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Topics - P.J. Post

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Writers' Cafe / First Box Set: cover and blurb reveal + help
« on: June 06, 2018, 04:23:14 PM »


His only refuge is his music.

His only solace is his rage.

Connor Clay abandoned any hope of escaping his troubled life long ago, and has immersed himself in the hardcore punk scene, living every day as if it were his last. His gigs are loud, and fast, and dangerous, just like everything else in his life - except for the girl of his dreams.

But even as his music grabs the local spotlight, the consequences of his love's dark past are resurfacing, forcing an impossible choice that could destroy the band and the only hope of redemption Connor will ever know.

Punk is the complete, epic love story between two kids dodging college in order to search for forgiveness: from their chance meeting in Ache, through the tragedy of Scar, to the fiery embrace of Heal, welcome back to the 80s.

Punk is a Box Set, and includes the previously published novels: Ache, Scar and Heal.



Writers' Cafe / KU - Box Sets vs Novels vs Page Reads
« on: April 27, 2018, 10:33:53 AM »
I have a 3 book YA series that I'm going to relaunch for Zon/KU - the series is currently unpublished.

If my goal is to get both new readers and lots of page reads, should I:

1. Republish the three original novels with new covers
2. Republish the three original novels with new covers as New Editions with new ASIN's
3. Publish as a box-set
4. Publish as a new novel
5. Some combination or other option not listed.


I'm using D2D for convenience. I chose not to publish on the subscription services for now, but does anyone one have any opinions on 24Symbols, Playster or Scribd?

As a lover of all things story, I'm curious what you think about the creative direction of publishing - from a writer's perspective.

Do you think books are going to follow the latest trend in the film industry of relying on truly awful scarcely adequate stories? (Indie or TP) The Last Jedi is the poster child for this movement. Not only does it make no logical sense internally, it actively ignores or kills off all of the plot threads created in The Force Awakens, which is really bad story, you know - for Act 2 of a trilogy. But TLJ isn't alone, Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman, Justice League, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean (last 3), all of the Furiously Fast movies after the first one, Taken et al (including Death Wish) and The Last Airbender also qualify. Historically, bad movies tanked, but the discouraging trend lately is that many of these movies are making a killing at the box office, resulting in rushed sequels and reboots of similar IPs as obvious cash grabs, such as the latest Ghostbuster movie, which still managed $230 million at the box office. (The Shape of Water is only at $110 million two months after release, and Ex Machina only managed $36 million; by comparison, Grown Ups 2 hit $247 million). It concerns me because the smarter, deeper stories seem to be doing significantly less business, so the incentive to invest in these films is decreasing rather precipitously.

If creatives continue to be judged by their revenue streams, and if there's no financial stature associated with Art, where is the rationale to pursue the work?

The equation seems to be: action + stupid villains + action + convenience + action + cardboard cutout characters + action + unearned boss-battle + action = shameful profit

I'd argue that the majority of the mainstream music industry has already fallen off this cliff. And, for the most part, everyone seems to be pretty much fine with it. It's like listening to music as mp3s through ear buds. Have you ever heard a cello live? I'd ask if that experience matters anymore, but the answer is clearly no, at least to most consumers. Reproducing music, like any natural sound reproduction, requires large-ish speakers moving lots of air. Hi-fidelity is yet another casualty from the onslaught of convenient tech. Younger generations (and increasingly, the older ones, too), seem to be completely content with the utter lack of depth and nuance inherent in plasticized reproductions.

So the question is: do you think novels are likely to follow these trends, or have they already? If so, is it because readers don't have the time to invest? Or is it because the authors don't have the time to invest?

