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Messages - RBC

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Pre-made cover help.
« on: April 06, 2018, 11:29:19 AM »
No.2 is the best cover, design wise. And maybe closest to what you need. But neither is really 100% fantasy. Might need to add a person. And that is something the designer can do so just ask if it's an option. Shouldn't be too expensive. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: What's the point of FB ads?
« on: March 31, 2018, 01:53:52 PM »
Well, on one hand it's good you're getting engagement.

In general, FB ads are a lot of work and testing. It's not easy and you won't nail it at first. So don't worry too much if you're 'failing', just look at it at experiments. Maybe you need to switch ads to 'Traffic' as a goal. Maybe you need to have stronger copywriting which tells more clearly and more interestingly for people to click through.

If you have very limited budget, maybe switch to Amazon ads.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you use Pinterest?
« on: March 30, 2018, 04:48:17 PM »
@elizabeth, yeah I have a biz account. Don't think I could run ads without it. So I see the stats but they are not close to what Facebook or Google Analytics show you. :) It will definitely be time-consuming to build a brand, that's true everywhere. It seems there are less people succeeding on Pin than on other networks tho (altho those who do love it). So as always, it's down to this... the tool works, if the person makes it work. Most likely.

There are tools like that can save time on making images and scheduling posts on Pin. If it's something you want to pursue, check it out, it alsoo works for other networks.

P.S. FB is not on thin ice just yet. People love to make broad statements like this and overreact to headlines. I hear many say 'lots of people leave FB'' but don't hear people who have actually left. If we only read headlines then yeah, it seems FB is in trouble but in reality, I don't know many who leave FB. Heck, most aren't even as aware of all things happening with FB now as we are, those who aren't very heavy readers of news online or aren't using FB for marketing know less then we. For us it's bigger deal as we're more in this 'bubble'. FB is safe for foreseeable future. If anything, advertisers will be the victims more here because we will get less data and have worse ad targeting options. FB is gonna be just fine. And I'm sure they will patch the bugs and errors as they are smart.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Course Recommendations?
« on: March 30, 2018, 02:43:07 PM »
I wouldn't make big spending decisions on course without first doing personality type tests. Those will show you your strengths and weaknesses, then you should bet on your strengths and become best at those.

But if you want to stay in writing/publishing then marketing courses would be most useful because that's the biggest issue other authors have. Look at guy like Mark Dawson, you don't have like marketing but if you get good it can be a huge boon to career, not only yours but other writers' too. Also, marketing is a universal skill so you can launch any kind of business with it or have easier time getting employed.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Site to create your book store
« on: March 30, 2018, 12:48:21 PM »
One reason I have never sold anything online (merchandise, etc.) is because of the sales tax issue. For the US, I believe 41 states collect sales tax, at different rates. Some localities also collect tax. Some states charge tax on internet purchases and others do not. If you do have to collect tax, you have to (a) charge the right amount, (b) keep track of that, and (c) REMIT those taxes to the appropriate authorities at the appropriate intervals--with tax returns, obviously. I used to work for an ecommerce company, and I know that it's something to manage. You need to have software integrated with your site that tracks this. In my company, the bookkeeper handled the tax payments to the various states. In some states, all ecommerce is taxed. In others, it's just states where you have a "nexus" (typically a sales rep or an office), so that wouldn't apply. But the rules change, too!

I do wonder how folks deal with this--does your book-selling plugin or whatever have a module for state tax in the US and VAT in other countries?

This is also why I've never sold or signed books at events. No, thanks. But perhaps there is some easy fix of which I'm unaware. Or are folks just figuring that the states won't come after them? That would make me nervous.

ETA: I checked the Aerio site and they specifically mention that they handle the sales taxes--because they are doing the fulfillment. I'm sure some of the other services are, too. That's the only way I'd do something like this, myself. (And that's why I wouldn't sell merchandise.)

That is an annoying thing, wish it was easier.

What a thread! Great idea. Need more of these...

Could add for finding reviewers in the genres.

Any further updates here? :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Guess My Genre From My Cover!
« on: March 30, 2018, 04:16:57 AM »
Some kind of thriller is the first fast impression, it's not strong enough to communicate any sub-genre well tho. Makes people think too much to decide.

That yellow around her looks like bad blending not glow. I'm guessing that was the idea but it's not well done. 'Cursed' word is also too small for thumbnail...  Ask your designer to rebalance the text too because it doesn't have good hierarchy.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Site to create your book store
« on: March 30, 2018, 04:12:27 AM »
No one is born knowing everything!

