Saturday, January 21, 2017

Update: Part Four of "The Making of Danielle"

Hi everyone!

I wanted to give you an update.  I'm getting closer to finishing Part Four.  This one is really long and that's what's taking so long.  I may have to break it into two parts to be manageable.  We'll see.  The last thing I want to do is rush or shortchange the story.

Do know though that I am working diligently on this and I think it's coming together really well.  I think you'll all really like it!



Matthew wills said...

I can't wait. once again you have got your many fans in suspenders ( oops I've done it again, I mean suspense )

Hmmpie said...

My only problem is that it's getting a bit expensive.

Seems you want 5 parts now at over 6 dollars each?

There are new books by famous authors that are professionally edited, that are longer (page and wordwise) and cost less.

Matthew wills said...

I must disagree with the comments of hmmpie. Having bought many forced feminization videos and novels for over 30 years, the potential for this story, being either 1 or 2 more books, will be well worth the money. I have recently purchased 4 videos involving forced feminization at a cost of over £ 60 which were utter rubbish.

AnnMichelle said...

Thanks Matthew! I'm glad you're enjoying it! :)

AnnMichelle said...

Hmmpie, Thanks for expressing your concerns, but let me say a couple things.

First and foremost, I am very conscious of the cost issue. I want my readers to feel that they get excellent value for what they buy from me. That is important to me.

It's important because our genre has been subject to such abuse. Like many of my readers, I've spent thousands of dollars over the years buying books that looked good only to find out that I had been ripped off once again: books with almost no TV/TG content, books that were just crap, books that were no longer than a pamphlet. I still recall spending almost $20 on a "book" that came in the mail and turned out to be ten photocopied pages. I recall a book with no TV/TG content at all except the title -- I ready it twice to make sure. And so on. So I am very conscious of how people attuned to this genre get ripped off, and that is why my goal has always been to provide fair, worthwhile content at a good value.

That's one reason I've resisted raising my prices and why I don't break my books into smaller books as others do. Lots of authors would take a 100 page book and break it into a three or four "book" series at $2.99 or $3.99 for each part -- $10 to $16 total. I don't do that. My books are generally around 110 pages/30,000 words for $4.99. That's less than one Big Mac meal, and about half what most authors would charge for the same number of words.

This series has been around 130 pages/38,000 words for each volume already. And if this does end up as two parts, it's not for money reasons, it's because the book is becoming too long to handle as one volume. The book is long enough that the flow is becoming a problem. Books need to have a certain up and down tension/excitement curve to feel right and this one is long enough that the curve is starting to stretch and repeat and that detracts from reading it.

Finally, as an aside, I am well aware of what else is out there in the TV/TG genre and few are writing books as long as mine, and almost none are professionally edited. Probably the only two "famous" authors are Sandy Thomas and Reluctant Press, and both of those groups issue books that are about half the length of mine and they charge $9.99 and $10 for their books (even Kindle), including multi-part volumes. That means $20 for a 130 pages. So I don't think $4.99 for each part is at all unfair in this case. But, as I said, I am conscious of the cost issue and do want to be sure people feel they get value.

Thanks again.

AnnMichelle said...

Matthew, I have had similar experiences. I've spent thousands of dollars over the years on feminization books or videos that were utter worthless. It's a sad fact of our genre.

Hmmpie said...

Well, I will respond, only so you understand my argument better.

Firstly I think the Big Mac comparison is a bit off, considering that it takes a lot of work (from the farm to Burger King or McDonalds or whoever sells Big Mac lol, you might notice I'm not a fast food guy lol) to produce, and then it can only be sold once, you however can write a story once and then sell it multiple times.

When I was talking about professional authors, I didn't mean just the TG genre, I have bought a lot of books since I was a child, from all types of writers like JK Rowling when I was a child/early teen, fantasy writers like David Eddings in my middle teens, I bought classics etc, and I also buy new books when they come out for example I bought GRRMs latest book when it came out new. Many of these very world-famous authors seem to be able to sell books (in hardcover and paperback), that are professionally edited, more words per page, and a larger number of pages, for a lower cost than you do.

You mention Sandy Thomas as an example, I would say that Sandy Thomas probably has the highest prices around compared with the amount and quality of content they put out/used to put out. Their prices are ridiculously high.

I think a more reasonable competitior (and there are many of them), if you would allow me to make an example would be Sixpacksite. (Both blondie books with a discount).

In this example (if I have counted right), you get more words per page, more pages for about half the price you ask for, and as a bonus you also get 100 illustrations. (I do realize these illustrations take up a large part of the pages, but there is still more words a page). I don't know if you ever have read anything from Sixpacksite, but it does take some time to get through one of their books.

I enjoy a lot of tg media, from a variety of sources, in my entirely subjective opinion you are priced quite high. Obviously not as high as Sandy Thomas or those that write half a word and then want a fortune for it, but still high.

