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Messages - TheLemontree

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I'd love to see a thread with the consensus opinion on which newsletters are worth the time and money.

The problem is that every newsletter performs differently for different genres and subgenres, and one person's results don't translate into someone else's.

Nicholas Erik has got a short list of ones that have worked well for him in the last year on his website, and his marketing guides are worth their weight in gold. But because books are not interchangeable widgets, marketing is very much an art rather than a plug and play process.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help out Diane Duane, author in trouble
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:53:23 PM »
Are her books on Kindle?

When you buy from her store you can request the format you want - kindle, ePub etc.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Streetlib: Yeah or Nay in your experience?
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:17:15 PM »
My main questions are (feel free to just leave an impression and skip these questions, if you prefer):
1) Are you making as much money as you expected on the site?
2) Is the site easy to use? Is it easy to upload your books?
3) Is the customer service good when you have a problem?

I've been with them for a year or so, a little while before they got their US side of things up and running, but after they had become StreetLib.

1. Sales - yeah, I am a very low but steady seller. I use Streetlib for Google Play access and that's about it. My sales are about the same with Google through StreetLib as they with Apple through D2D.

2. uploading is easy. There are some website quirks where you occasionally have to imagine that it's poorly translated Italian into English, but they are getting fewer as their US side gets more into gear.

3. Customer service is great. I've always had a reply within 24 hours, from a REAL person not a bot, who genuinely looks into your question or problem and gets back to you with a solution or information.

For example, I asked if it would be possible to make sure that the "more by this author" offering on Google was actually my other book, not just by an author with a similar name - and they investigated and got back to me (it's an automated system within google - no ability to change).

And recently (second half of last year) they asked for a particular type of tax information that I've never had to supply before (I'm in New Zealand, and deal with the US store, so my situation is not the cookie-cutter situation they had framed their request for). I queried their request, explaining the exact situation and telling them precisely what D2D and Amazon both did in the same situation. They promptly let me know that they would investigate and that my payments would not be affected in the meantime and a week or so later they replied that all was well and they didn't need that information after all.

Sometimes the reporting is bit slow - but that could be because google's reporting is slow, rather than StreetLib's own reporting. I don't know.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help out Diane Duane, author in trouble
« on: February 14, 2018, 07:31:51 PM »
Oh wow, my family just discovered her Young Wizards books at our local library 2 weeks ago! They're a lot of fun.

Off to do some purchasing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Strugglers' support thread
« on: February 04, 2018, 02:41:02 PM »
Hi everyone. Found my crew!

We've just finished Summer vacation here, and this morning was my first morning without the kids home for two months. I actually did some writing!! A thousand unpaid words on a non-fic article for a low-distribution magazine that *might* lead to a handful of newsletter signups for me. I'm still small potatoes enough that this is a good deal :D

I'm looking ahead to the year, though, and am already disheartened at how little time I am able to set aside for my fiction and non-fiction projects. Last year I achieved half of what I set out to, and this year is looking comparable. Sigh. Still haven't even finished the first draft of the first novel due to focusing on the non-fic stuff.

Still. Better than not achieving anything, right?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Prawny successes! :)
« on: December 21, 2017, 10:25:41 PM »
Please forgive my question but how do do define a prawn or a plankton in this field? What other terms are there?

Really sorry but I just published my first book during the last week of September 2017. Still a babe in the woods.

It's a term from the early days of this forum. I think it's based on the saying "a little fish in a big pond", except that we aren't even little fish. We're smaller than that.

It's a largely self-defined term, and if you feel like a novice in an area, and you earn not anywhere near a regular or even modest income, then you can claim prawny status.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Keyboard cover for the Alphasmart Neo?
« on: December 21, 2017, 03:46:31 PM »
As for a carrying around case. You can buy a sleeve or something but quite frankly a padded mailing envelope is ideal because it is cheap, and no idle thief would ever think to swipe it.

Genius. You've just solved one of my packing-for-the-holidays problems. Thanks!

Two goals. The first is my money goal. I want to earn a decent part-time wage. I've given myself five years to hit that target, and I'm one year in (from setting that goal). This is from my non-fiction and fiction combined. I'm a fairly long way off achieving that income, but it's a work in progress.

