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Messages - Janeal Falor

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Finding professional betareaders.
« on: May 31, 2019, 08:36:24 am »
Goodreads has a group I use for both paid and unpaid beta readers (though I've had better luck with the paid ones). Here's the link:

Good luck finding someone!

Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you track your writting?
« on: May 29, 2019, 12:01:24 pm »
I use WordKeeper Alpha and love it. I know he's still working on it because I follow him on Patreon and he updates on that.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Newsletter Swap - Fantasy Books
« on: May 20, 2019, 07:19:47 am »
You should also check out StoryOrigin. They added a newsletter swap feature that lists all the swaps available and lets you pick which one you want to swap with. Art of the Arcane (Facebook group) has also resurrected newsletter swaps.

OOh, awesome. Thanks!

Will the book be in Kindle Unlimited? Will it be discounted to 99-cents? These are things your page doesn't say. You also don't have a link to the book or ARC reviews attached to a paperback version yet. Even though you have an excellent catalogue (that I had to Google, because you didn't link to it) a lot of authors do like to screen for quality and offer their readers either a KU read or reduced price.

Ahh. I see. Yes, I definitely need to learn to do this better. Thank you!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Newsletter Swap - Fantasy Books
« on: May 18, 2019, 10:55:20 am »
You should consider signing up for this FB group:

It's run by Patty Jansen and is very active.

Thanks! I'm a part of that group--love it! I haven't really gotten any bites on the newsletter though. I'm new at this though so maybe I did something wrong. Very likely  :P

Writers' Cafe / Newsletter Swap - Fantasy Books
« on: May 17, 2019, 04:17:46 pm »
Hello! I'm looking for other authors to swap newsletters with. I have an upcoming release I'm looking to showcase the end of this month/beginning of next. I'm looking for adult or YA clean (PG-13 or less) fantasy novels to feature in trade for your newsletter featuring my book, Sands of Eppla. It is the first in the series.

If you're interested, you can sign up here:

Or if you have any questions, please let me know. Thanks in advance to all those who trade with me!

I recently used Stephanie's proofreading services, and she did a fantastic job! I'd previously had the book proofread and copy edited. Despite that, she caught a lot of mistakes. She was quick, thorough, and professional. Not only that, but she took a look at my book's description, finding errors in it that others previously missed. I highly recommend her, and look forward to using her again myself!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Fantasy Books Promo Sign Up - March 15th-March 30th
« on: February 21, 2018, 01:10:58 pm »
Still looking for a few more fantasy books if you or another author you know would like to join. :D

Writers' Cafe / Fantasy Books Promo Sign Up - March 15th-March 30th
« on: February 20, 2018, 07:09:24 am »
Hi everyone! I'm currently putting together a fantasy promo and am looking for some books to add. It's free to participate, you just need to share it with your newsletter/social media. It should also be PG-13 or less. I'm looking for a varied of prices and genres within the fantasy market. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

Sign up here:

Writers' Cafe / Re: Berka Book Design - Cover Giveaway - $75 Custom Covers
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:10:22 am »
Just wanted to stop by and say what lovely covers Amber has created for me. I don't have them in my signature yet as one in still in beta reads and the other I'm writing. They are so gorgeous though. Amber does amazing work and has a steal of a price right now. Everyone I've shown the covers she created for me has loved them. She's easy to work with and has a great eye for what works. I highly recommend her and look forward to using her services again in the future.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Quick Family Tree Maker
« on: February 03, 2018, 07:01:34 pm »
Fun tool. I can see myself utilizing this. Thanks!

I've tried this once, both trying to sell through newsletter and social media, and I also sold only one. She was in the US though, so I was able to make the sale, and was very excited about it. I just think I don't have a big enough fan base that likes physical books. BUT, I think it's worth a shot.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advertising a Standalone
« on: January 10, 2018, 09:54:42 am »
So, imo, you need to decide how you want to treat this book. You can either use it as a magnet to gain subs and hopefully readers for your other book, or you can try to find a paying audience for it. If you are happy with it being a magnet, that's fine. If you want people to pay for it, you have to stop giving it away all the time, especially if you're mostly giving it away to your existing readers.

