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Dead Authors

apeacefulplacetx

I know my son's friend, Joesephus, death is pretty well known. He continues to answer emails (now down to 3-5 a week) but most of those know he's dead. I wonder how many of the unfinished stories are for the same reason. I don't like to read an unfinished story when there is no hope it might be completed.

Do you know of other Authors who were active but have passed on?

Replies:   limab
Argon

Most writers post under a pen name and have an extra email account for feedback. Their families may or may not know about the writing hobby, and if they do, they may not have the access codes to the author account or the email account. Therefore, if somebody becomes an ex-writer, chances are nobody here will ever know.
My advice: look at the last posted chapter. If it's older than 2 years, the chances of a next chapter are pretty close to nil, no matter if the author is pushing up the daisies, found other priorities or started to offer his writings elsewhere.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
docholladay

Well I will continue to take the easy way and enjoy the stories writers have shared. Some that I enjoy have passed, but I still have their story pages bookmarked since I will read them again.

As for the writers I know of on SOL. They are "GoldenMage", "CelticCowboy" and "Volentrin. I know there are more but I am not sure who they are and without actual knowledge I can not add their names.

Although like I stated above, I will continue to enjoy their stories in the future.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

If we look at the site from the point of view of Management (a name I can spell, Lazeez is likely what I mean, but my spell check thinks that isn't a word) what do they want? They prefer to attract readers and keep the ones they have. Some of them will subscribe so the site can continue to meet its expenses, if it does. What might drive readers away? Knowing that a favorite author, or a lot of them, are dead or not in condition to continue stories the readers like. I wouldn't count on a top fifty list accessible from the front page listing dead or retired authors and/or stories that won't be continued.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@richardshagrin

I don't really need a list. Like I said I will continue bookmarking writers whose stories I enjoy. Then later I will go back and read their stories again. Only reason I know of the three I mentioned is I have their pages bookmarked and followed their work for a while.

Slutsinger

I may blog about this because I think it is worthy of thanks and tribute. However, I've found several authors over the years that were writing as they faced illness or conditions that limited their ability to get out. Some of them didn't make it. Even so, I'm amazed by the dedication to the community and to creativity and being interacting constructively. I'm filled with joy and awe to think that as people faced challenge, they chose to embrace love, sensuality, and sexuality and share that with us. I hope that when I face the ultimate sacrifice I too can be that positive.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
jason1944

On the other hand, Andre Norton (Alice Marie Norton, actually) and especially L.Ron Hubbard continued writing books long after they died...

Replies:   Uther_Pendragon
Crumbly Writer

@docholladay

Well I will continue to take the easy way and enjoy the stories writers have shared. Some that I enjoy have passed, but I still have their story pages bookmarked since I will read them again.

Although like I stated above, I will continue to enjoy their stories in the future.

As for the unfinished stories, don't focus on what'll never be. Instead, focus on what they offered. We have a LOT of unfinished works of brilliance, and while we'll never see them concluded, we can enjoy them for what they are, and imagine our own endings.

Check out the list of wonderful, incomplete stories and see what I mean. Writing stop writing, or give up on stories, for a variety of reason, but it doesn't mean the stories being available. The hope of all authors is that their words will live on after they've left the earth, speaking to future generations.

Crumbly Writer

The other thing to consider, many authors facing decreasing health, either stop writing, or write under a pseudonym so they won't disappoint regular fans. They're still driven to write, but you wouldn't know who they are. Consider that the next time you read a story where the sentences aren't entirely clear, or the story meanders while expressing anger at the world.

Not only do authors offer readers stories which pull people into their worlds, those same stories pull authors along, giving them the drive to crank out as much as they can, creating as many alternate worlds as possible.

Severusmax

Ottohauser1977, I believe, is dead. He was killed in a car accident caused by him being a pedestrian on a busy street late in 2012, if I recall correctly. He wasn't very prolific, but I've spoken to his ex-wife, who has his story notes for future. So far, she won't release them for personal reasons, but I hope that she gets around to it someday.

Uther_Pendragon

@jason1944

On the other hand, Andre Norton (Alice Marie Norton, actually) and especially L.Ron Hubbard continued writing books long after they died...


Well, it won't be long after, but if I'm hit by a truck tonight, I'll still post for more than a month. I have 2 serials currently going; one -- _Never Marry_ -- will finish fairly soon; the other -- Karen -- will hit Chapter 14 in something like October.

The next serial, though, will have only its first chapter posted. Blame the site software.

Crumbly Writer

@Argon

My advice: look at the last posted chapter. If it's older than 2 years, the chances of a next chapter are pretty close to nil, no matter if the author is pushing up the daisies, found other priorities or started to offer his writings elsewhere.

It's also not uncommon for authors to suddenly 'find God' (or more likely, find a hot chick who insists all his part-time hobbies are 'sinful'), and who then deletes all of his previously writings and disappears from the scene, never to write (in these spaces, at least) again.

Beware of externally imposed moralities, as people wear them like a shield to protect them from live, being too terrified to actually live life to the fullest—even in their fantasies.

Replies:   Remus2
Crumbly Writer

@Slutsinger

However, I've found several authors over the years that were writing as they faced illness or conditions that limited their ability to get out. Some of them didn't make it.

