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Messages - Christa Wick

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Konrath leaves KU
« on: December 22, 2014, 07:43:43 am »
Do u really have to ask? I'm sure all the titles have the words alpha and billionaire and BBW in them. Apparently that's the new Twilight for adults.

I like to think that I provide value to the threads on Writer's Cafe. Clearly I am mistaken. All of my success is based on the fact that my catalog has alpha billionaires and BBW heroines. Thanks for pointing this out, Jj2011. I'm off to have Harvey close my account. I can read kboards all I want without the account, and clearly have no value to add otherwise.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Konrath leaves KU
« on: December 22, 2014, 12:39:05 am »
Quote from: Jj2011 on Yesterday at 11:53:38 AM
I suspect there is another reason joe is leaving ku and it has to do with his upcoming enterprise. If u have been reading his blog u probably know what it is. Being in select might complicate this so he's taking his books out as a result.

Scans Konrath's blog to figure this out.

As I recall, he was foreshadowing (not directly stating) opening a competing store, not just for his own works or a few friends, but much broader. 

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does anyone write on a tablet?
« on: December 21, 2014, 06:49:26 am »
Pages has Track Changes. I use it instead of Word now. I can review changes on my iPad, my iPhone, or my MB Pro.

Will it import a docx with track changes? I'm just wondering in that I imagine few editors run two systems, most of them probably run Word on a PC?

Interestingly - the small presses I've worked with prohibited use of track changes. Editors had to use strikethrough (for deletions) and blue text for additions because, with MS Word, at least, track changes can bite you (hard) in the bum upon conversion to the ebook formats. I've learned that internal document tracking performed by the software can bite you in the bum without ever engaging track changes, which is why I had gone to hand coding the html prior to getting my mac and writing in Pages.

I haven't really listened to audiobooks, but have been told my fiction has a lyrical quality (in terms of pacing, rhythm, etc.) and I think that is very important for the reasons she gives. Just like some people can naturally carry a tune, they may write like that. Listening to good audiobooks would improve that skill for those who have it and develop the skill for those not born with it.

Hmmm....sounds like a good reason to visit my local library.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Does anyone write on a tablet?
« on: December 20, 2014, 01:07:21 pm »
You should be pointed to as an example for those who swear that that there is no way that a person could write a novel on a phone.

Japan has long (in ecommerce terms) had an entire literary platform for phone composed works.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What have you learned this week?
« on: December 20, 2014, 07:53:02 am »
Hmmm...I would say I didn't learn anything this week, which is terrible and a kick in the pants, but that is learning something, right?

Also, I learned that we should have either a weekly or a monthly "What did you learn this Week/Month" thread. :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: A message from John Sargent, Macmillan CEO
« on: December 19, 2014, 09:10:12 am »
Thank you MT - just did a follow, will see if Amazon notifies me when it releases (and will stay on the lookout for it, too). Added some CR to my read list while I was on Zon.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A message from John Sargent, Macmillan CEO
« on: December 19, 2014, 05:42:31 am »
Well, thank goodness my Southern Gothic Novel (cough, cough--PNR) is on sale next month!

Dang, I'm not asking your pen name, just some Southern Gothic writers to read, if you please. Can PM them (or pretend you didn't see this :D ).

Writers' Cafe / Re: A message from John Sargent, Macmillan CEO
« on: December 18, 2014, 06:33:27 pm »
Odd since I see and read plenty of PNR newly published by trade publishers. Its a pretty big subgenre of romance.

Yeah - six figure months (or close to it) for some of the indie PNR writers I know. (Salivates because my PNR sales are on the weak side.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Tracking and spreadsheets and such
« on: December 18, 2014, 04:00:41 pm »
I use the most recent Amazon conversion rate. It's less than the oanda, etc., rates because there's also a processing fee.

That one earned its donation.

Yep, I chipped some in to encourage her to continue. About a decade ago, I signed a contract and didn't realize how inclusive "subsidiary rights" are (the publisher got 50% of amounts received in exploiting subsidiary rights). I felt that the book had good potential for clothing or cosmetics and had that in mind to exploit at some future date if it proved popular (ah, the optimism of early contracts). Then I realized about a year afterwards that I'd signed away half of those rights! 

