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Topics - Gerald

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Writers' Cafe / A mountain of first drafts - which to work on?
« on: May 03, 2018, 04:09:11 PM »
I'm a great starter. I'm a really bad finisher.

So I have around 26 viable products, with around 7 first drafts, and around another dozen or so mostly-complete novels. They cover the genres: political thriller, apocalyptic thriller, dark crime, and cosy crime.

My question is: what should I pick up and run with? If we assume I can write reasonably well in all of those genres, my aim is to get 2-3 novels out this year; but I'd also like to maximise my income from this. I don't / can't write romance, and mostly sales analyses group mystery, thriller and suspense in one category. Where can I go to find out how to maximise the return on this short-term investment? I not only need sales figures, but also selling price. K-lytics has some information, and the author earnings report has some more, although not quite what I need.

I'm away on a writing retreat with 6 trusted author friends, and I'd like to return with a clear plan.

Thanks in anticipation :)

Writers' Cafe / Box sets - a race to the bottom?
« on: March 16, 2014, 06:35:08 AM »
Just recently, we've seen multi-author, multi-book box sets appearing on bestseller lists.

Is it just me that thinks that 12 complete books for less than a dollar devalues the genre? What hope has anyone of promoting the idea of paying a reasonable sum for quality ebooks when someone can fill up their readers with cheap stuff like this? I wonder how many people are buying this because it's silly cheap for 12 complete stories? Will readers assume that all self-published, genre ebooks should be less than a dime each?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for an author offering a free / low cost intro to their writing, or having a free / low cost run for a short period. But what next? 20 novels for a dollar? 50? 100?

Writers' Cafe / Strange - novel under my name, but not mine
« on: July 04, 2011, 09:44:15 AM »
See here:

This comes up with my name as the author, but it does not appear in my dashboard, and it certainly wasn't written or published by me. My other two books appear under my author name as well, as they should do.

I informed Amazon earlier today, but as yet not heard anything. Now, either it's someone trying to cash in on my bestselling author name (yeah, right), or it's someone I've pee'd off in the past having some sort of stupid joke with me. I suspect the latter, and I have a name in the frame for it.

Anyone else had this? Have you checked the listings under your author name recently?


Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 19th June 2011
« on: June 18, 2011, 04:56:29 PM »
I've been away on a holiday / road trip / research trip, so I've not been able to contribute to #SampleSunday for a couple of months.

This week, I have a sample chapter from my current WIP, which may or may not be called "Buried" when it sees the light of day.

I hope you like it.

It feels good to be doing this again!

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 20th March 2011
« on: March 19, 2011, 05:33:06 PM »
Hi there.

After a couple of weeks off, I'm back in with #SampleSunday this week. I've got three short pieces of fiction from my two collections, and you can find them here:

Anyone else in this week?

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 6th March 2011
« on: March 05, 2011, 04:12:23 PM »
It's almost spring, and what better way of celebrating than sharing a sample of your writing?

Post a piece of your writing on your website or blog, then Tweet the link to the sample. And post about it there.

Then follow the #SampleSunsay (or #SS) hashtag on Twitter, and read samples from other writers, retweeting if you like it. Try to make a comment on their blog. We all love to get feedback!

Oh, and my piece is up at:

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 27th February 2011
« on: February 26, 2011, 04:33:33 PM »
It's that time of week again. Here in the UK, the clock has ticked round (yes, I do have a clock with hand that move and that makes a noise) to gone midnight, and we're into Sunday again. And that means it's time for #SampleSunday.

It's a chance for those of us taking part to post samples of our work, either existing, in progress, or future, onto the internet, and point people towards it. A tweet on Twitter helps publicise our works, and when we read, if we enjoy what we've read, it is courtesy to retweet the link so others may enjoy it too.

Here's mine for this week:

Have fun, and happy reading.

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 20th February 2011
« on: February 19, 2011, 05:13:43 PM »
Sunday comes round so quickly these days. Of all the different publicity and marketing methods, #SampleSunday is my favourite. And this Sunday, some of us on the Facebook Writing Kindle Books group are going to make a determined effort to comment on the blogs of other writers, rather than just retweeting.

Anyway, enough timewasting. This is my #SampleSunday for this week: - a few selections from my two Bleak Midwinter Tales collections.

Thank you.

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 13th February 2011
« on: February 12, 2011, 05:00:33 PM »
Another week has flashed by, and it's time for #SampleSunday again. It's almost 1am in the UK, so just a little bit late (again).

Post links to your samples in this thread, and don't forget to Tweet about them too. Watching the hashtag #SampleSunday will allow you to join in, read other authors' works, and retweet as you see fit.

Anyway, here's mine:

It's the first draft of chapter one of Death in Print - the prologue to this novel appeared in #SampleSunday a couple of weeks ago.