Ofc, many of your competitors also publish on Lulu as well as Amazon, I don't know why you don't, but I have never tried to publish anything myself, so I don't know what your deal with Amazon is, it always seem however that most writers are priced about 1-2 dollars lower on Lulu, look at CourtneyCaptisas prices on Amazon compared to Lulu for example. I have a feeling Amazon probably asks for more than Lulu does.

Also, do you count all the commercial at the end of your books in the pages/total words? My problem with Amazon and Kindle is that I feel it very hard to measure compared to what I buy in PDF and read in Adobe Acrobat.

Anyhow, I hope you don't feel attacked, that wasn't my goal, if you want to I can in e-mail list some of the many people involved in this kind of business and how I range them in price and quantity/quality of content. There are so many doing TG fiction now, whether it's individual writers on Amazon/Lulu, TGComics, TGStories, Sixpacksite, Reluctant Press, Mags Inc, Sandy Thomas etc etc. Even freebies like Fictionmania, Nifty etc can have high quality of content.

Matthew wills said...

further to my comments from earlier today, I feel I must respond further. living in the UK I purchased several publications from a company called sabre. They simply stole all their stories from sites like fictionmania etc. The 4 videos I was referring to earlier were from Transia. The stories were awful and the acting even worse. In reading the first 3 bookthis series,I can honestly say that it's the best tg fiction ive come across in many years. I think that paying under £4-00 on amazon for each book is excellent value. sandy Thomas publications cost around £ 7-50

AnnMichelle said...

Thanks Matthew! I love hearing that! :) I'm really enjoying this series myself as well. It's been my favorite to write so far!

Sadly, at Amazon, you often see people who have stolen their stories from places like Fictionmania. They usually get caught, but sometimes it takes a long time. Others will release the same stories over and over with minor changes under different names. Others take normal sex stories and add a line or two and turn it into a supposed TV/TG story. It's frustrating as a legitimate author because there's no easy way for most people to weed out the good from the bad and that's bad for our genre.

I've always thought the Sandy Thomas books gave excellent value, and they are considerably more expensive than mine. The one thing I would like to add to mine is illustrations, but I am having the hardest time finding someone to do them (I also would need to add a dollar to the cost of my books). We'll see.

Thanks, again!

Hmmpie said...

Ahh, I see you deleted my second post, that is a bit disappointing. I expected it, but still disappointing.

Matthew wills said...

I see Mr Trump has been your president for little over a day and world war 3 seems to have broken out via this blog. In the UK, all 3 books on amazon on The making of Danielle are flagged as best sellers. I think Ann that speaks for itself.

Hmmpie said...

What's your e-mail Matthew and I can send you my post and you can decide for yourself if what I wrote is valid or not?

I do realize that not everyone will agree on price issues. I could have written down my concerns in my reviews (verified purchase) on Amazon, and Ann Michelle would not have been able to delete them, but I choose the more respectful path and tried to contact the author directly. I found no e-mail so blog it is¨.

Anyhow, whatever you think on price issues, it's still bad business practice to state a certain number of parts of this book, and then later increase that number.

Matthew wills said...

hi Ann, can I have your permission to post my email address via your blog, so I can debate your books etc with hmm pie?

AnnMichelle said...

Hmmpie, I didn't delete your comment. It disappeared into the spam filter and I didn't know about it until now. I just pulled it out of there and let it post.

My email is posted on the blog and at Amazon:

AnnMichelle said...

Matthew and Hmmpie, if you wish to debate by email, please feel free. And if you wish, you can post email addresses. I just recommend deleting the post after you've made contact or you will get spammed.

Hmmpie said...

Okay, I find that strange, because I saw it being posted and double-checked like I usually do that what I wrote actually posted. But my post is there now so I guess Matthew can see it there.

Matthew wills said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hmmpie said...

Well, my comment is posted now, so there is no need to e-mail it anymore.

AnnMichelle said...

Hmmpie, I don't feel attacked, and I'm sorry that you think I'm highly priced, but I assure you that I'm not.

Most of the big name authors actually are more expensive as a general rule. Take Harry Potter. The original Harry Potter has gotten cheaper and is now $9 for around 70k words. The new Harry Potter is the same length and runs $15. So the old "discounted" one is similar in word-count-to-price to my work, but the new one is 66% more. $12.99, $14.99 and $17.99 are common price points for new published books.

Moreover, niche books are always more expensive because they have far fewer sales for the same effort, and this genre is a niche. So comparing the price of Rowlings to someone in our genre isn't really helpful because the market dynamics are so different.

In our genre, Sandy Thomas really is the JK Rowlings, and I've honestly never heard people complain about her books being overpriced. And most of what I see in our genre has a similar price-to-word-count structure to Thomas.

The Joe Six pack stuff varies. "Fated for Femininity" is 70 pages/22,000 words an $7.95. So it's more expensive, not less. "Day At the Mall" is 109 pages at $9.95. "From Mister to Sister" is 84 pages for $7.95. "Blondies Lost Summer" is 159 pages for $9.95. That's higher than my price-per-word, but lower than Thomas.