Those two things aren't completely mutually exclusive, but the answer will inform how you do your promotions.

I hadn't really thought about it that way. I assumed, perhaps erringly, that I could find two different audiences--one who wanted a free book for a newsletter sign up and one who would rather buy the book. I guess I'll have to think about that a little closer. And thank you!

I'm currently writing a standalone that's also part of my series - it's a complete story that doesn't require knowledge of the other books, but shares the same world and timeline of major events. The main cast differs from the series. Series characters are mentioned or make brief appearances in the standalone.

I'm writing this book to help me advertise the series. As an alternative entry point that I can advertise on its own. Whether or not it's going to work out that way - we'll see! At the very least, I'll be able to submit it to the next SPFBO.

Yeah, I should have tied it into one of my other world's somehow. I think you've done it a very smart way!

1. Is your stand alone in the same world as your series, or is it truly a stand alone fantasy with no relation to your other books? If it's related then you'll want to cross-promo emphasizing the tie-in.

2. If it's 90k and a stand alone, can you re-frame the story to build up two climaxes then break it into three sort novels? Even with minimal additions you'll probably end up with 3 35kish books, which is plenty for a short novel--set it up for print and format it for approx. 200-250 pages each.

3. Really, I think if you sit down and brainstorm ideas, you'll be able to easily come up with a couple more book ideas with at least the same world setting, if not the same characters. You've put the 90k work into world-building, so don't let all that thinking go to just the single story :) Think Star Wars Rogue One--the 1977 trilogy had been finished for more than a quarter century, and they still went back and created a prequel. And if you think about Rogue One, on it's own, pretending you don't know about Luke, Leia, Solo, Vader et al...well considering all the major characters die in Rogue One, you'd think that it was a stand alone.

I think the fantasy genre is particularly difficult for stand alones--readers want to feel like they're investing in this cool new world you've created. But that's also it's strongest point...once the readers are invested, they'll also tend to stick with you as long as you don't betray their expectations.

1. It's definitely a standalone, no other worlds :(

2. Interesting. It's definitely got the makings of 3 acts. If I played around with it, I'm certain I could get it to work.

3.  That's true, I could build off of it. Just have to find time to squeeze it in with all my other projects, lol.

I guess I need to think about if I want to work with it, leave it as a magnet like IreneP said, or build it into it's own whole world. I like the idea of building on it since, you're right, I did spend all that time making the world. Thank you so much for your thoughts! They're really helpful.

Thank you!  I emailed 'producers' I liked, rather than waiting to see who applied for the opportunity.  I've had some wonderful narrations so far. :)

Oh, good thought. It definitely pays to be pro active :D

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advertising a Standalone
« on: January 09, 2018, 12:44:23 pm »
I know this is often touted, but I have to respectfully disagree. All of my books are standalones, and they have done very well. I know I say this over and over again, but I can't help myself. So much of the strategies and tactics discussed are dependent on genre, and you have to view things through the lens of genre. I write psychological thrillers in the domestic suspense vein. Readers expect books to be standalones.

When I started this journey, I had to take the conventional wisdom and modify/alter accordingly. I knew I wasn't going to write in a series, so many of the discussions didn't apply to me. However, I found what worked.

I share all of this to let you know that you can be successful! It's totally possible even if you don't write in a series. Sometimes you just have to get creative.

Thanks! I like hearing a different perspective. I'm not sure if standalones do well in YA. I should do some research to that affect. I've read tons of YA fantasy like what I write, and they're usually in series, so I'm thinking YA fantasy might be different than psychological thrillers, but perhaps if I can find some YA Fantasy standalones, it will give me an idea of what others have done. I really like that idea.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advertising a Standalone
« on: January 09, 2018, 11:13:54 am »
What are you doing with it on Instafreebie? Are you giving the whole thing away? If so, I wouldn't do that. I would give away a sample. When you don't have other related books to draw the reader into, you want to be more selective about free promotions. You'll also need to promote the IF in some way. (I sort of assumed you're doing that). 

