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Messages - Gerald

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: A mountain of first drafts - which to work on?
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:18:10 PM »
There's some great bits of advice up thread!  Just wanted to say that if you're trying to make this decision based on market share and maximum profits, Chris Fox has a book called Write to Market that has techniques for identifying the best genres to leap into:



Thanks for that. I'll take a look.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: A mountain of first drafts - which to work on?
« on: May 07, 2018, 08:17:19 PM »
Politics sounds great until one realizes that there are a fair number of people already overloaded with it. Hard to avoid politics on social media, the news, etc. Audience for such a book probably is out there, but there probably also is an overload factor to consider.
Yeah, I was wondering that about the politics stuff.

And everybody loves something apocalyptic at times. Look at how well disaster movies do.
I think this, and crime, never really go away. They have a hardcore of dedicated readers. I'm on retreat now (don't tell my friends I'm on here with you ;) ) and my session is this afternoon. I'll let you know how it goes.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Should I continue a series? Advice welcome
« on: May 04, 2018, 03:16:23 PM »
Though I am curious why not 1.99, Elizabeth.
It's perceived as an odd, halfway house. You're still in the 35% royalty zone, so you haven't got increased %age royalties to offset the higher price. It's just how it is.

No doubt there are many that are pricing at $1.99, and having a great time.

Also: novella. How many words? Readers of short books can feel cheated if they feel they've paid a 'full price' ($2.99) for a less than full-length book.

Whether to continue is up to you. Time spent writing novellas is time spent not writing novels. However, they might be something to create a funnel for you full-length works. You know, charge $0.99 to people will pick them up for a cheap, quick read. Then, if they like your writing, and with appropriate messaging that you also write novels too, they can find your full-length works.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: A mountain of first drafts - which to work on?
« on: May 04, 2018, 01:53:24 PM »
Right now you don't really know what you are as an author, who your audience is and what your bread and butter will be. I suspect those are things you learn through the process of doing, i.e. finishing multiple times, hitting publish multiple times.

Complete as many things as you can on a continual basis and put them out there and then once you have an abundance of completed material you can think about gaining visibility, building a brand and figuring out how you're going to profit from this whole venture.

I think focusing on the end result when you're still very much at the beginning is only going to keep you at the beginning, and the start 'n stops will continue to pile up and you'll continue to feel frustrated and rushed. That'll lead to further panic, have you jumping from project to project as you have done and then you'll look back, wonder where the time went and why you haven't gained more ground. You probably want to avoid that.

Haha! Have you been spying on me? This, exactly.

I would say the best approach is to take a humongous step back, recognize that profits will come later - in the long term - and come to terms with the fact that you've got a lot of writing ahead of you before you can start making larger plans. For now I would say put your head down, write your behind off and don't even bother coming up for air until you've built enough of a backlist that would make worrying about money a worthy use of your time.

Yep. I think potential changes in personal situation might have been affecting my decision-making.

Again, only my humbly offered opinion...

Good luck!  8)

Edited: for clarity, hopefully
Crystal clear, Ken. Thank you so much.

And thank you to others who have commented. You are all correct. Marketing tweaks for something that doesn't exist are nothing compared to having content and product out there, and I can continue feeding the monster, or pivot and try one of the other genres. I have two pseudonyms (because choosing names if far more important than actually writing, yes?  ::) to go on alternative genres. I want each of my names to be associated with a genre, and not confused or diluted.

Once again, thank you. You people rock.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: A mountain of first drafts - which to work on?
« on: May 04, 2018, 01:46:21 PM »
Go with the political thrillers. Could well have audience interest at this point in time.
That's actually a very good point. I would think my main markets would be UK and then US, both of which have politics at the centre of most news cycles.

THANK YOU!  ;D

6
Some really awesome advice here. I hope you can take it on board.

I think you might need to look at your writing. Is this the first novel you've written? Have you written any short stories? I was a bit put off by the choppy nature of the opening sections. Paragraphs are really short. You interrupt the narrative with asides to the reader - 'By the way, I work as a secretary ...'  And - '"I'm sorry, Glen." Yep, I'm Glendolyn Villem. But people call me Glen.'
That doesn't work for me.

And, your opening line. 'The streetlights are calm.' What does that mean? Does it mean they're calming, after a stressful day? Does it mean they're not flashing on and off like a disco?

