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Messages - Dax

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Decent Sci-Fi Premade Covers for <$50?
« on: February 11, 2018, 06:58:16 AM »
All of this was so helpful! I do try to do a ďlet me Google that for you and search Kboards as wellĒ before asking, but this turned up far better leads.

I found my cover among one of the replies here. Now I just need to conceive of several other ideas in the SF genre that can fit some of the other covers I found so I can have a good reason to buy them. You cover designers do amazing work.

Thank you all, and if anyone else has other ideas, by all means post them. Looking at covers is great procrastination!

2
Writers' Cafe / Decent Sci-Fi Premade Covers for <$50?
« on: February 10, 2018, 07:50:09 AM »
Hello all,

I have an idea I want to play around with, but donít want to commit too much cash to yet. Iím in the market for a cheap, decent premade cover in the sci-fi genre (no hard abs - not sic-if romance). Iíve searched extensively in Google and our own Yellow Pages and have only come up with one contender. Iíve also searched a tiny bit through Fiverr (my first time, so the search-fu may be weak with this one), and most of the cover designers there that Iím seeing at first blush seem to be more in the UF/PNR and non-fiction genres.

Any leads from some Kboarders?

Cheap would be $50 or less. Decent to me is something that could sell - good typography, doesnít need to be fancy but does need to be sci-fi genre appropriate. A company/person who is easy to work with and responsive is always a bonus.

EDIT: The $50 limit does NOT need to include print/wraparound. Be nice if it does, but wouldnít expect that at $50 or less.

Thanks so much.

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: What is your #1 goal for your writing?
« on: July 31, 2017, 04:16:54 PM »
I think threads like this make a mistake conflating "writing" with "publishing". I write because it's what I do. I publish because I want to supplement my main income from some other source (in my own case a day job), and that's the option I chose.

Ooo, good point. This wasn't something that I had considered, because I think that if I couldn't publish, I'd probably express myself in another medium other than writing novels. Not sure I wouldn't write novels, just that I'd probably explore other forms of creativity for a while, too. So that's helpful to me - to realize that not everyone here has the perspective of writing = publishing.

This kind of thread comes up every month or so, it seems, and the answers are always different for each author. I'm not really sure why it matters to anyone else why we do what we do. Everyone has their own path to walk, and why someone else is, say, pursuing a trad deal won't matter to someone like me who isn't.
Hmm, I think I wanted to get a better idea, in numbers terms, of what the community looks like here, rather than trying to glean from the "success" threads what each poster's goals are and what the community's goals are. Obviously, this is no Rigorous Scientific Study, but I find it interesting. I'm really surprised no one has voted on the trad publish goal, for example. It's interesting to me to see that there's a lot of people voting for a good, solid income. It's by far the majority. That's helpful info, to me anyway, when interacting with this community.

I want to win the first Pulitzer for SFF. Then I'll go after the Nobel with the sequel.

I hadn't even considered that! Great goal.

I want what I think all writers want - enough money for a different Ferrari for each day of the week and Lamborghinis for the weekends.
ROTFL.  ;D

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Writers' Cafe / What is your #1 goal for your writing?
« on: July 31, 2017, 04:27:33 AM »
Sometimes, when I read these threads on being "successful" at writing, I see a variety of responses that indicate that we've got a lot of goals across the KBoards authors for what they really want to be doing with their writing. I was really curious to see the spread!

Remember, focus on your #1 or top goal. I know some of us may have multiple goals, but I was curious as to what really drives you to sit behind the Writing Implement of Choice and bang out a story.

5
I'd like to do something like this. I've tracked hours writing, but not hours editing. (Primarily because in my editing I tend to drift off to other tasks *quite* easily. It's not as metric-based as writing is, which is part of the reason I need to track it...)

Does anyone who tracks their time in Excel have a trick for how to get Excel to subtract one time from another to get a "total hours worked"? For example, I could enter in  "Start" --> " 2:30 PM" and "End" --> "3:00 PM" and it would return "0.5" as  value for the difference because I worked half an hour.  From there I'd also plan on adding a "widgets worked" (word count or page count for editing, I think).

