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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

All you can read

If you have Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime, you can now borrow both A THRONE OF BONES and A MAGIC BROKEN at no charge. As it happens, at 854 pages, Amazon will pay more for a Prime or a Kindle Unlimited user reading ATOB than Castalia gets for actually selling a book there. However, this means that neither book is presently available in the Castalia store.

We do NOT plan to do this for most of our books, just to be clear.

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63 Comments:

Anonymous dh September 08, 2015 11:04 AM  

Did they change the way it pays to avoid short scammy/auto generated books?

Blogger VD September 08, 2015 11:13 AM  

Did they change the way it pays to avoid short scammy/auto generated books?

I believe so, yes. But it really short-changed the novellas, such as Tom's BBDC.

Anonymous Holmwood September 08, 2015 11:34 AM  

"But it really short-changed the novellas"

Did it? As a general rule, I've learned to be cautious about disagreeing with Vox. On this occasion, I'll dare. They shifted from an algorithm that generally gave authors X$ per read (beyond 10%) of your "book" which could be ridiculously short, like 10-20 pages.

The new algorithm reimburses authors according to normalized page counts (e.g. writing in 32 point font doesn't fool it).

Sure, the greatest beneficiaries relative to the old system are the giant novels like Vox's AToB, but nearly everyone with something serious to contribute benefits from a system that penalizes 10 page "books", at least in a relative sense. If novellas don't earn more than they did, they certainly earn more than where the system was headed.

Finally, here I may well be corrected by Vox: Can you not have multiple editions of a novel? e.g., AToB edition 1, AToB Collector's edition with improved maps, appendices and a forward from some suitable luminary. (The difference does have to be material but need not be gigantic). The former could be on KULL/Prime, the latter could remain in regular Kindle, and Castalia. I know that Baen was looking at something like this for its free library books. Where it went, I know not.

-Holmwood.
PS: There are always those of us who own non-Kiindle copies of AToB who may make a point of 'borrowing' it from Amazon when next we read...

Anonymous Donn #0114 September 08, 2015 11:39 AM  

How does Oyster pay for viewings of your books? Do you get anything like an 'Amazon' price?

Blogger VD September 08, 2015 11:39 AM  

Did it?

Yes, no question. It's very easy to see by the amount the monthly royalties dropped.

Can you not have multiple editions of a novel?

Sure, if we wanted to waste our time, which would be much better served producing a different novel. ATOB sold 21 copies in August. I don't think an alternate edition is needed. If I was depending on my books sales to pay the bills, I'd put A SEA OF SKULLS on further hold and write SJWS ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN.

SJWs sold more in 10 days than ATOB has in two years. And it took a hell of a lot less time to write.

Blogger VD September 08, 2015 11:40 AM  

How does Oyster pay for viewings of your books?

No idea, don't use them.

Blogger Unknown September 08, 2015 11:54 AM  

I already bought and read them both.

Blogger JWM September 08, 2015 11:57 AM  

I'll have to check this out. Got my Kindle last Sunday. Just finished One Bright Star to Guide Them, and SJW's Always Lie last night. Both were excellent reads. Mostly I'm slow on the uptake with devices- no smart phone, no cable, NO TV AT ALL. But this is cool. I have a Bookstore in my pocket.

JWM

Blogger Daniel September 08, 2015 12:19 PM  

Please don't postpone Sea of SJWs.

I mean skulls.

Anonymous Dave September 08, 2015 12:25 PM  

Good for you JWM no doubt you'll keep asking yourself why you didn't do it sooner. In case you're not aware buying a Kindle doesn't typically give you Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime. Amazon has offered 30 day trials before for Prime not sure on Kindle Unlimited.

Anonymous Donn #0114 September 08, 2015 12:26 PM  

VD @6 A Throne of Bones is listed on Oyster free to read for a paid subscription. It lists CH as it's publisher.

Anonymous Dave September 08, 2015 12:27 PM  

Sea of SJW Skulls

Anonymous Dave September 08, 2015 12:32 PM  

Oh parodeeeeeee

Anonymous Donn #0114 September 08, 2015 12:33 PM  

Oyster has four of your books three are free for premium subscribers and TIA costs like $17 for an e copy. Ironically that's the only book I haven't bought yet and it costs several times what it does through your site.