Another thing you find is that, when an author's health precludes them from writing on the same level as before, they'll often switch to an unknown pseudonym, so they won't impair their stellar reputation by churning out sub-par stories. Thus some authors will continue lurking, and continue churcning out stories, but readers will never know it's them.

Too often, death doesn't claim people suddenly, but instead acts subtly, stealing ever larger aspects of a person's life until the person is nothing like the robust, carefree individual they were before their illness.

I've known a couple authors who've taken that route (and subsequently passed on). I have no idea how frequently it happens, but I suspect it's more common than we'll ever know.

Remus2

@Crumbly Writer

Beware of externally imposed moralities, as people wear them like a shield to protect them from live, being too terrified to actually live life to the fullest—even in their fantasies.


That goes beyond just religious connotations. In my experience, few people ever venture outside their safe zones spiritually, physically, emotionally, or culturally.

limab

@apeacefulplacetx

Wes Boyd recently died. His wife is posting his final novels on his personal site.

AmigaClone

@limab

I think it's actually Wes' son-in-law who is posting the stories on the site he started. Unlike some authors who might finish a chapter and post it the same day, Wes has seven more completed books still to be posted.

Replies:   Sparky-1953  Nizzgrrl
Crumbly Writer

@limab

It's been a long time since I've visited his site. I noticed, belatedly, that although he mentions selling though lulu, all of his sales seem to be via his site (he probably prints through lulu, but then sells the completed books himself). I also note that his books all seem to sell around the $11.99 price range (which is near what you'd pay for a best-selling NY Times bestseller.

It's too late to ask, but I'm wondering whether that 'sell print books directly' model works better than the 'sell thru a variety of different channels, which all take a cut' model much of the rest are following?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater  Keet
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

It's too late to ask, but I'm wondering whether that 'sell print books directly' model works better than the 'sell thru a variety of different channels, which all take a cut' model much of the rest are following?


Except for a few exceptions due to their size and a few that are at zero dollars my e-books sell for US$5.95. I let the freebies go through the multiple networks set up like Amazon and Apple via Lulu as I get nothing from them at all, the ones I sell for actual cash are only sold via Lulu. For me to make anything off them sold via Amazon via Lulu I'd have to almost double the prices and then Amazon will still get about half of it.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

I also note that his books all seem to sell around the $11.99 price range (which is near what you'd pay for a best-selling NY Times bestseller.

Which is too much. I few days ago I mentioned I set my personal limit at $10 and that even is on the high side I think. My guess is that a lot more ebooks would be sold if the price was between 0-6.99 depending on the size of the ebook and how well the author is known.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
ShyGirl

I was told that Rachael Ross passed away. Anyone has info about her? Is she really passed away? when, where and how that happened. As far as I know, she's quite young.
Rachael Ross is one my favorite author.

samuelmichaels

@ShyGirl

I was told that Rachael Ross passed away. Anyone has info about her? Is she really passed away? when, where and how that happened. As far as I know, she's quite young.


Based on her profile, she passed away in 2012. RIP.

Replies:   anim8ed
anim8ed
Updated:

@samuelmichaels

Rachael Ross was a very prolific author who wrote under a very large number of names. Some were for different styles of writing while others were just to keep the number of stories per name to a reasonable level.

I know of two off the top of my head, rache and god of porn. I know there are others and it was much discussed in the old forums. I believe she had a family member that was posting her stories after her passing and consolidating some of the names.

[update] After a little search found a few more of Rachael's alter egos.
T.S.Severe https://storiesonline.net/a/TSSevere
Milk Bunny https://storiesonline.net/a/Milk_Bunny
Just Plain Jane https://storiesonline.net/a/Just_Plain_Jane
Rache https://storiesonline.net/a/rache
God of Porn https://storiesonline.net/a/God_of_Porn
Rachael Ross https://storiesonline.net/a/Rachael_Ross

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler  Severusmax
ShyGirl

Thank you samuelmichaels and anim8ed for the info.

It's so sad that a talented writer died so young. Anyone have any info about her illness that took her life?

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

The general consensus, based on independent book sales by self-published authors, is that the magic numbers are $2.99 (for the most sales) and $4.99 (for the greatest revenue). However, as they say, individual results may vary.

In my case, which I think affects Ernest as well, is that my book prices are what's known in economic terms as 'price inflexible', meaning that a boost in prices has little impact on the quantity sold. My readers like my books, are aren't frightened off by a couple of dollars more. (I learned this by playing around with my book prices quite a bit over time.)

However, that 'inflexibilty' has its limits. The added price allows me to add more features, making the book appear more professional (with graphics, epigraphs, links, character lists and bibliographies), but I'm not about to charge what the traditional mainstream publishers do. Thus I'm curious what various authors observe in their sales when they do employ those higher prices.

By the way, I add those extra features to justify my higher prices, but I'm now considering publishing 'preview' copies that are just plain text versions to see whether I can reach more people than I currently am.

One last detail, it's long been known that price affects reader interest inversely. That is, the higher you charge, the more readers will consider your book worth reading. So while many people will pounce on a free or $.99 book, they're also less likely to ever read it. That's why $4.99 books perform better than $2.99 books across the board.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@ShyGirl

I was told that Rachael Ross passed away. Anyone has info about her? Is she really passed away? when, where and how that happened. As far as I know, she's quite young.
Rachael Ross is one my favorite author.

