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Messages - CraigInOregon

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Mac's Built-In Dictation - Issue
« on: June 26, 2017, 11:16:12 am »
I'm sure thia doesn't help at all... But I love Dragon on Windows. I occasionally get the no-cap error within quotations but it's easy to correct...Plus it doesn't occur often. Maybe once or twice per 20 to 30 minute session...

2
Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone using Scrivener?
« on: January 12, 2017, 09:52:55 pm »
I am a complete Scrivener convert. Love it. Only Dragon Naturally Speaking has pulled me away from it.

3
Been using my new Oasis for a while now. Love it.

But I HATE the new font Amazon insensitively named "Open Dyslexic" or whatever they called it. Hey Amazon, get bent! (My wife is dyslexic.)

4
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon New Ad Button for Select
« on: March 10, 2015, 03:33:22 am »
Darcy and Tim,


Thanks for the insights and responses.

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon New Ad Button for Select
« on: March 09, 2015, 02:32:55 am »
Okay, I created an account for myself and found out the billing practices from that.

I would be billed at $1.00, at $5.00, and then at $10.00 intervals for the life of the campaign, if I wanted to set the campaign for a $100.00 total budget limit.

That answers that.

Here's my new question:

I've seen some people say, "I've suspended my campaign" for this reason or that reason.

So that leads me to ask: Does that mean that if you suspend a campaign, you're no longer obligated to spend out the rest of your campaign budget?

I mean, I realize if they generate only $10 in clicks for you in whatever you set as the time limit of your campaign, you won't be charged the extra $90, once the time runs out.

But what if you suspend a campaign because, say, your bank account is dry and you don't want that next $10 hitting you until you can replenish the account....

...or let's say you suspend the campaign because you think the results are cruddy and you just don't want to keep paying for something that's not working?

If *you* suspend the campaign until the end of the deadline for the length of the campaign, does that mean the balance remaining in the campaign budget goes away? Or will they say, "Hey, you agreed to spend $100 and you suspended after only $25. We'll now bill you for $75.00, thank you."

Is that possible? Or do they just say, "Thank you for your $25. We're sorry it didn't work better for you."

I guess what I'm getting at is, I can understand Amazon saying, "Hey, we only produced $25 worth of clicks for you in the time allotted, don't worry about the remaining $75."

What I'm less sure of is whether they'd be all forgiving like that if you suspend the campaign yourself.

Would a person be setting themselves up for a whopper of a "You owe us" bill? Or what?

Has anyone who's run a campaign and suspended it found out, yet?

I'd want to know this before I do anything. Just because I'm the careful type and it's not answered on the site right now.

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon New Ad Button for Select
« on: March 08, 2015, 04:57:24 pm »
I do have a question of my own:

How often does Amazon invoice your credit card? Every time they log a click? Once a week? ???

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon New Ad Button for Select
« on: March 08, 2015, 04:56:08 pm »
My total number of clicks goes down or is reset every few days. I now have the first sale (at $4.99).  If I can believe the current stats, it took 34 clicks and has cost me $19.67.

Then you have to be paying around $0.57/click.

Which is too high, IMO. You're competing with the "stupid money" just to get impressions and clicks.

I think you'd be wise to lower your maximum, target more specifically, and be more patient on results.

But like everyone else, this is all new to me, too. What do I know? ;)

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: countdown deal during ent promotion
« on: January 17, 2015, 12:24:16 am »
I forgot to mention UK. You have to set it up separately. Probably too late now.

Craig, I did a free promo on 12/1 with ENT, to get the feel for it, before a BookBub free promo on 12/31. ENT did pretty good on the 4th day of the promo with 4,519 downloads.

Just for giggles and comparison: How did that 4,519 number for ENT compare to the BookBub one 30 days later?

