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Topics - WasAnn

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Writers' Cafe / What Would You Say to B&N?
« on: July 04, 2018, 10:48:28 AM »
...except sarcastic things.

Seriously, in a roundabout way this keeps coming up. The missed opportunities, taking the wrong fork in the digital road, and focusing on the wrong things have all come up repeatedly. So, I'm curious. If you had a chance to sit down with Fred Argir at B&N, what would you suggest to him?

Anyone game?

I'll go first:

- Get authors to drive the customers to you preferentially. Do it the same way Amazon did (and their DM-share went up, up, up). Smile upon a few indies, give some exclusives, work on promos, let them start sending their newsletter lists to you.

- Keep working the app. It's good, but constantly needs to be better. Advertise it. Put Audible style commercials up showing smiling people reading on their phones..etc.

- Stop featuring only what we've already see on the NYT and WP book pages. Customers have already seen it. Show them dynamic and new things.

- Work on the recommendation engine.

- Make an agnostic hot sellers list that updates hourly.

- Marry up features to go with Bookbubs (and indies doing huge sales).

- Actively work a promo division of their SP section. Make it daily, like daily deals.

- Work their newsletters to be less TP and more agnostic.

What about you? What do you think would work to bring them back into the DM as a strong competitor?

Writers' Cafe / Blurb help? Need some good word whips!
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:52:37 PM »
I've been working on this duology for three years, and haven't published for a long while. I decided to dig, working this pair of books full time. That means my whole catalog suffered, but also that I'm out of practice with blurbs and so on. I could really use the help. It's Science Fiction, with a strong female lead, wide spectrum character set (but spoilery to reveal), and space!

I've got two options so far, but all help much appreciated!

The world sees the portals as an invasion. For one human, they’re an invitation.

They came suddenly, without warning. Every thirteen minutes, a thousand portals appear on Earth. No one knows where they’ll show up next. From each portal steps an exact duplicate of someone on Earth...which then takes the original. Confusion leads to chaos and violence as the world takes extreme action. People will do anything to avoid being replaced. Whoever is sending the portals has managed to destroy our society without firing a shot.

But not everyone thinks the portals are really an invasion, including Lysa, a student far too bright for her own good. She’s among the few that believe there’s something more going on, possibly something wonderful. Her burning curiosity leads her to do the unthinkable. On impulse, she leaps through a portal meant for another.

What she finds beyond that shimmering hole in our reality is a galaxy teeming with life and complexity. And rules; lots and lots of rules. Primary among those many rules is one that prevents Lysa from ever returning. Taking a portal is a one-way trip. Lysa may be new to the galactic scene, but she’s human and if there’s one thing humans excel at, it’s finding a way around the rules. This time, she has to do it quickly. The future of all life on Earth depends on it. Something very bad is coming to Earth, and soon.

The world sees the portals as an invasion. For one human, they’re an invitation.

The portals began without warning. Now, the world is in chaos and getting worse by the day. Every thirteen minutes the portals take a thousand humans, leaving exact duplicates in their place. No one can be sure anyone is still the person they once knew. Whoever is sending the portals has destroyed our society without firing a shot.

A few humans don’t think it’s an invasion at all, including Lysa, a student far too bright for her own good. She believes there’s something more, possibly something wonderful. Her burning curiosity leads her to do the unthinkable, and leap through a portal meant for another.

What she finds beyond is a galaxy teeming with life, worlds beyond imagining, and one terrible truth. Something very bad is coming to Earth, and soon. Knowing what’s coming is Earth’s only chance for survival. Taking a portal is a one-way trip, but Lysa will never stop trying to find a way back home.

Writers' Cafe / Kindle Scout Dead...but will they bring back ABNA?
« on: April 22, 2018, 01:27:21 PM »
I've been perusing the interwebs in hopes of seeing something about this, but so far, nichts. Anyone heard any rumors, hints, whispers from dark corridors? After all, they got rid of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award to start Kindle Scout, so...maybe?

Writers' Cafe / Advertising Prime Reading Books?
« on: February 09, 2018, 03:48:48 PM »
I've got a book in Prime Reading, which is great, but I'd like to advertise it. With 100 million plus households in Prime, there's a large potential audience of clickers. I've put the book at 0.99 for the run as well, to decrease the barrier to entry for non-prime who come across it.

The problem is finding a good place to advertise.

You'd think BBub would have a slot for Prime books...and charge accordingly. They've got the largest audience already. Running free days is a no-go because it can mess up your Prime sorting for a bit.

Anyone know of any good places to advertise Prime books?

