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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: KKR on walking away from negotiations
« Last post by Lynn on Today at 05:10:28 PM »
Okay, this is none of my business but.

Here are some completely hypothetical numbers.

To earn 250,000 revenue in a year, a person selling books at 5.99 who has 200 books (suppose they have 200 between the both of them, all priced in the 5.99 range), only has to sell 27 of each of those books a month, at a 65% royalty average.

250,000 / (5.99 x .65) = 64,209.5801
64,210 / 12 = 5,350.8333
5,351 / 200 = 26.755
27 / 5 = 5.4

If someone has 200 books, and those books have audio, paperbacks, and other editions, which these numbers are totally ignoring, and those books are on 5 to 10 distributor websites, that is not a lot of books to sell per title (5.4) per month. If some of those books are still with traditional publishers and being sold in who knows how many bookstores, those are sales that are not even in this hypothetical scenario at all.

Say only half the books sell and the other half do zero sales. That still only pushes the remaining books up to a needed 54 sales per title a month or 10.8 per distributor per title--and that's with half the backlist selling zlich. A complete zero.

The rank on a book selling about 5 - 10 copies a month is not going to be great.

So I just don't see how looking at a few ranks can discount their claims of good income from their books.

To say they aren't selling is to be kind of blind to the fact that selling at higher prices means you have to sell a whole lot fewer books, while ranks will naturally be in the higher digits because you're selling fewer books but making more per sale.

I don't know them, and I don't care if they're making what they say they're making. I read a lot of their posts, and I decide on a case by case basis what I want to think about and what I want to ignore. But I do think a lot of the time, people claiming the numbers they cite (which are vague and in the range of "doing really well" so they could be saying 200k or more or less, who knows?) aren't real haven't sat down and actually done the math to see if it's possible. They're basing it on gut reactions.

I don't doubt that they could be making really decent money (more than decent) with the number of books they seem to have. I don't know (and I don't really care) but I don't think it's anywhere near impossible or even improbable.
Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: KKR on walking away from negotiations
« Last post by Vidya on Today at 03:33:46 PM »
“Back around to why she says don't sign a morality clause... because it's part of the show, the style, the pretense.”

but why engage in show and style? Why not give the correct advice instead of misleading people?

Btw I did check her book ranks on Amazon long ago. Others did too because she said in a post once that people point to her books’ low ranks and she replies which ones, she has so many. And I think she implied you can’t judge by Zon ranks since her books are wide.

We know some people do claim to make more on other channels but that is rare.

Apart from that, I tried reading some of her books. The writing was competent but the stories themselves didn't interest me. But then I don't read sci fi and though I do read YA, which is why I tried some of her YA stories, I’m selective about that too. I figured her stories would be interesting to some.

I HAVE wondered whether she and Dean really have the hundreds of novels they claim to have. Anyone with that big a backlist should be making a killing on ZON if the rights have reverted and they could just put up a ton of novels. Provided of course that the novels prove popular. Ay, there’s the rub. Not everyone who gives advice, good or bad, is actually capable of consistently writing what appeals to a significant portion  of the public.
For example, I've never seen a book contract that didn't include the author guaranteeing they hadn't plagiarized the book.

That's a morals clause and KKR knows it but then still says don't sign a contract with a morals clause.

Every trad contract you'll ever see has it and no, they will never remove it.

cuberoute, that’s a good point. So why do you think KKR still says don't sign a contract with a morals clause? Surely, with her familiarity with contracts, she would know every trad contract has it and will never remove it.

That kinda sounds like a deliberate mislead. But why would she deliberately mislead, especially when she knows many who read her blog are trad pubbed authors who know these things and can call her on it?

She moderates comments out from people who argue with her so you won't see it. Additionally, she likes to make these grand statements and people nod and agree although they don't entirely understand what she is talking about.

It's part of the whole "vague then specific" thing that she and her husband put on.

The plagiarism clause for example - if that's not a morals clause then what is it? It's not financial or administrative. It's about negative behavior.

When I read her blog I often get the feeling of her fast-talking and hand-waving. She did an extended series on licensing, which I know quite a bit about and it was great, mostly. Full of useful stuff. But when it comes down to real contracts and real licensing, it wasn't so great.

Don't sign a morals clause... guess what, every contract with every business that slightly has its sh*t together has morals clauses. They have vague ones, they have specific ones, they have ones about facebook posts, they have all kinds.

Signing a vague "don't do anything to cause disrepute" clause is stupid. You want clarity. But a clear clause will still include lines like that.

I find KKR alternatively great and frustratingly wrong. I've quite literally seen authors destroy deals because they have zero contract understanding and they've read a blog from someone giving them bad advice. One was an author and illustrator who decided they wanted 12% royalties each, for a total of 24%. It was some average picture book. They refused to budge, the publisher wouldn't go higher than 12% together and because of bad advice, they lost the deal. They never published a thing with anyone in the end.

The good advice she gives is to pretend each clause will be used against you. Then you can really clarify what they mean.

Back around to why she says don't sign a morality clause... because it's part of the show, the style, the pretense.

I wish people would check her book ranks on Amazon. She's giving advice while her ranks are between 600K to a million or more. Some of it is okay but plenty of it isn't.

While someone with poor ranks can give good contract advice, it's not so good when poor ranks also give poor contract advice.
Today's featured new release at the Speculative Fiction Showcase is Ever the Hero, a superhero novel by Darby Harn.

