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Topics - Vidya

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We had this thread in the cafe:,258859.0.html

some of us feel there's an opportunity for someone to start a new ebook store that hosts self-published and traditionally published books. The owner would take a percentage off every book sale, as Amazon does.

Some feel we could build an online bookstore that does a good job of matching readers with books.

Since this is a forum where lots of Kindle-owning readers hang out, I would like to ask you:

what it would take for you to buy eBooks other than direct from Amazon?

What could such a store offer that would make you want to search for books here rather than on Amazon? What features would you want this store to have?

Thanks for any input.

Writers' Cafe / Has anyone done a 2.99 Bookbub?
« on: October 23, 2017, 06:55:20 PM »
If so, how many copies did you sell and in what genre was the book?

People here have said itís easier to get a free than a 99c Bookbub.  Do you know how possible it is to get a 2.99 Bookbub?

Is it pointless to try? Too great a chance of moving too few copies?

Writers' Cafe / Tactful way to say this to readers?
« on: October 10, 2017, 07:42:01 PM »
At the end of Book 1 of my YA PNR, after my request to the reader to leave reviews and an invitation to join my mailing list, I want to write something like this:

If you would like to give me any feedback on the story, you can email me at ___

Feel free to tell me what you liked and didnít like about the story. Which characters would you like to see more of? Which would you like to see less of? Would you like to see [character name] end up with [2nd character name]?

Where would you like the story to go? What would you like me to write next? Feel free to make suggestions about the plot and characters.

Iíll read and consider every suggestion, though time may not permit me to reply to all of them. Thank you.

Iím being cautious because I might get a deluge of suggestions, some of which may be unrealistic and which I might have to use a ton of tact to reply to.

While I would like to hear feedback from readers, I fear getting inundated with too many letters that would take too much time to reply to.

So can you please help me come up with a tactful way to encourage readers to send feedback while also warning them I won't actually be replying to any of it. If a reader gave me some brilliant suggestion, Iíd reply to that.

Iím aware I may be opening a can of worms here and giving some readers the idea they have the right to dictate my story, but as I said, I want to make it clear I won't be replying.


Writers' Cafe / best writing and marketing advice books in KU?
« on: April 01, 2017, 09:39:15 PM »
I see some of the Chris Fox books in KU but I donít recognize the authors of the others. Can anyone please recommend the writing and marketing advice books in KU that it would be best worth our while to read?

Josh Lanyonís Man Oh Man is not in KU, but do you think itís worth buying and reading even if you don't write MM fiction? I read the first 20% sample that smashwords provides and I thought there was some useful advice there that we could adapt even if weíre writing straight romance.

Thanks for any advice.

Do cozy paranormal mysteries sell better than cozy real world mysteries?

I realize it's a broad question. I have an idea for a unique premise and setting. I've googled and have not found this premise and setting done in the mystery genre.

At present I just have the basic concept and still have to flesh out a plot, but I believe it's a pretty unique and attractive concept with a lot of scope for humor.

I know Amanda Lee has done well with her witch mysteries and I assume witch mysteries and paranormal mysteries in general do well. Jim Butcher's Dresden Files is famous and i'm sure there are other, less famous authors who write in his vein.

I'm wondering if I should make it a simple cozy mystery. Thing is, this genre is so oversaturated I wonder if it would be better to instead add   paranormal elements and make it a cozy paranormal mystery. I guess that would also be classed as urban fantasy. I get the impression urban fantasy, though of course popular, is a less hot genre than cozy mystery. Sure, there's Jim Butcher's Dresden Files  but the average indie author can't exactly go by how well a trad pubbed author is selling and say, see that proves indies can do well in that genre too.

My story will also have strong romance in it, probably at least two straight romances, one featuring the detective hero and the heroine, another featuring more minor characters, and also a gay romance featuring minor characters.

Thanks a lot for any feedback.

Writers' Cafe / Anything better than skype?
« on: September 30, 2016, 03:15:08 PM »
Is there anything better than skype that allows you to make free or low-cost international phone calls? or is skype the best? thanks.

Should I change my titles because of all the existing google hits or could they be a good thing?

I plan to title the first 3 books in my Young Adult paranormal romance series thus:

1. My Deadly Prince Charming

2. Cinderella's Masquerade

3. Beauty and the Beast's Conspiracy

I usually do a search to see if my titles have already been used; I don't want to share titles with any other book.

Well, the 2nd had hundreds of hits for Cinderella's Masquerade Ball. I was sort of ok with that; at least it isnt a novel title.

