Author Topic: I was making $3-5k a month consistently. Now I'm making less than $400  (Read 20905 times)  

Offline JeanetteRaleigh

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Do you also include research in those hours?

While I'm not anywhere nearly as efficient as Amanda (working on it), I have a suggestion for research.  If you're writing and get to a place that would stop you, highlight it as a question in yellow and move on.

For example, let's say I couldn't think of a specific type of dessert, I would type "Look up fancy dessert" and move on.  I have the Oxford Thesaurus on hand and will use that or a dictionary for some of the basic words a writer needs, but if the research would require going to the internet, I save it for later.

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Offline Simon Haynes

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I just chuck 'TK' into my wip wherever I need to go look something up. Supposed to stand for 'to come', and apparently 'tk' is a letter combo you don't see in English so it's easy to search for.

I never stop typing to look something up. That way lies 30 minutes of time wasting.


Yes, I'm writing a scifi/high fantasy/comedy crossover. What do you mean, write to the market?

Online CatParker

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It definitely is for some people. But that's been the case for 20+ years.

It hasn't been the case for twenty years that hotmail and gmail limit who sees emails from mailouts in a way that will impact on ALL authors.

Don't be silly now.

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Online Anarchist

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It hasn't been the case for twenty years that hotmail and gmail limit who sees emails from mailouts in a way that will impact on ALL authors.

Don't be silly now.

I didn't say that.

You said "I truly believe the email list is on its way out as the number one promotional tool."

I replied that that has been the case for 20+ years.

It sounds to me like you're seeing decreasing effectiveness in your emails and blaming it largely on Gmail and Hotmail's filters. I've been mailing a long time. My metrics have improved since Gmail introduced filters.

As I said, the difference is in the approach.

 

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Offline David Chill

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I've made well into six figures for almost six years in a row, since I started publishing, netting mid-six-figures for all but the first year, when it was low six figures. I know many people who've been in 7-figure territory for years.

You obviously know some very wealthy people.

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Offline Patty Jansen

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I see a lot of mention of email lists.

The problem is that younger people increasingly don't use email. They use social media messaging.

Just another change in the cycle of publishing.

I'm sure email lists work for those who have enthusiastic fans, though. And still use email.


My house is full of young people of the type that you want to attract: with new jobs and few other financial commitments.

They use social media for catching up with friends and keeping up with news etc., but everything serious is through email. The mostly use their phones or other mobile devices to read it, and they use webmail services, not mail clients, but they use email a lot. Just not for talking to friends. You're not their friend. You're a business.

Online katrina46

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Was reaching for the popcorn to watch the erotica authors rightly take issue with that part, but then I remembered that most of em have been run off already, lol. Good luck with that approach tho.
My only issues are that if it's not your thing in the slightest you'll quickly find it's not so easy writing something you hate and that these days starting an erom name is probably a better way to save your ass. My erotica earns me money because I wrote a lot of it in KU1 so I have several huge catalogs. As for being male, that's why you see so many authors with neutral names. There's no need to tell readers what you are if you feel it's awkward. As for someone saying it kills your visibility for other genres just having it on your account, I can't be sure. It never seemed to hurt me when I switched to romance, or maybe it did and I never knew it because I met my income goals. Maybe I'd be bigger if it wasn't on there. I just can't speak to that.

Offline Mark Dawson

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My email list is still the most important part of my business. Bar none. Second place is a very, very distant second. If youre not cultivating a list, youre at a significant disadvantage. I can launch new books into the top 50 and sell thousands of copies (at $5 a pop) because of my list.

Online juliatheswede

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While I'm not anywhere nearly as efficient as Amanda (working on it), I have a suggestion for research.  If you're writing and get to a place that would stop you, highlight it as a question in yellow and move on.

For example, let's say I couldn't think of a specific type of dessert, I would type "Look up fancy dessert" and move on.  I have the Oxford Thesaurus on hand and will use that or a dictionary for some of the basic words a writer needs, but if the research would require going to the internet, I save it for later.

Thanks for chiming in. I didn't mean that type of research. If it's just a word or something, I would just write XXX or something and come back to it later. I meant much more intricate research like legal stuff and diseases and police procedures, you name it. I write thrillers firmly set in reality. Often, a scene/plot point is very much dependent on this research and will effect the rest of the story, so I have to look it up. Yes, I sometimes do look up stuff like that before I start the book, but being a pantser--in my humble opinion the only way to write a mystery that's hard to solve and has lots of levels and also makes sense---I wouldn't know that plot point would occur until I got to, say, the middle of the story.

