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Messages - verysecretsquirrel

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Google Play reports down?
« on: Today at 11:01:47 AM »
Oh!  I am so pleased it appears to be a system problem, and not just my sales plummeting suddenly to zero! :-)

It is not technically "down", though, because the site is working fine -- just not giving us up-to-date figures.  I should rather it were properly down, come to that!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are there ANY new alternatives to book report?
« on: May 24, 2018, 10:40:58 PM »
It has already been pointed out several times that Amazon gives you all the information in a spreadsheet, so I won't labour the point, but... if you are in business as a self-publisher -- AND YOU ARE! -- then you NEED to know how to work a spreadsheet program.  Amazon gives you an .xlsx file which means you want Excel; but I suppose there are file format converters available if you really want to go all George R. R. Martin and use Lotus 1-2-3 ;-)

Writers' Cafe / Re: D2D vs. Smashwords
« on: May 22, 2018, 10:46:34 PM »
I found Smashwords a) creepy

Gosh!  Well, one man's meat and all that.  I was on D2D for about a year, and was pleasantly surprised when I switched to Smashwords.  They do have their own way of doing things which takes a bit of getting used to, but they do more for the author than D2D.  They have their own storefront, for instance; and they allow you to set up discounted and free books via their coupon system.  They do distribute to far more places than D2D too -- although I must say I have yet to make a sale on any of those!

Being paid through Paypal is a bit of a nuisance, but they do make noises from time to time about moving to bank transfer.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« on: May 17, 2018, 12:15:53 PM »
Is it Apple?
!?  Amazon, of course!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is there an erotica thread still active?
« on: May 14, 2018, 03:00:22 PM »
Are your erotica books in KU?
No.  I have experimented with KU off and on, but I make about as much money being wide as being in KU, and am far more comfortable being well away from KU nowadays -- I am sure a glance over some recent topics on this very board will explain that.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is there an erotica thread still active?
« on: May 14, 2018, 09:25:52 AM »
Erotica is still a big seller? I've seen so many authors say they're "getting out" and warning others that trying to make money with it is brutal.

Gosh, well, where does one start?  "Erotica" is so broad a field that a lot depends on where you are within it.  I make about $2k a month, but it goes up and down a bit.  The easy money days ended when Amazon stopped paying per download in KU.  But that was before my time, sadly! ;-)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is there an erotica thread still active?
« on: May 14, 2018, 02:26:16 AM »
There is no one thread into which erotica is dumped, so to speak.  As far as I know, there is no problem with discussing erotica here.  It is just that we are not allowed to link to our books or post pictures of the covers, because this would annoy advertisers.  Not many people do actually talk about it here; I think that is likely to be because the "gold rush" days are long gone, and not that many people are writing it for any length of time.  By that I mean that the typical "new erotica author" is someone finds a post or thread from the "good old days", writes a few stories which promptly sink without trace, and then gives up.  But there is certainly still a market for the various types of erotica, provided one picks a niche in which there is demand, writes quality material and stays with it for a while.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Did a little research...
« on: May 09, 2018, 11:39:48 PM »
If you do not want to faff around with each platform individually, smashwords will send your book to a lot of places for you as well as selling it themselves.
I have been wide a year and wide sales have yet to hit even 10% of what I sell on Amazon.
Google Play is invite-only; but you can ask and you may get invited.  I did and I was (haven't sold anything there yet, but it's only been a few days).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Not a Moderator anymore!
« on: May 09, 2018, 09:48:29 AM »
Perfumed ponce!


Writers' Cafe / Re: Keywords and erotic or sexy stuff.
« on: April 26, 2018, 11:53:26 PM »
Just to be clear, when you say "dungeoned", do you mean that your book got the dreaded ADULT flag, or just that Amazon shifted it into the Erotica category?  The former is the one to be worried about, because it kills you book's visibility.

80/20 female to male is the general consensus for erotica, based on reports from people who have worked at Amazon and the writers who see mailing list signups and such. Varies a bit according to subgenre/niche.

It varies a LOT according to subgenre/niche!  I would say my readers are 90+% men.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mailing List - Opens & Clicks
« on: April 22, 2018, 12:31:19 AM »
Here are the results of my latest newsletter:

Sent on Apr 18, 2018 at 08:10 pm
Total opens 146
Unique opens 121 (40.9%)
Total clicks 132
Unique clicks 46 (15.5%)

So far I have sold 16 copies of the book I was promoting.  BUT: there were 8 URLs in the message.  Is that too many, I wonder?  Or doesn't it matter?  I would have thought it doesn't matter, so long as they click on the new book at least.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is free dying?
« on: April 22, 2018, 12:17:24 AM »
FREE BOOKS?!  Heavens!  When I hear the words "free book", I shrug my shoulders, lift my eyes to heaven, then look the punter up and down, take a long drag on my cigarette, and say: "it's pay to play, honey!"

