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Offline Scrasamax

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Amazon eBooks
« on: Yesterday at 01:01:27 AM »
So long story short I am involved in a group that is based around niche publishing and one of the things that they are looking at for their business model is producing a relatively large number of stories of minimal length, 5k-8k words and selling them relatively cheaply through Amazon. It's pulpy, it's low brow, but it sells, and they are getting published.

I was curious to know how well that might port over into the fantasy and sci-fi genre, serial fantasy. Not epic, not blockbuster, but pulp. Swords and sorcery at it's most basic level.

It's no more work than I am putting into the Citadel now, and attainable by most of our members. The things that I have noticed is that there is a common masthead, the collective of writers critique and edit each other's work, and they use the same 'publishing name' to create a commonality among them for readers and buyers.

The thing here is that this other group, they know their market. They know who they are writing for, who they are writing to.

Do we?

Do we want to know?

They have a certain rubric, you write to one of 12 salient themes and topics within the genre because that's what sells. You can step outside of that, but probably not to make any sort of money. There is interest for pulp, but not everyone is a Martin, Jordan or Tolkien.

I'm rambling, I'm tired, I'm drinking.

I want to get published, I want to see this thing I love make me some money. I also know that this can be a group effort, and everyone will benefit from it.

I lost my train of thought.


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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 01:58:09 AM »
What are the big points?

1. Godd**n dragons
2. @!#$ing Dungeons
3. Wizards
4. Barbarians and s**t
5. Kick Ass Magic Weapons
6. The Maltese Dingus
7. The Easily Kidnapped Princess
8. Mother@!#$ing Elves in this Mother@!#$ing Forest
9. Overthrowing the Asshat Feudal Nobility
10. Mythical magical creatures who aren't godd**n dragons
11. Atonement with your @!#$ing dad
12. Escapism from the s**tty modern world.


I'm tired and have been drinking.

But that's the gist of it, isn't it? Why do we read fantasy, why do we love it? Because our jobs suck, because we want to escape from a superficial pacifist politically correct world and go romping through an adventure.

The technology has changed, and the medium has changed. We've got Jordan and Martin churning out 20 volumes of Elven poetry, where are the cheap stories, the ones we can jump into and enjoy and move on? The End, where is the godd**n The End?

Lord of the Rings, one of, if not the most, important genre fantasy stories is two books worth of pages compared to the fantasy encyclopedia being pushed out now...



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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 02:01:57 AM »
Scras, I get what you are saying here but personally I'm of two minds about it. Firstly, I love writing w/o any restrictions which largely means that I'm not writing for any audience besides myself (and Strolenatis). This largely rules out the possibility of my making a living out of writing. On the other hand, I've revived my dream of writing a fantasy series so that it's no longer a 'dream' but something that I would work to turn into reality (and unfortunately, my taste do run towards epic). For this goal, I need to get into practice. So money aside, what you suggest seems to be a way to help me get into practice if for nothing else. And then, of course, the reality is that I could do with some additional money too atm and it would be a bonus if I could get it through writing. But that's me personally.

The other point you raised is whether the Strolenatis as a group know who they are writing for and to. I would say that as things currently stand, most are writing to and for gamers. As for the Strolenatis themselves, I reckon most are thinking of themselves as either pure gamers or hobby writers. So I'm doubtful as how much leverage we have at the Citadel to form a publishing group. Besides me (who's borderline interested), I know Dossta is but he had wandered offsite. We have a few authors who are into fiction like Sil, Axle and Ourouborous who's actually writing on his own setting but not sure about their attitudes to publishing. So yeah, I don't know whether we will get the momentum to start a Citadel publishing group. Then again, I can't speak for the whole Citadel so you never know.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:18:53 AM by Moonlake »

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #3 on: Yesterday at 02:36:16 AM »
Lots of stream of thought stuff. The writing group I'm part of has gone to another level, well beyond any writing group I;ve been part of before.