But the third has THOUSANDS of hits. It seems there's a popular conspiracy theory that Jane from Tarzan is actually Belle and Beast's granddaughter.

First I've heard of it, nor does it interest me.

But should I now change my title? If anyone does a search for my title. will they instead be inundated with all these other results?

Or could it be a good thing for my book? Is it possible that so many people being interested in a search like Beauty and the Beast Conspiracy Theory might mean that a ton of people could accidentally stumble upon my book? And if they love fairytales so much, might they be tempted to buy a series that has some reference to popular fairy tales?

And on another note, what do you think of my 3 titles? Do you like them? Lots of people loved the first but I haven't tested the 2nd and 3rd on anyone yet and I fear they might sound silly.

Thanks for any advice.

Writers' Cafe / What's your sellthrough on instaFreebie?
« on: August 26, 2016, 11:34:43 PM »
Some people have posted about how they got several hundred sign-ups to their mailing list when they posted a free book on instaFreebie.

That's great, but how many of your other books did they then go on to buy? Thanks for any information.

I live in India, so I've never seen any of his ads, but I've read about them.

how much do you think James Patterson or his publishers spend on TV ads?

How effective do you think they are at selling his books?

Do you think we can use that means of advertising on a smaller scale? Can we buy ads on, say, smaller TV channels or something?

Some time ago, someone posted an article here about an e-rom writer who borrowed from her brother-in-law and spent seventy thousand dollars on marketing her e-rom. I didnt bookmark it and I cant find that thread now. Does anyone have the URL to that article? Thanks.

First, let me clarify that I am not at all religious, have no strong ties to any religion, and have no agenda.

Second, please donít anyone turn this into an argument about religion. You know if you do, the thread will get locked and will be useless to me.

I have Hindu relatives and friends, but have never been a Hindu. I was raised Catholic. In school, I had to write various essays for my Religious Studies class where I had to explain why euthanasia,  divorce, abortion, sex outside of marriage, and homosexuality were all sins.

Since I've been considering writing a gay romance, you can figure out that my religious upbringing didnít stick.

Perhaps because I've always lived in countries where the majority of the population is highly religious, I accept that religion plays an important role in many people's lives even if it doesnt in mine. Well, it played a huge role in my life when I was a kid, so that too is why I understand. I totally understand what it is to believe devoutly in a religion, because I've been there.

Apart from the gay character from India that I was considering writing about in my YA PNR series, I want to portray a het romance between his sister, Carisma, and a guy.

I want to portray the gay guy's sister as a Hindu. I want to show her beliefs partly through a conversation she has with her 16 year old sister Lalita who is drawing away from her religion and culture.  Lalita explains:

"I donít share my parents' beliefs and values any more. They make me go to the temple, say prayers, do pujas, all the silly rituals I'm so fed up of."

To which Carisma replies:

"Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life; the only way to the father is through ME.

The first commandment states 'I am the Lord your God; you shall have no other gods besides ME.'

Islam says, 'There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.'

While Hinduism says, 'There are MANY paths to the truth.'

So why would you leave such an all-inclusive religion?"


Do you think the above would offend Christians? It isnt meant to be offensive, just to show Carisma believes Hinduism is a way of life that allows people to believe different things and still call themselves Hindu. To continue:

"It's so silly," says Lalita. "all those gods fighting and screwing."

"That's just the mythology," says Carisma. "You donít have to believe in those fighting and fornicating gods."

"Most Hindus do believe those gods really exist," points out Lalita.

"Who cares what most Hindus believe? To some of us, it's like Greek mythology. We too were raised to worship the gods and offer food and flowers and incense to idols. We donít do that now.

"Hinduism isn't a religion; it's a way of life. Some of us believe in it as a set of principles that tell you to live a good life and not hurt anyone. That's why we donít eat meat."

"How can you defend religion when you've seen what it has done to the world?" asks Lalita. "As if Islamic terrorism isn't bad enough, in India we now have Hindu extremists attacking and inciting hatred of Muslims and Christians."

"That isn't Hinduism," insists Carisma. "They took my religion, a beautiful, peaceful religion and tried to corrupt it into something vile and hateful. But Hindus invented the concept of ahimsa centuries before Christ was even born. WE came up with the doctrine of non-violence based on the sacredness of all living creatures."


This is how I see her. Some books have a token person of color just so a nod can be given to diversity. In mine, her ethnicity actually played a role in shaping her character and beliefs.

she knows many feel traumatized by their religious upbringing, but she never did. she enjoys spending time in both churches and temples because both were built by people  who wanted someplace where they could feel close to something bigger than themselves.
a couple of people warned me not to dwell too much on a character's religious beliefs since many Americans tend to be put off by religion.