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: Thank A KBoards Member...
« on: July 07, 2017, 04:47:09 AM »
What a lovely idea!

Thanks to our moderators, who keep the signal to noise ratio here pretty awesome, especially relative to the rest of the Internet. An to Ann, who always has interesting posts on taxes.

Thanks to Amanda, who, for me, set the bar on what was possible.

Thanks to Annie B, who has some fantastic advice on launching well.

To Annie Jacoby, who refused to lay down and die and took all of her knowledge and smarts and relaunched in a new genre.

To Chris Fox, whose YouTube videos are so inspirational and whose attitude is just awesome.

To Wayne Stinnett, for awesome YT videos and advice, and providing a calm, measured voice.

To Rosalind, for her lovely thoughts and advice.

To Anarchist for his funny memes.

To SM Reine, for all the long threads she wrote back in the day with lots of info and thoughts.

HM Ward - ditto!

Elle Casey - ditto!

Bella Forrest - KBoards member emeritus, LOL, who also set the bar for me and whose work at dominating the Amazon charts inspires me. And knowing that, back in the day, she had a handful of posts about launching a new little book called "A Shade of Vampire".

Rachel Aaron - for making 2k to 10k a thing in my life.

Sela - for sharing in-depth thoughts on romance.

Patty - who has a very no-nonsense approach that's inspirational, and who wrote a post that convinced me not to set my books at $Foreign$Currency.99 cents, but rather let the conversion rate be so that payors in $Foreign$Currency aren't being nickeled and dimed or pounded and shillinged.

Michael Anderle - for an upbeat, can-do attitude and funny books.

Jim Johnson - who convinced me to get my little Alphasmart Neo.

Evenstar - for starting our cabin in April for Nano! I had so much fun!

We have so many great members. I know I'm leaving someone out! I hope one day to be as valuable a member to the community as all of these people have been to me.

7
I'm not going argue with the clutter issue, I do agree that it's gotten out of hand. I do think Vampire stories are often gothic though, and that's kind of part of the problem. It's more than a little bit subjective. Shade has an ancient brooding rich guy in a castle juxtaposed with a young, modern woman.

This is from wikipedia: Gothic fiction, which is largely known by the subgenre of Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature and film that combines fiction and horror, death, and at times romance.

I don't report other authors. You are effing with someone's income. They could be relying on KDP to buy medicine for their sick children or something. And they might not be aware that there was even an issue with their categories. It's a slippery slope.

You're quite right. One could even argue that vampire romances like ASoV is a modern Gothic romance, in a way. My example here wasn't as strong an example as others have posted, just from my own personal experience.

I don't mind ASoV being in Gothic Romance, and for some young readers that may be all they've ever known as Gothic Romance. But it would be very nice if there was a way I could deselect a tag like "vampire" under the Gothic Romance category, or "paranormal romance" and get more traditional things like Jane Eyre or Rebecca.

I generally fall on the side of "don't hate the player, hate the game". Little things like Bella Forrest showing up in GR when, as you point out, there is an element of GR to her stories, clearly aren't a great example of authors exploiting the system but rather an example of a less-than-stellar UX. This seems to be an area where Amazon could do a great deal more work to improve the customer experience.

EDIT: So it seems that there may be two distinct issues. One: authors exploiting categories, and bizarre books ending up in the strangest of categories. Two: customers being unable to use the categories effectively, even if the categories are somewhat representative of the book's content. Said differently, because I don't think I'm wording this very well, customers are not able to drill down or navigate to the exact type of book they want. I think that this is generally the effect of Romance / ERom appearing in a great deal of categories, too. Regardless of the R/ER deluge, it seems to me like the UX could still be improved somehow.  In any tweaks that Amazon considers, it should be mindful that these are two distinct issues that may require different solutions, rather than a broad brush.