Try to get a $0.99 Bookbub. If you can't, put together some careful promotions using the smaller sites. You are right, making ROI on a standalone promotion can be a challenge, but if you don't get eyes on it somehow it won't sell.

Build your newsletter. Make sure the book and links are in every newsletter, even if you aren't running a promotion.

Promote the standalone in the back of your better-selling books, especially the last book of any series.

I'm not sure what to do about reviews at this point. I make a big push to get them on release, then let them build organically.

Yes, I have standalones. None of them are bestsellers or anything, but they are all in the black and making a little money.

Final thought: As much as we hate to admit it, we all have that one book that never performs like we think it should. You can try changing covers, relaunching, promotions, all the things. Maybe something will shake loose. Sometimes it just won't fly.

I am giving away the whole thing on IF in exchange for a newsletter sign up. I hesitate to do a sample just because I've had readers complain about signing up for newsletters when they get only a portion of the book. I'll have to think about them.

I'm always trying for BookBub but I think with no reviews, I don't have much of a chance. Fingers crossed that will change one day though. I definitely am working on building my newsletter.  Promoting it in the back of a better selling series book is a great idea. I should give that a shot. Making a little money would be so nice, but yeah, maybe it's just not meant to be. Thanks for your thoughts!

Perhaps you should consider placing the book in the Kindle Scout program.

Even if it doesn't win you can get some good exposure.


I haven't thought about Kindle Scout before. I'll have to look into that. Thanks!

I have a lot of standalone novels and I get lots of SALES for all of them. If it is not selling, perhaps there is another reason other than it being a standalone novel.

That could definitely be. I just changed the cover, but the blurb could probably use some work.

Iíd consider giving the book away free as a mailing list building incentive for your more popular series.

Definitely doing that. It's gotten quite a bit of traction there. :)

I put mine on audio with ACX for a royalty split.  It's doing fairly well. :) 

A lot less competition and it's a historical romance.  Applied and got accepted into the romance package, but we won't have any numbers for a little while. 

ACX is an interesting idea. I wonder if I could get anyone to do a royalty split where it's older with no reviews though. It's worth a try though. Good luck in the romance package!

All my books are standalones (except for Leon Chameleon PI). I started in 2011 with But Can You Drink The Water? at 99c. It took off in the UK with no advertising and was #1 in three categories for a couple of weeks and got to #20 overall in the UK. I sold over 25 000 copies. BUT that was back in 2011. Sales slowed down and I raised the price to $2.99. I'm lucky to sell a couple a month now, except when I do a countdown at 99c.  There is so much more competition now that it's difficult to sell without a  marketing budget.

Things do seem to have a lot more competition now. I'm wondering if I haven't put enough of a marketing budget into it. Hard to do when I'm not sure it's going to make a good ROI, but maybe I just need to buck up and give it a try.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Advertising a Standalone
« on: January 09, 2018, 07:27:38 am »
I just finished another stand-alone and feel your pain. One that I released a couple years ago has yet to show any signs of life. It's a terrible market-reality for folks who love to write stand-alone stories.

I would say that I'm glad I'm not alone, but I'd rather your books were selling ;) I do like writing stand-alones, but I've stuck with series since this book didn't sell. Sad times.

Some ideas:

1. Try Hidden Gems or Book Razor (have I got that name right?) for ARC reviews. There's no time limit on those. Just get some.
2. Price competitively with the subgenre.
3. Get some solid advice on whether your cover is working or not, and your blurb.
4. Try ads that don't require you to discount, like AMS and Facebook.

Don't most YA buyers prefer print? I don't know much about that subgenre but I've heard that YA readers don't buy many ebooks. Could that be an issue holding you back?

Some great ideas, thanks! I've not had much luck with AMS or FB ads yet with other books, but I haven't tried with this book, so it would be worth a go.

