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Messages - WasAnn

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Retiring! Maybe. Probably. For now, at least.
« on: Yesterday at 03:33:11 PM »
I sort of felt a little panic in my tummy at your news. You're solid ground in the storm of indie publishing and I'll miss chatting with you very much! I do hope you keep a toe in...we need your keen eye.

So glad you're making the leap! I retired from my insane career at the age of 47, so I could write without pressure and enjoy life without a 100 work week. It's awesome in every way, especially the yoga pants! Enjoy it, revel in it, drink your morning coffee (or tea) slowwwwly, and with a big smile.

I hope to keep seeing you around.

You could do a modified Liliana Nirvana technique. Her technique calls for a release of five books at once, then one more 30 days later. In your case, doing the first two at once and then the third at the cliff.

Why? Well, for one thing, reading two books gets the reader really invested in the tale and invested in continuing the tale. They're more likely to search and see if the third is out, or even sign up to your mailing list (the sign up for which you'll prominently place at the end of the book).

I'd try that if I were you based on the current market for your genre. Underserved and wide open is an invitation to readers to engage with something new that really fulfills the need.

Wow...he even broke it down to the motivation: revenge. I wish he would have also said it was meant to put a damper on anyone else contributing funding and stop anyone else from speaking their mind!

Any way for you guys to recover your lost funds? Maybe as a group? A sort of class action recovery?

My BookReport seems to have quick working all the sudden. It was working fine with all the changes earlier, but now...nada. Anyone else?

Splendid art!

Writers' Cafe / Advertising Prime Reading Books?
« on: February 09, 2018, 03:48:48 PM »
I've got a book in Prime Reading, which is great, but I'd like to advertise it. With 100 million plus households in Prime, there's a large potential audience of clickers. I've put the book at 0.99 for the run as well, to decrease the barrier to entry for non-prime who come across it.

The problem is finding a good place to advertise.

You'd think BBub would have a slot for Prime books...and charge accordingly. They've got the largest audience already. Running free days is a no-go because it can mess up your Prime sorting for a bit.

Anyone know of any good places to advertise Prime books?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Book Report frozen for anyone in UK?
« on: February 01, 2018, 04:21:33 AM »
Frozen here too. Anyone report this yet? Or should we all report?

Will the SLAPP anti-SLAPP ruling still happen? What about costs for you? Will you recover them or is it just home free for filing like that?

Filled up my slots with some interesting future reads! Good luck to everyone!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Wish me luck - I'm going wide
« on: January 21, 2018, 04:01:42 AM »
Good luck and enjoy the ride. I know it's scary, but for people in your position (and mine) who aren't forced to pay bills with the income, it's also less risky. Let that bring down the adrenaline when you get nervous. You have time to do it right. Like you, I only too out of KU what I didn't actually need in there, and it does take time.

Bookbubs help and they are much easier to get on wide books, so do toss that one into the pot of to-dos.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I Made Every Mistake & Now Starting Over
« on: January 21, 2018, 03:50:59 AM »
If your goal is commercial success, then focus on getting out three books in the same genre very close together. Don't alternate until you have tickled the algos with one series. Seriously.

And short stories have a purpose, but it isn't to make a mint.

Short stories as an art form are incredibly difficult to get right, and rarely bring in the gold. Where those *are* useful, if you're not going for the perfect form, is as practice. Keep the ones you do in files to use when asked to be in anthologies.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Feedback on female body cover illustration
« on: January 19, 2018, 03:16:17 PM »
While I'm in the camp with the boobs come in all shapes people, I can also say than anyone doing an active job like a cop...where there might be running, tackling, bending...would not have their shirt so tight they can't even pull their arms back.

That's not a physical body type or feminist issue. That's just mechanics. Unless you're making her a woman who's shirt flies open every time she cuffs a perp, then it's not logical. And the notion of buttons flying off with every deep breath IS a sexualized female/ male fantasy, so...

And yes, I spent over 28 years in the military. Most of that time was with measurements in which my boobs were 8 inches more than my hips...and very low bodyfat. So, I know what I'm talking about. T-shirts stretch, oxfords don't.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Good sources of Urban Fantasy stock photos?
« on: January 11, 2018, 04:00:13 PM »
Try the new guys in town - Neo Stock - I've had a few from here and yes, they are pricey but there are some free samples too.