Writers' Cafe / Romance Cover Code - Changing?
« on: December 14, 2016, 10:21:10 AM »
Since Amazon Marketing became a fairly popular thing, I've noticed the changes in Romance covers increasing pace. While there is still the chesty thing, those are generally not often approved by AMS, so I'm seeing formerly chesty covers that are fairly steamy changing to moody once with people about to kiss.

I have two fairly steamy romances in a pen name (hey, I needed a change of pace from SF) and I'd like to alter those covers so I can use AMS, but I'm very confused by the new language of romance covers.

What signifies steamy now? I mean, mine are fairly strict with 58K and 66K words, two business events (koff koff) and a HEA. Nothing weird. What's the new language of covers? Is it kissing? Holding hands on the beach? I'm confused and the more I look at the BS lists on amazon, the more divergence I see.

Thank you!

Writers' Cafe / Anyone Else Get User Research Int'l Email?
« on: September 30, 2016, 06:10:16 PM »
I just got a weird email from someone at Uriux, User Research International for an Amazon author study. It's got links, all that stuff, but I'm automatically suspicious of everything. The email address they sent it to is my private email address, not my author one, and is associated with my KDP account.

Wondering if anyone else got this before I sent it to the spoofing/spam/scam department at Amazon.

Writers' Cafe / eBookHounds - Did you get the newsletter today?
« on: July 12, 2016, 02:30:10 PM »
I get a lot of the newsletters, including ebookhounds. I check my own ads but also do research using them and I save them for a period of time in mail files. I had an ad with them today on a pen name and didn't get the newsletter. I checked my mail files and noticed there have been a few days in the last month or two in which the newsletter didn't come.

Yes, I checked spam.

Does anyone else get ebookhounds newsletter? Did you get yours today?

Writers' Cafe / Dystopian YA: Bettering my blurb? Calling Blurb Docs!
« on: July 05, 2016, 02:04:08 PM »
The book is Strikers and it does okay, but the blurb is possibly a problem. I've tried a few different ones, but I'm not sure if I'm too close to the material to get it right. The book has fallen a bit off the map, but it was okay enough to score a KDD and a paid-for audiobook, so it has bones...just not the right blurb.

Anyone feel like offering feedback?

Karas Quick has earned everything she has the hard way, even the strike on her neck. Life in the dry lands of Texas isn’t fun for people like her. With no future and no choices, it’s all about survival. Her friends, Cassie and Connor, don’t have it much better, but together they’ve managed to carve out a life. Sort of.

With one eye looking over her shoulder and one on the next meal, Karas lives in constant fear of the authorities, because in Texas there are no prisons. There is only an accounting system as cruel as it is efficient. For each crime, a tattoo is marked on the offender's neck - a strike. Five strikes earns the label of habitual criminal and a quick death sentence.

Already sporting a strike at the age of sixteen doesn’t bode well if Karas is looking for a long life. It should be easy: just avoid breaking the law. Of course, it isn’t that simple. The disadvantaged like Karas can expect more strikes than the wealthy elite. When the guy Karas has crushed on since grade school risks his own strike-free neck to help her when trouble comes, everything goes wrong. Her entire group of friends is put into life and death jeopardy and there’s only one way to survive.

They have to go Striker. They have to escape Texas.

With the authorities on their tail and death the punishment if they’re caught, it’s a race against the elements and the might of Texas. If they survive, the prize is freedom.

Writers' Cafe / Amazon New Release Emails Whacked
« on: March 18, 2016, 04:33:53 AM »
I released a new book this week and I got the Amazon email asking if I wanted to inform my followers. I put a short line in because it's new release pricing and clicked.

This morning (about 36 hours later), I got it but I also got one from another author I follow who's right about where I am in the same genre.


Mine was an email titled: "(name), you have 1 new update on Amazon." Inside it was just  my tiny profile pick and a teensy, tiny box with my book and line in it in the middle of a largely white background.

The other guy's was titled: "(name), New Release by (Author Name)." Inside was the standard giant cover image with his line in actual legible type. All laid out nice and pretty.

Now, one might say that it could have something to do with the number of followers, but that seems unlikely since I've gotten the normal ones before when I released books. And I know I've got followers there (giveaways plus people posting or sending me screen shots of random stuff Zon sends them with my books on it).

What in the world is with that clearly disparate treatment of two authors with a new release? I mean, Zon is really pushing us to make them our one stop shop and I've even done giveaways that require a "follow" to enter, so there have to be a thousand from those. But if we can't even trust that they'll send out a new release properly, what are we supposed to do?

Good heavens! Anyone know if they're doing AB testing or anything?