I have a YA series that sells fairly well, but I think most of the readers are actually adults. I do have a print copy of it available though, but I've not had much luck selling print of any of my works.

A standalone book does not have to be a bad thing. I have a standalone that sold 4,000 copies at full price in December. I also have a standalone that sold one. For the latter, I've tried changing covers a number of times. Couldn't do much with the blurbs, but they're sometimes a factor. The real problem for my book was setting. Nobody wanted to read about it. I mean, what're you gonna do? *shrug* Sometimes people buy it after they've finished my backlist. For what it's worth, since you've mentioned pricing, I have noticed that it sells better at $2.99 or $3.99 than at $0.99. (It's a 100K-word book.) Anyway, I've arrived at a point where I'd rather not throw money at it. I've moved on to other books that do sell.

Interesting. Yeah, this book is bigger too, about 90k. I am worried about throwing money at it and not selling, but at the same time I wonder if I haven't given it enough of a go. It's so hard to know. Thanks for sharing your experience!

Hi Janeal,

The bit that bothers me is that you have no reviews even after having joined a few IF promos. Does your email automation sequence encourage a review of the book?

Oooh, good point. I have requests for reviews at the back of the book, but not in my automation sequence. I should add something like that. Thanks!

I have two standalone that donít do much. Both have good reviews. One was a bit bashed by a few reviewers because I marketed it badly at one point, but most are five star.

Iíve always been puzzled what to do with them. Occasionally they sell now without marketing, but mostly they do nothing. Iíve come up with a few ideas, but Iíve yet to decide.

1. Bonus books. (Iím not in KU)
2. Make them free. (but take them down from Amazon)
3. Bundle them as a taster set and price at 99c.
4. Delist them altogether. (Seems a shame to waste the work)
5. Put them under another pen name & load other platforms Iím not on.
6. Ditch one altogether and rewrite the concept into a series.

I could go on. They donít do anything so I have nothing to lose. There are just so many things I could do with them, but Iíve yet to hit on an idea that strikes me as right.

Donít have an answer for you, but these are some of the ideas Iím contemplating.

Some good ideas. I think that's where my problem lies - wasting the work. I feel like I've put all this time, effort, and money (into editing) and it makes it hard to do nothing with it.

Well, um, I only write stand-alones! I did bundle five more or less related short e-books into a larger book that I could sell as a paperback, and they pretend to be a series on Amazon, but they really aren't. Nor do I think they get bought as a series.

Interesting (to me) that a writer should focus on series fiction and not be in Kindle Select. I would think that series reading is what Kindle Unlimited is all about! I have read several series -- Daniel Silva, Philip Kerr, Donna Leon, and above all the magnificent Lee Child -- but I don't think such writers are to be found in Kindle Unlimited, or anyhow not in sufficient quantity to make the subscription price worthwhile.

I've not had much luck with KU. I don't know why, but my books never seem to do very well there. I almost always sell more wide than I make in KU. That's cool to hear you only write stand-alones though. Sounds like you've tried something interesting with them. Unfortunately, this one is 90k, and I'm not certain I want to write more stand-alones to bundle them with. I do like the idea of a bundle though, if I could figure out what to bundle it with.

I havenít had any issue selling series outside of KU. If anything, since I left my read through rates have improved to around 75 - 80% and thatís at full price. Readers wanting series isnít unique to KU readers.

This is my experience too. There's a lot of readers in KU, but I'm finding for my books, out of KU works better.

Thanks for all your thoughts everyone!

Writers' Cafe / Advertising a Standalone
« on: January 08, 2018, 08:09:49 pm »
I have a standalone that is my worst seller--as in no sells at all. I know that standalones are a bad idea, now anyway. But I have this book, and I want to do something with it. I have it on Instafreebie, and join giveaways once and a while, but is there something else I can do with it to get actual sells? Or am I stuck with giving it away for newsletter sign ups? Not that I mind the sign ups, I just wonder if there's something else good that can come of it.

