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Messages - jb1111

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Forget about the 'holes' in your story. Write it. You probably have enough of an outline to get the plot moving, and get the characters doing their thing. Once you're into the book, a lot of it writes itself.

Why are so many folks around here convinced that there's some kind of secret to making it big? I don't understand. Why can't just writing a really good book be the main thing, and sometimes the only thing, that matters?

Because people have a dream, and until that dream is submerged, they're going to see the publishing world (indie and otherwise) in those terms.

I think once most indies get into the routine of writing, publishing, and seeing a few sales -- along with the learning curve -- that dream turns into something else. We all know people who were enamored with the idea of publishing that great American novel, and making it big.

Many of us may have been so ourselves (I myself never wanted to be a fiction writer myself). The mental trappings surrounding that dream are hard to shrug off one's shoulders, especially whenever a story gets out about some new writer getting a deal and that little voice says "why couldn't that have been me?"

Writers' Cafe / Re: Should the second l in cancelled be canceled?
« on: September 28, 2020, 08:35:54 pm »
Two LLs, all the way.

I was taught phonetics in grade school. Apparently the US official determiners of proper speling decided otherwise.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Have your sales declined during the pandemic?
« on: September 28, 2020, 03:57:32 am »
Sales have been the same as years previous, with any dips or climbs usually the same -- they climb after a new book, and recede about 1-2 months out if a new book isn't released.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Trigger warnings.
« on: September 26, 2020, 10:20:29 am »
I didn't know there was an adult dungeon for contemporary romance, but there is a list of things somewhere that helps erotica authors keep their books away from it -- keywords, words in the blurb, covers (what's acceptable, and what gets you into the dungeon, etc.), words used in the title, etc.

Maybe there are similar guidelines somewhere for romance authors, to keep them from similar pitfalls, if there are any.

Writers' Cafe / Re: why is my book not selling?
« on: September 26, 2020, 01:57:59 am »
I don't know much about space opera / sci fi, but I agree on the info dump bit. The 'ser' is a little off-putting. Obviously, it's an accent, but at first glance it looks like a typo...

Cut the excess info/history from the first few paragraphs perhaps, or cut it down -- get to the part where the main character gets the space fleet, and the action that undoubtedly follows.... Maybe let the info on the character's past appear more gradually, or in the form of flashbacks, or something like that.

The cat thing wouldn't bother me, as I like cats. But then, I don't know how particular space readers are about characters being feline or whatever. There probably is a market for feline main characters in outer space, but who knows how big that market really is?

The bright side of it is that you actually garnered some sales, and you can always make improvements.... and then go on to your next book.

Good luck. We all need a bit of that.

I've heard mixed things about using online translators for eBooks. It can backfire if the translation isn't exactly good, which some online translators really aren't.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Character writing pet peeves
« on: September 22, 2020, 07:06:53 pm »
The ex special forces guy who automatically has all the right expertise and saves the world. I like action thrillers, but it's a trope that gets a bit old.

But it works. So no need to complain.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are any new authors getting publishing deals anymore?
« on: September 22, 2020, 07:05:30 pm »
The trad publishing world is a different universe from the one most indie authors live in. I read the linked stories on here (the ones that weren't blocked by a paywall) with passive interest... but I've got an ebook to finish.

Interesting to read about it, though.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are there levels of erotica?
« on: September 20, 2020, 05:42:43 pm »
I think a lot of it is dependent on the author. There are set sub-genres, but an author still has a bit of latitude as long as the right tropes are hit, and the sex is present.

Yeah, decade old thread... interesting glimpse into KBs past.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Tips for boosting productivity...
« on: September 18, 2020, 04:23:52 am »
There are two things that have helped me.

One is using a timer. I take breaks. When I don't do this, productivity slows. When I do it, it increases.

Second thing: stay away from social media and internet surfing. It's a little hard to do when you use the same computer for both things (writing and internet), but my own productivity goes up when I turn off all that vast internet static and just concentrate on using the word processor.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What are your thoughts on the reason for writer's block
« on: September 18, 2020, 04:19:56 am »
I'm another one who thinks it's not real, just an excuse and lack of self-discipline. That's certainly what not writing is in my case. When I worked a salaried job, if I was supposed to write something, there was no writer's block; it got written.

When I worked in journalism, it was the same way. The difference being, in that case, that I was merely a scrivener. The news already happened. It was just a matter of transcribing it.

With creative writing, it's a little different -- you have to come up with something to write. And if your mind is blurry from no sleep, or there are life issues, it can get in the way of coming up with good creativity.