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: countdown deal during ent promotion
« on: January 16, 2015, 06:01:37 am »
I always start mine two days early, with advertising on the second day and the big ad, like ENT on the third day. The first day of a Countdown Deal usually boosts sales 100% to 200% higher than normal. The second day slacks off that a little, which is why I add several small ads, to boost sales a little higher than the first day. ENT comes out at 5pm Eastern time, so an ad or two earlier in the day will help even more to boost sales even higher than the second day. Knowing what time of day the different ad sites post helps as well. The idea is to create a steadily climbing number of sales not just over the five days, but each hour of each day. That maximizes the final rank produced by the big ad.

When setting the Countdown Deal, make sure you set the time you want it to start and remember, it's Pacific time that you're setting. If you don't change it, the default time is 8 am Pacific.

Wayne,


At this point in my career I can't afford $110 on BookBub for a horror novel, just to give away a bunch of free copies... Let alone even more to charge $0.99....

...so I've been considering ENT, for the $15 that would run me for a free book promo.

(I do a lot of other free/very-low-cost (Think BKnights on Fivver) promo sites, so ENT would be the next step up.)

I know you write in a different genre than me, but what has your ENT experience been like? Worth it?


Craig

10
Writers' Cafe / Re: Happy birthday, Cinisajoy.
« on: January 16, 2015, 05:57:13 am »
I will come out of hibernation to wish Cin Happy Birthday ANY time...

Happy Birthday, Cin. Hakunah Matatah!

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm interviewing Authors and Artists
« on: December 24, 2014, 02:01:25 am »
Noah,

Just a quick note to say that even though I'm not dropping in here at KB much anymore, I still welcome the interview opp when you get 'round to drawing my name out of the virtual hat. Nothing's changed in that respect...

12
Writers' Cafe / Rumors greatly exaggerated....
« on: December 22, 2014, 02:29:14 am »
I've decided to turn the volume on my involvement here down to "1." Okay, maybe "2."

After about 9000 posts in four years' time.

Those who care about me know how to find me, whether it's on Facebook, Amazon, Tsu, Twitter, WriteOn, or wherever else.

But the balance of time invested vs. headaches involved has finally tilted to the other side.

I won't be gone completely. I'll pop in at my own choosing... just way, way less often.

I reserve the right to change that decision in the future, but I've been averaging nearly six posts a day, made a lot of friends who've come and gone, and while I still have some friends here, well...

...Let's just say, "We'll meet again." And to paraphrase Mark Twain, "The rumors of my death are about to be greatly exaggerate."

(I imagine.)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUy1-JakJtE" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUy1-JakJtE</a>

Let the celebration commence among those who, I know, will be happy about this.

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: YA Horror = What really scares teenagers these days?
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:21:38 pm »
Good question.  I would say the fear that they will not be able to live out their lives in a cohesive, civilized society.  The apocalypse is finally coming, and they will likely die in it.

There's a generation that didn't fear variations on that theme? ;) LOL

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: YA Horror = What really scares teenagers these days?
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:20:36 pm »
The idea that they might have to continue living at home with their parents after turning 18 when all of their friends have already moved out.

That lasts until they've lived outside of college dorms, or find out what it's like not to split rent on a house with 20 other people ... then that "source of horror" becomes their dream situation/general expectation of Mom and Dad.

Using their hard-earned money to pay their own cell phone bills ranks a close second.

;)

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: YA Horror = What really scares teenagers these days?
« on: December 18, 2014, 01:17:39 pm »
Yikes.

Well, I'm still keeping the religious overtones in the story. I guess I don't know much about the target audience, but I would like to assume that there are still some teenagers out there who are scared s***less about the Devil and his domain. I'll try to do more research.

I've lived in Southern California all my life, but I have visited Lake Tahoe and Big Bear Lake in the wintertime. That could at least give me some experience on a colder climate.

I could do a separate storyline on your Alaska prison suggestion, though. It seems very interesting. Did you come up with that as soon as you started typing?


Casual,

It's good to have some exposure to snow to write about an icy wasteland, yeah. ;) Alaskans and Minnesotans probably giggle at how cold Lake Tahoe gets, but that's not your issue to fret over. :)

As I said at the outset, write what jazzes you and have fun doing it. Only intention was to share some insights.

