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Topics - Emilia Winters

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I write Sci-Fi Romance under a pen name that has been pretty successful.  I recently released the 4th book in the series and was going to run a promo for Book 1.  I changed the pricing a few days ago, but noticed yesterday that with the price change also came a category change from Science Fiction Romance to Erotica.

When this happened, I noticed a significant decrease in sales for my book, despite the price drop, which originally alerted me to the fact that something was wrong.  When I discovered the new categories, I wrote into KDP requesting a change, but they just wrote back and said that since my book contains sexual content, they wouldn't change it back.  Well DUH.  Romance usually has sexual content.  My books are written to market for SFR.  The rest of the series is still in the correct category, but the first book, my loss leader, is not.

I wrote a long email back to KDP, but I'm wondering what else I can do for a category change if they deny my request a second time.  I have a huge promo coming up and worried that this will effect it.  Has anyone had this problem before?


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The Book Bazaar / [KU] The Alien's Touch - Sci-Fi Romance
« on: November 01, 2017, 11:15:10 AM »


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0771FH41K/

Welcome to Luxiria, where the twin suns are hot and the alien warriors are hotter…

Cecelia has always rolled with life’s punches. Growing up in a broken home? Check. Cancer? Check. Getting rescued from a human trafficking ring by massive, horned alien warriors and getting transported to their planet? Triple check. But when her cancer returns, light years away from Earth, Cecelia knows that she needs her rescuers’ help—except that help comes in the form a sexy, pierced, ruthless warrior who thinks she’s his

Ambassador Rixavox, one of the fiercest war generals on Luxiria, is no stranger to the carnal delights of females. Many, many females. Never in his wildest dreams did he think he could settle for just one…but that’s before his animalistic Instinct awakens for Cecelia, recognizing her for who she truly is: his fated mate.

As they journey to his territory in the harsh northern lands of Luxiria, his female tempts him to madness, fueling his own wicked desires, even when it is forbidden to touch her or claim her the way he craves. In his care, they must resist the mating call that runs between them…or risk everything.

Features a strong, determined human female and a seven-foot tall mouthwatering alien with a huge, massive…heart (-wink wink-). Full-length 60,000+ word novel!​

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So, a little back story, I just launched my first SFR series, which kicked off a brand new pen name, on February 21.  I had a super spaced out promotion schedule over 9 days, which included AMS ads, sending out to my newsletter in segments, and about 14 different newsletter services.  My book was priced at $0.99 for this promo schedule.

My launch went better than I expected.  My goal was to break into the top #1000 and get onto the top 20 of the science fiction romance charts, all of which I did in the first few days, finally landing around the #500s.  And that's where I stayed.  My book stuck there for about 4/5 days, steadily bringing in 140-160 sales and 30k page reads.  I also managed to garner 25 ARC reviews and about 15 verified reviews, all 4 and 5 stars, which I'm really pleased with.

Yesterday marked the first day of the book going to full-price of $2.99, which is a completely normal price for SFR.  My hopes were that since the $0.99 shot up the rank, the book would be sticky on the lists even with the higher price.

Yesterday, my sales dropped by about a 100.  I didn't break 60 sales for the book.  Today, I'm only up to 10 so far.  To compensate for the new price point, I threw a little more money at AMS ads, all of which started running this morning, so hopefully those will bring in more sales.  However, my rank is dropping and dropping fast.

I'm wondering if it's a whole new ballgame when I bumped up the price in terms of Amazon's algorithms.  My also-boughts are good and my placement on other author's also-boughts are good.  I have visibility (for now) on the charts.  I suppose I just didn't expect this dramatic of a drop in sales.  For now, I've decided to wait out the weekend at the higher price point to see how the book does and then decide if I'll drop it back down.  Even at $2.99, it's only a $20 difference in income sales-wise and I'm wondering if that $20 is worth my ranking.

Book 2 is on pre-order for $3.99 and I've been getting around 15-20 a day.  That book will never go on sale, even during launch, so if sales don't pick up on book 1, I may drop the price again and keep it there as a loss leader as I launch the rest of the series.

