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Topics - Steve Margolis

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Writers' Cafe / MailerLite - physical address
« on: October 12, 2020, 09:29:19 am »
For anyone currently using appears that I need to furnish a physical address (or PO Box) to use  the paid services- to stay in compliance with anti-spam laws. How do most of you do this? PO Box?

Writers' Cafe / Trilogy
« on: May 10, 2020, 07:36:28 pm »
Hi everyone,

I recently wrote the first book of a trilogy and am just about done with the second.
As it turns out, I'm not all that thrilled about writing the third book, and if I do, my lack of enthusiasm will probably show.

So here's my question. Do I release the books individually(each about 300 pages), or do I combine the books and release them as a single 600 page book?

To me, it makes sense to release as one book, since a second book might suggest a series.

What do you think?

Writers' Cafe / Motivation to Write
« on: January 23, 2020, 04:48:52 pm »
I want to be a writer. Always have.

I released two books a few years back, and the writing kinda died on the vine. I think one of the reasons I lack motivation is I have a job I enjoy, that pays well. If I hated my job, I think I'd be a lot more motivated.  :D

For my New Year's resolution, I decided I would spend January motivating myself, and then try to start writing again in February. I'd like to rewrite my novel, and finish the trilogy I had originally planned- maybe expand the series after that.

I really enjoy Wayne Stinnett's books (I'm currently on Rising Storm), and I like the fact that he just put his nose to the grindstone and wrote.

So, for the past 24 days, I went back and read all of his posts. Yep, 162 pages worth, and I read them backwards so I could read them in order. It's fascinating to watch his success. And certainly well-earned.

Anyway, it helped do the trick. I'm motivated again, and I'm going to give writing another shot.

Writers' Cafe / Release schedule
« on: January 16, 2020, 10:01:16 pm »

I have a non-fiction book that I published a few years back that is doing very nicely. I followed it up with a novel, book one of what was going to be a trilogy. Life got in the way and I never finished the final two novels. Needless to say, while my novel got some good reviews, it hasn't sold very well at all. I kinda just abandoned it.

Last year, I decided to take my writing more seriously and I went back and rewrote book one, and I should have book three completed in April. I will have new covers created for the trilogy, and will brand them in such a way that the series can be expanded.

My questions should I release the three books? Should I publish them all in May? Or should I space them out to every three months, the publishing schedule I'd like to stick to in the future?

If I release them every three months, and continue writing, I'll always have two books ready to go at any given time, which would really be great.

What do you think?


Writers' Cafe / Placing Amazon reviews on my author website
« on: July 17, 2019, 08:13:50 pm »
Hi there,
Is it a violation of Amazon policy or TOS to copy some of the reviews I've received on Amazon, and place them on my website?  My books are only sold through Amazon and their affiliates.

Writers' Cafe / Newsletter software
« on: June 10, 2019, 07:23:52 am »
Hi everyone,
What newsletter software are you currently using?
I went back and read through quite a few of the old posts here, but most of the info is kind of dated.
I'm looking to start my newsletter back up...which I stupidly stopped sending/using a few years back.  :(

Writers' Cafe / Non-fiction book revision
« on: May 27, 2019, 11:15:04 am »
Hi there,

I decided when I hit a certain threshold for sales, I would revise my non-fiction book. It's a memoir and it's been doing really well the past four years.

This past week, I went through all the comments I've received from Amazon, Goodreads, and a bunch of others, and made a list of what I'd like to add to the current book.

The question is, do I try to go back and lengthen or revise existing chapters, or do I add all the new material to the end of the book?

On the one hand, going back and messing with chapters that are clear and concise, is risky.

On the other hand, if Chapter 2 is about ducks, and I add more about ducks in Chapter 22, the book is going to jump all over the place.

Any suggestions?


Writers' Cafe / eBook revision
« on: July 05, 2018, 09:30:38 am »
Hi there,

My first book has been doing well over the past two years and I want to expand it and update it.

When I do this, does the revised version become a new and separate book, or does it actually replace the original version?

And if it replaces the original, do the reviews carry over to the revised edition?


Writers' Cafe /
« on: December 28, 2017, 09:09:05 pm »
Hi there,

If anyone out there is familiar with have a question.

I pay for hosting, and had to download and install WordPress myself.

So why do I have a FREE account on

Is it because certain features of a hosted Wordpress install require an account with

If anyone knows, please let me know. I haven't found a real answer yet.

