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Messages - CaptnAndy

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I haven't used the Pinterest Groups, but I just completed a test of using it on 2 books, instead of AMS adds. The results were much better than I had for the same 2 books when I used AMS adds.

I will try BKnights this week.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How Much has Writing Spoiled Your Reading?
« on: December 01, 2019, 10:30:20 am »
I have been an insatiable reader since I was 11. I got serious about writing after retiring for the 4th time in 2011. 18 books later, at 75, I still enjoy reading whatever strikes my fancy, including spending 3-4 hours of research daily on the net. My vision is shot, I have to use a 38" monitor, so my Kindle is the only way I can now read books. My wife insists on driving, so I take my Kindle when we are out and about. I also spend the 2 hours before bed reading to wind down.
I do notice problems in some books, but try not to let them ruin the story. Although my memory is not so good, I believe reading helps keep my mind sharp.

Writers' Cafe / Re: formatting with very old microsoft word
« on: November 16, 2019, 10:37:59 am »
I too recommend Open Office, which I have used for several years. It will convert from its .odf format to .docx format for Amazon KDP, or .pdf for print versions. The only format problem I have been unable to solve, is the loss of the auto first line indent when converting to .docx format. It happens on both the Apache and Libre versions. If anyone has solve this issue, I would love to hear how.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pinterest and/or Instagram
« on: November 07, 2019, 09:56:40 am »
Because my AMS adds were not cost effective I stopped them and used Pinterest adds for my newest book, After The Rockets Fell. I also ran a Pinterest add on the first book in the Alt History trilogy, After The Days Of Infamy. The result have been better than I have ever achieved on AMS. Your results may very, but I suggest you will be pleased with the results. I have also made Pinterest posts on all my other 15 books, and their sales have picked up, without discount promotions or adds.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Prowritingaid vs grammarly vs autocrit?
« on: October 09, 2019, 12:37:41 pm »
Yeah grammarly is very low on the totem pole and only helps a little bit.

I have used both, and I agree. I write with Libre Open Office. I usually cut and paste into ProWritingAid one chapter at a time.

The first book I self published, BB-39, in July 2012, was started on a business trip to Japan, in January of 1990. Life can get in the way. You have to take care of the highest priority items first. I could not get serious about writing until I retired for the 4th time in 2011. As of today, I not have over a dozen books on Amazon. I'm not living off the income, but I'm scratching the itch.

It will be a long shot for you to make a living writing, but I wish you the best.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How Do You Get Your Story Ideas?
« on: September 29, 2019, 11:32:24 am »
I'm an insatiable reader, of a wide range of genres. I spend each morning on the net following current events, technologies, history, and the body politic. I also am a naval and military history buff. My stories have ranged from a Greatest Generation novel, to current event based SF and post-apologetic, and alt WW2 history.

The number of potential story ideas exceed my time to write and publish them. My life clock is ticking, and I'm very aware of that, at 75, to the point of neglecting time spent on promotion. Maybe one of my kids will pick up that ball after I'm gone.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Business cards
« on: September 25, 2019, 12:57:44 pm »
I have carried a few business cards in my wallet since I published my first book, BB-39. I also wear a Nevada Battleship ball cap when I'm out and about. It frequently starts a conversation, which ends with my card given to a prospective new reader. I can't say how many sales it has resulted in, but I'm sure it is quite a few.
I think business cards can cost less than an AMS campaign, and represent a good promotion tool.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Hard science fiction
« on: September 19, 2019, 09:57:08 am »
Most of my stories don't have steam punk, fantasy, time travel, magic, elves or faeries. As a recovering engineer, I prefer hard science fiction, and I try keep my writing within that region. Where I have a faster than light (FTL) element, I don't bother detailing a detailed explanation, since most SF readers recognize FTL as a "normal" feature in Science Fiction.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Large Print question
« on: September 13, 2019, 10:14:54 am »
I'm going with KDP Print for the second book in my Alt History trilogy, After The Rockets Fell. Going with 16 point type for a Large Print edition seemed excessive. I went with 14 point and call it a Clear Print Edition. As someone with severe vision issues, I only read book on my Kindle. I hope the Clear Print Edition covers all the bases.
I used Apollo Publishing for the first book in the Trilogy, After The Days Of Infamy. I was pleased with their pricing, quality, and response, but they are not currently taking new books for small market authors. They said it is because of the Tariffs on China ??? I guess I will need to change that book to KDP.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What is working for you on AMS ads these days?
« on: September 08, 2019, 10:39:44 am »
With the increased cost per click since this Spring, I concluded AMS is no longer cost-effective for me. I let the budget ($100) run out on the three active campaigns in July, thinking the bleeding would stop. I got an automatic payment to AMS for $167 early in September. After several contacts with Amazon, I still am waiting for a supervisor's response, as to why their charges continued after exceeding the budget. I have since been able to terminate those campaigns. I have found the AMS campaign management software to be very unfriendly, slow to update the reports, and cumbersome. I plan to revisit AMS next year, but will spend my add dollars elsewhere for the rest of this year.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Passing out business cards
« on: September 07, 2019, 10:12:38 am »
As a USN vet, a naval history buff, and the author of several books with naval action, I always wear my Nevada (BB-36) ball cap when I go out in public. I also carry my business cards (with an image from the cover of BB-39 on them). I always thank for their service any vets or active duty people I encounter. If possible, I tell them the story about the Nevada model built for the movie Tora, Tora, Tora, and give them a card. This process has generated enough new readers to be worth the effort. I don't ever push, since hard sell is = to spamming.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Making A Living As A Kindle Book Author
« on: August 26, 2019, 09:06:29 am »
Over the last 3 years, I have gone wide twice (Smashwords and then D2D) Both times I concluded that my KU income was higher than the income from wide. I've been exclusive since January, and my KU income equals my paid sale income.

