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Topics - brkingsolver

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Writers' Cafe / Hot New Scam
« on: July 03, 2018, 10:28:39 AM »
It would appear that someone has discovered a bug in Amazon's release tracking algorithm. People are releasing a book, then unpublishing it, then releasing it again. It stays on the HNR list that way. I saw one book that was published in 2012 that is suddenly a HNR with a June 2018 pub date. Bonus points are the reviews are intact.

How much effort do people put into discovering and testing these things?  :-X :-X

Writers' Cafe / Another ToS scam to be aware of
« on: July 01, 2018, 09:41:53 AM »
I was at a con last month and met a number of authors who are active on facebook. Some are part of a group I'm a member of. I learned of another group, started by upstanding members of the indie author community and proudly promoted at this con. The focus is authors banding together to help each other and promote better craft and marketing.

Sounds good. Then a sweet, white-haired woman told me about how the group has genre sub-groups I should join. Among the wonderful things those sub-groups provide are review swaps between their members. When I told her that was against the ToS, she said, "No, it's not, because we buy the books!" I'm sure she didn't believe me when I told her that was still against the ToS and could get her account banned.

So, review swapping of verified purchase reviews. None of these authors - except one - are even medium sellers, but they are earnest and truly want to become successful authors. But they are getting their information in their own insular little worlds from people who don't know what they're talking about and never read the ToS.

I'm beginning to wonder if those of us doing things "by the book" are really a majority.

Writers' Cafe / Cover porn or "oooo, shiny!"
« on: June 17, 2018, 07:29:07 AM »
Just as a break from all the heavy topics, here's the cover for my new book.

Writers' Cafe / Proper grammar/word usage
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:18:59 PM »
I have always thought that "He ran over her" was proper. "He ran her over" has always grated, but I see it all the time. Which is correct?

Writers' Cafe / Trad pubs in AMS
« on: April 18, 2018, 08:39:49 PM »
Discovered trad pub books in sponsored ads in urban fantasy. A quick scan didn't show any in other genres. Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, Karen Marie Moning. When you're selling ebooks at $13.99 and $14.99, I would assume you can bid fairly high.

Writers' Cafe / FBI seizes
« on: April 06, 2018, 02:33:40 PM »

If websites are liable for 3rd party content, what happens with erotica or other books some people don't like?

« on: March 31, 2018, 08:12:54 AM »
Southwest Writers is holding a conference in Albuququerqu, New Mexico, June 9, 2018. This specifically focuses on SFF and looks like a good one, and pretty cheap. This group has been around for a while, and Tony Hillerman was active in it when he was alive.

Track #1 – Science Fiction/Fantasy

Creating Fantasy Races Indigenous to Unique Settings
Turning your Role Playing Game into a Publishable Book
Worldbuilding: Political Systems in Conflict
Writing SF Fast Enough to Stay Ahead of Reality

Track #2 – The Craft of Writing

Copyrights and Contracts for Writers
Is This Actually a Story?
Aesthetics of a Fabulous Book Cover
Getting your SF/Fantasy book into the Movies!
The Steps to Self-Publishing

Writers' Cafe / New book launch
« on: March 25, 2018, 10:51:32 AM »
Gods and Demons launched last Sunday, March 18.

Launch strategy:

NL to my paltry list March 5 when the book went on pre-order. Some other authors pimped it to their lists. Facebook post.

118 pre-orders

NL on launch day.

3/18 - Fussy Librarian $18
3/19 - OHFB $100, ENT $35, Book Rebel $50, Speculative Fiction Showcase free
3/20 - EbookHounds $90 (doesn't go out until 6 pm EST)
3/21 - EbookBetty $18
3/22 - no promos
3/23 - eBookSoda $27
3/24 - Booktastik $25, FKBT $10, Book Cave $18

An AMS ad, a BookBub ad, and two Facebook ads

The facebook ads have done well, not great. The AMS ad has done very well. The BB ad hasn't done squat. Some other authors have pimped it (thank you!!!)

As of this morning:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,110 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#1 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Supernatural > Werewolves & Shifters
#1 in Books > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thrillers & Suspense > Supernatural > Witches & Wizards
#11 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Paranormal > Werewolves & Shifters

70,000 page reads.

Total cost, including editing, cover, ads, and promos, less than $1,000. I'll boost it from $0.99 to $3.99 tonight and break even sometime next week.