Here is an option for having your own bookshop on website:

Starts at Free and then has cheap price if you want more features.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you use Pinterest?
« on: March 29, 2018, 05:10:47 PM »
I don't think my stats are inflated. They've been going up steadily every month for the past year. I don't keep track in a spreadsheet or anything, but I have a business account and in my dashboard I can see a steady upward sweep. I can also see the kinds of things my viewers like and tend to pin. The data is actually pretty in depth; I could spend hours combing through it.

You do have a good point about scroll-bys, though. Those are a major issue with Facebook video views, and don't help you discern how many people are just browsing or actually looking at your pins. (You can, however, see how many people are engaging with your pins.) To me, though, those scroll-bys are still eyeballs you can try to captivate with something they like that complements your brand.

I'm just wondering if there's something I can do to really tap into this power lol I've had my Pinterest for years but use it pretty casually: secret boards for each book that I make public once it's released; recipes that are for me, nothing to do with my writing; writing related advice and memes; fashion bits and pieces that I like. Last night I started a "What I'm Reading" board in an effort to redirect my page's focus. Someone upthread suggested pinning covers I like, so I think I'll start doing that too.

I can see this easily becoming time consuming, but I can't ignore an audience that size.

I really like the idea of a genre-based group board. I'll have to hunt some down and see what kinds of things people pin. I feel myself getting sucked into the wormhole as we speak lol

It's not your stats, it's everyone's stats. Pinterests numbers just look big and great even if you do absolutely nothing. I've been off Pinterest and didn't use it and still had few thousand 'views' or and hundred or so 'daily viewers'... The pins still show up but almost uselessly. It's hard to build a brand there. And data is not so in-depth compared to website stats. I used to run ads there and even with that it wasn't as deep as Google Analytics or even Facebook ads. Pin stats are quite generic (thousands of people saw your pin in X countries but it doesn't show the keyword what they were looking for in depth etc). It has some nice stats for broad overview, like how much views each pin has but compared to others, it's not amazing data).

It's also not just inflated, but more 'empty' not just because of scroll-through and people not really seeing your pins but even when they click on your pin and visit your website, they typically drop off the site fast and are very much 'short' visits that barely come back. And this is from ad for an article post which does well on FB ads. It had like thousand Saves/Repins on Pinterest but the traffic from it was way less and people weren't spending much time on site. :(

So not saying you shouldn't use it, just don't get tricked by big numbers. It's great to see thousands of views because compared to the website visits or FB reach it looks way bigger and gratifying... but it's not equal in attention value and you do need lots and lots more of attention here to be equal to real website visits or FB ads. This is smart by Pinterest. But to be a big player in Pinterest, we need to be doing million+ views. Plus lots of original content and not just pinning others stuff.

I am not a part of big group boards and those are the main thing that works for people so I couldn't argue against that. I think if 10-15 Kboarders made some genre boards to cross-promote themselves that could work. Do some follow/unfollow tactic to gain followers to that group and see if it can take off more. That's an intriguing option. If someone does it I'll follow the board myself and repin some stuff etc.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Site to create your book store
« on: March 29, 2018, 04:55:52 PM »
It might not be worth it. When people sell books through their sites it's usually non-fiction books (and more expensive ones at $20+). Not to mention selling books on site instead of Amazon means you're losing rank and sales from Amazon (might make more sense to just sell on Amazon first and build up fame, then start selling books on your own site).

Just because there will be a store, doesn't mean it will be selling books either, you will have to promote it and it will be more work than promoting your Amazon book with BookBub or similar ebook promotion sites (you'd need to write blog posts often, about your genre books, etc). And if you'll have books on Amazon that will need promotion too so that's just even more work! It might be worth just waiting to become more known in your genre and make full-time career with selling on Amazon first, then start thinking about doing a store and more clever website.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AuthorReach Discontinuing Email
« on: March 29, 2018, 04:52:59 PM »
Must be the GDPR thing. It will make things harder with collecting emails.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you use Pinterest?
« on: March 29, 2018, 10:08:08 AM »
Pinterest stats are a bit inflated. The impressions are probably counted even if person didn't see the pin just it was loaded up for him (and he didn't reach it). And even if person 'sees' it, the scrolling is fast so many pins don't get that much attention. Just like on FB or Instagram. I pin book covers I like for inspiration and some website designs and my stats are also quite nice, but there is no noticable use of that. Few clicks to my site from my articles pinned.