Or am I tilting at windmills?  ::)

Writers' Cafe / How to use other books in a series for promotions?
« on: August 11, 2017, 09:56:02 AM »
Does anyone have suggestions for using the other books in a series, besides #1, for promotions? Like running them as free or countdowns or just as regular discounteded price promos, individually or collectively or in cycles? Anything at all?  :)

Writers' Cafe / Scheduling Promotions - Best Practices?
« on: August 04, 2017, 02:08:41 PM »
For non-Bookbub promotional sites:

I was hoping to gather some data on best practices for series using promotional sites. So any opinions or experience would be appreciated.

1. How to schedule the best results when using the same promotional services for the same book. For example, if I'm using Bob's Big Promo Page, how frequently should the promotions be scheduled and how best to mix in paid ads v free ads for Bob's audience, with the understanding that at some point I should expect to see diminishing returns.

2. And, generally speaking, how many promotions can be run before results begin to noticeably tank?

3. Many sites will only take first in series, but for those that accept the other books, is there a recommended schedule on how to promote them, in terms of free, paid or how often to mix them up, such as promoting, say, Book 2 over and over, as opposed to promoting Books 2-4 on a rotating basis? And should Book 1 be free during any of these promos?

4. Stacking vs pulsing vs constant promos?

5. Managing budgets and ROI?

6. Also, if you don't mind, please list any current promotional sites that you can 100% vouch for, not necessarily the results, just that they're reputable. A lot of the older sites have closed up shop and the list of less than reputable sites is growing, so an "Account Safe" list would be nice.

7. Combinations: are there any better ways to leverage promotions by combining things, or including non-promo site activities? (excluding email lists.)

For future KB'ers: note that this is data for summer/fall 2017, and may no longer be applicable in your timeline.  ;)

So for all of you writing SF in space, would there be any interested in purchasing custom spaceship designs, exteriors only, for your book covers? Done in 3d, so the ship can be rendered from various views and perspectives for different covers, including damage from previous encounters or specific color schemes?

And, if so, how much would that be worth, in the bigger scheme of things?


1) 2d, exported image per book
2) original 3d files

Writers' Cafe / Book 4 Cover, thoughts on its Click Rating?
« on: July 01, 2017, 03:34:57 PM »

It's been ten years, but the world never stopped ending.

The Pixie Girls are just trying to stay alive, coming of age alone and afraid, like all of the other young refugees, but they're also fighting back, using their newfound strength and agility to become the warriors this new world needs them to be. Their deeds quickly spawn become legend, their white hair and supernaturally blue eyes only fueling the fear; and now they are known as Witches, Killers and The Butchers of Nashville.

The Wanted Posters say "Dead or Alive".

And even though Bounty Hunters, Slavers and zombies are never far away, always watching for an opportunity, for an opening...for a mistake, the Girls remain vigilant, holding on to their own Truth: to protect the ones you can, to protect your tribe and, no matter what, live to fight another day.

Hope is a liability, and nowhere is there room for love.



Writers' Cafe / YA Post-Apoc re-branding continues...suggestions?
« on: May 29, 2017, 01:57:05 PM »
The series so far:

Coins for Charon

The people of Freemont have always fought for their own, and the end of the world hasn't changed a thing. They opened up the armory, fueled the World War II trucks and even got the old generators working. They turned on the lights. For the survivors of the War, Freemont is a beacon of hope.

Five days ago Lane went searching for the missing kids, and now he's brought them here, to the rendezvous, to Freemont, only to find Cart People, Crayton Mercenaries and thousands of townsfolk fighting through the streets and neighborhoods, for their city and for the lives of the millions of refugees that have found salvation.

Sam's down there, somewhere.

And so is the Button Eye plague.


Suggestions and thoughts?

Writers' Cafe / Choosing YA or SF for promotions category?
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:41:28 PM »
For advertising sites, like BB, is it better to promote a YA post-apocalyptic/dystopian series in the YA category or the SF category? It's weird because YA is a demographic, not a genre.

Writers' Cafe / *Updated 5.2.17* Cover opinions - getting closer?
« on: April 24, 2017, 06:00:41 PM »
Demographic/genres: YA+/SFF>Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic/zombies/adventure/feels

Thoughts on covers? Branding okay? Genre/Demographic?