Writers' Cafe / Amazon Payee Central
« on: March 08, 2018, 07:54:17 AM »
Does anyone know what this is?

You are being invited to use Amazon Payee Central, a website that will help you perform business with Amazon. The applications that you see will depend on your job function, each one has been designed to improve our business interactions with you. Please ensure you have contact, banking and tax information available to complete your Payee Central profile(s):

    Company: BR KINGSOLVER, Business: Goodreads, Payment: Services

Please sign in to Payee Central using the email address "my email". If this email address is not already registered with Amazon, you may need to create a new account.

After you have successfully logged into Payee Central, you will need to enter your Activation Code provided below.

Payee Central Link

Writers' Cafe / Cover for first book in my new series
« on: March 08, 2018, 06:28:25 AM »
Just a little bragging...

Writers' Cafe / Blurb review
« on: February 26, 2018, 11:53:43 AM »
The book is contemporary urban fantasy. Any comments?

Life's tough as an Elf girl stranded in Earth's realm.

When a jaguar shifter approached me in a dark alley, and told me the fate of the world depended on recovering a thousand-year-old gold statue, I said no thank you.

Enter stalker werewolves in a black Mercedes, a master magician leaving a calling card on my doorstep, and hordes of demons attacking the Pentagon.

All I wanted was to tend to my landscaping business. But it seemed every paranormal in Washington thought I knew where that damned statue was. And they were rude about it.

Being rude was a capital crime where I came from.

Writers' Cafe / Walmart teams up with KOBO
« on: January 25, 2018, 06:37:46 PM »

Walmart is going into ebooks. Some funny stuff in the article. Ebooks are declining because of "digital fatigue". :P

Writers' Cafe / KDP preview file
« on: January 23, 2018, 05:33:07 AM »
I'm in the process of publishing an omnibus edition of my second series. Everything uploaded fine, but the preview copy I downloaded has the chapter headings left justified instead of centered (except for the first one in each book).

I've combed through the original Word file, as has my editor, and we can't find the problem. Any ideas? I use a custom style for the chapter headings.

Writers' Cafe / How much do you spend on editing?
« on: January 22, 2018, 08:26:49 AM »
I have run into several books in a row that would benefit from a proofread. They are fairly well written, and they were spell checked, but misuse of words, punctuation errors, doubled words or missing words, etc. interrupt the flow of the story. These are reasonably well-selling authors. I also ran into a couple of books that I refused to buy for 99 cents because the look inside revealed writing that would fail a high school student.

Maybe people think they can't afford an editor. Assuming that everyone wants to publish a product that they're proud of, how much do you spend on editing? How much time and effort do you devote to it? How much do you care?

Writers' Cafe / 0.00506 per KENP in December
« on: January 15, 2018, 10:59:10 AM »
I'm seeing 0.00506 per page from Dec. KU for the U.S. Can someone else verify?

Writers' Cafe / November KENP payment $0.004629 in US
« on: December 15, 2017, 11:06:08 AM »
November KENP payment $0.004629 in US store. Up about 2% from last month.

Writers' Cafe / Release day stats - book 4 in a series
« on: December 13, 2017, 08:04:31 AM »
Release day for Chameleon's Death Dance 12/12. 141 pre-orders, debuted in the 14,000 range at 99 cents. Book 1 in the series also set to 99 cents.

So far, Speculative Fiction Showcase new release NL has gone out, my NL went out, posted a sweepstakes on FB. eBookBetty promo12/11; Thunderclap from 145 accounts, and Ultimate Fantasy set up a 20-blog new release blitz. I also had a BargainBooksy; promo for book 1 in the series.

12/13 BookSends new release promo;
12/15 Booktastik new book;
12/16 BookBarbarian new release plus book 1;
Multi-author giveaway with book 1 running until 12/23;
12/20 eReaderIQ for the series;
12/26 BookBasset for the series;
12/16-1/1 Patty Jansen 99 cent promo for book 1;
1/2 FKBT book 1;
1/3 RobinReads book 1.

Plans to boost book 4 to full price 12/22, book 1 on 1/5.