Thoughts/experiences/advice are welcome.

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I'm doing my first pre-order and I originally uploaded a working draft as a placeholder.  A couple days ago, I uploaded the final manuscript, which is twice as long, but the print length still says 97 pages under product details (and subsequently, one of my categories is "short reads").  I'm worried that it won't update by the time my book goes live on Amazon.  Does anyone know how long it takes to update or do I need to contact Amazon about it?  Thanks!

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Writers' Cafe / Mailerlite pen name problem
« on: February 05, 2017, 01:33:33 PM »
I've tried contacting Mailerlite about this but they don't seem to understand my question, so I thought I'd ask my fellow authors.

I have a paid Mailerlite account for my pen name and I listed my PO box information for the anti-SPAM section.  However, for my billing information, I'm using my credit card under my real name with my personal billing address (which is not the PO address). When I did this, the anti-SPAM section automatically updated to include my personal information. When I change the anti-SPAM information back to my pen name information, then my billing information automatically updates and I'm afraid that the card will be declined by the time the billing cycle comes around.

I recently switched from Mailchimp and I know that they automatically populated the campaign emails footers with your anti-spam address associated with the account.  However, on Mailerlite, I've noticed they don't seem to do this?  I can manually change the footer address/website in the campaign emails, so I'm wondering if it even matters what information is where on my account.  Does anyone have any insight to this?

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I've been considering moving my subscribers from Mailchimp to Mailerlite.  The monthly plan on Mailchimp is getting too high for my subscriber number (and the bill will only continue to climb) and I wanted to move to a cheaper service.

First, I'm planning to export my subscribers as a CSV file from Mailchimp and import them into Mailerlite.  Will this send an email to my subscribers asking them to opt-in to this new mailing list?  Or can I just start sending out newsletters like I would on Mailchimp and there won't be an interruption on their end?

Also, I like to use instafreebie for promos.  Instafreebie has Mailchimp integration but I know it doesn't have that for Mailerlite.  How would I go about importing the email addresses collected during promos?  Would they have to sign-up on instafreebie and then sign-up again for my mailing list on Mailerlite?

Sorry if these answers are obvious, this is just the first time I've had to think about these things.  ???

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Writers' Cafe / Problem submitting to Apple via D2D - Competitor links??
« on: November 27, 2016, 09:16:00 PM »
I'm having a hard time submitting my ebooks to Apple.  D2D sent me this, stating the problem:

"Competitor Links: The content contains links to sales channels that are in direct competition with the chosen sales channels."

I don't have competitor links directly in my ebook.  I have a link to my website, which then has links to all other sales channels.  How do I get past this?  I like having links to my backlist at the end of my books but I've never encountered this problem before, since I've been in KDP for the past year and a half.  And I find it hard to believe that no books on Apple have links to backlist titles.  Nook and Kobo have accepted my books just fine, it's just Apple that gives me the error message.  Does anyone else have experience with this?

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Writers' Cafe / Do you send out ARC rejection emails?
« on: September 18, 2016, 11:41:25 AM »
I'll be releasing a new series soon and I've had more ARC sign-ups than usual from my mailing list.  I'm not willing to give away 100+ ARCs, but I've never "rejected" my readers before, since I usually only get 30-40 sign-ups.  In the past, I gave everyone a copy that wanted one and I've been happy with my review conversion.

However, I feel like I should send out an email to the readers that won't be getting an ARC since they took the time to sign-up and showed interest...but I'm wondering how I should word this.  Some book bloggers hate getting ARC rejections--some have even told me it feels personal--and I don't want to alienate any of my readers.

Opinions?  Do you even send out rejection emails?

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It’s time for me to finally do one of these posts.  ;D  (Brace yourselves, lads, it’s a long one.)

A little over two years ago, I was fresh out of college and looking for a job with my shiny new English degree.  Needless to say, I didn’t have much luck, but through fate, or divine providence, or (most likely) good ol’ college-graduate-desperation, I stumbled upon kboards after reading an article by KMatthews and proceeded to binge read the forum, learning everything I possibly could about self-publishing.

