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Messages - AmpersandBookInteriors

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Writers' Cafe / Re: So frustrated I almost returned 2 books today
« on: May 15, 2018, 01:33:02 PM »
A client of mine writes books in the 50k-60k length, and her ebooks typically estimate 150 - 170 pages by Amazon. However, with smart book interior design and styling, the books are actually 220-260 pages (depending on different variables, like number of chapters , whether or not the book is dialogue heavy, etc.). 

That said, 100 pages to 250 is a stretch. If they're using 14-16pt font and/or huge spaces between lines or paragraphs, I wouldn't be surprised.

I suspect the reason is two-fold:

1. When a person is reading, it's the responsibility of their own imagination to picture and comprehend what they're reading, and it's easier for them to see how unrealistic something is. In a movie, that part is done for them and you get distracted with visual sensationalism. You might realize later that something was unrealistic, but it's not as difficult on your brain as when you didn't have to work to 'see' it.

2. Some book critic or reviewer at some point complained about the unrealistic portrayal of something and it sounded good to a lot of people, who started parroting the phrase until it practically became a review 'trope' in its own right.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Writing skills v Marketing skills
« on: May 06, 2018, 04:28:39 PM »
Presenting one extreme or the other isn't really helpful...a market of one vs eating? Really? Those are my only choices? Very few writers are going to earn a living right out of the gate, and planning for it is [bullcrap] fantasy advice and really detrimental because it's setting up false expectations. Almost everyone fails to earn a living in the Arts. It's a fact, regardless of strategy. Furthermore, there is ZERO evidence that following the market will in any way improve one's earnings. As for anecdotes, we have just as many writers here that are doing well that don't follow the market as those that profess to "write to it".

But, if a new writer writes for the fans they want and builds an audience, not of someone else's fans with expectations based on another writer' books, but of their own, then expectations become clear and easy to manage; and they'll trust you to take them to new places. They'll stick with you - for a long long time and for many many books.

I seriously have no idea where this 'writing to market' hangup comes from. It's one strategy, and not a very good one for building a career. It's limiting and prevents a writer from developing a unique voice and differentiating themselves from the crowd. Differentiation is a key marketing strategy, and one of the things that allows authors to charge more and raise their books out of the commodity discount bin.

I think a lot of Indie writers are pursuing a long term career, and are much more concerned with building a body of work and getting better with each publication than they are about how many books they sold this afternoon. A career leads to long term income. Why is it so hard to fathom that not everyone is looking for another day job? Which does NOT make it a hobby. So tired of that meme, too.

Writers need to learn to write: develop their voice, figure out what it is they want to say - and how they want to say it. Writers need to discover their tool box, find out what it's all for, when to use which - to accomplish what. They need to learn all of the rules so they can break them. They need to read an insane number of stories. There's no time to invest in marketing or business. This is even true if they want to write to market, actually - especially if they want to write to market.

None of this is easy or quick. Some people have early success, good for them, but it's exceedling rare. It's like planning your publishing career based on Hugh Howey's experience. Accept the fact that it's very unlikely you'll ever be able to earn a lifelong living as a writer, even if you manage to make it for a year or two. Which doesn't mean we shouldn't work for it, just have realistic expectations and plan accordingly.

And, sorry, but I'm pretty sure that Usedtopost's sales have less to do with how broad her tastes and market are and way more to do with how talented of a writer she is. Let's not twist reality too far out of whack here just prove a point.  ;)

I'm quoting this in its entirety because I think it deserves to be read twice.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Well now, two spaces it is!
« on: May 06, 2018, 02:50:12 PM »
plus I have brain damage from that time I was dead for a really long while before first responders resurrected me and sometimes the old brain just does not function. It just says, Nah, does not compute!

Hey now, my brain does that with no previous death required. It happens!

Looks like she's taking heat everywhere. Her books on amazon are getting slammed and it looks like it's not just authors but readers doing it. Her days are numbered, there isn't any damage control for this. All she can do now is start again with a new pen name and hope it doesn't lead back to her.