Do you want your science fiction, fantasy or horror book featured at the Speculative Fiction Showcase or would you like to be interviewed or submit a guest post? We look forward to receiving your submissions.
I've been using Kindle Create, almost on a daily basis, since January 2017 when it was first released. I really love using Kindle Create because it's so simple to use. But, from the KDP Community Forum, I noted that alot of indie authors actually hated or detested Kindle Create. This includes authors who regularly upload Word docs and epubs to Kindle. It was almost like they felt really threatened by Kindle Create -- how weird is that?  I was very surprised at those comments and it became very evident to me that those who objected to KC really didn't really know its usage or purpose. Many indie authors were completely unaware that Kindle Create is just a finishing-off tool -- it's not a full converter and should never be thought of as such. It's just a simple tool that allows you to vastly improve the interior styling of your ebook. It also hugely simplifies the paperback creation process -- in fact there's no simpler, quicker or better problem-free way to upload your print book to Amazon than using KC. And alot of people who have problems with Kindle Create are also completely unaware that you must always properly prepare your Word doc for Kindle Create in exactly the same way you would format your Word doc for direct upload to Amazon Kindle. But don't get me wrong, like any conversion app, Kindle Create certainly does have its own downsides but all-in-all I think that KC is an absolute godsend for those tech-challenged indie authors who have no capability and no wish to learn how to create epubs because if you create an ebook with Kindle Create then your ebook will at least be on a par with its epub equivalent. And, just to be clear on where I sit, IMHO using epub format for your ebooks -- and manually taking charge of the html therein -- is still the best way to format your ebook because it gives you so much more extra and deeper control over the formatting and styling of your ebook. And perhaps with the exception of Jutoh, no other ebook converter(paid or otherwise) comes close.
I downloaded and wasn't impressed. D2D's is better, though you have to use styles in Word just so not to get false chapter breaks. Once you learn that trick, though, it's a pretty useful tool. Still, readers will read books without any formatting, and some people have a hard time with dropped caps, so I avoid those at all costs.
Pretty much everything Gessert Books said.

I also want to add, I use InDesign, but I also use my own style sheet and that strips out all of the default tags. When I crack open one of my books (or a hand-coded book), I don't have to touch any HTML to make changes, just adjustments to the CSS. When I crack open a Vellum file, I can't just make a change to the CSS and expect it to follow into the HTML.

That's not to say Vellum isn't a good product. It can be. However, it has a lot of limitations and the customization is not nearly as strong as it appears at first glance. People love Vellum for it's ease, and it has it in spades. However, it is not without its problems.

I haven't looked closely at Kindle Create or even D2D, but I imagine that they all come with their own sets of problems. Just because we can't immediately see the problems doesn't mean they don't exist. Drop caps and how they appear in different devices is a great example of a problem. Device specific styles need to be applied, but I don't think Vellum does them (or didn't the last time I cracked a Vellum book open) and I doubt D2D or Kindle Create does either. And that's a problem, because there are a lot of different devices a mobi can be read on and all of them will look different or just plain bad if adjustments aren't made.

Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: The mind of a writer ...
« Last post by idontknowyet on Today at 05:20:22 AM »
My creativity gets better the farther I get from something to record my ideas. Sad fact!  :HB

In other words, I can see a purist wanting to avoid unnecessary code, but if it doesn't detrimentally affect the reader experience, I don't care.

I can say a little bit about this; not meant to dissuade anyone from using the software, but just to provide info that I hope will be useful to someone finding the thread. Also not all of this necessarily applies to Vellum, just a note on code bloat in ebooks.

Code bloat in ebook makes the book very difficult to revise without going back to the original software. The view into the code becomes so esoteric and confusing that it's really easy to make a mistake or introduce new errors. Most folks don't mind just going back into e.g. Vellum to make changes to avoid this, but if you no longer have access to the software, or want to accomplish something the software can't do, you'll run into this issue. Pushes the finished ebook closer to PDF in terms of workflow--(almost) a static production file only.

Code bloat also tends to not be very semantic--lots of divs and spans, paragraphs with classes that redefine them as something else that already exists as a semantic tag of its own. This is bad because it then doesn't properly expose the document structure to the reading device. That in turn is bad because device fallbacks or  reader overrides for those elements can't kick in, and also folks using screen readers can have a bad experience. Basically,

Code: [Select]
<p class="chapter-heading"><span class="bold-text">Chapter One</span></p>
<div class="framed blockquote"><span class="italics">My pithy quote. --Self</span></div>
<p>Once upon a time...</p>

...just turns into...

Chapter One
My pithy quote. --Self
Once upon a time...

...if your stylesheet is thrown out for any reason. And those three elements are just considered by the reading system to be three paragraphs, identical in purpose, with nothing structural distinguishing them.

Also, devices based on ADE (which is most non-kindle devices) do best with ebooks that are as lean as possible. That's because if ADE encounters a single rule it doesn't like, or a single mistake in code syntax, it can throw out the entire stylesheet. That's not to say you can't have a massively bloated file that still does great under ADE, but if you've got hundreds or thousands of lines of code, you're a lot more likely to snag on something ADE is picky about.

None of this is intended as a dig at any particular software. For what it's worth, I don't think it is possible to create easy-to-use, WYSIWYG ebook software without code bloat. There are just too many arbitrary things folks will want to do, and devs of software like that usually want to allow some concessions for folks that think visually (this is a heading so im going to make it a little bigger and bold it) not structurally (this is a heading so im going to tag it as h2). But those are a couple tangible reasons code bloat can be bad.
Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: KKR on walking away from negotiations
« Last post by CoraBuhlert on January 27, 2020, 11:30:17 AM »
The contract where the nasty clause was snuck in again wasn't a publishing contract, but a partnership contract for a really dodgy company. I only did translations (I translate legal documents among other things, that's why I see a lot of contracts and also have to read the whole thing, even if nobody else does) for them, because a close relative was involved in the company. I warned him about the company and at least saved him from worse by getting rid of that nasty clause (which was never going to be invoked, of course).

So the lesson is: Be careful. Even if you think the people involved are your friends.
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