My own thoughts: I felt those who tend to be conservative would not mind since they tend to be more accepting of religion and people's religious beliefs.

While liberals would not mind because they tend to be suspicious of Christianity but I get the impression they would not condemn any eastern religion because Eastern = Asian = people of color.

And libs tend to be pretty politically correct about people of color in order to avoid appearing racist.

But I donít live in the US. The above are just my impressions from reading the two group argue on the writing site I belong to.

So please tell me, would it be a bad idea to portray Carisma the way I have? Would it alienate a lot of readers?

I donít go on and on about it but she does say the above. I'll polish it when it's time to write the scene and will make it sound more natural.

I'm working on a YA PNR series and in a future book I want to feature 2 men who fall in love. I asked the beta readers who loved my Book 1 whether they would be interested in reading a gay romance in a future book.

Three of them said they donít support gay relationships and thus would not read the book.

Another three of them said though they have nothing against gay relationships, they themselves read only straight romance because that is what interests them.

Another two said they would love to read a gay romance.

It's not a huge sample but I definitely get the impression there's a bigger market for straight romance even in a genre like YA PNR.

After years of being told non-white characters donít sell, I'm now hearing readers clamor for diversity on blogs like this:

where they predicted in 2016, books would feature more diversity, people of color, and different sexual orientations.

and there's this book:

In reviews of the above book, reviewer after reviewer praised the fact it has a dark-skinned protag:

"This book has diversity (for example, the main character is dark-skinned Native American) and feminism, two traits that are incredibly rare in YA literature."

They also liked learning something about Native American myths.

Another quote from another blog:

"We have not achieved diversity in romance, and we will not until the worlds depicted in the books we read look like the world we live inĖa melting pot of colors and religions and sexual preferences and differently-abled people. No group should be relegated to a separate shelf in the book store. This is the WORLD of romance. One world, one loveĖcause in the end, itís all about the LOVE.

"Also, on that diversity thingÖnot only the characters, but for once, Iíd like an author to show me what it means to have a constructive discussion about diversity and race." - See more at:

Perhaps the time has finally come when American readers actually want to read of other cultures, at any rate if they're interesting.

Even before I read all the above, I planned to show something of Indian culture in my story.

My 2 gay heroes:

Blaze is a 25 year old self-made American billionaire who is used to people throwing themselves at him for his money.

Ash is a 21 year old Hindu guy from India. He went to college in the US and then went to work for Blaze as a software engineer.

We learn something of him and his beliefs on various occasions such as when his 16 year old sister is rebelling against her culture and wants to become totally Americanized and he tells her:

"You come from the culture that produced the greatest human being the world has ever known. A man who faced down the most powerful nation on earth at the time without a weapon. A man who stood up to the might of the British Empire and won freedom for his people without violence.

"People from all over the world have come to India or studied our beliefs and traditions because they got something from our culture that they know they donít get from their own.

"Be very sure of what you are rejecting before you reject it. At least be aware of of what it actually means to be a Hindu and what India has offered the world before you decide to totally reject your heritage."

You get the idea. Ash is a Hindu who is proud of his Indian heritage. And the more Blaze learns about him, the more he realizes Ash is no gold-digger but someone whose mind he wants to explore and who he can't help falling in love with.

I see these 2 guys and their romance so clearly. I have a ton of stuff to write about them.

But there have been so many posts on this board about writing to market and about how romance is a genre where you need to stick to the tropes in order to sell.

And I think that in order to get the most readers, I would have to make Ash a woman. I would have to change some things about the way the romance goes but a lot can remain, such as Ash's beliefs and world views.

As a [straight] Indian woman, I feel I can write any Indian characters, straight or gay. I just really see these 2 as 2 gay men.

I also wanted to portray gay characters because I thought it would be great to give them as positive role models. I grew up in a Muslim country in the Middle East and I now live in India. All my life I've lived in places where homosexuality is illegal. I've seen what driving it underground does.

But as I said: the market. The fact that a few gay romances have cracked the top 100 doesnít mean much. I feel I'll get more readers if I make these 2 men a straight couple.

So what do you think I should do? make them gay or straight?

I wish I could be sure I'll get as many readers if I feature the gay romance but as people have been saying, its not about what you the writer wants; its about what the reader wants.

Writers' Cafe / Does anyone here pay no tax at all on their ebook earnings?
« on: November 03, 2015, 12:47:30 AM »
Here's a question for Canadians and others:

According to my file on which countries have tax treaties with the US to avoid the individual being taxed in two countries, I see Canadians get zero tax cut off by Amazon when they're paid their royalties.