Then, under this pen name in late October 2013, I self-published my first novella, the first book in a three-part romance series.  After that series was complete, I started a three-book spin-off series (I’m still in the process of writing the last), and then followed it up with another three-part novella series.

Before I start, here are links to some of my favorite/inspirational kboards topics that have helped me.  Check them out, if you haven't already:

H. M. Ward's Marketing tips: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,152565.0.html
On making a living without hitting a bestseller list: http://www.kboards.com/index.php?topic=179386.0
Clarissa Wild's milestone post: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,170661.msg0.html#new

What I’ve learned over the past two years:

- SERIES, SERIES, SERIES.  I can’t stress this enough.  As I’m sure the majority of you know, series are gold in this business.  If I’d started out writing standalone full-length novels, I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be anywhere near my sales numbers or income level that I’m at today.

- Genre is important.  I love reading romance and I love writing it.  Do I consider myself a great writer?  Absolutely not.  I cringe at some of my old stuff.  But my books are commercial.  Romance sells very, very well and it has a huge, voracious community of readers who seemingly can’t get enough.  Do I want to write in other genres?  Of course, but at the moment, I’ll stick to writing romance and work on my other projects when I have time.

- I know that readers have a love/hate relationship with romance novella series—where the storyline follows one couple and each part ends on a cliffhanger—but they will always be my best sellers.  Why write a novella series?  Because you can publish more books within the same amount of time it would take for you to publish one full-length novel.  My novellas are usually around 25-30k each (priced at $0.99 each), which I can write in a little under two weeks.

For example, I have a billionaire romance novella series, which I pre-wrote and then I released a part every two weeks during May and June this year.  This rapid-release method is terrific for sales and the idea has been floating around kboards for a while now (although, at the moment, I can’t find the specific thread).  In June, when the last novella was released, I sold over 10,000 books across that series alone (which includes KU borrows) and I received a KU All-Star bonus.  It was the first time I’d ever made five-figures within a single month.

Despite the KU change from borrows to KENP, that series is still my top-performer, even over my full-length novels, which never even got close to those kinds of numbers, even as fresh releases.

- Boxed sets are great for series.  Especially novella series.  I usually wait a couple months after the release of the last novella part and then price the bundle at $2.99, to help with visibility, to boost sales, and to take advantage of the 70% royalty rate.  I also run an ad for the first part of the novella series and make sure the boxed set is linked in the back matter.

- I can survive without social media, but a mailing list is absolutely essential.  When I was first starting out, a lot of my time was dedicated to building a social media presence when I should’ve been focusing on building my mailing list.  Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads are great if you enjoy that kind of thing, but I prefer to focus on writing because social media can be a major time-suck.

- With that being said, social media can be a great tool.  Facebook is my platform of choice, but it has become considerably less effective since the algos changed for post visibility.  When I was ramping up for the release of my first full-length romance novel (which was over a year ago), I reached out to book bloggers, ran giveaways, participated in blog takeovers, networked, posted teaser images and excerpts, etc.  Like I said above, it’s a major time-suck, but I also found terrific beta readers, loyal ARC readers, and made some great friendships with bloggers, authors, and readers along the way.

- Career-wise, self-publishing is scary.  It’s a volatile business that can change quickly.  I’ve made more money in the past two months than I made my entire first year, and I’ve also had months where I was worried I wouldn’t be able to make rent.  The best way to find stability is to publish books that sell well and publish often.  But nothing is certain.

- You can get back on the saddle.  From October 2014 to May 2015, I didn’t publish a single thing because I started a graduate program and my sales really suffered for it.  However, June 2015 remains my best month ever, and I have a feeling the rapid-release strategy and my mailing list really helped me here.

- Kindle Unlimited is working for me.  I never thought that I would enroll all of my books in KU 2.0, but I did.  Right now, I’m making around $6000/month and KENP read makes up a large chunk of that.  Does that scare me?  Yes.  I don’t feel comfortable having all my eggs in one basket, but it’s working for me right now.  When that momentum slows, then I’ll reevaluate.