Book 1: Feral

He's just a teenager, hollow and lost, looking to keep the past buried, to forget. He surfs the backwash of the westward migration across a dead America; a war-torn desolation devoid of electricity, infrastructure and civilization. It has become a strange and unrecognizable land, rife with the worst of humanity. And his is a life without hope, equally dark and solitary.

Until he meets Feral.

Once was boy, selfish and directionless.

Now is love.

Now is reason.

Now is vengeance.

She is his vow, his purpose, and to save her, he'll murder the world.

Book 2: Of One Skein

Ohio finds the survivors, families and fractured communities still fighting their way west, away from the invading armies.  Some are praying for the lights to come back on, but others are embracing the New World Order, living for today and taking what they need, but mostly, what they want.

Among them are the orphaned children, scraping by in the shadows with fewer and fewer surviving the cold nights of the approaching winter.  But they don't have to be the forgotten generation. All they need is a leader.

And we're back...  :)

Demographic/genres: YA+/SFF>Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic/zombies/adventure/feels


He's just a teenager, hollow and lost, looking to keep the past buried, to forget. He surfs the backwash of the westward migration across a dead America; a war-torn desolation devoid of electricity, infrastructure and civilization. It has become a strange and unrecognizable land, rife with the worst of humanity. And his is a life without hope, equally dark and solitary.

Until he meets Feral.

Once was boy, selfish and directionless.

Now is love.

Now is reason.

Now is vengeance.

She is his vow, his purpose, and to save her, he'll murder the world.



**This is just a low res comp, not a final.

Writers' Cafe / SFF Cover Reveal / Critique
« on: April 01, 2017, 11:43:38 AM »
Demographic/genres: YA+/SFF>Dystopian/Post-apocalyptic/zombies et al (not Romance, not Prepper Fiction):


This romance brought to you by the end of the world...

He was just a teenager, hollow and lost, looking to keep the past buried, to forget. Surviving wasn't so much an instinct as it was a hobby. He surfs the backwash of the westward migration across a dead America; a war-torn desolation devoid of electricity, infrastructure and civilization.

It has become a strange and unrecognizable land, rife with the worst of humanity. And his was a life without hope, equally dark and solitary.

Until he meets Emily; until he meets Feral.

Once was boy, selfish and directionless.

Now is love.

Now is reason.

Now is vengeance.

They are his vow, his purpose, and to save them, he'll murder the world.



**If any of this sounds/looks familiar, it is, I'm repackaging.

Writers' Cafe / Craft Discussion: Tip's story - Emerald City ::SPOILERS::
« on: January 15, 2017, 12:04:20 PM »
In depth SPOILER discussion of Tip's character arc in Emerald City.

I'm not sure how I feel about NBC's new show, Emerald City, but I'm finding Tip's story to be profoundly compelling, Jordan Loughran is convincing in her portrayal of Tip's emerging struggle with gender identity.

I thought it would make a great discussion, for lots and lots of reasons, about how to handle this subject from a craft perspective, how to be inclusive, how to be respectful and yet painfully honest...without being exploitative. It's a tight-rope, and the show might not succeed, but I applaud them for trying just the same.

For those that have not watched the show:

Tip is a teenage boy, that, for as long as he can remember, has been held captive by a caring witch (mother figure - family/societal pressure metaphor), giving him the medicine he needs to save him from his "bad blood", otherwise he will surely die. His friend (sadly, no background is provided for how they became friends), comes to help him escape, but is unsuccessful, and then Dorthy's arc crosses with Tip's and she rescues him, but he escapes with his friend after all.

When the effects of the medicine (potion) wear off, Tip discovers that he is actually a girl. The potion creates an illusion, a lie, so that his own body, the only reality he has ever a betrayal.