Blogger VD September 08, 2015 12:36 PM  

I think Oyster might have a few of them through Smashwords.

Blogger JACIII September 08, 2015 12:38 PM  

Dammit, license the Quantum Mortis universe if you're going to go all GRRM on it.

Anonymous dh September 08, 2015 1:01 PM  

SJWs sold more in 10 days than ATOB has in two years. And it took a hell of a lot less time to write.

I was afraid you'd say that. It's just a truism these days that polemic, regardless of quality, will sell so much better than almost anything else.

I really wonder somedays if I'd just be better off going into right-wing welfare mode. If you pay enough attention to the right-wing polemic set, you can pickup the themes that sell well and do well.

It's so low accountability. You don't even have to end up being somewhat right. You can just be wrong and wrong and wrong and keep selling books of marginal usefulness to the same people.

Blogger James Dixon September 08, 2015 1:09 PM  

> It's just a truism these days that polemic, regardless of quality, will sell so much better than almost anything else.

These days? As far as I can tell that's always been true.

Blogger Eric September 08, 2015 1:13 PM  

So I got Prime but no kindle so I will be buying it myself.

Question though VD - to you have a book order in which to read This and other related books? Does it matter one way or the other?

Anonymous Dave September 08, 2015 1:26 PM  

@Eric - kindle for pc/laptop and kindle phone app are free downloads. What else do you use Prime for? I had Prime before but found I didn't get that much out of it.

Blogger Eric September 08, 2015 1:30 PM  

@Dave - I use the Kindle apps on my tablet and my phone but you have to have a kindle device, actual hardware, to use the book rental.

As to the rest - I use the free 2-day shipping and occasionally an instant video.

Blogger Eric September 08, 2015 1:31 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Tom September 08, 2015 1:32 PM  

VD,

How many words was "A Throne of Bones"?

And a second question, before you have an editor, what is the best way to get feedback on your writing?

I used to do the Friday Challenge, but since ~brb shut it down, I haven't been able to find anything like it.

I'm currently trying to use the "Ask acquaintces to read and give you feedback." I've got a bunch of people who have said they'd read it (including Nate and Viidad), but I don't know if this sort of system will actually work...

I wish I could find an Inklings kind of group to read and share with. You know, a group with two of the greatest Fantasy authors of all time in it, plus Charles Williams who is way underrated to this day. Yeah, that would be nice...

Blogger James Dixon September 08, 2015 1:42 PM  

> All you can read.

Heh.

All, all you can read
Comes through shinin silver lining
Clouds, clouds change the scene
Rain starts washing all these cautions
Right into your life, makes you realize
Just what is true, what else can you do
You just follow the rule
Keep your eyes on the road that's ahead of you

Seems appropriate somehow.

> What else do you use Prime for?

Free two day shipping on all Amazon orders.

> I wish I could find an Inklings kind of group to read and share with.

Isn't that what Sarah Hoyt's Mad Genius Club is trying to be?

Anonymous Ten41 September 08, 2015 1:43 PM  

VD
...If I was depending on my books sales to pay the bills, I'd put A SEA OF SKULLS on further hold and write SJWS ALWAYS DOUBLE DOWN.


I am glad that you don't depend on book sales.

Blogger James Dixon September 08, 2015 1:46 PM  

> I am glad that you don't depend on book sales.

So are the SJW's.

Anonymous Dave September 08, 2015 1:50 PM  

@Eric - that's right I forgot you have to have a Kindle device for ebook rentals. I've lent Kindle books to others but that's only if you already own them. Now I've got Kobo and Calibre everything so Amazon will have to give me more from prime to get me back.

Blogger Gaisereiks Gaisericus September 08, 2015 2:20 PM  

How many words was "A Throne of Bones"?

In case he doesn't get around to answering it, you can probably estimate close enough by using the standard 250 words per page yardstick.

Anonymous Dave September 08, 2015 2:24 PM  

"If you pay enough attention to the right-wing polemic set, you can pickup the themes that sell well and do well."

Sounds so easy why anybody could have spit out SJWAL anytime they had a few spare hours. Hell Vox could've written it 10 years ago and forgone all the personal attacks and character assassinations the last decade.

It was the timing of SJWAL that couldn't have been better. One year anniversary of GG & the culmination of Hugo SP & RP; the stars were in alignment. Vox captured it perfectly

Blogger Brad Andrews September 08, 2015 2:27 PM  

The free shipping is the most valuable benefit from Prime for me. Everything else is just gravy.