- Invest in your work with advertising and promotions.  My sales would’ve dropped off the face of the earth by now without them.  For romance, my go-to is My Romance Reads (I’ve always had terrific runs with them).  I alternate between a Bargain Booksy, Freebooksy, bknights, or ENT feature every 1-2 months.  Bookbub, that notorious tease, continues to elude me unfortunately.

Now, I love when people post numbers (you know, the fun part!), so here are a few of mine since November 2013:

Books (including boxed sets) published: 10
Words written: 334,623
Paid sales: 40,534
Free books downloaded: 34,403
KENP Read (July-October): 3,012,293

I’ve had an amazing past couple of years because of self-publishing.  I was inspired to pursue my Masters in Creative Writing abroad (alas, this California girl is currently writing this post from my cozy, mouse-loving flat in Edinburgh), the tuition and costs of which I have completely covered with my income and I can’t be more grateful.  And I can only hope that I have a bright future in writing ahead of me.  Thanks for taking the time to read and thanks to everyone on kboards for all the invaluable information you’ve imparted over the years.

Happy writing!

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Writers' Cafe / Great writing resource website
« on: October 17, 2014, 05:10:48 PM »
I came across this goldmine of a website, which has helpful writing/plot/character/dialogue/world-building articles, plus much more!  I figured all you authors might find it helpful.  :)

http://authorcentral.mquills.com/writing.html

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Writers' Cafe / Moving abroad to the UK
« on: August 07, 2014, 11:42:31 PM »
So, I'm pleased to say that in less than a month, I'll be moving to the UK for grad school.  I'm still hoping to keep up with my writing since I'll have to pay off that international tuition somehow  :P, but I have concerns about receiving my payments from KDP and whether I can still use the US Amazon store for publishing purposes.

Are there any concerns for switching over to an international bank account for direct deposit?  And I'm assuming that I can continue to use my author account for the US Amazon store to publish, but I'll have to purchase books, for example, from the UK store.

Does anyone have experience with this?

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Writers' Cafe / Romance blurb help - yay or nay?
« on: June 26, 2014, 12:17:31 PM »
I'll be releasing the second book in my contemporary romance erotica series in September, so I'd like to finalize my blurb and start promoting it.  I've done a couple drafts, but some parts still seem clunky to me.  I'm not sure if I'm just being hard on myself, but I know for authors, it's hard to critique your own work sometimes.  Any feedback/thoughts would be appreciated!  :)

Christie Allaway knows three things with absolute certainty: painting brings her happiness, her boss is Satan in human form, and golden-eyed Adam Thornton is secretly a freak in the sheets, despite his reserved aloofness.  But after a night of tequila and one disastrous drunk email, Christie desperately seeks Adam’s aid, considering he’s the one man who may be able to save her career.

Except, he requires payment…

Computer whiz Adam Thornton has a problem: his virginity.  Namely the fact that he still has it.  When Christie enlists his help for some legally questionable activities, he sees an opportunity.  Their agreement is clear…in return for his services, she’ll teach him how to expertly seduce a woman, so he can solve his ‘problem’ once and for all.

Four weeks.  Four lessons with the sensual, alluring Christie Allaway, who hides her pain behind her devastating beauty.

It was supposed to be simple.  Turns out, love never is.

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Writers' Cafe / Great Promo Results with 'Romance Reads'
« on: June 21, 2014, 03:52:02 PM »
For all you romance authors out there, I did promo with myromancereads.com and I'm very happy with the results!

I ran a promo on Thursday for my permafree novella, which is the first book in a three part romance erotica series.  Before the email was sent out to their subscribers around noon, I had maybe 15 free downloads and I was ranked in the #4000s in the free store overall.  By the end of the day, I had 2800+ free downloads and I was ranked at #73 in the free store.

Also, I immediately saw paid sales trickling in for the rest of the series.  On average, I sell around 70 books a day, but I sold 150 when the promo ran.  The next day, the free downloads were still holding strong (1200+) and my paid sales were at 200.  Today, the momentum is slowing down (as expected) but I've had about 250+ free downloads and 100 paid sales so far.

