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Topics - Blocked Writer

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Writers' Cafe / Writer's Cafe Link
« on: August 13, 2020, 11:18:27 am »
Has anyone else noticed that the Writer's Cafe link on the main forum page has vanished?
I haven't seen it in a couple of days. Had to pull it up a recent post and come in that way.

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Writers' Cafe / If you were starting today...?
« on: August 04, 2019, 04:29:20 pm »
Question: If you were starting today, what genre and sub-genre would you chose, and why? What are the pros and cons?

I'm bursting with all sorts of story ideas, in a variety of genres. My college-age daughters are home for the summer, so they're binge watching tons of stuff from the supernatural to dystopian. Sometimes I watch with them, so I get those sorts of ideas. And as I mentioned in my I'm back thread, my recent cancer battle followed by my wife's cancer battle and death sort of "color" a lot of things, but we also binge watched a lot of Hallmark in her last year, so I have a lot of Hallmark-y ideas.

I probably focus on the above, because I assume they're the most potentially viable, but that's not necessarily true, and I do have other ideas as well. Coming through a period of grief, I've definitely been in that mode where I "get" sad love songs and country music, but I don't want to let that overly impact my decision, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I'd appreciate everyone's insight. Thanks! :)


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Writers' Cafe / Hi! I'm back...
« on: June 30, 2019, 11:32:17 pm »
This is about my 3rd pass at kBoards.

Much has changed each time. When I first started looking, anyone who could write erotica made money. Later, KU was the hot ticket, then 2.0. I'm not sure where things stand now.

I had lurked for a long time, but joined shortly after I was treated for cancer (2 tumors removed and radiation treatment over about a year). Shortly after that, my wife was diagnosed with cancer, and lost her battle after 22 difficult months, including 71 days in the hospital spread over her last 18 months, each stay usually preceded by an ER visit, and otherwise in fear of the next one. I had my 5 year checkup in January, and am all clear, but it was bittersweet after losing my wife along the way.

Anyway, she's been gone about 20 months now, I've come a long way in the grieving process, and starting to find some life again, and have been thinking about giving writing another try.

KBoards seems different once again.

Anyway, thought I'd say hello.

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Writers' Cafe / The Great Courses
« on: July 01, 2017, 08:15:34 pm »
Has anybody tried this one?

Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques

I love these courses! I've bought many for pennies at our local used bookstore: music, philosophy, etc, but it never occurred to me to see if they had a writing course (I just peruse what I see at the used bookstore). And, of course, not sure I want to pay full freight, although it doesn't look too bad. I'm wondering if there's any real information that's not already widely available from any number of sources (including here), but I do like "The Great Courses!"

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with these folks. I just like their courses.

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Writers' Cafe / Pen Names & Privacy
« on: April 17, 2017, 01:56:12 pm »
Ok, here's another prawny question from me:

I teach at a large state university, publish academic stuff, and even have a couple modestly successful nonfiction books out from when I still worked in industry. So...

As I get ready to self-publish some fiction, I'm interested in privacy. Don't want my students or colleagues laughing at me!  :o So I'd kind of like to keep my identity private.

Is it enough to simply publish an eBook with a pen name? I've heard that in the past there were instances in which writer's real details were accidentally put online. Is that true? How frequently? How recently?

Maybe a better question is how do you handle privacy, at least those of you who do?

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Writers' Cafe / OK, who hacked Amazon?
« on: February 28, 2017, 11:25:07 am »
Which one of you hacked Amazon?
Apparently the outage is wreaking havoc across the web!

http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/28/14765042/amazon-s3-outage-causing-trouble

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Writers' Cafe / Prawny?
« on: January 03, 2017, 01:55:23 pm »
Newbie question follows:

Ok, I sort of get it from context, but can't find a proper definition.  :(

Who can provide the most concise and/or witty definition of "prawny?"    ;D

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Writers' Cafe / KU Page Read Problem
« on: November 26, 2016, 07:49:46 pm »
I watched the thread about Amazon intermittently acknowledging problems, but initially the root cause wasn't specifically identified, and the thread has quickly zoomed up to nearly 100 pages. I didn't keep up with it, page by page, 'cause I don't have anything in KU, but am curious. Also, there's a lot of venting in there (and I definitely get that). It's just difficult to jump in at the end and try to figure it all out...