Believe me, her passing was duly noted and commented on (back when we were using a Google-Forum based SOL forum). She was very active on the forum, and VERY opinionated, enjoying pissing people off much like her stories do, so when she fell absent, it was felt by most everyone here.

The wonderful thing about Rachael, despite her many faults, was that unlike the rest of us, she spent her entire life in the writing and publishing field, so she KNEW WTF she was talking about and could back up her positions with well-established documentation. She was always wonderful about setting everyone straight when we started going off the wall.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

By the way, I add those extra features to justify my higher prices, but I'm now considering publishing 'preview' copies that are just plain text versions to see whether I can reach more people than I currently am.

One last detail, it's long been known that price affects reader interest inversely. That is, the higher you charge, the more readers will consider your book worth reading. So while many people will pounce on a free or $.99 book, they're also less likely to ever read it. That's why $4.99 books perform better than $2.99 books across the board.

I'm not sure a lot of readers are interested in all the extras. I think it strongly depends on the type of story if it can have extras at all that are interesting too most readers and add to the story itself. Releasing 2 versions, one with and one without extras can solve that problem easily.
For most books that I read here on SOL a price of $2.99 to $4.99 seems very reasonable to me. A lot of effort is put into them and that should be rewarded. Since I read a lot pricing is important to me because it adds up fast. For an incidental reader it will be less of a problem. A price of $14.95 for an ebook is insane to me. I think it goes past the psychological inverse pricing effect. I wouldn't pay that if the author was Tolkien. For a paperback yes, but not for an ebook that has no printing, storage, or delivery costs at all. Such pricing just creates a piracy market like it did with way overpriced movies.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Not_a_ID
Wheezer
Updated:

I see a lot of ebook series on Amazon where the first book in a series is either free or only $0.99 - $1.99. This is obviously an attempt to draw in new readers, hoping they will continue on with the series and pay a higher price for the rest of the books in the series. For me personally, sometimes it works and I will end up buying everything available by this 'new' author I've discovered. OTOH, I've also downloaded a number of 'free' or 99 cent first-in-series books that I abandoned a few chapters into the story.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Keet


I'm not sure a lot of readers are interested in all the extras. I think it strongly depends on the type of story if it can have extras at all that are interesting too most readers and add to the story itself. Releasing 2 versions, one with and one without extras can solve that problem easily.


I never said it was. After all, they're reading the story rather than enjoying the extras. But, that said, having paid a premium price, it's nice to get a more professional product for your money. It's my way of assuring that my readers get more for laying out their cold-hard cash than they'd get from reading it for free on SOL.

As for having two versions, one cheap and one pricey, it's ultimately a losing proposition, as no one would pay the extra. Besides, I'm already giving everyone the 'text only' version for FREE.

Instead, what I'm doing is adding the perceived value. The extras aren't necessary to enjoy the story, but they add to the overall experience.

As for your final point, about not paying much for ebooks, I agree, which is why I'm reluctant to charge more than I already am. While my prices are optimal for me, there's a decidedly sharp drop-off beyond a certain price. That's why I was curious how successful other authors in similar situations are with higher prices.

The one thing I did notice about Wes Boyd's books, is that you can't purchase them anywhere else. You can only purchase the print version via PayPal on his personal webpage. That's additional maintenance and processing costs the rest of us who use 'distributors' like Amazon and lulu don't have to contend with.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

I see a lot of ebook series on Amazon where the first book in a series is either free or only $0.99 - $1.99. This is obviously an attempt to draw in new readers, hoping they will continue on with the series and pay a higher price for the rest of the books in the series. For me personally, sometimes it works and I will end up buying everything available by this 'new' author I've discovered. OTOH, I've also downloaded a number of 'free' or 99 cent first-in-series books that I abandoned a few chapters into the story.

Again, that's the pricing dilemma. If you sell a book for $0.99, you get a LOT more readers, but conversely, they don't think much of the story simply because it was so cheap. The thinking is akin to the old Groucho Marx joke: "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member."

Instead, readers typically (largely through self-justification) value those products they spend more on.

It's a fairly complex dynamic, and it's generally fairly risky, but it seems to hold true for my stories. I lose several sales for every book, but the extra I earn helps cover the extra time I spend (both writing, designing and adding the 'extras'). However, nothing "pays" for the work, as there's no way I'd work at a job which requires this many hours for so little compensation!

Replies:   Wheezer
Not_a_ID

@Keet

For most books that I read here on SOL a price of $2.99 to $4.99 seems very reasonable to me. A lot of effort is put into them and that should be rewarded. Since I read a lot pricing is important to me because it adds up fast. For an incidental reader it will be less of a problem. A price of $14.95 for an ebook is insane to me. I think it goes past the psychological inverse pricing effect. I wouldn't pay that if the author was Tolkien. For a paperback yes, but not for an ebook that has no printing, storage, or delivery costs at all. Such pricing just creates a piracy market like it did with way overpriced movies.


Pretty much this, although I will make allowances based on size.
You try to sell me a 50 page story for $5.00 (and some are trying), particularly as an "unknown" author and you can bet there will be "no sale" until or unless that story starts stacking up all kinds of positive reviews from places other than the Russian FSB.

