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(I see Julie has already responded, basically the same thing but smarter. I took half an hour to type this up, so I'll post it anyway. ;D)

It sounds like you have a perfectly good book here, but using questionable buzzwords like men's rights, and overusing the word "females" when "women " is a little more respectful, would alienate a lot of potential readers, women, and most feminists in general. (There's nothing flagrantly offensive in your post, it's just a little off from the current politically correct parlance that a lot of us use these days. But feminists are your ideal reader base for a with witchcraft-themed book, so tread lightly. )

I suggest hiring a lot of sensitivity readers and maybe read a few books in the wheel of time series, because I think Robert Jordan dealt with this this gendered power-structure very well.

Also, saying it is like a reverse of the real world, is going to offend people too. I mean, I try not to enslave women and arm them with power weapons in my day to day life. But in addition to offending people by insinuating this is how we treat women now, you also risk offending people by implying that women would feel compelled to enslave men if the tables were turned.

I guess what I'm saying is, it all sounds interesting and well-intentioned, but I would do everything you can to downplay the social commentary. Bill it as a straight up urban fantasy and let people draw their own conclusions.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« on: June 22, 2018, 10:01:59 PM »
Also, this.
Lol, I'm just noticing that I used the words sci-fi and fantasy interchangeably. Well you get my meaning.

Yours would definitely fall under the definition. Aren't you the author who has fans that that think the portal world is real?

Sounds like a cool concept, especially the training/intrigue angle...didn't realize it was part techno thriller. If you decide you need a beta reader, it's military fantasy discount plus I'll read early books to get up to speed with a seseries.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« on: June 22, 2018, 08:45:54 PM »
I know I said no more editing outside of beta reads, but I'm considering taking on some full developmental edits. Haven't done one for a while. What do you consider a reasonable rate for developmental edits?

I'm leaving next month's slot open but, have a busy month planned, would much rather book for the end ofsummer.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« on: June 14, 2018, 06:47:28 PM »
Looks like I'll have one more opening near the end of June.
July is up in the air. A lot of reservations, but some folks might run over.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone ever invited to talk at a school?
« on: June 09, 2018, 07:17:18 AM »
Johanna Penn had an episode about getting books into schools two weeks ago.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« on: June 07, 2018, 06:27:07 PM »
Probably should start a new thread to chat about this, but to answer the question:

I know very little but, military fantasy is similar to military scifi.

Typically the main characters are serving in the military. The books are not always centered around a war or a battle. Rather the war is a backdrop and supply lines, intelligence reports, chain of command are important set pieces. The use of magic can vary. Sometimes mages take the place of artillery unit, other times those who can do magic are the special forces or communications/intelligence officers.

Often the MC is some grunt or unit leader. Personal stories are more important than who wins which battles.

A fantasy book with many battles, but no recognizable military structure is not really military scifi. A book about a fighter who is not enlisted or serving in some professional capacity, is not military scifi. And an epic fantasy about a king leading an army, is probably not military fantasy.

I would like to write a book about a cleric and a battle bard who trounce around just behind the front line staunching wounds, delivering letters from loved ones, and waylaying enemy spies, but if someone else can write it faster, I'd love to read that.

To my knowledge it does not involve large naked groups of women or men with pool noodles, but litrpg might.

This is an "author services" thread,  I don't want to bother the admins so any more q&a can go in a new thread ;) Pm me a link if you start one.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking for authors to interview on my podcast
« on: June 07, 2018, 08:58:45 AM »
Bumping for any who have not seen.

I had a good time. I would recommend your podcast to anyone.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Beta Reading *Discount for Military Epic Fantasy*
« on: June 07, 2018, 08:57:23 AM »
Still thinking about the Nebula conference. What a blast that was. Got to meet some great indies from my favorite groups and podcasts, and some great trad folks. Most fun panel was the talk on Health and Happiness for writers. I say fun but...things got dark. The burnout is real. So is the elevated suicide rate among authors and spinal surgery from bad posture. Take care of yourselves folks, and get a support group. I have an author google hangout that meets every month or so and some fantastic clients who commiserate when stuff gets hard.

On to business:

I'm booked up for the next few months (If you're one of my regulars don't worry, I've saved a spot for you and your rates haven't changed.)

I've been doing these beta reads for a year now and am pretty happy with the group of authors I get to work with. From here on out, I will be more selective with which clients I take on, I'll still offer freebies from time to time, but more focused on my favorite genres.

Discount for Military Fantasy still applies (see bottom of my original post.) Also a discount for people who book four or more months in advance.


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Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking for Good and Affordable Editor
« on: June 06, 2018, 02:37:59 PM »

My manuscript critiques fall into the lower end of your price range and are thorough enough to stand in for a basic developmental edit.
Info in the editing section of my website. www.dustinporta.com

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June is full, but I've got two openings in July and three in August.

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Any recommendations?

