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Messages - BWFoster78

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: I can't figure out why my novel isn't selling
« on: February 08, 2018, 10:18:15 AM »
Finding an audience is where I have a disagreement with folks who say, "stick to one genre and don't hop around." That works if you pick up readership there, but if you fail to connect, then you've failed to connect. In some ways, it's like saying, "I want to skip all the lessons that I learned and go straight to the benefits." Sadly, you can't learn without learning. I believe that hopping around not only develops you into a better writer, because it forces you to develop new writing skills, but it increases your chance of finding a niche where you do connect, or discover an area where you have fun.


I myself don't know where that line is between hopping around and holding steady. It naturally must be different for every writer. [Did I just contradict myself? Sue me.]

I like this reasoning.

I like it mainly because it tells me to do what I really, in my heart, want to do anyway, but I do like this reasoning. :)

2
Writers' Cafe / Re: Thoughts On Cover & Blurb?
« on: February 07, 2018, 01:19:14 PM »
From the cover and the pitch, the series is Dangerous Waters. The subtitle, however, is, "A Dangerous Waters Thriller Series." The "A" confuses me.

The first line is prime real estate. It stands to reason that more people are going to read that one line than will read any other sentence in your pitch. With that in mind, do you think, "Brandon Waters had no interest in following in his parentsí footsteps." is hooky enough to take that top spot? If it were me, I'd delete it or, at least, incorporate it into what is now the second paragraph. I also don't like the repeated use of his full name in consecutive sentences.

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Now ten years later, Brandonís little brother is fingered for a murder he knows he couldnít have committed.

That's some serious pronoun confusion. Does Brandon's brother know Brandon's brother couldn't have committed the murder? Or does Brandon know that Brandon couldn't have committed the murder? Either reading would be just as legitimate as what I think you actually meant.

I'm not sure I like that you have consecutive sentences that both contain a series.

The cover evokes a mood of a quiet, relaxing day at the beach. Is that the mood evoked by the covers of bestselling thrillers?

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« on: January 26, 2018, 07:55:44 AM »
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I can't get my head around what makes LitRPG work and what readers are looking for.

I recently started reading LitRPG and have tried about 14 series (depending on your definition of LitRPG :) ) so far. I can't speak for any other readers, but these are the two things that I think I like most about the genre:

- Kick butt protagonists who do kick butt things

Look, I enjoy a lot of modern fiction where every protagonist is balanced and has flaws and struggles and all that. Sometimes, though, I just want to read about hyper-competent people doing stuff that other people can't do.

- Leveling Up

When I play video games (rarely) or D&D (back in the day), I love the progression of my character from complete noob who can't manage to kill a pair of Level 1 rats to a complete ninja who can take on a horde of mobs by himself. There's just something primal about the clear advancement from one level to the next, and LitRPG spells it out overtly, letting you experience it better than any other genre.

4
I have some good thoughts on overcoming procrastination. I should put them together into a post. Maybe tomorrow ...

5
Quote
Never ask people what they think about your idea in general.
You can write the book and ask people what they think
about this particular book, about some particular strategy, etc.
But about an idea in general? Don't waste your time. Just write your book.

This is excellent advice. I'm trying to think of a single time when someone posted, "Is this a good idea?" and the answer was, "Yes."

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: New LitRPG Artwork!
« on: January 25, 2018, 10:43:42 AM »
Definitely the middle one!

As for the pitch:

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Val had returned from his latest tour of duty maimed and scarred in body and soul. At an age when most kids were still in college, he had been fighting for his life in global hotspots no government official would dare admit to, with crippling wounds and horrific memories his only rewards for services diligently rendered. Barely able to walk and drugged to the gills for pain, he thought his killing days were finally behind him.

I'm not sure I like that you start with so much backstory and so many "hads." Maybe something like:

Former (special forces guy/SEAL/whatever) Val Lastname is maimed and scarred in body and soul from his latest tour of duty. Crippling wounds have left him barely able to walk, and he spends his days drugged to the gills for pain. At least his killing days are finally behind him.

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He couldn't have been more wrong.

I like this.

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Endless Online, a hyper futuristic game where players could truly live another life. Val's friend couldn't resist the siren call to embrace that thrill, and when she turns up missing, Val knew it was time for one last covert mission, only to find that the game was far more than it seemed.

Val's friend was unable to resist the siren call of Endless Online, a hyper futuristic game where players can truly live another life. She turns up missing, and only he can find her. Time for one last covert mission.

