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Messages - Amanda M. Lee

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Are there indies out there really killing it with psych thrillers? I'd assumed if you want to make a lot of money in indie publishing you have to join the urban fantasy/paranormal romance glowy flame cover arms race.

Sarah Denzil made it to number one in the store (and stayed there) and is still in the top 300 or so a year out with her thriller Silent Child. Thrillers are very popular.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: Today at 12:50:46 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: How long is wait for Bookbub ads?
« on: Today at 11:29:14 AM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: How long is wait for Bookbub ads?
« on: Today at 09:26:52 AM »
They approved my request in about twelve hours. I've still yet to use them, though. I should really look into that for after the new year.

Writers' Cafe / Re: First Person Present Tense (FPPT)
« on: Today at 07:40:47 AM »
I'm not picky at all when it comes to what I will read. I don't care about first or third person. I don't care if it's high fantasy or urban fantasy. I don't care if it's cozy or horror. The one thing I cannot read is present tense, though. It sets my teeth on edge to the point where I will no longer even try to read it.
In the grand scheme of things, though, I don't think it matters. People should write what they want. If it turns out that present tense turns off readers, you can always write something else. This is a learning endeavor.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: Yesterday at 01:16:23 PM »

Shorts are fairly decent at picking up a solid, engaged mailing list. Also, if you trad publish your short stories, you can make money a few times off each, then put them on Amazon and use one (or more) as a giveaway for a mailing list sign up. I found that shorts are particularly effective because people will often read them right away instead of shelving them on their Kindle with hundreds of other unread free novels.

I've found the experience working with shorts to be invaluable as learning aids without the heart-strain of learning on my first novel. There's formatting, cover creation, blurb writing, uploading, setting up AMS ads, Facebook ads, website building, tweeting. What software do you want to write with, how are you going to get ARC readers (Super easy by the way if you use shorts to build yourself a mailing list), how will you handle editing/proofreading. How do link back matter, front matter, landing pages, sign-up pages. Layout for print, who to go with for your paperbacks, how do you distribute (if you choose to) on your own to B&M stores, can you take a short story and expand it into a novella and play around with the slightly longer format--what are those issues, and how can you finagle the shorts/novellas into a collection that you can release quickly after your novels start to come out.

All of that and more is what I've spent the last year working on with short stories as the rights have returned to me from the trad publishes. And while I was doing all that, I wrote the the 1.5 novels in my first trilogy--the first book of which releases on Thursday. Couldn't tell you if it's the best way to learn, but it seemed like the best way with all these short stories running around :)
The problems with shorts are multi-pronged.
1. Readers don't really like them. If you want to sell, you need novels.
2. You can't advertise them.
3. Spending time on them is essentially stealing time that you could be spending on full novels. We're transitioning into a much more mature market. It's only going to be harder to make a splash. In a year, what's going to be better for longevity? I'm guessing five novels are going to be better than twenty-five short stories. Shorts are not evergreen either. If you want to succeed in this, you need as evergreen of a backlist as you can manage.
4. I have long mysteries and short mysteries in a popular series. My long mysteries sell four thousand more copies on release week than my shorts and I can make a great deal more because of price points. The profit margins for full books are simply better.
5. As for building a mailing list, I don't offer freebies for my mailing list because I've found it to be pretty much a waste. I only do organic sign-ups.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: December 11, 2017, 11:57:53 AM »

Short reads are a tough sell in any genre (except maybe erotica). Mystery readers want full novels. I hop all over the place with my main name and pen name. I have witch mysteries, psychics, ghost hunters, monster hunters, etc. You have to commit, though, and shorts really aren't going to get you anywhere with readers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Need to make $7000 by march 1st.
« on: December 10, 2017, 01:24:29 PM »
If you need the money by March 1st then you actually need to make it by the end of December. If this was an easy gig and anyone could just pick a number out of thin air and achieve it then everyone would be rich. If you really need the money, I recommend getting a day job.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: December 08, 2017, 12:52:34 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: CreateSpace - File Submission
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:00:02 AM »
Are you using Safari? I've had issues with CreateSpace since the Mac update (which is beyond frustrating and I'm not sure why) but when I switched to Chrome everything uploaded fine.