8
I really think the category hijacking is a disservice to users, and makes the site more cumbersome. As Lynn said above, she had to go to Goodreads to browse. Maybe people like her are an outlier, but I don't think it's a win for Amazon from a customer-loyalty perspective (though it could very well be from a money perspective) when a user has to use another site to use yours more effectively.

I've wondered what could be done about this. There is a large site, a, ahem, free purveyor of extensive stories of a certain persuasion shall we say, that has very useful categories. Broad categories for a certain type of story, and then tagged word clouds and checkboxes that you can deselect. It seems very intuitive at guiding the reader to the specific type of story that they want.

I've also wondered if it would be helpful if readers had the option to tag a story a certain way in their reviews. (I think this is how it's done on Goodreads.) Then, the Great Amazon Machine could use that to help filter categories.

I had this frustration yesterday when I was looking around in the Gothic Romance category, and found lots of stuff - including I think A Shade of Vampire - that I wouldn't consider Gothic Romance at all. To me, Gothic Romance is windswept moors and brooding men, not vampires. I suppose in the olden days of bookstores, we had a limited number of "shelves" so your book had to go somewhere. The publisher and/or bookstore owner would put it in the category that made the most sense to some random human or set of random humans.

I don't think limiting categories is the answer, but I don't think Amazon's current approach is a service to the reader, either.

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: Why it's important to read outside your genre
« on: June 27, 2017, 04:08:03 AM »
I read what I want to read outside my market research. I'm not really sure what drives me. This year, I've read Henry James' Portrait of a Lady, Amanda Hocking's Trylle trilogy, Phillip K Dick (one of my favorite authors), and am currently reading Gene Wolfe's Shadow and Claw. I cut my teeth in fantasy on C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, Harry Potter, but enjoy everything from cozy mysteries, historical fiction, historical fantasy, Regencies, vampire romance novels, to sci-fi.

Genres I'm not drawn to: horror, true crime, hard/mil SF, and Westerns. I really want to change the latter and start reading some Westerns, as well as hard/mil SF.  Gothic horror is as close as I will get to real horror.

I really love genre fiction. The more I read genre fiction, the less I want to read litfic. (I don't consider most of the Classics litfic.)

Hank - OT question about your blog. I enjoy your interviews and can't believe you scored Neal Stephenson! Is your interview with Neal and his co-author (I forget her name) very spoiler-y for Rise of the D.O.D.O? If it presents the basic premise, that's fine, but I don't want to know too much going into it.


10
Writers' Cafe / Re: Why I've abandoned Scrivener
« on: June 25, 2017, 08:07:37 AM »
I originally wrote HOOD in Word, after a few rounds of editing it was so laden with formatting errors on the code level that I could not fix even if I wanted to. When I tried to upload it to amazon it was a trainwreck. It took me forever to copy over the book to a plain text file to remove all the formatting, then put it into scriv and reformat everything basically by hand.


Are you saying the formatting errors from accepting so many different Track Changes and revisions from editing, or other formatting errors like the Styles and trying to prep it for publishing? (I know that I've had issues at the Day Job with accepting multiple edits on lengthy documents and the document blacking out as a result.)

To the topic, Chris Fox had a video on "Why I'm Abandoning Scrivener", though I've not listened to it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNnNgCxP7Ww

A friend of mine uses Scrivener. It looks very, very cool, but I think I have too much Shiny Object Syndrome to use it at this time. So much Shiny Object Syndrome that I'm best off right now writing on the Neo and uploading to Word from there, which is what I did with my last book. Still open to other ideas and approaches, though. I do like that Scrivener is one-stop-shopping, but I think I'd just be fiddling with the features so much that it'd be an uphill battle to get anything meaningful done!

Now I just have to save up for Vellum and Mac in Cloud for formatting...

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you fight off burn-out?
« on: June 20, 2017, 04:30:21 AM »
Oh thank god. Me too.

