Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Hasbeen

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Writers' Cafe / What drives readers price or story?
« on: September 14, 2020, 03:38:44 pm »
I have back catalogue that just seems to sit there. I have five star or four and three quarters reviews across the board.

I've tried dropping the price on the first book in my series. No big jump in sales for it or the series. I've done promotions but they still stumble along.

There have been a lot of threads about dropping the price of the first in a series but that did not work even with advertising.

The market is getting more and more crowded. What have you found that works to keep your catalogue working for you. I know writing more books works but how do I work my catalogue?

I beginning to think that story or subject matter is more important than pricing. Times are a changing.

I did some research on Wattpad and apparently it's the largest story telling platform on the internet. Allows new or old authors to get 'noticed'. There are around 400 million stories published on Wattpad. The audience is primarily YA according to the stats. Wattpad has it's own publishing house and connection to the film industry.

From what I've been able to find out Margret Atwood and other established authors are associated with Wattpad and have published works on the platform. Publishers like Random House and HarperCollins are supposed to have found authors on Wattpad who they signed to contracts. Apparently Beth Reekies first published parts of the Kissing Booth on Wattpad and that ended up as a book and movie. 

With all of that said it would appear to be a possible platform for us indies to explore as a outlet for finding an audience. Yet I'm skeptical I'm not sure if you wouldn't get lost in the shuffle and might not be worth the time and effort. 

Has anybody tried it? If so what was your experience?

The first book I wrote was a textbook for Wiley. It is listed on Amazon and sells reasonably well for a textbook.

I decided not to use my real name to write in different genres that have nothing to do with my textbook.

So I decided to use a pen name for the fiction books because I thought if instructors and students saw I wrote unrelated fiction that it would hurt my textbook sales.

I write in sci fi mostly but have written a books in what I call the Nickolas Sparks genre and even book for children. Each have a different pen name.

I just finished a memoir that is doing well under my real name.

So I have had a couple of editors suggest that I put all my books under my real name and stop using the pen names. They reasoning was that it would only widen my exposure. I don't know if that is true or not.

Have any of you tried switching to your real name after using a pen name? If you have do you have any suggestions or experiences you can share. 

My most successful campaign on AMS ever has been rolling along for over a year. It's a non-fiction book so you know what genre it is in. It's got 81 five stars on Amazon and over 200 five star on Audible. So it's not like it's a non-performer.

As I learned on this board when something is working well don't touch it. The ACOS was sitting around 20%, CPC was in the low .20 and I was selling a good number of books for the type it is for well over a year. 

Suddenly it has stopped working. The ACOS is now over 200% but the CPC is still around .22.

Is AMS doing something different? Or has the campaign run it course? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I've read here stopping then restarting it after a while has worked but I frankly am puzzled. I don't trust AMS and use it sparingly.

Writers' Cafe / AMS problem
« on: May 12, 2020, 09:57:27 am »
I've been advertising using AMS for a couple years. All of a sudden all the previous data on campaigns is gone. They are literally blank.

In addition the campaigns I am running suddenly have lost most it's data. I went from over a million views, thousands of clicks to 25,000 plus views and a few hundred clicks.

When I tried to call the KDP help line they just said due to the virus they can't answer any calls. Then they hang up.

All my advertising data is gone. There have been no hiccups in payment or anything else.

Has anybody else run into this problem?

Writers' Cafe / Reedit an early book in a series
« on: April 10, 2020, 10:03:44 am »
The first book in my series get's bad reviews because of the editing. The repeated comments say I needed to get it edited. It has 250 reviews and overall a four star book.

This was my first book and I had it edited, twice but apparently neither were very good. I was a brand new author and depended on the editors to fix my grammar, punctuation etc. I'm lousy at it.  My fault of course but it is hard to find a good editor. I have had several bad experiences with editors accepting their own changes before I saw them, angry if I asked any questions about their editing, to making changes in the book that went beyond just grammar, punctuation etc. 

My question is this is a years old book but it is the first in the series. I'm getting ready to release one last book in the series and want to promote the series again.

Is it worth the time and money to fix the editing in this book? Should I send it to a new editor and then republish or leave it and go on.