Does this mean you donít have to pay any tax to Canada either on your ebook earnings? I can't think it means that.

I'm curious as to whether anyone here lives in a place where they pay no tax at all on their ebook earnings? Theoretically it could happen if the country they live in is a no-tax country and it has a treaty with the US that agrees the US will charge no tax on any earnings made in the US.

The last book series I heard of that got a million dollar advance was the YA epic fantasy The Queen of the Tearling.

How much pre-publication hype did that get?

I know once the book is available, the author has to do the round of talk shows, etc.

But what kind of advance marketing do publishers do when they give a book a million dollar advance?

Writers' Cafe / KU and the genres that sell in India
« on: September 09, 2015, 09:12:29 AM »
Hi everyone,
I was going to reply in the other thread but thought I should start a new one to be sure no one misses it.

Sorry to take so long with this. I will address all your doubts, questions, and misconceptions about India and the book market here. There is a genre that is popular in India and many of you are writing it.

I myself am not in Select. I removed my books some time after KU 1.0 started and have not been tempted back by KU 2.0. I have not read everything that was said about KU 2.0 since the threads ran in all to I think dozens of pages. If I sat to read all those pages, I would not be able to get any writing done. I read a couple pages or so of some threads. I gather people who are writing longer works are happier with KU 2.0 since they get paid more. This could be good news for your borrows in India too.

Note that everything I say below applies mainly to the middle class. The poor cannot afford to buy many books and are not fluent in English.

In answer to your comments:

"Yes, but how many of them speak fluent English and want to read books written in that language?"

Many of us, actually. It's been stated above that 125 million people are English speakers in India. I donít know the exact figures but many of the middle class go to English medium schools and colleges and universities, answer all exams in English, and read books mainly in English.

   "Yes, but how many of them speak fluent English and want to read books written in that language?

Probably close to the number of them who write fluent English and want to now sell their books on Amazon to get some of that western money."

Everyone wants someone's money, vrabinec. Wal-Mart wants to open stores in India so they can get some of that Indian money. Many foreign companies eye India because middle class India is a huge market that they can sell to. Which means, yes there is a market for your books in India.

"I ran a Facebook ad recently in which I targeted only India. The response (clicks on ad) was massive - something like 100 times the clicks I got from other  English speaking countries.

No sales though. So I concluded that, while they are all on Facebook with their mobiles, hardly any of them have Kindle aps on their devices."

Philip, that could be very useful news for those who want to sell to India. It could be that if you had been offering a genre popular here, you might have got many borrows.

"I wonder how to get advertisements there? My last big free run I gave away ~5000 books, and 4 of them on during that run. Is there a bookbub type thing for India?"

Someone has said that BB also targets India. I have never yet tried for a BB ad. Others may be able to say how well their India borrows do after a BB ad.

"I don't think the question is how many people in a country speak English is as relevant as how many people actually have interest in reading books in that country. I doubt that many Indians are voracious readers."

Yes, many of us are.

"I doubt too that India hype will pay out in next 5 yrs, maybe in long term it will, and I'm talking decades."

No, I think it will happen much sooner than that. With KU, it can.

"They don't consume Western pop culture even closely as much as they consume their local pop culture."

Yes, we do. The ones that donít are obviously not your target readership.

"Not a study, but I was talking to my coworker about English in India, and he said almost everyone was taught English because there are so many other languages in the country and that is one that almost everyone can at least understand. Or something to that effect."

No. we learn English because it is a legacy of the British Raj. The British introduced English medium schools here and they continued after the British left.

The one language that supposedly everyone understands is Hindi, not English.

"There was an English colony in India before there was one in North America, and the Brits ruled much of the region for centuries, so there is a long history of Indians learning and using English. In fact, you could say it is the unifying language of the country, because although Hindi is the most-used native language, there are regions where large numbers of people don't speak Hindi but they do speak English."

Yes, the Southern states teach English in schools but donít teach Hindi. So they learn their regional language, which is whatever the language of that state is, plus English and I believe French. Of course they arenít fluent in French but many are in English.

"That's why most national government business is done in both Hindi and English, and national (as opposed to local and regional) media often have English editions."

We have English newspapers and English news channels simply because that is the language many of us are the most comfortable in.

And again those are the people who are your target readership. Not that all of them read fiction.

So here is the situation in India:

Ever since the Brits colonized us, there have been many who are as fluent in English as they are in Hindi, which is the national language, and whatever their regional language is [most states in India have their own regional language.]

Even those who arenít as fluent in English as in other languages will have some knowledge of it.

