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Writers' Cafe / Re: Have You Posted to Your Blog Recently?
« Last post by Steve Vernon on Today at 01:35:08 AM »
Scored that third review on the US site. Awesome!

Now for 7 more. They say the first 10 are the hardest, right?
Not Quite Kindle / Re: Double Letter Game
« Last post by gdae23 on Today at 12:03:13 AM »
Writers' Cafe / Re: Break Down What's Wrong with my Urban Fantasy Book
« Last post by KelliWolfe on Yesterday at 11:18:20 PM »
The first cover gives me more of a dystopian/Hunger Games vibe than UF. Other than the glowing hands thing there really are no UF elements in it. The girl with guns one seems more action/thriller - again, no obvious UF elements to immediately cue the reader to what the book is. Coupled with a generic title, I imagine that most potential readers just don't have a clue what the book is actually about. I love UF and have tons on both my shelves and my Kindle, but neither of those covers with that title would make me jump right on them out of a list of other books thinking, "Yay! Another cool UF! *one-click*" :(
Writers' Cafe / Re: How does Upwork, um, work?
« Last post by PLennox on Yesterday at 11:05:26 PM »
Hi! I'm new here (long-time lurker; just made a profile to search stuff for now), but this thread caught my eye because Upwork was where I got my start.  Actually, I started back when it was still Elance!

To answer your question of whether or not writers make a living on there, most do not - if Upwork is their sole source of jobs.  Some do, but it depends on their genre, skills, portfolio/experience, and where they're from.  While US native writers get higher rates overall, the cost of living is also higher than many places.  So some non-native speakers can afford to bid low, because $10-20k annually might go very far in their country. You'll also see people just starting out and underbidding because they want experience, or because they need money too much to risk getting outbid (I was guilty of this, in my early days).

If I understood your post correctly, you were on Upwork to see what other ghostwriters charge to determine your own rate (yes?).  Deciding my hourly rate came down to figuring out how much I wanted to earn in a year and dividing those first two digits in half. 

For me, that was $50k, which meant $25 an hour minimum.  If I was getting paid by the project, I'd have to factor research, editing, and rewriting into those hours, too.  I've been told by many other writers that my rates were too low, but I was writing insurance copy more than anything else, and those numbers were pretty good for that area. 

Projects like yours can and often do warrant higher rates, or flat rates for the entire finished product, depending on what you and your client decide.  Only you can decide how much to charge, but maybe this will help?

As for how payment works/how easy it is for writers to go unpaid on that site, I never got stiffed for a project.  That said, I always made sure the client paid the money into Escrow first (the little virtual "holding cell" between parties) before I began work.

EDIT: To clarify, I didn't earn $50k on Upwork, haha.  The most I ever earned as a ghost was $20k one year, but I was working part-time.  About 2/3 of my income came from jobs off Upwork, and a lot of my time was spent finding/applying for projects in the first place. Hope this helps!
Writers' Cafe / Re: Break Down What's Wrong with my Urban Fantasy Book
« Last post by C. Gold on Yesterday at 10:47:52 PM »
I like the current cover better than the girl with guns. Unless she uses them? I like the split color cover, but I think it should be day vs night and have her reaper magic on the night side along with creepy jungle with decaying palm leaves, maybe some glowing eyes, that would better reflect death/vampires. Since she's a reaper, she should have black evil looking flames on the dark side.

I'd be concerned about two things from the reviews:
Is the character likeable enough? As a con, is she kind of stinky to nice people or just dishes it to bads?
Is the pacing tight enough. This one I'd be more concerned with since urban fantasy is typically a snappy actiony read vs too much description and downtime.

Rain Dance as a title doesn't say urban fantasy or vampires or reapers. Why not call it Reaper or Reaper Rising? That's a lot more bad*ss.

Is the FBI supposed to feel threatening to a reaper? It's always the paranormal cops that trouble paranormals, not mundanes, not even the FBI unless they have a paranormal task force? Usually the paranormals are merely annoyed at mundanes who get in their face because now they are not only busy defeating whatever paranormal is the threat, but they are also having to keep the mundane out of trouble while dodging the trouble they are attempting to bring.
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pricing complaints...
« Last post by Usedtoposthere on Yesterday at 10:38:25 PM »
People keep talking as if indie pricing has been static all this time, which puzzles me. Yes, some indie authors famously priced at 99 cents in 2010 or whenever it was and disrupted the market. I remember standing in the kitchen in Auckland reading about Bella Forrest. That story made it to the New Zealand Herald. I had not even thought of writing a book yet, and I had never heard of that author, but clearly it made an impact, as I still remember that.

