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Messages - Jewelzee

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You're also allowed to extend your Prime privileges with one other family member. There's a spot where you can do that in account settings, and it gives their Amazon account Prime access through you without having to share accounts at all.

I've been thinking about getting a Mac so I can use Vellum for some time now. I see everyone mentioning how pretty and easy it is to use for ebooks, but no one's said anything about physical books. Is the software not usable for exporting files for Ingram Spark and Createspace?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Someone is using my name!
« on: May 26, 2016, 12:54:21 PM »
I didn't check other countries, but in the US you don't actually have an author page set up. If you go to and sign in, you can set up your author profile (complete with photo if you want to include it and a brief biography) then claim your two books and they will be added to your author page.

As it is currently, anyone who reads your first book and clicks on your author name in an attempt to find your second book sees Amazon's placeholder author page that only lists the first book.

Clicking the author name from your second book brings up both books as well as the book by the other Sophia. But how many people want to read book 2 but don't know about it?

Tilly has already noticed this while I was typing but I'm posting anyway.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Critique my cover, please.
« on: May 22, 2016, 10:56:17 AM »
Wow, so much hate for that cover.

I'm clearly in the minority, but I like it.

It gives me a similar vibe as Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I had to look up that cover to see why it reminded me of it, so now I see Dan Brown's cover is blue with numbers rather than the alien green you have. Regardless, I like it. I did not know that was a martini glass. I thought it was  UFO (that might be because of the alien green color too.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Celebrity likeness issue on my new cover
« on: April 23, 2016, 07:35:58 PM »
She looks like Mena Suvari to me. So even though you already decided, I'm agreeing that you shouldn't worry about the girl looking like any celebrity.

Also, I'm surprised no one else has mentioned it, but to me it looks like the top 1/4" of her head was cut off. (Maybe I'm the only one who thinks so?)

I just wanted to drop in and say good luck!

Also, MailChimp doesn't need your physical address. They just need an address that isn't a PO box. If you're in the US, you can get a mailbox at a UPS store and it will function as a physical address.  The address will look like this: 333 Town Dr #100. Even though the #100 is your box number, it is used as an apartment or suite number. If you signed up for anyone's mailing lists, you'll notice a lot of authors have an address that's actually a box at a mail place.

The downside is that this is an extra cost (cost varies by location but I think average is about $10-$15 per month for the small box). But the upside is that you won't be sending your home address with every newsletter you send out.

As for voice/text: I know some authors have a service set up where readers can send a text to a 5 or 6 digit number and it'll sign them up for text message alerts when a new release goes live. Maybe that's worth looking into.

Writers' Cafe / Re: YA PNR Blurb Help
« on: February 20, 2016, 12:03:31 PM »
I love it! I think that's it! New eyes might be able to improve it even more, but I think what you have right now is really good.

And something I didn't catch before: in the first paragraph, "a three-thousand-year-old vampire who she can’t " should be whom. But that's up to you. A lot of non-grammar people think it's pretentious to ever use "whom." And most people never use "whom" in normal speech, even when they know they should.

Writers' Cafe / Re: YA PNR Blurb Help
« on: February 18, 2016, 05:18:45 PM »
The first paragraph is spot on.

The second one needs some work. The two sentences don't go together. Alex feeling a familiarity has nothing to do with him keeping the peace, and it's not clear why it's a problem that he keeps the peace in Olympus.

The third paragraph also needs some work. It feels odd that Niklaus would demand Celia be returned to the mortal world when he could just demand she be returned to him. (From reading the previous versions, I know what you mean but it needs to be clearer in the blurb.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: YA PNR Blurb Help
« on: February 17, 2016, 08:36:49 PM »
Let me know if you'd be interested in a ARC, I'd be glad to have you read it before release. I'm looking at an early summer release time-frame.

I'd love an ARC! Thank you!

Embraced by Darkness

"Twilight Meets Greek Mythology"

Life for fifteen year old Celia Chase takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is kidnapped by the vampire Niklaus and taken to the ancient city of Olympus. She tries to escape only to find herself inexplicably drawn to the vampire lord Alexandrus, a three thousand year old vampire she is immediately and unexpectedly drawn toward.

Alex senses something familiar in Celia as well and, despite the monster he is, offers her his protection. Problem is, as current vampire lord, he is the protector of the delicate peace between rival clans and his influence does not extend beyond the walls of Olympus, and Niklaus has made it clear he’d like nothing more than to claim her as his. 

The pair is tasked with an impossible choice: return Celia to the mortal world beyond Alex’s control, or reignite a millennial long conflict between vampire clans that threatens to bring down existence as we know it.

The last sentence of the first paragraph needs to be reworked.

Alex sensing something familiar in Celia as well isn't clear. There wasn't a reference to Alex seeming familiar to Celia. The monster bit feels thrown in there. You could try for something like "Alex thought he lost his humanity three millennia ago, but... " This might be too cliché but maybe it'll give you some ideas.

