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Messages - Amanda M. Lee

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Is 60k long enough for a Thriller?
« on: Yesterday at 02:53:33 PM »
It's arbitrary because it all depends on the story. 60K could ultimately feel like 30K or 90K. It could be perfect. I probably read 40-60 thrillers by the pool over the summer, though, and I would say the bulk of them were around 90K.

Or will it? It could well be that digital's potential appeal has been overestimated.
I don't see how since the ease of ebooks vastly outweighs the ease of paperbacks, especially now. We live in a "I want it now" society. I don't see that changing. Believing that print books will somehow recover and oust ebooks is akin to believing that DVDs will outlast digital movies or that CDs will outlast digital tracks. Ease of storage and reducing clutter are merely two reasons that will simply not happen on any front.

Yeah, but once those college students have jobs, commutes and have to pay for their own books, how will that shift? I don't think print will ever go away but I think it will turn into something else, with POD kiosks in various places featuring catalogs of thousands (even millions) of books that are printed on the spot. Also, for the other stories citing physical book increases, as others have mentioned most indie books don't have ISBNs and aren't counted at all in those surveys and the adult coloring book explosion helped inflate print numbers. Print books aren't going anywhere, but neither are ebooks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: Yesterday at 01:48:45 PM »
9K written on a new book, 15.5K edited on another book.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: Yesterday at 01:28:46 PM »
Agreed. Defining 'written to market' as anything that sells well, regardless of whether the author made any attempt to determine whether there was a market or to write to it is just circular reasoning- and doesn't give us any useful information. Yes, books that sell well have a market. That's what having a market means. Writing to that market, however, is supposed to mean something other than finding out after the fact that the book you wrote because it was the book you wanted to write has a market. If it doesn't, then 'writing to market' has no specific meaning at all and it's no more helpful to tell people to do it than it is to tell them to write a best seller.
Who defined it as anything that sells well? I've seen multiple books written to market not sell well. That's hardly the argument.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: Yesterday at 08:47:22 AM »
And what I addressed before the argument became one was writing to market. You can subdivide market if you like. Today there's a market for this, tomorrow there's one for that. Call it trends, I don't really care.
And yet there's always sales in certain markets without trends. Trends are one thing, markets are another.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Uploading to KDP questions
« on: Yesterday at 08:46:05 AM »
To my knowledge, wherever you enter the process then takes you through the whole rigamarole again. So, if you enter at the pricing page you don't have to go back but if you enter at the first page you have to go through everything again.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: Yesterday at 08:11:15 AM »
Said another way, the market makes trends.
I'm sure the market does make trends but writing to market is not the same as writing to trend, which is the base argument.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: Yesterday at 07:51:13 AM »
Semantics. The market follows trends.
No. Cozy mysteries are a market. They never go out of style. Bad boy romance with bikers and hearts of gold are a trend that ebbs and flows with popularity. You can easily write and sell to market without following trends.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: Yesterday at 06:16:08 AM »
I like how there's a certain contingent that seems to think absolutely no thought goes into books that are released quickly. That's clearly how it works. Oh, wait ...
Either way, it really doesn't matter. This is one of those topics where there's a lot of preaching and derogatory comments that don't really hold weight because the proof is in the publishing. We can easily see what's selling and what's not. That's the joy of the business.
I'm sure someone will fire back with "bots" or "inflated rankings," and those are issues for some people. Most authors aren't using black hat tactics, though. There are honest authors making a living out there. If there weren't real authors making money off specific genres and publishing plans, no one would try to scam their way to the top with similar books.
As for writing to market, I think everyone should do what he or she wants to do. That's another joy of this business. I think learning for ourselves is the best discovery tool we have.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 06:47:36 PM »