I don't have much to add because I'm struggling with some of the same issues, but it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

Come right over here and sit by me and my dirty dishes  ;D

I also wanted to address the OP again, who said that sometimes they don't want to write. From my own experience, I don't really like the actual act of fingers-on-keyboard-butt-in-chair all that much. I LOVE my characters, love worldbuilding, enjoy outlining to some degree, love thinking and daydreaming about scenes and character development and arcs, love working on covers, etc. I don't always love actually writing the darn thing. It's definitely work for me, but I LOVE having written, so I chase that. I've just gotten back and gone through some great edits on my first novel, and the thing is actually looking kind of darn good. I'm reading over it and not recoiling or wanting to hide in the corner, but saying to myself, "This is readable! This is enjoyable!" I find myself actually getting a little lost in the story as I edit and forgetting that it's even my story! Which is a great feeling.

But that feeling comes after a couple of weeks of edits that made me want to claw my EYES out. When I made my first pass at the book after finishing it - actually my first of two or three passes - I was horrified. Plot holes all over the place, all that jazz. Of course, I had emoooootions about my ability to do this, feelings of horror and repulsion at my own work, etc. I had to blunt force my way through it some days. But, I'm glad I did - I have this really decent result now that I'm actually proud of!

I think sometimes there can be a myth that creating ahhhrt needs to be this beautiful, sacred process, when sometimes it's just hideous and ugly and work and tedious and it's got a face only a mother could love. It's okay not to love writing every day. It's okay not to want to write one day. I promise you, you WILL get through it, and if you keep at it, you will have a product to be proud of in the end.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you fight off burn-out?
« on: June 19, 2017, 06:09:56 PM »
Disclaimer: I am unpublished, soon to be published. But, in the course of pregnancy, moving, and dealing with life and a full-time job, I have managed to write 2 full novels, one at 80k (on its last pass of editing before proofing), and another at 90k, in the course of 6 months. By many, many standards here, it isn't great, but I think it's a good start.

My goal is to make six figures plus from writing. My long-term goal is to get that spot right under Bella Forrest and J.K. Rowling. But, that might take a few more months.  ;D

So you should take my advice knowing where it comes from and what goals I have.

I think you have to either readjust your expectations or readjust your approach. Your expectations belong to you. You don't have to measure up to anyone else. This is your life, your ball game, and you get to make the shots. No one else.

There's just no point to beating yourself up over imaginary dreams you have. I think you're struggling here because it's not entirely clear what your goals, your needs, and your wants are. You're a little mired in all those feelings, and it helps sometimes if you can clear it all up.

So -
(1) Do you really want to be a full-time author? What is the "real want" underneath the "want"? Is it filthy lucre? (Always a fan of that.) Is it expressing yourself creatively? Is it winning awards? What's the real want? When you envision yourself FT, what's the feeling that comes with that? Freedom? The feeling of taking a bath in hundred-dollar bills, buying a Gucci purse without a care in the world? Is it a quiet life out in the country raising chickens and stringing up your laundry in the sun while you tend to your writing in between chores? All quiet, no one to bother you except the mailman you wave to as he rolls on by?

(2) Once you've established the REAL WANT, you can establish WHEN you want to get there. It HAS to be a reasonable timeline. But see (3).

(3) What do you have to do to get the REAL want on the timeline you want? It may mean giving up a lot of other things. I mean, I don't make my bed most days, and my kitchen can sometimes have several days worth of dirty dishes in it. I don't like that - I'm a clean freak - but that's reality. I don't have time to do it all, and I priortize my writing work over all that at this point. I also don't have that many other hobbies. Writing takes a LOT of time. I'm no Amanda by a long stretch, but I wrote a 70k novel in 42 days and a 90k novel in 60 days, which is an OK speed. And I don't have my A-game together on my writing, but I'm constantly working on it and measuring it.

I'm not saying this to make you feel bad - at all. In fact, you shouldn't feel bad, because my house is kind of a mess, and I have a to-do list I'm pretty much drowning in constantly. But my life priorities are this: my health, my relationship, my job, my writing, my social life, and then everything else that has to be attended to pretty much immediately. I space out my social visits so that I have large blocks of writing time on the weekends. I don't love the state of affairs, but I've accepted it as temporary and necessary to meet my goals, and I fantasize about having enough cash to hire maids. I mean, I just can't fix time so I have to work within it.

