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Messages - Jonathan C. Gillespie

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction Anthology Call
« on: October 24, 2016, 04:26:13 am »
I have the final back from the editor. A quick approval and some final touch-ups, and you'll have it. Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Freebooksy -- is it safe yet?
« on: October 20, 2016, 04:36:48 am »
I'm lost. You're afraid a Promo is going to hurt you? At the worst, I'd see the promo as simply not working.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What do you do for steady month-to-month sales?
« on: October 20, 2016, 04:35:39 am »
    • Instafreebie all book 1s.
    • Cross promo with Patty Jansen and other places like the Cross Promo Collective and Dean Wilson's Instafreebie Collective.

    Mark--is there a main landing site or registration point for the Cross Promo Collective? I see an author's site, but there doesn't seem to be any sort of registration or notification form.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Repulsive Launch
    « on: October 19, 2016, 01:33:33 pm »
    Very cool. I'm more on the sci-fi side of the house, but keep me in mind if you ever want to do some cross promo. I'm trying to build up my mailing list, which has...13 people in it.

    Man, I'd kill for that. Nice, Sela. Nice.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Is this a slimy way to make money?
    « on: October 19, 2016, 01:15:39 pm »
    So these are just ad-hoc life experiences these folks shared with you? If that's the case, I don't see anything wrong with you using them as long as you have something from them saying you can. I don't *think* it has to be anything formal, but I'm no lawyer, and I'm not rendering advice in that arena.

    If you're worried about "making money off peoples' miseries", I wouldn't. Yes, you might turn money doing this, but you basically couldn't avoid that if you were going to release a book any way. I think if you were looking at this with a "I can totally milk these suckers and turn a buck" mindset, I'd be concerned that you were a slimeball. But simply writing about (and shedding light on) some of life's darker snares isn't inherently wrong and I don't think you should feel guilty if you make some money in the process. That said, I definitely think you should give a big chunk of the proceeds back.

    Remember that you might help steer someone away from suicide, or the like.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Repulsive Launch
    « on: October 19, 2016, 01:07:49 pm »
    Congrats on the launch. FYI--I don't see a description for the paperback. I see it for the Kindle version.

    How did you get your ARC folks lined up?

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Is Select worth it?
    « on: October 19, 2016, 01:03:17 pm »
    I've found better results in KU vs. wide. I tried the whole permafree lead-in wide strategy, and got *some* sales in other markets, but page reads have been a really nice side income source, and KU seems friendlier for my serial than trying to go wide was.

    Plus, don't miss the fact that you have advertising options you wouldn't have otherwise.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: (new) suspense cover feedback
    « on: October 19, 2016, 01:00:43 pm »
    I dig it, especially version two. Both pop in thumbnail, which is icing on the cake.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Down under and dead
    « on: October 18, 2016, 12:30:49 pm »
    Based on what I've seen, Aussie readers were long since killed off in the guzzoline wars, and their family members now spend their days wandering the wastes looking for water and redemption.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Lessons from Writing to Market Wrong (and Failing)
    « on: October 18, 2016, 12:27:59 pm »
    OP -- thank you for the sobering, honest post. This stuff is gold.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: What do you do for steady month-to-month sales?
    « on: October 18, 2016, 06:34:57 am »
    Everyone's going to give you a magic key, but I think if you're not one of those folks who got in early to the also-boughts (at least as far as Kindle goes), you're facing a very steep uphill climb.

    I tried wide with a permafree leadin to my serial. More months than not I made less than ten dollars. Now I'm in Select, including with my recently-released novels. That was proving a little more fruitful, finally, until about the 8th of October, when everything fell off. Flatlined ever since.

    I feel like nothing's working, or at least it's taking forever to work. I see people who've gone full time, or are making hundreds of dollars a month doing this, and I just can't figure it out. I can't get the reviews to open up big advertising markets like Bookbub or the like for my novels. My serial does have the reviews necessary, but it's just under the review rating average many sites will take, and definitely under the minimum length. The market and advertisers don't care for short stories as much as full-length works; they're conditioned for .99 novels and the like. So, one piece of advice I'd give is DON'T do serials.

    The second piece of advice I could give you--which I've never been good at following--is write what the readers want. Anything that confuses the readers and doesn't give them exactly what they want is inherently unsafe. That goes for plot, characters, cover, blurb, keywords, and length. I keep going off the beaten path. That's my own fault. I just feel like doing otherwise would make my fiction vanish among a sea of reeds; I'd never make my mark that way. Conventional is safe. I didn't get into writing to play it safe. Nineteen Eighty-Four wasn't a safe book; neither were most of the classics. Pulp dime novels were, and no one remembers them.

    I also know I'm a perfectionist with my books, which increases their time-to-publish, which dings my chances compared to people who release a "good enough" title every ten minutes.