Writers' Cafe / Argh! Should I PayPal dispute?
« on: December 04, 2015, 02:30:04 PM »
So....someone posted last month for some pre-made covers at pretty amazing prices on here so I bought one of them even though I hadn't entirely settled on a title yet. I've got several like that (including a Jason Gurley one!) that I'm hoarding until the right story comes along. They were quick to send the paypal invoice and I paid within moments, adding a note to ask for a contact email so that I wouldn't have to try to contact them only using kboards PMs. response. Sent email to email they put in the post. No response. Also no cover, no confirmation that they'll hold until I figure out a title...(though that was said in the PMs)...nothing at all.

Within the last few days I've also tried the paypal email and a PM here on Kboards. Nothing.

It's getting close to a month and that's the limit for disputing with paypal. I've never done that...generally when I get a flake I just eat the costs but I'm tired of doing that. I feel strange about disputing, but I'm rather sick of fly-by-nights posting something on here or elsewhere and then getting money for nothing.

What would you do? Is there some other method of finding people I'm missing besides stalkery stuff? How many attempts do you make before disputing?

I really liked that cover...grr...

Writers' Cafe / Pricing and Royalties Contact Us Gone on Amazon?
« on: October 29, 2015, 07:56:58 AM »
Is it gone or simply moved?

The exact same page I used to use to ask for a price match is now gone on Amazon. Contact Us > Pricing and Royalties > Price Matching is just plain gone.

What gives? Have I simply lost my mind? What are people using now?

Writers' Cafe / Liberio Shutting Down
« on: October 09, 2015, 11:15:13 AM »
I was in the beta for Liberio, but didn't use it because I'm so set in my ways. Just got a notification they'll be shutting down. Did anyone here use it?

Writers' Cafe / Is gone for good? Anyone know?
« on: August 05, 2015, 04:46:06 AM »
I've been using for months in order to wean myself off the rank checking and it's been great for it! Awesome! But it's been gone for a few days now and I'm not even getting the main site anymore...Dead River Books.

Anyone else use it or know what's up? It was free...a sort of awesome-sauce thing done by Sara Cannon's husband for her that lots of folks now use. I miss it! I feel like my browser tabs are naked in the street without it!

Writers' Cafe / Riffle Select?
« on: July 18, 2014, 10:54:43 AM »
Since I've got a new book out, I'm doing the standard looking about at advertising and I ran across something new I've not heard it mentioned. I searched KB and I can fine only one post  where someone used them and reported it, but not in any detailed way.

Has anyone used this? Riffle Select? I know people put books on Riffle, but it looks like they are branching out to a bookbub'ish sort of list.

I read the whole spiel and it costs $150, but doesn't mention how many people are on their lists at all. Or any stats. Anyone got anything to report on this service?

Writers' Cafe / Building a
« on: April 05, 2014, 06:26:44 AM »
There's a fairly long journey involved in Strikers and I'm using Google to map the journey, but is very awkward because I want to add in the stops for each spot so I can work with what I see. I tried MapMyWalk but it is an ad nightmare.

Does anyone have any other particular tools they use for this? Any sites?

Thanks for the help!

Writers' Cafe / Do you change your covers?
« on: April 02, 2014, 04:15:10 PM »
In July it will be a year since I published my first one.

I'm sentimentally attached like nobody's business to the covers I have and the cover artist was so...sooo...nice to a newbie like me who knew nothing at all, but I'm feeling like I might want to change the covers for the one year anniversary into something different, more.

So far, opinions have been split. Some say that people are used the Silo 49 series the way it is and I shouldn't change it. The other half, and by that I mean exactly half, say I should change them and simply leave the font to tie it together.

Do you all change your covers? When you finished your first round of books, did you upgrade once you understood the business better?

All opinions most welcome!

Writers' Cafe / Createspace Proof Flaws - Crooked pages, etc.
« on: March 30, 2014, 10:11:25 AM »
I've just started the process of getting my books to paper. Everything looks great in terms of covers, formatting, etc. BUT, when I get the paper proofs, I've noticed an alarming number of them have loads of crookedly cut pages. Not just a little, but askew enough for it be immediately noticeable. In my opinion, it's bad enough that it would lower the reader's opinion of the book's quality.

Anyone else noticed this? And if so, has there been any sort of back and forth from CS that has happened that might give me an idea if it's super common or just on proofs?

Writers' Cafe / Short Fiction to You Newsletter Subscribers?
« on: March 19, 2014, 01:45:16 PM »
I write a lot of stories just to work the cobwebs out, mostly when I can't get into whatever long form I'm writing or am blocked. But I just collect it on my drives and don't do much with it.

In some other thread that I can't find at the moment, someone mentioned that they include short pieces for their readers for free. I'd like to know more about that.

I do have a newsletter with a list, but how long a piece can I put on that? If a story is 2K words, that would make for a long newsletter. Do you put it on a blind page on your website and then give the link in the newsletter?

Any info much appreciated!

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