either Andy Weir is someone who I should know and therefore probably went through some kind of talk with Amazon about it (because he's a Big Deal), or he's nobody I should know and Amazon probably never even noticed.

Now that I've looked him up, comparing yourself to a New York Times bestseller and not having any idea what kind of strings he pulled, whether he got a copyright notice from Amazon, or anything like that is probably a bad idea.

He wasn't a New York best times best seller. He was a guy with a blog who is NOW a New York times best seller.

Originally The Martian was a series of blog posts. Then people wanted to read it on ereaders, so he set it up on KDP for 99 cents (while still available both for free on his blog and as a downloadable epub). It got big and he eventually got a standard contract for it and later a movie deal.

And obviously, there is no exclusivity deal with Amazon outside of Select so there's really no reason someone not using select should hesitate to publish in other avenues if they feel they are beneficial, including blogging or the like outside of the hearsay that "oh amazon might not like that!"

Of course, for most people select is probably a better bet anyway, but I digress.

Mr. Belding fucked around with this message at 02:01 on Apr 29, 2015

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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the brotherly phl posted:

Hey guys, what are the rules around using a title that is already out there? I'm writing a mob/alpha romance, and "Caught" would be perfect (works thematically for the book and for the series). There's a book already called 'Caught' that's selling really well. I don't want to look like I'm just stealing its thunder or something, but then again, you see books with the same title all the time in the Kindle store. So should I consider it, or just find something else?

The rule is to be honest with your audience. Titles cannot be trademarked and your book sharing a title with another is absolutely acceptable and in many cases unavoidable so long as you aren't deceitful.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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So, gently caress it. Just finished my first 20k-word installment of a billionaire serial. I think I'm going to write the second installment ASAP, then edit and publish the first. This will be my first work of fiction over 12,000 words ever published, and hopefully the start of my big, beautiful new direction. How do I decide how to price this thing? Write HM Ward ($2.99) on one side of a coin and Meg Watson ($.99) on the other and then flip it? And how the hell am I going to write on of these things per week every week?

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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EngineerSean posted:

HM Ward and Meg Watson have different publishing schemes and pricing isn't the only thing that sets them apart. Let me ask you the following question:

1) How long do you plan on having this serial go?

2) Will it be in Kindle Unlimited to begin with? Will it be in KU permanently?

I'm interested in doing 10-16 episodes assuming reader interest is there. I'm committed to doing at least 4 and HEA wrap up even if interest is tepid.

It will be on KU at first and for the foreseeable future unless I have to change strategies.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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psychopomp posted:

I really wish that I had the mentality where I could fake interest in Romance well enough to convincingly write it, but I can't. I tried, briefly, never published any, and it's pretty laughable. But then again, I'm not making so much money that if I really wanted to be making a good money steady income I wouldn't do better with a 9-5 cube warrior job.

On an intellectual level I understand this, and enough people say it that I know that it has to be true. But, it takes me back to a weird conversation I had with someone who explained to me how much he loved sci fi. He complained that books in school never really caught his attention, but outside of school he read some sci fi, and he learned to actually enjoy reading. I thought that was strange, because the stories he was telling me about weren't hard sci fi where he was interested in the speculation or the science. They were just normal-ish stories but they had aliens or laser beams. In fact he said that Pitch Black was his favorite movie, which is a run of the mill "badass kills everyone" story. When I asked him why it was so good compared to something like Taken, he said, "because it's in space."

To me stories all have the same shape. And no matter what I'm writing I wrestle with the same questions. What are my characters doing? Why? Is it interesting?

I suppose the answer to that last question (at least for some people) is, "Yes... but only if it's in space."

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Mrenda posted:

My apologies for getting pissy. I took things said elsewhere into this thread.

I have no issues with someone earning megabucks from a novel written with a straight out of market research, and I know that doesn't mean it's badly written or written without attention. I'm not at the point where I want to do that. I followed advice that was wrong for me and what I've written. It's my own fault for not paying heed to my own judgement and getting my own balance between business and what I want to do wrong.

I shouldn't have said what I said.

Edit: And I understand that Sean. I've started writing romance and I am enjoying doing it. I shouldn't have implied it was different for anyone else.

I think there some weird mythologies around writing, and many of them seem mutually exclusive, but a lot of people believe both. Like, you should write only what you want to write. If you write for market, then you're just being a sellout. That's not true art. But! You have to get an editor. Of course a professional editor will ask you to make changes aligned with a vision which is mostly intended to help move a book to market!

Or, once more, you should only write what you want to write. If you aren't writing what you want, you're selling out. But writing it should be really hard, and miserable. If you're having fun or being efficient, then you're missing the point that writing is pain. It won't make you much money of course, unless you are really lucky. But if you are insanely lucky, the stuff you like to write will align with market preferences. Then you'll have an impossibly tortuous dream job. Stupendous!

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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One monkey don't stop the show.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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thousandcranes posted:



I think something's wrong with the layout for mobile (android using firefox if it helps)

Obviously it's an artistic statement. What the publishing industry? What is a professional? If we're all one is not George Cotronis the industry and is not the industry George Cotronis? If you hire George Cotronis are you not a part of all three?

Also the cover on the bottom right is badass, and that guy is a futuristic Russian cyborg PUA named Mikhail Steelcock.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Pinky Artichoke posted:

Geez, that reciprocal borrows thing is lovely. Heaven forbid people who admire each other's work actually, y'know, read it.

I would imagine their algorithms are pretty good at differentiating organized collusion and people who just happen to read each other's work.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Okay, well, gently caress. I just finished editing the second installment of my billionaire romance serial today. Like, literally just finished editing and opened the web browser. I'm wondering now if I should wait to publish and see how things shake out before committing to KU for these. They are shorts, in the 16-20k word range.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Sundae posted:

Why not finish it out and convert it into a novel? That's what I'm doing with mine -- just finished ~20K for the first part, now easier to decide what to do! :)

Oh I will. I will probably still release the serialized version too. I've wanted to write a serial for awhile, and honestly this system is fair. I'll do for serials with a hfn ending and then release them as one piece and then evaluate whether to do another "season".

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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angel opportunity posted:

I stupidly got into a reddit argument with a bunch of libertarian cliche reddit users about how pirating ebooks is totally fine.

The smugness they have about how "it's so sad to want money for art" is making me irrationally angry

edit: lol



I'd imagine you're pretty at home with anything preceded by "irrationally".

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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Sundae posted:

The point is... almost everyone loses under KU 2.0 compared to where they would've been under KU 1.0. It doesn't matter how long your books are. You just lose a little less if you write long.

If Amazon isn't lying about the amount of money paid out, then it's a zero sum game. It's literally impossible for everyone to lose. If you want to say that the numbers are a lie and that they've cut the fund while saying that they increased it, then that's an entirely different conversation, but if they did pay out more to authors and you personally received less then it's either because there are more authors or because somehow some segment is benefiting from the change.

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Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
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One hand on the keyboard, one on my crank.

Cum in a sock, and money in the bank.

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