Day 1 results:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,714 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) Book 1 in the series

•   #60 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Metaphysical & Visionary
•   #117 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
•   #183 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Horror > Dark Fantasy

•   Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,445 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) Book 4 in the series

•   #17 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Metaphysical & Visionary
•   #46 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Metaphysical & Visionary
•   #67 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic

Chameleon's Death Dance
Sales: 175
Page reads: 6,572

Writers' Cafe / Amazon has multiple issues
« on: December 08, 2017, 06:03:22 PM »
As I'm sure most of you are aware, Amazon has had a sign on our dashboards all day that says, "KDP reports are experiencing issues and your sales or royalties may be delayed"

1 - I haven't seen anything update since early this afternoon. It's 9 pm now.
2 - Earlier there was a major discrepancy between what the MTD dash was reporting as opposed to Book Report
3 - I know that most of us keep the dashboard or Book Report open all the time. However, when I came home from work tonight, my password wasn't accepted when I tried to log on. I was immediately bumped to a "reset password" screen and a message was sent to my email. I reset the password using my old password. What that tells me is that the hashed and encrypted database holding my password is gone. Blown away.
4 - I get an email that says:
Hi Advertiser,

The following are some of your Amazon Marketing Services advertising campaigns that are out of budget or are close to running out of budget:

B.R.'s Account   The Succubus Gift: An Urban 11/22/2017 15:35   >100%   $13
When budgets are reached, campaigns are paused and no longer serve ads to Amazon shoppers. If you haven't already, we recommend you increase your budget (sign-in required) to continue helping your brand drive sales at Amazon.

Have questions? Contact Us.

That ad has been running with a $5 per day budget. It passed $13 a long time ago. I have no idea what they're talking about, and obviously, neither do they. On the ad dashboard, the ad is still running.

What all this leads me to believe is that they have a major problem going on. God help us all.

Writers' Cafe / Cover for new release
« on: December 05, 2017, 08:41:40 AM »
For those into cover porn, here is the cover for my new release on Dec. 12. I took the picture of the mansion and lake in the background on a recent trip to Ireland.

Writers' Cafe / Is the blurb doctor in?
« on: November 16, 2017, 11:43:43 AM »
Finally finished the fourth book in my Chameleon Assassin series and shipped it off to my editor. Cover art is finalized. Hoping to release it in early to mid December. I would appreciate any comments/suggestions on the blurb.

Chameleon's Death Dance

Libby's legitimate business is taking off, and she's becoming more respectable than she ever dreamed. But when an insurance company hires her to recover a fortune in stolen art, it's not her legal skills they seek. Bring us the stolen goods and we'll pay you an exorbitant fee, no questions asked.

The Vancouver art scene is hot, in more ways than one. Billionaires compete for the most breathtaking acquisitions, and they aren't picky who they deal with.

With billions and reputations on the line, the super-rich are ruthless in protecting themselves, and Libby finds herself in the middle of a chameleon's death dance.

Writers' Cafe / D2D distributes to Amazon
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:31:45 AM »

Writers' Cafe / Genre question
« on: October 21, 2017, 06:58:21 AM »
I'm working on the concepts for a new fantasy series. I know that fantasy has splintered into hundreds of different settings, so much so that a book might show up on more than a dozen best seller lists at the same time. Some sectors are getting a little crowded, and I think keyword stuffing is placing a lot of books in some strange categories (angels and demons in the contemporary U.S. showing up in Steampunk?).

Anyway, the concept I'm working on would fit well in at least three different primary categories, depending on the world I set it in:

Urban Fantasy


Complete otherworld fantasy (not medieval)

Any ideas as to what would be best for visibility and sales? UF right now is overflowing with authors publishing 10, 12, 15 books a year. I can't manage that pace, more like 4 books a year. My releases into UF do well, but they die before I can get the next book out. My sales chart looks like the EKG of a heart attack.

Any suggestions/comments on the categories mentioned above?

Interesting article. The one-star crowd is out in force, and the book hasn't even been released yet.

Writers' Cafe / Reign of Reads - selling email addresses
« on: October 04, 2017, 07:11:01 PM »
I did a couple of promos with Reign of Reads early this year and felt as though I poured my money in a toilet. They offered a facebook ads service that turned out to have no return whatsoever.

I've also been getting unsolicited emails from authors I've never heard of thanking me for subscribing to their newsletter and offering me a free book. I keep trying to find out where they got my address. Today, an author said that he bought his list from Reign of Reads.

Absolutely not cool.

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