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Messages - Alex Anders

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Writers' Cafe / Where to find Virtual Assistants
« on: July 07, 2020, 09:56:02 pm »
I think it's time for me to start working with a virtual assistant. Does anyone know of anyone looking to add on another author client? Or, where to find someone?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Smashwords is 403 Forbidden
« on: May 26, 2020, 07:16:17 pm »
I just checked again using my VPN. The 403 message is gone. I guess they fixed whatever it was.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Smashwords is 403 Forbidden
« on: May 23, 2020, 10:18:48 am »
I think I figured out what's going on. I use a VPN, in part so that I can see what natives see when they look at my books in different territories. I've used it for over a year. A few days ago, using a VPN has caused a 403 error at Smashwords. Interesting.

Writers' Cafe / Smashwords is 403 Forbidden
« on: May 20, 2020, 07:48:36 pm »
It's never a good sign when a book distributor is suddenly appearing as 403 Forbidden. I wonder what's going on at Smashwords.

Writers' Cafe / KDP now has a grammar checker (for German)
« on: May 18, 2020, 10:17:13 am »
KDP just added a very helpful feature. They just added a Grammarly-styled grammar checker where they will make suggestions on what they think you should have said. It's apparently a part of their quality control process.

They may have had this for a while in English, but I've never seen it. What I'm sure is new is that they now have it for German books. This is amazingly helpful if you do translations.

I think that with the economy being in turmoil, those planning on leaving KU should consider that there may come a time where increasing numbers of readers will abandon outright purchasing of eBooks in favor of the $10 a month, subscription model.

Someone made a good point about this recently. Subscription will never be all there is because not everyone reads enough books to make $10 a month worth it for them. As authors we tend to think of the whale readers because we're so dependent on them. But many people take a few weeks to finish a book. Why would they susbscribe and pay $10 to read a book or two each month?

Wow! Thank you for sharing this! Since I work on a PC, this will save me a lot of time.

BTW, you don't need an ISBN to publish there. It's optional to include one.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Publishing Delays
« on: May 07, 2020, 09:26:13 am »
Here's an interesting note. After taking between 8 and 9 days to publish my content changes, I immediately made changes to one of the book's description and keywords. Those changes took about 14 hours to go live.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Publishing Delays
« on: May 06, 2020, 04:15:23 pm »
And they just published the book I updated 9 days ago. Finally!

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Publishing Delays
« on: May 06, 2020, 10:19:21 am »
Here's an update: The book I updated 8 days ago went live with the updates last night. The book I uploaded 9 days ago is still unchanged.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Publishing Delays
« on: May 05, 2020, 12:25:24 pm »
Here are my varied experiences. I uploaded content changes for an English ebook and it's paperback on the 27th and another on the 28th. I also uploaded a description change on a German book a day later.

The paperback content changes took the usual 24 hrs. The German book took the usual 1.5 days. The two ebooks are on day 7 and 8 with no changes indicated on the KDB bookshelf.

I called support on the 30th and they indicated that it could take up to 7 days. Yesterday they told me that someone from the review team will email me about when I should expect the books to be updated.

Writers' Cafe / Re: how long does it take for KU pages read
« on: May 02, 2020, 09:16:28 am »
Thanks for this. I didn't realize how likely it would be to have a delay in reporting. That makes evaluating my ads much different.

Writers' Cafe / Best Price for Books in India
« on: April 29, 2020, 11:29:41 am »
Have you been having success with a particular price point for you books in India?

Recently I learned that there are more ebook readers in India than the US. I also learned that Indian readers are the third largest consumer of my free ebooks on Google. That led me to wonder why I have only sold 2 books in India this year.

After doing some research I found an article that said that in 2017, the average cost of a 300 page fiction ebook in India was 120 Rupees. I had let everywhere auto-convert my prices based on my US prices. So, all of my Indian ebooks are at least double 120 rupees.

Before I change all of my prices, I wanted to know what others are pricing their books at.

Has anyone been having success in India? What genre are you writing and what price are you selling your books at?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Nook Sales Reporting
« on: April 27, 2020, 09:20:11 am »
It looks like it was a glitch. The missing days have been filled in even though the sales reported aren't on the days I wouldn't have expected. I wonder if it's reported on the right days? Because I had my best sales days after I turned off the marketing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Deal Nomination for
« on: April 26, 2020, 06:48:15 pm »
I always accept these offers from Amazon. (In fact, I accepted two books for a similar India deal yesterday.) They're usually not good for much --- maybe $10 to $30. But I figure anything that deepens my reach into small but growing markets is worth it.