Another line: 'He turns the car in a direction towards the museum.' No one says anything like that. Maybe use something like 'He spins the wheel, and we head towards the museum.'

As others have said, no one makes a killing on a first book. Although you have a schedule, consider getting the second finished and out there. One of the delights with indie publishing is that we dictate our own timeline.

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Writers' Cafe / A mountain of first drafts - which to work on?
« on: May 03, 2018, 04:09:11 PM »
I'm a great starter. I'm a really bad finisher.

So I have around 26 viable products, with around 7 first drafts, and around another dozen or so mostly-complete novels. They cover the genres: political thriller, apocalyptic thriller, dark crime, and cosy crime.

My question is: what should I pick up and run with? If we assume I can write reasonably well in all of those genres, my aim is to get 2-3 novels out this year; but I'd also like to maximise my income from this. I don't / can't write romance, and mostly sales analyses group mystery, thriller and suspense in one category. Where can I go to find out how to maximise the return on this short-term investment? I not only need sales figures, but also selling price. K-lytics has some information, and the author earnings report has some more, although not quite what I need.

I'm away on a writing retreat with 6 trusted author friends, and I'd like to return with a clear plan.

Thanks in anticipation :)

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Does KDP Print now offer authors copies at cost?
« on: December 20, 2017, 05:40:24 AM »
In answer to a post upthread:
Proof copies will have a "PROOF - not for resale" watermark on the cover. I would guess proof copies wouldn't be available once it had been published.
Author copies will be exactly as per customer copies, except cheaper.
Not available as yet to me, though  >:(

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: December 02, 2017, 02:33:24 AM »
Sorry to start a new question, but:

Scrivener 3 vs Vellum for formatting book files?

N.B. I already use Scriv 2.something. Compile is a complete dog's dinner. I heard they improved it for Scriv3, but updating for me would mean changing to OS X High Sierra, and losing MS Office and various other programs. But that's okay if Scriv3 is really an improvement, and matches (or nearly so) the formatting capabilities of Vellum.

Thank you.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Vellum: the official thread
« on: November 23, 2017, 04:06:03 PM »
I wonder if there's going to be any special Black Friday deals on ... you know ... really great software? *wink* *wink*

11
You can't download from Amazon without an Amazon account, and I would wager (I'm certainly not going to take the time to go look it up) that there is language in the T&C you agree to when you create an Amazon account which says you will not use it fraudulently.
Interesting. I would imagine that if the site was able to create thousands of bogus accounts / accounts under their control, he can create thousands more when he snares a client.

I've read both threads (thanks, David Gaughran!) and it was interesting to note how quick Mr. Free Books went as he was waiting for Amazon to reply to his email.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Opinions on Covers, please!
« on: October 08, 2014, 04:34:49 PM »
I prefer #2, 5, and 7

I concur. #3 in almost unreadable.

On a general theme, I think the text is too big. There is very little room for the image, which (IMO) should take more prominence, or be the whole of the background. And I don't like the red stripe across the middle. My eye is drawn to that more than the author name and title, which (again, IMO) are more important.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: NaNoWriMo 2014: Is It Worth Doing?
« on: October 08, 2014, 04:30:52 PM »
This will be my 11th year of NaNo. In the previous 10, I've 'won' 9 times. I've been a rebel a couple of times (once I wrote 2 X 25k novellas, which I threw together for validation). You will know if you cheat, no one else will. If 'winning' matters that much, you can copy and past one word / one sentence throughout the whole document if you like. No one will know, and you'll get your badges and certificate and whatnot. But that's totally missing the point.

I find it a great experience. Meeting up with local writers is a good way of meeting fellow authors in your area, and I've created a number of lasting friendships.

NaNo state that the MS isn't stored on their servers, and I've never bothered scrambling anything before I upload it.

14
The bottom one is much better. Your name is easier to read, and the white is better against the background. The word locking the door, acting as a 2 X 4, doesn't work at all, I'm afraid. If you really wanted to do that, you would need to add a piece of timber, and put the words across it. But, if you're happy with the bottom one, then it's not bad.

There's far too much text on the middle one. You just need one, short sentence to give an explanation if you're going to do that.

15
I don't like the mix of horizontal and angled text - it looks like you didn't have room, and just twisted it to get it in.

I'm a bit puritanical on cover writing. Keep it straight, simple, and easily-read.