For a self-published aithor, in particular "unknown" authors, more than $3.00 for a first offering is likely a bridge too far for me without respect to length(or Kindle Unlimited can be employed to get around this, properly sized samples might work, but my experience to date with that is underwhelming to say the least).

Once you start moving into the $6 range for ebooks, it better be a long story, or I am going to start to balk at the cost. I might buy it anyway, if I like/trust the author, but it you are not on that short list, your ebook will go unsold to my kindle library until/unless an outside factor(referral from a "credible source") happens.

Replies:   Keet
Switch Blayde

I guess this is the right place to post this.

I'm flying to Italy tomorrow (Sept 6) for a couple of weeks. So even though I'm not participating here…

I'M NOT DEAD

Now if you don't hear from me after Sept 18th…

Keet

@Not_a_ID

Once you start moving into the $6 range for ebooks, it better be a long story, or I am going to start to balk at the cost. I might buy it anyway, if I like/trust the author, but it you are not on that short list, your ebook will go unsold to my kindle library until/unless an outside factor(referral from a "credible source") happens.

Mmm, I never considered the differences in size, that's good point. I'm only interested in long stories so generally that's all I look into. The fact is that for publishing (very) long stories like here on SOL these are broken into multiple books which each have to be bought to get the whole story.
I agree that you have to know and trust the author to take a chance at books above $5. I'm very glad we have SOL because I would be broke very fast if I had to buy everything I'm reading.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Keet

@Crumbly Writer

As for having two versions, one cheap and one pricey, it's ultimately a losing proposition, as no one would pay the extra.

I'm a little weird in that I'm never interested in any extras for whatever I'm consuming. Not with books, music, or movies. As far as I can remember there was only one exception and that was some background on Pink Floyd, but only after I went to the massive concert of The Wall in 1990 in Berlin.
I think most people that really appreciate extras are those interested in a specific genre or series of books. I've read about people who literally decipher every little detail about Lord of the Rings and even had the courage to read The Silmarillion completely. I read The Hobbit and the trilogy many times but never felt the need to go beyond those.
Maybe if you have a substantial amount of extras connected to a series of books you could create a separate book for it. Then when someone buys a complete series add that for free. It might encourage readers to buy a series instead of single books just to get the free extras.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Switch Blayde


Now if you don't hear from me after Sept 18th…


OKAY - we've got to the 18th to party!

typo edit

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I'm flying to Italy tomorrow (Sept 6) for a couple of weeks.


The Italians are turning away economic migrants, so you might end up in Spain or Malta :(

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Wheezer

@Crumbly Writer

Again, that's the pricing dilemma. If you sell a book for $0.99, you get a LOT more readers, but conversely, they don't think much of the story simply because it was so cheap.


That's not my thinking at all. At least not in regard to the first book in a series. I either like a story, or I don't. I have around 800 books in my Kindle library. I have a number of unfinished ones that I paid $2.99 or more for that just could not hold my interest, despite the preview chapters being good enough to encourage me to spend my dollars. I've even read all the way through a multi-book series, only to lose interest in the last book because of the direction the author steers the story line. That aggravates me.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

The Italians are turning away economic migrants,


I'm bringing money so they'll love me. :)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I'm bringing money so they'll love me. :)


If you've got money, the people-smugglers can even get you into Britain. :)

AJ

robberhands

@awnlee jawking

If you've got money, the people-smugglers can even get you into Britain. :)

The more important question is, can they also get him out again?

awnlee jawking

@robberhands

The more important question is, can they also get him out again?


No. Human rights lawyers and the European Court of Justice mean that nobody can ever leave the UK. He certainly can't be allowed to leave for the USA because they still have the death penalty.

AJ

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

If you've got money, the people-smugglers can even get you into Britain. :)


I have a 4-hour layover in England.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Mmm, I never considered the differences in size, that's good point. I'm only interested in long stories so generally that's all I look into. The fact is that for publishing (very) long stories like here on SOL these are broken into multiple books which each have to be bought to get the whole story.

Still, there's a BIG difference between the scam authors on Amazon Prime, trying to push 10,000 word 'novels' (less than many SOL chapters) and a typical published science fiction sage of 120,000 words. My books generally fall into the latter category, as most of my books run around 20+ chapters of about 100,000 to 150,000 words.

Frankly, writing books that long take a LOT of sustained work, which for me is more substantial than the costs associated with producing the books, so I charge slightly more to offset the work (cost to produce), while adding in the extra 'bells and whistles' to help justify the higher costs ($5.99 to $7.99, rather than the $2.99 charged by most self-published authors or the $28.99 charged by most mainstream publishers for their ebooks). Of course, the print books run a bit more due to the physical price to print each copy.

Replies:   Not_a_ID
Crumbly Writer

@Keet

It might encourage readers to buy a series instead of single books just to get the free extras.

For the most part, my most loyal fans can read the story here on SOL for FREE anyway, but they opt to purchase my books as a way of encouraging me to continue. Thus I like adding the extra to make the professional product look a little nicer than the plain text SOL versions.

Plus, in the end, I'm often more intrigued by the design aspects than I am in the literary details, so I mainly do it (adding the extras) simply because it's a challenge which I enjoy undertaking.

If you think of my writing as my non-paying job, then the design elements are my hobby, which helps to break up the pure 'slob' work of editing and refining my writing.

Crumbly Writer

@Wheezer

I've even read all the way through a multi-book series, only to lose interest in the last book because of the direction the author steers the story line. That aggravates me.