I would like to make money with it, not just move copies. Despite that, I've tried $0.99, $2.99, and $6.99, and am about to try $3.99. It's got no reviews, despite trying to get some. It is a YA fantasy.

Do you have a standalone? Have you sold copies of a standalone? What did you do to get them moving?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have!

Writers' Cafe / Re: First Person Present Tense (FPPT)
« on: December 12, 2017, 02:06:25 pm »
All of the above.

Also, I've had some moderate success with my FPPT book, You Are Mine. I think it depends on how you write and the market, but the possibility of doing well is definitely there.

Writers' Cafe / Re: BookBub Stacking Help
« on: September 28, 2017, 05:14:31 pm »
Don't discount the benefit of some of the smaller and less expensive sites like Reading Deals, Fussy Librarian, Booktastik, My Book Cave, Book Pebble, and then some of the mid-range ones like Robin Reads, Book Barbarian, eBooks Habit, Book Sends, etc.  Even stack a few of them each day if you can get them on the schedule a couple of days before your BB.

Good luck!

Oh, I completely forgot about Fussy Librarian. And I haven't heard of some of these others. Thank you!

Writers' Cafe / Re: BookBub Stacking Help
« on: September 28, 2017, 01:12:56 pm »
The new cover is great!

Personally I would just do the BookBub. It really depends on your personal goals and strategy, there is no one right answer. But I'd rather save the other promo sites for another run later since they are only effective so many times or every so often. Plus if you haven't had great luck with promo sites in the past, the problem MIGHT have been your pitch, so you can see how BookBub pitches your book, and steal their pitch for the future maybe...? I had an international one, BB only, and the tail was amazing.

Thanks! And that makes sense. I wonder about the pitch, it's worked awesome in person, but online is always a different ballgame.

Writers' Cafe / Re: BookBub Stacking Help
« on: September 28, 2017, 12:57:20 pm »
I go back and forth on whether it's cost effective to stack before a Bookbub. I just ran a 99 cent Bookbub on my Wolf Rampant box set (the second time, a year later than the first) and my stack the day before included: Book Goodies, Bargainbooksy, I Love Vampire Novels, Booksends, Manybooks, and Ebook discovery.

The pre-stacking definitely helped improve my rank...but that day ended up $32 in the hole. In contrast, Bookbub day ended up $1,020 in the black, despite the $594 price tag of the Fantasy category.

Would I have been better off skipping the 200 bucks of prequel ads? Maybe so...or maybe the boosted rank helped improve the tail and thus sold more books over the long run. It's so hard to say!

(As a side note --- your new cover is amazing!!!)

Good to know! And thank you! I think she did an amazing job with it!

I had an international-only YA Bookbub in January. Since it was international-only and I had about ten days' notice, I used FB, AMS, and Bookbub CPC ads to drive sales to the U.S. side of things.

I have another international-only next month in Fantasy and I'm pairing that one with BookBarbarian and ENT earlier in the week. (And possibly Patty's Ebookaroo or monthly promo, but not confirmed.) Part of the reason for that is that I had already booked the BookBarbarian well before I applied for the Bookbub.

I have no solid experience to back up this opinion, but my opinion is Bookbub does well enough on its own that you don't really need to do much else. Unless you think you have a chance at making USA Today I probably wouldn't worry too much about putting other promo sites ahead of it.

What I would do is run AMS during the promo and keep them going after the promo to sustain rank. (I was able to do that for four months coming off a free run on a romance novel and it was very nice.)

BookBub definitely does well enough on it's own. I just wonder about a more sustained rank from stacking before? I don't know. But good to know about the AMS during and after. This is a free run too, and I would be ecstatic if I could keep it going for four months, but yeah, not hitting USA Today.

I think stacking is definitely worthwhile, even though you'll wind up in the hole for the ads the day before.

The thing is, you'll go higher on your BookBub day, get more exposure, and hopefully even more sales. Especially since your series is long, spending more on a loss leader makes sense.