Blogger James Dixon September 08, 2015 2:35 PM  

> The free shipping is the most valuable benefit from Prime for me. Everything else is just gravy.

It was a pretty good deal at $80. At $100, not so much so.

Anonymous Dave September 08, 2015 2:47 PM  

Free 2 day shipping for $99/year. I don't order enough from Amazon and when I do often the std shipping is free and usually 2-5 days to my door.

All you can read sounds better than it is. A lot of stuff isn't in prime unless you're looking for NYT bestsellers

Blogger automatthew September 08, 2015 2:49 PM  

How many words was A Throne of Bones?

Looks like about 299K.

Answer per Sigil > Tools > Reports...

Anonymous Donn #0114 September 08, 2015 2:57 PM  

I guess I don't understand how smashwords works. I thought they could only loan or sell with the author's permission. Would you consider using Oyster in the future? Although they are good introductions to your work as it is. If I had not bought the books already I would have checked out the CH website to see what else was offered if I had not.

Blogger TheOldCrusader September 08, 2015 2:59 PM  

VD:
So, will ATOB ever come back to the Castalia Store, or is it too soon to say?
Thus far I have only bought direct from Castalia because my little reader is a non-kindle non-nook non-proprietary box.

Anonymous Donn #0114 September 08, 2015 2:59 PM  

300,000? Anyone else remember when a two hundred page book was a viable size? How did door stoppers become the industry norm?

Anonymous VD September 08, 2015 3:04 PM  

How many words was "A Throne of Bones"?

297,500.

And a second question, before you have an editor, what is the best way to get feedback on your writing?

Trusted alpha readers. Don't bug other writers. They don't have time.

Blogger Salt September 08, 2015 3:12 PM  

Oyster is an upcoming Netflix for books. What I've found so far is that Oyster has agreements with various indie publishers such as Smashwords, Lulu, etc. It pays 60% of retail to the author upon 10% or greater reading of the book. Not sure of that also applys with Amazon. Oyster works with iStore, B&N, Kobo, and also some major publishers.

The indie market is really shaking things up.

Blogger Floyd Looney September 08, 2015 3:29 PM  

As long as they read it all the way through.

Anonymous Aethelred September 08, 2015 3:36 PM  

@23
I would not mind participating in a Rabid-themed aspiring writer forum, even if there were only two or three of us (I'm sure there are more). The closest thing I can think of is Baen and that place is weird.

Vox, do you think you could have someone set up some web space here or on Castalia for that? Ideally a *chan. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to get a minion to moderate it.

Blogger RobertT September 08, 2015 3:51 PM  

SJWs sold more in 10 days than ATOB has in two years. And it took a hell of a lot less time to write.

In business books, which I devour, I personally look for short books because in many long reads, it's just filler. Some of the best business books I've read are written by nobodies. Once someone is famous, they feel the need to prove it by regurgitating everything they can remember. Go for No by Richard Fenton is one of the best books I've ever read and one of the shortest at 80 pages. But I notice it's risen dramatically in price so the word is getting around.

Blogger RobertT September 08, 2015 3:53 PM  

Believe me, 30 pages would have done that book justice. Still a good read.

Blogger Jim September 08, 2015 4:12 PM  

Up at Ace's. Here's exhibit ABYZZZ in how SJWism rots artistic standards in the name of diversity, and how fun it is to watch them get bitten in the ass by it.

Anonymous Tom September 08, 2015 4:18 PM  

@37

VD, thanks.

I understand about not asking other authors.

I've just got to be patient and hope my book is good enough that it will hook the folks I've given it to. If it isn't, then I just need to make it better.

Anonymous Tom September 08, 2015 4:21 PM  

@40 Aethelred

We don't really need Vox to set it up for us. We could just create something and mention it here.

I've never had a forum on my website, maybe I'll try to set one up later. Do you think that might be something you'd be interested in?

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier September 08, 2015 4:25 PM  

How many people would be interested in a Rabid Puppy type of fiction aspiring writer group? I could set it up as a members only Wordpress site. We could post chapters or pieces and have each other critique them, or at least give feedback.

If there are a couple of people interested, I'll set one up off of my own site.