Mmm...yes... the self destruction has begun.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Well now, two spaces it is!
« on: May 05, 2018, 12:38:22 PM »
Folks, just a reminder that this is a HIGHLY contentious topic and feelings are likely to be passionate on both sides. Remember that we require civility here.

;D ;D

(Joking! :P (sorta kinda ::) ))

Just the kind of totally unreasonable thing a one-spacer would say!  :P


Writers' Cafe / Re: Well now, two spaces it is!
« on: May 05, 2018, 12:07:06 PM »
That article opens by mentioning that two-space is useful mainly for monospace, and then later mentions that this test was done using monospace. It would have been interesting to see the results using something common like Garamond, set using a good typesetting engine, but I bet they just forgot.

Yeah, that's an important point. Two spaces do only make sense in monospace--because it's monospace. Everything's spaced the same, so of course, you'll be able to comprehend two spaces easier and faster.

This is something published just to be an exercise in sounding contrary for the sake of it, when in reality the contents of the article aren't saying anything new once you have context. Great.

I don't understand why people feel the need to do this. Another author posted a story where she inadvertently learned she published a romance book with the same title as another romance author. She contacted the author and apologized. The other author said it was no problem and even promoted her book.

We need more indies lifting each other up, not tearing each other down. I'm so sick of this BS.

But Perry, there's MONEY INVOLVED. We must become VICIOUS and RUTHLESS in our quest for MORE.

I don't think she agrees because she just posted on 20BooksTo50K about how she had to do it because apparently her readers couldn't tell her books from other books with the word "cocky" in the title (insert eyeroll) and also because everyone was copying her.

I love watching people set themselves up for utter failure. Have fun with the next few years of personal grief and lawsuits, ma'am.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help! Quick cover question before I launch...
« on: May 02, 2018, 09:34:35 AM »
Going against the grain here - number two! I think the fire looks more "realistic"

I agree on number two as well--it's sharper in general and brings the figure out more. I don't notice the fire especially in either of them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What do you call your email list?
« on: April 27, 2018, 09:48:26 PM »
My partner and I like to make sure the newsletter folks feel good about themselves, so we address them with a variety genre-appropriate titles and they can think of themselves however they wish.

Writers' Cafe / Mailing List Expert by Indie Pub Intensive Selling Out
« on: April 21, 2018, 12:31:37 PM »
Hey, guys! I just signed up for the Mailing List Expert course by Indie Pub Intensive and noticed that there's only one left in stock now. I don't know who here is looking into this kind of thing but I thought anyone who is might like to know :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Marketing
« on: April 12, 2018, 11:45:36 AM »
Apologies to Ampersand, you are right! My guess is if you get a lot redeemed on your book perhaps it pushes it to be more visible on Audible thus causing actual purchases without these promo codes???

That probably is it. I'd assume that at least a portion of codes got grabbed and used on books that aren't yours and the royalties you get is from that visibility from codes people did actually use on your book. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pondering some ad results...
« on: April 10, 2018, 01:40:06 PM »
I think it is partly the language and partly a quote they don't understand the meaning of. People seem to get used to the language once they're reading the books.

I receive an occasional complaint but not that many. All of my novels use a sprinkling of the native languages of Scotland. :)

:) it's just interesting in your original post because my ads are also especially favoring Kobo CA--and it has the correlating sales in Kobo CA (and not anywhere else) to support the click numbers and %s. It seems that Canadians just aren't as bothered by something different.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pondering some ad results...
« on: April 10, 2018, 01:09:04 PM »
I'd also guess the quote is just turning off the US audience also. The ads I'm running for a book heavy in Chinese names' #1 complaint is that they can't keep the name straight so it's distracting and they just stop reading. I'd imagine having such a heavy amount of accented English is glazing people over completely.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Marketing
« on: April 09, 2018, 05:44:02 PM »
I'm pretty sure I've seen a correlation between codes I've given away for my husband's audiobooks and the resulting sales. But it doesn't hurt to check, I sent an email to ACX support, will update when I get a reply!

