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Messages - JV

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Getting to Know You: Favorite TV shows for 2016?
« on: February 13, 2017, 09:32:25 PM »
I loved the first season. I think every episode was carefully constructed, on point, and powerful. Probably the most consistent season, apart from the last one.

Dear God  :o

First season is probably the worst, imo. And The Fountain and Cloud Atlas, two of the greatest pieces of cinema ever constructed  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Getting to Know You: Favorite TV shows for 2016?
« on: February 13, 2017, 07:24:41 PM »
The problem is, most series wander. Multiple directors and writers contribute, which dilutes its focus and consistency. Even Breaking Bad, which most people consider to be a great series, had terrible episodes.

Occasionally, something special comes along in television. An example is the first season of True Detective. Great writing and a sharp focus. But even that season had episodes that dawdled.

Great films tend to dawdle less than great series. With two hours to tell a complete story, there's less room to do so.

I agree. Breaking Bad, which I love, had some very mediocre episodes and some seasons that were just altogether 'ok'...Season 1 particularly. Granted, I don't think it's even in the top 3 best shows ever made (that'd be Sopranos, The Wire, and probably The Shield). Despite my massive love for television, I think film still soars much higher for me personally in terms of overall impact. I've never had a connection with a television show like I have with film...especially films like The Fountain, Cloud Atlas, Schindlers List, or Heat and many others I could name. The problem is, as you said, the narrative can go off the tracks, there are mediocre episodes, and it detracts from the overall experience.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Getting to Know You: Favorite TV shows for 2016?
« on: February 13, 2017, 06:52:51 AM »
Walking Dead, because it's still incredibly human and compelling...oh,  and the portrayal of Negan is on point.
Evil Dead, incredible adaption
Black Sails, highly underrated
Shameless, consistently one of the funniest shows on any network
Bates Motel
Fargo, another great movie to tv adaption
The Leftovers, beautiful show, wish it wasn't ending so soon
Ballers, The Rock has charisma for days, this is fresh and well written
Tosh.0, I'll never get tired of this show, makes me laugh without fail; irreverent humor
Mr. Robot
American Crime Story
The Americans,
Real Time With Bill Maher
GoT. That is such a hit and miss show imo. Very weak starts and great endings.
Honestly, I could go on much longer. I watch a lot of tv.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A classic review - 50 shades darker, the movie
« on: February 11, 2017, 04:35:10 PM »
Then yeah, I bet they only watch movies they want to watch.  I'm sure they snark and slam to their heart's content.  In other words, NOT professional critics/reviewers.

I watch all the critics she's talking about, and they do catch every film. In fact, ALL of them have reviewed 50 Shades. Also, due to their subscriber counts and the amount of views they get, I'm willing to bet they make more than the so-called professional critics of yesteryear

Writers' Cafe / Re: A classic review - 50 shades darker, the movie
« on: February 11, 2017, 06:38:18 AM »
I've never read the books, haven't seen the movies, but this seemed like an honest review, not just a 'slam' of the movie.  And to be clear, this is a review of the movie, not the book, as was made clear by comments on the artiness of a scene, or set design, or 'tone' of the flick.  If the movie had been made differently, the actors directed differently, this reviewer might have written a very different article.

I don't think anyone is debating that. It's all subjective in the end. I think the overall point being made by some in this thread is that often times people are judged or teased or whatever for liking certain genres or series--it becomes a taboo thing. I've certainly seen that happen with many films and I've seen it happen with book series like Twilight and 50 shades. People become gun shy about admitting they like something because they're tired of dealing with the off handed comments and sideways glances. Having worked as a film critic I've seen far too many of them get a god complex and start mistaking their opinion for fact. There was one that would stand in the screening room before a film would start loudly conversing about how terrible such and such film was and how it was made for sheep and on and on, he was the kind of guy that would find out you liked a certain film he didn't and then loudly proclaim, "WHAT?! But how? It sucked! It was terrible!" No, I don't like 50 Shades, but I think nothing more or less of those that do.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A classic review - 50 shades darker, the movie
« on: February 10, 2017, 10:54:20 PM »

But then I don't need movie critics to tell me what I like. I usually don't like the movies they do anyway, so I don't care.