As many of us try to explore diversity and deal with real issues in our books, I thought this would make a great study in craft, especially as the story (show/character arc) is just getting started. We can discuss what the writers did, how they made the sausage so to speak, how they could have improved it, or made the arc more compelling, and how this discussion can affect our own stories - how we write characters that are not us, how we deal with their pain and their struggles. How to make them real; in Tip's case, how his new struggle affects his escape and his relationships, and how he sets out on a journey of not only self-discovery, but also trying find a path through an unknown and dangerous world (his world should be called Metaphoria) - how he finds self-acceptance and redemption (spoiler), all of which are, ultimately, universal questions, appealing to our own empathy.

An important question that came up just while writing this post: how to deal with pronouns, so they reflect character, but don't confuse the reader? So, from a narrative perspective, is Tip a "she" or a "he"?

When the subject of diversity comes up in writing, we are often encouraged to ask, this is me asking.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Repackaging a Serial - opinions please.
« on: September 22, 2016, 07:00:40 PM »
Anyone who has seen my posts knows I'm firmly in the "writing as art" camp, and while I don't believe that traditional retail principles apply to "art" per se, they're the only alternative available to crossing your fingers and hoping for the best (covers, genres, blurbs, promos, etc.). Once your book is published, if you are looking for readers/sales, your odds of success improve rather dramatically if you look at them as products, that is, something that someone wants to read/purchase - but you have to help your readers find them first. I still think there's some intangible something at work much of the time, but I also agree with many here that we should worry about what we actually have control of. I can't do anything about luck, but I can optimize my product lines, packaging and branding so that my readers can find my books. This is my belief anyway.

With that said, here's my dilemma:

I published a 6 part, post-apocalyptic YA serial as novella length episodes (Feral), ranging from 22k to 38k in length, 153k in total, and I'm happy with how everything turned out, except this format creates a promotion and pricing black hole (it's the nature of the ecosystem).  They are too short to qualify for promotion on many sites (if you know of any, please let me know), and at less than 100 pages per episode, pricing becomes tricky and 70% becomes, if not impossible, certainly unreasonable, especially when there are 6 episodes in the first series, which further reduces price promotion opportunities.

So here are the options I've thought of...what am I missing?

As it turns out, the books work really well in pairs, 1&2 (45k), 3&4 (45k) and 5&6 (63k), so I could repackage them as a trilogy of short novels, (and yes, they work as novels). With this option, I would get all new covers and re-launch with new branding.
But then should I unpublish the novellas?

I could also bundle them as a season, but then I lose the funneling and promotional opportunities, although I could still do this with the trilogy, right?
This also makes for a fairly thick book, which brings up the next issue, how do I handle print and audio?

I realize there are lots of different ways to go about this, and it's a lot of guess work, but I'm in the middle of the next in the series (a continuation), so I'd prefer to sort this out sooner rather than later since it affects narrative pacing, pretty much everything.  :)

Help...please?  ;D

By the way, this is not a poor me, my sales suck post - this is an IP question about packaging, product lines and revenue streams.

Thanks!  ;)

Writers' Cafe / Audio for Series - the first of many questions
« on: September 04, 2016, 08:33:02 PM »
I have two series that I'd like to do audio editions for: one is 3 books, plus a novella, so about 186k long, the other is a 6 episode serial, 153k long.

I assume the serial is better as a single product, and the straight series should probably be 3 separate presentations with the same narrator. This is all guess work on my part, but both will get an omnibus e-edition, and complete print novels as well, just for reference. Also, they're both in first person present with the same MC/narrator all of the way through.

Any recommendations on product design for audio, how long is too long, and vice versa, product line vs revenue considerations, or any other related issues I should be aware of?

Thanks.  :)

So this is a working cover, but not a final - for Punk, Book 1: Ache. The genre is upper YA/NA, coming of age romance (but not Romance), performing arts/music something something.

