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Messages - Puddleduck

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Trad pubs in AMS
« on: Yesterday at 02:06:58 PM »
I wonder what percentage of readers who typically buy or read urban fantasy authors that are in KU would buy a traditionally published ebook at a $13.99 price point.

I also wonder what UF readers are unaware of those books. They're advertising some of the biggest-name UF authors, books that don't really need advertising.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Content warnings?
« on: Yesterday at 01:57:44 PM »
I'm actually thinking of having a warning for one of my books in the blurb one of the death scenes is very traumatic. Especially if you've recently lost a baby.

I have a family member who recently had a baby (healthy, though it was a difficult birth), and she now can't read/watch anything where kids are in danger or hurt. Which I didn't really know was even a thing, but there it is. (Though she was more sensitive than many when it comes to depictions of violence already.) So I think content warnings like that can be appropriate. I just wouldn't put it on the cover. Somewhere in the description, sure, maybe.

I see people jumping on the Reverse Harem in that genre. I considered being the first to do reverse harem in cozy. It's nice to be the first.... and also the last hahah

But seriously. I have gotten a ton of mileage out of hot trends. I've done billionaires, sassy BBWs (remember when that was the new hotness?), and all sorts of stuff. My current niche was super hot 2 years ago. Pretty saturated now, but I love what I'm writing, and that counts for something.

I haven't actually read any "reverse harem" books, but I like the idea of doing a "PG" version of that, where it's not sexual but it's still one lead woman surrounded by lots of hot guys. Maybe I'll try to do that at some point, but by the time I get around to it, it'll probably be an outdated trend anyway.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« on: Yesterday at 01:52:16 PM »

Definitely try again.  Season 2 is when the show's main arc really gets cranking, and Season 3 is when the really cool stuff happens.

I could never get into this show. I'd flip to it, then immediately get put off by that ridiculous fan hair. Which is probably a silly response, coming from a lifelong Trekkie. I do need to go back and check it out, though.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Opinion Needed on Book Cover
« on: Yesterday at 01:50:26 PM »
Sorry to say, I don't think your current cover meets up to general standards as far as "does it look like a professional book cover", let alone genre-appropriate. If I were you, I'd browse around for a good pre-made. There are a lot of really good cozy pre-made covers out there, so you could probably get one for less than $100 (usually much less). I know you said you're trying to do this for free, but sometimes this kind of thing requires some monetary investment, if you're not able to do a professional quality cover yourself (and I for one am usually not able to).

As for the title, I think having "fairy tale" in the title is a mistake if it's a cozy. It automatically makes me think it's a fairy tale based story. Maybe have something else as your main title, in larger print, and the fairy tale language as the series title in smaller print, so it's not the first thing people read when they see the cover.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Content warnings?
« on: Yesterday at 01:40:56 PM »
I would never put a warning on the front cover. Totally unprofessional, IMO. Possibly in the blurb, if you really think it's necessary, but the cover? No way.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« on: Yesterday at 01:39:08 PM »
Everything you said up until the last paragraph was actually informative, engaging, polite and interesting. I don't agree with some of it, but it was a constructive engagement. The last paragraph suggests i should just walk away now, however.

Yeah, I'm finding a lot of people to add to my ignore list through some of these recent threads.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« on: Yesterday at 01:36:49 PM »
If the masterminds are in a seemingly impenetrable castle, you have to starve them out. If we collectively offer an entirely different product than what they're putting out, maybe we can turn enough readers' heads to create our own market that slowly drowns the other one out.  8)

I'm certainly on board with the 100k+, intricately-plotted, deep character development stories. That's very much my style (both writing and reading).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Chapter Containing Different POV Scenes OK?
« on: April 18, 2018, 06:01:35 AM »
I'm a big fan of the "baton" method.

I try to provide a clear, easy-to-see hand-off (baton) within the scene to gently move the reader to the other POV. For example:


Bill stared at John from across the table. John was his oldest friend, a man he had known his whole life. How he could do such a thing was a complete mystery, and the churning in his guts mirrored the frenetic pace of his thoughts.  In that moment, Bill could not decide if his sadness was greater than his rage, or if his anger was behind the wheel unopposed.
     From his vantage point, John could see the warring emotions plainly on his friend's face [[Baton hand off!]]. How could he make Bill understand? John knew that Bill would have done the same thing in his place, but there was no point trying to reason with a man in such a state. Bill needed to work that part out on his own, and all John could do was weather the storm until he did. John's shame and remorse consumed him, but he could not bring himself to the point of self-recrimination. He had done what needed doing.


I move the POV across the table to John with one clear cut. This has always worked well with me, but it must be used sparingly. I try not shift POV within a chapter at all, but if I must (It can make for some great emotional tension)  then I limit it to one time per chapter. If I follow those rules, it comes off as pretty smooth.

