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Topics - Brevoort

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Chris Fox has just published a 20 minute video on youtube showing in high detail his income, expenses, and profit streams for last year. He has dramatically increased income but with a greatly increased ad spend.

There is a lot of good insight and value in the video.

I applaud him for being so open about his financials.

I do regret that he no longer contributes here but then again a lot of successful people have pulled back on participating in KBoards.


Today's SPF podcast has a long and detailed interview with Amanda Lee who hardly needs any introduction here.

The interview goes into some detail about how she is able to publish some 20 books a year by writing about 9 thousand and more words a day.

This link is to the podcast and the transcript

Writers' Cafe / Book Cover Creation Software?
« on: September 11, 2019, 11:19:48 am »
I am considering a move toward creating my own covers and other display items for my writing and for my consulting business.

I seem to spend a considerable amount of time waiting for designers to deal with my non-writing consulting demands and I would like to try my hand at book cover creation for myself. I have access to a graphic designer for advice etc but my intent to is to do the physical construction myself. If nothing else, experience with design software would allow me to better understand what the outside designers are on about and their problems.

I see mixed messages about whether to use Adobe InDesign or Lucidpress. Adobe seems to have a very steep learning curve. Lucidpress promises a much easier time and at a lower cost.

Can I have some recommendations please?

Writers' Cafe / The Man With the Golden Typewriter - Ian Fleming
« on: August 26, 2018, 12:08:36 pm »

There is a fascinating read at Anne R Allen's website about how Ian Fleming more or less took over the marketing role for his James Bond novels in the 50's. I get the impression that he drove his very unenthusiastic publisher nuts.

In fact, it seemed that about the only thing he didnt do was actually drive the trucks that delivered copies to bookstores.


I had Createspace make a paperback of my book last night and this morning it popped up on Amazon on its own page separate from the ebook. How do I arrange things so the PB & ebook are on the same page with the "Other Editions" button showing?

I am pretty sure that the title is exactly the same for both editions, and all of the book information, description, cover etc is the same for the two Amazon pages.

Or, is it a matter of being patient (hard to be) while the Amazon systems have finished their cataloging work>

What is the matter with people who goad a cover designer into a suicide attempt over a dispute?

This is just a disgusting situation and deeply shameful

Edited to change thread title. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca


The developer of PageFour, SmartEdit, and Atomic Scribbler has just published a breakdown of his online survey of 740 writers, many of whom seem to be on this forum.

I am not competent to judge the validity of the survey and its analysis but I found some of the conclusions profoundly interesting. So, in the spirit of sharing information about our craft here is the link to the results.

Writers' Cafe / Audiobook trends for 2018 report
« on: December 18, 2017, 10:07:57 am »
  Michael Kozlowski at has just published a vast and detailed report on the state of the audiobook industry. Among the many startling facts is that major publishers no longer negotiate audio rights as a separate thing. No audio rights - no book contract.

Writers' Cafe / A Poor Person's Scrivener
« on: December 11, 2017, 05:29:12 pm »

(I have no connection with this company other than as a customer)

For anyone looking for a dirt cheap, and much simpler, Scrivener for Windows, the maker of PageFour has set it free.

It is a distraction free writing tool that uses the same concept as Scrivener, allowing for the ability to work on discrete scenes instead of in just one giant manuscript file. It is also a lot easier to wrangle than Scrivener which has a reputation with some people (not me) as being too complicated.

The developer says it is now too old (12 years), clunky, and he wants to concentrate on his much newer AtomicScribbler for fiction writers only. (Windows only $47)

PageFour is lean, mean, and efficient. I've used it for years and so apparently have some 11 thousand other writers.

Writers' Cafe / ?'s about Author's Central & search availability
« on: November 21, 2017, 10:11:37 am »
I uploaded my book to .COM yesterday and it went Live within hours. It has just appeared on CO.UK but not yet on .CA

And I right in thinking that this is just a propagation issue and it will appear on the other Amazon pages in its own good time?