In 1991, satellite TV entered India and people were exposed to American and Brit TV shows. It was a huge hit. Many Indians are hugely interested in the west, especially in the US. They are huge consumers of Western pop culture.

So, satellite TV has been in India for 24 years. Think of all the number of Indians who have grown up on American TV in that time.

Re cultural differences: Yes itís a very conservative culture. Donít worry about it. You donít have to censor anything you write or tailor it to the Indian audience or market. The fact that American TV is such a hit here says it all. We get many of the programs you watch. Yes they do censor scenes and language but we see enough that I doubt anyone here would be shocked at anything you write.

Some years ago I read an article in the paper about how bookshops in India werenít doing well. they also said that fiction doesnít do all that well in India and that people tend to want to read non-fiction, especially self-help books. Anything that they feel will help them get ahead in life.

I wasnít surprised about the bookshops. In most cities, there are vendors who sell books from carts. They sell both new and used books. When you finish reading, you can sell the books back, so all you are paying is a reading charge. That charge might be as little as five to ten rupees for old books and as much as fifty or more for recent publications or longer books or more famous authors.

You can't sell books back to the shops. You can buy a new book at a shop and then sell it to a cart but you won't get much for it. Obviously many people prefer to buy from carts. They give you much more of your money back when you buy from them and then re-sell.

Remember long ago when I said I was considering how to crack the Indian market? and then I said I came to the conclusion it could not be cracked?

That was because of the money. There is no way most Indians would buy a bunch of your books when they can get books so much cheaper at the carts.

With KU, all has changed. Rs 199 a month is very reasonable. Any middle class person should be able to afford that. for voracious readers, this is a great bargain.

Ceteris Paribus said:

"Somebody in India just read my novel Lady Susan's Bargain, all 342 KENP pages of it, as well as page 1 of the sequel, which I hope means they are even now reading it offline."

Congrats, Ceteris. I expect to hear many more stories like this. This is what I was expecting, since you have written the most popular genre here.

And what genre is that?

Romance, of course. What did you guys think it was?  Of course itís romance.

When I first returned to India and started approaching the book carts, the vendors immediately asked me: MB?

Meaning, Mills and Boons?

I saw they did that to every women. No matter what her age, the minute they saw a woman approaching, they asked: MB?

They assumed that all women want to read romance. That was the genre most wanted to buy.

So what the paper wrote about how fiction doesnít do all that well in India--I donít totally buy this. I know romance does well. but the papers were talking of bookshops and not what sells easily from the carts. Granted, you won't  find as many voracious readers in India as you do in the US.

On the carts you'll find Mills and Boons, Harlequins, some Barbara Cartlands. Both contemporary and historical are popular here.

I see KU as being a boon to the romance reader because until now, if she wanted books cheap, all she could get cheap from the carts were the older books. The new ones cost more. With KU, women can get for cheap even books that arenít a decade or more old.

What other romance genres sell? Well, those are pretty much what you can get from the carts. Paranormals and fantasy books arenít that big here. Sure, the famous ones like Twilight and Harry Potter [of course that wasnít romance] have made it here, but you donít find a bunch of lesser known writers on the carts.

I'm thinking all that could change with KU. I suspect women will be willing to try out other romance genres once they can get them cheaply.

What non-romance genres sell? People here tend to read the big names, the blockbusters. One reason is that smaller names would not be easily available here anyway. I donít know how well those big names do, how many read them. I doubt they're as popular as romance. But yes people do read thrillers of various kinds, and spy novels, and sci fi.

As with romance, I suspect people will be willing to try out names unknown to them once they can get them cheaply.

Agatha Christie used to be a big seller. So I assume people would like to read cozy mysteries. I'm sure theyíll read all kinds of detective novels.

PG Wodehouse used to be a big seller but no one today writes his kind of books.

I donít read erotica or erotic romance. I donít know how well they do. I was surprised to find Fifty Shades and Bared to You in a bookshop. I assume there's some market.

S. Wolf, who writes erotica, once showed me a screenshot. He had had a number of buys from India but they all returned the books too. Obviously they were cheating; just buying the book so they could read it. they didnít want to pay for it. well, with KU, for a reasonable sum they can get a lot of such books.

I have more to say about possible ways to market but I woke up very early this morning and my eyes and head are aching. Will continue tomorrow or day after.

I've heard some here here say they would like to become hybrid authors and would take a trad pub deal if they got a big enough advance.

I'm not sure what they would consider big enough, but if I remember correctly, Brenna Aubrey was offered a $100,000 advance for a three book deal and she turned it down, partly because of the no- compete clause. She felt she could earn more than that herself and she did, within a year or less.