That often happens here on SOL too, and is part of the challenge with each book you pick up, whether for free (like in a library or SOL), or for bucks (via print or ebooks).

Just because you liked one (or several) books by a particular author, there's no guaranteeing you'll like the next book they produce. And often, the reasons why someone throws a book away are pretty esoteric (ex: "he doesn't understand how shortwave radio works", "no cop would ever behave like that", or even "I once had a relative who was like your character, who abused me, thus I'll NEVER read that type of story!!!).

On the flip side, it's always especially rewarding to try a new unknown author, only to discover that they're story is PHENOMENAL!, so often, the risk ends up being it's own rewards. The few successes help offset the many, many failures. :(

Crumbly Writer

@robberhands

If you've got money, the people-smugglers can even get you into Britain. :)

The more important question is, can they also get him out again?

Can we pay to keep him there? 'D

awnlee jawking

@Switch Blayde

I have a 4-hour layover in England.


Does that mean 4 hours of overpriced airport shops and fast food?

Enjoy!

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

Just because you liked one (or several) books by a particular author, there's no guaranteeing you'll like the next book they produce.


Loved "The Da Vinci Code." Hated "Lost Symbols." Will never read another Dan Brown book.

Switch Blayde

@awnlee jawking

Does that mean 4 hours of overpriced airport shops and fast food?


Yes to the first one (my wife) and yes to the second one (me).

My wife googled places to eat in Heathrow. One place has two 1/2 pound burgers stacked on top of each other within a bun. I had that once in France by mistake. Not knowing French, I thought it was two 1/4 pound burgers totaling 1/2 pound. It was a pound of meat with a top bun, bottom bun, and middle bun.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
PotomacBob

@Wheezer

I see a lot of ebook series on Amazon where the first book in a series is either free or only $0.99 - $1.99.


What at first delights me on Amazon is the prospect of reading a story for 99 cents - then, AFTER i get to the end, I find out for the first time that it's a series and I'm going to have pay more money (sometimes much more than 99 cents) to get the rest of the story. Instead of it feeling like a bargain, it now feels like I was cheated. I have absolutely no problem with paying much higher prices for books I want to read, as long as I know ahead of time what it's going to cost me to get the complete story.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Not knowing French, I thought it was two 1/4 pound burgers totaling 1/2 pound. It was a pound of meat with a top bun, bottom bun, and middle bun.

They're trying to catch up with the American weight advantage!

Of course, the obvious question is: why didn't you just toss a couple of the buns and just chew down on the burgers themselves?

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

What at first delights me on Amazon is the prospect of reading a story for 99 cents - then, AFTER i get to the end, I find out for the first time that it's a series and I'm going to have pay more money (sometimes much more than 99 cents) to get the rest of the story.

That's clearly false advertising, as they're leaving vital information about the book. Whenever I extend a book into a series, I always emblazon the title with the series title, so readers know, going in, that the book is not a 'one and done' story.

While it's a valid marketing approach to 'giving away' the first book (or steeply discounting it), it's underhanded doing so while pretending it's not part of a series. For that alone, I'd avoid ever purchasing another book from the author, under the adage: if they cheat at that, why would I trust them with anything ever again?

Going a step further, I've taken to releasing "Box Sets" (all the books in a series) before the series in complete. In theory, it's a way to get a discount on the existing series while getting the final sequel for FREE. But more than that, it's a gentle reminder that the book is part of a series (it typically shows up under "If you like this book, you'll also like ..." section in most online bookstores), while giving the readers a general idea of the cost of the entire series before they commit to it.

But then, you can tell that I spend a LOT of time contemplating these various marketing attempts, trying to figure out which ones pay for themselves and which are out-and-out deceptive practices.

Switch Blayde
Updated:

@PotomacBob


as long as I know ahead of time what it's going to cost me to get the complete story.


A series doesn't mean you have to buy another book to finish the story. I wouldn't consider "The Lord of the Rings" a series (you have to read all three to finish the story). I'd call that a trilogy.

The Bourne novels are a series. So are the James Bond novels. But each book is standalone.

ETA:
From Wikipedia:

A book series is a sequence of books having certain characteristics in common that are formally identified together as a group. Fictional series typically share a common setting, story arc, set of characters or timeline. They are common in genre fiction, particularly crime fiction, adventure fiction, and science fiction, as well as in children's literature.

Some works in a series can stand alone—they can be read in any order, as each book makes few, if any reference to past events, and the characters seldom, if ever, change. Many of these series books may be published in a numbered series. Examples of such series are works like The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Nick Carter.

There are some book series that are not really proper series, but more of a single work so large that it must be published over two or more books. Examples of this type include The Lord of the Rings volumes or the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

The few successes help offset the many, many failures.

Intermittent Reinforcement. Why people gamble and play games. It probably wouldn't be as much fun if you win every time.

Wheezer
Updated:


"The Lord of the Rings" a series (you have to read all three to finish the story). I'd call that a trilogy.


Sure, but some writers produce a continuous narrative over eight, nine or more novels. Words like octology and ennalogy are awkward - as well as not being common words. How would you describe a set of four books? A tetralogy? That's a mouthful. It is simply easier to describe these sets of books as a series, even though the individual books are not standalone narratives.