Anyway, has the problem been absolutely identified as pages read using the page flip feature not being counted?  Any other known problems or conditions that impact whether or not a given book suffers from the problem?

How about putting future books into KU? Wait and see if they can fix it?

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Writers' Cafe / Declining E-Book Sales?
« on: November 25, 2016, 09:09:30 pm »
I grabbed something called Writers Yearbook 2017 off the grocery store magazine rack the other day. There was a little snippet near the front that said e-book sales have declined 14% since 2014. They attribute the decline to:
  • consumers switching to digital audio
  • the decline of B&N's Nook device
  • the rise of KU (borrows in lieu of sales) and other borrowing services
  • increased prices for e-books from traditional publishers
And in the same section was another snippet that said self publishing continues to grow, increasing 21% between 2014 and 2015 alone!

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Writers' Cafe / Poll: approaches to trademarking series names
« on: November 25, 2016, 02:24:17 pm »
I've read that series names can be trademarked. I thought I read that they should be, but perhaps that's not the case. After reviewing a bit, it seems that applying for an official, statutory trademark may not be cost effective (or at least not unless a series proves to be profitable).

Anyway, I'm curious how others approach it, so I've put together this little poll.

Any discussion/feedback is appreciated.

Thanks for participating in the poll!

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Writers' Cafe / Trademarking Series Name
« on: November 24, 2016, 02:19:00 pm »
I have a couple questions about trademarks.
  • Is it possible to establish a trademark before books in the series are released?
  • Is establishing a trademark a simple, DIY sort of process? I took a quick look at their website, and one of the first things it says is to consider hiring an attorney.

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Writers' Cafe / Reading habits
« on: June 24, 2016, 07:35:25 am »
I'm curious about authors' reading habits. There's a lot of discussion about whether or not to publish wide or in KU, but I'm curious about how many writers subscribe to KU, where and what you read, etc. So I've put together a few questions:

1) Do you subscribe to KU?
2) Do you publish in KU?
3) How many books a week do you read? From KU? Other eBooks? Printed books?
4) Do you read in the same genre in which you write?


I've only recently started writing fiction again, and have yet to self-publish, but am intrigued by it. I'm also a recent KU subscriber, reading in "bursts" and doing some research reading in the genres I'm curious about. Anyway, it got me wondering what others reading habits are. Thanks.

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Writers' Cafe / Story Ideas
« on: March 17, 2016, 06:38:26 pm »
I haven't really settled into a writing groove, just because of my schedule and commitments, but as I brain storm and consider story ideas, I find myself ginning them up at a much faster rate then I can possibly keep up with. Also, mental vignettes become shorts. Shorts become series, which in turn become novellas, and then series of those. And given the rich palate of options for details, I struggle to choose which "version" might be better, and then realize that with a few tweaks, the alternate versions could morph into separate stories altogether. That's somewhat hypothetical, because I'm thinking more than writing.

Is this the norm? And should I keep a journal or catalog of these ideas? Right now I'm sort of writing up a paragraph or two describing the idea narratives when they occur to me, or change.


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Writers' Cafe / DD Back Online, but...
« on: February 11, 2016, 01:04:21 pm »
DD is back up, but the free content seems to be gone, and the subscription cost has increased.

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Writers' Cafe / Missing Writers
« on: January 19, 2016, 09:24:26 pm »
A while back I noticed a posting that said where all the erotica authors had moved to. I can't find it now. Can anyone tell me where they went?

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Writers' Cafe / Generic Word Template
« on: January 17, 2016, 02:06:31 am »
Sorry for a newbie question here. I'd appreciate any help and tips.

I've read that we shouldn't assign things like font face and size, because readers understandably want to control that in their own devices. I've also read in the past that people offered up their templates for others to use, but don't see that recently. I've found some free templates online, that have page dimensions set, active tables of contents, etc, but how can I determine if they have the right things set, and the other things left un-set?

Is there a "best" template out there somewhere? I'd rather focus on my content, and just put it into a good template than try to learn all about making a template.

I've been working in MS Word, but may try one of the open source options soon.

I've lurked off-and-on here for a long time, and it seems that many best practices have changed over the last couple years (book length, distribution channels, etc). Anyway, I enjoy reading all the posts, but have trouble keeping up and processing the changes sometimes.

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