It sounds like she made the right decision. So I donít understand--why do people still say they would take a trad pub deal if they got a big enough advance?

By big enough, do you mean a million dollar advance for a three or four book deal? I donít think publishers are offering a million dollar advance for just one book. Maybe in very rare cases.

A friend of mine said he would not accept even a million dollar advance because if they were offering that much, it must mean they think they could earn a lot more than that out of his books. And he would prefer to keep all earnings for himself.

But they can market better, I said.

But if the books have that much appeal, word of mouth will do the trick, he replied. Even with just the basic amount of marketing on my part, such as taking some ads.

Twilight was given an advance of three quarters of a million dollars for a four book deal. but that was ten years ago and no way could Meyers have made Twilight such a household name had she self-pubbed then.

On the other hand, three or four years ago, 50 Shades was pubbed by a small e-publisher and word of mouth made it so huge that EL James was able to sell to a trad pub, but I suspect for a lot more than a million dollar advance.

So, what do you think? What if you're working on a series that you feel has the potential to go big? I think many of us have that ONE series that we hope will go bigger than the rest of our books, the one we have real faith in. Would you try querying agents first, try to get a good one and then see if any publisher was willing to offer a million dollar advance?

Or would you figure if they were, then the series could anyway get that much and more on its own? So you'd self pub in order to get as much as possible out of the e-sales and then see if anyone was willing to take it on? And yes I have read the threads that say publishers are no longer going for print only deals and they feel once an e-book has sold well, its sales potential has been exhausted.

Writers' Cafe / An idea for a site that connects writers to readers
« on: April 24, 2015, 08:49:15 PM »
Now and then I've seen people here ask how to get beta readers.

I had an idea for a site that might help. The site would have a main read page where writers could submit their titles, blurbs and perhaps a sample chapter.

Readers could also search by genre.

Unlike Wattpad, which I think is too public, writers could have more privacy. The writing site I belong to gives every member the ability to open their own "office," a kind of mini-forum.

So for my proposed site too, writers would have their own offices. Maybe several, one for each book.

If a reader liked their blurb, the reader would ask to be invited to that writer's office for that book.

The writer could then post chapters in his office. Perhaps even discuss plot and ask for input.

The writer could also "disinvite" anyone who isn't giving feedback.

How would such a site get enough publicity to have readers sign up? Well, many people on kboards have blogs or are active on social media. Perhaps they could mention the site on their blogs or social media to get it started?

I have no programing skills, nor can I afford to hire people with them. but now and then I have seen people here post about an idea they had for a new site. If anyone here is interested, perhaps they could try my idea? I know I would love to sign up to such a site. It would be a way to get beta readers and perhaps valuable fans who also help spread the word about your writing.

I really donít like the very public aspect of Wattpad and the fact that your book is out there, to all intents and purposes, free for all to read. My idea is to have a site where we interact only with those serious about giving us feedback. we can disinvite the ones that just give a brief a couple of lines saying they loved everything we wrote.
Everyone who gives feedback on at least a certain number of chapters could be offered the free ebook when it's finally published, along with whatever other swag or goodies authors feel like offering betas.

Would anyone here be interested in starting such a site? It would start small but who know, perhaps it could get as big as Wattpad if it was very successful and a lot of people signed up.

Writers' Cafe / Would ads for free or paid be best for a new release?
« on: November 18, 2014, 05:33:53 PM »
First, thanks especially to Elizabeth Cole, Historical Romance Author, and Philip Gibson of Hashtag Histories. Both of them recently posted about their run of ads. I spent a day just studying both posts and noting which ads had the best results and looking up those ad places. Theirs were the two most useful recent listings I've seen recently for the smaller sites and their ROI.

I have decided that I would generally rather do free. free has a longer tail, gets you in more alsobots.

I'm planning to release Book 1 of my YA PNR soon. I'm hoping to get an ad with ENT; if not, at least with the smaller sites. Bookbub is probably out of the question for a new release but I will try, of course.

If it were not a new release, I would do free for a couple days.

But would it make more sense to make the book 99c for a couple days so that the ads have a chance to propel the book into the Hot New Releases list?

I donít want to do 99c because as I understand it, I won't get a chance to do a countdown deal and get the full 70% royalty until I'm in Select a month.

But I need to start selling within 30 days to get into the Hot New Releases list.

So what should I do? forget about the loss I'll take on royalties in order to hopefully get into the top 100 paid, which I think could happen if I get an ENT ad? And even if I donít get into the top 100 paid, I could get into the top of the smaller subcats.

