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Topics - Joseph Turkot

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Writers' Cafe / Talk about frustrating (Bookbub related)
« on: March 15, 2018, 06:53:25 am »
Got an email from Bookbub this morning that my APPLE link wasn't active at the right price. This is coming an hour or so before the Bookbub Ad goes out. I go check the Draft2Digital, confused, and see that all is okay--Draf2Digital says that the price is published at 99 cents. I then click through and come to iTunes, where the price has never changed. Talk about maddening. I tried frantically, contacting Apple and Draft2Digital to correct this before the Bookbub went out, but it was too late. That's a big loss of money, APPLE ranks second in sales for me with BB ads, after Amazon. I guess lesson I learn here is always to check the links manually despite what Draft might tell me.  :(

Writers' Cafe / How early before Bookbub can I discount?
« on: February 23, 2018, 05:22:59 am »
I have paid for a March 15th Bookbub promotion in their mystery list. ENT accepted the same book afterwards for a March 7th promotion. The book hasn't yet been reduced to 99 cents from 5.99. Does anyone know if lowering the book price for the ENT promotion (a week early before the Bookbub ad) and just keeping it there until the BB ad would cause any issues with Bookbub running my ad? Thanks for any experience with this!

Writers' Cafe / Bookbub Cover Change Allowed?
« on: March 30, 2017, 08:09:32 pm »
Does anyone know if I can change my Bookbub chosen book's cover before the deal goes live? Would I have to run this by Bookbub? My plan is of course to slap on a more catchy, and overall better cover, I just am curious if anyone has done this before. Basically they picked my book on its current cover, and I want to put a new one on before the deal goes live. Would I need their permission? Definitely don't want to adversely affect my promotion going smoothly. Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / Advice Needed for WIP!
« on: March 07, 2017, 05:50:44 pm »
Hey all!

While I don't post as often as I once did, I still think of this place as an invaluable resource for all things writing.

So I'm currently one year post-signing with a great literary agent. I just received a new round of edits back, and wanted advice on a few things, for those of you with the experience:

I am writing a scientist character and need to "make the scientist's voice more clear and formal." It is supposed to stand as a contrast to the main character, a 17 year old girl. I'm curious what comes to mind when you would think of tackling that? It's in first-person perspective, and the scientist is writing logs or journal entries. I think of getting rid of contractions and using bigger, more complex sentences with higher-level vocabulary, but can anyone think of anything else?

Another point I need to revise: building character. This one has so much to it, and I understand a lot of the ways it can happen, but I have to flesh out a few characters, and provide a bit more motivation to one. Anyone have any techniques they think of when it comes to "building" and "developing" a character more in a later draft?

Thanks. As always, everything I hear will be useful to me in going forward.  :)

I had a Bookbub on Jan. 8th. It's been a long time since I've had a book get "sticky" and stay with a good ranking if it otherwise came from a really poor ranking. Two days in a row I've seen my story bounce back down, and I'm hoping it will stick. Usually, at least in recent memory, Bookbub ads lead to a high ranking and then gradually slide back to where they were.

So question in point--anyone seen their book with a terrible ranking go up and stay after that in the top 10,000 ranking or under for a long time? I understand this could be due to getting lucky with also-bought section, etc. It's been 15 days since my BB and I'm still hanging at 8k--coming from 200,000. I have seen it dip to 10 then bump back to 8k the past few days. I'm hoping that's a goof sign of stickiness given usually the trend is to gradually lose ranking.

I was accepted for my seventh overall Bookbub, and this is the first time I've been accepted for their pricey Crime Fiction category. The ad runs Jan. 8th, which is on a Sunday I believe. It's $1,024 for the ad (that's international). Since it's a standalone mystery book, I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to maximize profit. Usually I'm promoting book 1 of a series. Anyone have any tips on marketing (inside the ebook, or in addition to the BB ad itself) a standalone? I have links in the backmatter, but just one general link to my website where all my books are listed. I'm thinking I should make the Amazon version of the book maybe directly link to Amazon. Usually I make way more than I buy in for with BB, but with a standalone, I hope to just break even. When I went to pay, they projected sales of 2,600, which I thought was interesting since I'd never seen BB project sales for their ads before.

Also, the book is called Neighborhood Watch, if you're interested in checking out its cover and layout and blurb and providing feedback based on that. Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / Feeling anxious...
« on: December 06, 2016, 01:26:36 pm »
So, I'm kind of anxious. I'm hoping someone on here has experience working with agents and can provide me with some advice.

Last February, I decided to send out a few queries. I received a few requests for the manuscript, and one of them asked to set up a call. My agent read the manuscript in about a day, and then so did the agent's editor. They said they loved it. They asked if I was open to doing editorial work on it and I agreed. The agent on the phone call asked to represent me. I waited a day, did research, and saw that this agent who wanted to sign me was amongst the best NY literary agents. The next day, I signed.

