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Messages - Jen Rasmussen

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Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you structure your life around writing?
« on: April 24, 2018, 02:44:12 PM »
My work hours are not consistent from day to day because life reasons, but the first thing I do at 6:15, after breakfast every weekday morning, is block out my day. I know my targets, I have a good general idea of how long I need to hit them, and I map out that time. I set alarms on my phone and I follow the schedule, and allow nothing to encroach on my writing time. If I'm in the middle of setting up an ad or answering an email when my alarm goes off, I stop right where I am. I shut off the wi-fi and keep my butt in the seat until the alarm goes off again.

It's a bit rigid, but it works for me. Mainly because I'm lazy. The Path of Flexibility is a dangerous one that may lead to WoW or Netflix. :)

Tantor is doing my epic fantasy series. The first audio edition doesn't come out until the end of March, but I'm replying anyway because for me, my main reason for going the publisher route was to get an awesome narrator, and they delivered. I'm very happy to have it in the hands of a company I know has high production values. Audio is big in EF because the books tend to be long, so in terms of visibility and reach, it was important to me to have great audio editions available as part of my overall strategy. I just wasn't confident I had the resources to make that happen on my own, and that was the basis for my decision vs. more quantifiable stuff like projected profits from an individual edition.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Nora Roberts writing method
« on: January 05, 2018, 08:12:20 AM »
I write similarly. My "outline" is a handful of Scrivener cards with the major plot points (climax for each act, midpoint, etc.) described in one sentence. Then I write a skeleton as you describe and make that up as I go along. Then I flesh that out into an actual book, revise, and polish. So I guess four passes by the end, but it's faster for me than trying to write one nearly final draft. My brain likes to iterate.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Launching at full price versus launching at 99 cents
« on: December 22, 2017, 12:08:50 PM »
I launched an epic fantasy at full price in October, and reached similar conclusions. The launch went fine, but the increased visibility of a 99c push would almost certainly have been more useful. I definitely don't regret the experiment, but for a first in series especially, I will stick with 99c in future.

I've done some fantasy covers, although not specifically YA, and I have room in my schedule. My portfolio is linked in my signature line if you want to check it out.

Shayne just did some epic fantasy covers for me. They're not in my sig because the books are ... er ... not done. But you can see them here if you're interested:

She is a sheer pleasure to work with, for reals.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KU 3
« on: August 04, 2017, 10:55:42 AM »
All we have are sea bass

Are they ill-tempered?

Writers' Cafe / Re: How Many ARCs is Too Many?
« on: July 13, 2017, 06:44:47 AM »

Chris does talk about conversion as it relates to the recommendation engine and Amazon promotion, but not sales rank. To my knowledge, rank is still driven purely by number of sales, relative to everyone else's sales.


That's all well and good, but there is another side to all of this. When the cover is done, and the book is out in the world, the average person looking at it will not say:

"Wow! That author forced the designer to make a really lousy cover."

They will say:

"Wow! That designer made a really lousy cover. Who was that? I want to know because I will never hire them for my book."

Not an artist, but chiming in because as it happens I've recently become a client of Shayne's. (The covers in my sig are NOT hers, although she did the typography for those--I'm working on a new series with her.) One of the many reasons I love working with her is that I know this situation will never happen, because she would never, ever give me a lousy cover. She doesn't do lousy--as much for her clients' sake as for hers. I'm pretty sure if we reached a point where lousy was her only option, she would, as she says, bow out of the project.

Point being, I think there is ample middle ground between "I am the artist, it's my design and you should not ask for changes," and "Okay buddy, you asked for it, go forth with this ugly cover, neener neener." I want an artist who won't pressure me and who will deliver what I'm asking for, but who also has the experience to answer questions and offer advice and guidance when I ask for it. That's why I hired someone I have a lot of faith in.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to handle an execution
« on: July 05, 2017, 12:40:41 PM »
Well, he did have long shanks, so he kind of had the advantage.


A thread with Plantagenet jokes makes me feel I'm among my people.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to handle an execution
« on: July 05, 2017, 07:18:09 AM »
I'm not qualified to give advice, but funnily enough, I just the other day wrote my own drawing and quartering scene. So, brutal execution solidarity! It was a bit easier for me because my characters were hearing about it secondhand, vs. being present. I think only you can decide what does or does not fit in your narrative. For me, I found it useful to focus on the characters' reactions and emotions vs. describing, like, entrails.