ETA - thankfully all of my contracts had 3 or 7 year end dates except for a few life of (c), but those ones had "out of print" clauses when royalties fell below a certain amount and I was quick to reclaim them all when they did.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How many Sales do you need to quit your daily job??
« on: December 18, 2014, 12:27:31 pm »
I should add that, while I couldn't have stepped back into an equivalent salary, getting a 60k to 100k a year job based on my prior work experience within a few years of leaving would probably have been a cake walk. The further out I go, of course, the more those particular skills degrade (because I have no desire to keep up on the new developments aspect of the old job) and the harder it would be to go back into the workforce, but I would expect even then, I'd have no more than 3 or 4 months to get a 60k job because I will continue to spend $300 a year until I die renewing my professional license (which thankfully doesn't have any "continuing education" requirements at present).

So (as cpatten's post highlights) when you decide to quit is not just about how much money saved, how big or little your expenses are, how much you're earning at the time with writing (which will always rollercoaster to some extent), but also about other household income and how easily you can integrate back into the job market if needed. There's probably a risk assessment scale that could be made, 1 (oops) to 5 (yay) for each of those elements and a total score to show the person making the decision how high or low their risk actually is. Informally, all of that was rolled into my decision to quit.

Writers' Cafe / Re: ACX question
« on: December 18, 2014, 05:17:20 am »
This is my question from august 2013 to ACX support and their answer on this topic



I have an Amazon KDP account and publish several of my pen names on the account. I am interested in requesting auditions for audiobook versions on the acx site. However, I am concerned what name shows in the request/contact field.

My KDP account is under [REDACTED] -- this is used to log in to acx. There is no way to set a profile that I can see on There is "personal information" -- but I'm assuming I'm not allowed to change that from my real life information, particularly as the information is feeding from my kdp log in and is used for payments and tax reporting.

When I am on the site posting, my user name shows as X, when I am on the kdp community forums, it shows as one of my pen names (not the pen name I intend to request auditions for on acx). I don't want my real name or my other pen name to show on the audition requests.

Please clarify what shows as the user name on such requests.


Thank you for contacting ACX.

In a situation like yours there are a few ways that you can go about this. If you'd like, you can change your personal information to list your pen name instead of your private name. ACX does not have anything against this, you just want to make sure that your tax information is correct so our finance team will be able to process your payments.

If you are going to be writing under multiple names, the best bet is making a different account for each pen name. When doing this, you need to make sure the tax information is correct, and that you create each new account with a different email address.

In order to create your new accounts (if needed), please log out of your current ACX account and then visit From there, you can select “Join” in the upper left hand side of the page, to create a new profile using an alternate e-mail address.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions. You can call us directly at 1-888-396-6347.

Have a great day!

Frank O.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How many Sales do you need to quit your daily job??
« on: December 18, 2014, 05:04:13 am »
Wonderful comment here. ;-) The other factor to keep in mind is that there are people who can be more productive when they have to fight for writing time -- say, working around a full time job.

That was me for the first six months after quitting (and after, but I have serious health issues to blame after the six-month timeframe - hopefully I shall kick 2015's mf-ing posterior).

Writers' Cafe / Re: How many Sales do you need to quit your daily job??
« on: December 18, 2014, 05:01:14 am »
I had to replace a base (pre-bonus) salary of over 170k a year (about 14.5k a month), but I didn't need to make all that (although I didn't really want to make less). So I looked at expenses (including my son's tuition at a crazily expensive school), and 10k a month profit was my minimum. (At the end of 2015, that minimum number will go down to 5k and I can then afford to spend some time experimenting with other genres.) Before I turned in my notice, I had a rule that I had to have 6 full months of earning that minimum (in pre-tax profits) on writing income alone, plus 3 months in savings.

This whole "you must have a year's expenses saved before quitting" that is often thrown around (haven't read the replies so I don't know if it's already been thrown around here) is, in my opinion, mostly manure that employers pay career advisers to spread around to keep employees from quitting.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What exactly is a good marketing strategy?
« on: December 17, 2014, 11:56:08 am »
I'll be looking at doing advertising this year, m-a-y-b-e. But I put my "marketing" efforts into (a) choosing what to write and meeting expectations for that audience, (b) the cover, (c) keywords, categories & blurb, (d) my mailing list, and (e) very casual progress reports on where I'm at before release. I also (but not every release) focus on serials and (pre-KU) employed perma-free and multi-author box sets. It has worked well for me.