From reading your posts on the subject, it sounds like you're really just having fun writing to genre...
No. I don't write to genre. I mash multiple genres together and then use them to write to market. I understand the difference. I'm not going to get in a huge fight about The Martian but it was easy to see where it was written to market. Ultimately it doesn't matter. Some will sell, some won't. It will be relatively easy to see how it shakes our.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 05:43:46 PM »
The problem with writing to market is that the market won't hold still long enough to get a good book into it, unless, that is, we descend into binge writing and stamp them out like automobile fenders. I suppose I could do that but I won't. There's a lot I won't do artistically merely to gain a fleeting commercial success.
You're describing writing to trend. Marketable books don't have to shift according to trend.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 03:23:31 PM »
I'm saying that I've never understood the write to market crowd. It worked for early phases of self-publishing, i don't think it will long term. I think we'll return to a more traditional curation of content based on quality, not marketing spend and rapid release schedule and 10,000 books with lookalike covers and stories.

Not sure why you have to be passive aggressive just because I have a different opinion. Hell, not even saying I'm right, just that's how I see it.

Y\ou asked for examples of books that sell without looking like every other book. I gave them to you, you don't like those examples. So agree to disagree then.
I asked for current books that sell without writing to market. That's not the same thing as books that were written thirty, fifty and seventy years ago. As for quality, I find a lot of quality in mass market books. That's what I find entertaining. Quality is subjective, though. I'm sure I would find a lot of what people term "quality" books to be boring enough to drop in the first chapter.
I guess we will have to wait and see, but I'm willing to bet that books with mass market appeal will always sell more than their not-written-to-market counterparts. And I do mean always.
As for being passive aggressive, you might want to look at your posts before throwing stones at my house.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 02:31:21 PM »
hehe you guys are just being silly now.

You can only use indie books (when the very problem I'm talking about is this copy catting formulaic bs... which is obviously the top spots because the top authors are doing this).

Moment I bring up anything other than indies "oh no, we have to discount all those books and the thousands like them, they aren't like us."

Silliest attitude I've ever seen towards books. If indies don't consider themselves playing in the same market as all theo the other books in the world... then heaven help this industry cuz it truly will die a painful death.
Yes, people are clearly going to stop reading books with mass market appeal. It's right around the corner.
We're talking about the current market, which was vastly different when others were holding the keys to the gate. It doesnt change the fact that many of your examples were actually written to market.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 02:20:17 PM »
George orwell? Margaret Atwood? Yann Martell? Andy Weir? Philip K dick?  I don't know, a thousand other authors who have a unique voice and aren't carbon copies of each other.
Yeah, and they're making it big in the indie market of today? Andy Weir tried a different form of publishing, the online serial, and it caught on but I hardly think it wasn't written to market. I mean it was basically an isolated survival story set on Mars. We've all seen those multiple times. It was kind of Alien without the alien, or Lost without the others and polar bears. It was basically Castaway on another planet. Technically I don't think Philip K. Dick is all that different either. He told some great stories but they were written to market. Margaret Atwood basically wrote dystopian that hit upon an interesting idea but it's not current (even though the television show is) and it wasn't vastly different than everything else being put out because it was post apoc, just with a more female bent (which is fine and I wish more things were geared toward women). That was also written to a post-apoc market, though. It hit all the appropriate tropes. While Orwell is a favorite and I appreciate his work, he's hardly a current contender in this market. I want to hear about the current contenders that aren't writing to market and proving that all those writing to market are going to disappear with the morning dew.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 02:12:10 PM »
I would argue that this is only partially true. You can't aim for a market that doesn't exist, but you can, in fact, create a market by writing something that no one else has.

I have done very well with a novel that was passed over nearly 50 times because there was "no existing market."
That doesn't mean there wasn't a market. That means that whoever you shopped the book to didn't see a market. That's vastly different. I mean, how many people turned down J.K. Rowling because there wasn't a market? There very clearly was a market. They simply didn't see it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 01:56:40 PM »
because people constantly refer to write to market and write to trend interchangeably.