Thanks also to Elizabeth Ann West who writes  Jane Austen Fan Fiction. She gave the fantastic suggestion of putting a book in a smaller subcat like Christian--Romance. It so happens that though my book is not a Christian Romance, it's very clean and has certain themes that could make it fit there.

So I think I have a chance, with some ads, of getting into the top of that subcat at least. Maybe I could get there even if I do free, because paid sales would rise after the free run and it doesnít take that many paid sales to get into the top of that subcat.

So what do you think I should do? paid is more likely to get me into the top 100. But someone recently reported great success with free too. He took a facebook ad and sold I think 19,000 free copies, at which point he started selling very well in paid.

And even if I did get into the top 100 paid, what then? Some have reported being there just a day or even an hour. It may not even do much for my visibility and sales. If it was sure to boost my sales considerably, I'd be happy to take an initial hit on the royalties.

thanks for any input.

Writers' Cafe / How to hold an auction on my site?
« on: November 17, 2014, 04:37:00 PM »
Some time ago I googled how to set up an online store on my site and found various articles that I have saved and will study again.

I donít want to sell my books, but things related to my books. For instance I mention that my female characters wear embroidered tops.

I thought of posting pics of some of these tops and putting a price on them. Then I thought of inviting bids instead, setting a minimum bid of $50. I got that price from a friend who went to Hawaii and saw in a store tops like the ones I intended to sell. She said they were priced at $50. 

I  have a wordpress blog. Is there any plug-in that will allow me to hold an auction or invite bids on goods featured on my site? Or is there any software or site that lets you do what I want? Thanks.

Writers' Cafe / Something that will keep me awake and alert?
« on: November 15, 2014, 07:47:41 PM »
I tend to go to bed at 10 or 11 pm. I sometimes wake up at 6 am, which is ideal. But sometimes I wake up anywhere between 2 to 5 am and then find it difficult to go back to sleep.

Instead of wasting time lying in bed trying to get to sleep, I would prefer to stay up and write. The problem is, usually when I wake up that early, I feel heavy-headed and head-achy.

As a child I disliked the taste of tea and coffee and so I never got into the habit of drinking them. I am also very averse to getting addicted to anything, so I would rather not start drinking them. I have friends who say if they donít get their morning and afternoon cup of tea, they start to get a headache. That suggests mild addiction to me.

So though I know a cup of tea or coffee would probably perk me up, I would rather not try those.

Does anyone know any natural, harmless, non-addictive food or supplement that will help me feel more alert when I wake up and take away that heavy-headed and head-achy feeling? I wish there was some vitamin supplement that would do that.

You donít have to worry that I might deprive myself of necessary sleep. When I sleep fewer hours one night or maybe 2 or 3 in a row, I feel sleepier earlier the next night or two, and so automatically go to bed earlier, like by 9pm.

So its mainly a question of, I want to utilize those early morning hours when I can't fall back asleep easily, to write.

Thanks for any suggestions.

Does anyone know how much percentage of royalties a writer gets if his works are in Kindle worlds for others to write Fan fiction?

And can you think of a way to make it work outside of Kindle Worlds?

That is, if I want to leave it open for fans to write Fan fiction of my works, how do you think I can work it out?

I'm working on a YA PNR series and have ideas for adult PNR too.

My idea: I could state on my blog and at the end of every novel that if you wish to write fan fic of my works, we could enter into a deal where I get a certain percentage. They write the story as they wish and I get a certain percentage of the royalties for allowing them the use of my characters and world.

Then we could draw up a legal agreement that we both sign.

I could also agree to mention their fan fic at the end of my novels and on my blog to help market them.

What do you think of the idea? can you suggest any improvements to it?

Do you see any downside or pitfalls?

I see one very clearly: I may loathe what they write and think it's very badly written. I better include a clause saying the fan fic would have to look polished and edited before I pass it. they donít necessarily have to hire an editor or proofreader, but the work can't be filled with typos and grammar and spelling mistakes.

Apart from that, I may think the story dull. How should I handle that? just accept that they have the right to write the story as I see it? or retain the right to suggest changes to plot and story to make it better? After all, it could only help sales if the story is improved first.

Legally, what problems could ensue? I thought we could both have access to the account from which they publish the fan fic. Or accounts if they pub on more than one platform. They would use those accounts only for fan fic of my work. The payments would go to them but since I would also have the password to that account, I could see what their royalties are every month and I would expect them to pay me a percentage of that.

Thanks for any input.