Happy #SampleSunday!

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 6th February 2011
« on: February 05, 2011, 04:22:40 PM »
Hi everyone. It's Sunday over here in the UK, which means we can start on our weekly #SampleSunday extravaganza.

However, someone  :-[ has been a bit preoccupied today, and isn't quite ready yet. No prizes for guessing who.

Please post links to your #SampleSunday pieces on this thread, and watch out for the Tweets using the hashtag #SampleSunday. Read the samples, and if you like them, please retweet.

I'll be back soon. Ish  :-[

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 30th January 2011
« on: January 29, 2011, 05:17:19 PM »
I'm happy to start the #SampleSunday thread once more.

This week, following last week's Prologue to TWELVE DAYS, I'm pleased to post the first draft to Chapter One of TWELVE DAYS

I hope you enjoy it.

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 23rd January 2011
« on: January 22, 2011, 05:47:16 PM »
It's that time of the week again.

I've included another prologue from a yet-to-be-released (yet-to-be-finished, if I'm honest  :-[ ) novel. It's up on my blog via:

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 16th January 2011
« on: January 15, 2011, 05:41:09 PM »
Well, Sunday is here again, and it's time for #SampleSunday.

Post a sample of your writing to your blog, Tweet about it using the #SampleSunday hashtag, and pop a note in here.

I've just done mine, available through my blog at

I thank you  ;D

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 9th January 2011
« on: January 08, 2011, 05:47:01 PM »
Starting off today's #SampleSunday posts, with me  ;D

Check out my blog and follow the links.

Hope you enjoy them.

Writers' Cafe / Pen name question
« on: December 29, 2010, 12:00:39 PM »
Should be quite a simple one, this.

I've published a couple of books in my own name, but I have an idea for a book which doesn't fit in with the series novels I'm currently writing. Does the DTP allow me to enter a different 'author' name on my account?

The reason I want to do this is because my 'different' book is a post-apocalyptic thriller, based in the same place as my other series books, and readers might wonder why I've got the end of the world, and then a murder mystery.


The Carnival of the Indies lists a number of blog articles in a variety of categories, including design and production and marketing.

Loads of great reading there.

Writers' Cafe / #SampleSunday 26th Dec 2010
« on: December 25, 2010, 04:23:48 PM »
I've used a full date in the title, so as not to confuse us poor Brits who do their dates backwards (or should it be forwards?)  ;D

Posted a sample short story on my blog:

Just about to Tweet now.

Writers' Cafe / Book not appearing in "reports"
« on: December 24, 2010, 03:41:51 AM »
This might be a stupid question  ::)

I DTP'd a book for a friend, and I think as soon as it went 'live', it appeared in the reports section of my DTP account.

I've now published my own books, and one of them went live last night, but it hasn't appeared in my reports yet.

So, the question is: does it appear in reports before anyone's bought it, or do I have to have at least one sale first?

Writers' Cafe / CBS Video on book cover design - trad vs. ebook
« on: December 21, 2010, 10:37:37 AM »
Is book cover design going to be 'necessary' in the future? No real conclusions, but it's an interesting discussion nonetheless.

What amazed me is how many people are involved in discussing the proposed book covers in a 'traditional' publishing house. I suppose if you're intending to sell hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of the things, the detail could be important. But now you can see why there's 12-18 months between submitting the manuscript and the book appearing in shops.

I think I'll stick to indie / self publishing. A day or so after I'm happy with it, people can buy it. Sounds much better to me.

Writers' Cafe / Ebook sales on the up, up, up
« on: December 21, 2010, 10:10:45 AM »

Writers' Cafe / Great cover art post from The Book Designer
« on: December 20, 2010, 04:35:39 AM »

I really loved this post, because it illustrates what works in an ebook store and what doesn't. And probably how, as e-publishers, we should be thinking about the cover design for ebooks separately to that for print books.

Well worth reading, IMO.

Writers' Cafe / Pubit! Problems?
« on: December 17, 2010, 07:41:20 AM »
I'm trying to register for the B&N Pubit scheme, but it keeps coming back to me with:

We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Anyone else having problems?

Writers' Cafe / How much to give away free?
« on: December 12, 2010, 08:46:43 AM »
Hi all

I hope you don't mind me tapping into the experiences of some of you here.

I'm collating some of my short stories in order to create a 'sampler' - something to give away free, as a teaser to (paid-for) novels.

The question is: how much should I give away free? I have about 68,000 words in over 100 short works. Some of it will be binned, and some will be edited. How much would a Kindle user expect in a downloaded 'book'? My thoughts are that it needs to be several thousand, and I would be happy to release several 'collections'. But is less than 5,000 words worth someone downloading?


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