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Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon finally lost it on cover size
« Last post by Alan Petersen on Today at 12:29:16 AM »
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I thought the originator of "prawn" was Dalya from way back. I miss her. Funny and smart.

I think you're right. It was Dalya who invented the 'publishing prawn' - so it's a Dalyaism.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon finally lost it on cover size
« Last post by Jan Hurst-Nicholson on Yesterday at 11:34:25 PM »
I think it is part of their effort to encourage good health, but I refuse to put my covers on a diet. There will be no slimming down allowed! :)

Glad the Christmas cat is back. Have to keep smiling every time I watch it  ;D
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Writers' Cafe / Re: I wish the whole notion of permafree would go away
« Last post by P.J. Post on Yesterday at 11:30:28 PM »
Obviously, we have different opinions on the subject, but just to make sure we get all of those stones turned over.  :)

No. Quarter inch finishing screws all priced at 99c are fungible. Books are not. Even at 99c. If 99c books were fungible, everyone whose book was priced at 99c would do equally well in the market.

This statement ignores target marketing, which I referred to repeatedly. All 99 cent books are not interchangeable, and I never suggest they were. However, a 99 cent space opera about warring alien armadas is reasonably interchangeable with another 99 cent space opera with the same exact plot and set up. An example segment in the Romance genre might be love triangles or cowboys. And it's a fallacy to assume that just because two products are fungible that they would have the same level of sales. In your example, I would wager that the finishing screws in a bright orange package will sell way better than the ones in the dingy gray package. The product itself is only one aspect within the marketing mix.

So, no, not all 99 cent books are fungible, however 99 cent (and free) books within a single genre, especially within the same sub-genre, have a significantly higher probability (I believe I said earlier, "almost certainly") of being fungible, than those priced higher.

You're making the same mistake that Amazon does. Books aren't fungible.

I never said books (et al) were fungible. Generally speaking, I'm of the opposite opinion. My biggest complaint about KB is that much of the marketing advice here ignores the product itself, and treats books as interchangeable widgets (regardless of the ymmv caveats), with the assumption that said advice will generate similar results, which we know is not true, because books are not the same. Which is why I'm always going on about "art" and voice and having something to say as opposed to following WTM strategies.

But, for "pulp" books, written to market in a formulaic style, at 99 cents, in the same genre, yeah, those books can be very fungible, especially within the voracious reader segment of the market.

All I've been saying (examples aside) was that ultra-low pricing strategies and free promotional strategies have been generating lower and lower returns in the aggregate. If you're doing amazing, then great, I'm happy to hear it - if it ain't broke, you know? But I wouldn't start a career based upon low pricing and giveaway strategies. I'd listen to Rosalind and others; work on finding a distinctive voice. I'm not sure how good a writer Stephen King really is, but he's got a voice that I really really like, so I have no problem paying a premium for his books.

@Rosalind:
I'm aware of your business background. :)
I was, once again, painting with a broad brush. We both know that "Business", generally speaking, is not a warm and fuzzy enterprise, it's cold and impersonal, at least it is here in the States - lots of math. I was specifically addressing perma-free from a market perspective as opposed to an anecdotal one. As I've mentioned before, I reject all of it when I'm writing. I'm not writing to sell anything, I'm writing to say something - which has nothing to do with whether or not anyone will ever want to read it, much less buy it. One thing at a time.  ;)
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Writers' Cafe / Re: Please validate me
« Last post by EmmaS on Yesterday at 11:21:10 PM »
Thank you all for the support and advice. I've closed the Scrivener file. I'm going to start plotting a NA urban fantasy in my current universe tomorrow.

Whew.

This feels better.

I think you may be too close to the project. There's nothing wrong with setting aside something that isn't working, but first you want to make sure it isn't just in need of a little tweak. If you know someone you trust who enjoys the new genre, send it to them and see what they think.
Good point. I'll let it sit for a couple months, and if I still think it has any kind of potential, I'll send it to a writer friend.

What if you started a new series with an older protagonist and wrote new adult urban fantasy?
That is a fantastic idea. I think I could do that. It would stretch my writing muscles (which was part of the goal for this romance project) and keep me in the zone at the same time.

But part of trying something different needs to be the willingness to say "this isn't for me" if it isn't. :)
YES. I started this book as an experiment, and it's okay if experiments fail. Thanks for the reminder!

If these are your strengths, why are they not this new book? Romance does not have to be third-person, it can have snarky observations, clever trope twists and, particularly with fantasy, imaginative world-building.  Did something give you the impression that you have to kill these elements of your voice to be a "proper" fantasy romance?
I felt like I was getting into a rut as a writer, always playing to my strengths and never trying to work other muscles. With this project, I decided to try third person, a more formal tone, a more subtle trope twist, and a strong but less quirky world. I think maybe I was trying to flex too many new muscles at once... And I think your idea to try NA romance instead of full romance is fantastic. I love the freshness of a YA perspective, and NA retains that but lets me make dirtier jokes ;)

It's okay to abandon it. I think you would be pretty unique if you could write a really good book and hate it at the same time.
So true, haha.

Thank you all again for talking me through this crisis. All is well. :)
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Yes, I'm pretty sure it's a genuine KBoardism.

I thought the originator of "prawn" was Dalya from way back. I miss her. Funny and smart.
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Oh wow! I'm speechless. Thank you so much! The ❤ will be reciprocated 🌞
Good luck Rafferty and Luke, look forward to reading both your books.
Andy and Marilyn, just added you.
If anyone wants to cc me (Scribblerjb) into their KS tweets I'll happily RT for them, actually contrary to everyone's opinion I got a lot of support via that route - it didn't help me in the end but that's another story
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Writers' Cafe / Re: Mailing List Frequency and Intimacy
« Last post by Anma Natsu on Yesterday at 10:50:25 PM »
This sounds like an excellent method. I need to find out if the free tier of MailChimp allows subscribers to set their preference.

Yes, you can do this on the free tier.  You just set up the subscribe questions to add that as a yes/no question.  I used it on mine to allow folks to optionally get a monthly digest of blog posts and podcast episodes.  They can change their preferences from the link that goes in the bottom of all MailChimp mail outs :-)
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Nope.  The only way to do that would be to unpublished it and then published it as a new book, with a new ASIN and/or ISBN.

If you don't make significant changes to it, though, Amazon will likely not view it kindly and it could be a TOS issue.  That said, I've seen some indies who pull, change the the title and cover, and publish as new and that seems to be enough to make it count as "significantly different"  (though it irked me because I double bought an old book from the 90s I'd read before because of the author doing that like 3 times with the same book - please don't do that without at least acknowledging the previous titles :) )
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Theoretically speaking ... if you publish a book on Amazon and let it collect reviews and sales for a year while you write sequels ... and then you unpublish it for a week, then republish it ... does it get a fresh chance for a month in Hot New Releases?
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