Writers' Cafe / How does this cover look on my page?
« on: November 01, 2014, 09:41:47 PM »

I know it's the wrong shape and size. I just wanted to test if it would go through. Then one of my beta readers said she loved the cover and thought it looked great.

I cropped it so the pic consists mainly of the girl on the stone seat. Now I have on my hard disk a version that is closer to the right size that Amazon asks for; taller than it is wide.

How do I post it here so you can compare the two? I tried to click insert image but I get:

I donít know how to insert like that. what do I put between the two imgs?

since my beta liked the pic as is, and thought it looked great on the product page, I hesitate to submit the trimmed version. The trees at the sides do add to the beauty of the scenery.

So do you think I should leave it as it is or trim the sides before I add my name and title? How does this version look on your screens?

Thanks for any feedback.

Writers' Cafe / Highest selling Non-Amazon Platforms and D2D?
« on: October 16, 2014, 04:16:15 PM »

I need to decide which non-Amazon platforms to pub my YA PNR on. So far I understand the ones likely to yield the most sales are:

ARe [All Romance ebooks; some people seem to do well on it; others not so much]

Barnes and Noble


What else?

I will NOT be subbing to Google Play since I read a couple threads on kboards about how they made some books free with no warning, totally screwing the ranking of those books that were doing well. too bad cos I get the impression romance does fairly well on Google Play.

What Non-Amazon platforms does Romance tend to do well on?

And should I submit to each of these sites myself or should I use D2D [Draft to Digital]?

I will hire someone to format my book for kindle. Is any formatting needed after that to submit to D2D? from what I read on their site it sounds like you just submit your word file and they see to formatting it for you but that sounds too good to be true.

So will I need to hire again to format for D2D?

or If I'm submitting to just a couple of the higher traffic sites like ARe and Barnes and Noble, should I do it myself instead of using D2D?

actually since I'm not in the US, I think I will need to use D2D to submit to Barnes and Noble. I'm wondering though if its even worth going through all this if ARe and Barnes and Noble generally give much poorer sales than Amazon.

Thanks for any input.

The Book Bazaar / book
« on: October 09, 2014, 08:49:35 AM »


Writers' Cafe / Good ebook formatters on fiverr
« on: September 07, 2014, 06:46:10 AM »
I saw a couple of ebook formatters on fiverr. They seem to have a word limit ie they will format a book of 20,000 or less words for $5.

does anyone know of any who will format a book of at least 60,000 words for $5?

Even if they charge more, can anyone recommend the best formatters on Fiverr?

I was told there is some list where the most popular in each category such as formatting are listed but i can't seem to find it.

Thanks for any help.

I'm also wondering why anyone takes the trouble to format their own books if they can get it done so cheap on fiverr. Is there some catch, like the formatters donít do a good job?

For the first time I see my borrows exceed my sales. Thanks to KU.

Now I'm wondering if my sales would increase if I left Select. Too late to find out for now because I got automatically re-enrolled into Select ten day ago before the borrows increased.

Last month I saw no effect from KU, so I didnít bother. If I'd seen the effect last month I would have left Select just to see what happened to my sales.

Since it will be another two and a half months before I can do that, I am asking you guys what happened to your sales once you left Select.

I'll be releasing a novel that I hope will be my break-out novel, the one thatís in a popular genre, that has had positive feedback, the one I hope will bring me a good number of fans and subscribers to my mailing list, fans who will want to read the rest of the series. Honestly, the one that I hope will set me on the path to making a living from my writing. like I said, the first in a series.

I donít believe in underpricing. I will be forced to make it 99c to market since most of the biggies require the book to be 99c before they will advertise it. Or they charge horrendous amounts if you make it 2.99.

But after that I want to price my 100,000 word novel at 4.99.

Do you think I should enroll in Select? I may get lots of borrows, but I will surely be paid less than 4.99 per borrow.

On the other hand, what if, because of KU, far fewer people want to try a new self-pubbed writer when they have a ton of others they can try for free with KU and with all those who make the first in their series free [which I do not intend to do].

I do not want to put the new novel into Select. But I fear I may get little interest if I donít.

Stuff like this has had me wondering whether I should split the novel into two, just so I can charge 2.99 for the first 50,000 words and make it free or 99c every now and then just to attract readers to the rest of the series. maybe even put just that first part into Select. What do you think? The novel does have a kind of cliffhanger at midpoint. Even so I fear readers will feel cheated if they get only 50,000 words of a novel. True, it is YA. But its PNR, and trad pubbed YA PNR tends to be the full 100,000 words.

I know some people here said readers would get annoyed if only the first in a series could be read for free with KU but I donít see why. It's no different from making the first permafree.

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