Does the same thing apply to the Search function? For example: when I search on .COM for Cobra Flight, nothing relevangt appears, but if I search on Cobra Flight Rick Grant, there it is. On the U.K. site, just the title is sufficient in Books.

Now as for Author's Central. I built my personal internal Amazon site on .COM but it did not propagate to the U.K. site. Am I right in thinking that I will have to fill out one of these things on each of the Amazon sites?

I've tried searching on all this but quite frankly my thinking processes have been slowed by the launch complexities so I would appreciate some advice.

I am ashamed that I will let a sore throat or the sniffles ruin my day. For her to be able to write through migraine headaches and more is just downright amazing and courageous.

Writers' Cafe / "Amazon, a Venegeful Simplistic God" - Adam Dreece
« on: January 17, 2017, 01:55:06 pm »
I don't see this anywhere on the board but apologies if it has already been posted.

Canadian author Adam Dreece is getting a fair bit of media attention for his web postings about how Amazon carpet bombed his whole KDP account and won't say why.

Writers' Cafe / Kindle Unlimited Moves Into India
« on: September 02, 2015, 09:47:22 am »
Amazon has just started Kindle Unlimited, in a limited way, in India.

Anything Else Amazon / Amazon prime sale - hah! No books
« on: July 15, 2015, 05:02:20 pm »
I don't know why I was so nave as to expect Amazon to have some terrific book deals in today's Prime Sale. But nope, not a one, at least not on the .CA site.

How does a company that built its core business around selling books not bother to put its books on sale along with all of its amazing stuff I don't care to buy at any price?

The whole thing had the air of a back-of-warehouse-junk-clearout sale.

Writers' Cafe / A Hidden Barrier to FB ads & Newsletter Web signups
« on: April 23, 2015, 12:20:24 pm »
During the recent discussions here about Facebook ads and newsletter signup forms on webpages I have noticed no discussion about the growing effect of ad blockers on the web in general. In the recent court discussions in Germany about whether the ad blocker Adblock Plus  was legal or not (it now is) some numbers came out that intrigued me.

But first, some personal observations.

I visit a lot of author websites mentioned here. On only a very few of them do I see any indication of a newsletter signup option. Sometimes I will see a graphic asking for a signup or just a text mention, but clicking on them produces nothing. On most other pages there is nothing.

For the longest time this puzzled me because some of the pages had been specifically mentioned on KBoards as having signup forms.

It turns out that if you have Adblock Plus running, or one of the others like it out there, you won't see links that lead to things like MailChimp signup forms.

By the same token, I have not seen an ad on Facebook in my newsfeed or timeline -- ever. Adblock keeps my Facebook free of it all and what it doesn't then my tracker blocker extensions in Firefox and Chrome block them.

Now, until the German court case I just assumed that perhaps not very many people used blockers and that's why no one here mentioned problems in getting in front of eyeballs.

But here are some 2014 numbers in a report from done in conjunction with Adobe.

  • There are about 144 million active adblock users around the world.
  • Adblock usage grew by nearly 70% between June 2013 June 2014.
  • Growth is driven by Google Chrome, on which adblock penetration nearly doubled between June 2013 June 2014.
  • Adblock usage varies by country. In some countries nearly one quarter of the online population has it installed.
  • Adblock usage is driven by young internet users. 41% of 18-29 year olds polled said they use adblock.
  • Adblock usage is higher with males, but female usage is still very significant.
  • A majority of adblockers expressed some willingness to receive less intrusive ad formats (however they strongly rejected intrusive ad formats such as interstitials and popovers).
The news release with links to the full report is here.

I think these numbers indicate that there is a serious barrier to authors getting their messages out. I also wonder whether FB's estimation of ad impressions is anywhere near correct. Unless the company has found a way to detect how many ads are blocked by view by users then its impressions reports to ad buyers could be greatly misleading.


I can't seem to find the answer to this on either the Podiocast or Audible websites so perhaps someone here knows.

Can I publish a free version of a book in the form of weekly podcasts through Podiocast, and at the same time put it up on Audible as a complete audiobook for sale?

