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Topics - C. Rysalis

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Damonza sent me the two drafts for my new UF - with superhero and post-apocalyptic elements - standalone (to be released in July), and before I request any changes I'd love to hear some thoughts and opinions. And while we're at it, feel free to pick apart my hastily whipped up blurb draft as well! :P

I strongly prefer one of the two designs and am curious to hear if y'all agree. Also, if anyone wanted to make thumbnail versions, please do! Because I'm a tech idiot and don't know how.  :-[

Note: The book is linked to my existing series, which will be relaunched with the new series name of 'Powered Destinies'.

My thoughts so far:

1) I wonder if the author name on draft 1 could be mistaken for the title at a glance. Maybe I should use an initial for the first name instead?
2) Wisp's power creates actual spheres that resemble will-o'-the-wisps or floating luminescent soap bubbles (though too bright to be transparent). I'll probably request for the light rings to be made into actual spheres, though I really like the big rings around the MC on both covers.
3) The MC is a scrawny 16 year old who, due to her appearance, is often underestimated. The model on draft 2 looks much more like her, but then again... the book isn't YA (despite the fairly young cast) and I don't really want the cover to scream YA. The draft 1 model might do a better job at attracting older readers.

Blurb draft:

Nicoletta Gehring, more commonly known as Wisp, has a gift: she shapes sunlight into floating spheres which follow their assigned target, enable her to travel across short distances and alert her to impending danger.

But her home - a city tainted by the aftermath of a supervillain's death - bears a curse. Toxic vapors rise from the sewers on hot summer days, snuffing out anything alive they catch near ground level. No one is supposed to keep on living in the Dead City. Wisp and her gang of underage runaways refused the mass evacuations because they learned to predict the Deadenings and because the outside world scares them even more.

Now, though, their friend and fellow gang member Hannah has gone missing under suspicious circumstances. The deadly Smog is becoming more and more unpredictable, and the crime lord in charge of the rival gang to the north is gearing up for conflict. Wisp is prepared to defend the only home she has ever known, but she and her gang are outnumbered and underequipped and her powers are not exactly suitable for combat...

Draft 1:

Draft 2:

Writers' Cafe / Series relaunch: advice needed!
« on: March 12, 2018, 06:49:00 AM »
Dear Hive Mind,

Now that I'm nearly done with my next book and am aiming for a release in June, I'd like to do a relaunch of my series (2 books so far) to address some newbie mistakes from back then. Now, some of what I'm planning to do is a little unusual, which is why I'd like to hear some opinions on my relaunch plan, how to pull it off and if it's a good idea in the first place. Bullet points:

New covers: Back when I launched the first two books, I had no idea how important it is to convey your genre at thumbnail size. I'm planning to get more appropriate covers for the new release (a standalone connected to the same series) and the duology of books 1 & 2. Speaking of the duology...

Combining books 1 & 2 into a duology: My series is basically the edited, professional version of a web serial that ran for 3 years. The whole thing is around 750K words with initially separate POVs and a continuous plot without actual 'endings' for the individual books. Because a continuous web serial doesn't have endings in the middle.  :P For that reason, the first ebook unfortunately contains 100K words worth of build-up, the plot doesn't really kick off (and the POVs don't come together) until the second ebook. I realized that in order to get readers hooked, I probably need to merge the two first books into a duology and make this duology the entry point to the series. Now, the big question is... can I make the individual books 1 & 2 unavailable for sale without unpublishing them? I'd really like to keep the reviews...

Note: even though the duology will be around 260K words total, I'll price it at 4.99 or 5.99$ (ouch) so readers don't misunderstand the intention behind it. I don't want anyone to suspect I made the individual books unavailable for sale so I can get more money from their pockets. That isn't my intention at all, I just want them to read past the build-up so they get hooked. I'm really, really hoping for more KU reads than sales. Is there anything I can do to target KU readers in particular?

Launching the duology and standalone at the same time: I'd like to publish both the same week for (hopefully) more momentum. The standalone is intended as an alternate entry point into the series (same setting and timeline, some series characters are mentioned) and I think that readers who enjoyed it might also want to check out the duology and vice versa.