Just look at the top books in any of the sub cats (although I only follow scifi)... i swear 95% of them have the same stale plot and you can't differentiate the covers from each other. That's what most authors consider "write to market"... copy whatever the best sellers are (or framed nicely "give readers what they want"). The irony being we don't even know just how much of a best seller any given book truly is.

now and then I'll see a genuinely original book in the list and it's like manna from heaven - YES finally someone writing for the love of writing and not just trying to tap a market vein.

a ton of indies are following a formulaic process of book creation because they think it will help them sell. I just never understood it.

to be clear, I'm not being critical in the sense that anyone is free to write whatever they please. I've just always found differentiation was the key to long-term success in most industries... replication or imitation is always the hallmark of a commodified market (it's the cheap chinese knock off model of doing business).

It's worked so far, but I think those days are winding down, simply due to saturation.

But we'll see. Right now the scifi category is honestly nauseating. It's basically carbon copies through and through. And I do not think they are selling at rates required to keep those ranks, there's a lot of smoke and mirrors going on there.
Just out of curiosity, who is succeeding on a massive level and not writing to market? I'm honestly curious and would love to see some examples. I tend to have mass market tastes. I write what I like to read. I don't want something vastly different because I already know what I like. I think the majority of readers are that way. However, I'm always open to being educated, so I would love to see examples of people not writing to market who are selling quite well. I tend to believe you have to deliver what readers want to sell so I'm a proponent of writing to market. However, on the flip side, I don't think writing should be a slog so I think people should write what they want. I honestly am curious about who is hitting it big without writing to market, though. I think it would be an interesting case study.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Beginning of the end for Indie writers
« on: October 15, 2017, 01:19:09 PM »
I think way too many people don't get the difference between "write to market" and "write to trend." Yes, writing to trend has a limited shelf life because of the nature of the trend. If you hit it hard, fast and often you can make it work. It's a gamble, though. It's not my thing but I admire those who make it work because they have a knowledge of the trends I simply don't have.
Writing to market, however, is not what most people pretend it to be. To sell books you need a market. Now, it could be a market of one, but that's still a market. There are bigger markets depending on the genre. The simple fact is, though, you have to hit a specific market to be able to sell. You cannot create a market. You have to entice an already existing market. If you don't want to write to market, that's certainly your prerogative. I think everyone should do what they want to do as long as they have realistic expectations. But pretending that writing to market is going away, or that it's somehow bad to give the readers what they want and that will suddenly shift and work against authors, is kind of laughable.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Two big things I've learnt in a very short time.
« on: October 15, 2017, 07:28:18 AM »
I'm not a re-writer. I would say my final draft only changes by 10 percent over my first draft. I think the longer you work at it the better your first draft gets. My initial first drafts were all kinds of terrible but it's gotten easier moving forward.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP page reads affect/do not affect rank?
« on: October 14, 2017, 07:16:01 AM »
Page reads have never affected rank. You get the rank boost when someone borrows, it doesn't matter when they read. Page reads are how you're paid but have nothing to do with rank. They never have.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: October 13, 2017, 11:26:40 AM »
9,000. I will finish this one up tomorrow. Now it's time for Friday the 13th movies.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Createspace closing its store? And so it begins...
« on: October 12, 2017, 03:25:04 PM »
We buy books direct from the CS store at cost for use in book signings, giveaways, etc.

Will we no longer be able to do that?

Will we have to pay full price for our own books?
No. I believe author copies are now available through KDP Print (they weren't before). I remember seeing that right before I left for a trip a few weeks ago and I didn't track it all that carefully at the time.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Createspace closing its store? And so it begins...
« on: October 12, 2017, 03:21:40 PM »
KDP Print should eventually have everything that CreateSpace has, including expanded distribution. They're not there yet, but that is the plan.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand Words a Day Club 2017
« on: October 12, 2017, 01:47:08 PM »

From a strictly business standpoint, I looked at the authors listed on the website and I think only two have anything published and those two books aren't selling at all. I would search for an agent who has actual sellers under his/her belt.

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