Some of the answers I have seen from Audible seem to indicate that this is a no no for them because it is seen as leading to a disagreeable listener experience, as in "Why should I have to pay when I can get it for free?"

But, according to international copyright standards I believe that they would in fact be separate editions, even so far as to require unique ISBN's and cataloging data. The podcasts would also include unique additional material in the form of introductions, summaries, and closing plugs.

Does anyone have any guidance here; I really would like to publish an audiobook as a series of weekly podcasts as a way to build an audience for the full and complete version on Audible.

Writers' Cafe / Where To Put Back Cover Book Description in eBook?
« on: February 27, 2015, 11:08:53 am »
I have a large To Be Read collection on my reader. I frequently find titles in it that have been there so long I no longer have any idea what the book is about or why I added it. It has got to the point where if there is nothing on the cover that gives me a legible hint of what the story is about I just delete the book. Some books contain a book description in the book details or meta-data sections and that's fine, but many don't. I certainly am not going to hit the web to read the book blurb on Amazon, hence the quick delete. I just don't have the time to mess around with so many books.

It seems to me that some sort of book description, (back cover blurb material in the print world,) would be useful to the reader of an ebook. But where to put it, and how to label it?

I am thinking that an added Roman numeral page at the end of the ebook, but linked to right off the top of the Table of Contents might be good. But perhaps it should be physically placed near to the title?

Any thoughts?


Writers' Cafe / How to Connect an Alphasmart NEO to a Nexus tablet
« on: February 17, 2015, 12:18:26 pm »
There are likely few people here who would need this information, but just in case . . .

This morning I was able to connect an Alphasmart NEO to a Nexus 7 in order to use its larger screen for writing, along with the superior keyboard of the Neo.

You need an OTG Micro USB to full size USB 2.0 adapter cable. They sell on Amazon for 2 to 8 dollars.

All you do is, start a writing app on the Nexus 7 (I used Evernote), plug your Neo's USB cable into the OTG cable and the two will connect. Nothing will show on the Neo's screen other than it has detected and connected to a device. Now all you do is type to your heart's content on the NEO and watch your words appear on the larger screen. You can also dump text into the Nexus using the same method you use for a PC.

Just write as normal in one of the Neo's file sections, connect the Nexus with an open writing app, and hit Send.

That's handy on the road for getting your stuff out of the Neo and into the cloud or your email.

This technique also works on an iPad, according to a video I saw on Youtube. In that case the connection was made in the same way with an OTG cable but through the Apple Camera Connection adapter. (I could not get this to work with my iPad version 1.0 but it seems to work with later versions.)

It also does not work with the Nexus 4 phone which disappoints me because I'd most often make use of that connection. Apparently the Nexus 4 does not support OTG connections unless you root the phone and install a different firmware, something I have no clue about and no interest in learning how. However, it may work with other phones that accept an OTG connection.

For the cost of the cable it might be worth experimenting.

I just came across a Robert Ludlum novel on Amazon that is using a sales technique I've not seen before.

Robert Ludlum's (TM) The Janson Option - FREE PREVIEW (first 5 chapters) (Paul Janson)
[Kindle Edition]

It's a preview, or sample, with its own sales page and comprises some 60 pages of the 300 or so page full novel. The full version in the Kindle store provides the usual embedded sample.

Can one publish a novel extract as a stand alone product on Amazon and is it something to be considered?


I wonder whether anyone can give me some advice about using b&w line drawings in an Epub manuscript.

They would be jpeg images of line drawings with file sizes of 150kb or less each

I have a non-fiction template from bookdesigntemplates that makes image insertion straightforward. But how to I size or place then so they fit on the most common types of ereaders and mobile readers? How do I avoid having them split over more than one page or scroll past the margins?

Is there a recommended dimension?

Is there an epub book anywhere for sale that does a good job of using line drawings such as maps, sketch work, etc., that I could buy to have a look at as an example of how it should be done?

Thank you


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