And "fifteen-year-old Celia" and "three-thousand-year-old vampire" need hyphens like that.

I like all the other changes. To me, it looks almost ready to go!

Writers' Cafe / Re: YA PNR Blurb Help
« on: February 17, 2016, 04:28:07 PM »
Does this track better?

Embraced by Darkness

"Twilight Meets Greek Mythology"

Life for Celia Chase takes a thrilling and terrifying turn when she is kidnapped by a vampire and taken to the ancient city of Olympus. She tries to escape only to find herself inexplicably drawn to the vampire lord Alexandrus, a three hundred year old vampire she is inexplicably drawn toward.

Alex senses something familiar with Celia and, despite the monster he is, offers her his protection. Problem is, as current Vampire Lord, protecting Celia means sacrificing the delicate peace between vampire clans he is tasked with keeping.

Will Celia be forced to leave Alex before she truly understands her connection to him? Or will Alex risk all out war to hold onto the last shred of his humanity?

Scroll up & click the buy button to find out...

I love this! I would buy it with that blurb, and actually I can't wait TO buy it, so please update when it's available!

Although this is good enough to make me buy it, I don't like the last paragraph. I don't think you need to ask questions to get readers to want to read this story. But if you feel you need that information in the blurb, then it needs some rephrasing. Currently Celia seems selfish if all she has to do to prevent war is go home but she won't leave unless forced. (I'm assuming there must be some other reason she's staying, other than she's intrigued/in love with Alex? Maybe something to do with the vampire who kidnapped her? Will he kill her if she leaves Alex's protection?) I also don't think you need to direct readers to scroll up.

And I disagree about it not sounding YA, but if you're worried about someone not seeing what category it's listed under, then you can add her age to the first sentence "Life for sixteen-year-old Celia..."

Writers' Cafe / Re: Re-release/extended edition
« on: February 16, 2016, 05:45:48 PM »
I think re-releases with extended content are fine. Amazon's policy is that you're allowed to take down your first book and re-upload it as a new book if it has at least x% new content. I don't remember off hand what that percent is (30% new content comes to mind but I don't know if I'm remembering correctly).

I've seen several authors do this successfully (again, I don't remember names or books). What some do is title it Awesome Title and in the description they say "Originally published as Okay Title with additional content."

Bella Forrest revamped her first A Shade of Vampire book and reuploaded it under the same ASIN so as not to lose reviews and ranking. She added on to the title of the book  to say A Shade of Vampire (New & Lengthened 2015 Edition). She did this after her series already had a huge fanbase, so I'm not sure how well this would work for other authors. But I will say that I sampled her book in 2013 and didn't like it. Her reuploaded version is a thousand times better. Her writing has matured a ton in those 2 years.

I think the jump from R to NC-17 is subjective. It might bother some people and others might not even notice the difference. There is plenty of steamy romance in the romance category. Are you thinking of turning a steamy romance into an erotica? (The difference is talked about on these forums but the general consensus is: do you still have a plot if you take the sex out? then it's romance. is there a HEA or a happy-for-now ending? then it's romance. does the main character have sex with someone other than the love interest? probably not romance)

The dungeon is when you publish your book but someone at Amazon decides it's too risque for their readers, so they make the book not searchable by normal means. The only way to find your book is to directly link to it or to see it on your author page. The things that get put in the dungeon vary but some fetishes and overly explicit content ends up there. NC-17 stuff should be safe but it really depends on content and subject matter.

Just for clarification, choosing erotica as a category is not choosing the dungeon. Erotica is searchable and if that's what your book is, then it belongs in that category where readers of that genre will find it (and there are lots of them).

As for releasing the content by itself, you can do that but if it's really just a chapter and you're not planning on doing a serial where you release a chapter every week (or however often) then it's probably not a good idea unless you're prepared to get a lot of reviews that say "this is not a book, this is a chapter."

I'd love to see an update on these numbers. What do you say H.M.? Are you up for it?

Holly is extremely successful and has very loyal fans. Her fans wanted more books from her than she could produce, so sometime last year she started partnering with other indie authors. (Partnering is probably the wrong word for this.) She approached other authors who wrote in similar genres (new adult romance), whose books were well liked, and who could write quickly and offered them a co-author deal. The stories are Holly's stories but written by the other author (and then revised with some content added on by Holly). The finished product then gets both H.M. Ward and the co-author's name on it. The co-author gets an advance plus royalties based on how the book performs.

(Correct me if I'm wrong on any of this.)

Here's the interview Holly did on the co-author deals:

I don't know what her numbers are, but I imagine they're the same as or better than they were a year ago.

ETA: Wow, that article is from May 2014. Time flies! Since then she's had several co-authored books released. Most recent one was released for Valentine's Day 2 days ago, and she has another coming in March and that's on top of the ones she's writing herself in her numerous series. She's a busy lady and an inspiration.