I read today that India's ebook readership is 89 million readers. After reading that, I looked up how many of my free books Google gives away to India. Apparently, it's just as much as to the UK. I'm starting to wonder if I should go through and price them for their market instead of letting Google base my price off of my US prices. It would be great to sell more than 2 books every 6 months.

I was thinking about changing the prices of my 55,000 word romances to 120 rupees. Does any one of have any experience with pricing in India?

Writers' Cafe / Nook Sales Reporting
« on: April 26, 2020, 10:49:05 am »
Have you been getting book sales on Nook since Friday? I released a new book and have been running 3 times as much advertising and I haven't gotten a single sale. I know that I have readers on my mailing list who always get my latest book for the Nook when I announce it. So, it's odd that I haven't gotten a single sale.

Is it just me?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Facebook acct disabled multiple times
« on: April 09, 2020, 08:17:35 am »
Facebook only allows one account, last I heard..

Really? This is the first time I'm hearing about that.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Length Sweetspot
« on: April 07, 2020, 03:46:26 pm »
On another note, I would stay away from writing books shorter than 60 K no matter what the genre. It seems a bit short.

With sexy romances, it's fine.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Length Sweetspot
« on: April 07, 2020, 12:46:16 pm »
I write shorter stories, 60-70 K,

I wouldn't consider 60-70k to be that short. That's 7 to 8 hours which is still longer than my longest.

My romances are 50-60k and they've done well in ebook. The reviews for the audiobooks have been from okay to great, but they're basically selling what my 7 year old, 50 min erotic stories sell. That doesn't make sense to me except for the fact that I get a lot of ALC purchases for the short stuff.

Yeah, I might be having a length issue. I'm starting to think that the masses consider my romances too expensive to pay for (given their length), but too short to use their credit on. Perhaps if I were a more established audiobook author, but I'm not.

Maybe I can bundle a few to lower the bar for people to risk a credit on and see if that spurs sales for the others.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Length Sweetspot
« on: April 07, 2020, 11:39:59 am »
I just checked the top 50 romance audiobooks. Almost without exception, they are at least 9 hours, or a part of an established series. That, plus your experiences Crystal, plus that of the Galaxy's Edge author might have given me my answer. 9 hours might be some type of psychological sweet spot for listeners. Lord knows that I refuse to purchase audiobooks under 8 hours. Haha. I guess there are a lot more listeners like me.

I would also recommend not producing beyond one's budget. But it's always good to know what customers are most willing to spend money on.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Length Sweetspot
« on: April 07, 2020, 11:10:21 am »
I've heard this a lot, but I've never seen any evidence of it. Granted, my books are all about the same length (80-100k words),

Crystal, doesn't (80-100k words) mean that your books are between 9 and 11 hours?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook Length Sweetspot
« on: April 07, 2020, 10:53:08 am »
The first time I heard that was a podcast with one of the author of the Galaxy's Edge series (sci fi).  He said that when he started working with Podium, Podium said that 7 hr audiobooks wouldn't cut it. So they had to bundle 2 books together to make at least 10 hours. And he mentioned that they sell 3 times as many audiobooks as ebooks.

Writers' Cafe / Audiobook Length Sweetspot
« on: April 07, 2020, 10:17:40 am »
I've been listening to podcasts with successful audiobook authors and a few of them have mentioned that length is very important for success on ACX. I have been very unhappy with the sales of my recent 4 audiobooks and now I'm starting to think it's because they're too short. They are romances that are between 3 and 7 hours long. I'm now considering combining them to make them a better deal.

Could you please share the length and genres of your audiobooks and what length you have seen the most success at? It might be helpful to everyone to get a sense of what works.

Last month:
- my bestselling romance purchased with Audible credit was 6 hr and sold 12 units (9 with credits).
- my bestselling romance purchased by non members was 3 hr and sold 14 units (5 were ALC).

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Future of Audiobooks?
« on: April 03, 2020, 03:35:11 pm »
I've gotten audiobooks just because my favorite narrators had read it. To me it's like a stamp of quality because they wouldn't do crap. And if they did, they would elevate it. There's only one book that I've gotten for that reason that I've been disappointed with.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Facebook acct disabled multiple times
« on: April 02, 2020, 08:22:52 pm »
They re-enabled my account for the fifth time. But, this time I'm going to publish the ads under a second account that I own. I'm starting to think that there's some sort of bot-tag attached to that particular account.

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