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Topics - AlecHutson

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Writers' Cafe / I was interviewed about self-publishing . . .
« on: May 23, 2017, 03:09:39 PM »
 . . . which is kind of ridiculous, considering my short time as a self-published author.

I thought that since just about all the knowledge I have was gleaned from lurking right here, some of you folks (or other lurkers curious about my journey) might find it interesting. Please excuse me if I made any glaring mistakes or misrepresented anything about our world. I know I still have a lot to learn.

https://blaiselucey.com/2017/05/23/alec-hutson-author/

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Writers' Cafe / ACX Buying Options
« on: May 08, 2017, 12:53:24 AM »
Hey all,

A few weeks ago I released the audio version of my book, and I'm trying to wrap my head around the various options for buying it. So, if I understand correctly, readers can use a credit to buy the book (AL), buy the book without a credit when they have a membership (ALOP - 30% off retail), or buy it A La Carte (ALC). Now, my audio book was priced by Audible at 24.95 . . . but, I see that there's a 'whispersync' option which adds the audible book to the e-book for 1.99. Am I missing something? Why would anyone pay 24.95 for just the audible version when they could get the ebook and the audible version for 4.99+1.99? If that's how it works, why would Amazon include this whispersync option when it must be costing them millions of dollars, since otherwise they would get 60% of 25.00 audible versions? I assume I'm misunderstanding something about this system, and I'd love it clarified. Sorry if this is really obvious and I missed something.

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Writers' Cafe / Amazon.com reviews showing on Amazon.uk
« on: April 20, 2017, 07:14:08 PM »
Hey all, excuse me if I'm a  total dunce and they've actually always done this, but when I glanced at my book on the Amazon.uk site I saw that my top American reviews are now showing there underneath my few reviews from the UK store. Very cool.

Again, sorry if this isn't news to folks. Maybe I just hadn't noticed it before.

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Writers' Cafe / Staring over the edge of the 30 day cliff . . .
« on: January 03, 2017, 06:09:21 AM »
Hi all,

First, I really appreciate this community. Thanks everyone for being so helpful and welcoming. I've been replying to messages for a month or so, and lurking for a few months prior to that, but I think this is my first thread I've started so I want to say that the time and effort you all put into these boards is very appreciated.

I'm new to this, and basically stumbling around trying to figure things out, but my first month - for whatever reason - went far, far better than my expectations. I didn't send out ARCs; I didn't enlist beta-readers, or leverage a large network or mailing list to give my book a boost out of the gate. I just threw it out there and sent a Facebook message to my friends letting them know I'd published. But things went well, I think, especially for a debut book from a new author. I've had over 330 sales and 110,000 page reads in this first month, and both have been building since I first published. I think I'll hit 10,000 page reads today (right now I'm at 8,500). My book is slowly rising in the ranks - it's around #4200 in the store right now.

But. Tomorrow will be 30 days since I published. I've seen numerous references to this '30 day cliff'. I can only imagine that Amazon gives some boost to books during this debut window (this is the only reason I can imagine my book has done this well), and that those benefits will disappear after tomorrow. I'm mentally preparing myself for going from 20 sales and 8,000 page reads a day to 1 and 300. In my mind I have the image of Wile E Coyote running running running and then glancing down when he realizes he's off the cliff . . . then plummeting. Will that be my book?   

So this is my question: is there a way to avoid the 30 day cliff? When I am removed from the 'hot new release' list or whatever, how do I maintain what I've been doing? Or is that just wishful thinking? Will I inevitably sink back, and then I'll just have to wait until I publish another book to get a new boost? I'm fine with that, actually, if that is the case. I feel like I've cheated somehow up to this point, and I wouldn't mind a bit of hardship to teach me the correct way to do things. 

But I'm thinking of promotions. Would it be smart to schedule a raft of promotions right now to capitalize on my book's current position? If I understand the ranking algorithm correctly, it's a combination of current sales and recent sales, so I could potentially get a bit more of a boost from my current position - - and maybe crack one of the lists that shows up to browsing readers, which seems like the best way to get visibility and maintain sales. From what I've been reading, a campaign built around BookBarbarian (I'm a fantasy writer) might be the way to go. Or are .99 promotions essentially useless if you don't have the back catalog to take advantage of read-through?   

I'm running a sponsored ad, and it seems to be working.   Is is worthwhile to do a product display ad in conjunction with the sponsored ad?

Basically, I'm lost. I don't know why my book is doing well, but it is. Any advice on what I should do now? (outside of 'get the sequel finished', which I already know) :-) 

Thanks, and I hope everyone has had a great start to the year.

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Writers' Cafe / Grammar question - honorifics and titles
« on: October 24, 2016, 08:48:05 PM »
Hey all, I've been lurking about and I've noticed that there aren't too many grammar questions offered up here - if that's not appropriate for this board, my apologies, and please ignore this post. But if you're willing to help me out it would be much appreciated!

So, I'm doing final preparations and edits for my first book. I have it out at a proofreader now, but I've also been going through it myself to see what I can catch. One issue that I've found, and I'm a bit unsure about, is capitalizing titles and honorifics.

I've spent some time wandering the various grammar sites, and it seems like different folks have slightly different takes on how to do this. A bit of background: my book is epic fantasy, so there's a lot of kings and viziers and various made up titles, and I'd like to conform with what the majority of other writers do.

Grammar Girl and the Chicago Manual of Style suggest that titles are usually only upper-case when they are connected to a name - for example, Queen Elizabeth. Otherwise, even when referring to the queen directly, they should be lower case. The Chicago Manual of Style does state that when a title is used in direct address (even without a first name) it should be capitalized.

So would anyone have issue with doing capitalization like this?

The knight-errant approached the queen on her golden throne. "My Queen, I have completed the task you set before me," he said, and Queen Buttercup smiled. The queen really was beautiful, he thought.

But we seem to have a point of disagreement - this is what Grammar Girl says:

"In cases where these words stand alone, even in direct address, they are lowercase."

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/when-should-you-capitalize-titles

And here's what the Chicago Manual of Style says:

A title used alone, in place of a personal name, is capitalized only in such contexts as a toast or a formal introduction, or when used in direct address.

(Chapter 8, section 19)

Okay. So any thoughts on how to resolve this apparent discrepancy? Perhaps the best tactic is simply to choose one way and be consistent. 

I noticed that certain titles in the real world (like the Dalai Lama) are always capitalized. But 'pope' is not, it seems, unless it is preceded by a name.

I cracked open my copy of Game of Thrones to see how GRRM handled this. Certain titles - like The Hand of the King and The High Sparrow and the Lord Commander - are capitalized, but 'king' and 'queen' are not, unless they precede a personal name.   

So! How do other folks here handle titles and honorifics? I'm leaning towards not capitalizing titles unless they are connected to a name or used in direct address . . . but I have a religious order in my books, and the head of the order's title looks much better to me when capitalized all the time (like the Dalai Lama). Lends it a bit more oomph, I suppose. 

Sorry for the long and winding post, but I'm curious what other writers do on this point. 

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