$25 a pop and you will need to manipulate them - they can't be used "as is"; they're for designers.

Neo-Stock is awesome sauce and they're doing new shoots all the time. Plus, if you communicate what you'd like to seem more of (and enough other people do too) they'll do it!

Writers' Cafe / Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« on: January 11, 2018, 10:06:17 AM »
*pours everyone drinks*

They were probably testing something and accidentally rolled it out. That's an error. No conspiracy here.

My thoughts: the 50% is either for books over $9.99 (Kobo's been really pushing for authors to price their books higher, so this move makes sense), or for authors who want to be in KU without exclusivity.

Either way, nothing's happening yet.

Again, it showed up only for the pricing option of between 2.99 and 9.99. So no, it's not for over or under. Whatever this is, no one enters that kind of elaborate coding to change a dashboard and all the calculations behind it by accident. Yes, we saw it by accident, but that's a whole other matter.

Whatever it is, it's coming.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What in the world is this? New rate coming at KDP?
« on: January 11, 2018, 03:40:37 AM »
I think what everyone speculating has missed is that the 50% "glitch" only showed up when the pricing was $2.99 - $9.99...not below it. That makes it exceedingly unlikely that this has anything to do with the $1.99 sales point, which we all agree would be a better place to up a royalty for promotions.

So, probably not anything below 2.99 or above 9.99...which leaves the prime territory for our 70% royalty. And 50 is below 70.

Glitch? Yeah, no. No one accidentally enters the kind of code needed for that. It's no glitch. It's something in progress that got seen early purely accidentally, but is coming.

I still can't think of a good reason for this to be there. Non-exclusive KU? Maybe. Or maybe it really is that KDP-S will get 70 and the rest will get 50.

Whatever it is, we'll see eventually.

Writers' Cafe / Re: 2018 - let the pricing chaos begin...
« on: January 02, 2018, 07:07:32 AM »
All I can see is that more than half the titles have no pricing on them and are "not currently available for purchase". This appears to affect mainly (not solely, but mainly) tradpub titles.

I went and looked to see what you meant, but everything had a price and was available in the US store where I looked. SF/F. Are you looking something other than .com? Can you screenshot?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon yanking sales ranking after a Bookbub promo
« on: January 02, 2018, 06:18:54 AM »
I've just blogged about this topic again. Author Kristi Belcamino was just rank stripped for a third time. You can read the whole sorry saga here:


1. She was rank-stripped immediately on going free, just like in December.

2. She was rank-stripped before any promo services kicked in.

Seems it is necessary to state that explicitly before people start saying "it's BookBub!".

This isn't a BookBub problem (or some crazy attempt by Amazon to force people into AMS). It's an Amazon problem.

I finally gave up on the nearly two years of tracking I've been doing on the scammers and the incidental impacts to indies. I wrote a long response on your blog, but the upshot is: We are treated like lesser beings.

That's the bottom line. Of all the tradpubs I've tracked, their problems are sorted within hours while an indie can wind up on the trouble list and experience repeated issues.

Risk factors are fairly plain and easy to see. Highest risk of this is for anyone in Select that does a free promo. Second is Select that does a discounted promo and has a much higher velocity than their history (which is super easy to trigger if you get a good promo slot). Third is wide free. Fourth and final is wide and paid, but with a very high velocity rate.

#4 generally winds up with a two to three hour rank strip for second level checking, but the other three carry with them the potential for very long term impacts.

How do we make them listen? How do we demand change effectively? How do we stop the increasingly apparent stance from Amazon that indies are all criminals and thieves first, and honest writers second?

Jason - Quick question...are you guys doing website redesign?

You assume anyone will get anything, Jan. When she loses, there will be a judgement against her, nothing more. She would only need to pay her lawyer about $500 to file bankruptcy. I can pretty much guarantee that's what she'll do.

I'm not sure that would work. I was browsing cases and found several instances of non-dischargability of SLAPP and SLAPPBACK awards. Is that becoming the standard so that people bringing vexatious lawsuits can't avoid paying the price for doing that to people?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:21:34 AM »
Karen, thanks for the detailed answer. I'd heard romance was increasingly competitive, but I hadn't understood how much it'd changed. And some say urban fantasy, which I write, is going the same way. I guess we'll see if it continues to be possible to sell stories in the most popular genres. Best of luck with your change in focus.

