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Messages - brkingsolver

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

Writers' Cafe / Re: Grammar questions...grammar answers
« on: Yesterday at 07:20:53 AM »
Over the last few years, I've seen more use made of the following substitution:

Instead of using he has or she has where appropriate, I'm seeing the use of he's (he is) or she's (she is) when it's obvious the meaning the writer is trying to convey is has. I'm not sure how common this is, since when I'm wrapped up in a story I don't always notice grammar.

Has this utilization become acceptable . . . or am I behind the times?

Thanks in advance.

He's can be either he is or he has. If one wants precision that can't be picked up from the context, it is better to spell it out instead of contracting.'s

I've been writing for business at $150K a year. I write fiction at night and on weekends. I have been thinking about switching genres, though. How hard is it to break into that "best seller" genre?

Writers' Cafe / Re: On Google what?
« on: June 14, 2018, 09:22:13 AM »
I think GP hired Micro$oft's genius error code writer. Since he had exhausted his imagination on the 6 M$ codes, he only managed 'needs action' for Google. :(

Writers' Cafe / Re: Opinions regarding long (>600 page) novels
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:23:35 AM »
I'm guessing that you are talking about going with a 5-books-in-1 packaging rather than a "5 book collection" (where you show all books on the cover.)  I am starting to think now that that may have been a bad choice, marketing-wise, but I had what I thought were sound reasons.   Each book in the series is like a serialized episode, almost stand-alone, but part of a continuous story arc.  I was also, admittedly, inspired by Hugh Howey's Wool series and when he released them as a single book, it worked quite well for him (understatement of the year).

I guess my bigger issue is that Amazon doesn't have a way of linking the series to an omnibus, or even a collection, so all of the positive reviews that the series received, go unnoticed.

Your omnibus cover looks to be a completely different book/series than your individual books. If the novellas are selling, why would you toss the brand (cover style/color) in the trash for the omnibus?

As to length, I have a 5-book omnibus at $9.99 that sells occasionally. Where I make my money is on page reads. I have an AMS ad running constantly for it.

Seriously? Go write something, people!

LOL. Thanks for the smile. Waiting for my editor to come back with the final review so I can submit my latest masterpiece, but I have to agree. :)

Those of us who have the knowledge of specific genres should report miscategorized books in the interest of fans of those genres. At the end of the day, to me, it is ALL ABOUT THE READERS. We should do whatever we can to help readers easily find the books they actually want. Because when people can find what they want easily, they shop happy. And when they shop happy, they tend to spend more money. And when they are willing to spend more money, they buy MORE books or more expensive books. So it also benefits the entire community.

And then there are those of us who would pay for a service that told us what genre the confusing mess we just wrote belongs in. Because I would love to make it easier for readers to find me.  It's a business opportunity, Julie. :D

Which is better for authors, day or night? Wet or dry? Beer or wine? Ginger or Maryanne?  KU or ????? Nothing happens in a vacuum. If there wasn't KU, what would the marketplace look like? Who are the players? Is KDP also gone? Do we still have electricity? I can think of a lot of post-apoc settings where KDP died yesterday.

I was at Southwest Writers' SFF convention this past weekend. While getting a cup of coffee, a woman in her early 50s struck up a conversation with me. She said her son was starting to write science fiction, and she came to the convention to try and understand what that was a little better.

"What do you write?" she asked.
"Mostly urban fantasy."
"What is that?"
"Fantasy and magic in a contemporary everyday setting."
Furrowed brow. "Can you explain a little more? I mean, what is your current book about?"
"It's about an elf, stranded on earth, and a jaguar shape shifter enlists her to recover a golden statue stolen from a goddess."
She starts laughing. "Are you on drugs?"

Writers' Cafe / Re: Weird "Look Inside" Issue
« on: June 06, 2018, 07:43:58 AM »
I'm not sure why it happens, but there have been numerous reports over the years of the "look inside" being screwed up. Email support.

I think the major reason is that I don't sell enough books.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Should a map be included in a fantasy novel?
« on: June 04, 2018, 07:22:51 PM »
I just had a map done for my epic fantasy wip.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bad review: Would you do this?
« on: June 04, 2018, 06:17:39 PM »
And what's wrong with the dog? I'll have you know my dog is highly intelligent! :)

Maybe, but I'll bet his typing isn't any better than my cat's. :P

Writers' Cafe / Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« on: June 04, 2018, 03:27:46 PM »
I just checked and it seems as if the stuffer in question has unstuffed a couple of his books. No stuffing in the first couple on his author page. No link to the back. Just an offer for a free story at the end and a link off site.

ETA: The next book in the list appears to still be stuffed.

