NaNoWriMo Talk 2020

You pay if the customer actually clicks on the advertisement and more if he actually buys the book. If for some reason your advertisement is never displayed or nobody clicks on it, it costs nothing.

I found that sounded fair. But you didn’t mention the prices :smiley:

It’s very picky, and it racks up very quickly (if anyone clicks on one of my ads for my latest book, Queen of the A.I.s , it costs me $1.90. I get $1.97 total for every book I sell, so that means if I have a perfect 1-to-1 sale-per-ad-click, I make $0.07 per book

Because that sounds terrible.


It gets worse. You can set your per-click ad price (so I set it at $1.90 per click), but then it asks if you want “dynamic bidding”… so, basically, every time there is an ad opportunity, Amazon will look at all the potential ads that will fill that slot, and then start adjusting upwards. “We have a $1.90 ad opening. Oh, there are 76,789 ads that will pay that much. Okay, what about $1.91? 65,231. What about $1.92? 57,891…”) and so on, and so forth, so your ads can actually cost significantly more than you put them at. You are allowed to set a daily limit total, so theoretically your spending should spiral out of your control (too much), but you will certainly get less mileage out of your ad dollars than you expect.

Of course, you can turn off ‘dynamic ads’, but then your ad only appears when there is nobody capable/willing to bid higher. So if I have a fixed $1.90 ad, and somebody has a dynamic ad at $1.50 that allows them enough leeway in their dynamic adjustment, it will show the $1.50 ad (and charge them $1.91). And so on, and so forth.

PLUS, and this is pretty critical, your ads aren’t just in competition with other self-pubs. The big boys, the Big Four, also run ads in the exact same way, and their budgets are functionally infinite. So you’re fishing in their pond, fighting over the scraps that fall over the sides.

And, I feel obliged to point out: my $1.90-per-click ads have still had zero impact. No clicks. I’m going to give it another week, and then I’ll have to increase the daily budget and per-click amount, because otherwise nothing will change.


there is a lot of crap that gets published (unedited, or barely, semi-coherent ramblings). There are thousands of books published every week (if not day!), and it is very, very hard to keep your head above the tide.

Almost any time I try to find a book there, it swamps me with tons of dubious, overpriced reprints of public domain works, and hideous patchwork things scraped from Wikipedia. It’s truly awful.

Amazon has an almost monopoly on ebooks as it stands and I think that’s neither “fair” (business rarely is) or great.

Yeah, agree completely. I try to buy elsewhere when I can, either direct from the author/publisher or Smashwords, or Kobo if those fail. But obviously that’s a lot more (unpaid) work for authors to put in.

I’ve broken the 10k word barrier for my story, which is delightful. It’s the longest fiction I’ve written in years. For some reason 20k+ for gaming materials is never a problem though!


Hey, that’s fantastic!
(Uh oh, the forum is asking me to contribute less to this thread… apparently I post too much. I actually agree with that… still, a little sad to see. Anyway!)

Honestly, I find the first 10k the hardest, and then the last 10k. Usually the middle 50-60k is really easy. Or, as a friend once said: Sometimes writing is really hard, like forcing your arm through a meat grinder. Sometimes it’s much easier, like forcing somebody else’s arm through a meat grinder.


Lol… no you don’t :slight_smile:

Wonderful :slight_smile: How long did you plan on it getting?
I find writing shorter works just as difficult as finishing longer ones… I am not as bad as Sanderson (my writing idol) but my ideas tend towards the “saving the world” kind of stuff and I just love world-building and once I do that everything blows up.

So yeah, December just like usual ate up my time like nothing else. And our coffee machine broke down on top of everything. So I have written about 1000 words for mine–currently still titled “The Secret War” (terrible because it doesn’t quite capture the ideas and also because I haven’t even checked if a work by that name exists)–since NaNo ended. But I have hopes that from here on out it gets better. The Xmas prep errands are have dwindled down to less than a handful and I think that this week I should get in some quality writing time.

One thing I learned from this NaNo is that despite all my wanting to do work in the mornings, I mostly write in the afternoons.

Question: do any of you like writing flash fiction? (less than 500/1k words) ?


Thanks for the detailed explanation. It gets worse and worse indeed!

That’s terrible exploitation! And not much you can do about it :frowning:


Don’t listen to that nosy meddling robot! The humans who are reading the thread very much appreciate your input/conversation!

I feel that. I think I write fiction with an extremely cynical eye, while I write rules with effortless ebullience.


Huh. Maybe I’m alone, but I’ve always felt the opposite; the beginning is easy, then it gets harder till around chapter 10 I just stop. Then I have to force myself to write something bad just to get through it, until I get to the end where I’m interested again. I also will usually write the last chapter first, so I know what it’s about. For reference, I’ve started 5 novels and completed 0, so that’s how that goes.

Question: do any of you like writing flash fiction? (less than 500/1k words

I submit something to the Australian Writers Center’s Furious Fiction contest each month. Got longlisted once! I enjoy that, but it’s hard for me to for the 500 word limit. I use a lot of words! (In case you didn’t notice :sweat_smile:)


Not I. I really struggle with low word counts… why use 100 words when 1,000 will suffice? It is really hard for me to write anything shorter than 20-30k words, and my usual comfort level is 50-60k. I usually write 100k (well, 80-90) and then cut down.