(4) If you can't find the time to meet the goal on the timeline you want to - after being very logical and analytical and REALLY thinking about it - then you  just HAVE to readjust your expectations. Writing is just plum hard enough without beating yourself up and having all these other guilty emotions on top of it. I think part of it is realizing that you are making a choice and just owning that and accepting that. You can make a choice to write 500 words a day and watch your TV programs and destress and spend time with friends and there is NO SHAME IN THAT. You have MADE that choice. You own it, 100%. It's your life and you don't have to measure up to anyone else's standards.

I hope that makes sense, I sort of crammed this in after finishing some editing. (I really, really wanted to respond first,  but I used responding as a candy bar to getting the editing done that I needed to get done. Know thyself. I am like a child. I use little rewards like that to motivate myself and I just roll with it.

I hope that helps. And FWIW, your covers are beautiful, IMO!







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Writers' Cafe / Re: What makes a 100k author?
« on: June 12, 2017, 04:42:13 AM »
Rosalind, thank you so much for the OP. Very interesting data. I hadn't thought about the number of hours 100k authors work and using that as a possible metric for success. One of the sayings around here, is if you want to be a full-time author, you have to put in full-time hours. (Of course, there are exceptions to that around here, but it seems like a good rule of thumb.)

I'm not quite sure how useful the outlier discussion is. I see what some posters mean by referring to these authors as statistical outliers, which I think  may be getting conflated with referring to the 100k+ authors as "lucky". I'm not sure what's to be done about the luck component. I think we all come to writing with a certain set of skills, a certain body and health status, a certain pot of money from which to draw, a certain home environment. Some of those things, we can do little to nothing about. Others, we can improve our "luck" where we can.

Michael Phelps is a statistical outlier from the length of his arms and the length of his torso.  Obviously, he came to a great advantage as a competitive swimmer that you can only come by through luck of the draw. But he didn't just fall into a pool one day and shatter Olympic records. He had to train day in and day out, day in and day out. Of course, the results were maximized because of his natural gifts.

Writing seems to me to require less of those natural advantages than sport does.  I think that it would be worthwhile to actually try what the successful authors do for a reasonable period of time, like two to three years, and then see if we can't become "outliers" too.  Good choice of genre with readers, good covers, good blurb, good look-inside, editing, publishing consistently, putting in 30-40 hours a week on it, etc.  I have a hard time believing from my own reading here that someone wouldn't do halfway decently if they did all that. The problem is that it's a ton of work.

Then, if we don't get the results we're looking for, we change strategies.  For example, Annie Jacoby did this, and when she found she wasn't earning the income she wanted to earn, she posted a long thread here. She didn't blame the Zon or the Powers That Be or even luck. She thought hard about the way she wrote romance, and decided it was time to switch genres. She'd been an outlier once, and she knew that she could be an outlier again. She refused to lay down and die, and it seems like this year is going well for her with her genre switch.

It seems that success in this business is persistence, some degree of intelligence (writing decently, getting good advice, being able to accept constructive criticism, etc), and just plain old elbow grease and grit.

Though, honestly, having or cultivating those characteristics might be the true outlier.

14
We moved into our new home in Beaufort, just three months after that last post, nine months ahead of our planned goal. Let's see, what's happened since then? Bought a few boats. Just little ones, nothing like Hugh's awesome cat. Didn't get that new big red truck, but saved about $30K by buying a big blue truck that was 20 years old and in good shape. Still have her, she pulls the boats nicely. I did start that spinoff series, but not with any of the characters I mentioned. The Charity Styles series now has three volumes and the Jesse McDermitt series has ten and I'm working on number eleven, with a goal of at least 21, to match the late-great wordsmith, John D. McDonald. At the urging of friends, I wrote a little book about my experiences, last year. In it, I outline goal setting, planning, a few tips, and some mistakes to avoid. I've cut back from a thousand words per day goal, to just 5000 per week. Whenever I hit that, I go out on the boat. Now there's some motivation. And I take a month off at Christmas and in the summer now. Playing with kids and grandkids is pretty rewarding, too. And just last week, our new pool and back yard were completed. It took two months, but definitely worth it. Paid off by my last Charity release. Oh, and that's my private beach and boat building shop just beyond.