New series name: I finally figured out the importance of book and series titles - hey, better late than never. The series is Urban Fantasy with elements of superhero deconstruction, so... how about 'Powered Destinies' as a series title? Does this sound good to you guys?

For the duology, I'm considering 'Radiant Power' as a title. Usable or silly from a marketing perspective? English isn't my first language so I don't always know what sounds 'cool' to American ears.

The standalone will be titled 'Gift of Light'. Light based powers are a recurring theme  ;)

One more question: Looking at the timeline of worldwide events, the standalone comes right after the current book 2 (and somewhat overlaps with the future book 3). Should I add it to the series page as the new 'book 2' even though its main plot is separate from the series? And list the duology as 'book 1' even though it is technically two books? Man, this stuff is complicated...

Anyway, thanks in advance for any opinions and advice.

Writers' Cafe / Anyone else receive this email? (Book Brawl)
« on: January 07, 2018, 04:11:37 PM »
Received this on Friday and am wondering who else did, and what your thoughts are. I'm somewhat puzzled by their offer to let me sign up 'early' when their official launch was on January 1st.

Email below:

Hi there!

I'm writing to you on behalf of Book Brawl, a revolutionary new web publishing site designed for authors by authors. Our goal is to create a fun new way for authors to attract fans by gamifying reading and publishing.

A key feature of our website will be the weekly "Book Brawl."  During this event, we will choose two novels and feature them on our homepage. Readers will then be able to vote for their favorite story. If your story gets chosen, you'll have thousands of readers viewing your story, voting, and galvanizing old and new fans alike.  Book Brawl will also offer both readers and authors experience and achievements for interacting on the site – even allowing users to level up over time!

We have initiated a "soft launch" of the site and are planning to officially go live on January 1, at which point we will start marketing the website in earnest.  If you sign up early, this could be a great way to give your story some free exposure.

How does Book Brawl work?

Visit our website and set up your user account. You'll be able to link your social media profiles and personal website.
Create a new book and choose your genre and tags so that readers can find you.
Post chapters of your work.
When you post chapters and users leave reviews, comments, and read your work, you will receive experience and levels - allowing you to show off your writing prowess!
It costs nothing to sign up, and there are no weird scams or publishing gimmicks.

Get started today - and get new readers discovering your stories!


The Book Brawl Team

Writers' Cafe / Is there a writer service like this? (descriptions)
« on: December 28, 2017, 03:09:48 PM »
As someone who finds descriptions (of buildings and places in particular) notoriously difficult, I was wondering if there is anyone out there who provides a service for sample descriptions and adjectives / words related to certain kinds of architecture. For instance, I'd send them a picture of a 19th century manor and they'd let me know what a particular type of window frame is called. Or how to describe the shape of the roof without resorting to overused stereotypical adjectives. Every flat roof I ever created for characters to climb or land on looks exactly the same, and it's really bothering me.  :(

Does anyone have an idea if such a service exists? Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / 70% Royalty Plan selected but 35% payout for the US? What?
« on: December 08, 2017, 12:40:52 PM »
I haven't logged into KDP in ages, but today I did and am somewhat confuzzled. The sales report shows me two book sales @ 1.40$ royalty each, totaling 2.80. BUT... the two books in question are priced at 3.99 and I have the 70% royalty plan selected. This is only for the US; royalties seem to be calculated correctly for all other marketplaces.

Also in the 'royalties earned' tab, KU page reads payout isn't shown at all. But I had over 1K pages read. Is this normal?

Am I missing something completely obvious?

Writers' Cafe / Second book out, second promo (99c, 5 days)
« on: September 02, 2016, 07:15:14 AM »
Hello, writerly people!

After the success of the post-launch promo for the first in my series back in May, I figured I'd do another one now that the second book in the series has gone live, and use all the recommended promos that I couldn't schedule last time because I had only two and a half weeks of advance notice back then. I'm doing 99c again, with plans of a big freebie promo once I have the duology box set of books 1 & 2 ready.

Why a freebie promo for a 2 book duology when I don't have more books published?

Because Transition and Escalation were always meant to be one book. Transition is somewhat slow-paced and contains all the build-up for the rest of the series, which means it's not all that thrilling by itself. Many readers think it's 'okay', but are not sure if they want to continue the series - because they don't know what's coming. Book 2 is the bomb! I believe most readers will need to read both books before they commit to the series. I split the book in two because I didn't want to charge 8 dollars for a 250K word novel. I mean, who would pay 8 bucks just to try an unknown new author? I wouldn't.