That said, I do have one freebie (two for a short while); and another freebie for mailing list subscribers; and then a few `cheapies'; but that's out of nearly a hundred.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« on: April 22, 2018, 12:07:33 AM »
I started publishing April 2016 (genre: erotic short stories), went wide April 2017, and here are the results to date.  The percentage figure is the percent of total sales which were wide.  By wide I mean Kobo, B&N, Apple; and, from February this year on, Smashwords.  Note the jump when I started distributing through Smashwords -- nowadays I make my second-highest sales there.  No prizes for guessing where highest sales are!  ;-)

2017 April        0.28%
     May            1.41%
     June           1.78%
     July            1.65%
     August       2.71%
     September  3.33%
     October      3.12%
     November   1.05%
     December   2.16%
2018 January   2.68%
     Feburary     6.62%
     March         7.28%
     April           6.70%

It helps to remember that the angry reviewer, like all your readers, is not relating to you, but to your pen-name.  I don't know about you, but me and my pen-name are very different beasties.

I don't think MS Word is a suitable tool for writing at all.  At least, I am convinced it would drive me potty if I tried to use it.  Do they still have Notepad on Windows?  That would be faster and safer!

There are times when one does need to produce a .DOC file.  For that, import your file and "Save As..", and then you have a .DOC file to send to Smashwords or wherever.

Writers' Cafe / Re: On becoming Dostoevsky
« on: March 30, 2018, 11:59:43 PM »
Don't forget to go to Baden Baden Las Vegas and lose all your money!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is it worth it to go wide with shorts?
« on: March 30, 2018, 11:37:17 PM »
I write erotic shorts and have been wide for nearly a year now, partially for a while, and now this month fully. Roughly, at most 33% of my catalogue has ever been in KU at any one time. 

Wide sales are now 7% of total.  Smashwords is best; then Kobo; Apple; and Nook taking up the rear (dear me!  Whatever did they do to themselves!)

In purely financial terms, what I would get from KU and what I do get from wide sales probably about balance, and if the scales did tip I guess it would be in favour of KU.  However, I have this idea that for a writer with a lot of short stories (I have nearly 100), being in KU just cannibalises sales: for a reader, it is cheaper to subscribe to KU for a month than buy 4 full-priced stories.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Erotica Store-wide Rankings Missing
« on: March 28, 2018, 03:10:55 AM »
With the rank stripping are the authors recording less sales, or has this not been hampered in any way?
It does not appear to have made any difference.  I had a slump over the Winter months as usual, and this month sales are climbing again just like last year.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Making a living... Everyone is different
« on: March 27, 2018, 03:30:40 PM »
There's a really great documentary on YouTube about writers from the  Pulp Era:

Not a great documentary, but it was worth watching.  What struck me, however, was the amount of time devoted to one L. Ron Hubbard... 

That said, we indie authors are so much better off than the authors who wrote for the pulps that it's almost unbelievable!

Edited. PM me any questions. Evenstar, Moderator

Writers' Cafe / Re: Where to market erotica?
« on: March 25, 2018, 10:01:31 PM »
Erotica is quite a broad term, and I think a lot depends on your niche within it.  For myself, I find I get along fine without marketing as such.  Just a website, mailing list, twitter feed: the standard stuff.  On the other hand, perhaps my sales would increase by an order of magnitude or two if I did do active promotion.  I have never tried it, so I wouldn't know!

The main things I think I get right are: 1) title, cover, blurb; 2) keywords; 3) publishing regularly and often (I try for once a week).  All of these help readers find you.  Erotica readers usually know what they want and actively seek it out.

The number of sales before 'also boughts' kick in is rather lower than 50.  For instance, I have 44 sales on one title across all stores, and it already has 4 pages of 'also boughts'.  Another with just 24 sales, again across all stores, also has 'also boughts', again 4 pages of them.

Writers' Cafe / Re: When is an Erotica Book Not Smutty Enough?
« on: June 21, 2017, 05:39:37 AM »
I wasn't talking about categorisation on Amazon.
All well and good, but this is kboards after all.  Writing for Kindle means writing for Amazon, so it is their categories that matter.  Although I find the distinction between erotica and pornography rather contrived in any case.

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