All the books in his also-boughts are also stuffed. If Zon is serious, it shouldn't be too difficult to track this crap down.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What symbol(s) do you use to separate scenes?
« on: June 04, 2018, 03:11:04 PM »
I have use three tildes ~~~ but in my past two series I've used fleurons that are part of the series branding. I'm using three sets of crossed swords in my current series, and in my Assassin series I use three crosshairs.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ultimate Author Insult!
« on: June 03, 2018, 01:35:32 PM »
I don't write often, so I don't have anything related to writing to share. I do have something relating to editing. A managing editor told me that copyediting is "low tier editing." That was pretty insulting since I make a living off of it.

As opposed to sitting in an ivory tower offering opinions about how to make the book better? A copy editor actually does something. It is often unclear if an executive editor knows how to write a complete grammatical sentence. ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« on: June 03, 2018, 05:02:19 AM »
Here's why Amazon doesn't need new rules, it just needs to enforce old ones. Tia Siren is triple spacing all her books to artificially increase page count:

Edited quoted post.  --Betsy/KB Mod

If this works, then everything Amazon has been telling us about how KENP is calculated is a lie. I can't imagine that actually works. By that standard, I should boost my font to 14pt also, and use 1.5 spacing, and a bunch of other tricks that wouldn't be near as noticeable or damage the readability.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ultimate Author Insult!
« on: June 03, 2018, 04:33:34 AM »
Not an insult that I received, but when I worked for a daily newspaper, reporters were always complaining when they didn't like the edit or their story was cut because of space. My standard reply was, "It's not going to be nominated for a Pulitzer, and it will be on the bottom of a birdcage by tomorrow."

Writers' Cafe / Re: Boasting about sales ( an indie thing?)
« on: June 02, 2018, 01:33:40 PM »
Nope, the trad pub authors never tout themselves. "NYT Best Selling Author. Over one million books in print!"

But if you only made 25 cents each off those 1,000,000 books in a twenty-five year career and never quit your day job as a janitor, it really doesn't matter much, does it?

A friend of mine's dad published 45 books through a large publishing house and never made over $50K a year, and that included his $30K government job.

Writers' Cafe / Re: NEW Bonus Content Limits -- threads MERGED
« on: June 02, 2018, 09:39:19 AM »
Box sets aren't the draw they used to be for a number of reasons. Most relevant here is reader behavior of KU subscribers.

Where non-KU readers still swarm multiple books in a series and buy them all at once if there are discounts across several installments, KU readers are more like dentists: they take 'em out in ones.

Box sets just aren't as attractive to KU readers because they don't really save anything by grabbing them ahead of the individual books. And box sets could be next for the chopping block anyway. Who knows? There has been enough shenanigans around them to date where that's entirely possible, especially if the scammers flood those now.

From my own experience, I would disagree. I have a series that completed in 2015. I also have a 5-book omnibus for that series. One third of my revenue for that series this year is the boxed set, and 90% of its revenues are page reads. I've had readers tell me they prefer the convenience. A lot of them will take the set because it only takes up 1 of their 10 KU slots.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Issues "Bonus Content" Guidelines
« on: June 01, 2018, 05:25:48 PM »
My guess is they'll move into sexy aliens in space-opera with ghostwriters doing the heavy lifting. Alien cuisine recipes at the back so you can make it yourself at home.

Oh, that's rich! Kudos!!!

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Issues "Bonus Content" Guidelines
« on: June 01, 2018, 05:24:54 PM »
I thought they'd moved on to jewelry now...
LOL!!! Diamonds!!!

10% - that's clear. Let's see what the stuffers do now...

 This also includes disruptive or unnecessary enticement to click on elements within TOCs. Continued addition of these types of elements in your titles could affect your account status, up to and including termination.

Of course, this all depends on Amazon's interpretation and enforcement. Anyone want to lay odds that someone who innocently includes a first chapter of a new book gets slammed while a stuffer figures out a way to game the system to the tune of 2K pages per novella?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Poll - Dissatisfaction with Kindle Unlimited
« on: May 26, 2018, 05:26:46 PM »
"I can't leave KU. I make too much money" is the closest to my situation, but it's not quite so dire. I don't wish to leave KU. I'm not happy with everything about it, but, right now, it's the best choice for my career. I make my decisions pragmatically, not based on my personal feelings towards Amazon or KU.


Your poll choices indicate a certain bias.

This would be a welcome change. The last batch I ordered in April took every minute as long as they promised. When they said 10-14 days, they meant it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pretentious Dialogue
« on: May 26, 2018, 05:14:02 PM »
As someone who has repeatedly been the victim (read editor) of people attempting to overwrite, I would urge you to have pity on your editor and resist the temptation.

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