About 2 or 3 months later, they sent me back my manuscript with tons of edits and suggestions. Since then, we've had a pretty frequent back and forth, with very quick replies and the constant offer to reach out if I wanted to discuss something. I got totally behind this effort, as it's one of my lifelong dreams to see my work in traditional book stores and possibly licensed for film.

Anyway, as the time went on, we went through about 4 different edits. Then, the last stuff I sent, around Sept. 15th, was about 40 pages worth of revised manuscript. Then about a month later, in late October, the editor told me to hold off on sending new content because the last round of edits was almost done. I waited another month, and then, two weeks ago, asked a question unrelated to the edits--I asked to arrange a time to discuss the ending. At this point, I'm finishing up the ending of the manuscript, attempting to slow it down because it felt rushed in our agreed opinion. That email from two weeks ago never received a reply from either my agent or my editor. Then, early yesterday morning, I sent a follow-up email, just noting that my email might have gone to spam or they might not have received it.

Still no reply yesterday or today. I think my agent is awesome and I don't want to be that guy who continues to seek a reply if it's the wrong thing to do. The thing is, I have no experience with having an agent and editor, let alone with ones that are at the top of the industry. I feel anxious, like this must mean they're not interested in the project anymore. As I've said, I always, during the course of almost the entire last year, received an almost immediate reply. If not the day I sent an email, then the next day. As of now, I haven't heard anything since October 25th, which was the email telling me to hold off on sending more writing in because the round of edits was almost done.

I don't know what I should do, but I can't help but feel like I should continue to try to reach out. Maybe what I'm experiencing is normal (as I hope), and my project is still alive and well. Over the course of the past year, I've been getting more and more excited working toward a finalized manuscript. My thoughts range from reaching out through telephone directly to the agency, using Twitter to send a DM follow-up, or continuing to email, basically just asking for a check-in. I don't mind if they're too busy, but I feel like it means a lot to send a reply to me and just let me know things are very busy right now.

Should I just try to push this out of my mind and work on my current works in progress unrelated to my agented work? Should I try to seek a reply? I really don't want to do something that would damage my relationship with either of them, but I feel very anxious since this radio silence is new for the entire duration of my relationship with them.

Thanks for reading my rant. I hope to get a better perspective on this through anyone's experience that they're willing to share.

I am releasing an erotic, contemporary romance under a pseudonym. It's like starting over basically. The project is a collaboration between myself and another female author.

Anyone know where I would start as far as getting this book some wings? I researched the top-sellers, and it seems both authors were Kindle exclusive, and they priced .99 to 2.99.  Because of that, and because my author handle will be unknown, I opted to try Kindle exclusive and priced the novel at .99, even though it's 55k words.

I plan to email my mailing list and let them know about the new, pseudonym's mailing list, since I normally write post-apocalyptic stories with romance stories in them (although not erotic).

Any other things anyone familiar with marketing this genre can recommend? The story will be live without any reviews at first, as I didn't pursue advance readers for that purpose. Thanks for any help in finding visibility, whether it's through romance mailing lists, or advertisements elsewhere.

Writers' Cafe / What are the top 3 mailing list promos after Bookbub?
« on: October 24, 2016, 06:33:59 pm »
I know Bookbub is number 1. Also, I know POI might be up there, but they don't accept submissions. What would you rank as the top 3 mailing list promos that take submissions after Bookbub?

PS: Been a while since I've done any advertising

Writers' Cafe / Best Stock Photo Site for Fantasy/Scifi?
« on: October 19, 2016, 04:44:03 pm »
I find shutterstock kind of lackluster when it comes to images I'd like to use for my covers. Anyone know of any good sites that offer killer fantasy/scifi/post-apocalyptic images?

Writers' Cafe / Facebook Ad Fail?
« on: October 19, 2016, 11:22:47 am »
So I contacted an author and asked about what's been working in advertising. I have been out of active promoting for a while now. He told me that FB ads work really well and to check out Mark Dawson videos. I watched a few videos and gave it a shot. I set the ad to spend $150 dollars a day, with intentions to cancel it if  it seemed not to be working. I let it run for the first fifty dollars and didn't get a single sale. I wonder if someone could chime in who has good FB ad experience after looking at the way I set up my ad. I'm open to any criticism on how I've designed this, since it's my first go.




The Book Bazaar / CUPID - Part 1: A Dystopian Thriller
« on: September 09, 2016, 06:25:21 am »
Part 1 of CUPID is finally available. Click the cover in my signature for the link to Amazon. Below is the first few paragraphs:


You live in a spinning tube of metal.

