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Messages - Vidya

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Speculation about Kobo and KU
« on: July 04, 2018, 12:26:43 PM »
Are you sure there'd be a mass outflow of authors from KU to Walmart? People insist Amazon is where the bulk of the readers are. Might it not take a while for Walmart to seize Amazon's share of readers?

2
I'd like to learn something about sizing, proportion, and placement. Lucas from CoverShark.com recently made me a cover. I knew practically nothing about covers but in working with him, I learned something about sizing, proportion, and placement.

For example, I wanted the subtitle to be placed in a rectangular box and centered just below the title, but he drew a decorative box and placed it to the left, which made it look more elegant. I assumed my name would be placed over my heroine's gown but he resized to make it fit nicely below my characters and without clashing with them or running into the image.

So i'd like to learn more about how best to size and place things. I'd also like to learn about font sizes and what size the title and subtitle and author name should be. It would be helpful if you showed us images of various covers and expained why a certain font size worked best for that image.

Perhaps you could show what kind of special effects can be applied to suggest fog or to convey a certain mood or just to make images more striking.

I realized that one can learn certain things simply in the process of working with a cover designer. I assume we could also learn by watching you give samples. You could show variations of the same cover and explain why certain choices were made regarding font, sizing, proportion, and placement.

Please tell us when you start your blog. I don't read many blogs, but I'll definitely read yours. Feel free to PM me when you start yours.

3


An online acquaintance once said he was finally able to give up smoking when he went to a very expensive hypnotist who hypnotized him out of the craving for cigarettes.

I havent tried it myself but maybe a hypnotist might be able to help you overcome your procrastination and chronic fear?

I've also read others say they tried hypnosis to give up smoking and other bad habits but it didnt work for them.




edited, PM if you have questions -- Ann

4
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 06, 2018, 12:21:26 AM »
I've now read all the posts and so far I haven't seen anyone mention what immediately occurred to me. People have said Zon finally did this because big-name authors are leaving KU.

Isn't it more likely Zon did this because of the threat of the upcoming  Walbo? I assume once Walmart and Kobo offer authors a genuine competitor to Zon, a place we can sell books and get more visibility than Zon's current competitors offer, KU will have to vanish. Or at any rate it will be mainly scammers who will still stay in KU.

Sounds to me like Zon is finally cleaning the store only because they know authors will leave in droves once they have a viable alternative. I mean, no one will leave Zon since the bulk of books are sold there, but people can very well leave KU if Walbo does a good job.

I'm dismayed by the number of people, some of them anti-scammers, who have said they don't expect Zon's latest move to make any real difference. Is that really possible?

On the other hand, if Zon is finally doing this because they fear the competition, I have more faith they'll get serious about stopping scammers.

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: Developmental Editing for Scifi/Fantasy
« on: March 25, 2018, 07:58:50 AM »
I'm still a little torn over which services to advertise.

I like beta reading better, but dev edits are more challenging and better pay.
My trad pub friend tells me I'm crazy not to do all-in-one dev/line/crit and charge a premium for it. But I don't think that's what people here want.

As a self pub author, which services are you most in need of or have a hard time finding?

Why not offer both beta reading/manuscript critique and also dev edits? You could have different prices for both and perhaps a discount for those who choose to do both.

6
Romance isn't a genre Dustin normally reads, but he still managed to give useful  feedback. Several betas have already read my novel, but Dustin caught something none of them did. He pointed out that I inadvertently portrayed something incorrectly. I realized it made my heroine sound judgmental, so I am now changing all instances of that. Thanks for steering me away from that, Dustin. He was also very responsive to my follow-up questions. Thanks!

7
“If Amazon won't LET YOU OUT of the deal, then what Terms of Service can you violate so Amazon will KICK YOU OUT”

I would assume one way would be to post the same audiobook on various different sites.

8
“I figured pennies were better than nothing”

Zon counts on us thinking this way. the day we stop thinking this way is the day Zon loses its hold over us and we get back the power as the content creators, which is exactly where the power should lie.

“the program was going to destroy paid romance audiobook sales.”

the program can't destroy paid romance audiobook sales if few authors put their books in the program. There can be no program without the content we provide.

9
I wonder if the smart move might not be to put book 1 of series into the sub, rather like permafree, and make them buy the rest if they want them.
I expect once every writer made the same move, readers would also make the smart move of listening to only the first in every series and not paying for the rest. Audio is far more expensive than e-books, so why wouldn't they simply sample the “free” stuff?

10
I agree that a united stand among authors will make a difference. That said, I think subscription models are here to stay.

If authors stand united, subscription models cannot stay. No matter how often Zon offers them, if writers simply refuse to put their works in, how can any such model survive? They need OUR works enrolled in them to survive. We don't have to accept it as inevitable or a matter of course that subscription models are here to stay. It's totally in the hands of the content creators.