It's getting crowded, but the reader base is also growing, which means there's plenty of room for quality work. Fun times!

Writers' Cafe / Re: A Few ACX Questions
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:19:36 AM »
First off, you should read the entire selection of pages on ACX. Not just the rights holder one, but also the one for producers and narrators. You'll be coming from a much more informed space after that.

Second - I found an actor who had been doing audio for libravox as a volunteer and I loved, loved, loved her voice. BUT, she'd never done paid gigs before on the ACX platform. So, she also had nothing on her CV for professional audio.

Because her voice was so amazing, it was worth it to me to be patient, help her figure out this platform, and generally do more than normal to ensure the product would be good. I also went with royalty share, which I normally wouldn't do. I've been lucky in that Amazon and Audible teamed up to do previous work of mine and paid for top-notch talent that there's no way I could have afforded. I learned a lot through that process. Paying up front is far nicer for the narrator because they may never earn out that much in pure royalties. Of course, they might earn ten times more, but one never knows if that will happen or not.

My suggestion? For a narrator just learning the process with nothing on their CV, (but worth the work on your end), go for $75 pfh or royalty share. Go up based on performance for each follow on book. Getting well produced books on their ACX page will help them secure further work.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:11:13 AM »
You've raised some excellent questions! Most of the books I've written have been contemporary romance. The market is now flooded and it has become more difficult to sell books. (Some NYT bestsellers have reported earning just 10% of the income that they made a few years ago when the competition for readers wasn't so stiff.) In 2013 and 2014, it wasn't that difficult to make five figures a month selling romance novels. Now it's a grind to make four figures, and you have to write and publish a book a month if you want to keep selling. I know romance writers who are pushing it and putting out a new book every three weeks just to remain competitive in the marketplace.
After a series of unfortunate events in my personal and professional life, I took a break from the "book a month" cycle. I was burnt out and wanted to do something different. I'm now in the process of rebranding and moving towards mystery and suspense. Right now, there is still some room in that genre to make money, but I need to build a backlist, which I'll be doing in 2018.

Your reasons are familiar! LOL. I got asked the same thing, but rather than money, mine is about doing something new and getting over the burnout. I write SF and post-apocalyptic, which isn't as crushing as CR, but pretty crowded. I do great, but I decided the churn was too much. I took a year (or two) to really craft books I could love...really craft them.

Having those letters is great and I'm very appreciative that I have bestselling creds, but it isn't what keeps me writing. Right now I have a book in the Prime library, which is nice and validating, but I still want to do this thing...this new and different thing.

Nice to have another person who understands that feeling so entirely. I'm soon to be ready to do mine, but want both books in the duology done before I submit book one.

It's fun to have this new form of challenge, isn't it?

Thanks for the link to the interesting article. That's the thing about SLAPP suits...they cost a lot when they get anti-SLAPPED and all of the money being spent by all these people will come right back to them from the person trying to SLAPP them.

What's most interesting is that a SLAPP suit is easy to see from the outside, yet people still file them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: $400 Cover Book Illustration by Alberto Besi
« on: December 22, 2017, 02:51:55 PM »
Your work continues to amaze! Beautiful!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Scout experiences & Nomination Requests (MERGED)
« on: December 18, 2017, 06:05:27 PM »
Yes, the Scout model is a little bit more self-serve: get the basic editing done, get a good cover done, etc. before the work is even submitted. The feedback we get on mechanics is inconsistent. Some people are told their manuscript was rejected because of typos, while other people are reporting manuscripts with a lot of typos getting into circulation. On the whole, though, it makes sense that they'd tighten up. Let's hope that does lead to having more marketing money for the ones that do make it.

I've been doing my research, buying up former scout picks from all the way back to the beginning and looked for quality and grammar issues, as well as anything else of note. You're spot on. The quality varies quite a lot, some typos so glaring that any second read through by an editor should have caught them making it through to publication, while others are pristine and beautifully done.

I have to wonder if that's really more the work of the author pre-selection than anything else.

I've decided to send mine through all the editors, just as I would with a normal release, before submitting. It's expensive, time consuming, and shouldn't be necessary, but it's not worth risking a rejection if they really aren't doing close editing. I'd suggest that going through all the edits might be in any scouter's best interest given the variations.

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