Note: The last time I promoted this book it was still on the HNR list but only had a tiny handful of reviews (about 5). Also, I had nothing for my editioral reviews section back then.

My lineup:

Facebook ad from 2/9 to 6/9. Because the last one delivered fabulous results, I'm doubling the daily budget from 5$ to 10$.

My Book Cave from 2/9 to 6/9

Other promoters:

2/9: Robin Reads, Ereader Cafe
3/9: ENT, Book Barbarian, Book Basset
4/9: Fussy Librarian, FKBT
5/9: Books Butterfly, Manybooks, Betty Book Freak
6/9: Nothing except Facebook and hopefully spill-over.

I'm not subscribed to any promotion newsletters, so please let me know if you see Transition pop up in your inbox! I'd really appreciate it.

Starting Amazon rank: 51K as of this morning

Rank on 2/9:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,640 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#11 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Magical Realism
#16 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superheroes
#17 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superhero


2/9: 80 sales, 3 of them for book 2, an unknown amount of KU borrows

3/9: 56 sales, rank: #2,904 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) - note that I checked earlier in the day than I did yesterday, so yesterday's ranking might have been better.

4/9: 23 sales, an unknown but small amount of borrows, rank 5700ish

5/9: 13 sales, a tiny amount of borrows, rank: #8,765 Paid in Kindle Store

Okay, at first I thought it was just one reader checking if the borrowed book downloaded fine (and then not reading more), but now my stats are showing exactly 1 KENP a day (except one day with two KENP, one for each book) since exactly the 1st of August. Before that, I got a few hundred a day. Rankings show that multiple borrows happened in the past few days.

So... I'm panicking a little bit, and am 99% sure something's borked on the technical side. What should I do? Email Jeff Bezos? Because this can't possibly be normal, and if people are actually reading more than 1 page, then I'm losing part of my daily income.  :(

After googling myself out of curiosity today, I discovered a blogger review for the first in my series that made my day. I couldn't resist thanking her and offering the second book in my series. Did I make a boo-boo? I'm still a flailing newbie and have no idea if bloggers appreciate those kinds of author comments or not. Any and all opinions (especially from bloggers) are welcome!

The preorder of the second book in my series is going live on August 3rd, and my volunteer proofreaders who helped me find missed typos in the first book don't have time for the second.  :( I can't afford my regular editor's fee for proofreading, so I need someone who would check the mobi / epub for somewhere between 20-50$. Yes, that's not a lot, but it's all I can afford after the thousands I spent on copy editing.

No edits need to be made, and I won't provide the manuscript - typos that are easy to miss in the Word document tend to be more visible in the ebook, I found. I did some intense proofing myself, but I know I miss stuff. I always do. So, again: no changes to grammar whatsoever are necessary. What I'm looking for is missing words, words that stick together with a period between them but without space, two periods instead of one, etc.

This is a 147K word document. Long, I know, but it should be a really easy read with very few missed typos. If in doubt, check the look inside of the first in my series.  :)

Does anyone have any recommendations with a fast turnaround? I don't even need a grammar guru, a high schooler with a decent grasp of English could do it.

Having received some more feedback on my first novel, I realized that most readers expect books to be 'finished' at the end, even if they're part of a series. I made an unconventional design choice in that I follow the 'Game of Thrones' style of narrative, where nothing 'stops' at the end of the first book - it's only the beginning of a long chain of escalations and world-changing character decisions. None of the books in the series have a defined 'end'. Things keep happening and building on previous events.

Even though A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones is popular, a lot of my readers seem dissatisfied with the lack of an ending after the first book. I wonder what I could do to fix this.

My idea is to add a note about the continuous narrative style. Something like... 'the plot of this story develops across multiple books, with far-reaching consequences based on character decisions," or something like that. Is this a good idea? If so, where should I add the note so it isn't jarring? Before the prologue? In the blurb?

Any help would be appreciated!

