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Messages - MikeRyan

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Nominated for a kindle deal on Amazon email?
« on: February 22, 2018, 12:15:27 PM »
I actually just received one of these emails today for five of my books. I already replied, taking them up on it. I also had a daily deal for one book late last year. I don't recall the exact figures but I believe I sold about 800 copies of the book on that day. For me, it's about added visibility of your name and books, not necessarily what money you make from it.

I agree with what Berries says here about psych thrillers not working so well as a series. In my experience there are two basic kinds of thrillers. The ones that are more military/actiony stories, where the stakes are big but don't have to be personal, where the MC is some sort of professional whose job makes them good at/suitable for dealing with lots of missions or emergencies. These work nicely as a series. Think James Bond or Jack Reacher, etc.

These are usually the kind that I write and I'm now full-time at this, and have been for the past year. So there's definitely more room for indies who are thinking about it.

I just got some covers from her a couple days ago. She's probably pretty busy. I'd give her some more time.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Facebook login issues
« on: October 31, 2017, 01:51:56 PM »
Thanks Lynna and RBN, they sent me a code that also had a link button... and that got me back in. I think that was my problem though as I was clicking the submit button every time. Kinda weird they have a submit button if you're not actually supposed to click it. Anyway, thanks again.

Writers' Cafe / Facebook login issues
« on: October 31, 2017, 12:47:03 PM »
Anybody else experience these issues? For the last week, I can't log in. I have to put in a security code, then when I get one and type it in, it doesn't do anything. Stays on the same screen. Reset my password, still nothing. Still goes back to this security code page that doesn't work when I put a code in. I just got a bill from Facebook Ads for $130 for October, so they don't mind taking my money, they just don't want me to get in. I'm beyond frustrated with this.

I'm not a heavy Facebook user as I only post to my page, not my personal account, and I really just started using it in the last few months. I can't believe a company like this doesn't have an actual customer service department that you can email. There's some help page that you can post to, but it told me I have to log in to use it...which, hello...that's kind of my problem.

Anyone have any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Made a Belly Flop with My Last Promotion
« on: July 17, 2017, 07:48:40 PM »
I have a few thoughts and comments for you, feel free to take any, or completely ignore them entirely. But I also write crime type thrillers and have done fairly well so I think I can help you out. First, I don't think your cover is helping. I'm not sure why there's a wolf on the front, but I think that might turn off some people who might otherwise read the book. That might even turn them away from even looking at the blurb thinking it's some type of shapeshifter book or something. I wouldn't worry about reviews too much. Some of my books are rated mid-3's, and as the star ratings went down, the sales went up. I'd also look at your blurb. The first paragraph looks kind of clunky to me and honestly, I'd probably get rid of it completely.

As far as promotions, you can look into AMS ads (Amazon ads), some have luck with them, some don't. Count me in with those who don't. If the book is first in a series, you may want to put off advertising until you have book 2 or 3 out, that way readers can get into the whole series without waiting for the next book to arrive. I'd also play around with your pricing. Especially after you get a couple of books out, maybe use a .99 cent book to try and get readers hooked on your writing and then get them to try the rest of your stuff.

Also, I don't think it's got anything to do with dates or holidays. My books sell just fine over holiday periods, so it's not that there are no readers. I forgot to check when the book was published, but one thing I didn't mention is, sometimes it just takes time for a book to get traction. Even if you do everything right, cover, blurb, writing, ads, sometimes it just takes time. It took me four or five years of making $50 or $75 a month until I was able to make a full time living at this.

Here's my facebook and twitter. I have to admit, though, I'm still a relative newbie at facebook and am still learning the ropes.

I'll retweet and like on facebook some of the others here as well.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Need a good editor.
« on: July 13, 2017, 08:00:26 PM »
I will thirdly recommend Graham!

I've been there, and trust me, don't worry about it. I got an email from someone who claimed my book The Silencer was a direct ripoff from Person of Interest. I honestly didn't even read the email. I read the first two sentences (and it was a lengthy email) and saw where it was going and deleted it. I figured I got the last laugh since he obviously took a lot of time writing something that I deleted in five seconds. What makes it even better is I have Brian Hutchison narrating the audiobook and he actually played in a few episodes of Person of Interest, and he loves the book. Chalk it up to a nutjob and move on.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kobo promotions
« on: June 21, 2017, 03:48:02 PM »
Not sure it depends on sales volume either. I sell 10-15,000 books a month on Amazon, and the only time I ever heard from Amazon was when I went through Pronoun to get on Google Play, and Google Play Australia had a book for like 30 cents less...regular price. Maybe it just depends on which way the winds blowing that day. Either way, Amazon should be able to tell the difference between promo prices and regular price, no?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kobo promotions
« on: June 21, 2017, 11:17:49 AM »
I've had some success with some of Kobo's promos. It's the only way I sell anything on there. But I've never notified Amazon of it, I figure if they wanna price match, they will. I've never noticed them price match a Kobo sale, which doesn't mean they won't, or haven't...just haven't noticed it. Never got an email from them either. I think you should be fine for a sale promo. It's when it's regular price that they seem to send emails over. At least that's my experience.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: June 15, 2017, 11:39:41 PM »
You're not doing anything wrong. You do not need an actual Mac. You're totally okay.

What you need to do is contact Macincloud support (click "New Support Ticket") and ask them to update your Vellum version to 2.0.

