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Messages - juliatheswede

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This is probably why I'm much faster at the end of a book (up to 8K edited words a day) than at the beginning, which is more like 2K. Especially as you say with more intricate suspense stories. I find the research, though, whether it's a beautiful dress or an esoteric detail about the foster care system, can help me take the story in the direction it needs to go. So I embrace it. Besides, it's one of my favorite parts--it's just FUN. And if the job isn't fun for me, it's just a job, and I've done enough of that!
Yes, I'm also way more efficient toward the latter parts. And, yes, research is kind of fun, especially when I do it watching a few movies about the subject:)(I find watching a few well-plotted movies to be great when I'm stuck and don't know what should come next.)  Also, you do become very knowledgable about the world reading up about all the stuff related to different subjects. It's all good, but it does slow you down...

While I'm not anywhere nearly as efficient as Amanda (working on it), I have a suggestion for research.  If you're writing and get to a place that would stop you, highlight it as a question in yellow and move on.

For example, let's say I couldn't think of a specific type of dessert, I would type "Look up fancy dessert" and move on.  I have the Oxford Thesaurus on hand and will use that or a dictionary for some of the basic words a writer needs, but if the research would require going to the internet, I save it for later.

Thanks for chiming in. I didn't mean that type of research. If it's just a word or something, I would just write XXX or something and come back to it later. I meant much more intricate research like legal stuff and diseases and police procedures, you name it. I write thrillers firmly set in reality. Often, a scene/plot point is very much dependent on this research and will effect the rest of the story, so I have to look it up. Yes, I sometimes do look up stuff like that before I start the book, but being a pantser--in my humble opinion the only way to write a mystery that's hard to solve and has lots of levels and also makes sense---I wouldn't know that plot point would occur until I got to, say, the middle of the story.

I'm thinking it would be easier to write fast if you write fantasy stories--I mean, what's there to look up?---but I could be wrong. Also, romance. I used to write romance and there wasn't much for me to research. I just had to be inspired:)

Writers' Cafe / Re: The bubble has burst
« on: Today at 07:43:56 AM »
Below are a couple of threads that explain and debate it. But basically, they publish books that are thousands of pages long. The book is advertised as a single title, when in reality it's a collection of books. Usually the middle part of this collection consists of stories that have been published before, and it's common to find only new content at the end. If a reader clicks to the end of the book, this can result in up to 3,000 pages "read" for the publisher. At .44 cents per page, this results in a payment of up to $13, even if the book is priced at 99 cents.

Amazon claims they've closed this loophole, but testing has indicated otherwise, at least on some devices. Hope this helps!,259578.0.html,262533.0.html

Thanks, that does help. On a separate note, I can't believe that's still happening.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The bubble has burst
« on: Yesterday at 05:39:08 PM »
So true! And this is especially true now, when a scammer can earn 13 bucks a borrow. That's a lot of money to be scooped up, especially if you're short on ethics.

How does one earn 13 bucks a borrow? Exactly what are they stuffing a book with? Can you explain this scam a little?

I write 9K a day and edit another 9K a day five days a week. That's pretty much 49 weeks a year (I take a few weeks off for trips). It's all about discipline. I can write 9K in about four hours including short breaks between chapters. I edit 9K in about an hour. I usually have a few busywork tasks to do, too, but never more than an hour's worth.
Thanks for sharing. It's impressive. Do you also include research in those hours? I find what stops me from writing more/faster is primarily that I have to research so much in my writing. My stories are very much set in reality unfortunately. Then there's the fact that I'm writing in a second language, though that's not as much of a problem any longer.

This is probably the most helpful comment out of the entire post.

I have come to the conclusion that if you are writing to market, unless you're producing a lot of content you're forgettable to readers, because you're just copying everyone else. You're never standing out or forming an authentic connection with the reader on your own mantels, so they can easily just dump you and move on to someone else.