UGH! I signed up for a 99c cross-promo (due today) and decided to do a countdown deal (my first) instead of manually changing the book price. Now the price is still the same (what?) even though the countdown deal shows as being 'in progress'. In case it matters, I set up the countdown deal on Saturday.

How can I get this fixed fast? Please help.  :'(

Writers' Cafe / Yet another newbie 99c promo thread
« on: May 17, 2016, 09:33:16 AM »
Because all the cool kids are doing one of these... *drumroll* here's mine!

Some background:

I launched the first in my series fairly successfully on the 7th of May, straight to around 6K rank thanks to Rebecca Hamilton's book blast and my built-in audience. I stuck around the 10K range for several days, alsobots showed up, and I was on page 1 of a top 5K superhero novel for 12 hours, there was a brief uptick in sales... then my alsobots changed and I slipped to page 2. Sales plummeted. Since then I've been on a slow but steady decline even though KENP read-throughs are high and I'm getting surprisingly many pre-orders for book 2. I don't even link to book 2 from my back matter, yet people find it and pre-order.

Some self-analysis of what's holding me back:

1) I had 0 reviews on launch day and for a little while afterward. I never took the time to send out advance review copies, though I didn't have a reasonably typo-free mobi until about a week before launch, and I couldn't push the release date further back due to life troubles. The editing alone already took more than a year - English isn't my first language, and I didn't want to publish a book that's full of mistakes.

2) This is the first in a series, and one of the review mentions that the first book is mostly character (3 POVs) and world introductions. Stuff does happen, but the world-changing events are book 2 and onward. The second book is on pre-order until August 3rd. I imagine many readers are waiting for the second or third book before they dig into the first.

3) I had absolutely no luck with page 1 alsobots, despite around 80 sales + countless borrows during the first week.

I know that I won't get too many sales until book 2 and 3 are out, but thing is... I need at least one or two good months to justify the editing cost of book 3. I invested my life savings of 20 years in covers and editors (about 5K per book) because I believe in the story, and I wanted to make it the best it could possibly be.

Promotion details

I built this whole promotion around the three days of Genre Reader's superhero promo, kind of last-minute because I was too overwhelmed for long term planning. XD

Day 0: 17.5.2016 warm-up 9 sales rank: approximately 16K

17.5. Ebooksforfree
17.5. Kboards book discovery feature
17.5. Book club promotion

18.5. - 20.5. Genre Reader Superhero special

Day 1: 18.5.2016 28 sales rank: 8,751

18.5. BKnights
18.5. Genre Pulse
18.5 Sweet free books
18.5. Bookraid

Day 2: 19.5.2016 83 sales rank: 3001

19.5. Bargain Booksy
19.5. Just Kindle books
19.5. OHFB
19.5. ebook soda
((never heard back from ereaderbuddy))

Day 3: 20.5.2016 67 sales rank: 2,166

20.5 Booksends
20.5. Genrecrave UF promo
20.5. Awesomegang
20.5. Choosy Bookworm
20.5. Booktastik


Hit the top 10 in 2-3 bestseller lists and get into the elusive UF bestseller list.

Top 10 in superheroes, NA Fantasy and Dark Fantasy would be neat.

Some better luck with alsobots than last time! Hopefully the superhero group promo will help with those.

ENT turned me down due to last-minuteness, I'll book it again (maybe for a freebie) right around the book 2 release date.

Starting rank:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,131 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#77 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Magical Realism
#122 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > New Adult & College
#140 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > New Adult & College

Ready... set... GO!

p.s. Feel free to criticize me if you feel something could be improved (blurb, look inside, whatever). I developed thick skin during my 2 years of trying to compete with native English speaking authors.  :P

Writers' Cafe / Last minute promo options?
« on: May 14, 2016, 01:19:45 AM »
Hello, writerly people!

I have a big three-day promo lined up May 18th to 20th, but seeing as the first in my series is currently sinking, I was wondering if I could do anything at all to boost its rank (even just slightly) before promo day. Are there any promo sites that are at least slightly effective and can be booked last minute? What other options do I have?

I'm only just now building my social media presence. At this point, I have about 0 friends and followers on Facebook / Twitter (my real life friends don't do social media and I always thought I could avoid it altogether).

Any suggestions welcome!