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Far from being the masters of this grand new game of epic space battles, wizards, warriors, and intergalactic conquest, the people of Earth were about to become its greatest prize.
The game offers him epic space battle, wizards, warriors, and intergalactic contest, but Val soon discovers that it is far more than it seems. Far from being the masters of this grand new adventure, the people of Earth are about to become its greatest prize.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: How much do you spend on editing?
« on: January 23, 2018, 12:26:00 PM »
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Writing software is a waste of money. Yes, I know, it spits out all kinds of advice in colour-coded categories that sounds authoritative. But it's almost all useless. You're better off investing a couple of well-known writer's handbooks (e.g., The Little, Brown Handbook, The Copyeditor's Handbook) and a couple of style/composition guides (e.g., Stein on Writing, Building Great Sentences, anything by Richard A. Lanham).

Isn't this kind of like saying, "Spellcheckers are a waste; you're better off reading a dictionary."? Even though I know how to spell a word, that doesn't stop me from typing it wrong. Similarly, knowing how to construct a tight, coherent sentence doesn't mean that a lot of my don't sentences go horribly astray in the execution phase.

For my last novel, I ended up deleting over 10 words out of every 1,000 based on writing software that underlined what it felt was extraneous text. Close to 2,000 unnecessary words didn't make it into my final manuscript - pretty cool. Not to mention all the typos I found before the book even went to copy edit, much less the proofreader ...

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: Calling all Superhero Writers (and fans)!
« on: January 17, 2018, 06:30:19 AM »
Have only recently come back to Kindleboards after a long hiatus and noticed this thread.  I'm Jim Bernheimer, the author of Confessions of a D-List Supervillain along with the prequel and two sequels in that series.  They've done quite well and I'm proud of them.  I'm also the owner of Amber Cove Publishing which includes C. T. Phipps' Rules of Supervillainy and three sequels.  I figured I'd stop in and say hello and offer my encouragement to everyone.

Jim,

Great to see you on Kboards. You probably don't remember, but we exchanged emails a few times years ago. Terry Ervin recommended that I read you book, and I took to it, and the genre, so much that I ended up writing my own superhero novel. I think that Confessions will always remain my favorite.

Brian

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you comment on my sci-fi cover?
« on: October 13, 2017, 05:02:49 AM »
Hey guys thanks for the comments, here are a few others I am messing around with.

For those wondering about the plot, yes it is litrpg like / anime vibes.  I guess I am letting a bit too much video game influence in (imagine mass effect the game if you know what that is)


I'm not sure it's a good idea for your cover to signal LitRPG if it's only "LitRPG like." Fans of the genre have certain expectations. If your book doesn't meet those expectations, those fans are going to be very unhappy with your book.

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: Can you comment on my sci-fi cover?
« on: October 12, 2017, 01:52:36 PM »
The word "reset" also makes me think LitRPG.

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS ads question...
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:50:27 AM »
My current campaign has required just under 185,000 impressions to obtain 529 clicks and 22 sales.

Comparing my actual royalties to the campaign spend, I've lost around twenty bucks. Sell through to the next book in the series has been pretty darn good, though, and assuming I gained some reasonable percentage of KU reads from the deal, it's probably made me a pretty decent return despite the poor overall numbers.

Bottom line: it takes a lot of impressions to get a click and a lot of clicks to get a sale.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: Chess
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:42:49 AM »
Would it make sense if each player has 3 knights, a king and a queen? Both lose 2 knights, and either the Mother's knight captures Black's queen ...?

Yes, that would be much better. A knight can easily fork the queen and the king, resulting in the loss of the queen.

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: Chess
« on: October 05, 2017, 06:47:08 AM »
Two problems with your setup:

1. Each side only gets two knights. Unless you're playing some really weird rules, there's no way for one side to end up with three.

2. A good player might typically play down a rook in order to even odds. For one player to beat another starting out down two rooks, eight pawns, and one minor piece, the second player would pretty much have to completely suck. I could probably - uh, maybe - beat my 7 year old in those circumstances but only because he has absolutely no tactical or strategic understanding of the game.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Wide or KU for a first/standalone
« on: October 04, 2017, 12:57:25 PM »
My perspective is that the absolute best thing I can do for my long term success is to spend as much time as possible writing new books. A big advantage of Select is simplicity; you just have to worry about the one retailer.

Long term, I will go wide. For now, it just doesn't make sense for me.

15
I find I can do this myself. I throw the book to my ipad, and read it as if it was someone else's book. I find I can disconnect enough to see the mistakes I couldn't see reading it in word.

