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Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on WIP cover, please
« Last post by C. Gold on Today at 05:41:08 PM »
Thanks for your comments. The QR code is not the book's ISBN. QR is an essential element of the story. It's one way bitcoin wallet public encryption keys are exchanged. The black at the top is only because that's all the higher the image goes. It's a stock image. Maybe I can use parts of its background to make it taller.
Covers don't necessarily represent scenes or elements from the story. Covers are click bait. Advertising. If you add something that is confusing or looks out of place, the reader isn't going to care that it is vital to the story. All they see is a blocky, low res splotch marring an otherwise decent cover and may pass over your book. My advice - lose the QR code. Maybe you can use it as a scene break image inside (smaller of course) or chapter header image.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Ghostwriting - Fair Wages
« Last post by Lorri Moulton on Today at 05:29:08 PM »
This. So much this.

I like my quick, casual romance read as much as anyone but I literally log into the "hot new paranormal/sci-fi etc romance releases" chart lately and find myself clicking through the pages really quickly and then logging out again. It's reached the point where I could cry from relief that Ilona Andrews is releasing a new book in a couple of days because I am sooooo sick of everything being about a dragon or a reverse harem of twenty people. Even better when it's a reverse harem with dragon shifters.

The fast food analogy used earlier is great because, now I'm thinking about it, it sums up why I am fed up with the new release charts lately. I don't care about the characters in these books. They don't really grow in a meaningful way and I don't get to be invested in their journey over a long period of time. They're usually all in bed with each by page 2 (okay, I know that's an exaggeration) and I can't even remember who half of them are because the author hasn't given me a reason to care. They're a fantastic meal when I'm hungry and just want a brief fling, but you'll have my loyalty forever if you make me invest in the series arc.

When the chart is literally overrun with the exact same trope written badly, sales are ultimately going to drop. You may as well just change the character names and stop hiring ghostwriters, because the tone of a lot of these stories is strikingly similar. At some point people will vote with their money, so if you're writing something good, original and attention worthy chances are good it'll gain traction eventually.

Thank you for the insight.  I know there are some great books out there, but it's not always easy to find them...which goes back to the challenge of promoting books and finding readers, who will (hopefully) enjoy them. :)

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I'm hanging out for someone to make a good (probably subscription-based) tax gateway for woocommerce. There isn't one. I'd be happy to withhold European VAT if they just told me how to do this not being based in Europe. Canada is also making noises that their citizens have to pay tax, Australia is already doing it, the US is moving that way, and it will only become more common that the customer's country determines what taxes they pay. They whole tax thing is in flux, and I'm presuming that someone will develop a service that slots into woocommerce that handles it all and remits the taxes. I'm more than happy to pay for it, too.

If that doesn't happen, shop-based platforms will win the day. Payhip is majorly clunky and I don't like it, but they will remit taxes.

Easier alternatives are Shopify and Selz, which are very similar. I'd probably go with Selz, simply because they're a Sydney-based company. I've looked into these (monthly fee based) services. They're nice but you host the shop on their site. I want the shop on my site, with woocommerce. I want a module that does worldwide taxes. Charge me a monthly fee or charge me per month, just write the damn thing someone please, like, yesterday.
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Quote
If you're mainly pitching to a US market, I'm not sure the World Cup makes a lot of difference, although a bit more than it used to. In the UK, Europe, and South America, it is a very big deal. Being in a world market, has a lot of complications. But in general, I believe that is good advice. Frankly, if it is your first novel or if you are changing genres, I wouldn't and would follow Patty's advice instead.

My readership is fairly global and in my experience, the world events that are almost certain to depress sales across the board are the Olympics (both summer and winter), the World Cup and the European Cup (or as I call them "Five bloody weeks of no sales and nothing on TV either"). The other continent championships don't have much of an impact, at least not on my sales.

The sales dampening impact of the 2016 US election was a big surprise, at least to me, because previously I hadn't noticed much of an impact of elections on sales (and I've been self-publishing through two US presidential elections, two German and I think two British general elections) except for the Brexit vote and oddly enough, the ousting of a president in Brazil, where I normally get decent sales.

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I think the image is kind of generic. And the QR code is confusing.
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The struggle to get noticed is so very real (and scary!).

And then if you're like me and don't have much to spend on advertising and what little you do have you don't want to funnel into advertising Book 1 until Book 2 is out... and then life and kids keep delaying Book 2.

So, new author who also is on a super slow publishing pace = near impossible (it also doesn't help that not even friends buy my stuff even when they say they will, and my immediate family doesn't read fantasy...).

I constantly feel like I'm shouting into the void.  :P Right now my freebie short story in my Fate series is the only thing getting an occasional download.  :'(
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Shopify.  World's best platform for small ecommerce sellers.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: SEO Keywords - Yea or Nay?
« Last post by busywoman on Today at 05:00:43 PM »
Get the free version of the Yoast SEO plugin. Start with the free version first before purchasing anything.  Give SEO some time, also.  It takes time to see results.  Good luck.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: This is why it's almost impossible for new authors!
« Last post by LSMay on Today at 04:59:06 PM »
I did an experiment this week.

I launched a new book (first in a new series) with total radio silence.

I didn't tell anyone.

And you know what happened? NOTHING!

No sales, no reads, and straight down the charts it fell.


I launched my first book in 2015, no promotion - got a few full reads a couple sales in the first day or two. Another first in series in 2016, and that had reads before I promoted it. I just launched a new first in series a few days ago, and, exactly like you said - nothing. For the record, I have some promotions lined up, but nothing in the first few days.

So yeah, I'm really glad you started this thread, because I was beginning to think there was something wrong with my new book... now I can at least leave the panicking until after I see how the promotions go.
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Writers' Cafe / Re: Comments on WIP cover, please
« Last post by Al Stevens on Today at 04:57:17 PM »
Thanks for your comments. The QR code is not the book's ISBN. QR is an essential element of the story. It's one way bitcoin wallet public encryption keys are exchanged. The black at the top is only because that's all the higher the image goes. It's a stock image. Maybe I can use parts of its background to make it taller.
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