There are several graphic designers and while we are writing for ourselves (nothing wrong with that) they are discussing cover design. They are discussing actual formatting, and font, and how to package and get the stuff they write sold.

It's just something I've not encountered before.

We've done some of that here, but nowhere near the scale.

And some of them are making money from it.


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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #4 on: Yesterday at 03:43:12 AM »
We've done some of that here, but nowhere near the scale.

Right, that's why my personal opinion is that the Citadel as a whole doesn't seem quite ready for that kind of stuff but if we can get a substantial number of Strolenatis that are interested in being published on a small scale like you suggested, we might have the needed 'critical mass' to go on such an enterprise.

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 10:49:39 AM »
I think the biggest difference is that in the other group, we have people who have concrete experience on getting published online, the nuances and details, that we don't necessarily have here.


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Offline Longspeak

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 12:05:15 PM »
Scras, I feel ya. I've longed to see my name on the cover of a piece of work. Maybe one day I'll even finish a work of sufficient quality and length to try that. :P

The site drivethrufiction.com is a sister site to drivethrurpg.com, well known among gamers as a great place to get epub gaming stuff.

Now my experience is so far mainly with drivethrurpg. There, people place smaller things all the time with 99 cent price tags, or even "pay what you want, often with a choice of formats for those who prefer .mobi or .epub over pdf. I've never published through them, so I don't know what it's like from that perspective, but the availability of many low-cost options had made me expand me horizons a bit.

This might make a good way to get your toes wet, at least. A good place to see what the market is like, what catches peoples' collective eye?

Offline fantomx11

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 01:31:51 PM »
I've dabbled in the graphic design side of it and even released a couple of things for free on drivethrurpg, but my biggest problem I have is that I have trouble generating enough quality content that I'd feel comfortable charging for it. If there were a group that could help me grow in that direction, I'd join it.

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 01:35:58 PM »
I've dabbled in the graphic design side of it and even released a couple of things for free on drivethrurpg, but my biggest problem I have is that I have trouble generating enough quality content that I'd feel comfortable charging for it. If there were a group that could help me grow in that direction, I'd join it.

Our graphic design dabblers (and a font-phile) regularly put out some pregenerated covers into the group. The titles and names are made up, but the art is there, and the colors and fonts and it looks good. Price tag? I've seen it generally run $30-$50 per cover, and bundled rates, multiple covers for a reduced rate. That's a bit more important since the works being generated are small, that 5-8k word count.


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Offline fantomx11

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 04:14:20 PM »
I should have been more clear. By "content" I meant the content of the book, not the content of the design.

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 06:00:39 PM »
I would love to empower and enable this in almost any way available. I have been wanting to write a novel since I was in 8th grade. I have shelves full of books on it. A dream, probably one that will never come true, but I LOVE to read about writing anyway. :) Rambling as well...I probably wouldn't be writing anything soon but if we started...I would be on board. Right now work is a minimum of 10 hours a day and leave me spent so I will give what I am able.

But Val has put a huge foot forward writing an ebook and it is a 90% solution if I would get off my ass and do some reviewing of it. I have spent hundreds on art and templating for it, not all used but all getting us closer to what we need and Val, again, has put us right on the edge of greatness. I would be willing to put what resources I have in a hat to enable this and support those that are willing to go forward with it.

Are you suggesting putting together our own publishing group? Joining another?

We can get art. There are plenty of people that will do a good 'nuff piece of cover art for a reasonable price. While I only dabble, I have done all the graphics on the site and the quest covers so, if you think that is acceptable enough, once we get art putting some titles on it is in the realm of my comfort zone.

All said. I am in. Worst case scenario, people flex their story telling skills and develop as writers. Best case...it works. Where do we start?


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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #11 on: Yesterday at 08:20:28 PM »
Mind if I post a like to what we have? Some fresh eyes may help, and fresh input might help loose Mathom's hold on me.
   