I spent a lot of 2018 writing short fiction for various sci-fi magazines (Asimov, F&SF, Clarkesworld, etc…). Raked in just over 100 rejections that year (including about 16 for novel submissions to publishers and agents). I haven’t managed to get anywhere near that many since then because I’ve had to work full-time since October of that year (I quit my previous awful, awful job in January 2018). I was quite proud of several of those stories (I still am), but there are extremely difficult for me and not nearly as satisfying.

I think I mentioned above, but I usually have a start in mind, a climax (although not always the way the protags will overcome that big crisis), and the characters, and then I let my characters kind of lead the story, if you will, usually fumbling around until I get a good idea of their tone, their place in their universe. After that, I almost always go back and cut the first three chapters I wrote (about 12k words, on average), and see if the story flows as well from there. After that, I usually go back in seed in whatever solution to the crisis I come up with so that it’s never a deus ex machina (which I despise), and then I try to clean up the story and writing.

End result is usually around 60-70k when all is said and done.


I honestly have no idea… I had the idea and just started writing. I’ll see where it goes. I suppose that’s fitting, since so many light novels start as web fiction without necessarily an endpoint in mind.

It can be fun! Although I’ve not written much, and not for a while, and I’m not sure I’ve written any in English. Hmm.

The best way to write! I think for me, it’s easier to envision a vignette or independent flashes of a character than thinking of plots. The folks here who already know the end of their stories are a wonder to me.


Today I start my next novel!.. after I finish my first-ever backup of my laptop.

Theoretically, at least. I’ve tried to start “Time Machine” four times, and so far it hasn’t worked. Nice, new, 14TB hard drive right here (for the record, I think that if you added together all the data space I’ve had on all my computers throughout my entire life, including a half-dozen gaming rigs and, heck, probably every Xbox, PS, and Nintendo system in the last twenty years, this little black box to my right has more space than all of those combined… probably twice as much), and it’s still completely empty because the backup just doesn’t want to work. Argh.

ANYWAY. I’m hoping that it’s a “computer goes to sleep midway through the backup” problem, which I don’t know if it’s a thing or not, but I’m hoping that if I sit here and actually do writing for the next 6 hours or so that it will actually successfully backup at least once.

As for the novel I’m going to start… sci-fi, definitely. Female protag, always. I was toying around with a quest-structure story, where the protag has a ring that allows her to open absolutely any lock in the universe, but is told by her mother (before her mother passes) that there is one lock that will only open to the ring and if she wastes all its charges (or energy or whatever) before she gets to that one specific lock the universe is doomed. So she becomes the greatest lockpicker in history, to make sure that she can open any lock ever, such that she will know when she gets to that one, unopenable lock.

I’m not married to it (the original thought was a wandering starship of misfits accepts her onto their ship for adventures, but again, it’s not quite fleshed out enough yet), but I’ve written a few space operas and a military sci-fi, so I think a good ol’ fashioned quest might be due.


So today I get to actually start writing the novel. Finished with the outline, except for one teeny, tiny little thing. I have two protagonists (Mina Hattori and Cici DiSenza), and two antagonists (Justin Manesfield, commander of the mercenary company “The Soaring Lions”, and Diane Ghali, captain of the ship “Wind’s Howling Rage”).

The problem I have is I can’t come up with a compelling reason for Cici to join Mina’s quest. Mina wants her ship back, Cici wants to prove to the father of her “boyfriend” (a worthless son of a fabulously wealthy merchant) that she’s a worthy addition to the family… but I can’t quite figure out how that thread ties together. Is there something incredibly valuable on Wind’s Howling Rage? That might do it…

Anyway! The quest structure is looking like “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets “The Witcher” in space at this point… we’ll see how it works out.

Anyone else planning some writing for the next few months?

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My plan is finishing the nanowrimo draft/novel this month as December proved to be far too busy to get anything done.

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For a merchant family, contacts and relationships are potentially more valuable than a treasure (and there might be legal issues to consider about acquiring treasure, especially for a major merchant family). Perhaps helping Mina would get them in someone’s good books, or even just get them acquainted? Or perhaps the valuable thing on the Wind IS someone who they’d love to have a good relationship with?

I’m still working on Sam the Previously Lizard - painfully slowly. Sam is currently concluding that humans come in a range of elemental affinities, like mephits (paramedics and Morrisons employees are plant-type humans, Virgin staff are fire-type, security are mostly water-type).


Yep. The last of my Christmas visitors went home on Sunday, and on Thursday I will start blocking out three hours per day of five days per week for writing.


I’ve really got to finish my Nanowrimo novel. I’ve been totally slack so far. A couple of friends have expressed interest in reading it, so I need to get it finished before they lose interest.


The thoughtful and wise @Agemegos created a new thread where we can continue discussing our writing goals for the year:

I certainly intend to post frequently (I’ll be honest, if the rest of these forums are any indication, probably too frequently, but that’s just the way I am wired), and heartily recommend anyone else looking to discuss the fine art of stringing one word after another head over there.

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Never did get the conclusion of this; I did finish my thing!

It’s the first time I’ve ever finished a thing in 15 years of starting things!

Having started on November 18, and finishing around January 18, that comes to exactly one metric month :wink: Came to about 32k words overall. Could have finished faster, but Christmas :thinking:

Now the real question; what do I do with the thing? :sweat_smile:


You share it!

That can be the hardest step of all though.


That’s great! Well done you!