I'm trying to capture the rebellious early 80's, but obviously, I can't use any of the band names, logos or likenesses, or product logos or slogans of the time. I thought about adding a mohawk guy. The big thing is, does it look like it has something to do with music and young people and angst? Oh, and I know it's out there conceptually, but does it suck?

Any other thoughts, including the nature of suckage is much appreciated.  :)

Updated 9.4.16:

Thanks for all of the help!
So this is what I finally came up with. I love, and yet hate doing covers, so I'll work in the new thoughts and revisions on the next round.  :)


Thanks!  ;D

Writers' Cafe / SF Category Question, the end of the world...
« on: July 17, 2016, 01:46:22 PM »
SF has two end of the world categories...

1. Dystopian
2. Apocalyptic

Is apocalyptic more prepper, survivalists, weapons explanation detail stuff, and Dystopian more character/story stuff?

Anyone know the difference, from a reader perspective? And yes, I've researched the cats. They have tons of overlap.

ETA: I was asking because I was trying to figure our the most appropriate one, but apparently key words put you into both if you select "apocalyptic". Still curious about the difference though.

Writers' Cafe / Miscategorized and put into Erotica...
« on: July 11, 2016, 02:47:13 PM »
Which would be great if my book was erotica, but it's Literary NA romance, with strong LGBT, diversity and alternate lifestyle empowerment themes (lots and lots of not-sex). I'm afraid readers searching for erotica will be disappointed, because it's not erotica, and my actual audience won't ever find it. It totally screws up promotions, it's a mess and the worst part is it was book one, episode one of a new franchise. I was even careful with my keywords, but it might be the title: Bondage a Go-Go, which is a metaphor: the series is a mash up of My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany's and Saint Elmo's Fire, if the brat pack was all into S&M and vinyl, that is.  ;D

Here's the cover, (Betsy, please delete if...):

I'm still emailing them, but...ikr?

Anyone have any suggestions or been through this? It's on pre-order and goes live on the 14th. I feel like I just wasted two months.

ETA: Cover

Writers' Cafe / Series Cover reboot...concept in flux...brb :)
« on: June 04, 2016, 07:38:56 PM »
**Updated 6.7.16**

Feral is still a dark, upper YA/NA/Adult, end of the world science fiction serial: New idea # 307...

This series is really The Walking Dead meets Red Dawn with a little Night of the Comet thrown in for good measure.

This is a working idea (comic illustrations). There's a dilapidated suspension bridge in the background, but it's too light, and there's a skeery mob in the distance...the other option was just a white background. And I'm probably going to add a 50 caliber machine gun to the illustration. I need to fine tune the filters and stuff, but concept first I guess.

Is it apocalyptic yet?

Writers' Cafe / Backmatter and other books?
« on: May 28, 2016, 10:01:26 AM »
How do you all deal with referencing your other books in the backmatter?

Link to just the next in series?
Links to all of them?
Links to Amazon author page? (if exclusive)
Links to a landing page at site?

Any ideas on how to make this easy to manage?

A Series comes to an end...

Coins for Charon: Episode Six of Feral

On sale for 99 cents for a limited time...

The series may be ending, but the adventure continues this Fall with

Coming of the Witch

The Adventure Grows Up

Writers' Cafe / Do you prefer writing or having written?
« on: April 29, 2016, 02:03:27 PM »
It struck me that how we think about, and therefore, approach writing (and editing and genre choices and speed) might say a lot about how we approach publishing in general. When it comes to writing, do you prefer:



To have written?

And yeah, for the purposes of discussion, it is one or the other; I would imagine most of us enjoy seeing and holding our published books on some level, but I'm talking about the creation part...the excitement of the blank page vs...well, whatever the opposite of that is...relief, a sense of accomplishment, excitement for the next project, marketing...refreshing sales reports?

