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Messages - BrianKittrell

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Advice on Writing & Editing Simultaneously
« on: February 20, 2017, 01:19:33 PM »
I really have to go off of my mood, personally. If I'm in the mood to write, I write. If I'm in the mood to edit, I edit. If I'm in the mood to do both, I start on one and work on the other later during that session. But it's rare to be in the mood to do both.

I know it's not really a great answer, but it's the best one I can offer. Unless I've signed up for an editing service with a deadline, which requires me to edit regardless of mood. I still may sneak a bit of writing in, though.

If you're having trouble making time to edit, set a timer and spend that much time editing, and then go back to your writing. Or you could hire it out to a beta (sometimes called 'development') editor/beta reader to get a little direction (and make more time for doing what you enjoy more).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Dates in Novels
« on: February 20, 2017, 01:11:23 PM »
I prefer relative dating when I use it at all. Instead of "November, 2016", I would probably say, "Last Autumn" or "Last November" when dealing with that. Most readers don't give a damn unless it's a journal or some other format/subject that relies very heavily on dates.

You can even get by police procedurals and courtroom dramas without concrete dates being shouted at the suspects or witnesses on the stand.

You almost always can drop the year on the date, regardless.

And if someone calls you out on it, don't give a damn about it then, either, and carry on with your life.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Trouble publishing new book amazon is going crazy
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:14:52 PM »
Make sure you're logging in with the correct password for your book-publishing account.

I had a problem once where I logged in with a password that was apparently attached to another version of my main account, and it caused me to see an empty library.

Basically, Amazon doesn't just track your email. Accounts are a specific email AND password combination, so the same email could be used with 4 different passwords and that one email address would represent 4 different, unique accounts in their system.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Trade reviews? Mine for yours?
« on: February 16, 2017, 07:28:37 PM »
Just curious, what are the negative reviews complaining about exactly? They're saying it's only a sample, and you say in reply that it was described as a sample only, but I don't see "sample" anywhere in the product description or anywhere else. The only place I do see "sample" is the usual spot under the cover art that allows you to sample the audio before buying.

Is this audiobook just a sample of the full audiobook to come? (And I guess the same question for the ebook and paperback editions.) If that's the case, I didn't realize Audible or Amazon allowed partials to be sold.

If the paperback edition is just a sample, I don't get it... I mean, it's a hard copy of the product. An ebook and audiobook can be updated later at no additional charge to the client, but a hard copy would have to be bought again.

Maybe I'm missing something altogether.

I've lurked a bit from time to time, but I'm just now seeing this. I wanted to say that I am sorry to hear what happened, and I hope for a speedy and full recovery for Jeanne.

Damn, what news to be greeted with when viewing friends' profiles.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Art: Vampire Short Story & Novel critique
« on: February 10, 2014, 08:19:13 PM »
Semi-off-topic, but is this the release of the story I beta-read the first chapter(s) of like a year ago? Soon to be released, now?  :D

Yes. :P

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Art: Vampire Short Story & Novel critique
« on: February 10, 2014, 03:37:57 AM »
New versions posted at the top with the old version of the short story cover also included for posterity. Opinions still welcome, of course.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Hardcover Publishing?
« on: February 08, 2014, 03:05:25 AM »
Has anyone made their novel into a hardcover version? How did you go about selling it? Etc...

Yes, for several years now. Lightning Source.

Pro's: Hardcovers are cool.
Con's: Hardcovers are expensive.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone else create their author websites from scratch?
« on: February 04, 2014, 08:05:58 AM »
WordPress. It can be a resource hog, but I have my own VPS machines.

Perhaps you haven't gotten a reminder because you don't review.  I get an email at least once a week asking me to review stuff I've bought....


And if you buy products, you get emails constantly asking you to go provide product support or answers to questions that other people are asking about a product. The subject line always reads, "Can you answer this question about [product]?"

I used to look at them, but it's always something they could've gotten on Google or the manufacturer's website to figure out.

Writers' Cafe / Re: January Sales Thread
« on: February 01, 2014, 06:01:32 PM »
1045 for January, 95% or so at $3.95-$4.95. Amazon and b&n ebook sales only.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is marketing tantamount to cheating?
« on: February 01, 2014, 05:52:29 PM »
You're very smart to know this!

Many people who are selling well might not know why. Timing and luck are major factors. Something like a simple ebook formatting choice can make a huge difference, and you'd never know.

I track everything I try, and keep statistics. I'm now back to re-trying various things I've written off in the past, but trying them with a twist.

The best thing to do is to drop things that aren't working, to create a vacuum for good. It's the same for life and relationships.

Yes, experimentation is very important. After a while, you can gauge the things that are or are not working. And that's really the only thing you can do; experiment, learn, apply, persevere.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is marketing tantamount to cheating?
« on: January 31, 2014, 11:56:45 PM »
I'm not quite sure if I've ever seen a stranger theory postulated on these boards...