I'm thinking it would be easier to write fast if you write fantasy stories--I mean, what's there to look up?---but I could be wrong. Also, romance. I used to write romance and there wasn't much for me to research. I just had to be inspired:)
 


Online Usedtoposthere

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Thanks for chiming in. I didn't mean that type of research. If it's just a word or something, I would just write XXX or something and come back to it later. I meant much more intricate research like legal stuff and diseases and police procedures, you name it. I write thrillers firmly set in reality. Often, a scene/plot point is very much dependent on this research and will effect the rest of the story, so I have to look it up. Yes, I sometimes do look up stuff like that before I start the book, but being a pantser--in my humble opinion the only way to write a mystery that's hard to solve and has lots of levels and also makes sense---I wouldn't know that plot point would occur until I got to, say, the middle of the story.

I'm thinking it would be easier to write fast if you write fantasy stories--I mean, what's there to look up?---but I could be wrong. Also, romance. I used to write romance and there wasn't much for me to research. I just had to be inspired:)
 


This is probably why I'm much faster at the end of a book (up to 8K edited words a day) than at the beginning, which is more like 2K. Especially as you say with more intricate suspense stories. I find the research, though, whether it's a beautiful dress or an esoteric detail about the foster care system, can help me take the story in the direction it needs to go. So I embrace it. Besides, it's one of my favorite parts--it's just FUN. And if the job isn't fun for me, it's just a job, and I've done enough of that!

Online Crystal_

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Yeah I'm only about 67% certain you can't do anything like that in mailchimp.  :D I'd play with it more but I pay for convenience.

And indeed it's off topic. The point was, my subscribers have commented that convertkit also goes straight to inbox, not in promotions or "other".  When I email regularly (like every 1-2 weeks), my open rate is 40-50%, but keeping that in mind. It's not an author list, it's an artist/crafter list that discusses things like the best way to add an accent wall and isn't usually targeted towards selling.

My mailchimp author list gets about 35% open rate, but it's a lot smaller at around 300 subscribers.

You can do different drips for the same list with MC. You need to add sign up location tags to your different sign up forms, then create one drip for each sign up location. It takes a bit of work setting up, but once it's set up the list runs smoothly.

My email list is still the most important part of my business. Bar none. Second place is a very, very distant second. If youre not cultivating a list, youre at a significant disadvantage. I can launch new books into the top 50 and sell thousands of copies (at $5 a pop) because of my list.

Mark, I hate to thread jack, but I have to ask: last time I looked, all your books were in KU. Are you still doing a lead generation campaign with your books on KU?

I only write series so with all my books in KU, I really have no proper lead generation giveaway, so I've never really tried running leadgen campaigns (or even taken that part of your course). I'm at the point where I'm willing to take some older stuff out of KU for leadgen purposes, but I'd still rather not. I've also gotten unclear answers from ECR about giving KU books directly to subscribers.

Online juliatheswede

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This is probably why I'm much faster at the end of a book (up to 8K edited words a day) than at the beginning, which is more like 2K. Especially as you say with more intricate suspense stories. I find the research, though, whether it's a beautiful dress or an esoteric detail about the foster care system, can help me take the story in the direction it needs to go. So I embrace it. Besides, it's one of my favorite parts--it's just FUN. And if the job isn't fun for me, it's just a job, and I've done enough of that!
Yes, I'm also way more efficient toward the latter parts. And, yes, research is kind of fun, especially when I do it watching a few movies about the subject:)(I find watching a few well-plotted movies to be great when I'm stuck and don't know what should come next.)  Also, you do become very knowledgable about the world reading up about all the stuff related to different subjects. It's all good, but it does slow you down...

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It sounds to me like you're seeing decreasing effectiveness in your emails and blaming it largely on Gmail and Hotmail's filters.

Don't be silly now.

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Online CatParker

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My email list is still the most important part of my business. Bar none. Second place is a very, very distant second. If youre not cultivating a list, youre at a significant disadvantage. I can launch new books into the top 50 and sell thousands of copies (at $5 a pop) because of my list.

My bet is that you're getting less of a return on your list per head than you did in the past though, no?

I've been selling to organic, highly engaged, email lists since 2003, and you can't deny that in recent years the percentage of opens, click-throughs and sales is lower than it was in the golden years, can you?

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