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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 08:27:57 PM »
By all means. It would have been fun to have a release but, at this point, it is time to join the Cult of Done in whatever form available!

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 10:44:40 PM »
Mind if I post a like to what we have? Some fresh eyes may help, and fresh input might help loose Mathom's hold on me.
If memory serves me correct, I think I volunteered myself to be a proof-reader somewhere along the way for the Strolenati ebook on horror. But this thread is receiving more attention (and pledge) that I expected and maybe the 2 enterprises can be bundled together somehow (I don't mean in a package deal sense but more generallt that the 2 undertakings seem to share things in common and can be developed alongside each other).

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #14 on: Yesterday at 11:27:26 PM »
Yissssssssssss

This is the sort of conversation I wanted to get rolling.

I want to do more, but honestly, I don't have the focus or patience for editing like I should. This is something that I would basically pay someone else to do, and I would follow up with revisions, etc.

We need a flag to fly over the stuff that we could push out of the Citadel. Publishing masthead, a central name, something to pull us together.


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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #15 on: Today at 01:25:13 AM »
I'm actually happy to do the proof-reading free of charge but then the caveat is of course that it would be in my free times plus that you can't expect the proofed copy by me would be 100% glitch free. But that's for a stage further on. So Scras you basically want to have the ball rolling on creating Strolenati E-books on a consistent basis? At first, I thought you want us to join this other venture of your writer's group or start a similar venture for the Citadel (which I had certain doubts on for reasons I already covered). But if that's a misunderstandign and I know what you want correctly now, then it sounds infinitely doable.

We could start off with deciding on the different themes that ebooks could form besides the central name etc. that you already mentioned.

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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #16 on: Today at 08:57:11 AM »
I'm actually happy to do the proof-reading free of charge but then the caveat is of course that it would be in my free times plus that you can't expect the proofed copy by me would be 100% glitch free. But that's for a stage further on. So Scras you basically want to have the ball rolling on creating Strolenati E-books on a consistent basis? At first, I thought you want us to join this other venture of your writer's group or start a similar venture for the Citadel (which I had certain doubts on for reasons I already covered). But if that's a misunderstandign and I know what you want correctly now, then it sounds infinitely doable.

We could start off with deciding on the different themes that ebooks could form besides the central name etc. that you already mentioned.

I want the Citadel to start putting out eBooks, because we have our own niche, swords and sorcery fantasy.


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Offline fantomx11

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #17 on: Today at 11:02:16 AM »
I want the Citadel to start putting out eBooks, because we have our own niche, swords and sorcery fantasy.

That is not something I would be able to contribute to. I am barely familiar with fantasy as a genre.

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #18 on: Today at 06:31:30 PM »
At fantomx11,

That could actually be an advantage, being unburdened by the troupes of sword and sorcery your writing could be fresh and original.  The genre already has many writers that come to material as enthusiasts that have progressed to imitators as opposed to coming from personal inspiration.

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #19 on: Today at 07:15:26 PM »
Or where you being sarcastic because if so...well played

Offline fantomx11

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Re: Amazon eBooks
« Reply #20 on: Today at 07:31:52 PM »
At fantomx11,

That could actually be an advantage, being unburdened by the troupes of sword and sorcery your writing could be fresh and original.  The genre already has many writers that come to material as enthusiasts that have progressed to imitators as opposed to coming from personal inspiration.


That's a good point. I'd never thought of it that way and had always thought of it more like I'd be unable to avoid the most common pitfalls.

Or where you being sarcastic because if so...well played


Not at all. I am in the minority among gamers in that the only fantasy I'm familiar with is Tolkien, Pratchett, and a handful of Warcraft novels. I'm a little familiar with the tropes through playing a D&D campaign a few years ago, but other than that, I've never paid much attention to fantasy, being way more interested in sci-fi.

It might prompt me to flesh out my magitech space opera setting more by writing stories for it.