I think I get too locked in to what I thought I wrote. Reading in a different format helps catch some errors for me, but it's not nearly the same as being able to experience my writing through another person's eyes.

16
I see the act of writing fiction as taking characters and plots and emotions that are running around inside my head and, using only words, translating all that information into the mind of another person.

I don't know about anyone else on this board, but I find creating an accurate translation of my thoughts to be fraught with the potential for error.

My best beta readers have let me experience my words through the readers' point of view, allowing me to figure out where there is a disconnect between what I intended to convey and what I actually conveyed.

17
The picture sort of screams fantasy-sci-fi. The font screams something else.

I agree with this.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Spammers targeting Instafreebie
« on: September 20, 2017, 11:46:10 AM »
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Haha, it's like you were in my mind when I wrote it!

Dear Friend with valid KBoards posting account,

Obviously, you liked my most outstanding analysis and review of your story, "SLEP."

I like you, Dear Friend, and most want your story, "SLEP," to succeed most greatly, but my review on this board, unfortunately, will not be read by the thousands of viewers seeing your story, "SLEP," on Amazon everyday.

Contact me most urgently to discuss how my most outstanding analysis and review can be used to help your story, "SLEP," to succeed most greatly!

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Spammers targeting Instafreebie
« on: September 20, 2017, 07:04:27 AM »
I thought I'd chime in with my thoughts on your story, "SLEEP:"

I found "SLEEP" to be a story written with many words that conveyed meaning. The characters in "SLEEP" performed actions and possessed both thoughts and emotions. Each scene in "STORY" contained elements of plot and/or character.

Definitely a story that was meant to be read.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: For those using Instafreebie--a heads up
« on: September 19, 2017, 07:47:35 AM »
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Instafreebie folk really do read next in series, and the read thru rate is the same as from the vendors, so just getting the downloads is valuable.

That hasn't been my experience at all. Running free promos for Abuse of Power always resulted in higher sales and reads for Rise of the Mages. I took Abuse out of Select to use it for IF. While I've gotten a lot of signups, the IF downloads haven't shown much of a bump in sales/reads at all.

Anyone else have data on this?

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: Does Kboards have an "ignore" button?
« on: September 19, 2017, 06:52:27 AM »
Uh oh. Let's take a poll, everybody. Animated avatars, yea or nay? (No, you will not hurt my feelings if you hate them.)

I'm with David on this one. I don't ignore anyone, but I do tend to scroll quickly past posts with animated avatars. I hate, hate, hate things moving on my screen.

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: mailing list value
« on: August 30, 2017, 01:33:27 PM »
Hi,

Almost everyone extols the value of the mailing list. I, however, have a problem. I have no idea what to put in one. I don't write shorts...I find them painful. In the 10 years my AOL crit group was active (before the AOL fall) we had dozens of short story contests, I wrote three stories. I got generally good marks, but I'm not sure I want to do that again.

So, how to get people to sign up? I'm not sure what to do to get people to sign up. And, I guess, my question is...is it worth it with such a small portfolio? I've finished only three novels. One, I published...one lost in a computer crash...and one I can't see as publishable with a lot of work.

So, what do you think? Wait until I have more books published before I actually try the mailing list or is there some value to doing it now?

Thanks,

David

David,

You're asking specific questions, but the overall content of your post makes it sound like you really need to gain a basic understanding of the entire concept of mailing lists. Might I suggest this as a great place to start:

http://nicholaserik.com/mailing-lists-for-authors/

Hope that helps ...

Brian

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU authors read this ( agree or not?)
« on: August 29, 2017, 07:38:37 AM »
As far as I can tell, indie authors have absolutely no pull with Amazon. Readers, presumably, have some pull. Not a lot, granted, but some.

If we really wish to get Amazon to effect positive change to the KU program, our best chance is probably an organized campaign directed at readers.

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: Would you do a "what came before"?
« on: August 28, 2017, 02:40:39 PM »
A long time passed between when I published my first book and when I published the sequel, and I absolutely abhor those sections in a book where the author tells me, within the context of the sequel, what happened in the previous book. I decided to simply make summaries of the previous books available. I put them up on my website and linked to them at the front of the sequel.

I would have preferred to have them actually be in the book, but I was worried about linking and the KU aspects of that.

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Dashboard
« on: August 28, 2017, 01:20:00 PM »
My dashboard is back, but YIKES  :o  my numbers are barely anemic. Hope it's just a reporting delay.

For mine, the clicks and spends aren't adding up to the totals at the top. Way low. Been that way since it came back up. My guess is a bigtime delay.

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