Ash-mixed whips of air rise to Center Sky. Looking up, you think you see the soft green fields through the filth. The white lattice of wealth sprawled along the verdant curve of Bright Side. Families and love live there. The seats of power. But for you that place is a dream—you live in Cupid. Sector 6 slum to be exact. Your education in sex work and drug usage finishes this semester. And at eighteen, it's time to enter the working world at last. Still, it's a better life than sectors 7 and 8.

Things might change though. Douglas Triumph has just been elected President of Lutalica (the 5th Earth-launched tube colony). He's won on the promise that he will make the tube great again. Make things as good as they are back on Earth. But you and everyone else in Sector 6 know he's talking about one side of the tube—the Bright Side.

He's on TV again tonight. Announcing that at last he's implementing his first promise—to bring capitalism back onto its proper course—encouragement of competition at the genetic level. The world was proud of its eugenics programs back in the early 1900s, he says through the screen. Great names—the Rockefellers, Roosevelt, Churchill—they were thwarted before the full fruit of capitalism came to bear. Prevented by a historical overreaction to one man—Hitler. Hitler went about it all wrong, but we can’t let his mistake taint our progress any longer, he says. And as Triumph begins a sermon, explaining how the roundup will occur, how the gutters will be cleared, how he will put a stop to all unlawful movement between Sectors—send the illegals back to 6, 7, and 8—you turn off the TV. Because Dad wants to have a cake for Mom's birthday. She’s been dead for 3 years, but he doesn't care. You still celebrate.

She died on the job. HTR. The Helen Trigger Retrovirus.

They taught you the statistics in school. Sex workers can mitigate their risks by following the rules. Obeying the law. Doing the right mix of drugs. You do your best to listen. You know she didn't, but you still loved her. And so did Dad.

But something is hanging in the air. A gloom over the candles. The palpable reek of Triumph's words. Dad says that the roundup will be nothing like what he's broadcasting on TV. That he's out to cull the population and overload us here. That they're not just going to dump the trash from their side into the high sectors. That they'll be deselecting in Sector 6 too.

Writers' Cafe / Anyone Use Their Mailing List for Pseudonym'd Erotica?
« on: September 04, 2016, 10:17:16 am »
I wrote a funny, sexy romance book. Nothing too deep, but definitely has a lot of racy sex, from beginning to end.

I would like to use a pseudonym, and am thinking about letting my mailing list know about the book when it comes out through my mailing list, something like: here's a an erotic romance--if you're interested I'll be publishing it and more under this pseudonym. I guess it kind of kills anonymity to a degree, but I feel like not doing that would prevent a lot of early traction for the book. I also thought about possibly adding those interested to a separate list after the launch, and periodically letting my new subscribers know about it.

Anyone done this before?

Writers' Cafe / Cover Feedback Requested!
« on: January 09, 2016, 09:19:43 am »
This is the working cover for my new book, which is a dystopian novel about a protagonist who is born into the sex class of an outer world slum. At the start she is drug addled and unquestioning of her place in society. Her growth and development will come as she seeks a way out of her environment. I have been toying with the idea of a subtitle to better get across my genre, but as it stands, I'm not really writing in a clear-cut genre--The story will have a mix of dystopian, mystery, erotic, and science-fiction elements. Any and all feedback is welcome!

Writers' Cafe / No sales rank update for new release?
« on: December 16, 2015, 07:02:44 am »
I have an interesting issue: the sales rank for my latest release, which came out the evening of Dec. 14th, has never gotten the bump from my mailing list. The sales have come in, and when comparing the book's ranking to one of my other books, which is ranked higher but has sold much less, I can see the discrepancy clearly. Have sales rankings ever just not updated, or come in this late? Usually it's within the hour or two that I see changes start happening. Hoping they don't miss the bump and visibility it brings due to some error.

Writers' Cafe / Mailchimp Abuse Threshold - Mailing List Frozen
« on: October 28, 2015, 08:23:55 am »
Has anyone dealt with this issue?

I sent out an email for a new release and Mailchimp has frozen my mailing list of about 1,600 people. Now it wants me to have everyone opt back in through another email to my list. This was due to apparently getting 20 people reporting my release email as spam. I've sent email blasts out several times prior to this without any issue, using Mailchimp. I don't know what particularly was different about this email than the others--each one was announcing the launch of a new part to a story I'm writing. I have been a lot less consistent this year in publication intervals--last year I was every month, and this recent year, the parts have come out in gaps as large as 5 months. Maybe that's why? Even still, just look for experience on having to reissue the email opt-in. I'm wondering if I should just remove the members who have "unsubscribed," since Mailchimp tells me who they were, and use a different mailing service--or if I should go with what they're suggesting for me to do, and possibly have a drastic reduction in my mailing list size. All sign-ups came through people who went to my website and signed up there for notification of new releases.