The second goal is my craft goal. I'm a fiction n00b. I want to learn how to craft a hooky genre fic novel that leaves people feeling good about the world. I’m yet to finish the crappy first draft of the novel. Baby step goal: finish the first draft.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Links to Amazon store still not working on Paperwhite?
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:53:02 PM »
I think the link has to go to the kindle e-store rather than

I know on my paperwhite the links from the Amazon-generated backmatter take me somewhere I can buy. Links from inside most books do not, And the store fronts have a different appearance, too.

No idea how to do that, though, sorry!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Google Adwords?
« on: December 11, 2017, 02:31:10 PM »
Elizabeth Ann West was using Google Adwords for a while. Not sure if she still does, but if you do a search you  may find a thread or two where she talks about it.

All I recall is her saying she used Google Adwords Express, rather than normal Google Adwords, and was finding that it was making some money for her.

One of Jana deLeon's series is a ghost mystery one.

Jana is epically successful. Like, off the charts. But I think I recall her saying here a while back that her ghost series wasn't nearly as popular as her Miss Fortune series. I really enjoyed reading it, though. And "not as successful as Miss Fortune" is still possibly selling like hotcakes :)

Good luck!

Writers' Cafe / Re: AUTHORS: Your best form of book advertising is...
« on: November 26, 2017, 05:27:25 PM »
This time last year people were saying that Facebook ads were getting really expensive - due to all the competition for holiday spending at the moment. Are people seeing that again? If so, delay Facebook ads until after the new year.

Blog hops etc, as you mentioned in your first post, are dead. Lots of work for no sales. And even the paid newsletter lists like bargainbooksy etc have decreased in effectiveness. Except bookbub.

Building your own list, and direct marketing to them seems to be the current front runner. With AMS ads ticking along in the background.

Donated. Good luck. We're with you.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Being both a fiction and non-fiction author
« on: October 25, 2017, 05:33:07 PM »
I do both. The main problem for me is that Iím very time-poor, so having three writing projects on the go (blog, non-fic book or course, novel) means that my writing time gets divided and I can feel like Iím making no progress on anything.

Cassie Leighís comment about non-fiction books being a steady seller reflects my experience too. And I sell a high number of paperbacks of the non-fic titles - probably one paperback for every two or three ebooks - sometimes more - so thatís worth doing too.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Stay-at-home parent/authors!
« on: October 22, 2017, 02:17:35 PM »
Four kids, youngest is a toddler. We attend a parent-run co-op style preschool, which means super cheap fees, but lots of hands-on stuff from me, but now that toddler is a bit older he can have a couple of independent sessions each week.

If I leave the preschool right on time, go straight home and sit straight down at my laptop I get 2 hours until I need to head back and help tidy up etc. This is a lifesaver compared to before!

Regarding grandparents, my mother is dead, my father is in his mid 80s and was never very hands on anyway, and my in laws live a 2 hour flight away. They do what they can, but our kids are not their only grandchildren, and they both still work. And they are entitled to their own time, lives and choices.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Boil Down Your 2017 Writing Into One Word
« on: October 21, 2017, 05:00:26 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: A Question about Payoneer
« on: October 09, 2017, 08:45:06 PM »
Yep, like Rinelle says, Amazon will do the conversions and pay it all in US dollars, straight into the Bank of America account (if that's how you set it up).

If you want to, though, you can direct Amazon to send each store's payments to different places, so you could investigate the U.K. Payoneer option (I didn't know they had one until Rinelle mentioned it!) and direct the euro payments there, if you think the exchange rates would be worth doing (or if you're in the U.K. and pounds are more useful)

The Book Corner / Re: Anyone a Historical Mystery fan?
« on: October 08, 2017, 10:40:42 PM »
It says the title is not currently available for purchase. The first few on the series say that. Just odd.

Thanks for the list of the others, I'll check them out tomorrow.

Oh bummer. I can buy it with one click for $9.31. :(

Must be a US vs UK rights issue. I occasionally come across books advertised as on sale that are "currently unavailable" for me for that reason - like the Mrs Pollifax series for instance.

The Book Corner / Re: Anyone a Historical Mystery fan?
« on: October 08, 2017, 06:52:19 PM »
Ooooh, Atunah, I found the first Susanna Gregory!