I written a number of books in several different genres and never felt the need for a development editor but this book has got me stumped.

I finished it and went back to polish it before I sent it to a editor for a final edit but when I when back through this one I started questioning story line characters you name it. This is the first time I've experienced that kind for reaction to a story I had written. I've been satisfied with my other books but this one has me questioning my decisions. The others have sold well I'm not big timer but I'm satisfied so I feel confident in my ability but this one has me questioning my decisions. I'm a pantser if that helps explain how I work.

Have any of you used a developmental editor and were you satisfied with their suggestions for your story?

Writers' Cafe / Do you offer print versions of your books?
« on: December 30, 2019, 07:34:09 am »
I recently finished a couple of books that were in genres that are filled with print in addition to Kindle versions. Both genres are filled with print versions is the reason I offered them in print.  Both are selling at a surprising rate. Nothing to write home about but they are selling enough to help the bottom line significantly.

The books were in non-fiction (memoir) and a children's book (5th and 6th graders). I usually write sci fi and don't offer a print version. I wondering if I should go back into my catalogue and offer print versions of previously released books or offer print versions from now on. 

My question is how many of you offer print versions of your fiction books? If so do you think genre is important in making your decision?

Do they sell well enough to cover the costs?

Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / Switching genres
« on: November 01, 2019, 04:51:03 pm »
I've had a modest bit of success in one genre but now I'm having nothing short writers block finishing the latest book in series in that genre.

I'm afraid of switching genre's because of the success I've had with the original series. I like the money each month.

Has anybody out there been able to switch genres and attain the same level of success?

Writers' Cafe / Book length and sales
« on: October 15, 2019, 12:25:48 pm »
I have a trilogy of a dystopian story. Each book is about 50,000 words.

I did this for a reason. I wanted to see if I could crank books out at the rate everyone says you need to do to make money.

Well despite five star rates on all of them (2 to 5 reviews each) they just sit there. I've tested and changed the covers and blurbs still the just sit there. I've lower the first one to .99 a few sales but no sell though. I've even got a box set.

I know it could be how I my approach to the dystopian near future but none of the reviews mention that in fact some said it was a new and interesting approach to the subject. So I don't think it the story.

I'm left with asking myself are they too short? Have any of you found a relationship between book length and sales? I know in some genre's there are certain expectations but I would love to hear others experiences.

Writers' Cafe / AMS sale numbers vs Kindles sales numbers
« on: September 26, 2019, 06:13:17 am »
I'm finally trying to get reasonable knowledgeable about evaluating my AMS campaigns.

I check my AMS number (the cost of clicks vs sales) did the cost of the advertising make me money or not.

Then I check the Kindle report that shows sales.

The numbers don't match. Like today the Kindle report show more sales than the AMS report.

Anybody figure out how to reconcile the two different numbers. I trying to get smarter about my marketing and this is driving me crazy. Can anybody explain how to use these two sources?

Writers' Cafe / How many of you produce print versions of your book?
« on: September 08, 2019, 11:48:24 am »
I've only tired creating a print version of one of my books. It's in a small sub-sub non-fiction category but my print version sells well.

I write in other more competitive fiction genres and have never tried it with them.

Do any of you regularly create a print version of your books?

Do you have rules like certain genres do better than others?

I have no idea nor have I seen a threat about when or if you should create a print version here on kboards. So I have no idea what kind of sales other authors are seeing with print versions.

I've been doing this for a few years and was surprised by how many of my first printed book did. I'm wondering if I should convert my back catalogue into print versions you do make more money on a print sale. So it would help me boost my catalogue revenue.

Writers' Cafe / Do you set a budget for you advertising
« on: August 14, 2019, 06:19:14 am »
I struggle with marketing like a number of other authors on this page.

I have a reasonable catalogue that is not selling not to mention new releases.

Do you set a percentage of your gross for advertising to include AMS and the various web sites available for advertising you books?

How do you evaluate your success just sales or do you consider views as part of the evaluation exposing your books to enough people they will eventually be a buyer.

Thanks from a struggling marketer.