I didn't start writing for the money. It's my main source of income now but I do know my most loyal fans like the stuff I cared about the most. Which makes sense for me long-term now, I think, to focus on.
I agree. Readers can tell when you don't love what you write.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU Payout
« on: May 15, 2018, 03:38:48 PM »
I'm considering this. I write in series. So I'm considering taking my oldest series out when I finish my new one and see how it does wide. I think a gradual move is best for me because it does take time to gain traction. It's a hard call, though. I'm doing okay in KU and I've never had any problems with my page reads getting cut, so I wonder if I should wait and not fix what isn't broken. The problem I have is that they bring the hammer down and threaten your account, so do I want to wait for that? It's really hard to say and I miss the old days when we just sold books.

I'm not happy with the payout, so I took my books out many months ago and went wide. However, I put each new release in KU for 90 days before going wide with it. This approach has worked OK for me. I just wish the payout was higher than 0.0045. Sucks :(

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ups and downs of a long self publishing career
« on: May 07, 2018, 07:42:01 PM »
When an author has unexpected success, it can be hard to keep going. Very scary, and a lot of people freeze some. Especially if now you are dependent on that writing income. It looks like, just about as soon as he quit the job, his writing slowed dramatically. He published two books in the last four years, so I'm guessing that's what happened.

This is very true. It's a bit surprising that you expect to earn tons of money when you don't keep publishing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: May I have your opinion on two cover designs?
« on: May 07, 2018, 11:55:27 AM »
The first one. It's hard to read the title on the second. To me, it looks like paranormal romance. Definitely fantasy with supernatural elements.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ups and downs of a long self publishing career
« on: May 07, 2018, 11:43:07 AM »
Very interesting read.

My takeaways...
1) He didn't have the passion for writing to sustain a long, successful career. It was a hobby that ended up paying him very well for a short time. That won't last.
2) Authors - self or traditionally published - need to be aware that money can dry up REAL quick. Picking up and moving to an expensive place to live and taking years off to travel the States isn't the best practice.
3) He sold his house for double what he paid and only has a "little" to put away...seems he still didn't learn about money management.

I agree with this, especially with number one. For someone who's been publishing for ten years, I would expect to see more books published. I publish every two months now and I don't find it to be a chore. I still have a day job--part-time--but half my money comes from book sales now.

I think you should stick with what comes naturally to you, and it sounds like pantsing comes more natural. In my opinion, pantsing works especially well for romance and psychological thrillers. Both genres are more character-driven than plot driven. Emotion is important. I used to write romance, now I write psych. thrillers and I never outline (and I still write fast). I know what the book is about, but I typically don't know how it'll end. I jot down notes that pop into my head that I may or may not use later. When I get stuck, I go back to these brief notes.

The two most important things for you, IMO, are to determine the motivations of your characters and do whatever research is needed. It's hard to pants write about a topic you know little about. I freeze all the time when I haven't done research.

Sometimes when I'm stuck, I call up a writer friend and discuss the situation with him or her. They give me a fresh perspective on the situation. That usually unsticks me and I can keep going. Sometimes I just take a break cuz my brain is fried. I watch lots of movies to get ideas, also for research. The more I know the topic, the easier it is to just pants and get into the moment.

I personally don't see how you can write romance with a detailed outline. Every time I've tried, I find the story is just so boring and predictable. Moral of the story, if pantsing works better for you than outlining, I'd stick with that.

Thanks for all those informative responses.That was just what I was looking for.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kobo just showed a permafree sale?
« on: May 02, 2018, 04:59:04 AM »
Doesnít B&N lump freebies in with sales as well?

Yes, they do.

I'm not a bestseller, but surely a bestseller title is the result of sales, not the cause of them?

That's true, but I wasn't referring to the one book that you got on a list, but to what you do with that status afterward. In other words, do you sell more books overall because you have a bestseller mention on your cover/book page? I believe you can put this status on all your books afterward---something like NYT best selling author---not just the one that hit a list.