Anonymous Aethelred September 08, 2015 4:36 PM  

@46 I want in. Especially if there are at least ten or so members. How do you plan on stirring up interest? Of course a blog post by VD would send us plenty, but he'd probably want to wait until we had something of merit before making the effort. JCW probably wouldn't mind giving us a mention.

Blogger ScuzzaMan September 08, 2015 4:42 PM  

@46: I'd be in to that.

Blogger maniacprovost September 08, 2015 5:07 PM  

@46: I would participate.

Blogger Chris Scena September 08, 2015 5:36 PM  

@44

Tom, you might look into joining a critique group in your area. Mine has done wonders for my writing, and the support of other people in the same boat as you is often quite helpful.

Blogger Torial (#170) September 08, 2015 5:48 PM  

@46 : I would as well.

Anonymous Cash September 08, 2015 6:43 PM  

@46 I would do it. I have already written a book before.

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier September 08, 2015 6:44 PM  

@50

Chris, I totally agree on the critique group helping. That's what The Friday Challenge used to be, except they had writing contests as the main way of sharing.

I will set up a Wordpress site off of my little used personal domain and post the address back here for those interested.

Anonymous puppyologist September 08, 2015 8:03 PM  

Off topic of the post, but not of the blog:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/09/08/a-white-guy-named-michael-couldnt-get-his-poem-published-then-he-became-yi-fen-chou/

SJW mayhem in the World of Poetry. This cancer is cancerous!

Incredibly astute commentators (and idiots) in the thread over there.

This is exactly analogous to SP/RP and GG. Amazing! I'm laughing in my 24 oz Natty Ice can right now.

Blogger Floyd Looney September 08, 2015 8:22 PM  

@46 sounds cool

Anonymous BGS September 08, 2015 9:32 PM  

SJWs sold more in 10 days than ATOB has in two years. And it took a hell of a lot less time to write.

That is a much needed book for many people, as is your survivor guide, some of those may have been gifts. I have sent links to your free survival guide to people being attacked & mentioned it was part of your book.

OT: I think the FEDS raiding RENTBOY might have been to get a sympathetic victim to push for legalized prostitution. One of those planned failures like when the EPA loses cases on purpose. I hope the people marching in protest where the Johns because I wouldn't screw them for free.
https://reason.com/blog/2015/09/03/rentboy-brooklyn-protest-rally-sexwork

Anonymous T September 09, 2015 12:23 AM  

SJWs sold more in 10 days than ATOB has in two years. And it took a hell of a lot less time to write.

Sad in many ways, isn't it?

Such a statement compels me to encourage Vox to continue writing the Selenoth series. You have an approach and vision I haven't seen before, and I can't thank you enough for continuing to chase that vision despite the disincentives. I've read ATOB twice, and it was better the second time. Can't wait for the sequel.

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier September 09, 2015 6:21 AM  

@47, @48, @49, @51, @52

I've made a simple Wordpress site at:

thefoamfactory.davidsmeier.com

Come on over and post a comment if you want to create a writing site to share and critique each other's work. I think we'll probably want to keep most of it private, or members only. However, we could discuss details, including the name, in the first thread.

Blogger Thomas Davidsmeier September 09, 2015 6:27 AM  

@57

I agree about Vox's different vision of how a fantasy world might work. I've loved his Selenoth stuff, not withstanding my greater love of his Quantum Mortis stuff. I loved his Selenoth stuff since Summa Elvetica first came out. For awhile, the top hit when you Googled my name was my review on Amazon for Summa Elvetica, that was a little scary.

We need clones!
Or time machines.
Or both...

Anonymous Toby Temple September 09, 2015 8:21 AM  

Bought ATOB in kindle at last. Will be buying SJW Always Lie also.

Anonymous Aethelred September 09, 2015 2:10 PM  

@58
I like Foam Factory. It's ironic, as we're seeking to create handcrafted works of great substance, and it's completely accurate, in terms of foam coming with rising water and factors being those who do or make.

Blogger Lord Ben September 09, 2015 6:21 PM  

I just picked this up today, glad to see it on Unlimited.

Blogger Lord Ben September 09, 2015 6:26 PM  

I picked it up because I was sick of Authors spouting off on Social Media telling me how much they hate me and everything I believe in strongly, so hopefully I'll like it! :)

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