My awesome sister. She's super talented, fast and very affordable.

https://www.amazon.com/Mom-Me-Jess-Porta/dp/1986822788
https://www.instagram.com/jess_porta/

Her books are on amazon. Check out Mom and Mom and Me if you want a cute book about a baby bear with two moms who go on adventures. Try the instragram if you want to see a few hundred of her illustrations.
She mostly does her own books, but has done commissions in the past. I can get you her email if you're interested in a quote.


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Writers' Cafe / Re: Stats in Litrpg: how few is too few?
« on: May 25, 2018, 05:30:22 AM »
I've read a lot of LitRPG recently (that comment made me curious, so I went to my Kindle and counted: over 40 books, counting series, in the last six months or so). I can't think of any of them that kept it blow by blow crunchy throughout the whole book. I'd guess that the readers you've already talked to have it right.

Well, good. My guy will be relived to hear he has written perfectly balanced books.

Personally I think he does such a great job of using the numbers to create drama, that I'm a little disappointed when "crunchiness" tapers off toward the end. (You know the old Vonnegut quote, every line must either reveal character or advance the plot...I feel like he's doing just that but with stats.)

Just for research purposes, out of your 40 or so, which are your favorites?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Stats in Litrpg: how few is too few?
« on: May 24, 2018, 03:39:00 PM »
Narrative perspective would be an issue. A first-person narrator who just entered the RPG world might be amazed at the stats, excited about leveling up, etc. In describing a large group fight from a third-person perspective, on the other hand, stats could soon become overwhelming...

I think litrpg is a good mix of first and third person. And there are some series with an origin story while others just drop the reader right into the game world. I think game lit tends to be heavier on the origin story, while in litrpg origins are less important than the game itself.

Whatever the author does for book one, that should be the formula to stick to for the series.  If I was writing litrpg, I'd read a bunch of series and educate myself. But since I'm just beta reading, I'm hoping someone can give me a primer.




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Writers' Cafe / Stats in Litrpg: how few is too few?
« on: May 24, 2018, 08:55:53 AM »
I'm helping a friend to edit their litrpg series. I am not overly familiar with the genre, but I'm really getting a taste for it.

Most surprising is how much I LOVE the combat stats. Personally, I prefer a blow-by blow with damage and hp numbers throughout. I also don't mind when the author summarizes a battle saying something like: The swordfight went back and forth, with each combatant landing a few blows. When the dust settled MC was down to only 15hp, the evil wizard, still at a healthy 45hp, but MC's debuffs had worn off and he could feel a critical strike coming up.

But after talking to a few litrpg readers, I learned that they expect combat stats to disappear halfway through the book and for the fights to read like normal fight scenes, once the mechanics have been established. That doesn't seem right to me. Am I just talking to the wrong group of litrpg readers? (So far, all the litrpg readers I've talked to have been over 40, and that doesn't seem like a representative sample. Would younger litrpg readers share my love of excessive combat stats or am I totally off base?)

(I know the obvious answer is: there are different subcats of lirtpg, but if you want to point me toward series that exemplify each flavor or litrpg, that would actually be a great help.)

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I'm at the nebula conference! Just caught data guy's presentation. I had a hunch that there was room in the military fantasy market. Lo and behold, the numbers say that's one place where indies are still underrepresented. Well off to watch the awards! Excited, but also tired.

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So I got an email out of the blue from https://redheadedbookloverblog.com/ today on my author email address, offering paid review services on her blog. (Nothing TOS violating for Amazon, the reviews are only present on the blog). I checked out the website, and while it does appear to be kept in good repair, and get a decent amount of traffic, I'm curious to know if anyone else here has used the service, and if so, did you get any positive sales traffic out of it that justified the investment? I'm kind of wary of that sort of thing just based on comments I've read here from other authors.

v/r

Daniel

Yeah there was another post about it on here. Should be able to search for it.



 

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« on: May 11, 2018, 06:04:58 AM »
35% off to anyone who brings me Military Fantasy this month.

For some reason I'm itching to read some. No paranormal or urban, no guns. Nothing modern. Strictly swords and magic, something like Black Company. Though I would consider steampunk.

So bring out your mage-powered artillery, your giant with a bettering ram on his shoulder, your elvish black-ops. Bonus points if your main character is not a front line soldier but some kind of support staff like gnome corps of engineers, or a combat medic cleric, or a battle bard.

Nothing modern plz. I'm into urban fantasy, but not military.

No slots left in May but I'm looking to close out June and start on July/August.

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My offer to authors who write in series is still good. Hire me for a dev beta read of your newest book, and I'll get caught up on the rest of the series for free.
(Seems like no big deal but if you've got a lot of books in your series, having someone who is up to speed is crucial.)

No news. Still busy, still booked up until mid June. Won't be doing any free beta reads for a while.

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This helped me a lot!  Brandon Sanderson talks about writing a fight scene.  Even though he starts out saying he'll talk about fight scenes and romance...this is all fight scenes. 

I was going to say the same thing!