Yeah, magic does happen, y'all.

 This is so inspiring. I have always enjoyed your posts here, but the way you write here really shows your happiness and contentment. I'm definitely adding your books to my to-read pile. Congratulations on all your achievements and thanks for updating us.

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: How is my new book cover and titles?
« on: May 04, 2017, 04:44:34 AM »
Alvina, is that a picture of you in your Kboards profile picture? Have you ever considered posing yourself for the cover, maybe with one of your recipes? I think all you would need is a bright, clean, well-lit space and a decent photographer on a good camera. I don't know if you even need a kitchen  - a clean table in a bright space should do. I was imagining something with you holding up a completed recipe in a bowl toward the camera, with some fruits or vegetables or whatever on the table. I think it would really personalize your book and you - the author - would be proof of the success of the product (the recipes).

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: May 03, 2017, 05:56:02 PM »
Wednesday May 3: 1,214

Well, a new twist in my book just opened up to me despite my meticulous scene by scene planning! It's a good twist, so I'll keep it but I'll need to readjust a few scenes afterward, I think. I wrote for 45 minutes and was a little slower than usual due to the twist.  I also need to plan my action scenes in more detail in advance. It's one of the harder things to write on the fly for me

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: May 03, 2017, 04:47:20 AM »
Timed sprints are the only way I seem to get anything done (writing or otherwise), and yes, when I noticed my productivity sinking it's also usually because I've stopped timing myself XD I have an analog timer, because I try to keep my workspace Internet and phone-free ^_^


Tuesday May 2: 1,306

Hey cabinmate! Yes. I am so distractable in that 10 minute period when I start writing but before I really "dive" into writing, that I have to tie my hair back or else I'll start staring at my split ends, LOL.

Was very tired yesterday, but committed to doing a half-hour sprint with the oven timer again. Had knocked some out yesterday morning, so that got me to 1.3k. I'm so glad I chose to write, and a half-hour sprint is very doable, even when I'm tired. Have to remember that I *never* regret having written.

Today (Wed), I will do two 30 minute sprints with a little 5-minute break in between. Tomorrow, I will wake up at 5:30 and do at least one 30-minute sprint before work, with another sprint or two after work.

It's glacially slow compared to the fact that some days in Camp (weekends) I wrote 5-10k a day.  What I learned in Camp, though, was even pulling high word counts one to two days a week doesn't help too much if you're not making slow and steady progress during the workweek. I would have done better with my word count had I stuck to 2k a day every day rather than pull in really high word counts on the weekends, but only chip away at 300 or 500 words on a weekday. Funny how that works out!

In any case, I'm trying to focus on making incremental progress to my weekday word count, and so far, I'm succeeding! My goal is eventually write about 3-5k a day on weekdays, and I'm making progress toward that.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: May 01, 2017, 05:56:06 PM »
Finished up Camp (though not my WIP), and now I'm setting up "camp" here!

Monday May 1: 1,085

During camp, I really struggled to get in anything like a decent WC on weekdays simply due to job/life stuff.  I've been writing this book on a Neo, which has been great for cutting out the distractions of the Interwebs, but I still have my own little internal, mental distractions. When I wrote my last novel on a computer, I had an Excel spreadsheet with start/stop time, total WC, WC/hr, and I would time myself and it became a little competition with myself. Switching over to the Neo, I lost that. Then, I read Annie J's thread about her "One Weird Trick" and I was like, DUH, of course my progress has slowed a little! I'm not competing against the clock anymore like I used to!

I don't have iOS so I just set the timer on the oven for 30 minutes and  banged out 1k words, which is better than I did during a LOT of Camp on weekdays.