Two years ago, The Pulse--a sudden shift in Earth's electromagnetic field--caused a global blackout and wiped a minute from mankind's collective memory. This event introduced superhuman powers to our world. But the worst was yet to come.

Now two young women are caught in the chaos of a changing world:

Christina Chung, an antisocial misfit whose force fields are fueled by the social bonds she broke during the event of her transition.

Former coke addict Sarina Baumann, whose reality-altering power forces her to abandon everything she holds dear.

The girls find themselves entangled with the renegade hero Radiant and the authorities that made him. The three must find a way--and a place--to be the heroes they're destined to become. But sometimes, even the heroes fall...

New release discount! Priced at 99 cents for two more days. Find it here:

Writers' Cafe / Preorder pricing weirdness - what's going on?
« on: May 03, 2016, 05:50:17 AM »
I'm confused. I hope someone can help me understand what's going on...

I put my first novel on preorder with a scheduled launch date on May 7th. I set the launch price for most stores at 0.99 (euros, or cents, or whatever the UK uses instead of cents). If I click on the various pages from my KDP bookshelf in Google Chrome, the book page is displayed with the correct price.

However, if I copy paste the link for the book's US site into Internet Explorer, the price is suddenly displayed as 1.13 dollars instead of 99 cents. HUH? I sent the links to a reader for some testing, and he also discovered different prices depending on the browser he used and whether or not he used my link as the URL (as opposed to searching the Kindle store for the book). The price seems to display correctly on and

I just don't understand what's going on. Does the fact that I live in Europe (and my 'native' marketplace is have anything to do with it?

Also, do I still need to manually 'enable' sales in the different marketplaces, or are they all active by default? I remember that a year or so ago I couldn't buy Shei Darksbane's book until she manually enabled sales on

Thanks so much for any help.

Writers' Cafe / Last minute formatting error - am I screwed?
« on: April 29, 2016, 10:03:30 AM »
Okay, so, the disaster has happened. While uploading the latest version of my first novel to KDP for preorder (release date is the 7th of May), I noticed (in the Kindle previewer) that all the computer font for emails, chat messages etc. is gone. All the text is now standard font. It's only that latest version, the previous ones all looked fine. There are 1-2 chapters with so much chat conversation that sections of text will be nearly unreadable without the secondary font.

I know non-standard fonts are generally difficult to do on Kindle, but the previous versions were all 100% fine. The formatter forgot to re-add the computer for the latest version which included numerous typo fixes.

The formatter is going to send me a corrected version within 24 hours, but the damage is done. I sent the 'bad' version to Mark Lawrence for the SPFBO, to Rebecca Hamilton for an upcoming book blast that includes several reviews, and it's currently on pre-order on Amazon.

I contacted the two of them, but what about Amazon? I have less than 10 days left until the release date. I had to indicate that this is the 'final' version and not a draft. Am I screwed?  :'(

Writers' Cafe / The world's most frustrating blurb
« on: April 04, 2016, 12:27:26 PM »
After many weeks of frustration and multiple rounds of feedback, I think I finally did it! I have a blurb. Special thanks to Sever Bronny, for helping me figure out I'd stripped everything that's 'cool' about the story from the blurb, and helping me put it back.

Does this work? English isn't my first language, so please let me know if I made a boo-boo.

The genre is... Urban Fantasy with superpowers and 3 POVs.

The Pulse--a sudden shift in Earth's electromagnetic field--caused a global blackout and wiped a minute from mankind's collective memory. This event introduced superhuman powers to our world. But the worst was yet to come...

Now, two teenagers find themselves caught in the chaos of a rapidly changing world:

Christina Chung, an antisocial misfit whose force fields are fueled by the social bonds she broke during the event of her transition.

Former coke addict Sarina Baumann, whose reality-altering power forces her to abandon everything she holds dear.

The two girls find themselves entangled with the renegade hero Radiant and the authorities that made him. The three must find a way--and a place--to be the heroes they're destined to become. But sometimes, even the heroes fall...

Writers' Cafe / Thoughts on my opening line
« on: January 02, 2016, 01:38:46 PM »
Hello fellow authors,

I'm currently rewriting the prologue for my first publication that's upcoming in spring, and I'm feeling all kinds of intimidated and insecure because I want to nail this first line. The previous version of this prologue (which I published on my blog) didn't have the best of starts. I want to do better with this one.