Writers' Cafe / Re: First Snow Day
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:28:31 AM »
We're getting snow tomorrow and Monday (Monday is supposed to be worse) so I ordered groceries to be delivered this afternoon. I'm going to make crockpot chili tomorrow. I will have to run to the liquor store early in the afternoon tomorrow, too, but it's right around the corner so it's not terrible. I need to make sure i have the essentials before it snows.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: December 07, 2017, 12:27:41 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do KDP Beta (Paperback) sales impact Amazon ranking?
« on: December 07, 2017, 11:06:55 AM »
The rankings for ebooks and physical books are separate.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: December 06, 2017, 12:38:21 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: ANy know wha going on with KDP sales reporting
« on: December 06, 2017, 08:30:32 AM »
I had two new releases yesterday (both preorders) and I was worried that they wouldn't all show up like everyone was reporting but my sales seem to be normal. There are a few holdouts from credit cards not going through on my preorders but that's not out of the ordinary for me. As for reporting of other books, everything looks fine to me. Things are right where they should be for this part of the day.
It's also important to note, though, that we're coming up on Christmas. Every year I think most people see a lull during this time period because most people are getting ready for the holiday season and that means they're busy with parties, shopping, etc. I worked hard to combat that lull with extra releases this year. It could be you're simply seeing the normal lull.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:55:23 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 05, 2017, 09:06:16 AM »
Certainly, giving away free copies will generate more reviews, but why would these reviews be any less valid than reviews from purchasers?
Let's be honest. People put together ARC teams because they want positive reviews. If someone on the ARC team gives negative reviews, is the author going to keep them on the team? I'm going to guess not. There might be a random few out there who will, but the sheer bulk of authors will cut that individual. ARCS are engineered to gain positive reviews, not negative. If people want to keep their places on ARC teams, they know they have to give positive reviews in exchange for it. That's why I believe Amazon will have no choice but to eventually make reviews "verified purchases" or "verified borrow" only and all others will be culled. Like everything else, people are abusing the system. If they wouldn't abuse it, then it wouldn't happen. People always abuse the system, though. They can't seem to help themselves.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: December 04, 2017, 09:06:45 AM »
6K on a new book

Writers' Cafe / Re: Tips for tripling weekly output?
« on: December 04, 2017, 05:36:43 AM »
Instead of being the naysayer telling you to take it easy, I will cheer you on. I write anywhere from 9-15K most days (five days a week). There is no easy "trick" to it but you can up your chances.
1. Try to stick to a schedule. Get up. Don't meander around. Get working early. It's easier to get your words in if you hit them early.
2. Don't necessarily aim for word-count goals. I do chapter goals. I have to do X number of chapters a day and I can't stop in the middle of a chapter. I have to finish the actual chapter. Why is that important? It streamlines the process. You don't have to spend a bunch of time the next day reading the partial chapter you wrote and catching up. You can start fresh on a new chapter and it's much easier not to lose your place.
3. Try sprints, even with others. Write for 25 minutes full tilt. Then take a break for five minutes and do it again. Do it in a chatroom for accountability. Have everyone sprint together, then have everyone chat together. Build each other up and give yourself something to look forward to. It's also reassuring to see everyone is in the same boat and working together. By doing that, I've worked up to being able to write 9K in three hours if I want. Usually I do it more in four hours or so because I take one longer break in there, but I honestly can do it in three hours if I have to.
4. Don't allow yourself an excuse to shirk your writing. If you have to get three chapters done a day (or fifteen chapters a week) don't allow yourself to take off the weekend if you don't finish. Build in actual consequences. You will find you finish your work much easier/quicker if there are actual consequences (like working through the weekend). While you're at it, don't let others offer excuses for why you don't have to get your work done, too. Offering excuses for why you can't be all you can be isn't being a friend.
5. Outline. It doesn't have to be a full outline but have your framework. I do one to two sentences a chapter (just the main beats that need to be hit) and then let the chapter get there however it wants. If you're not always wondering where you're going next in your story you will be able to get it done faster.
6. Finally, remember this is something you have total control over. If you set goals and don't make them then it's on you. If you're constantly making excuses, that's also on you. No one begrudges an actual family emergency but if you're spending all your time coming up with excuses why you don't have to hit your words, that's on you and a mindset you have to break.

Good luck!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone have a catalog of 1000 titles?
« on: December 03, 2017, 03:19:41 PM »
I think an erotica author could do it but it would have to be shorts, so it depends on your definition of the word "book." Technically I don't count anything less than 40K as a book, so when people ask for my book count I do not include my 28K shorts.

No. Mine still says “read for free.”

Writers' Cafe / Re: Createspace at a snail's pace
« on: December 01, 2017, 01:43:43 PM »
I can't even get the "upload" button on the cover area to work today. I have no idea what's going on. Thankfully I'm in no hurry for the print book and was just uploading it to get it out fo the way so I could push the button later.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: December 01, 2017, 12:36:43 PM »
8K written to finish my last pen name book of the year and 6K edited.

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