And as for "The Teen Prison-State of Alaska," yeah, I just came up with it while trying to be helpful to you on how to rethink your idea in a way that might make it more palatable to "anti-religious teens" as your target audience.

Use it if you wish, it's just a slight adjustment to your basic idea anyway.

I have plenty of my own ideas. :) (I'm in the middle of about five WIPs right now, just at the moment.... two on the frontburner, three a bit further back on the ol' creativity stove.)

Everything I write, just about, is set in the fictional Hope, Wisconsin, except (so far) one short that takes place in Nebraska in a friend's home (Under Contract's framing story), and another set in Oregon (Nice Girl Like You). ;) Oh, and The Devohrah Initiative, I guess... that's set in the Middle East.

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Published My Second Book One Year Ago Today.
« on: December 18, 2014, 04:37:26 am »
Fallen Palm was published on 10/8/13 and I immediately began writing the sequel, Fallen Hunter. It was published a year ago today, exactly 70 days later. But it only took 60 days to write it. That's 102K words. That's 1700 words a day, every day. I was an over the road truck driver then, working up to 70 hours per week. Now I'm a full time writer. Yet, I've been working on my current WIP since 10/1 and it's only half written.

Betsy, can my wife borrow the prod?

I've noticed the writing life can go in cycles of high productivity followed by... lower productivity.

Take advantage of the higher productivity cycles while they're around.

And realize it's all okay.

Even moreso for you; you're doing awesome, from what I understand! :) Keep it up as you're able, sir.

Side-Note: Erle Stanley Gardner set a quota for himself to produce 1.2M words a year.

That's about 3,300 words a day with virtually no days off. We're all slackers following in HIS footsteps. LOL

It's doable, though, if we put in the time. :)

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: YA Horror = What really scares teenagers these days?
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:31:18 am »
So I'm currently working on a Young Adult Horror Novel. It's about a group of teenagers trying to escape the icy wasteland known as Hell after modern-day Mephistopheles played a dirty little trick on them. It's a race against time, as Mephistopheles gives them 12 hours to find the exact location of the exit from Hell. But on the way, the teenagers stumble upon various obstacles that could swing them back to eternal torment.

I'm trying to make this story as frightening and disturbing as possible. Everything that goes on in Hell relies solely on psychological damage. For instance, victims are either tortured by their unbreakable fear (such as fear of loneliness, abandonment, the dark, etc.), childhood traumas, or visions of unwanted negativity from family and friends. There are other methods, including starvation, but that will be a minor incidence in the plot. But what scares adolescents these days? In the story, blood and gore is not a biggie, since I'm sure that this sort of content doesn't really do much to give the intended audience the creeps. The scares are mostly psychological, like the stuff you'd see in the movies The Shining and 1408. Deepest fears and traumatic events coming back to haunt the characters seem scary enough, at least to me. And on top of that, just the mere thought of eternal pain in Hell is enough to keep people on edge. I know that most teenagers aren't really religious, but I can at least try to make it as dark and horrific as possible.

I'm gonna search through YA Horror novels and check them out one by one. In the meantime, I want to know if the story will be enough to frighten the reader. Any thoughts?


Casual,


Horror is my stomping ground, too. Both YA and older.

Here's some insights from my experience, for whatever they're worth to you:

1) Horror is a great genre, fun, and the big names do well. A lot of others struggle. (Me included.) If you want fast success as you've indicated elsewhere, horror isn't exactly a fast-track genre. Just sayin' from experience. You'd get where you're going faster by writing in The Genre That Can No Longer Be Named on KB. Or romance.

2) Here's what's puzzling me about how you're combining what you feel you know about your target audience, versus what sort of story you're writing:

On the one hand, you say you assume that your target readers are non-religious.

Yet your setting is Hell (capital H) and you toss in a "modern Mephistopheles" for good measure. All religious or at least quasi-religious.