Writers' Cafe / What to do with a series with a big gap between books
« on: August 11, 2019, 09:33:45 am »
I had a nice series going in a popular genre. It was earning me a nice monthly figure. Nothing to brag about but I was happy. I had just put the  first four books into a bundle and the plan was to pick up with another three books but life happens.

Then a couple of years of one medical problem after another and I have found that you can't write on strong pain meds. Well you can but when the med''s wear off your writing makes no sense. So no real production.

I'm back on my feet and have most of the next novel in the series finished 80%. My question is should I try and finish the series after such a long period between books? Or should I just start another series in the same genre where I seem to write what the readers want?

Simply put can you pick up a series after a couple of years by just publishing the next book in the series?

I'd like to start a discussion about the promotion side of our business. I've been around long enough to have seen almost every form of advertising come and go then come back again.

Put the first book in series for free/.99 and you will get sell through for the entire series. Didn't work for me and here on the board more and more are saying the same thing about pricing as a way to attract readers. Or run promotions on one of the web sites for free or .99 and see a jump in sales. Again the market seems to have changed. People download the book but rarely read it and no sell through because the reader got a book they stash and read later if at all. There too many books using the same strategy. 

AMS works for some but not for others. Now it's too expense for many to use. The latest iteration of the ups and downs of doing business on Amazon. Paying a lot for clicks in hopes for a sale.

Facebook ads worked but now there are so many not so much according to many on this board which has been my own experience.

I've tried them all with mixed success over the last few of years. It gets more and more frustrating trying to decide where to spend your money and how to evaluate the success of that strategy.

I am running a AMS campaign now that is my most 'successful' of any I have tried but it comes with a caveat I'm selling more on Audible than through Amazon. As you know it's hard to advertise an audible book individually so right now I'm counting Audible sales as part of the AMS campaign. There is no other way I could see that I could reach that many in the audible market. They had to listen to the sample on Amazon then buy the book from Audible using the button on the Amazon page. So I'm looking at the cost of my ad very differently right now counting Audible sales as well as Amazon. Still in evaluation mode though.

I guess what I'm getting at is it time for us to start to view advertising differently not strictly click=sale but more like traditional businesses. They can't necessarily directly connect an advertisement with X amount of sales but they do it anyway as a way of keeping their brand in front of the market. They view advertising in a different way still aiming to increase sales but not as directly as we indies have up to now.

Should we now begin to think of advertising as just a part of doing business without a click=sale evaluation. Set a budget we can afford and spend it the best way we know how without counting clicks leading to sales? Instead view the advertising as a way for us to stay visible in an increasingly large market place populated by millions of books for a set amount readers. The more often a reader sees your book the more likely they are to eventually buy it. 

I honestly don't know. I do know the business is changing and if we are going to survive then we need to find ways to deal with these changes. I don't have the answers but I think if I can get a discussion going we all might find our own answers.

Writers' Cafe / How do you organize your writing?
« on: May 15, 2019, 09:16:49 am »
I've been doing this for a couple or three years and I'm still struggling with organizing my ideas, character sketches, scene ideas etc.

I've used 3x5 cards, Scapple (from the folks that gave us Scrivener), notebooks you name it. I still lose ideas, thoughts and any and all notes that I capture on paper or through a program. I know part of it is my own lack of organizational skills but it seems to me that has got to some system that will work for me.

I'm not looking for answers as much as for ideas. It's like when someone here on Kboards asked for pictures of where they work. Seeing other writers workspaces actually gave me ideas of how to organize mine better. It also gave me ideas for alternative ways (laptops in recliners), pads etc, to break up just sitting at the same desk each day.

So now I'm asking for how you organize you writing. Do you use a program if so which one? Do you use paper? Do you use a combination of the two?

Besides how other people go about the business of writing fascinates me and I always learn something when they explain their methods.

Writers' Cafe / Can you use too many pen names
« on: May 03, 2019, 11:34:15 am »
I've written a text book and non-fiction under my real name both about similar subjects.

I started using pen names because I didn't people who searched Amazon for my textbook to find all these other types of books I had written. The textbook has nothing to do with English or composition it's quite the opposite its a practical guide for professionals. The textbook is published by a regular publisher and I have no control over it. It on Amazon with the rest of my books.