Thanks so much for the tip, SugarBear!! Really appreciate it. I'm off to try that now.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: June 15, 2017, 06:40:36 PM »
I've used Vellum through Macincloud for ebooks, and I've found it pretty good, no major problems. I bought the upgrade for 2.0 for paperbacks, and it keeps asking for an administrator name and password. My experience with Macs is strictly the few hours I've spent using macincloud so I'm really not sure if it's something I'm doing wrong or if I need an actual Mac for this. Any help would be appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / Re: ACX Marketing ideas
« on: June 14, 2017, 07:04:06 PM »
I'm currently having several audiobooks done through Brick Shop Audio. They told me most people just use social media to advertise. I think Facebook is the main player there. There is also AudioFile Magazine, which is online and in print. You can also do some newsletter banner ads for AudioFile Magazine, though I don't know anyone who's used it, so I don't know how effective it is. I suppose there's also Goodreads, but I haven't yet checked them for advertising. If you're looking for reviews, I'd suggest Audiobook Boom. You send the codes to people who are interested in your book and hope they leave a review.

That's about all I have for now. Good luck.

I agree with Elizabeth and Alice. Complaining about only getting 200k doesn't seem to be in good form. If it's that important, that's what negotiations are all about. If they insist on that audio percentage, negotiate a higher fee for yourself on other platforms. I don't think calling out a company over what seems like normal negotiations is really a sound strategy. I don't know what the normal percentage for audio rights for publishers usually is, but 50% sounds like a good deal...I could be wrong though.

I use D2D for iTunes, as well as the other sites you mentioned. While I've sold roughly 60,000 books this year (mostly Amazon and Kobo) the amount I've sold with 24Symbols, Inktera, Scribd, and Tolino I can count on one hand. Maybe others have had more success with them, but it's crickets for me. Still, it doesn't hurt, and doesn't really take much effort to give it a shot.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Breaking down an Amazon bestseller launch
« on: May 09, 2017, 11:07:22 AM »

Day 1- Rank #865: Discover SF announcement, email to main SF mailing list, $140 ad spend (FB, BB, and AMS ads)
Day 2- Rank #320: SF Bridge announcement, MLS (Mailing List Swap) #1, MLS #2, social media push, FreeBooksy, $400 ad spend
Day 3- Rank #314: Fiction mailing list, ENT, Planetstrider list (smaller but highly engaged), $400 ad spend
Day 4- Rank #220: Deathless List, MSW#4, $500 ad spend
Day 5- Reddit promotions, $500 ad spend
Day 6- MLS# 5, #500 ad spend
Day 7- MLS #6, all mailing lists, all social media, $500 ad spend

I have not considered Reddit for promotions. What exactly did that consist of?

Writers' Cafe / Re: At Which Grade Level Do You Write?
« on: May 01, 2017, 02:10:46 PM »
Looks like I'm at a 5th grade level as well. Which is ironic, as a review once said I wrote like a 5th grader, though I don't believe they meant it as a positive!

Writers' Cafe / Audiobook Promotion
« on: April 28, 2017, 09:28:07 PM »
Is Facebook basically it? I've searched Google till the cows come home and found nothing else. No newsletters like Bookbub, ENT, Booksends...nothing. AudioFile Magazine has some advertising opportunities. Has anybody ever contacted Audible about any co-marketing or promotions? Thanks for any help.

I believe most "how to sell better" courses are not really all that helpful. I definitely would never pay for one. Most of what they say you can learn elsewhere on your own or by Mr. Google. I listened to Mark Dawson's free webinar a couple weeks ago on AMS ads, most of which I already knew, but I did pick up a couple tips. But in my mind, most of these courses are targeting newer authors who may not know better, or authors who are desperate to improve their sales and might fork over a few hundred bucks for their "knowledge".

Writers' Cafe / Re: MacinCloud and Vellum Question
« on: April 23, 2017, 03:18:07 PM »
I actually have used it for the first time in the last 7-10 days. It seems to do a good job. I like it. The biggest issue for me, and I assume for most PC users, is getting used to working on Mac software. There is a bit of a trial and error period, at least for me, until I started getting used to where everything was and how it worked. I didn't have any issues with Vellum itself, and once you get used to everything, I imagine will go pretty smoothly.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Estimated Tax Payments
« on: April 18, 2017, 09:56:40 AM »
That was a big problem for me as well. I'm on pace to make 8 times what I made last year. I also just started using quickbooks online. They have a sale going on so it's only $5 a month for the next 6 months. Once you put in all the information then it gives you a guide for what your estimated payments(federal only) should be. But it's also good so far for helping keep accurate records, something I'm usually not good at.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Estimated Tax Payments
« on: April 17, 2017, 11:15:37 AM »
Yep. It sucks.

Better than being surprised at the end of the year, though.

Yeah, no doubt about that. Just a little jarring the first time you have to do it.

Writers' Cafe / Estimated Tax Payments
« on: April 17, 2017, 10:48:48 AM »
What a giant kick in the coconuts! I never before saw so much money fly out of my account so easily! Federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, etc etc etc.

This is my first year as a full time author, and though I budgeted for the hit, it still stings a little to watch so much money go away!

I'm definitely thankful to be in this position where I can do this, and I know others who would love to have the problem, so I'm not really complaining, though I guess I am...but it's still kind of depressing.

You have some nice artwork, C.A.

For people who might be wondering, what are your rates? I'm assuming it might depend on time and complexity of the work involved, but do you have a ballpark figure? I might need some work in the next few months for a sci-fi series I'm working on.

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