What comes after trilogy? quadrilogy?

A sequel involving three stories in the series is referred to as a trilogy. A tetralogy is a four-part series; a five-part series is called a pentalogy. A Hexalogy is six in a series. A heptalogy is seven in a series.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Wheezer

A sequel involving three stories in the series is referred to as a trilogy. A tetralogy is a four-part series; a five-part series is called a pentalogy. A Hexalogy is six in a series. A heptalogy is seven in a series.

The currently most famous heptalogy is the Harry Potter series: (Wikipedia) Heptalogy

samuelmichaels

@Wheezer

That's not my thinking at all. At least not in regard to the first book in a series. I either like a story, or I don't.


This!

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

A series doesn't mean you have to buy another book to finish the story. I wouldn't consider "The Lord of the Rings" a series (you have to read all three to finish the story). I'd call that a trilogy.

The Bourne novels are a series. So are the James Bond novels. But each book is standalone.

Switch is correct. A novel, no matter where it fits within a series or universe, is typically a complete story (unless horribly written). It might leave pieces of the larger conflict unresolved, but it will resolve the central conflicts of that book itself. Still, I get PotomacBob's point.

Vlad_Inhaler

@anim8ed

I think RR https://storiesonline.net/a/RR was another although she only used it once. (this is about Rachael Ross alter egos)

Replies:   anim8ed
PotomacBob

@Switch Blayde

A series doesn't mean you have to buy another book to finish the story.


I'm sure glad that you corrected me. Here I was feeling bad because I didn't get the full story, felt I had been cheated. But now I feel all better because you tell me I'm all wet.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

I'm sure glad that you corrected me. Here I was feeling bad because I didn't get the full story, felt I had been cheated. But now I feel all better because you tell me I'm all wet.

You're not wrong (i.e. "all wet"), but just because a ride continues endlessly doesn't mean you have to continue buying tickets indefinitely. If you like the one book, that's fine. If you think the others are a heap of trash, that's fine too. But ... if you're curious what eventually happens to the characters, that means you're already 'invested' in the story.

anim8ed

@Vlad_Inhaler

Thanks for the info. I am sure ShyGirl will appreciate another Rachael Ross fix even if it is one story.

I do know that there are other authors who post under more than one name. Makes it hard for those of us that enjoy a particular author to find their other offerings.

Severusmax

@anim8ed

Funny, I never knew that "Just Plain Jane" was Rachael. The others, yes, but not her.

Replies:   anim8ed
anim8ed
Updated:

@Severusmax

A lot of them I picked up from Peter's (Rachael's brother-in-law) post The Queue that was posted to Rachael Ross's blog on October 23, 2012. He was explaining which accounts he was still posting to and which would be inactive. Rachael had made arrangements to keep the posting schedule going after her passing. Of course that only lasted about a year and all of the accounts have been inactive for a while now.

I am sure there are other names that only Rachael knew were her. She was sneaky like that.

Sparky-1953
Updated:

@AmigaClone

From what I remember when Wes passed it was a coalition of family members who were going to finish editing and posting his works.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Sparky-1953


From what I remember when Wes passed it was a coalition of family members who were going to finish editing and posting his works.


That was the intent, but the actuality is a couple of his editors are working with one member of his family to get it done.

typo edit

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@Ernest Bywater

a couple of his authors


wtf?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Vlad_Inhaler

wtf?


type of error when you type while half asleep from fatigue - wrong word, fixed

Crumbly Writer

@Sparky-1953

From what I remember when Wes passed it was a coalition of family members who were going to finish editing and posting his works.

Damn! I wish my family cared enough to do that. Although they all read and collect each of my books, they've shown zero interest in carrying on my legacy if I were to die suddenly.

I do have a few editors who have advanced copies of my stories, but since those editors often get sick or drop out for a variety of reasons, it's hard establishing long-term contingency plans.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Vlad_Inhaler

@Crumbly Writer

Damn! I wish my family cared enough to do that. Although they all read and collect each of my books, they've shown zero interest in carrying on my legacy if I were to die suddenly.

Obviously a problem in the way you brought them up - the parents are to blame. (sniffs and runs for cover)

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Vlad_Inhaler

Obviously a problem in the way you brought them up - the parents are to blame. (sniffs and runs for cover)

No. It's just that online posting, and the extremes I go to in editing and designing my work, makes it extremely difficult for anyone to jump in and take it over for me.

If I wasn't such a control freak, then someone might volunteer. Once again, I'm just kvetching.

juanvargasmoney

Whatever happened to Brendan Buckley. I love reading Path to Glory but no finished stories since then.

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
Nizzgrrl
Updated:

@AmigaClone


Wes Boyd


Excuse me, but aren't Wes Boyd's books still being posted on Beyond the Far Horizon? It's slow going, but I can wait since I have a year's worth of reading to do on SOL and my stack of dead tree books. I'm going to try to take my Nook with me when I go.

Vlad_Inhaler
Updated:

@Nizzgrrl

Excuse me, but aren't Wes Boyd's books still being posted on Beyond the Far Horizon?


Posted by his daughter and her husband, he had enough stories in reserve for a year or two when he had his operation.

Vlad_Inhaler

@juanvargasmoney

Whatever happened to Brendan Buckley.