I've written sci fi, a literary fiction and finally a children's book under three different pen names. Most were sci fi under one authors name.

So I have four different names I've written under now and I'm thinking trying another genre. Does having this many pen name dilute my 'brand' or does it help me create a name for myself in each of the genres?

So any suggestions or your own experiences with this issue would be appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / Children's books business questions
« on: February 27, 2019, 09:06:53 am »
I been writing ebooks for a couple of three years now and feel as if I have written enough to tackle a children's series. I've got about a dozen books in different genres from a textbook to sci fi. I want to write the type of books that got me hooked on reading as a kid.   I'm aiming at the 7 to 10 year olds. I've finished the first book and have started on the second in the series. I want to release one after the other for a couple of three months. My questions concern the business end of things.

I usually use an editor and a proofreader for my other books. I've followed the suggested tropes for children aimed at children of age so the book is 15,000+ words. I've run it through Grammarly and been through it a couple of times myself. I plan on using a proofreader but I'm not sure there are any editors out there willing to take on such a short manuscript. Should I use an editor? If so are there any out there that do children's books?

For my other books I've always been able to find a pre-made cover. Studying the market there just are no pre-mades that come close to what I need, it's going to have to be a specific illustration that hopefully catch parents and kids eyes. I'm having a hard time finding someone to do the cover. I'm planning to publish it as a Kindle, paperback and audible so I will need covers for all three mediums. I've published books like that before so i know the drill but the cover is driving me crazy. Are there any cover artists that specialize in children's books? Given it will be a custom job does anybody have a ballpark for what a children's cover should run me?

I'm sure I've left out some questions so feel free to add any advise you feel important.


Writers' Cafe / Switching genre to children/YA need advice
« on: February 27, 2018, 09:09:09 am »
I've been publishing ebooks since 2014. I have ten different books in a couple of genre's. I'm would like to switch to children and YA. When I was in the 4th Grade my teacher made us read a book a week every week for the entire year. I feel in love with reading and it has served me well through out my life. I would like to give other young boys and girls a chance to do the same. My market would be probably appeal mostly to boys but the girl characters will be just as strong. I don't know anything about the genre or how to approach the market. I've read several of books in the genre to get a feel for the story telling and language. So I have done some research but what I really need is some advise from those authors who have already been out there publishing.

A parent told me how much the I Survived books by Lauren Tarshis had helped her son become a reader. I've been wanting to write some historical fiction and this seems a way to slip into that genre aimed at educating as well as entertaining. The I Survived series is the type of 'children's' book I started reading as a child and the type I would like to write as a start. But I'm not even sure that considered a child's book the categories and rules for each category confuse me. So I'm looking for a basic understanding of the market and what I can expect when I drop a book in it.

Some of my basic questions are:

Is the market a tough one?

How's the market for ebooks alone?

Should I have it available on POD (print on demand) also?

I know I need some basic illustrations will those off the Shutterstock web sites do? (That is assuming I find the right type of images) Or should I hire an illustrator?

Those are some of the basic questions. I would appreciate some frank advise. I've published successful books and dud's I know how things go for us indies. I'm just trying to prepare myself for the plunge so I can do as much as I can to make the books 'successful'.


Writers' Cafe / Big series decision
« on: February 11, 2018, 04:08:57 pm »
Currently I have a four book series going. I am working on the fifth book in the series now. I was going over some old editor notes for the series when I realized I had made a major mistake starting with second book. I've tried to mix in too many characters and story lines into the plot and my hero has gotten lost in the shuffle. It's not about a single main character who the reader can identify with and root for instead there is a whole cast of characters running around. I'm no George RR Martin and it is a bit of mess. I'm jumping from one point of view to another and it's hard to tell who the books are about.

I'm now at a 'non-satisfying' ending in the series with my last book. I've created a bundle and it sells yet none of the readers are clamoring for more. I had planned on a couple more books to finish the story but I'm wondering if spending time on a series that is flawed is the right thing to do. It is a huge flaw that can't be fixed since it goes back a couple of books. I could try to bring around but I'm not sure it's worth the time and effort.