The thing that sort of grates is when you have a low priced book and some reviewer takes it apart like it's supposed to be Shakespeare or Tolstoy, when it's just a $2.99, $1.99 or $.99 or whatever pulp entertainment book in electronic form.

But at the same time, it shows other potential readers that there must have been something to the book for the reviewer to complain about.

Reviews, positive or negative, can draw attention, and I think a lot of readers peruse the LookInsides anyway, where they at least get a glimpse of whatever quality the book has.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What are your thoughts on the reason for writer's block
« on: September 15, 2020, 11:10:33 pm »
Burnout. Exhaustion. Real life problems distracting you away from such mental intensive creativity as one needs to write books.

I would think those are more accurate than writer's block, although there are times the creative juices aren't kicking in even when those above mentioned things do not happen -- that's when the discipline thing needs to kick in. I've found that if I work at writing, eventually I feel enthused enough about what I'm writing to where the creativity flows again. It's a process.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kobo sales taken a dive.
« on: September 14, 2020, 07:37:57 pm »
I've had books on Kobo for a while and get virtually no sales normally. Don't know what to tell ya...

Writers' Cafe / Re: What drives readers price or story?
« on: September 14, 2020, 07:32:42 pm »
One could also look at it this way: at whatever price you have your back catalogue presently, $0 income is still $0 income, and it's a lot less than what you might get if you price competitively.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon removing reviews, so bummed out
« on: September 14, 2020, 06:10:56 am »
I had a four star review that seemed fair (had a little criticism, but it had some positive things about the book in general), and a couple months later it was removed. No idea why. Also had a one star bomb review that was removed. No idea on that one, either.

Writers' Cafe / Re: I still write 150k word novels.
« on: September 08, 2020, 07:58:42 pm »
I aim for a certain word count, and usually will cut to fit, unless it cuts too much. I write short novels, so I don't want to throw steady readers off too much with a longer one. But some stories ask for longer word lengths, and if the story is working, it probably doesn't throw off the reader. I have yet to see a review where a reader commented about book length.

So, if the story is working, and it's longer, I'll leave most of it in. Any excess will show up during editing.

One can take too much time editing, trimming etc. -- time that could be spent moving on to writing the next book.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Contemporary Romance vs Erotic Romance
« on: September 06, 2020, 04:28:14 am »
Can anyone explain what the difference is, please?
I've read plenty of books recently which are categorized as Contemporary Romance but which, to me, read like Erotic Romance.
Do you think some authors are categorizing their books as ConRom rather than EroRom so they get more exposure?

My guess is that the answer is yes. Romance always has more exposure. There are even some erotica writers switching to romance for similar reasons. They want more readers. I haven't read all their works, obviously, but I would wager those books have a considerable amount of sex in them, even if they actually are genuine romances. They're just shifting the genre a notch or two... So I can see why some erom writers might do the same thing.

In cases like this, where there are so many grey areas between the genres, I think the blurb becomes even more important than it normally is.

I never have been given advice by anyone, writer or non-writer.

And what I learned in Writing 101 (not Creative) helped... and the one book I read about Creative writing helped.

But most of my journey has been trial and error. Probably a year of practicing with junk drafts, working out the bugs, before I actually began to craft a book I wanted to sell.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Weird Sales Numbers? Help...
« on: September 06, 2020, 04:16:45 am »
Early September for me has been the same as August so far. No definite trend either way.

Writers' Cafe / Re: black and white cats (tuxedos)
« on: September 05, 2020, 04:21:10 am »
Great story about your tuxedo cat. Who knows how he got up into the tree. But you found him, and that's the important part.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A question on diluting a brand...
« on: September 04, 2020, 07:37:30 am »
The older books aren't apparently choking your recent series' sales now, why change anything?

I don't do thrillers, but I usually keep my books single POV, some of them with maybe two or three at most, depending on the story, and I go out of my way to try to keep the reader from being confused if/when the POV changes. I think multiple POVs can be useful, but if you have a main character, then you have a main character and that POV should probably be the central POV to the story.

But, like I said, in thrillers maybe there is a different take on this idea.

Probably unrelated, but a few nights back some of the Zon's servers apparently went down, at least some of the ones that are used by other sites, as well as the KDP Dashboard. My KDP dashboard was a plain page with type for a couple hours... I did an online check and found there were others who had issues accessing the Zon, as well as other web pages that use AWS.

The point is that they might have a few server glitches now and then that cause these issues to happen. Obviously, they're not completely bulletproof.

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