My concern with devoting significant effort in marketing after a release is that (a) measurable results are nearly impossible, (b) sales aren't organic/intrinsic, that is, if I stop marketing, or a marketing venue loses its audience, my sales go down significantly, (c) the (unmeasurable) efficacy of marketing venues is constantly changing (from myspace to facebook to whatever is supposed to be the next best thing), (d) any platform that thinks they are the end all/be all will eventually start squeezing their client base.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is this (book) marketing axiom true?
« on: December 17, 2014, 11:45:23 am »
Haven't read any of the replies - I'm going to come back and read them.

While part of this axiom may be true - you have to correctly identify the product. So, I release a new title, there are some people who have no knowledge of me. The product is both me and the book, but mostly the book. But for another group of readers, I am the product, not the book. They only need to see that I have a new release out and it is one-click or at least immediately wish listed until payday.

Anecdotally, for my purchasing habits, if I haven't bought a purchase by the third time I've seen it, I'm never going to buy it. There are only a few exceptions in my buying history, but those were very high ticket items I wanted within the first three times I saw them but had to reconcile my lust for the object with its price tag and my anemic bank account. :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Art IS Business, If You're Doing It Right
« on: December 17, 2014, 11:33:54 am »
Great article, gorvnice, thanks for linking to it. I followed one of the included links in the article to star-level musicians doing private gigs. I've been trying to think of how authors can do more stuff like this - such as streams of some sort, etc. This is just taking things authors already are doing online (eg rocking self publishing podacsts, Sean/Dave/Johnny's thing (mea culpa to anyone I'm misnaming)) and moving it to a platform where you can monetize it. Money WILL be made one way or another off the artist's work, shouldn't it be the authorartist making it? That's my point.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Method of Story Plotting
« on: December 17, 2014, 05:20:18 am »
Thank you for the link, Myra. I'd lost track of the Fiction University website. Naughty me.

And thank you for starting the thread, Griffin. I like the more simplified perspective of the cause/effect review of one's plot.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone have a Plan B?
« on: December 13, 2014, 06:23:28 pm »
Long-haul truck driver. Dead serious. It's been my dream job for the longest time.

Ehrm...Wayne Stinnet just escaped that and, 'fess up, it's been your dream job because you would be getting paid while continuing to build worlds in your head. Unlike your time as a yacht captain, you wouldn't be getting ear poked and having to interact with crew and passengers for most of your long haul work hours. :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: I Just Can't Write Erotica Anymore
« on: December 13, 2014, 05:33:54 pm »
I"m racking my brain and coming up empty.  What is A F as a kink?  Please pm me if you can't say it openly.  Thanks!

AF isn't a kink. F is right next to R on the keyboard. I believe she was abbreviating Anne Rice's name. Writing as (I believe) AN Roquelaire, the Beauty series is extreme BDSM and nonconsensual. I love some of AR's work, but Beauty was my first and biggest wall banger as a reader.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What are your plans for 2015?
« on: December 13, 2014, 10:09:20 am »
I want to hit a word count of 500,000 new words written and published.These will all be romance - preferably just super steamy for maximum ehrm penetration, but harder erotic romance if necessary. Most will be contemporary, very little will be under paranormal and only because I need to tie a thing or two up for my dedicated readers.
I want 120k of the words to be themed novellas at about 20k in length each and closely branded.

I want at least four novel length (50k and up) related contemporary steamy/erotic romances.

The remaining 120k will be to finish up existing series and some supplemental novellas that readers have asked for even though I consider the stories finished. Maybe one alternative ending novella to an existing "finished" series.

I had told myself earlier that I also wanted to outline 3 non-romance novels to be written in 2016. Today, I was working on some non-romance themes and ... well, meh. Thinking that may not happen because, while I very much like to write, it isn't so much about the genre as the process and freedom, so I might as well write what sells best for me.

If you want to see what I do, the easy thing would be to sign up ...

No affront intended, but I signed up after reading your OP earlier for exactly that reason. :D I'm signed up to several high-selling authors in my genre to see what they do and not as a reader.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Will American Teens understand this phrase?
« on: December 13, 2014, 06:09:15 am »
I think the teens will take their cue from the "hooks" portion of the word.

My vote for a drink kids in US get would be hot chocolate dressed up with whipped cream and red and green sprinkles or some such nonsense. My mother and step-father were alcoholics, so I imbibed some kind of thick hot tottie rum drink on more than one Christmas as a kid.

I am almost all in on KU now, including my in progress serial that I haven't run any sales on. I'll probably do 5 free days on installment #1, probably launching December 21 or 22.

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