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Messages - Dpock

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Is it correct that with the free plan on Instafreebie, you can still participate in the group giveaways? And the downside of the free plan is you can't collect the email addresses of those who download your book?

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 -- from 2000!  -- is great and you can buy it (one-time expense!) on Amazon.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Stuck rankings - Amazon hates me.
« on: January 17, 2018, 04:42:08 PM »
They're updating now.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Strange rank behavior for new releases
« on: January 17, 2018, 03:45:51 PM »
January is notorious for being a heavy volume sales month (holiday gift card spending) and new Kindle owners from discounted holiday pricing using their KU membership to borrow/trial ebooks. Amazon targeted new Kindle device buyers with heavily discounted three month KU memberships; something like $1.99 - $2.99 for three months.

Couple this with heavier ad spending by experienced authors, and it will take more sales today to achieve a better rank than it did in September.

All possibly true, but that's a different subject, really.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Strange rank behavior for new releases
« on: January 17, 2018, 03:23:13 PM »
Well, ranks have been frozen since 10 AM PT, and only moved slightly for forty-eight hours or so previous, so something is definitely up. Maybe a purge of book-stuffers and rank-manipulators is underway (wishful thinking), and algorithms really are now discounting BookBub style spikes.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Strange rank behavior for new releases
« on: January 17, 2018, 12:37:06 PM »
Since Monday, my rankings have been moving but in very small increments either way right up to 10:00 am PT today. Since then they haven't changed at all.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Strange rank behavior for new releases
« on: January 17, 2018, 10:40:33 AM »
If any of you are running promos, are your ranks behaving normally in response? Just wondering if this isn't a glitch and Amazon's algorithms are now somehow discounting big sales jumps to put some stability in the rankings (and in turn favoring KU titles using AMS).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Strange rank behavior for new releases
« on: January 17, 2018, 09:42:19 AM »
This is just a slow improvement that's been going on for about 15 hours or so now. Others have noticed the same thing.

Given the corresponding rank anomaly for new releases, I'd say we're seeing an algo adjustment.

Since mid-afternoon Sunday my ranks give the appearance of having "stabilized", moving up or down by very small increments. Prior to Sunday afternoon, my ranks jumped around by 10k or more hourly.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Global Fund up again
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:55:22 AM »
I know. An extra 7K for me because of it. Before anyone gets excited, though, remember that's going to drop no matter what for January.

Are you referring to historical trends?

Using initials will take care of the perceived shelf problem.

I'm curious... When you say "writing science fiction romance... as a male author" do you mean from the POV of a male (protagonist)? That's the trickier question.

That's amusing. Also, the Sponsored Ads for Wolffe's book - it seems a few ab covers have already slipped in.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Play to readers' prejudices or challenge them?
« on: January 08, 2018, 02:43:11 PM »
I don't believe it's a generational mindset (though I get what you mean) but rather a genre expectation, if we're speaking of romance. That doesn't suggest prejudice to me.

We assume (and know in many cases) that men are penning romance novels under feminine or ambiguous pen names. We know there are a few men writing with male pen names and doing quite well. So, there's a market in romance for men using male pen names. They do not represent a great share of the market. No news here.

If a guy is writing romance strictly for income and views the genre as a marketing challenge, choosing a woman's pen name isn't a bad idea. I do wonder if his "maleness" bleeds through the writing (I wouldn't be able to judge). I know that, as a man, attempting to write from a woman's point of view just cramps everything up. It's very hard to be consistent there (for me at least. I tried). You have to stop and think, would a woman say this? Or react this way? It really slows things down.

It takes more skill than I possess to write ambidextrously gender-wise. I don't feel oppressed by this shortcoming. I could say by sticking to my "maleness" in the romance market, where I only dabble, I'm challenging the market, but that's not my intent. There are romance readers who enjoy a male point of view, and I'm writing for them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Page Stuffing Explained - Helpful Video
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:04:41 AM »
The system's broken - so why continue to use it?

KU is 48% of my Amazon income.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Literary Fiction In Crisis...thoughts
« on: December 19, 2017, 06:39:18 AM »
The Guardian's ... literary pages are still focused on a tiny minority within English society.

Today's (meaning 12.19.17) Guardian book section coverage is very broad. Any other day it looks about the same. It lacks focus of any kind, aside from covering "books" and the authors of all stripes and backgrounds who write them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Literary Fiction In Crisis...thoughts
« on: December 18, 2017, 04:22:49 PM »
Taught where?  I can't imagine anyone who teaches creative writing (or whatever such a class would be called that has publishing as its eventual goal) encouraging newbie writers to take two or three or four years to perfect their work-- unless the writer is just doing it for kicks and giggles.  If someone really wants to be published, they probably want it to happen yesterday, and they won't want to take months or years toiling over it, agonizing over the perfect word or turn of phrase, etc.