Please let me know what you think of my new opening line!

For the world’s only healer, the day that changed everything began as every other did: with the chanting of a thousand voices waiting to be heard and received.

Thanks so much.

Hello you wonderful people! I have the finalized versions of my first two covers ready, but I just can't decide which one to use for the first in the series and which for the second (both will be published together). Both covers show POV characters, and it would make sense to put the hoodie girl first (she's also first to appear in the story), but somehow I have a hunch that the pretty hip hop dancer would sell more books - which is, of course, crucial for the first in a series.

I also need some help with the first drafts of the blurb (just for the first book, for now). Any advice on how to modify it for maximum impact would be greatly appreciated!

Please help me decide!  :-*

Genre: I would tentatively classify the story as a dark superhero deconstruction or a superpower drama. This isn't typical genre material at all, and the lack of costumes on the covers is intentional - because in this story, the comic superhero tropes don't apply. There isn't a lot of action because action gets characters killed, especially the ones who try to do heroic things without thinking. Kind of like in Game of Thrones. Pretty much everyone is an anti-hero or anti-villain - normal people who somehow got powers, and didn't necessarily want them.

The setting starts as dark and eventually develops towards dystopian / apocalyptic. While two of the POV characters are 17 and 18 years old, the story is intended for a mature audience - including YA readers who enjoy dark stuff, but there's harsh language and graphic violence.



Blurb draft 1:

The comic books were wrong about superpowers.

The Pulse may have changed the laws of physics for a select few people on earth, but some conventions of humanity remain unshakeable. Confusion. Paranoia. Fear. And above all, the need for redemption -- before darkness overtakes the last rays of hope left on the planet.

Blurb draft 2:

What if the comic books were wrong about superpowers?

Chris is a grieving American teen who can't forgive herself. Halfway around the world, Sarina is an ex-drug addict who finally has a chance at a fresh start. The last thing either of them needs is to be plucked from their already-complicated lives and laden down with powers unlike anything the world has ever known. Even though the girls want nothing more than to return to life as usual, the world's most powerful governments are determined to turn them into pawns for controlling the super-powered villains who are threatening global peace and stability. When Radiant, the world's greatest bona fide superhero, is tasked with a contract killing that goes against everything he believes in, all three begin to realize that the line between good and evil in the post-Pulse world is not nearly as clear as the politicians would have everyone believe.

Blurb draft 3:

The comic books were wrong about superpowers.

Chris is a grieving American teen who can't forgive herself -- and her self-loathing only deepens when she is struck down with a superpower that can't even help her to save her own sister's life. Halfway around the world, Sarina is saddled with an elusive power she can't control, which ruins all her hopes of finally gaining a chance at a fresh start. Meanwhile, Radiant, the world's greatest superhero, has one last chance to make things right after he's assigned a contract killing that goes against everything he believes in. The three story lines unfurl worlds apart from each other, all with one common destination in mind: Redemption.

Blurb draft 4:

The comic books were wrong about superpowers.

A grieving American tomboy outcast. A formerly addicted Swiss hip-hop dancer. A mourning and self-engrossed Russian architect. Despite being worlds apart, all three are thrown into a churning new global reality that blurs the lines between good and evil -- and where a small minority of ordinary people are saddled with superpowers that turn out to be more of a burden than a gift.

Blurb draft 5:

The comic books were wrong about superpowers.

Already a social outcast at her high school and at home, Chris Chung can't believe her misfortune when she becomes one of the handful of people in the post-Pulse world who is saddled with superpowers they never asked for. Things aren't much better for Sarina Baumann, an ex-drug addict whose last chance at redemption is shattered when she's laden with a powerset so complex it's beyond her control. Though on opposite sides of the globe, the one thing that the world's two newest Evolved have in common is that they both want to use their powers for good, much like the world's most celebrated superhero, Radiant. What neither girl can guess is that Radiant has been tasked with a contract killing that goes against everything he believes in -- and that blurs the boundaries between good and evil in the new post-Pulse world.

One of my web serialist friends - and one of the most talented writers I know - has recently published his first ebook and, as you can probably guess, is hovering unseen at around rank 100'000. His web serial is very successful and has a large following, but for reasons unknown (I suspect it's because most fans already donated money to the serial, and because the free online version is just as well-written as the book) most of them aren't buying the book.