I tested Pinterest ads and they are cheap kinda. A video ad for book or a great book cover could be tested for them. Or if you blog about books, I'd promote a post about books in the genre to get general readers and grow following.

And from interviews I've heard with people successful at Pinterest, it's more about group boards than followers. You can have very few followers but if you pin in the right big group boards your pins can work really well. Thus maybe a group of authors here should be creating genre book boards and pin them and grow a useful group which attracts readers.

I'd love to learn more about Pinterest tho.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Requesting Cover Critique for Paranormal Romance
« on: March 28, 2018, 04:36:04 PM »
Pretty nice! I'd only change text to have the same or similar effect as the lines and energy above it, the pink adds nice feel to it. So I'd have that and/or blue energy effect on text to match. That's the only thing I'd change. Text is very bare now, but not a bad one.

Haven't updated with new Premades for a while but here are some new ones! It's back to around 1900 premades now after some Sales happened.

Check them out at and book yours! ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: - a book reviewer search engine
« on: March 28, 2018, 01:21:45 PM »
Superb! If this stays up and keeps growing authors will use it like hot cakes!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Crush My Cover
« on: March 28, 2018, 01:19:53 PM »
That makes sense too -- it's like I'm selling something that doesn't meet the packaging.

I'm considering a few new cover designs. I hope it's okay if I put them on this thread later.

Yes. Sure do!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about searching photo sites
« on: March 28, 2018, 08:53:04 AM »
Very time consuming! Literally hours upon hours over years!

I did try emotions and hair color but that didn't work either. Like, when I typed in 'black hair', any pic that mentioned any kind of hair and anything that was black in color, like the background, showed up. :(

I have minimal Photoshop skills. I could probably hire someone to do it, but I've yet to find a model that will work.

Yup, these sites are no Google. :(

Writers' Cafe / Re: Crush My Cover
« on: March 28, 2018, 08:22:07 AM »
The cover doesn't say much and is a bit boring.  Only 3 sentences for description is also not a great help really.

I'd look into buying a Premade cover that matches the story. Then test it for a week or two with the same description and see if sales improve. If they do cover is helping. Then I'd work on improving the description. That could increase sales even more.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about searching photo sites
« on: March 28, 2018, 08:17:54 AM »
I'd search for 'emotions' rather than things. Sometimes it's better because not only you find the right person but the right expression. So search the emotional expression keywords too (like 'angry man). Add other keywords like hair color etc to narrow down.

Search of stock can certainly be time consuming!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can I use the Navy SEAL logo on my book covers?
« on: March 28, 2018, 08:16:06 AM »
There is an office in the DOD that has the sole purpose of reviewing requests to include not only military insignia, but also military assets in movies. In general, if the military is being portrayed in a psitive light, then this office can authorize not only the depictin in the motion picture, but the ability to film on military installations and assets free of charge. The is a boon to a military-themed movie,where practical filming is multitudes less expensive than visual effects, or miniatures.

That's great. I'd email them and ask. Probably best source of info instead of us here reading and interpreting rules in different ways.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Can I use the Navy SEAL logo on my book covers?
« on: March 27, 2018, 01:10:04 PM »
I'd ask for approval just to try but wouldn't bet on it. And it's not worth risking your name (even if you'd win a court case) just for a logo on your book.

And look at it this way too, do movies that feature SEALs and in a good way, use the logos on their posters? Nope. So if multimillion-dollar budget projects don't then there is probably something to it.

1 website at $199 left.

I've finished up (a book cover matching one-page website, perfect for those who don't want to work much on website and just have it there to be a virtual business card for a book) and few others are almost done too so now booking websites for Mid-April. 1 Author can get a website for the lower price and then 3 next will be at $275. 

Check out my website services at and book yours'!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Decent Sci-Fi Premade Covers for <$50?
« on: February 10, 2018, 10:36:47 AM »
If you're under $50 then the only solid option is Good covers and low price. Simple covers, but not bad at all.

Just remember that it isn't just simple math *until* you get past the problems with tiny data sets.  Usually a young ad that has a good ACoS just happened to have an early sale or two that skewed the ACoS.  Often the ACoS will skyrocket as more data is gathered.   I had one ad that sold a 5.49 book on the first click (a click that I paid 0.02 for!).  Despite the really promising ACoS that I briefly saw on my dashboard, that did not scale well at all. :-)

Not disagreeing at all. But seeing profitable ad is a good sign so that's why it's interesting to see if more come and if it can be scaled, even if only doubled (but that at least will cover service spend). This is normal for PPC testing... it takes time and tries.

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