AKAQ’s First Anthology: Let’s discuss

First of all, this year is going to be a busy one. In this month alone I’m going through lots of personal changes and they are all very significant, life changing type changes. Writing-wise I have huge plans, both for my own endeavors and for this blog here. The most important is an anthology.

Right now? I would love to just hear input from any writer, any reader, or just anyone who frequents this blog.

When and if I get this going these conditions wont change:

1) Genre: Speculative fiction, crime, noir, horror and sci fi. Pretty much any pulp type material.

2) Cheap and nonprofitable: Depending on the amount of authors I’d like to keep the ebook under $3 and over 99 cents. All profit will go towards the AKAQ website, which includes upgrades, access to more images (Which this website lacks, except for book covers. We have tons of those thanks to Amazon.) and other website related costs.

3) Availability in Amazon. Others are up for debate.

Now, these are topics I would like to discuss:

1) Submission length. Maybe flash/poems in-between stories.

2) Help. I would like either someone who wants to help editing or perhaps some beta readers. I personally like using the writers to go through the whole book, but surprisingly I feel like I’m the only one that ever does it and I feel like I’m bothering the editor, even though I want the whole book, which has my story in it, to be as polished as possible.

3) Covers: I have some ideas already maybe using the image we currently have on our frontpage.

4) A physical book: I once sold pre-orders to my first book and found how successful it was. But after that found almost no sales through lulu.com After that I moved over to Amazon and found a way better and pleasant market. I would like to sale pre-orders through lulu.com again. It’s cheap, I can drop the price to $5 bucks and still make the donation worth it. After all the primary point is to get writer’s work out there and the website’s funds are, if anything, not important at all.

5) Do you want in? I want to include at least 20 authors, and I think I can easily get pieces from the usual bunch around here. I think I plan to send some invites first and then open it up to submissions. This way I could get some bigger names mixed with some new talent.

So discuss, I love a good online discussion. 🙂

-L. Vera

Christmas Freebies For Your Kindle Pt. 2

Christmas Freebies For Your Kindle

Duotrope To Charge In Janurary

Duotrope is going to become a paid website starting in Janurary. The will charge $5 a month or $50 for a whole year.

Personally, I understand how it is to run a website and it’s hard without money. They used to rely heavily in donations and I knew many authors who would fuel their donation fund. To my dismay, I have never gotten paid for any of my stories submitted through Duotrope. The competition was usually very large and many free sites were more willing to take pieces. Also there were many publications on there that made promises and never returned them (I never got paid for a piece that was submitted that should have earned me a little less than ten bucks). I would have easily given 50% of anything I made. Technically I did. 50% of zero is zero.

Now, the site is great. The stats are cool and in reality a subscription to the site for $50 is worth it. Especially since the market will now be less saturated. Hell, it’s only $10 more than subscribing to the Writer’s Market. And I’ve never gotten anything published through their list. Now through Duotrope, I’ve been published here and there and have made a tiny number of contacts – no money – but I’ve earned fans and readers.

So everyone’s complaining. Over 50 dollars. I’m probably one of the poorer writers but I actually think the price is warranted. And when I get my act together and start writing more, I’ll buy a subscription. Until then I’ll continue to use google, Dark Markets and other websites. Usually we post a couple here as well and maybe this will help drive more traffic to us. You know what? If you want to join the AKAQ team and help us find writing comp and submissions, I’ll be glad to take you in. Eitherway, I’d love to hear what you guys think.

-L. Vera

The Challenge with Free: KDP Select and Selling Books

– David Biddle

I recently ran a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) free day campaign for my novel, Beyond the Will of God. The kickoff was on a Friday, so it got listed here at A Knife and a Quill, in the WTFBF feature. I did some long legwork getting a number of indie websites to include my novel in their “free” listings. I also tweeted the crap out of my offering. And I bombed my FaceBook friends and Google+ buddies with information on these free days.

It all turned out better than I could have hoped for. My little novel was downloaded by over 10,000 ereaders in a three-day period of time. Before that, I’d made 62 e-book sales (at $2.99) and 13 paperback sales (at $15.99).

So, more than 10,000 people can now read my story. That’s incredible. I’m not letting myself think about the fact that I gave away over $30,000 worth of books. I know the value of having my book in the hands of 10,000 people. The idea of the KDP free days promo is to give your novel lift for a while on the Amazon lists and to make it likely that word-of-mouth about your book will pick up. According to Rex Jameson in his article “Preparing for Your KDP Select Free Days,” “It will take 2-5 days for paid sales to start rolling in after a free period.”

Well, we’ll see. I’ve been getting about 10 purchases a day for the past week – not huge, but consistent.

But I realized something pretty important by Sunday morning during my free run: people who download things for free are not the same as people who buy things for real money.

In the world of indie books this truism is especially poignant. I mean, my book has been priced at $2.99 for well over two months. It’s a 380-page novel selling for under $3.00. Until my free days, it had sold just 62 copies. A writer friend of mine was shocked when she heard I was going the low-end route with the Kindle Store. Indeed, she’s probably right. I very likely would have sold 60 or so copies of my book at $6.99. It’s still cheaper than an offering from a traditional publishing house. (Plus, most of those 62 sales I made were to family and friends).