Well it'd be great if you did since my partner gave out 50 copies of her audiobook so far but I've heard from a few big-name authors with several audiobooks out that you don't.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Marketing
« on: April 08, 2018, 03:29:06 PM » still get royalties on the codes you give away that listeners redeem? Mind = blown. I had no idea! I did the AudiobookBoom promo and gave many codes away. Huh...I learn something new everyday.

No, you don't get paid a royalty for that. The information is incorrect. Also, you can get up to 50 codes, but it's 50% split between US and UK.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are you on an off-beat path that is going well?
« on: April 06, 2018, 06:10:21 PM »
With pricing all books at $9.99 in all stores, my partner spent $8 on advertising and made $25. Sounds good to me.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What a Liar!
« on: April 06, 2018, 06:07:27 PM »
Oh, no, let's not start this review obsession again. Everybody gets 1 star reviews they don't like, disagree with, make them angry, or are entirely inaccurate. Let's not rekindle the fire here, lest we start hearing about how reviews are being wrongfully removed...again.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Indent size -- Kindle Create
« on: April 05, 2018, 04:37:10 PM »
RP is correct and has a lot more patience for typing than I have right now.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are your books ever described as "easy" reads?
« on: April 05, 2018, 04:06:34 PM »
It's certainly a compliment when given, though it's a key word I avoid myself when browsing books; too many repetitions of it and I start to interpret the word as 'basic' instead.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Indent size -- Kindle Create
« on: April 05, 2018, 04:04:42 PM »
Perhaps, but since I haven't read every print book ever published, I can't confirm that statement. Some, including me, would argue the use of drop caps is a form of indentation and very common in print books.

No, an indent is a particular element of a paragraph and a drop cap is an entirely different sort of element in a paragraph. They can be used to the same end: to communicate to the reader that new content starts there. However, you can have a drop cap and an indent simultaneously. They're entirely different elements that can share a function, but aren't variation or form of each other.

That said, It's most common to not indent that first paragraph in a paragraph, as the point of an indent (provide a visual break between paragraphs) isn't relevant when there's no content preceding a paragraph. I have also seen plenty of times where the first paragraph indent is 2x the size of the regular indent as ornamentation. It works because it's done as an obvious design choice. Having a normal indent on the first paragraph in a book suggests that the thought didn't go into styling that first paragraph and therefore intent is unclear, suggesting it was actually just a mistake. There's no hard and fast rule, but there are commonalities to design that suggest professionally considered design, and not.

Writers' Cafe / Re: THIS is why editors don't give feedback anymore
« on: April 03, 2018, 11:24:23 AM »
Is that the show being referred to? I watched some of that with my niece once. All I could think was how much better cartoons were when I was a kid.

I'm 98% sure it is, that's 70% of their jokes nowadays. Though I'm just fine with giving kids goofy options for cartoons as an option to just ridiculous, the constant references to how much everybody hates them and the cartoon's seeming artificial rise in popularity (because they pushed it on purpose vs. allowing organic growth), I can't imagine another show is being referenced.

Unless we're talking about Uncle Grandpa, (one of my favorite shows ever), that started off weird, but by later seasons got just... wow, weird isn't the word. The growth that show took seemed vindictive toward public opinion as well. That was never announced within the episodes like it is with Go!, however.

Sorry for the the off topicness, though!

Writers' Cafe / Re: THIS is why editors don't give feedback anymore
« on: April 03, 2018, 10:58:15 AM »
Oh, or working for cartoon Network, where you can make entire shows about how much you hate your critics while freely admitting you're producing garbage.

TITANS, GO!  ::)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does a career as a writer lead to divorce?
« on: March 29, 2018, 12:10:32 PM »
I don't think we should pretend that marriage is, or should be, the same thing for everyone. Some people care more about a partner for raising a family. Others want someone to travel the world with, or to share things they enjoy. Doesn't make one kind of marriage/relationship superior to another. People just have different goals and want different things.

Obviously this is the only correct answer.

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