11
Unless I missed something, I didn't see the text of any actual petition. I saw only a list of names. Is the actual petition going to be added later?

Instead, why not petition to drop all subscription models? Or why not simply pull all your books out and refuse to enroll them in any subscription model package?

Judging by the haste with which Zon reacted, we the authors have the power. If we all simply refuse to enter our works into any subscription model, what can Zon do? Sure, a few authors will still enroll but if there's unity among the vast majority of us, Zon simply cannot make this model work with only a few entries.

Power to the authors. Which is where it belongs.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: Feelin' down, and wondering "what is the point"?
« on: February 20, 2018, 10:59:15 AM »
Here you are, Seneca:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,260089.msg3623506.html#msg3623506

it was in the "Said goodbye to Wide" thread.

13
"there are those out there who believe cops should only ever be painted ONE WAY ( as heroes )"

I would prefer to have no interaction at all with someone so unrealistic. I would ignore rather than trying to justify and explain.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Sensitivity Beta Readers?
« on: February 20, 2018, 06:17:43 AM »
You could join some large medical forums, post in the Down's section, and ask if anyone would be willing to be a sensitivity reader. there must be some active Down's forums.

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anybody know anything about Dataworks?
« on: February 16, 2018, 01:12:17 AM »
STAY. FAR. AWAY.

Longer version:

First of all, if anyone has any questions about India, please put INDIA in the subject line, preferably in capital letters, since I usually skim thread titles and don't open most threads. I almost didn't open this one. If I see INDIA in the subject line, I will definitely open the thread and answer if I know the answer.

1. The English in this letter is laughable for a country where English is the official language, along with Hindi, of course. Many Indians are as fluent in English as they are in whatever Indian languages they speak.

You can excuse spotty English if it comes from a European country where English is a second language. English is one of our first languages, so no excuse, at least not from someone who's supposedly a publishing professional.

So if you ever receive any communication from anyone in India offering any kind of book deal and it isn't in impeccable English, yeah, it's probably a scam.

2. Always check out the names providing the testimonials. One of them is Robert Fletcher. I recognized his name immediately and googled to be sure I had it right. Yes I did:

http://accrispin.blogspot.in/2014/05/robert-fletcher-of-sbpra-to-pay-author.html

Lots of stuff about him if you google. Many warnings against him.

Obviously the goal of using them would be translation and inroads into the Indian subcontinental market, as KDP now apparently supports 5 major languages there.

Was not aware KDP now supports 5 major Indian languages. Which ones? I'd google but am not really that interested since it's hard enough to sell even in English in India. Doubt there's much market for other languages here.

Still, it's a consideration. I might eventually search for someone fluent in both English and Hindi to translate my work into Hindi. You'd have to find someone very good; many find the Hindi script difficult to read and write. Just because a person is fluent in spoken Hindi doesn't mean they can write well in Hindi. I asked my mother if she would be able to translate my novel into Hindi and she said she'd love to but the results wouldn't look professional.

The same is true of any Indian language; lots of fluent speakers who might terrible at the script, since all the scripts are so tough. So, take care regarding translators. If it were me, I'd post samples in the various Goodreads groups devoted to readers and writers from India and ask them how professional any translator's work looked.

Anyway if you want a company that will actually market your work in India, you will have to query a legitimate publisher here. They will not approach you. You have to query them. The safe ones to query are the ones that are the Indian arms of the Big 5.

You will of course make it clear in any contract that they have rights to publish only in India and possibly other South-East Asian countries [perhaps Nepal, Bhutan, and Sri Lanka] and you retain all rights to publish in the west.

Anything else, I don't recommend. There is no such thing here as a legit company that allows you to keep 100% of your royalties while you pay only for translation, marketing, etc. No legitimate company here does this. How can they? What reach would they have? It's tough enough for trad publishers to sell a ton of copies here.

I might do this myself, ie query legit publishers that are the Indian arms of the Big 5 and offer them rights to publish only in India and other South Asian countries. If you're interested, you can follow my journey. But you'll have to be patient because this is in no way a priority for me. I want to establish my series in the west first, and only then think of India. I won't do it without careful research, and I need time for that.

