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Writers' Cafe / Critters closes for EU members
« Last post by stephangeorge on Today at 12:40:47 PM »
Hi all,

not sure if anyone is affected by this - the Critters workshop (which as a writer I find really useful) has closed it's doors to EU members due to the GDPR, as they can't fully implement it and it has potential massive fines. Very sad to hear, as this certainly was not what the GDPR was designed to do....
Writers' Cafe / Re: I Love the Art. I Hate the Performance.
« Last post by levz on Today at 12:37:03 PM »
Thanks for this really thoughtful post, CL Stone. 
Writers' Cafe / Re: I Love the Art. I Hate the Performance.
« Last post by Cassie Leigh on Today at 12:36:10 PM »
I'm right there with you. My romance pen names have a static website and no other social media presence for that very reason. If someone takes the time to email me I'll write back, but I don't try to build reader interaction. I'm not the type of reader who cares to interact with authors and I know there are plenty of readers like me out there who'll just be happy to get a book they enjoyed. Do I probably lose some readers that way? Yeah, probably. But that's okay with me. It's the writing part of it that makes this enjoyable for me and as long as I'm getting sales out of it without that interaction I'll continue as I am.
The Book Corner / Re: So, what are you reading in 2018?
« Last post by RobertLCollins on Today at 12:35:59 PM »
Yesterday evening I finished The Custodian of Marvels by Rod Duncan, the third book is his "Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire" trilogy. This was a quite enjoyable book, and gave me more insight into the world, which I'd have to say is more alternate-history than steampunk. It began as a mystery about a book, then turned to revenge, then to a heist. Overall I quite liked this series. The author is writing more books in this universe. I'd like to know his next series ends before investing in it. That means I'll move on to another book next. Not quite decided which just yet...
Writers' Cafe / Re: This is why it's almost impossible for new authors!
« Last post by Morgan C on Today at 12:30:42 PM »

In either case, an author or a chef, the mantra "all you need to do is create great (whatever)", in other words "if you build it, they will come" is demonstrably flawed. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

Bottom line, if all you want to do is write, you have to either figure out how to work for someone else (something like the traditional model--find a publisher) or you have to hope doing minimal "business" will get you through--because good writing+good business is more likely to succeed than just good writing alone. If that's your situation, then so be it--BUT, that unwillingness or inability to do the business comes at an estimated monetary cost, unless you just happen to get lucky and go viral organically.

There is always another approach to the classic scenario. If you slip into a unique niche and hammer out products, so customers get used to seeing your work, someone will get curious after a while. If there's any level of skill in the product, then they will be interested in trying other stories. Maybe I just got lucky and people latched onto me sooner than I expected, but the only aspect of the business I have done besides just writing is creating an author page, running promotions through Select, and making sure every story points people in the direction of my other work, so if they are interested, they can find more of it. Other than those small additions, I just focus on the creation of a product.

Sometimes the little things help out greatly.

Truth be told, I have contemplated ads and websites, but for now, I don't think I have enough published works to do that. I need to scrape together enough material for a paperback or two!
Writers' Cafe / Re: Blurb opinion please (romance)
« Last post by Jena H on Today at 12:30:41 PM »
As a mafia boss' only child, Rylie Armati has only one goal: to become her family's next leader. When her father gives her the task to kidnap their biggest rival's son, Liam Martelli, and get information out of him, she thinks it's the perfect opportunity to finally prove herself worthy of her family's name.
But instead of breaking, Liam is threatening to melt the walls Rylie has built around her heart. He makes her question her beliefs and seems to be the only person who can truly embrace her darkness.
Although he just might be her perfect match, Rylie knows that she has to resist their forbidden attraction or she risks losing not only her heart but her life as well. If only it were easy to do that...

I'm not a regular romance reader so I thought this blurb is pretty good.  I do agree about the first sentence being a little awkward, and putting the kibosh on the word torture.

My question, though, is about the same issue that Van Argan touched upon:  "But instead of breaking, Liam is threatening to melt the walls Rylie has built around her heart."  How does he threaten this?  How long has it been since he's been kidnapped, or is he 'threatening' this right away?  (I realize you don't mean literally threatening, as in making threats; it's more that the interaction between the two creates a threat to her defenses.  Liam himself doesn't actually threaten anything.)  I just got a little confused about the timeline, and how much time is involved, and what the 'threat' entails.

Also, I realize this isn't part of what you asked, and I apologize for the unsolicited comment, but the fact that an (apparently) Italian/Sicilian crime family has a member with the historically-Irish name of Liam kind of throws me out of the story.

Being a mere 40-something I'm still quite young in the ways of the Force. After all, didn't Grand Master Yoda live to be 900 or something like that?  8)

933. But I believe it was because he didn't waste any energy on being taller or having any hair or even being alive.  :D
Writers' Cafe / Re: I Love the Art. I Hate the Performance.
« Last post by boba1823 on Today at 12:28:53 PM »
I'm with you - at a comfortable arm's length, of course   ;D

I have zero interest in talking with my readers. Or more specifically, with them talking to me. This is partly a matter of personal preference, and partly a business decision. Although some authors have surely managed to make interacting directly with readers a part of their brand in a way that positively impacts sales, for myself, the likely cost-benefit balance simply weighed against it. Especially when it comes to things like responding to individual messages where the conversation is taking place privately rather than publicly.

One's time has value. So I asked myself, which of these is going to more positively impact my sales: Spending X hours per week interacting with readers, or spending $(X hours * the value I place on an hour of my time) on advertising? And I try to answer this based on reasonable expected outcomes, rather than hopeful but unlikely cases. Yeah, sure, maybe I will get lucky and happen to interact with that one magical reader who will propel me to viral literary fame. But probably not. And besides - it seems at least equally likely that this hypothetical magical reader would find me through advertising.

This doesn't mean that I forgo communicating with my readers. But I do try to ensure that the communication is one way only, with no possibility of reader response. For example, I have a mailing list, but my newsletters has my own version of the "Replies to this email address are not monitored" message. My website does not provide an email address, message form, or any other way to contact me. (Saves time with deleting spam, too.) Social media is trickier, obviously. I use a Facebook page (profile is kept private, and no friending fans) and do post to it, but nothing in the comments section and I certainly never respond to comments - because do it once, and someone is guaranteed to expect you'll do it again.

Lots of different approaches to the business side of being an author, but this is the one that works for me  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pen name stressing
« Last post by ShayneRutherford on Today at 12:24:34 PM »
If you already have a following for both names, then it isn't sensible to change either one. However, when Stephen King was an unknown, he also wrote novels under the pen name of Richard Bachman. Once he got famous those books were relabelled as 'Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman'.

So, I think that's what you should do. Stella Wilkinson writing as Fred Flinstone - or whatever. Then everyone knows it is you.

It wasn’t because he got famous, it was because ‘Bachman’ got outed.
The Book Corner / Re: Time travel novel suggestions
« Last post by PaulLev on Today at 12:22:57 PM »
The Nantucket Trilogy is superb.
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