Let's Talk Kindle! / Re: Best Kindle for poor eyesight???
« on: August 10, 2019, 10:12:04 am »
I have several vision issues (went to a 38" monitor on my desktop). I have both a Paperwhite and a Fire 10. Both work for me (with larger fonts), but the Fire is more effected by glare when I'm reading in the car.

Introductions & Welcomes / Re: Hello from SoCal :)
« on: July 25, 2019, 10:37:11 am »
When I lived in Seal Beach I was a member of the Southern California Writers Association (SCWA). It is a great group that meets every month. Over the years, their speakers have included Ray Bradbury, and others of his stature. They were extremely helpful to this fledgling self-publisher as I struggled to complete my first book. This link is for their web site.:
You will find them friendly and welcoming. I wish I could make their meetings, but can't handle the 7 hour drive.

A.G. Kimbrough

Writers' Cafe / Re: How Old Are We?
« on: July 10, 2019, 03:05:50 pm »
Update: I just turned 75, and can still get vertical!

Writers' Cafe / Re: KBoarder's Various Genres
« on: June 29, 2019, 10:37:08 am »
Alternate History

Writers' Cafe / Re: How Old Are We?
« on: June 16, 2019, 10:23:02 am »
I'll be 75 next month. I was in the Navy in San Diego the day Kennedy was shot. Every warship in the harbor that could get under way, did so, at General Quarters, with live missiles on the launchers.
 I was in San Fransisco in the mid 60s, and as an under-aged sailor with a Secret Clearance, I was afraid to participate in the Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll festivities.
 I watched a Goldwater speech live during the 64 Elections race, and the very selective, cut and paste, TV news reports afterward, that made him sound like a raving maniac, who would start WW3 on the day he became President.
In 65 I came home to a town that was killed economically, when the County voted for Goldwater. The State Senator had threatened to shut down the base that was provided over 50% of the town's income and population, and he did. These two events made me a life-long skeptic of Government, and the media.
I worked as a Tech, Engineer, Exec, and CEO during the late 60s, the 70s and 80s, when the integrated circuits were coming of age. I remember Fairchild Semiconductor introducing a new 'MSI' chip every week.
Along the way I read Stranger in a Strange Land, and I Groked.
As the Internet evolved, I found information source alternatives to what Rush had coined as the Mainstream Media. I began to spend time each day using the net to explore a wide range of current events, politics, technologies, and anything that caught my interest, a practice that continues to this day.
I was watching the Today Show on the morning of 9/11, and later saw the tragic waste of treasure, and our best young people in the futile attempts to 'Nation Build' in the Middle East.
I became a 'Prepper' after reading One Second After, and have written several Post Apoptotic books.
When I retired for the fourth time in 2011, I got serious about writing, and I now have 16 books covering a range of genres on Amazon, and my adventure is continuing.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking for Authors to Interview
« on: May 27, 2019, 11:10:18 am »
Thanks for the offer. I write hard SF, Post Apocalyptic, and Alt History (WW2). I'll be happy to do an email interview.

Writers' Cafe / Re: If Amazon is Not Our Enemy
« on: May 20, 2019, 11:36:21 am »
Threads like this one are the reason I take the time to read KBoards every day. Damn Well Done to everyone who have contributed realistic inputs on what faces Indy Authors in today's Amazon marketplace!. After several years of a limited focus on promotion, last fall I committed time and money in a promotion of my newest book. I went wide (D2D) on all my books and ran adds on fb and AMS. I sold a lot (for me) on Amazon, with good carry through on my other books. Wide sales were minimal. In January, I dropped wide and returned to KU and continued a few AMS adds. When AMS changed options, I tried the Locked adds, with limited results. I purchased KDP Rocket and spent days re-working keywords and blurbs. I opened a new AMS add, which produced some results, until the impressions stopped. I found that all the recommended bid prices had increased by at least 50 cents. I increased my bids and started getting a scattering of impressions. I suspect this new AMS changes will make it uneconomical to continue using AMS for promotion. I'm retired, so I'm not depending on my writing for income, but I can't afford to operate my writing/publishing business at less than break-even. I plan to test other add options, and continue to read on this issue, both here, and other places.

Suggestions, Comments / Re: Obnoxious Ads
« on: May 20, 2019, 09:45:53 am »
This site is not a non-profit. It's either adds or a subscription fee. I can put up with the adds. I would not pay a subscription fee.

I have used Libre Office for the last 2 years. I keep it updated and use paragraph setting in the auto indent mode, but docx still drops the indent for me. for the suggestions, but I'm already doing them.

I have used Open Office (both variants) since 2010 to write and publish 16 books to date. The only problem that still bugs me, is loosing the auto indent function when I download to a .docx file. It stays as long as I keep in .odf format, but Amazon won't take that format. If anyone has a solution, please drop me a PM.


I had 1 AMS add running and the impressions stopped on May 1st, and when I reviewed the suggested bids they had gone up at least $0.50 from what they were. After I raised most of my keyword bids, I started getting impressions and much more expensive clicks. When I burn through this $100.00 add commitment, I'll be switching to other, more affordable add options. With this wide-spread AMS extortion, Amazon may kill the AMS add revinue goose.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Looking for other post apocalyptic authors
« on: May 13, 2019, 10:30:45 am »
I have several post apocalyptic books, including a 5 novella series. I'm looking at alternative promotions to AMS since it now appears to be uneconomical.
A.G. Kimbrough

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