According to Jay Cantrell's Blog entry of 19 October 2016 entitled "A Tired Refrain", some toxic feedback.
(That Blog may show up as 18 Oct depending on your timezone).

Ernest Bywater

@Nizzgrrl

Wes Boyd's books still being posted


I don't know if his family are still posting his works at BtF or SoL or Amazon, but they're still being posted at spearfishlaketales.com and you have free access to the all of the stories that have previously been posted as well as the one being posted and you can buy e-books of any of those. So there's no need to wait for anything except the latest story being posted.

Replies:   madnige  Keet  Crumbly Writer
madnige

@Ernest Bywater

no need to wait for anything except the latest story being posted


...and the half-dozen or thereabouts that are finished, but not yet posted.

I don't know if his family are still posting his works at BtF or SoL or Amazon


AFAIK (as a reader, no special knowledge), Amazon was never involved, SOL isn't posting any more, and BtFH is posting but a few books behind SLT so we'll have to see if Plain Jane gets posted (the first which had to be dealt with by his family) or even Rag Doll (the one before), although the situation may change.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

and you can buy e-books of any of those

Which will cost you an arm and a leg. They are priced at $19.99 which seems a little excessive to me. If you want an ePub through Lulu it's $21.95. I like the books from Wes but for that price I keep it to the stories available here. Even if Wes could enjoy the profits for himself I think these prices are too high.

Not_a_ID

@Crumbly Writer

Still, there's a BIG difference between the scam authors on Amazon Prime, trying to push 10,000 word 'novels' (less than many SOL chapters) and a typical published science fiction sage of 120,000 words. My books generally fall into the latter category, as most of my books run around 20+ chapters of about 100,000 to 150,000 words.


Two extremes come to mind for me, an unknown(to me) author has a story that has my interest and I would like to see what he has written. But I won't buy his book, because Amazon kindle reports the length at 54 pages, he's asking $6.00 for the ebook, and Kindle Unlimited is not an option with him.

Even for an author I trust and enjoy, a $6 ask for 54 "kindle" pages is rather steep IMO. That the author is unknown, doesn't seem to have any other work to sample, and so on just further underlines why "no sale" is the outcome he is likely encountering from a lot of potential readers.

It didn't discourage everyone as it sometimes appears in the Amazon "also bought" listing, but that brings in the other issue: It has a single 1 star review from someone who pointed out length + price and stated they're not buying. If it had some positive reviews, the story might be different, but in the absence of any...

The other extreme is a self-published ebook series where the asking price is very reasonable and the length makes it look like something to sink your teeth into. (400+ pages for under $2.00)

Spelling and grammar were good enough. But it was a poster child of another editing task that often gets ignored.

In some respects it reads like the editors were given the associated chapters in a serial form, and probably spread over large amounts of time. (It also prompted me to go searching for the story on various online sites, no joy) As it is very evident the books were not edited as cohesive wholes.

This resulted in the characters constantly "going back" and either mentally or verbally recalling events that happened within the same book. Not once, not twice, but many, many times. There was a lot of other content thrown in which doesn't appear to be relevant to the storyline itself. So all things considered, after a good solid "wholistic" editing pass, the size of those books could probably be reduced by anywhere between a quarter to a third. (There also is no means to contact the author aside from leaving a public review)

Ernest Bywater

@madnige

Before Wes set up his own on-line shopping cart he used to sell his e-books via Amazon, but he had some issues with them and stopped doing that.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

I hope the pricing you're mentioning is the e-pub price of Wes' books as I sell most of mine for $5.95 as e-pubs via lulu. There's a few anthologies etc I sell at a higher price than that, but not many.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@Ernest Bywater

I hope the pricing you're mentioning is the e-pub price of Wes' books

Yes, I was referring to Wes' ePubs. Mind, the $19.99 I mentioned is for an RTF(!) file through PayPal. He was a good writer but $20 for an ebook? No way. I hate to say it but it looks to me like the family is trying to get what they can while the getting is good relying on Wes' reputation and followers. It just feels wrong.

madnige

@Keet

The pricing follows what I remember, he has/had a higher price for recent books, older were cheaper, the oldest the cheapest ($5 for the oldest now), and the newest was $20 when Wes was still with us, so I don't thing it's gouging by the family. It looks like maybe the new/older threshold has stayed static with the last couple of books rather than adjusting with age. What I suspect may happen is that when all written stuff has been published and the sales have dropped to a low level, the SLT website may be closed and everything moved over to Amazon (KU?) as a cheaper, maintenance-free option, in which case they will also be pulled from here and from BtFH.

Replies:   Keet
Keet

@madnige

The pricing follows what I remember, he has/had a higher price for recent books, older were cheaper, the oldest the cheapest ($5 for the oldest now), and the newest was $20 when Wes was still with us, so I don't thing it's gouging by the family.

I didn't know about the previous pricing. In a way I am glad because I had a hard time considering if it was gouging. So I'm glad it's not.

What I suspect may happen is that when all written stuff has been published and the sales have dropped to a low level, the SLT website may be closed and everything moved over to Amazon (KU?) as a cheaper, maintenance-free option, in which case they will also be pulled from here and from BtFH.

I'm afraid that's what will happen. Maybe the wiki will stay, probably as read-only. The site will probably also stay but in the end as a static display to support sales through other channels.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Ernest Bywater

@Keet

family is trying to get what they can while the getting is good relying on Wes' reputation and followers. It just feels wrong.