But the true sticking point here is that Free is a lot different than even $0.99. It’s easier to morally hit return for a “buy;” there’s no risk; and you’re giving writers a pat on the back without having to pay one red cent.

Actually buying an indie book is a wholly different experience. There’s a lot of risk, even at $2.99. And while you’re patting an indie writer on the back, you’re also quite aware of the fact that sometimes indie writing is not as smooth and happy a read as a book published by a traditional house.

There’s a schism, then, in the marketplace. I doubt it’s really an either-or situation, but most definitely the majority of people who wanted my book for free also downloaded 5-10 other books. Many of these people may have massive libraries on their Kindles and iPads. It’s not easy to manage more than 30 books on a relatively small screen (a lot of people also read on their smart phones, which must make library management very difficult).

Without doubt, most people with ereaders and digital tablets have both free and paid books in their libraries. How you treat those books has to be different. It’s surprising, in fact, that there isn’t a sort command based on the cost of ones books. But the truth is that in most cases, a book you pay for is likely to get a lot more benefit of the doubt than something for free. It may well get more focus, too, as the reader starts it.

My problem then is that the 10,000 free versions of my book may sit unread for weeks or months. And when they are finally perused, my writing better be good, my story better be provocative, and my characters interesting or I lose that word-of-mouth I was investing in.

I actually know I’ve done a good job of drawing readers in with my story and characters – at least, some readers. But that’s all you can ever ask for with any piece of fiction. Some people are going to be interested and some won’t be. I have faith that a good portion of those 10,000 are going to be happy enough with my novel that they’ll let others know about it and that they’ll want to download my collections of short stories and read my blog. I also have faith that happy readers will take my suggestion they write me seriously.

But I also wrote this little essay on “The Problem with Free” for a reason. Without the KDP Select promo days, I might get a few sales a week for years before I had enough readers to make a career out of. In one weekend, I expanded my reach dramatically. So did several hundred other indie writers during that weekend in August. Readers downloading free books know that every once in a while they are going to bump into a writer or a tale that really touches them or that makes them laugh out loud. They know that they may be discovering the next EL James or Amanda Hocking.

And you can bet that when a reader finds someone like that, they’re going to let everyone know how smart they are and that there’s fresh meat out there … and that $2.99 is still a really good deal since Free is already used up.

David Biddle is the author of the novel Beyond the Will of God as well as several collections of short stories. He is also a contributing writer and columnist with TalkingWriting.com. Find him at The Formality of Occurrence

Buy Flashy Shorts Today

When I hear Flashy Shorts, I picture some bright colored shorts, perhaps something Bart Simpson wears. Nonetheless, here is a flashy set of shorts from Good Guy Publishing, coming out Today, with yours truly gracing the pages. The lineup is actually pretty nice, check it out:

Oatmeal Galaxy by K. M. Indovina
Metro Rider by Mark Gatto
Cup Football by Margaret Nesbitt
Duck-egg Blue by Natalie Glenister
The Secret Witch by Debbie Behan
No Criminal by L. Vera
The Flat by Graham Taylor
The Kansas Kindred Killers by Graham Smith

Amazon U.S.

Amazon U.K.

-L. Vera

99 Cent Chillers Thrillers and Killers

We Promote You For FREE So Use Us.

Guess what? Everything we do at AKAQ is FREE. We promote authors, artist, editors, bloggers and any writing websites. So here’s a handy list you should ask yourself.

Got a new book releasing?

If you got a new book coming out, throw us a press release or a guest post about it. We will post it. As long as it done professionally, not racist or sexist and follows our theme here at AKAQ. What? Don’t know what our theme is? It’s pretty much literature where someone dies. Personally, we touch Crime, Horror and Speculative Fiction and sometimes Sci-Fi. Either way, if someone dies . . . we want to help get it out.

Got a FREE book on Friday?

Using KDP Select? Ever Friday we have WTFBF (What The Free Book Friday). We will promote your free book. After all, who doesn’t want a free book. I’ve found some great artist and contacts by just promoting this project every week. I usually share this post with author’s Facebook pages and that on it’s own brings in a good amount of views.

Just make sure you send me a friend request here.

Got a book that will be 99 cents on Monday?

Something as before. But if you have book that’s 99 cents on a Monday. I post those as well. Eventually Kate will also have some U.K. books on Wednesdays. Stay tuned.

Bored?

We review books.

We interview anyone who wants an interview.

We like to bring notice to fun and exciting things.

Sometimes we need your help. So send us an email and a copy of your book. We can’t promise we will get to it, because we already have a huge backlist, but it can help. If you actually send us a physical copy, those go straight to the top of our list. So just shoot us an email.

We also interview authors, editors, hell I’ll interview a circus performer. If you got something interesting to share send me an email. I rarely say no. Saying yes is always a crazier ride.

Now for the email. Email anything to me L. Vera at Luis_Vera05@yahoo.com

-L. Vera

WTFBF – What The Free Book Friday

99 Cent Thrillers Chillers and Killers