When I find new sources that work, I won't be sharing here anymore. It just isn't worth the pettiness of a few. When you get twenty to the thirty of us who used to share, not sharing anymore, the public useful information does go down, but that's what happens when a place like this gets negative nellies.

I hate posting anything about marketing or even discussing it in private with people anymore. I usually tell them that I can't advise because I won't share any of the responsibility if they spent money on something I said was good and they lost on it. Or I tell them that I'm no good at it, which is partially true; I don't know exactly what aspect of what I'm doing is working or if any single element is working better than any other. I just do what I do.

And they've asked because I make a full-time income writing. Unfortunately, I don't know how to replicate that in another person, so I won't bother trying. I know what I did, but the story is rather boring and involves a lot of gritty work.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Art: Vampire Short Story
« on: January 31, 2014, 11:45:08 PM »
Thank you all for the feedback thus far.

Very sophisticated, and I wouldn't worry about the thumbnail.  Is the hooded figure the vampire or the vampire slayer, with the rosary?

The hooded figure becomes a vampire through the course of the (rather short) story.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Art: Vampire Short Story
« on: January 31, 2014, 09:26:27 PM »
Yeah, and it drives me crazy about how the size of the thumb eliminates so much of the art of any cover. And in just glancing at other covers on Amazon, art is virtually destroyed in every case I've glanced at unless it's pretty much text and a full-cover image of some kind.

I may go with it anyway. Rarely does anyone discover me based on my covers anymore. lol

Writers' Cafe / Cover Art: Vampire Short Story & Novel critique
« on: January 31, 2014, 09:00:07 PM »
Update: New versions posted at the top with the old version of the short story cover also included for posterity. Opinions still welcome, of course.



Full sizes:


Yes, I've been gone forever. lol

Writers' Cafe / Re: The K. B. Cafe Anthology
« on: December 31, 2013, 11:07:04 AM »
I'm in if there is still room. Sorry I'm late to the party; I've been away for some time.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Hard Cover - where do you print?
« on: November 04, 2013, 07:38:56 PM »
I use LSI. I have three hardcovers so far.

Lulu and iUniverse use LSI. They make it easier to do. LSI has hoops to jump through with account set up and file submission, plus it costs about $115 to set it up between the fees and the proof.

LOVE mine though. I have done both dust jacketed fabric and full color covers.

Hmmm. Didn't know Lulu also used LSI. It's a bit odd that they don't offer the cloth bound hardcovers, then. Well, they didn't the last time I looked into it, anyway.

I quit playing video games and found I could write 3-5 novels a year.

Man, I miss video games.

I happen to know from an unhealthy stalking relationship with a new blockbuster author* that he enjoys coffee houses in Amsterdam and a game called Kerbal Space Program...

* Facebook makes us all into stalkers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Hard Cover - where do you print?
« on: November 04, 2013, 05:19:08 PM »
Lightning Source (LSI) produces hardcovers in case bound and cloth bound at a competitive price. I may be wrong, but iUniverse uses LSI for their hardcover printing, so you'll see the same quality, just at a higher price.

Lulu makes a decent hardcover, but it is also at a higher price than you will get at LSI.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Re: Re: How much money do you spend on promotion?
« on: November 03, 2013, 11:37:35 AM »
Yes. Do tell. That's $400 a month. A lot of coin.

That's my standard ad spend plus what I put out on periodic one-time blasts aka Bookbub, Freebooksy, etc.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How much money do you spend on promotion?
« on: November 03, 2013, 08:58:00 AM »
About $100 per week, more in the holidays.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Writing more books isn't ALWAYS the answer
« on: October 21, 2013, 09:29:17 PM »
The saying should read: write more books and promote. One could write 100 books and sell nothing if no one knows they exist.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How did you deal with making more money?
« on: October 21, 2013, 09:27:11 PM »
Save, save, save, and save.

And do what Terrence said. You don't have to say that you made X dollars. Just tell them that you're comfortable with your income for now.

You have to accept that you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others. You have to save for the slim times because they will inevitably come.

Here's what I just got a little while ago:

To our Kobo Writing Life and self-publishing partners:


As you may be aware, there has been a significant amount of negative media attention in the UK regarding offensive material that became available across a number of eBook platforms. Kobo was included in the reports from media and we are taking immediate action to resolve an issue that is the direct result of a select few authors and publishers violating Kobo’s content policies.


In order to address the situation Kobo is taking the following steps:

1.       We are removing titles in question from the Kobo platform.

2.       We are quarantining and reviewing titles to ensure that compliance to our policies is met by all authors and publishers. We will ensure that content meeting the policy is made available online as soon as possible.

3.       We are reviewing our policies and procedures to implement safeguards that will ensure this situation does not happen in the future.


We are working hard to get back to business as usual, as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience and understanding in this matter.


Our goal at Kobo is not to censor material; we support freedom of expression. Further, we want to protect the reputation of self-publishing as a whole. You have our promise that we will do all we can to ensure the exceptions that have caused this current situation will not have a lasting effect on what is an exciting new channel that connects Readers to a wealth of books.




Mark Lefebvre

Director, Kobo Writing Life

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