This seems incongruous.

Then you're doing an icy wasteland setting. We know you've spent a lot of time in California, in college. Have you been to Alaska? The upper Midwest in the winter? What's your frame of reference there?

It's not clear to me if you're going post-apocalyptic with this, or if it's meant to be a modern setting with the kids sucked into some sort of alternate dimension or just what.

But again, this seems incongruous with what you say you know about your target audience.

Your target audience isn't religious, you say, yet you're tossing them a book with many religious/quasi-religious elements.

Wouldn't your market research lead you to go a bit more reality-based than fantasy-based?

I'm not sure ... I'm asking.

But it seems to me if you have a target of anti-religious teens, you can either go the "your fear is that religions is real" route that someone else suggested, or...

Get rid of all that stuff and go reality-based, the sort of things kids today who aren't especially religious, actually fear.

I mean, I'm not trying to tell you what to write... write the story you need to tell... and for heaven's sake, have FUN doing it.

But you have one bit of info that you say you know about your audience, yet the story you're crafting seems to ignore that insight.

If it were me, I'd grasp onto that insight and build it all around those presuppositions.

If horror is what you're going for and your target audience doesn't give a rip about religion, give them the stuff they know and do fear.

Look, for example, at, I don't know... The Purge and it's sequel, Purge: Anarchy.

Not saying they're great films, but you can be completely irreligious and get freaked out by the idea that, one night a year, people either lock themselves up in barricaded houses, or go out and indulge in every murderous, dark fantasy they've ever held inside, because for 12 hours a year, NO CRIME IS ILLEGAL. It's like the Ferguson, MO verdict announcement evening, times 2,000.

That'd scare anyone, I think. No religion involved.

And I'm not saying you do THAT. It's been done, obviously, already. But the guy/guys/gal/gals who created it probably had a similar target audience to you... and they crafted their tale to that audience's sensibilities and fears.

It's like, "Oh, religion is off the table? Cool. How do you feel about riots? About the idea that one night a year, America goes all Norman Bates and decides anything goes and not only could you die, but it could be your best friend killing you, who's resented the snot out of you for years.

That, to me, is targeting your tale to the sensibilities of your target audience.

Saying your ideal reader isn't religious and then giving them a tale set in an icy Hell? Beseiged by a modern religious figure none of them care about or even know, probably? Seems like you could zero it in better.

And hey, you could go all reality-based/irreligious and still tell basically the same tale by changing a few details.

You want them in an icy wasteland setting? Cool! Set in in 2050 and it's a post-apoc America, and sometime in the 2020s, teen crime got so bad that they instituted a zero-tolerance policy and now any teen who breaks even a minor rule or social convention gets sent to Alaska, which has become basically a prison-state, and, well... you get the idea.

And instead of a "modern Mephistopheles," you could make the guy a human being (scarier!) who is, like, either the power-broker state-warden of Alaska the Teen Prison-State...

...or, maybe the manipulator in your tale is a fellow teen, a bit older than them, but a survivor... only he's gone bad, a bit crazed by what he's been through just to survive in Alaska the Teen Prison-State, and so his only source of joy is tormenting newcomers.

No paranormal crud to deal with and explain and try to sell your readers on... just plain old "humanity's inhumanity to its fellow man" sort of evil. The stuff the news reminds us happens every freakin' day. :)

Same basic tale, but a slight change in its trappings takes all religion off the table and targets it to the sensibilities you know you're aiming for.

But what do I know? I sell about 0.0000001 percent as well as Stephen King. ;) Wait... is that because I know horror isn't that hot right now, but I'm writing it anyway? ;) LOL

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Writers' Cafe / Re: What would you focus on with two spare hours?
« on: December 17, 2014, 06:56:04 pm »
Good for you!

Sent from my LG G2 Android Phone.


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Writers' Cafe / Re: All I want ... realistic?
« on: December 17, 2014, 04:07:40 pm »
Instead of poking fun at people who are legit looking for ways to succeed and have perfectly reasonably goals, you could channel your energy into actually forming goals for yourself and working toward them. Just a thought.