The promo costs $50.  I was already making a profit by the end of the first day, so it basically paid for itself and I got some great exposure.  I highly recommend them if you're looking for a boost in sales!   ;D

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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K7BJF62

FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! $0.99 until May 10th!

All three novellas of The Rebound Series are included in this boxed set.

After the end of a six-year relationship with an emotionally abusive boyfriend, Olivia Ward wants nothing more than to forget her deceitful ex and rebuild her demolished self-confidence. But when Alex Matlock, a devilishly handsome man with piercing hazel eyes and a sinful smile, enters her cupcake shop just weeks after her break-up, Olivia enters into a no-strings-attached affair that threatens to break down the walls surrounding her heart.

Boxed set includes:

Complications (#1)
Distractions (#2)
Connections (#3)

Note: Strong sexual content and language. Intended for readers 18+

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I received an email this morning from a reader who said she was upset that the first book of my series is free but she has to pay for the other two.  I'm not sure how to respond, without saying something like, "Well, I gotta make money somehow..."  Lol.  Have any of you ever encountered this before? 

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Writers' Cafe / What's your average word count per chapter?
« on: January 23, 2014, 01:19:33 PM »
Just curious!  Mine usually fluctuates between 1100-1400 words, but it also depends on what I'm writing.  If I can't think of a way to break up a chapter, my word count could be well over 2000 words.

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Darn.  My reaction right when I hit send:  :o

Ever happen to anyone else?  A fan emailed me and I forgot to sign my response with my pen name.  This double-life thing is getting confusing haha!

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Just curious.  :)  Sometimes I find that I have to really sit myself down to come up with story/plot ideas.  I'm assuming it's a mixture of both for most writers, but I feel as though I'm less inspired when I actually have to "think up" a story.  How do you come up with your story ideas?

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Writers' Cafe / My first week results as a self-published author
« on: November 08, 2013, 12:59:07 PM »
I published Complications, my contemporary romance novella, on Amazon about a week ago.  And, in my opinion, I've had a great first week debut.  I always love reading about sales/results on kboards, so I figured I would post mine for reference!

This past week, I've had 50 paid sales in the US, with 3 paid sales in the UK.  I saw a very noticeable influx of sales after the WTRAFSOG and Kafe Exposed promos were posted (they're awesome!).   

I also enrolled Complications in KDP Select, because I didn't want to deal with formatting to multiple platforms until I released the second book of the series.  I did one free day this past Wednesday, which generated a total of 607 downloads, mostly from the US, but also a lot from the UK, and some from Canada, Italy, Germany, and India.   My only regret here is that I submitted two promo notices for my book's free day (on Author Marketing Club and Book Goodies).  Now, I wish I would have advertised a lot more to generate more "sales," but it's something to keep in mind down the road. 

Coming off the free day, I've received (so far) one 5-star review on Amazon, two 5-star and one 4-star rating on Goodreads.  Five people added themselves to my mailing list and I've seen an increase in traffic on my website and on Goodreads. 

Altogether, I'm extremely happy with how my first week as a self-published author went.  KBoards is a terrific resource for aspiring writers and I honestly don't know if I could have done it if I hadn't discovered this little gem of a forum!  :)       

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Writers' Cafe / Your tips for debut authors?
« on: November 01, 2013, 09:46:42 AM »
First of all, hello everyone!  My name is Emilia and I've finally made an account here after lurking around Writers' Cafe for months and months on end.  Pleased to meet you!

Second of all, I just published my debut contemporary romance novella last night on Amazon and enrolled it in KDP select for now.  It is now live on Amazon.  Are there any thoughts on the right time to use the free days for debut authors?  Do you think it makes a difference if it's right out of the gate, or should I wait for a little bit?  Opinions would be greatly appreciated.

And lastly, any other general tips for debut authors? 

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Introductions & Welcomes / Hello there!
« on: November 01, 2013, 09:37:41 AM »
Hello!  My name is Emilia and I've finally made an account here after months of board-stalking.  :)  Happy to meet everyone!

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