Trail-Mix Readers discussion

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message 1: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Writing, promoting, and everything that goes along with it is no doubt a rewarding experience. But we all know that along the way, there are frustrations. If there is something you just want to get off your chest, post it here. All I ask is no profanity or hate speech, and that you not leave any names or identifiable information about any person or group. I strongly recommend that you sharply limit your use of this thread to avoid appearing negative.


message 2: by Jessica (last edited Apr 29, 2015 09:54AM) (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Unfortunately, I have had to remove Ice from publication due to certain circumstances. But it WILL be back and better than ever!


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
I'll DM you the link to her author page if you like. I don't care about her sales one way or the other; just want to protect my own book from being trashed.


message 4: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Campbell | 52 comments It's interesting though isn't it? The part of the human condition that allows a person to act in such a way. More than anything the internet has given us a world (mostly) without consequences.

Jessica, I'd love to hear about your process for re-defining Ice some time.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Sweet! I'll keep you posted.


message 6: by Phillip (last edited May 04, 2015 06:31PM) (new)

Phillip Stephens | 100 comments Rituals book cover.

A young author I am working with is convinced this should be the cover art for his first book because the symbol ties into the story. So I want to poll the group to get your reactions to report back to him. Please be as honest as possible.

I have told him that there may be better covers available.
book cover

It is YA, high school. But I think the book could be good enough, with serious edits to crossover to adult.


message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Looks like a watercolor painting and honestly not very professional. If he has his heart set on that particular cover, he can submit the image to ebooklauch.com and they'll make it look less like a middle-school art project.


message 8: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 100 comments I agree, I also think we can download some profession stock photos on the same them and work with those. I'm just waiting to hear from some more authors to see if anyone feels it could sell copies as is.


message 9: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Campbell | 52 comments Is the book written in finger paint on scraps of cardboard?


message 10: by Jamie (last edited May 04, 2015 07:09PM) (new)

Jamie Campbell | 52 comments At very least send him down to the local cemetery with a camera - and get him to download and install the Gimp; and have some fun with the two. There's plenty of Gimp instructionals on you tube.


message 11: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenius05) | 279 comments Mod
I see it's posted here too. I will repeat what I said. This won't cut it as cover art for YA. It's too childish.


message 12: by Ryan (last edited May 06, 2015 12:55PM) (new)

Ryan Guy | 47 comments Mod
How young is the young author? The only way I could see this cover working is if the author wants to push the point that he designed his own cover. Even then I think the book would be a hard sell based on the cover alone.


message 13: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Sounds like he has his heart set on that image. He should really try submitting it to an online cover designer, who can make it look more professional while keeping the same message. If he made it himself, he is a talented artist but I do agree with the others that it doesn't make a very good book cover.


message 14: by Lu (new)

Lu J Whitley (blujay) | 29 comments This may be a bit off topic, but it's something that bothers me nonetheless. As indie authors, getting a following is one of the hardest things we face, but when I try to follow some indie authors on Twitter, they use that ridiculous truetwit validation nonsense. I'm not going to jump through hoops to follow you. And I know these authors are losing a lot of followers from it. So please, if you use it, Stop. Yes you'll get spam. We all get spam. But isn't getting fans worth it?
Maybe I'm off base. Does anyone actually have good luck using it?
Here ends my rant for the day.


message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
I'm probably going to look silly asking this, but what's truetwit validation?


message 16: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) I'm with you Jessica, I have no idea what truetwit is. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of twitter.


message 17: by Lu (new)

Lu J Whitley (blujay) | 29 comments Basically with truetwit, any person that want to follow you has to go through a process that involves a captcha and a bunch of ads. The point is to stop spam and bot accounts from following you. But to me it just says "oh, you're a fan? Well, let me spam you to stop you from spamming me." It's quite annoying really. From the perspective of someone who uses Twitter every day anyway.


message 18: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) Ugh, that would be annoying. And yeah, I wouldn't bother at that point. No one is worth that much hassle to me. That and I'm already following Jensen Ackles on twitter. ;)


message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
That does sound like a pain. If someone doesn't want followers why even use Twitter?


message 20: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 100 comments Half the time the user follows anyway, TrueTwit or not. Since TrueTwit charges me after a month, to hell with them. Besides, sometimes I can figure out who the user is anyway.


message 21: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 100 comments Question for the group. My son believes that if he publishes his YA novel by the end of June as an eBook on Amazon he will be able to make $5000 and pay back a $4000 loan from my wife and I (which we would have to take from a mortgage on our house) by August or September. I just receive the finished rough draft last week, although he thinks it's good enough to go "as is."

Please comment so I can mail the comments back to him.