So my dilemma is do I move on to something else with this lesson learned or do I try to end the series with the two books I had planned? Time is money and I don't have time to spend on something that I know I made huge mistake on.

So do I take this as a hard learned lessoned and apply it to new books or should I grind this series out? Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / Trouble with Author Central
« on: December 12, 2017, 09:21:51 am »
I'm reworking my backlist. The blurbs were not on point and the categories needed to fine tuned as well as the AMS ads ( learned a lot over this last couple of years). Well I started with the blurbs. I used Author Central since I've had good luck before with rewriting a blurb and seeing it on the page instantly.

This time I struggled through all the blurbs of my series tightening things up and making sure they all had wording that would tie them together. I spent two days struggling through all of this the categories are changed, AMS is working at least at some level but the blurbs have not changed.

Has anyone else had this problem Author Central? I've waited almost 48 hours with no changes yet to blurbs should I go ahead and change the blurbs in the book details in my Booklist now are wait a little longer?

I hate writing blurbs because I'm so bad at it and to lose this much time and work kills me. Any ideas?

Writers' Cafe / Reboot my writing
« on: October 02, 2017, 12:07:45 pm »
This year has not been my best between two major medical events and a hurricane I haven't written anything meaningful since May. I have a four book series with one due months ago before the setbacks. In addition I have a three book series sitting out there with several stand alones none selling well. Naturally without my attention my sales have fallen through the floor no surprises there. I'm 60% done with the next in the four book (my money maker) and am naturally trying to remember how to write again. So what do I do next?

I know some of you have faced these kinds of set backs and I need some advise on what to do now and how to reboot my series when I do finish. I know finishing my next book in the series should be my first step but another book in a different genre keeps rolling around in my head night and day. It's in a different genre and probably won't sell much but it won't leave me alone.

I'm wondering that since I'm so rusty at writing should I just go with the flow and write the new book or force myself back into my series world?

Also how do you restart a series thats been sitting for months? This was the year my goal was to get a couple of books in the series finished and now I'm so far behind I frankly at a loss where to start.

I know we are all different but I'm looking for experiences by others as a guide to give me some ideas.

Writers' Cafe / How do you organize your series
« on: April 22, 2017, 06:57:31 am »
I have a four book series that is going to go at least four more before I end it. There are well over fifty major and minor characters through the four books. Some I've killed off and others have been in it from the first page.

As I get ready to write the next book I realized I have notes, pics, diagrams, and charts scattered through three ring binders, note cards, electronic notes etc. As I try and write I find myself searching for the fact, character pic or note that I need. This is no way to write a book. It's slowing me down and making a difficult process frustrating and impossible at times. I'm losing character detail and settings that make any book much richer with detail. So I need to get myself organized.

I know many of have much longer series and I'm wondering if you might share some of the ways you keep all your information organized and easy to find as you write.

Writers' Cafe / Need some Scrivener tips
« on: April 19, 2017, 05:21:43 am »
I'm an avid Scrivener user for my books. I using probably ten percent of its power to write my books but that works for me. Now I need to do something I should have done some time ago I need to create a 'bible' for my series.

Currently I have multiple note books one for each book with details and characters. If has finally dawned on me instead of paging through all of the hard copy that I could create a 'bible' for the series with character sketches, pictures of scenes, etc. It will speed my production up tremendously if I can stop having to dig through all hard copy.

My plan is to develop a complete separate Scrivener file with just the details of the world in my series.

I know some of you already do this. So I'm looking to pick your brains for how you approached this project.

What tips and tricks that you have found that worked?

Writers' Cafe / Does owning a Kindle reader help you write for Kindles
« on: April 18, 2017, 04:11:28 am »
I'm a Mac guy always have been the devices just seem to feel right to me. So I don't have a Kindle Fire or any other of the Kindle readers. It's dawned on me over the last several days that there may be some value to seeing your work the way your readers will.

This is probably a stupid question but do any of you find it helpful to own one and read books on it instead on an iPad or some other device? Does it give you ideas or insights you use as you write for them?

Pages: [1] 2 3 4