This. So much this. I LOVE movies...like...I'm a little bit obsessed with the medium. I'm the kind of guy that can not only name directors and actors, but I'll tell you who produced it, who wrote it, and what studio put it out. But I've grown to loathe critics and those that quote them as if they're gospel. They're not. I see countless films every year. And every year I happen across a film I adore that gets shredded by press and the general audience (last year it was Batman v Superman, which happened to be my favorite film of the year, followed closely by Arrival). I used to debate these people (after all, I worked as a critic myself for about 2 years)...but it's just so much energy spent over something that, in the end, is subjective. Granted, I love discussing the merits of certain films and discussing not only the story aspects, but the technical aspects as well. But I've learned that trying to convert anyone is simply a waste of time.

The Book Bazaar / Pick up The Fall of Man for free
« on: February 07, 2017, 09:07:49 PM »
Pick up book 1 for free!

And grab book 2 while you're there!

<merged with existing thread.  Please, one thread per book.  Bookmark this thread so that you can find it again, thanks! Duplicate threads may be removed without comment. --Ann>

Book 3 is coming: Summer 2017!

Good question. I know this has been covered, but I'll elaborate on how I do it a bit more. All I can say is that, for me, most of my books have chapters that are dedicated to the POV of the villain. My last book has a villain that has betrayed his people, allowing entire families to be wiped out. But he is doing so for the sake of his daughter (his wife is dead); in his mind, his daughter is the only thing tethering him to this earth. I always write my villains with a thought process that says, "Everyone has something they love...something that most folks can empathize with." Then I do my best to show that. I know you said that your style of writing doesn't allow for this strategy, but for me, this is the best way I've found to avoid being 2 dimensional.

Did you get much chance to build a mailing list as a trad author?
Will be really interested to watch, I expect a lot of fans from your other series will follow over when you have more books out in this one

My mailing list is decent. Not near what it could be or needs to be. I plan on putting some real work into it this year. I never worked on my marketing. My publisher was also pretty terrible when it came to marketing me as well (a big chunk of why I negotiated out of my last contract with them). They'd give me a contract, a deadline, I'd write, they'd float the book for a few days after releasing it (maybe a week if I was lucky) and then drop out of the picture and it'd sink after a few months.

I'm grateful though. I built up an okay fan base. I write full time because of it, still doing the occasional movie review and ghost writing job. I don't know if I'll ever go with another publisher, but I'll definitely be more careful about it if I do. I just plan on focusing on indie this year, for sure.

Thanks everyone! I'm excited to see where it goes and I am looking forward to stretching my marketing legs. 

So I am releasing a new book tomorrow. On my own. No publisher. To be fair, I've released an indie book before (The Fall of Man). But I was in the middle of my publishing contract when I did it. I was so focused on finishing up my trilogy for them that I never took the time to market Fall of Man or even learn how to market it. When I broke up with my publisher in November I got hard at work finishing the sequel to The Fall of Man (The Glass Mountains).

I got my ducks in order. I made The Fall of Man permafree. I lined up 4 promotions for my permafree through February 6th using dependable sites I learned about on here, the idea being to create sell through. I also am discounting The Glass Mountains for the first week and turning the price up after that.

I'm already at work on the third, but probably not final, book. I truly love this series. It's my best work. When someone asks me which of my books they should read it's the one I point them to. I'm happy that I'm now able to focus all of my energy on it. I'm hoping that, despite my neglect, that Monday rockets this deal into the public eye...

Nervous. Excited. This is what it's all about. If you got this far, thanks for taking the time.

Writers' Cafe / Quick advertising question
« on: January 02, 2017, 08:06:49 PM »
Say you've got the first book in a series perma free and you're about to release the second.

Do you A) advertise the perma free book heavily and aim for sell through on the second (I was even thinking of going for a bookbub on it).