As a reader, I find any in-scene POV shifts (without at least a full scene break) to be jarring and displeasing. I can only think of one book (series) that I love where the author uses omnicient third person to do what some might call head-hopping and makes it work. Most of the time, personally, I don't like it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« on: April 18, 2018, 05:57:56 AM »
When I'm reading an ebook, half the time I don't know the title of the book or the name of the author.

This was definitely a complaint I had with my older Kindle. I don't know how the newer Kindles are, but since I bought a fancy new Kobo, this isn't a problem because A) you can display the title/author on each page just like a print book, and B) unlike Kindle, it shows the book cover while in sleep mode.

I do still prefer print, at least for books I really like, and I know I'm with most people (in the general population) in not really considering a book properly published until you can hold a paper copy in your hand. So I for one don't consider digital to be preferable to print, at least in a general sense. It's a good option and has its positives (and I'm reading more and more digital), but for me, a print copy is still the most real copy.

Also, ya know, coming up with great stories that you feel passionate about and delight readers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking to Acquire Established Ebooks
« on: April 17, 2018, 01:09:05 PM »
If I were desperate for money, yes, I'd consider a deal like this, but otherwise, no.

That's exactly why I find this whole practice skeevy. It preys on the desperate and the ignorant, like payday lenders and men who hire prostitutes, giving quick cash for temporary solutions in exchange for something much more valuable which the person would otherwise not be inclined to sell.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« on: April 17, 2018, 01:03:31 PM »
I tried to duplicate that, puddle, but can't. Odd.

Maybe Amazon just hates me personally.  >:(

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« on: April 17, 2018, 12:26:30 PM »
From what I've seen -- and please let me know if you've seen differently! -- the audiobook is shown in search results only when the ebook is priced FREE and there is an audiobook version of it (so paid versions get preference in the results). If the ebook is free and there's no audio version, then the free ebook is displayed in the results.

ETA: This happens when the Kindle Store filter is used. If you're searching 'Books' and for print, print is always displayed, even if the ebook is free.

Not for me. If I use the search bar at the top of the Amazon homepage (which I always do, without clarifying a sub-group, because that's more clicks I don't feel like making), and type in a book title, author name, whatever, I get a list of results that shows audiobooks (the Audible version, not even the MP3 CD version, which I actually could buy from Amazon). Just tried this by typing "Harry Dresden" into the search bar. (Definitely not a series with any free books.) The search results page was all audiobooks. (Worse, all showing at $0 because I'm not currently subscribed to Audible, which is entirely less than helpful, since I know perfectly well I couldn't buy the entire series for free--and, since I've already been a subscriber, most likely couldn't even get one book for free like they're advertising.) I am fairly confident I saw this happening even before I cancelled by Audible subscription. If I want to see a different format, I either have to scroll down and search the sidebar for the format to check (more annoying clicks and searching) or click on each book, then go to formats and click onto a different format (which is even more clicks when browsing on my phone than it is on my computer).

And I also just tried doing the search and selecting "Books" from the drop-down, just for kicks. Guess what? Same results. Audible audiobooks all primary search results, with the paper book as the only one listed otherwise. So if I'm trying to find a Kindle version, I definitely have to do additional clicks.

Ain't got time for that nonsense.

(This has been happening consistently for many months at least.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU capping poll #2 (neutrally worded)
« on: April 17, 2018, 12:04:53 PM »
people might just watch less TV


Writers' Cafe / Re: Hey, what happened to author...
« on: April 17, 2018, 08:43:57 AM »
While I don't play online games, I definitely have a sims addiction :P But I have strict rules that I'm only allowed to play after work is done and on weekends. I have a pretty strict work schedule now, too--I used to work four days/off one day, four more days/off one day, but that wasn't working for me. I very frequently just didn't take that day off and kept working, especially if I hadn't hit word count goal on one of my days, and I had no set work hours, so I would work like 20 days in a row, 18 hours a day. But now I work M-F, 1pm-7pm, and I'm not allowed to go over even if I miss word count for the day. And if I have to take a sick day, I'm still not allowed to work on weekends. Basically, I've put restrictions on myself to help ensure my mental health stays stable, and I get time to enjoy myself instead of working 18 hours a day every day of the week  ;D

Haha, man, I wish my problem was being disciplined to take breaks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Why would Amazon do this?
« on: April 17, 2018, 08:35:03 AM »
If you price your paperback and hardback so that you get about the same amount no matter which they buy, you might not be so bothered by this.

As a reader, I haven't seen this (yet), but if/when it becomes ubiquitous, it'll just be one more thing pushing me to buy my books elsewhere, no matter what format I want it in. Amazon already switched to showing Audible audiobooks as the primary search result, forcing me to do extra clicks if I want to see the e-book or paperback, which drives me nuts because A) not once have I purchased an Audible book from the Amazon site unless it was by clicking the "add audio" box when buying an e-book, and B) because I know perfectly well that they're trying to drive me to the format that they have the most control over because they get to set the prices and decide how much the author gets to make with that format. And when businesses annoy me, I stop using them--or use them substantially less than I formerly did. Amazon has already reached that tipping point with me. From what I see them doing, I suspect they'll get there with more and more customers, the more of these annoying intrusions and poor search results they start doing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Company wants me to sign away ALL IP?
« on: April 17, 2018, 06:28:28 AM »
She likes to say that the corners of the contract are the entirety of the contract, and unless it's in writing, it never happened. Lining out or notating is the way to go.