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Beta Reading (Do You Write Epic Fantasy Series?)
« on: February 15, 2018, 10:27:46 PM »
Yes I think "Manuscript Critique" does sound better.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Banging Hot Beta Males
« on: February 03, 2018, 06:54:51 PM »
Josh Lanyon's Adrien English is my favorite beta male of all time. The books are gay romantic mysteries though. I know of no straight beta male romances. There must be some; I just don't know the titles.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Suggestions for getting quality beta readers?
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:17:34 AM »
You could try Emily May at:

http://www.thebookgeek.co.uk/beta-reading/

Haven't tried her myself, but she has posted 1352 reviews on goodreads:
 
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4622890-emily-may

and you can see from her stats on that page that she's been rated:

#1 best reviewers
#1 most followed
#78 top reviewers

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you measure everything?
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:56:25 AM »
I can understand giving them one chapter at a time, but if I were a beta, I'd be irritated if I could access only 500 words at a time.

20
"Tentative ruling, won't be official until the 25th. Me and Wayne's motion to quash is GRANTED and we are DISMISSED."

That's fantastic! Congrats, Elizabeth and Wayne. I didn't read the whole of this thread but have been reading the last few pages to see how it goes for you guys.

21
As Rosalie said, there are many good proofreaders and copyeditors out there, but it's not as easy to find a good development editor. I submitted my first chapter to her more out of curiosity than anything else, since I didn't think anyone could really make any strong suggestions based on only a chapter.

However, Rosalie pointed out the opening paragraphs did the rest of the narrative an injustice by making the heroine sound shallow, though it's revealed a few pages later that she is anything but. I found this highlighting of possible character inconsistency very useful.

Rosalie also pointed out I overused a certain comedic device, and risked making it a bit of a parody. So I deleted some of the repetitiveness.

Rosalie pointed out the strengths as well as weaknesses in the opening, though I was naturally more interested in the weaknesses since they provided useful suggestions as to how to improve the story.

In short, I recommend her.

22
Oh great, so now there's a pirate site for audiobooks as well?

I'd remove the link you posted here to your book. You don't want people downloading it instead of buying a legit version.

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: How to Republish With New Title and Cover?
« on: January 03, 2018, 08:28:22 PM »
(But feel free to comment on current cover/title.)***
     


"The Big Blue Ball" means nothing to me. If you'd titled it "Big Blue Marble" i'd immediately have thought of that show from the 80s that aimed to connect kids from across the world. Kids were encouraged to write to the show if they wanted a pen pal from another part of the world and warned it could sometimes takes months to connect kids but Big Blue Marble WOULD match them up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Blue_Marble

“Big Blue Marble was a half-hour children's television series that ran from 1974 to 1983 on numerous syndicated and PBS TV stations. Distinctive content included stories about children around the world and a pen-pal club that encouraged intercultural communication. The name of the show referred to the appearance of …”

Lyrics:

The earth's a Big Blue Marble
When you see it from out there
The sun and moon declare
Our beauty's very rare

Folks are folks and kids are kids
We share a common name
We speak a different way
But work and play the same

We sing pretty much alike

Enjoy spring pretty much alike
Peace and love we all understand
And laughter, we use the very same brand

Our differences, our problems
From out there there's not much trace
Our friendships they can place
While looking at the face
Of the Big Blue Marble in space

***

however the fact not one person in this thread thought of Big Blue Marble suggests they would not connect that title with a book about world travel.

Perhaps you should go a completely different direction but if you're intent on having  Big Blue in the title, i'd suggest go with Big Blue Marble. Surely at least some people would remember that TV show and what it meant.

This brings up the question: is the term  Big Blue Marble trademarked or can you safely use it in a title?

24
Hi,
We had this thread in the cafe:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,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.

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: We Need A Platform of Our Own
« on: December 13, 2017, 01:41:55 AM »
Would it really take millions to start this new site? Suppose 50 of us agreed to start it and each contributed a thousand dollars. That's 50,000 dollars right there. Or suppose each invested $5000. that's a quarter of a million dollars as start up money.

What would we get in return for our investment, apart of course from a percentage of the profits? Well, there may be no profits for quite some time, so we could all get free exposure for the life of the site. Just as Amazon promotes certain books by placing them in people's also boughts, etc, those 50 people's books would be constantly promoted on the site by appearing regularly on the pages of others in their genre so that readers would be constantly exposed to them. Perhaps each person would get a turn, eg two or three of these people promoted for a day or two every week or every second or third week.

The question of trust is an important one. No one wants to trust even a hundred dollars to someone we barely know and who has no track record. We could put in charge someone who has a good rep on kboards. I'd nominate someone like Elizabeth Ann West, assuming she were willing.

As for promoting the site, everyone on kboards who is wide and who wants to post their work on this site could send a newsletter to their subscribers explaining the benefits of buying on this new site, eg, no miscategorized books, a search function with many fields so you can really narrow down what you're looking for. Readers can specify if they want books with minimal heat, no bad language, etc. plus coupons that allow them to get one book free if they buy five of an author's books. We could come up with all kinds of things that Amazon doesn't offer.

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