I've known musicians that were all about the attention, the after party being just as important, or more so than their time on stage - rehearsals, recording, even writing the music was a necessary evil standing between them and the adulation they craved. (This is just an extreme example to illustrate the question, one really isn't better than the other.)

Personally, I was the opposite, loving the rehearsals and writing almost as much as the time on stage (almost...the stage is a pretty cool rush, but it's performance, so it's not really the same as "having written", it's more like writing with an audience, because, even as the music evolves, the performance itself is transitory); so whether it is music, painting or writing - I've always loved the creation part, which is why I spend so much time on rewrites/edits/whatever you want to call the triage portion of the work. I always feel weirdly sad when a books is done, it's like moving away from home with the knowledge that you can't really go back, not like before. Not sure if that makes sense or not, there's no real stage for writers, no place for the work to evolve - literature is not transitory, it's finite. We have lots of musicians on the forum, be cool to hear about their creative experiences and see how they compare to the writing stuff.


New serial, new story, new cover, new blurb: I'm launching slowly with a Pre-order, so as usual, any click thoughts or first impressions are appreciated.


Bondage a Go-Go: Episode 1, Demimonde Masquerade

We were barely twenty...

China's riding the intoxicating high of sudden celebrity, something she could never have imagined growing up as a trailer-park girl from Oklahoma. Among the fickle trendsetters and who's who of Chicago's underground Fetish Scene, she's the flavor of the month.

Ryan Cole thought she was pretty tasty too, back before the Scene, before the parties...before Adrian.

Now Ryan's band is taking off, and he's chasing his own high with little time for anything or anyone else, much less the girl that nearly destroyed him.

But tastes change.

Parties end.

We crash...even when there's no one left to put us back together.

Author's Note: Bondage a Go-Go is an ongoing serialized story.

PS: This one's dirty.


Thanks!   :)

PS: Hi Betsy, it's not erotica, its more like W. Somerset Maugham's book, Of Human Bondage...yeah, that's it, no really, it's all literay and, seriously.  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Help! New Blurbs for Relaunch - thoughts please
« on: January 21, 2016, 09:17:28 PM »
I think it's called gardening, tending to our books. So I'm finally getting around to redoing my blurbs for Punk. It's an upper YA/NA, coming of age series that takes place in the early 1980s hardcore punk scene. Covers are probably next on the agenda. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.  :)

Book 1: Ache

His only solace is his rage.

Connor Clay abandoned any hope of escaping his troubled life long ago, and has immersed himself in the hardcore punk scene, living every day as if it were his last. Somewhere between gigging and looking for trouble, he meets Shauna, an upper middle-class girl that seems to be everything he wants and needs.

But is it fate, or is she a monumental distraction, keeping him from everything that’s important; his music, his band and his friends.

The thing we need most is always the hardest to see.

ACHE is the first book in the Punk series.

Book 2: Scar

His only refuge is his music.

Connor's band is rising through the local ranks of the hardcore punk scene. His gigs are loud, fast and dangerous, just like everything else in his life, except for the girl of his dreams. And falling in love with her has brought him a peace that he hasn't known since he was a kid.

But even as Connor's rage is being washed away by new found hope, the consequences of his love's dark past are finally resurfacing, forcing an impossible choice that could forever shatter their love, kill the band and destroy Connor.

The thing we need most is always the hardest to understand.

SCAR is the second book in the Punk series.

Book 3: Heal

His only hope is his love.

Connor can taste everything he ever wanted in life: forgiveness, acceptance and love; she’s never been so close.

And even as their world falls apart around them, a record deal, a shot at happiness, everything they’ve ever dreamed of is waiting for them in L.A. But getting out of town is easier said than done; Connor is on the run from the police for a murder he never committed, and racing to stay one step ahead of Curtis Ray Lamont, a psychotic drug dealer lusting for revenge.

The thing we need most is always the hardest to hold on to.

HEAL is the final book in the Punk series.

Thanks again.  ;D

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