And yes, this is the book with the cover art I've been showing around.


message 22: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) Ha! I wish I could've gotten that kind of return for my writing. In about a year, with 3 books out, I've had a total of 500 downloads. Most of those have been because they were free.


message 23: by Lu (new)

Lu J Whitley (blujay) | 29 comments I've had my Ebook up for 2 months-ish now, and I've made roughly $50... Which I think isn't too shabby. Oh and mine has a professionally designed cover, which I believe is a big reason why I've sold as many as I have.
Maybe I'm behind the curve, but if he thinks he can make that much in a few months, he better be prepared to work his butt off marketing that thing.


message 24: by K.M. (new)

K.M. Herkes (kmherkes) $4k in two months? I hope and cheer for the possibility, for his sake and yours, but that would be a real outlier, unless he already has a built in audience and big plans for a promotional push.


message 25: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenius05) | 279 comments Mod
How is he planning to market? Does he know that he will ahve to market strategically for 12 hours a day if he does his own marketing, and if he really intends to reach that meany readers (depending on his pricing he's looking at anywhere from 5-20k readers), how is he planning to PAY for that kind of marketing? Free marketing isn't easy and it's returns are not nearly what he thinks he can do. Paying for marketing is an investment and he will have to find the right kinds of markets. I've paid to market exactly one time and it returned $0 for me.

Plus with a cover that looks like ti was painted by a kid, it would be a hard sell.

He should make sure that his work has gone through the wringer of an editor and betas, and he needs to pay for a cover artist.

This indie author business is not by any stretch of the imagination a get-rich-quick scheme.


message 26: by Kelly (last edited May 09, 2015 05:08AM) (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments Phillip wrote: "Rituals book cover.

A young author I am working with is convinced this should be the cover art for his first book because the symbol ties into the story. So I want to poll the group to get your re..."


OH MY!!!! Hmmmmm, sometimes you must let people learn the hard way. I remember I was told to edit my own book (Instead of paying an editor) and thought I could...my first reviews on my first book was "GREAT STORY BUT" - I "gave away" over 2000 copies and can't get them back lol - needless to say, all of my novels are professional edited and cover designed...I stick to writing.


message 27: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 100 comments Thanks so much to those of you who checked in on the Rituals cover art (and those who may do so later). I will forward this to him. And show him some examples of professional covers and see if he will listen. But we know first time authors are not always easy to convince. I just want to make sure he doesn't end what I believe could be a decent career, although I'm beginning to think he really believes he has the next Harry Potter series and it will be difficult to deflate that balloon until a year passes with giveaway after giveway.


message 28: by Lynne (new)

Lynne Murray (lynne_murray) | 1 comments I have to say that I just had a very good experience with a $5 Fiverr new cover for a self-pubbed book that a fellow author and I did. Previously we tried a self-made cover that looked "home made"--not a good idea. Then we tried an Amazon beta cover design that was blurry with our names literally invisible--really bad. This one was affordable. Based on a humorous free graphic we found. A book cover really needs to inspire confidence and curiosity in the reader. Link here to see what we got for $5 - http://amzn.com/B00531CRIY


message 29: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 100 comments Lynne wrote: "I have to say that I just had a very good experience with a $5 Fiverr new cover for a self-pubbed book that a fellow author and I did. Previously we tried a self-made cover that looked "home made"-..."

It's fortunate that you hit such a lucky strike with such a great cover. I have long experience with graphic design in the publishing industry and do work wirh stock images as well as free lance illustrators, delending on the cover. I've seen publishers waste a lot of money on crap and authors insist on even worse (as in the cover under discussion). Fortunately we now have an online forum of independent authors which wasn't a resource at my disposal twenty years ago.


message 30: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments WHY WHY WHY do people feel it is okay to ask a writer how much they make? I never ask a "regular" *tongue in cheek* person, how much they make at their job..... *starts banging head on table**


message 31: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Kelly wrote: "WHY WHY WHY do people feel it is okay to ask a writer how much they make? I never ask a "regular" *tongue in cheek* person, how much they make at their job..... *starts banging head on table**"

Good question...I always thought questions about how much you make were off-limits. Unless you're a loan officer or an accountant. Otherwise, just plain rude.


message 32: by Lu (new)

Lu J Whitley (blujay) | 29 comments Kelly wrote: "WHY WHY WHY do people feel it is okay to ask a writer how much they make?"

Asking a writer how much they make is kind of like asking a woman whether she's pregnant. The general rule of thumb is NEVER... unless you want to get socked in the eye. :)


message 33: by Phillip (new)

Phillip Stephens | 100 comments Kelly wrote: "WHY WHY WHY do people feel it is okay to ask a writer how much they make? I never ask a "regular" *tongue in cheek* person, how much they make at their job..... *starts banging head on table**"

Once we publish, people believe we enter the public domain and thus we have surrended our lives to them. In the process we have implicitly given them permission to be assholes.


message 34: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Campbell | 52 comments I was just saying the same thing to my chauffeur...


message 35: by Lu (new)

Lu J Whitley (blujay) | 29 comments Jamie wrote: "I was just saying the same thing to my chauffeur..."
Made me snort and wake up my dog.


message 36: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments lol @ Jamie -