Or B) advertise book 2

Or C) a mixture of both (maybe advertising book 2 lightly). I was thinking of running book 2 at a special of 99 cents for the first week and going to 2.99 the next

I'm new to the indie side of things, especially advertising. This is my very first big indie advertising push and I'm feeling around in the dark here. I am getting my book back from the formatter on Friday, so next week is when I'll be lining up advertising.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Extreme Write to the Market
« on: December 11, 2016, 08:00:41 PM »
Dude, I say good on her! People like this lady paid my bills when I was ghostwriting. Nothing wrong with being a mini-publisher if that's how she wants to make a living for her family.

I'd have more to add but PJ said all my thoughts beautifully. :)

Exactly this. I worked as a ghost writer for a long time. I was doing academic papers and business plans for people long before others caught on and the websites started popping up with authors working for peanuts. I started on Craigslist, blew up, and got to the point where I only worked with an established pool of clients. I've heard the snarky remarks and I've seen the upturned noses and I care no more now than I did then. The only opinions that mattered to me came from the folks writing the checks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Proofreading and copy editing: US $0.005 cents per word
« on: December 06, 2016, 04:24:30 PM »
By my math, it's $500.

I too am getting 500

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you have a New Year's writing resolution?
« on: December 06, 2016, 05:27:27 AM »
Well, since I'm technically just beginning the indie portion of my career, I guess I'm aiming to be "successful" with that by mastering marketing. I wrote The Fall of Man last year and pretty much ignored it to see to the deadlines for my publisher. I made the choice to leave them last month after I finished the follow up to Fall of Man. I'm launching it next month and am putting together a marketing plan for the series now. The first step was to perma free Fall of Man. Now that I've accomplished that, I just need to schedule my advertising correctly to make the most of my launch.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Moving Away from Profanity
« on: December 05, 2016, 06:50:05 AM »
Wow.  I keep meaning to revisit this.  I knew I'd taken a hiatus, but this thread is two years old!

Here is the tl;dnr summary: I have no moral objection to certain combinations of letters.  However, many readers complain about profanity in my books that have it; no readers complain about a lack of profanity in my books that don't have it; so I'm going to try going no-profanity for the future.

Anyway, I finally finished and released the book that this thread is about.  Although my conclusion is completely based on tone, nuance and gut feeling after reading reviews and reader feedback, I believe I was right.  A book with no bad words gets the benefit of the doubt with a lot of readers with no downside that I can discern among any other readers.  And if they prefer it, I can stick with it (at least for this series, LOL).  I wouldn't call it my most popular book yet, but I think it will end up being that.  And it's also launching a new series that I think will continue to succeed, and is a lot of fun to write as well.

There were a few times when I thought a "F" or "S" was appropriate but I didn't use it, so maybe I'm a sellout or a fake, or whatever.  I also left out "D," "AH" and anything worse than "darn" or "hell."  I like these words, but by leaving them out I can reach more readers.  That's more important to me...

If you think that's the key to reaching more readers, go for it. It's your book. Do what feels right for you.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Starting The Indie Life
« on: December 04, 2016, 07:53:38 AM »
I agree with MAYBE splitting the book, if (and only IF) you can make 3 complete books out of it with some sort of conclusion for each one. It's fine to have an overarching plot, but a sure fire way to  p*ss  readers off is to try to lead them along with cliffhangers. It's obvious when a book has been mutilated for the sake of profit alone. Serve the story first.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I may have done something stupid
« on: December 03, 2016, 07:31:03 PM »
Oh, didn't know this thread was still hot. Sorry for the absence.

They emailed me and told me they'd be looking into the situation. All that has happened is they've price matched the book. It's now perma free as I requested. I didn't get a nasty gram or a warning. No follow up email whatsoever actually. The book is simply perma free. No, I have not removed it from other platforms. I may get a warning or something down the line. But so far, so good.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What does this cover tell you?
« on: November 28, 2016, 08:18:37 PM »
I love the blurb and it would encourage me to read the book, but I'm not sure I'd get that far.  Looking at the cover, I'd make totally inaccurate assumptions and doubt I'd take it from the shelf.
Here is the blurb.