BookBarbarian recently introduced a new category for quick promos. I'd look into those. Also, Robin Reads "Featured Promo" might be worth your while. GenrePulse has worked really well for me lately, and is super easy to book.

Congrats and GOOD LUCK!

That's kind of what I was wondering/thinkiing. I'll have to check those out. Thanks!

Two things are missing from the equation. Will it be free or discounted? Is your goal money or rank?

If it's discounted, stacking ads before BookBub, even money losses, so long as they sell one or two, will give you a higher peak rank on BB day. Higher rank equals more visibility equals more organic sales. And if it's in KU more downloads and page reads.

If it's free and you stack ads before BB, you'll again get a higher peak rank in the free store and more KU downloads.

Figuring ROI is difficult, particularly if there are several more books in the series, but usually a discounted BB promo will earn more money than a free one, if the series is only 2-4 books. After that, it's difficult to tell. The exception would be if the book in the BB free promo isn't the first in the series. You can get great results by promoting later books free with BB and discounting the first book during the same time period.

But, no matter how you shake it out, you will earn back more than you will spend. I've had sixteen and all of them earned out the day of the BookBub ad.

Wow, sixteen? That's awesome, and doubly so that they've all earned out.

It is a free run. Money is nice, but I'd like rank because I feel like the more books I can get out there, the more the rest of the series will sell. It's 4 books long with a prequel. I've never thought of trying the later books in the series because they aren't standalones at all. But if people would buy the others... maybe?

And thank you all for your thoughts! You guys are awesome!

Writers' Cafe / BookBub Stacking Help
« on: September 28, 2017, 09:41:12 am »
Hey! So, I got a BookBub for my book You Are Mine. Squee! Happy about that. I think the new cover helped. Anyway, I am trying to figure out what I can use for stacking promos before the BookBub promo to hopefully maximize the amount of downloads I get and keep my ranking better for longer. *fingers crossed* The problem is that I'm not sure what works anymore. Last time I tried a bunch of different ad sites, I didn't get much movement. I have my plan below. What else would you add to this? Ad sites, AMS, Facebook ads, something else? Any suggestions with those?

I haven't had good luck with FB ads in the past, so I'm not sure about them, but maybe I need to try again? If you had a BookBub for YA Fantasy, what would you do?

My Plan:

ENT - Contacted, haven't heard back
Freebooksy - 10/26/17
BookBub - 10/27/17

Thank you for your thoughts and opinions!

Edit to add: It's a free run, and my goal is a high, sustained rank (if possible). Money could really be used, but I'm hoping to get that as a side effect either way.

Writers' Cafe / Re: BIG NEWS and new book cover designs! | Aero Gallerie
« on: September 06, 2017, 06:37:46 pm »
I just have to mention how much I loved working with Kerry. I had her make a new cover for You Are Mine in my signature below, because I feel like the current one I have is dated. I'm not showing off the new one just yet, but man, is it gorgeous! Plus, it perfectly conveys my story in that single image.

Kerry is amazing to work with and goes above and beyond what I've had other cover designers do for me. I highly recommend her.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Which typography do you like best?
« on: August 31, 2017, 06:25:54 pm »
Why is the author name so faint on all but the last two? And why is it so small?
Is emphasizing the FOUR important?

I think I prefer #2 font type with #1 layout with author name bigger/brighter.

This. And definitely bigger, bigger, bigger!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon hiding my free book
« on: August 18, 2017, 06:08:49 pm »
I'm seeing The Contending as #21 in the free store. When you click on the best sellers list, it automatically takes you to the paid list. You have to click over to the free book.

As for the search for it, I found it as well, only it was on the second page. It's frustrating when they get hidden back there, but I don't know if there's anything you can do short of selling more books.

Bumping because I think this is an awesome idea more people should think about.

Also, question. Do you think we would get all the pictures the photographer took or only the ones we wanted and she could use the rest as she saw fit? I just ask because when I worked with a photographer before, I got to pick one photo and if I wanted more than that, I had to pay more money for each one.

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