When I did publish a couple years later, I priced at 3.99. Things really took off when I priced the first book at 99 cents in January 2013, though. But that was five years ago, and prices for good selling indie authors, except those using a certain kind of KU strategy coupled with heavy advertising spend, are now much higher. Up to 6.99 in romance. My own first book is now 2.99, and the rest are much higher. Meanwhile, as indie prices have risen, tradpub prices on backlist have come way down in ebook. Too bad those authors are only earning a buck or so on that 4.99 book. That is why lots of them are putting new stuff out indie and getting their rights back when they can. 

Things are still shifting because this market is still changing, including market share. APub is a big disrupter right now. Authors can choose how to approach the whole thing, from what they write to how to price it and what segments of the market to appeal to. They can put their stuff on sale a lot or never. They can try things and see what works today, and check in again next year to see if something else will work better. But none of this is fixed in place.

Oh. I just looked back and Kelli said all that in her post. But yeah. I wrote all day on the treadmill desk. I have a job I never even really knew existed except for a very few select people. The revolution in publishing is pretty cool.
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pricing complaints...
« Last post by P.J. Post on Yesterday at 10:24:43 PM »
Oh, I don't find it repellent at all. I'm happy to be know as someone with a creative streak, as a writer, a storyteller, or any number of other terms. But for me personally, "art" has a component of standing the test of time, or at least the intention/effort to achieve that, and I think of what I write as closer to ephemeral entertainment. If I turn out to be wrong, that's great, but I don't think I will.

Hmm. I think think we're really that far off. I suppose my larger feeling is that disorganized masses of people don't make "choices" the way individuals do. Their behavior is the aggregate of multiple people's choices, and when it comes to economics, those choices almost always follow predictable patterns. To work against those choices, you need to consciously organize people in a way that guides their choices toward a desired route. Unions work that way, for instance, in shaping the labor market. But enforced collective action is not an option for indie authors, so the normal patterns of a market -- bunches of people making the typical spread of choices -- are going to assert themselves, and there's not much point in trying to raise consciousness about consequences, change patterns, etc.

And really, it's hard to think of how indie authors might've promoted their work in ways other than attention-grabbing pricing. We did not and still do not have access to traditional publishing's ways of marketing books. So, we took the route that was available to us, and it turned out to be a pretty good route, all in all. Better for writers, terrific for avid but not-rich readers.

Edited: OMG, the typos. I need to go to bed.

Agreed, people are going to be people and do their thing, but there's no reason not to discuss and educate those that want to participate...and not to put too fine a point on it, we've been doing it here for a long time, with pretty good results. I don't even know what I didn't learn here anymore.  ;)

Thanks for the explanation on the art thing.
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pricing complaints...
« Last post by KelliWolfe on Yesterday at 10:24:22 PM »
Every product in the world gets cheaper as time goes on. Well except limited supply art.
Absolutely untrue. Lots of things are more expensive today than they were 30 years ago - cars, housing, food, college, etc. - even adjusting for inflation. Including books, at least the tradpubbed ones.

If the TP's wanted to they could destroy the entire indie market in a year by just low balling. They don't do that because it would devalue the perception of their product.
And yet there are a whole lot of indies competing head-to-head against the tradpubs in KU, where price is not an issue. If anything, "devaluing" their work by lowballing would give us an even bigger edge because it would put those of us who price in the middle on the same tier as the top tradpubbed books.

It truly amazes me that bargain bin strategies are somehow seen as a sign of strength. It's not. It's a sign of weakness and desperation and it's the hallmark of the indie industry. Covers + 99c pricing + write to market + 2 week release schedule + bots + KU + utter lack of humility and obsession with braggadocio = the face of the indie market today.
Write to market has always been a big component of publishing, over a hundred years before indies became a thing. Just as in retail, bargain bin works for some ebooks and not for others, but I don't know of a single successful author on kboards who suggests that people do bargain bin pricing. Quite the opposite, and if you actually go out and look at how indies price in the Real World very few of the top sellers who don't have their books in Select price below $2.99. A lot of the ones in KU don't care because they're making the vast bulk of their money on page reads, and sales - and book price - doesn't really matter to them. As always there are exceptions.

You make it sound like we're losing or something, but that doesn't really seem to be the case. Yes, it's significantly harder to be successful at this than it was in 2012. But that's not because of anything the tradpubs have done. It's because the successful indies keep upping their game. I'm not sure how that's supposed to be a bad thing, because overall the reader experience is one hell of a lot better than it was in 2012. Successful indies are putting out books with covers and editing every bit as good as the majority of tradpub books. And there are still a whole lot of us who get to sit home and drink coffee in our pajamas and tell stories for a living instead of commuting to some godawful day job. That's pretty much the definition of a win-win.

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