Thanks.   :)

Writers' Cafe / Adding a subtitle
« on: November 27, 2017, 03:24:47 pm »
Hi everyone,
I was thinking of adding a subtitle to my first book.
I know I need to change the cover and the title page, but does Amazon allow this?
And if so, does it technically become a new book?
I'd hate to lose all my reviews.  :(

Writers' Cafe / Moving a WordPress blog/site
« on: November 10, 2017, 07:45:43 am »
Hi everyone,

I currently have a WordPress blog/site at Network Solutions.

Service-wise, they have been great- never an outage.

But I am getting tired of the constant barrage of sales emails, when I log into the admin site, etc...It is just ridiculous. 

And support is almost non existent. Luckily my needs are simple.  :P

How difficult would it be to move my site to Bluehost, or a provider like that?

It's just a simple WordPress blog with 3 domain names pointed to it.


Writers' Cafe / Price reduction -Amazon eBooks
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:59:16 am »
Hi everyone,
I have done quite a few promotions in the past where I make my book FREE for a week, but this time I just want to do a reduction.
Do you simply lower the price of the eBook for a week? If so, how long does it normally take for the price to change once you request it?

Writers' Cafe / Audible question - illustrations
« on: July 02, 2017, 11:15:11 am »
Hi everyone,

I have a question for the Audible people out there.

My book has a number of illustrations, and while they're very easy to understand in the print book or eBook, I'm not so sure about an audio book.

I'm told that Audibles can include a companion PDF, but that seems to defeat the whole purpose of an audio book.

What do you think?

Should I have the narrator do their best (with my help) to describe the illustrations, or do the companion PDF?

Steve  :)

Writers' Cafe / ACX help
« on: June 27, 2017, 11:45:51 am »
Is using ACX really this easy?

I'm going to do my due diligence, but they sure make an intriguing pitch.

Is there anything to watch out for?

What about "exclusive" versus "non-exclusive" distribution?

Writers' Cafe / Advertising schedules
« on: June 11, 2017, 02:07:35 pm »
Hi all,

I had a question about advertising our books.

Is there a standard or a preferred method to follow when advertising?

For example, if you write four books in a year, how do you break down the advertising schedule?

Do you just advertise each book for a few months after it comes out?

Is it additive so that by the end of the year you're advertising all four books?

Do you just advertise the books that need the push?

And what about the following year when you (hopefully) have four new books?

What are your thoughts? I'm curious how many of you do it.


Writers' Cafe / New book jitters
« on: May 27, 2017, 04:43:21 pm »
Hi everyone,

I just put my second book up on Amazon and will start the advertising in a few weeks.

This time around though, I am losing my mind in the nerves department.

My first book was a memoir so it was a true story and didn't require a lot of creativity. It happened. The only real creativity is how I recounted the stories.

Luckily, it was well received.

But this new book is a novel. I made the whole thing up, and now in my mind, I am totally accountable for everything. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if I should have used a pen name for this first go-around.

I'm sure this is a normal reaction, but how do you deal with it?

There's only so much chocolate I can eat.


Writers' Cafe / How to start book 2
« on: December 02, 2016, 08:10:23 pm »

I'd like to get a few opinions- preferably not about my looks or my writing ability (although the words "peculiar" and "nauseating" could probably be used interchangeably).

I'll be releasing my first novel shortly. I plan on writing a trilogy. The first book has a solid beginning-middle-end.

When I write the second book, how much backstory/exposition should I include?

Do I assume that my book 2 readers have already read book 1?

Or do I need to "set up" the premise a second time?

What are your thoughts?

Writers' Cafe / book polishing
« on: August 26, 2016, 12:02:08 pm »
Many years ago I worked at a studio as a writer- until the day they brought in IBM PCs for everyone to use, and I was suddenly hooked. Thirty years later, I'm still a computer analyst. I learned the writing bug never goes away.

Anyway, when a writer wrote a script, no matter how good it was, it was handed off to a "polisher" who made it even better. And this was BEFORE it was even considered.

Is this done with books/eBooks? It seems to me that editors are developmental and help clarify issues- they don't re-author a work.

Am I totally off on this?

Writers' Cafe / editing credits
« on: August 21, 2016, 11:43:46 am »

I have a question about listing an editor's name in the book/eBook credits.
When I did my first book, I had a really great editor, and I asked her if I should credit her in my book.
She said it was totally up to me.

I did NOT list her in the credits. The reason was, it was my first book and I was afraid it would bomb. After she did such a great job, I would have felt terrible if her name was attached to a failure.