I also think the image should give a bit of a clue as to what the book is about. It's not obvious from the image, or the title. Maybe a bit of additional text as a sub-heading: "Appraisal of Forces in the Middle East" or something.

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Writing a novel in less than two weeks
« on: September 29, 2014, 01:13:22 AM »
One thing which affects how fast I write: the season.

During the summer months, I struggle to write 1,000 words a day. It's almost painful.

In winter, I can write 2,000 words a day, easily. I've had several 5,000 word days in the winter. I have had none in the summer. Too much bright light, too many other things to do.

17
I'm done pretty well thus far and I've done it without schemes are shady practices. Have I hit the NYT Best Sellers List? No. And if I ever do, it will NOT be because I scammed my way there. In the end I'll be able to look back and be proud of what I've accomplished. I won't have to omit anything when I tell people what I've done to achieve my goals. Perhaps I'll never achieve some of them...and that's okay too.

Nail. Head. There too many schemes, groups, 'scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours', mutual promotion things going on. I'll get there on my writing, and if I'm not getting there, I'll learn to write better. (I'll promote myself, of course).

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Thousand words a day club 2014
« on: March 18, 2014, 05:48:09 AM »
I got 2753 words in today. The dry spell is ovah!

Yeah, I've had a couple of on/off weeks (mostly off), but after spending some time realising that the book I was working on didn't fit into the series I had planned, and then rejigging the series, I finished off the first book last night anyway. I'll put it to one side, and begin work on the 'proper' books in the series.

Sun 16 Mar - 1018
Mon 17 Mar - 2880
Month to date: 7,554  >:(
Year to date: 118,416

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Box sets - a race to the bottom?
« on: March 17, 2014, 05:04:34 PM »
The 12-book thriller box has done what it was put together to do: the authors have the USA Today and NY Times BS monikers now.

 ;D ;D I did wonder, but didn't like to ask  ;)

Thanks, everyone, for your feedback and the fascinating discussion.

20
Behind? Not at all. Mind you, my target now isn't the same as it was on January 1st  ::)

Like Chris Ward, I was a way into the first book of a series (like, 50,000 words into) before realising that it really didn't fit into the series at all, and I was trying to shoehorn the wrong novel into the wrong slot. After a couple of weeks of dithering, I've reorganised the series, and I'm just trying to finish this 'thing' first. I already have far too many unfinished works laying around. I suspect it'll get shunted into a crime series rather than the apocalyptic series I was hoping to use it for.

I still aim to have 6 novels finished by the end of the year, with at least 4 published.

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: Box sets - a race to the bottom?
« on: March 17, 2014, 06:02:15 AM »
I've just had another thought.

Has anyone got any comparisons between large box sets and smaller ones? Are smaller box sets more likely to be read in their entirety, with the subsequent exposure for each of the contributors? In a large box set, are readers more likely to pick and choose the one or two they want to read?

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Box sets - a race to the bottom?
« on: March 16, 2014, 03:33:41 PM »
The Deadly Dozen is formatted perfectly. Just sayin'  ;)

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Box sets - a race to the bottom?
« on: March 16, 2014, 03:15:46 PM »
I apologize. ;) No hard feelings?

 :D :D None at all  :-*

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Box sets - a race to the bottom?
« on: March 16, 2014, 02:54:07 PM »
There is NO convincing the OP (not just you, but 100 other such posts) because your mind is already made up with the topic title.

Not true. I asked a question. It was answered. I thanked people. I asked another, related question, probing deeper. Someone answered. I thanked them. I fail to see why you accuse me so.

This is not one author choosing to offer one piece of work at a free / low price. That argument / discussion has been done and dusted. This is a different discussion. And I thank those who have replied courteously. It occurred to me that selling a large number of complete novels for a low price could affect sales for other authors in the same genre. I'm now convinced that this is not the case.

I fail to see why you are so antagonistic.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Box sets - a race to the bottom?
« on: March 16, 2014, 01:52:41 PM »
That's the box I'm involved with, btw ;).

I know  ;) Thanks for not taking my posts as criticism. I'm genuinely interested in this, and the information about the formatting was fascinating. I knew there was a limit for 99c, but you've done an amazing job to get all that into one low-cost download.  :D

Like I've said, why don't you produce an anthology with some authors and see from your experience whether this type of promotion is valid?

That's not generally how this place works. People ask questions, and the lovely people who have experience answer.

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