    I've got three kids at home, including a newborn, and we're single income, so I have to beg, borrow, and steal writing time, to say nothing of having the time some have to explore umpteen-dozen different promo opportunities every month.

    People might flame me for writing this, but there just comes a point where, after striving to get your voice out there for fifteen years, you think about packing it in. I'm sure someone will come along and tell me to quit complaining, but I hope they remember that I've even seen superstars vent on here before.

    [/grumbling off]

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction Anthology Call
    « on: October 17, 2016, 04:05:57 am »
    I've almost got my final draft done, then it's off to the editor. I'll have it subbed before the deadline.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Seeking editor for short story (quick turnaround)
    « on: October 11, 2016, 04:23:54 am »
    Thanks to all who reached out. I have now secured an editor for this project.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction Anthology Call
    « on: October 10, 2016, 06:44:50 am »
    First draft done; looking to get it revised and edited in time. Pedal to the metal!

    Writers' Cafe / Seeking editor for short story (quick turnaround)
    « on: October 10, 2016, 05:47:32 am »
    Hi there,

    Sometime over the next week or week and a half I'll have a 7.5k word short story completed that I'll need a fairly quick turnaround on---say, back before the 25th would be ideal. I am unable to use my regular editor at this time, so I'm interested in quotes for a proofread-level edit or a copy edit. I won't need a full line edit.

    If you're interested, pop me a message here, or better yet at [email protected] . Memberships in relevant organizations or testimonials a plus. Success together on this project could very well lead to more lengthy work in the future.

    I'll be looking around for editors as well, but I figured it didn't hurt to drop a line here.

    Thank you!

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Wimp Alert! - Help neeeded
    « on: October 05, 2016, 11:15:08 am »
    Okay first, are you worried about book 2 or are you worried about getting book 1 out? Believe me, I understand having the rug ripped out from under you and having your schedule delayed by ages. I wrote the first book in my Drawn To the Rhythm series in 2002. Issues with publishers and editors missing deadlines and 12 years passed before the series started coming out. The last book is dropping Nov 8th and there are only 6 of them! So slow, you aren't, and stuff does happen that interferes.

    I applaud your grit!

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction Anthology Call
    « on: October 05, 2016, 11:14:01 am »
    FYI--closing in on end of first draft on this. Looks to be 5-7k or so. VERY different from most of the stuff you seem to be getting thus far. Right now I'm trying to see if my regular editor can fit me in for a quick edit and turnaround over the next two weeks. I should be able to beat your deadline with time to spare.

    Thanks again.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction Anthology Call
    « on: September 29, 2016, 02:38:41 pm »
    Working on it!

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction Anthology Call
    « on: September 21, 2016, 04:44:00 am »
    Okay. I'm in, and I'll see if I can punch up something in a different vein.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Category keywords vs targeted keywords
    « on: September 21, 2016, 04:42:17 am »
    Keywords are what the author is entering in the book setup options, whereas search terms would be what a customer is typing into Amazon's search feature on the site.

    Writers' Cafe / Re: KU page reads? What's happened?
    « on: September 20, 2016, 07:52:45 am »
    Same here. I'm 50% up on page reads this month with a good spread across 4 of my books. When I do see a drop for a few days, I jump on it right away with promotions.

    Pray tell, how are you promoting the fact that they are on KU?

    Writers' Cafe / Category keywords vs targeted keywords
    « on: September 20, 2016, 07:51:08 am »
    Happy Tuesday, folks.

    My two main series are in the space opera and military science fiction genres. In general, do you guys find that using keywords that drop you into Amazon's buckets and subcats work better or worse than targeted search terms.

    So for example, method one is grooming using terms like "fleet", so said book drops into the category browse for Science Fiction & Fantasy > Military > Space Fleet.

    Method two, targeted search terms, might ensure someone searching for "ghost dinosaurs" shows up in a resultset of say, a hundred books, with a few hot sellers and a few random titles.

    (Hmmm. Ghost dinosaurs. I think I just discovered a Jurassic Park / Ghostbusters crossover series.)

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Rejected - this is hilarious.
    « on: August 30, 2016, 04:12:50 am »
    Someone please tell me they got a story onto Scribd with blatantly erotic content cleverly disguised in flowery language :)

    Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction Anthology Call
    « on: August 30, 2016, 04:10:57 am »
    Okay, so I'm pretty sure this is something I want to do. Some points:

    1) If you're going to do all this leg work, which isn't going to be a small amount--as well as handling the advertising over time--then I'd want you to take %10 or so off the top. That only seems fair to me. The rest should be used to push the book.

    2) Do we have a firm count on the number of folks involved?

    3) I think we should commission the cover. I can take a crack at it if need be--pretty good in Gimp--but the simple truth is you'll just get better results with a cover artist, particularly one that understands the market. Maybe we should all chip in toward one?

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