Still grieving over the death of his wife, retired San Bernardino Sheriff's detective Mac McConnell is a lost soul wasting away with life passing him by. His closest companion is his deceased wife's little, black and tan Pug dog (named "Pug," of course), but the two barely get along.

During restoration of an old Harley-Davidson WLA Liberator motorcycle from WWII, Mac's friend finds a faded photo of a beautiful young woman that was taken during the war and a never completed V-Mail letter that was written to her by her fiance, a soldier serving somewhere in Italy in 1943.

Knowing only the couple's first names, Betty and Alvin, and with the letter, the photo, and the old motorcycle the only clues to go on, Mac and Pug set out to solve a seventy-year-old mystery. That leads them on a cross-country journey on the old Harley as they go in search of "Miss Betty." Along the way the unlikely pair encounter some unusual new friends and find themselves in some unexpected, sometimes dangerous, and often humorous situations. In the process, Mac discovers there is indeed new life (and love) after a death.

Great blurb. I'm not sure the cover really matches the blurb, though. The blurb gives me the image of some guy standing on a deserted highway, staring into the sunset next to his old Harley--that's the cover I see based off the blurb.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I may have done something stupid
« on: November 28, 2016, 05:28:25 PM »
I just re-read stuff.  I don't see that you explained it in the OP, that's why it looked like a deliberate break of tos to me.  My apologies, and I understand the stress and holiday stuff.  I'm dealing with stuff as well, so my apologies and grain of salt etc.

I didn't explain it in the OP like I should have. To be honest I was sort of typing in a panic.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I may have done something stupid
« on: November 28, 2016, 05:27:25 PM »
We all screw up. Just fix it right away.

Well, I've emailed them twice. Once with the request to match and the second time acknowledging my mistake. Im going to see how they respond and what they ask of me I guess and I'll abide by their wishes. I'm out December 25th, so if I have to wait then so be it. But I'm glad to hear that suspension isn't likely.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I may have done something stupid
« on: November 28, 2016, 05:22:30 PM »
Um, the book is in Select so why is it on other platforms at all? That's completely against Amazon's TOS.

As I explained, I thought I unenrolled last quarter. Life has been stressful. I overlooked something or something didn't get clicked. It was an oversight on my part.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I may have done something stupid
« on: November 28, 2016, 05:20:05 PM »
Yeah, but he knows the date he unchecked Select, which is how he knows the date he's come out of KU (They do too!).  Amazon does read these forums.  Most vendors do.  I go to trade shows, I talk to reps.  This is a public forum and he just set himself up.  Hopefully he gets someone in a forgiving mood. I hope JV gets his book price matched... but I also hope he learns from this... cuz the title of this thread...

JV - Yes dude, yes you did.

As I explained in my email to them, I thought I had unenrolled last quarter. I either didn't check a box or didn't save or something. I get it man. You don't have to rub it in.

Writers' Cafe / I may have done something stupid
« on: November 28, 2016, 04:43:02 PM »
I'm due to leave KDP select on December 25th. However, I've already made the book free across many platforms and have, as of this morning, emailed KDP to price match. I read on here in the past that folks have done the same and KDP simply removed their book from Select. However, someone else on here has told me Amazon is going to suspend my account. As you can imagine, I'm a little scared now. What's the worst case scenario? They suspend my KDP account? My entire author account? Is there any getting them to "unsuspend" them if that happens? What's the most likely scenario?

I probably made an idiot move. I'm exhausted and stressed...holiday and career stuff...so I feel like I'm slipping a bit and may have completely slipped with this move...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Not sure where else to turn...help, please?
« on: November 28, 2016, 03:42:32 AM »
You just need to contact them through the KDP contact page. And 7seasonsgirl is right. They really only care about Apple and Google. They consider Smashwords and B&N as places whose butts have already been kicked.

Thank you for this information. Y'all have been extremely helpful.

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