The podcast he's on, Writing Excuses, has some episodes on fight scenes. Very good stuff, and more fun than a lecture. You can ey draw some fun paralels between fight scenes and romance scenes. Probably search the archives for "fight scene."

https://writingexcuses.com/category/season/season-10/

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Writers' Cafe / Achitectural maps/ illustrations.
« on: April 22, 2018, 12:37:11 PM »
I've seen a number of posts about mapmakers, but I'm looking for something in the style of old architectural drawings for my scifi world, as well as a map of the space station.

Not looking for an architect, or someone who is good with autocad. I've already looked into that and I don't need anything nearly that precise. Prefer someone who is artistic.
Not looking to do it myself. I've tried that trick in the past, better to outsource.
I'm hoping to find a professional illustrator/mapmaker who already does this kind of thing.

Any suggestions?


Followup question: who does your fantasy maps? I'm looking for my fantasy series as well. I have searched a few threads on here already but haven't found anything that is a good fit.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Series
« on: April 22, 2018, 11:56:15 AM »
Staying busy. May is pretty much full now.

Getting ready for the Nebulas in a few week. Anyone else going?

I have changed the title of the thread so it isn't exclusive to scifi/fantasy. I've got plenty of great sf/f to work with now so I'm opening my services up to all genres again. Especially interested in reading some Urban Fantasy and Mystery this summer.

Still no freebie slots available. I expect a lull at the beginning of fall, where I will have time to do some more freebies.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Covers?
« on: April 15, 2018, 10:27:03 AM »
I like the second image but the brightness of the helmet light on the central figure makes it too hard to see the rest of the image.
If you were to erase the helmet in the center, but leave the two outer figures, then put some sort of nighttime, snowy background between them. That would leave the middle open for the title and author text.


Similar issue with the first cover, but instead of one central light drawing too much focus, you have too much diffused light and it feels washed out. That being said, I don't think reducing the amount of snow is the solution, but maybe darkening the whole image slightly and reducing the glare from the orb on the top left and the glare from the snow just below the armored figure would make it easier to look at.


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Writers' Cafe / Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« on: April 15, 2018, 10:17:21 AM »
Just finished my first pass through the feedback I got from Dustin on my new sci-fi detective novel. I've carried out the 'easy fixes' suggested in the comments he added to my manuscript.
Now I've got the big things to do - character enhancements, plot tweaks, etc. Most of these were detailed in the separate editorial letter he also produced.

The feedback was a perfect mix of being straight about problems and highlighting good bits. Definitely planning on using again!

Thanks Alasdair,

I think that balance you mentioned is important. I don't believe in the compliment sandwich method, but highlighting the good bits is what makes for an effective read. If I know what an author's strengths are, I can bring those strengths to bear upon any problems that arise. The comment might be something as simple as "lol", but that little chuckle makes a nice reference to point toward if the following chapter needs more levity.

I appreciate the kind words, and I thank you for sending such a clean draft. Being confident in the strength of your prose and your plotting allowed me to focus on higher-level storytelling and hopefully make some meaningful observations there. I actually find MORE to say the LESS mistakes there are. Hope I get to read some more.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Dev Editing & Beta Read for Scifi/Fantasy
« on: April 13, 2018, 09:22:09 AM »
Wow, I'm blown away by how great you all have been to work with.
Even more surprised at the repeat business I'm getting from the fast writers of kboards.

A year ago I was still editing for fun. Now I'm close to being full-time.

But scheduling is becoming a problem. 

April is full. May has one slot open. I would encourage anyone able, to book ahead of time. (You don't have to pay ahead of time, and I won't hold you to the date, but if you're reasonably sure what month you'll be finishing your next book, get on the calendar now while I still have openings.) Anyone who books six months ahead of time will lock in the current rate and get a 15% discount.

Any kboards editors want to chime in with their own scheduling best practices? I had considered starting a thread about scheduling but that would have bordered on self-promotion and I didn't want to give the mods a headache on friday the 13th.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Is this company legit? Author Incubator
« on: April 09, 2018, 04:23:15 PM »
I would caution against even well-meaning jokes, if they could be misconstrued as thinly veiled threats. Especially when posting from a new account with so few posts to its credit. It's harder to judge the tone and intentions of someone with whom the community is not familiar.

But I thank you for taking the time to look into the matter and your even-handed treatment of the subject, acknowledging the shaky evidence on both sides.
--
My take on why some reputable business publications have reported on this company:

I think the self-help space has more room/tolerance for this kind of company and a greater willingness to gamble. Regardless of whether the company is using their clients money wisely, there are more folks in that community for whom these fees are a drop in the bucket. Though plenty of others sinking their life savings into their first book, I'd wager...

Also, if one of the publisher's strategies is to use books as a marketing tool for promoting services as a speaker and consultant, then theoretically a small number of sales could net you a large amount of money from other sources. It does give the publisher a certain amount of deniability when making claims about profits.



Edited to remove quote of now-moderated material. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

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