Can't believe it was something THAT simple - and something that I had done before, to boot! But making the technological switch from computer to Neo, all my other habits didn't "switch" over and I dropped them without even thinking about them.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Feedback for my debut novel's cover
« on: May 01, 2017, 05:39:54 PM »
Experiment # 3



Not a cozy writer, but have spent a lot of time on Amazon scouring the cozy section. I really like this one. It seems to walk the line between the cartoonish, fun-loving aspect of the cozy with the slightly macabre. IMO, the other covers where you've got the black on white or the white on black seem little more... religious thriller to me? Or "True Detective"-ish.  I'd pick those up, but I wouldn't be expecting a cozy, I don't think. Just my two cents.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: Where do you see your writing career in 5 years?
« on: April 27, 2017, 03:44:57 AM »
I'm in Year 1 of the five-year plan. In five years, my goal is to have at least 20 books published and to be earning a full-time income. So far I have 1.75 books written, and the first will be published in May.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Who would you like interviewed?
« on: March 17, 2017, 06:20:41 AM »
Bella Forrest
I second Amanda Hocking
BR Kingsolver - you're killing it with your UF!
Izzy Shows
Michael Anderle
Jasmine Walt
Jeff Wheeler (been interviewed before)
Elle Casey

I love to hear about the business side of things. Preparing for success, how they made it, blurb and cover writing, writing a good story, taxes, work schedules, etc.

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: Camp NanoWriMo April 2017 - Join my cabin
« on: March 14, 2017, 10:00:48 AM »
Dax1234 is my username. Would love to be in the cabin!

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you write on a bad day?
« on: March 10, 2017, 04:26:50 AM »
That's like asking, "How do you go to work when you're in a bad mood?"

You just do.

Ditto.

There are exceptions, but I really try not to let my feelings or emotional state rule too much in my life, especially not in my writing.

Writing is productive and action-oriented for me. Wallowing in my emotional state (again, of course there are exceptions for awful, life-changing days) is neither, and I generally only feel worse for it.

EDIT: This is for normal-brained people. If you find yourself struggling with daily productivity, completing basic life tasks, or feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated all the time, please seek medical attention. It may not be you - but your brain. Do not assume that you've failed to amass enough willpower or discipline to "get through it".

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I also want to extend my thanks to the OP for his openness. It's a positive, constructive, attitude, and it seems so far to be a very professional approach to the launch, as well as to the amount of criticism he's received. Not everyone would withstand that much pressure so professionally.  While I'm a little skeptical, I'm still looking forward to his report.

I would suggest that no one who is in severe financial straits copy the OP's approach and spend a great deal of money that they can't afford while also taking, IMO, a risky pricing strategy.  The impression that I've gotten from the OP is that he won't go homeless if he fails to recoup his investment. Just wanted to put that out there.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Jim C. Hines did a survey of writers' incomes
« on: March 09, 2017, 04:27:17 AM »
I thought this report was interesting, and appreciated Jim's caveats as well.

The scattering of the >$1 mil plus authors seems to add color to the argument "many paths up the same mountain". Some have numerous books out, some spend more time on marketing, etc. Of course, it's all self-selected, so that does add a little bit of a challenge.

It would be nice to see this study with only indie authors, and maybe trying to reach a representative sample from each genre. Not sure what the best approach would be.

As an aside, I have been wondering lately what the ceiling is. I would love to spend some time analyzing Bella Forrest's catalog. She's #2 of all the Top 100 Amazon authors, right behind Rowling, and holds her place there. Her latest book (one of the Gender Game books) had to be pulling in $80,000 a month on its release when I crunched the numbers. And she has a catalog of 40+ books. The best I can spitball it, which is probably a pretty awful guess, is that she's got to be pulling in $15 - $20 million a year. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if she's spending a least a $1 million on advertising.

Thank you for sharing, C. Gockel! BTW, I love your IBTF covers. They are incredibly cinematic and when I see them, I think, "I want to go see that movie." It has a great summer blockbuster feel.  I have your books in my TBR pile.

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