It may feel wrong, but it's what Wes wanted and set up while still alive. It's part of his inheritance to them, and the prices have not changed, that's what they were before. If you buy before it's finished being posted to the site you pay about $20.00 but if the story has been up some time then it goes down. Bird in the Hand is $7.99 which has been out 3 or 4 years, so are several others of about the same age. Then the older ones from about 5 or 6 years ago are $4.99 - - that's been the pricing policy for more than 3 years to my knowledge.

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I don't know if his family are still posting his works at BtF or SoL or Amazon, but they're still being posted at spearfishlaketales.com and you have free access to the all of the stories that have previously been posted as well as the one being posted and you can buy e-books of any of those.

I checked the site, the stories are free, but they're only selling print books, not ebooks. Trust me, that's the first thing I notice nowadays, is which books they're marketing, and how they're priced!

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

Which will cost you an arm and a leg. They are priced at $19.99 which seems a little excessive to me. If you want an ePub through Lulu it's $21.95. I like the books from Wes but for that price I keep it to the stories available here. Even if Wes could enjoy the profits for himself I think these prices are too high.

That was why I noticed the site is selling print copies, for those who don't like reading flickering screens. Still, $19.99 is what the mainstream publishers charge (actually that's typically $24.99), but few independent publishers charge anywhere near that price). I work on differentiating my books from everyone else's $.99 ebooks, but I'd never dare charge those prices. I can't even sell my print books, which are typically only $2 more than my ebooks, so charging a full ten dollars more ensures that no one will ever buy your books!

Replies:   Keet
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

but he had some issues with them and stopped doing that.

Would the 'issues' be his $19.99 price tag (Amazon doesn't allow anything over $9.99, unless it's from a mainstream publisher)?

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Would the 'issues' be his $19.99 price tag


I don't know what the issue was, but I do know it was during the period when Amazon was still insisting on authors not making the stories available on other sites.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Keet


He was a good writer but $20 for an ebook? No way.


The standard pricing for independently-published ebooks (the mainstream publishers routinely charge $29.99 for ebooks, in order to prop up their artificially high $24.99 price for paperbacks) is $0.99 to sell the most books (i.e. get them into the hands of the most people, who'll then supposedly buy your other books) or $2.99, which pays the most (i.e. higher sales + higher commission). Those figures are from Smashwords (the only source doing research on independent book sales, since Amazon doesn't wait to alienate their mainstream publishers) and have been consistent for many years.

I charge more, but simply because I'm working with a different type of readers. Rather than being price sensitive (buying many more books at $0.99 than they do at $1.99), I've found that the $0.99 readers typically won't buy anything else, while once someone buys one of my books, they'll typically buy anywhere from seven to fifteen more. However, authors can't assume their readers will react the same, especially not if they don't have a proven track record (I've got low sales (30 to 150 sales per book), but loyal readers).

I've been tracking book sales for some time, and always ask anyone I encounter who's charging something different to determine how his/her sales vary from the ordinary author, so I'm familiar with the ranges.

Crumbly Writer

@Keet

What I suspect may happen is that when all written stuff has been published and the sales have dropped to a low level, the SLT website may be closed and everything moved over to Amazon (KU?) as a cheaper, maintenance-free option, in which case they will also be pulled from here and from BtFH.

I'm afraid that's what will happen.

Again, Amazon won't allow the prices his family is charging, which is probably why he stopped using Amazon in the first place.

Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

I don't know what the issue was, but I do know it was during the period when Amazon was still insisting on authors not making the stories available on other sites.

Yeah, they finally dropped that restriction like a lead balloon at a children's policy, as no one was willing to accept it. Now, it only applies to Kindle Select, and a book only stays on Select for 90 days. But I'm not offing my latest Not-Quite Human boxed set (3 books consisting of over 300,000 words) because Amazon insists on pricing it as if it's only a single book, so that's a more reasonable assumption. :(

Though a LOT of authors absolutely despise Amazon, for a whole host of reasons, so you can pretty much take your pick of which one sets any author off.

Keet

@Crumbly Writer

Still, $19.99 is what the mainstream publishers charge (actually that's typically $24.99)

And generally that is too much for an ebook. For a paperback I can understand it, you have something in your hands that will stay. Ebooks are far easier and cheaper to create and distribute on demand. It should make a significant difference in pricing but as it is ebooks are more expensive. For ebooks with DRM that require a server to authenticate your copy I wouldn't even pay a cent. If the server goes down (which WILL happen eventually) you lost your books.

Keet

@Ernest Bywater

It may feel wrong, but it's what Wes wanted and set up while still alive. It's part of his inheritance to them, and the prices have not changed, that's what they were before.

After reading the comments here I understand that now.

If you buy before it's finished being posted to the site you pay about $20.00 but if the story has been up some time then it goes down. Bird in the Hand is $7.99 which has been out 3 or 4 years, so are several others of about the same age. Then the older ones from about 5 or 6 years ago are $4.99 - - that's been the pricing policy for more than 3 years to my knowledge.

When I saw the pricing of the books I left the site so I didn't see those lower prices. They should put some of those lower priced books at the top because I'm certain that more readers are scared of by the current top prices. Someone who buys a lower priced book may come back for more, someone like me who left immediately is lost for any sale.

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