Writers' Cafe / Re: YA PNR Blurb Help
« on: February 16, 2016, 03:23:32 PM »
The first (really long) sentence isn't doing you any favors. I know the boy-next-door crush is important to who the character is as a person, but it doesn't belong in a blurb. You have 2 or 3 paragraphs to convince someone to buy your book, so you really have to make it enticing.

You should rework this by deleting all references to the boy next door. Start with "Celia's life takes a terrifying turn when she is kidnapped by a vampire [...]"

It still needs more work after that, but this jumps out at me.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Professional and Custom ebook cover for $99!
« on: February 16, 2016, 03:07:06 PM »
How much do you charge for the .psd?

And do you offer a print option as an addon?

I love this! Thank you so much for sharing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Romance Trends. Shallow or Controlling?
« on: February 08, 2016, 08:46:53 AM »
I have a book out a couple months where the hero's a high school principal. No-conflict conflict, because his job is to be patient and understand and be there for the heroine and her son. He's good-looking, has a great body, and is funny and smart and nice, but he's no billionaire, and he sure isn't an a-hole. The book has had very good reviews and sales.

And that makes that man pretty extraordinary. Someone who can give the woman some space, take the time to earn her trust, and has patience and acceptance for her and her son is the thing some fantasies are made of. You know your market, you're an amazing author with awesome stories!

I should've quoted the OP since my reply geared towards his post that top romance titles consist of mostly call girls and alpha-holes.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Romance Trends. Shallow or Controlling?
« on: February 08, 2016, 08:30:34 AM »
Also, the books where women start out as escorts aren't exactly as they seem. The women have hit a low point in their lives and this is their last option to pay for college tuition or some other noble purpose that's pretty well explained in the story.

They either find their billionaire before they've slept with anyone or the billionaire is their first (and only) client. Often times they are also virgins. It's not shallow. The call girl stories are classic examples of Cinderella-type rags-to-riches stories that have been popular for ages.

People read to escape into a fantasy. Reading about an ordinary, soft-bodied, nice man who has a steady job and pays his rent on time every month isn't very exciting unless the man undergoes a transformation and becomes Mr. Dreamy. He doesn't even have to get abs or become a billionaire (maybe he donates one of his kidneys to the main character or her close relative). But he does have to become extraordinary in some way.

I don't think there's too much going on, but I also don't think this cover measures up compared to the other covers in your signature (which are really awesome). Here's my opinion: I love the title font - it's very fun and fits the genre well, the hand and the wings are great but the fairy doesn't look very high quality. The characters on your other covers are cute and have good facial expressions and body poses, but this fairy just feels odd to me.

Maybe it's because she's already leaning back and about to fall when she hasn't been flicked yet? I don't know. Maybe because she's about to be flicked in the face rather than some other less painful spot? I really don't know.

I apologize if you weren't looking for a critique.

I definitely get that the art depicts a bully flicking a fairy.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Latest Cover MakeOver
« on: February 07, 2016, 07:53:45 PM »
This is stunning. I loved the video. I kept thinking "That's a gorgeous cover!" and then you'd add something else to make it even better.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Feedback Requested!
« on: January 10, 2016, 11:34:32 AM »
If that is Miranda Kerr, then, no you wouldn't be allowed to use her image for a book cover. Even if there are pictures of celebrities on stock sites, they are usually marked for editorial use only. That doesn't include book covers.

It's this photo

Writers' Cafe / Re: Cover Feedback Requested!
« on: January 10, 2016, 10:48:25 AM »
Are you allowed to use photos of celebrities for book covers? (That's Miranda Kerr, isn't it?)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advertising Catch 22 - Am I the Only One?
« on: June 30, 2015, 06:53:02 AM »
What I've seen some authors do is write "Discounted to $0.99 until 07/11" or "New Release Special: $0.99 for 7 days only!"

It eats up the first line of your book description, but it might be worth it. The authors I've seen doing it have large mailing lists, so I read about the price drop there first and then see it on the book page. I don't know how effective it is on its own.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are preorders worth it?
« on: June 20, 2015, 05:29:53 PM »
I don't have an answer but I wanted to jump in an add my own question. (I hope you don't mind!)

Do pre-orders become available promptly at midnight Pacific on the chosen date? Or do they get queued up to be reviewed as though the book was submitted that day?

I wonder if they plan to make KU borrows show up as verified with this change.

Writers' Cafe / Re: My 100+ Title KU experiment
« on: June 18, 2015, 08:40:05 AM »
I was hoping that at the end of this experiment, I could tell people whether or not KU was a safe bet for short story authors. The game has changed though, and so I now feel that doing this experiment was kind of pointless.

It wasn't pointless at all! Everyone on here really appreciates everything you've shared. Even though the game has changed, there's still a lot to learn from all the information you provided. Thank you so much for doing this.

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