No. I didn't feel as if it made any difference, however I do rarely use the information in my marketing. I did hit USA Today and WSJ through a box set, so perhaps it's different when it's your title. I'm in KU, so I don't see bestseller status happening on one of my normal titles anytime soon.

Thanks for your input, Crystal!


I'm curious if people who've hit the USA Today and/or the NY Times bestseller lists feel putting that fact on their books has helped them sell a lot more books. I'm sure it doesn't hurt or makes you sell FEWER books, but if you feel it did help you sell more, how do you know? Also, HOW much more did it help? Like, do you have hard numbers proving it made a significant difference?

According to what I have been able to pick up, the main difference is that it's easier to get good ads when you can put a bestseller status on your books. Not so much difference for sales. Am I right?

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP report error?
« on: April 24, 2018, 06:00:59 AM »
mine is the same as yours ::)

The Book Bazaar / TRUE EVIL, the sequel to BORN EVIL, is out! (In KU)
« on: April 22, 2018, 08:22:08 AM »
What would you do if someone close to you was a psychopath?
Shane Hanson was set up for a double homicide when he was only 13 years old. His relative did it because she blames him for the death of her one true love. After spending five years in juvie, he's released on parole and determined to reveal the truth about his relative. In the meantime, he meets a girl he develops feelings for.
Shane's relative is a psychopath so good at manipulating people that she has managed to get everyone to believe Shane killed two people that she's killed. She never expected Shane to get such a soft sentence, but instead that he would remain in jail forever. Now she must start from scratch to get him back behind bars. To get her revenge right finally, she'll use the girl Shane falls in love with, breaking his heart as much as his spirit. (CLICK ON COVER TO GET BOOK.)

NOTE: If you haven't read BORN EVIL, do so before reading this book.

I agree with that. Easier to do the 90-day run in KU to fish out that pond somewhat, then go wide to please the rest of your fan base.

This is what I did with my latest book. Was very lucrative and got LOTS of reviews that will be helpful when I apply for a Bookbub once it goes wide.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Promo that has worked for you
« on: March 29, 2018, 11:01:32 AM »
Do you mind sharing numbers? Iím thinking of going down this road as well, similar genre.

I think my approach works best for books in KU, as I got way, way more page reads than I got sales. Anyway, I gave away near 6,000 copies on my Freebooksy day. I have gotten tons of reviews in the six weeks its been out. 55 and 4.2 average.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Promo that has worked for you
« on: March 29, 2018, 10:10:44 AM »
Not sure if you're in KU, but I have my latest book in  KU-- psychological thriller-- and did a two-day free run using Freebooksy. It really got my book going. If you put PAIDAUTHOR-5 in the promo code box (or whatever it's called) you get 5% off the price. I think Freebooksy works well for romance as well as thriller.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Has anyone heard of Alpress, a Czech publisher?
« on: March 29, 2018, 10:06:38 AM »
James Patternson's website does list Alpress as one of his international publishers. Beyond that, I'm afraid I've never heard of them, either.

Thank you for checking that, Bill!

Writers' Cafe / Has anyone heard of Alpress, a Czech publisher?
« on: March 29, 2018, 08:51:34 AM »
I was just contacted by them and they want to publish one of my books. Anyone worked with them or even heard of them? They claim to publish James Patterson, J D Robbs, Wilbur Smith etc

Writers' Cafe / Re: Your personal experience with cover redesigns
« on: March 28, 2018, 06:44:07 AM »
I don't think new covers on their own will do much especially on an older book, but if you get new covers that look more professional and in line with your genre then you are going to be accepted more readily by promo sites and, hopefully, those promotions perform better.

I had one series with okay covers, nothing too special. After I replaced them, the series got accepted for a Bookbub after a bunch of rejections. I can't say for certain that the covers pushed it over the line but having professional covers is something they look at.
I agree. Having professional, very good-looking covers is a must. Doesn't have to be custom-made. My best-selling book at the moment has a premed from The CoverCollection. They have GREAT covers at affordable prices.

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