Yes. Get it in writing, as part of the contract, always. If it's not exactly right, make them change it until it is. Cases have been won and lost on punctuation and word choice.

Writers' Cafe / Re: pay to pitch
« on: April 17, 2018, 06:25:52 AM »
Five submissions a month? What does this publisher do all day?

I know, I found that number very, very weird. Most agents/publishers who do unfriendly things like "no response means no" and certainly like charging any kind of fee (which they explain by being busy), they're more in the 500 submissions a day or week kind of range. Five submissions a month and they're trying to cut that down by charging a fee? It boggles.

Pop-ups are great.

My favorite experience involves opening a web page and getting a question about cookies. I click to get rid of that, and a windows asks if I want to allow notifications from the site. I click No, and I get a window checking, do I want to share my location? Thanks for asking, but no. I then get a ten-page privacy agreement that I read carefully and agree to. The next pop-up lets me know that I have an ad-blocker running. Do I want to stop using that? No.

Finally, I start reading the page, and a really cute pop-up ("Sign up for our newsletter?") slides out and jiggles playfully, just in case I missed it.

At that point, I've usually forgotten why I visited the site in the first place. It probably wasn't important, anyway.

Yeah, pop-ups are great.

Haha. Yeah, I'm apt to leave the site at the first pop-up. Definitely by the second. Nothing is interesting enough to me to deal with all that nonsense.

This is what I came here to say.

The sample you are getting here is NOT representative of the general public, and they are certainly not your readers. The only real way to tell if it works is to gather data for yourself.

Sorry, but when it comes to questions like "Do you like this thing, or do you loathe it?", I'm more likely to believe what people say over generic stats. People have no reason to lie or misrepresent that they hate pop-ups or that it'll make them leave a website. Stats, on the other hand, don't capture context, outside factors, motivations that individuals have, what those individuals do later. For example, I once signed up for a cover designer's newsletter. The sign-up was a pop-up. I certainly didn't sign up for it because it was a pop-up and would have preferred it be a static element on a page somewhere. But since I signed up, I'm positive the designer believes that bit of data proves that the pop-up worked for me. (Perhaps this mindset is part of the reason the designer ended up annoying me into unsubbing from his list fairly quickly.) And I don't even go to his website anymore because even after I signed up, that stupid pop-up kept happening because I clear my cookies frequently. More data that's not captured by stats.

The new ones look great! I love the new costumes/props.  :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 16, 2018, 06:33:34 AM »
However, based on a reader survey, I am considering including a "bonus" book for pre-orders (basically keeping that pre-order file with the bonus content available for a few days after launch and then stripping it out).

Just as a sort of aside, this might be a problem. If you advertise a preorder with the bonus book and someone buys it partly because of that, then if they don't download the book for those few days, so they don't get the book, they could be annoyed and even return it. Also, I don't know about you, but when I see there's an "update" to a book I've purchased, I usually download it, assuming that the author has made typo corrections or in some other way has improved the book, so if I haven't read it yet, I want to read the best, most updated version I can. If I updated a book I'd purchased only to discover that all the "update" was was the removal of part of the book that had made me purchase it in the first place, I'd be very miffed. It's a bit of a bait-and-switch, from the reader's perspective.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Chapter Containing Different POV Scenes OK?
« on: April 16, 2018, 06:28:35 AM »
Yeah, as long as there's a scene break marker, it's fine. I do this as my regular course of action. Each scene, I write it from whoever's POV makes the most sense, and sometimes I switch POVs (with a scene break marker) during the same scene, if it's long.

The line is:

“It wouldn’t be a good idea. Hell, we barely know each other as it is."

As you can see, putting "Underworld, we barely know each other..." just sounds silly, as "hell" here really isn't referring to the place, it's more of a general exclamation.

You're right in that it's a general exclamation, so forget about trying to find a variation on "hell" specifically and think of a general exclamation that people in your world might use. In the Dresden Files, some of the words/phrases Harry uses which would work here are "stars and stones" and "hell's bells", neither of which really (appear to) have any significance at all.

I think you're overthinking this. Just come up with an exclamatory word/phrase that works in your world in situations like this, and use it consistently.

Well, this isn't phrased in a biased manner or anything.

I know, right? LOL. Come on, OP, this is just silly.

The purpose of this poll is to identify fellow authors who are willing to collaborate (work together!) on a fair-minded solution to the bookstuffing problem

Sorry, but you totally lost any "fair-minded" cred you had when you worded the question and possible choices the way you did.

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