I believe that with a new cover, this could be one of the best self published first novels ever. The author has created an absolutely stunning, unique Fantasy setting based on 16th century Italy with a touch of magic. The magic system is just as unique, the writing is beautiful, and the characters believable. I believe Fantasy readers would LOVE it if they knew it exists.

Unfortunately, the author isn't well versed in the ways of ebook marketing. I gave him some advice, but I don't know how much it would help.

Can I do anything to help him get discovered? Preferably methods that don't cost money?

In case it helps, here's the link:

Writers' Cafe / Cover typography help
« on: May 10, 2015, 12:29:57 AM »
It's finally my turn to make some progress towards my first publication! I'm quite happy with the artwork for my first cover, but that artist doesn't do the typography. Someone else is responsible for the font stuff. While I like the result so far, I have the nagging feeling that it could be even better, especially the title / sub-title. And maybe the author name shouldn't cover the model's legs? I don't know, maybe it's just me. I need your opinions!

Update: I got enough feedback, thanks everyone for the help!

I just stumbled across this blog post that offers some insights in HNR lists and ranking mechanics overall. It's from late 2012, so I wonder if this statement is still true:

"The Popularity list is very different. Ranking is (currently) calculated using a rolling 30-day average of your sales, with no greater weight given to more recent sales. This is a radical difference that rewards consistent sellers over those who spike and fade. Other crucial factors are free downloads (which are worth one tenth of a paid sale), and price (more expensive books are given a greater weighting and 99c books are now actively discriminated against)."

IF this is still true, than pricing a new release at 99c (or even making it free) would seem counter-productive.

Check the original post here:

I've run into a bit of a problem - English isn't my first language, but I write a web serial with weekly updates and need some basic proofreading for each chapter before it goes live on my site (grammar and logic holes, meaning the person would need to read my serial to help me out with content issues). Chapters are generally 3-5K words long. So far, my online writer's group has been helping me out with the proofreads, but they have less and less time. So... it looks like I need to hire someone.

Edit to add: I don't need my chapters to be perfect, just... not embarrassing. My writer's group usually made suggestions to edit around 200 words in a 4K word chapter.

And I'd like to ask your advice. Where can I find a reliable, affordable proofreader who will be available every week for months and months? I'm currently investing my life savings in two ebook releases, and my budget is depressingly small, but I could probably shell out 10-20 dollars per chapter for someone reliable. I'm horrified by the idea of posting chapters without proofreading by someone who has a real feel for the language. I do proofread myself, but I just don't have that 'feel'.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Hello people!

It's almost a little embarrassing, but I only just ordered a Kindle last week. It arrived on Thursday, beautiful and exciting like a late Christmas present. I've been wanting one for a while. I'm poor, though, and spent the past year or so saving up for the launch of my writing career. My budget still cries out in despair whenever I look at it, so I need some advice on free or low priced books I might enjoy reading. So many choices, it's overwhelming.

Unfortunately, the five free books that are included with the Kindle purchase are in German. It's my native language, but I very much prefer to read in English because it helps me improve my writing skills.

If anyone has some recommendations, I'd really appreciate it.

What I like:

Mostly darker fiction. I'm a huge fan of a Song of Ice and Fire and enjoy settings that are painted in shades of grey rather than black and white. Stories that allow the main character(s) to make mistakes, suffer losses and maybe even die make for a more suspenseful read, in my opinion. I like tough choices that aren't necessarily right or wrong, moral dilemmas and some fresh plot elements that haven't been recycled in countless other books.

Genre wise, I enjoy supernatural settings with a twist. Fantasy, Horror and SF are cool as well. Romance / erotica if it's well written and happens within a larger, more meaningful plot and avoids clichés. I really enjoyed the Anita Blake series until the sex started drowning out any semblance of a plot.  :P

Some favourites: Almost everything by Stephen King - if only I could afford his books these days! Dan Simmons' Hyperion series with Endymion as an all time favourite. Many of the Shadowrun books, mostly because the setting rocks. Worm, the web serial by Wildbow. And, of course, ASoIaF.

Thanks so much in advance!  :-*

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