As it turned out, the book is doing well.   ;D

What are your thoughts on this? I have a second book coming out next month, and I'm ruminating over the same scenario.

To include or not to include, that is the question.  :P

Writers' Cafe / Worrying about my second book
« on: May 07, 2016, 07:04:58 am »
In my mind, I have always thought that non-fiction is much easier to write than fiction,  and that readers tend to be a lot less critical of non-fiction. Again, this is my opinion, but to me, non-fiction always has a rail to keep you on track.

I wrote a memoir, so I need to keep to my life.

I write a book on WWII, I need to stay historically correct.

And because of this, when it comes to reviews, they tend to be fewer, but more positive.

Non-fiction is not as subjective as fiction.

So with my second book, a novel, it's really the first time that I'm putting my actual creative skills out there.

To me, this is the real test for me as a writer. Am I being naive?

For those of you who have written both fiction and non-fiction, do you agree? 

Writers' Cafe / UK Promo Sites
« on: March 23, 2016, 05:42:08 pm »
Hi there,

Can you recommend any good promo sites for the UK?

My Amazon US sales/reviews are decent, but my UK sales/reviews could use a boost.   :'(


Writers' Cafe / My FREE book promo results
« on: March 17, 2016, 07:33:40 am »
Hi everyone,

I wanted to share the results from the promos I ran the past 5 days.

ALL of the sites I used responded quickly and ran the ads on time. Not a single problem.  ;D

I made my book FREE on Saturday the 12th even though the promos didnít start until the next day, so I guess it was really only a 4 day promo.

On Sunday (13th), my BookBub promo ran. I was a little nervous because my book is a memoir and I had signed up for the memoir category, but BookBub suggested moving it to the humor category instead. Theyíre the most successful promo house out there, so I didnít argue. They were correct. I picked up 8,737 downloads that day.

On Monday (14th) I had several promos running:
SweetFree Books, Books Butterfly, Genre Pulse, BKnights
I picked up another 3,251 downloads. I believe that roughly 1,000 of these were leftovers from the BookBub promo the day before, but that still means these 4 promo sites generated about 2,200 downloads on their own, which is great.

On Tuesday (15th), I ran the following promos:
FreeBooksy, eBookSoda, OHFB, Betty Book Freak
I picked up 2,440 downloads.

On Wednesday (16th), I ran the following promos:
BookSends, Daily Free Books, Daily Free Books UK
Kindle Boards Spotlight, Robin Reads, eReader News Today
I ended up with 3558 downloads for the day.

I thought the 4 days went really well because I picked up a lot of new reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and added about 97 new subscribers to my mailing list. Downloads totaled about 18,000

I hit number 22 on the Kindle FREE list for a day or so and stayed below 40 for most of the 4 days.

I also received over 20 emails through my website with people asking questions and sharing their stories, which was pretty cool.

The whole point of the promo was to add reviews and build my mailing list, which it certainly did.

So thank you all for sharing your thoughts and advice on KBoards because itís been a lifeline for everything I have done with this first book. This site rocks.

Writers' Cafe / FKBT - Free Kindle Books and Tips
« on: March 10, 2016, 06:43:35 am »
I just wanted to let all of you know how kind Michael at FKBT was today. I have an upcoming book promotion, and I messed up on one of my dates, and he was nice enough to cancel it for me and refund my money.

This is exactly why I have used his site 3 times in the past already.

His site promos have been successful for me, and he understands customer service- even when the customers do something stupid like I did.  ???

I wish all the promo sites were like FKBT. :D

Writers' Cafe / Free promotion
« on: March 07, 2016, 08:35:12 am »
Hi everyone,
Quick question.
For those of you who have run a FREE Kindle Promotion....the promo is supposed to start at midnight.
Have you found this to be the case, or have some of you experienced start time delays?

Writers' Cafe / BookBub Promo in March
« on: February 24, 2016, 01:03:14 pm »
Hi everyone,

BookBub is running my book in March as a Featured Deal.


No one was more surprised than me. Personally I thought April 1st would have been more appropriate.   ;D

As I am relatively new to professional writing, or whatever you call the writing I produce, I was wondering if I should post my numbers and experiences during that week (I have quite a few other promos in addition to BookBub running).

The reason I'm asking is, I don't have a catalog of books yet, and I don't have 10,000 sales, so I was wondering if the information I would be providing is really all that useful.

There are a lot of people on this site with more experience and much better hair than me, so I'm not sure if readers would find it helpful.

What do you think?

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