"Creative Writing" works. Look at syllabuses from MFA programs to get the idea of the scope of instruction. The writing programs are NOT primarily concerned with getting published, though they do offer advice there too.

I covered the Maui Writer's Conference for a couple years and attended many of the workshops. The workshops were run by successful authors spanning all the genres, including "literary". One of their most common tips was a writer should put their "finished" drafts in a drawer for at least a month before revising and editing, though six months would be better. It's good advice. It produces a more polished manuscript.

In a private conversation with Frank McCourt, his personal advice to me was "Write like the wind, then put it away and work on something else".

It's not an inconceivable concept for indie genre writers. I finishing a draft tomorrow that will "go into a drawer" for a couple months, and picking up a draft finished in September that I hope to publish next week. It's the way only for me to really polish a draft. I need to see it with fresh eyes before I can make it my best work.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Literary Fiction In Crisis...thoughts
« on: December 18, 2017, 10:02:16 AM »
There's an interesting graphic on the page linked below regarding writing time on various well-known works:

Writers' Cafe / Re: Literary Fiction In Crisis...thoughts
« on: December 17, 2017, 04:00:34 PM »
...does not mean that literary fiction is defined by a lack of plot.

Of course not. But a great plot will never be great literature if the writing is poor. However, a weak or non-existent plot will not disqualify a book from the literary canon if the writing is terrific.

The market for great writing is shrinking, which isn't necessarily a crisis but it is sad. The market for great stories isn't shrinking, but its channels of distribution are shifting. That's only a crisis if you're employed in traditional publishing.

For indies, the takeaway is if you want to quit your day job, pick a genre and write to market. If you write literary novels, keep the day job.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Literary Fiction In Crisis...thoughts
« on: December 17, 2017, 02:40:04 PM »
FWIW, I don't view "literary fiction" and "genre fiction" as mutually exclusive characterizations.

Absolutely correct view. I've read and enjoyed canonical literary novels that fit into various genres and genre novels that have slipped into the literary canon. What they've shared in common is great writing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Literary Fiction In Crisis...thoughts
« on: December 17, 2017, 08:07:01 AM »
...but there's something explosive in these threads sometimes and I don't want anyone on either side to feel attacked.

There's not much of a bridge between the two camps. Literary fiction tends to view plot as irrelevant to the merits of the novel. For genre readers, plot is essential. Without a plot, there would be no point in reading the novel.

No one would argue that crap writing can't produce a great story, regardless of genre. But crap writing will never produce great literature.

I'm not saying all genres are crap or all literature is great. I'm saying they use different metrics when it comes to judging their merits.

My stats have been frozen since around 9:00 am PT, but they froze at higher levels (sales, KENP) than would normally be the case at that time of day.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I wrote a 30k word romance novella in 8 hours
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:08:45 AM »
What method, or dictation device/tool, did you use? How long did it take to edit?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Failed marriage, writing, and starting over. Advice?
« on: December 06, 2017, 02:40:11 PM »
AMS ads, once fine-tuned (be careful with those high bids), perform well. Promotional newsletters may be waning as a result. I don't FB.

On the other: I'm twice divorced, so I'll speak from my experiences. The first year following a divorce can be grim. It doesn't matter if the divorce was due to acrimonious circumstances or an amicable parting of ways.

After the first year, it's hard to carry a grudge or feel wounded. Well before the end of the second year, it's like the divorce never happened. By year three you're calling your ex to get her mother's recipe for carbonara, and she's complaining to you about her new husband. I'm not kidding. I know for many it doesn't always go so well.

I now count both exes among my good friends. We don't feel our marriages failed. They just ran their course. We had some great times and we're still able to reminisce (I will go ahead and admit their new husbands aren't real keen on that. Screw 'em). In the end, you were half of the marriage, and now you're half of the divorce, so make it a good one. Also, if you can put the bitterness aside, it'll really annoy your ex.

Posting vacation pictures from Cuba is a good start.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Create
« on: November 19, 2017, 10:07:48 AM »
I published three books using KC and they've all formatted fine. It's WYSIWYG.

They keep improving it. They may be aiming for a Vellum-like experience.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A New AMS Thread
« on: November 05, 2017, 12:45:53 PM »
Whatever is going on, I blew through a $15 daily budget in eight hours this morning. Their algorithms are supposed to space budgets out over the day.

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