Hopefully you can see it. If not it might be one of those pesky territorial publishing rights things that I can see, being the Commonwealth, but you can't. Or something.

The Book Corner / Re: Anyone a Historical Mystery fan?
« on: October 08, 2017, 06:47:11 PM »
Here. Here's a link to the Medieval Murderers page. They have got some collaboratively written books, but I prefer each of their own works, to be honest

Of them, the full series are available for:

The Shardlake Chronicles by CJ Sansom
I really enjoy these. They're really substantial, and set right during the time of the Dissolution of the monasteries and the rise of Oliver Cromwell. Lots of political intrigue.

Bernard Knight's Crowner John Mysteries
'Crowner' is the old form of the word 'coroner', and these are more in the Perry Mason style, if I'm recalling the right series. Crowner John is called in to be the face of justice after a body has been discovered.

Philip Gooden has got two series - one set in Shakespearean times, one with Chaucer as the sleuth
I vaguely recall reading a Chaucer one and it was ok. But the library didn't have any more and I forgot about them. I'll have to look them up.

Michael Jecks
He's prolific, but not all his books seem to be loaded to his author page. When I searched for his name they all came up (4 pages of them) but only 12 books listed on his author page. I think his publisher has dropped the ball a bit with listing them correctly.
Anyhow, I've read some of his
Knights Templar series (32 books and counting) but they're a bit dark and blood thirsty for me. Having said that, I have probably read a dozen of them so they can't be too bad!

Ian Morson's Falconer series
Haven't read them and can't comment

Karen Maitland writes during the times of the plague
Again, haven't read them but shes in excellent company

Overall, the prices for these authors seems a bit high for e books, but that seems to be par for the course with trad pub books

The Book Corner / Re: Anyone a Historical Mystery fan?
« on: October 08, 2017, 06:17:35 PM »
eta: I tried and tried to find a kindle version of the first in that Gregory series and I can't find one. I see some of the later ones, but not the first. I can't read a series out of order so I'll have to put it in the back burner. I am guessing I had looked at it in the past and not found a kindle book and forgot all about it.

Vexing. It bugs me when publishers don't roll a whole series out to digital at the same time.

I'll go and see who else I can find that *does* have them all on kindle. I still read most of my mysteries in hardcover from the library as we have a brilliantly well-stocked collection.

The Book Corner / Re: Anyone a Historical Mystery fan?
« on: October 08, 2017, 12:18:30 PM »
Anybody into medieval mysteries?

My favorites are the Matthew Bartholomew mysteries by Susanna Gregory, but there are several authors who support each other and call themselves the Medieval Murderers - Susanna Gregory being one of them - and I've enjoyed all the books written by an author of that group that I've read.

Some are grittier than others but they are all more like a traditional mystery than a modern cutesy cozy.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Swag
« on: October 07, 2017, 12:18:17 PM »
Wayne Stinnett has got a great little store front on his website for for swag.

And I know I've seen some discussion about it a few times over the last couple of years.

Some really creative ideas for patches (Mark Cooper's idea I think), usb cards with the book cover on them and pre loaded with a starter library as a give away at cons, mini books of the first chapter or two of a book to hook them in, lots of cool things.

I guess the question is what the purpose of that swag is. A fun extra to reward your super-fans, or a hand out at cons to try and get someone to try your book.

It's easy to get distracted by the shiny and not quite hit either of those objectives.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Release Day With Kids
« on: September 28, 2017, 02:18:49 AM »

I plop my youngest in front of a screen in the afternoon so I can get some admin / marketing stuff done. But Handy Manny and the Berenstain Bears aren't exactly great background ambiance for new words to bubble up from my brain.

I've got all four kids home for two weeks of holidays starting on Monday. Eep.

I'm going to trial getting up absurdly early to see if I can actually get some creative work done before they all start to surface.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The AUSTRALIAN writer's support thread
« on: September 14, 2017, 09:45:21 PM »
Another vote for using Payoneer to bypass the threshold.

And the weather? I'm in the south island of New Zealand.

It's still fecking freezing.

Although, I did need to take my merino layer off this afternoon while pushing the toddler's pushchair uphill in the sun, and the daffodils are peeking out and there's blossom and magnolias in bloom so life is pretty good.

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