I read recently that the form of execution known as hanged, drawn and quartered was dreamed up by King Edward I, also known as the Hammer of the Scots, specially for William Wallace.

He did it to Dafydd ap Gruffudd of Wales first. (Coincidentally, the character I just did it to is very loosely based on him.) Ed One was not kind to his enemies.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to succeed? Work harder than everyone else.
« on: June 23, 2017, 01:22:02 PM »
To be fair I don't really clean that much but the kid seems to be fine :P

I don't clean either and you write ten times as much as me, LOL.

So what I'm hearing from you guys is, clean less. *takes notes*

Writers' Cafe / Re: Holy crap, my launch is going well!
« on: June 12, 2017, 05:54:40 PM »

I am a big fan of C and have been searching for this very thing! Not the movie, that was awful, but the tv series was gold to me.

I love the Constantine movie. There, I said it.

Perry, I've said this to you elsewhere ... and also to others elsewhere, including to people who don't know you ... or me ... but I am having so much fun watching this shoot up the charts. It just makes my heart glad.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Starting over...ugh :(
« on: June 08, 2017, 01:42:48 PM »
I tossed away almost 50k last week and started over. I'd just gotten so off course that I didn't see any other way to correct. i'll be able to reuse snippets here and there, but... yeah. It's painful, but it's better than finishing the thing and only realizing then that it's not what I meant to write.

Edit: I outline, so it takes a special kind of incompetence to get that far off the map. :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Author income/royalties and Turbotax ?
« on: January 17, 2017, 12:26:41 PM »
I am wholly unqualified to give tax advice

I am even less qualified than wholly unqualified. Like, 150% unqualified. But I use TurboTax (home and business version) for any year when my tax situation isn't hugely complicated by non-authory-freelancey things, and it's easy. You tell them you're the sole proprietor of a small business, they walk you through your Schedule C. Amazon and CreateSpace send you 1099's just like you'd get from any other contract work. If you have to send a contractor a 1099, that's also pretty straightforward and easy from within the software.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I got a $0.99 Bookbub deal!
« on: January 07, 2017, 06:47:57 AM »
but given that I don't particularly want to usher in the end times, perhaps I should keep the old one for the time being.

Oh good, crisis averted. Although I did start stocking up on canned goods and matches just in case.

This sounds like a good result from the BookBub, in terms of % growth. It's nice to see you getting more exposure.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I got a $0.99 Bookbub deal!
« on: January 06, 2017, 03:33:30 PM »
The new hat is quite nice, but you must never, ever change the old hat. It would usher in the end times. We're all counting on you.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon rejected my Sponsored Ad for ... grammar?
« on: November 01, 2016, 06:53:00 AM »
They're anti-ellipsis. I had to edit and resubmit one a while back for the same reason.

Looks like ranks just updated.

In terms of rank updates, I'm also running a 99c promo today and they aren't updating quite as they should, so we can be whiskey buds.

I can haz bourbon? I didn't mind them being stuck for the first 8 hours or so, but enough already. I've got 2 discounts running plus a new release, and I'd really like to see what my ranks are doing, especially when "analyzing data" is an excuse to not vacuum.

My royalties don't usually show up on my page for a good eight hours after the purchase.


Is anyone else not updating?

I have a new release today and rank hasn't updated since one early bird borrowed it overnight, so I guess around 10 hours? Despite sales this morning (which are showing up on my graph). Not that I watch my new releases like a hawk or anything.

Add me to the Loves NaNo List. Last year I skipped it for the first time in 12 years and it didn't even feel like fall. It's just become a mark of the season, like fresh school supplies and fun-sized Baby Ruths.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon's new review display
« on: October 17, 2016, 10:20:32 AM »
I agree with those who've mentioned the KU issue. I don't have an ARC team or a street team or any sort of team, but I do get more borrows than sales. I find it supremely aggravating that Amazon is implying that reviews that come from readers in its own program are somehow not legit, and trying to hide them from customers. Verify the reviews from KU readers (call them verified borrows instead, I don't care), and give them equal visibility, and I'd be fine with this change.

Neither book in my Devilborn series shows up in Kindle exclusive content, although all of my older books do. Those books were launched in April and July.

I'd like to see if there are any missing books pubbed earlier than June 6 (that's the pub date of one of our missing books).

The first book in that series (first in my sig) was published April 29.

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