If people only knew how many books you have to sell to make a profit, after paying everyone else first...let alone to pay an electric bill (or chauffeur) They have this mindset, selling = tons of money....


message 37: by Daniel (last edited May 13, 2015 06:36AM) (new)

Daniel Adorno (danieladorno) Hi all,

New to the group, but I thought I'd post a recent frustration, which is just the whole FB marketing push I keep seeing in indie author circles. I get that FB ads are a great way to drive some sales, but honestly, I think the success of a few prominent authors has overblown how effective FB ads are. Like many others, I spent quite a bit on FB ads, followed the strategies shown to work, and...nothing. At most, I got like 3 extra likes on my FB page. So yeah, quite frustrating and I'm tired of hearing podcasts, blogs, etc. talk about FB ads as the new gold rush for indie authors. *exhale* Ok, glad I got that off my chest :)


message 38: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) Yeah, FB frustrates me for a lot of reasons as well, Daniel. The likes don't mean anything because FB hardly ever shows my content to people. I get anywhere from 3 to 20 people "seeing" a post when I have almost 150 likes. But if I share a stupid meme, I have over 200 people seeing that. What the heck faceboo, what the heck?!


message 39: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments Agree Daniel! I feel that the real advertising comes when you have a high budget, otherwise they just take your money and think they did their best..... :( Frustrating for sure!


message 40: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Adorno (danieladorno) Veronica Del Rosa wrote: "Yeah, FB frustrates me for a lot of reasons as well, Daniel. The likes don't mean anything because FB hardly ever shows my content to people. I get anywhere from 3 to 20 people "seeing" a post when..."

Oooh yeah, that drives me bonkers! Any time a post on FB has the word "sale" or "buy", my reach goes down to like 6 people. But one stupid cat pic and it reaches over a hundred people! SMH


message 41: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Adorno (danieladorno) Kelly wrote: "Agree Daniel! I feel that the real advertising comes when you have a high budget, otherwise they just take your money and think they did their best..... :( Frustrating for sure!"

Agreed, Kelly. I think unless you're spending a hefty amount daily, ads are pretty useless. They also favor certain genres over others like romance, mystery, or thrillers. My genres of fantasy and scifi, don't fair very well unfortunately.


message 42: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments Excellent points Jamie! I am going to start trying it today and see if my Facebook page increases.


message 43: by Venus (new)

Venus Morales (authorvenusmorales) I spent money on the FB ad at it really did nothing but cause my bank fraud alert to go off and freeze my acct until they confirmed it was me. It was more of an annoyance for an entire weekend than a benefit. Maybe it was just me but I didn't get much out of it at all. I will never do it again. I wish you all a better luck. I know Lady Luck didn't shine on me


message 44: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Adorno (danieladorno) Jamie, I've done both types of ads, those promoting my email list by offering a free book and others linking to my Amazon page. Both flopped. I was on a FB group led by an influencer that looked at the ads and have me tips on how to tweak them. Did that and still no new subscribers or sales to show for it. I think the big successes authors are getting out of FB ads are in the Romance, Thriller, or non fiction genres. I write epic fantasy and sci-fi which is an audience that is tougher to advertise to apparently.

And just to clarify, I don't just post buy links on my Page. I post articles, memes, etc. and try to limit any sales posts, but my point was that FB throttles you even if you're infrequent with the latter.


message 45: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Ok, we are going to phase in a mandatory reading list in order to be considered for feature. It is irritating to me that the most active members are being screwed over when it's their turn to be featured. Guys, I'm sorry, but if you can't give and only expect the free promo, this is not the group for you. This does not apply to people who have already been assigned spots. Specifically, there have been members who have stuck it out since January and have participated in almost every reading, and frankly, they deserve better than this! This is a give-and-take group, guys. If you expect us to help you, then you have to help others. Rant over.


message 46: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments I am glad you wrote this (and don't look at it as a rant) being an extreme newbie, I am still trying to make my way through this group, but LOVE how you all support authors and the different genres. Question, do we have to read all of the genres? or can we pick one from our preference per month? I will go through the information again to reread the rules.


message 47: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Wren-Wilson | 282 comments Mod
Just one per month will be fine, in the genre of your choice. I was a little upset that one of the most active members didn't receive the reciprocal support that she deserved. So I made hers a mandatory read for the mystery/thriller section (for nominations received after today).


message 48: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments Thank you...I will more than likely read more than one so great... and that saddens me to hear that.....


message 49: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Ilebode | 31 comments If someone has read over 2300 books and their average rating is 2.4 .... why are they still reading? and what the heck kind of book do they like?


message 50: by Rachel (last edited May 26, 2015 01:40PM) (new)

Rachel Chanticleer (rachelchanticleer) Kelly wrote: "If someone has read over 2300 books and their average rating is 2.4 .... why are they still reading? and what the heck kind of book do they like?"

Heh, it's funny you say that. I've been noticing average ratings recently as well...

Do you do a little mini cringe (of fear) if/when your book is added to a low(ish) rater's To-Read Shelf?


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