I am curious if anyone has a precise answer to this. If you set something for preorder, I know there is a date by which you must submit the final file. But, then, at some point after that, I believe you can no longer submit any file as the book prepares to launch. So far it seems that the preorder final file must be uploaded 10 days before the release date. But how much longer after that can you resubmit the final file with an adjustments? I have one book that's releasing on June 11th, and it's already locked for any changes. Anyone know this?

Writers' Cafe / Best Promotion Sites 2015
« on: May 17, 2015, 08:09:30 am »
It's been a while since I've done any paid marketing, almost a year. I wanted to build around a Bookbub ad I'm doing. Beyond ENT, what do you guys recommend? I have no idea if there's new sites that work well, or if it's the same stuff that worked best a year ago. Thanks in advance!

Writers' Cafe / Price History Checker?
« on: January 26, 2015, 04:51:37 pm »
Does anyone know the place I can check the price history of a book? I want to see when one of my books was last on sale (stupid me for forgetting Bookbub's policy about not featuring books unless they haven't been on sale recently).

Writers' Cafe / Switching Some Books into Select
« on: September 25, 2014, 08:09:31 pm »
I am switching some of my books into Select due to a slowing of sales. Part of this is due to being on hiatus from my writing career for about 2 months now. Personal stuff. Boy, I hate being out of my routine. Well, I have set a deadline for myself as regards my next publication, and now am trying to mix things up with Select. I want to see how the promotions have shaped up and how KOLL works out for me. Has there been a mass return to Select? I really haven't been on the forums in a while, and am wondering if many see Select as much better than it was about a year ago.

Writers' Cafe / Trilogy Promo Plan - Will update w/ results
« on: August 13, 2014, 05:02:07 pm »
I am starting a promo that won't be as tight as it could have been if I'd done more booking, but here's what I have...

I will set all 3 books at the same time to .99 cents tomorrow. I will send this sale to my mailing list as a chance for anyone to pick up or gift the entire trilogy to someone for 2.99. The ads will run as follows:

Fussy Librarian - The Rain 8/14
ENT - The Snow 8/14
BKnights - The Rain 8/14

Kindle Books and Tips - The Rain 8/15
Bookbub - The Snow 8/15 (asked if they would mention that all 3 books are on sale until the 18th, they said they'd pass the word along. Didn't sound like a sure thing)

POI - I book this long shot (I don't expect this to come through)

I am hoping for the triple sale to get me some decent exposure as far as author rank. We'll see.

As of this moment the books are hanging between 12k to 14k in paid sales before this launches

Writers' Cafe / ENT payment confusion...anyone know?
« on: August 13, 2014, 02:01:24 pm »
I have an ENT ad scheduled tomorrow. This was done using the new submission system. I never received an invoice notification however, and today received notice that I needed to pay by 8pm or they can't run the ad. The problem is, I can't find any invoice in my inbox and they haven't replied to my email for help. Not sure what to do? Has the payment style changed with this new platform? Any guidance appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / The Sadness of Losing Readers...
« on: August 06, 2014, 03:37:07 pm »
I never used to know this was happening, because I didn't use Mailchimp before. Now that I'm using this service which throws glaring truth at me by way of fine-tuned statistics, I bear witness to people running away from my writing. Maybe I'm being dramatic. (<<< he's a liar :'()

I saw the unsubscribe column light up after I sent out my mailing list today for my new book launch. Only 3 people of the 600+ unsubscribed so far, but who knows. What actually made it kind of sad for me though, and not just "woah this is neat," was the fact that I could click on the unsubscriber box and see the email addresses. And one of them I recognized. Sure enough, a search through my Gmail showed me this person had communicated with me in a positive way through an email exchange and had come through all the books of my previous story. It leaves me wondering (just the sad part of me, because the logical side understands) why would they enjoy my last series and not want to continue on when I start something new. I mean hey--it's the same genre, a similar style of writing...The truth is I get it--that when any author starts a new series and leaves another one behind, people will jump ship. And now that Mailchimp is going to keep letting me know about it, I better get used to it. :) 

The Book Corner / Anyone tackle the MaddAddam trilogy?
« on: August 06, 2014, 03:09:03 pm »
I read Oryx and Crake multiple times and loved it. For some reason, I haven't gone on to the sequels yet. Can anyone tell me if they live up to book 1?

The Book Bazaar / A New Post-Apocalyptic Story: WIPE
« on: August 06, 2014, 02:47:14 pm »
Hello all! I don't usually visit this side of town (you can find me hanging out in the Writer's Cafe), but I just had to drop by to make an announcement. My new post-apocalyptic story WIPE is finally out. And I'm really excited about it. Really. Excited.  :o

You can find the info here:

I hope you check it out and give the story a skim!

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