Note: I have serious responses to the thread you're referencing in that thread.

This is a different thread.

Lighten up.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: All I want ... realistic?
« on: December 17, 2014, 03:50:24 pm »
I don't have a horse in this race, I just don't think this is particularly helpful. :/


21
Writers' Cafe / Re: What would you focus on with two spare hours?
« on: December 17, 2014, 03:44:43 pm »
I've got two hours to work. And nothing current that I have to complete (edited to add, this is a very novel feeling!  ;) ).

Here is the list of what I could/should do:

1) Update all my books on Amazon, Smashwords and Googleplay with the title of my latest book added into the front and back matter (probably the smartest thing to do, but really unappealing)

Might take longer than two hours, depending on how many titles you have.

2) Go through all my books and change keywords to see if it makes a difference to sales (again a good use of time but I groan at that option)

Not as appealing-sounding, but could help you.

3) Start writing the next book in a series that I have, for now, lost enthusiasm for

Probably not the best option if you're not jazzed about it.

4) Start drafting the outline for a new series I am excited about

This one's a good candidate.

5) See if I can knock out a short story in the two hours, just for the fun, and if it's any good then publish it as a way to boost my rankings

Take and Eight-Hour Book Challenge and log this is the first two of your hours invested.

6) Create a mailing list promotion offering a free book for sign ups (I'm interested in trying this but a bit daunted too for some reason)

*shrug*

Okay there is my list of things I could do with the time. I thought that writing it out would help clarify but I'm still drumming my fingers.

What would you do? What would you do if you were me? AND what would you do if it were you?

If I were YOU, I wouldn't be me, so I'd be posting to KBoards asking others how to spend my time... ;) LOL

If I were me? Last I checked, I am, so...

Being me, when I have two hours to spare, I write something.

Or revise something.

Or update something.

Or, too often, waste it browsing KBoards, tsu, and other social media sites.... ;)

I usually have (and currently have) 3-5 ideas in the works at any one time, various stages of completion. I'm never at a loss for something to do, because of that.

Scrivener is a life-saver in that sense.

22
Writers' Cafe / All I want ... realistic?
« on: December 17, 2014, 03:35:43 pm »
All I really want out of this fiction writing gig is a modest $250K per month.

That's ONLY $3M a year.

I mean, that's realistic, right? I have three novels and five shorts, after all...

...let the affirmations begin, and remember, no naysayers. ;)

(Yes, this is a parody thread. I'm not remotely serious. Then again, how often am I?)

23
Going to follow you all, like some crazy social creeper. o.o

People have been trying to get me to join this site for days. Looks like this thread was my final motivation.
https://www.tsu.co/KylerMatthew

I have too many friend requests pending, so once a few of them are approved, I'll start back up with you, Kyle.

I'm on TSU and have been for about a week or so.

I only just noticed this thread today, so I've been going through and adding friends.

My method is, I'll friend you first; once you friend me back, I'll follow you and hope you reciprocate. :)

Strange that Hugh was in but now isn't...

Here's my shortcode:

https://www.tsu.co/AuthorCraigHansen

24
Very interesting. My wife and I were just wondering last night how long FB will be so dominant. I think in 15 years, there will be a different top social media network. Having fun poking around this one.

My shortcode: https://www.tsu.co/Hugh_Howey

Hugh: Can't find you over there at all.

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: 30 books in 5 years
« on: December 16, 2014, 02:37:08 pm »
Hate to be the contrarian here, but Sela's post, while wise, is simply citing some rather standard, sage advice that many writers over the years here have dispensed.

That's why it's a good post. It's pretty much just common sense, compared to some of the wildly-out-of-the-realm-of-reality-for-must-of-us wishful thinking posts many people post here. :)

Like those who think that it's a "modest" expectation to make "just a thousand or so a month" off 1-2 books, as a first-time author with no following built up. ;)

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