And ultimately, the issue really is value, not cost. Is the product worth what you are paying for. That's my point with the Big Mac. For people who think nothing of spending $5 for a Big Mac, $5 for a book they will hopefully enjoy repeatedly is not an unfair price.

As an aside, I do not count the ads for my other books at the back in my word counts or page counts.

So anyways, I do thank you for sharing your concerns and, like I said, I am conscious of the issue. And the reason I've posted this post in the first place is to let people know that my expectation that this book would be the last is changing as I work on it and the story grows bigger and bigger as I near the ending. It's not a matter of trying to make more money, it's a matter of the story not being as enjoyable if it stays in one volume.

AnnMichelle said...

Hmmpie, Blogger does some strange things. It really wasn't intentional. Sorry about that.

Hmmpie said...

"Fated for Femininity" is 70 pages/22,000 words an $7.95. So it's more expensive, not less"

Well, that entirely depends on how you value the illustrations. You yourself has previously stated you couldn't find an illustrator because they are too expensive. We can't base the productions from Sixpacksite only by number of words. Fraylims artwork in his collaborations with KK is beautiful. (Also Fated for Femininity is a special case since it's not an original Sixpacksite story, but a translation that was just illustrated). (So a pure per word comparison with yourself and Sixpacksite is not really fair in that sense).

The only real artwork that Fraylim did for Sandy Thomas is the Auntie gets tough-series, and in those there were much fewer illustrations and words at a much higher price than anything at Sixpacksite.

You currently don't pay for illustrations but yet you are similar in prize. <---I don't think CourtneyCaptisa got any illustrations in this one, (I haven't bought this one yet), but it only costs 4.99 on Lulu, for at least as it says on Amazon, 143 pages (not that pagecount is a very good tool). Says the word count is 30 000.

On that price you stated for the HP book, are you sure it was a kindle price and not hardcover? (Kindle is usually much less expensive).

I find it strange that you have never heard anyone state that Sandy Thomas is too expensive, the reviews of the books on Amazon are filled with such statements, there are entire threads with pirates sharing Sandy Thomas stories because they are "too expensive".

AnnMichelle said...


I'm not similar in price to Sixpack -- I'm cheaper. And I only mention Sixpack because I am only responding to your comment that the reader gets more words for half the price from Sixpack. That isn't accurate. It's actually backwards. My books cost half Sixpack's price and they include double the words. But Sixpack does illustrations, which means his work cannot be compared directly to mine in terms of the discussion of value. That's why I didn't mention him myself.

Yes, the Harry Potter book was the kindle price. That's been a bit of a scandal, that publishers are not pricing their kindle books much lower (if lower at all) than their paperback books. Hard cover books are in the high $20 range.

I haven't seen any reviews at Amazon about the cost of Sandy Thomas books. I have seen the pirate threads, but I don't take those people's claims about the cost as legitimate so much as a justification for illegal action. Whenever the issue of Sandy Thomas has come up in online discussions in which I've engaged, most people feel they are fair for their price and they were thankful they existed. And the fact they are similarly priced to Reluctant Press and Centurion before that suggest that Thomas isn't overpriced. Thomas was a huge step forward in terms of quality and availability.

AnnMichelle said...

P.S. Hmmpie, Thank you again for sharing your views. I am always happy to hear people's thoughts and concerns. :)

Hmmpie said...

Well, I still disagree with you, though I had to go to bed last night (I'm Swedish), and this morning I have been helping my parents move.

As has been stated many times it's hard to compare prices, especially if a story is illustrated or not, and there being so many different business models, for example tgstories have a monthly fee and then you can read everything there. So that said it's hard to compare. I think the easiest would probably be if I compiled the top-selling tg writers on Amazon and if we then looked at prices compared to size of books. There are many top-selling writers such as Russell Frank for example that take very low prices for high quality texts that are also long. (Russell Frank is about double your wordcount and always 3.74-3.75 USD in price).

But just a question, why don't you also publish on Lulu if it's less expensive to publish there? Like most other tg writers.

Voice of Reason said...

Thank you for this update, Ann! Your books keep getting better and better. I hope you write 2 or even 3 additional books in the Danielle series.

At less than $5 for a well-written, original, creative book with interesting characters and tantalizing scenarios, your books are a great bargain. Unlike too many authors in our genre, you spend a lot of time and put serious effort into every page you write.

Many depict a magical spell or potion turning a guy into a girl, and then describe wanton orgies. It's like the orgies are the main plot, and the TS/TG elements are just window dressing. The same meager story line is recycled into every possible genre, and there's nothing of merit anyway.

Anyone who finds your prices too high is free to seek a better return on their investment elsewhere. Good luck with that! The comparison is as between a portrait painter vs. a wall painter. It makes no sense to judge output based on gallons of paint used or square footage covered. The tasks are entirely different.

AnnMichelle said...

Hmmpie, Sweden? Interesting. I'm amazed how many people from countries I never expected have bought my books.

I've never read Frank, but he does seem to be a little cheaper. As a general rule though, what I see in our genre, is that the most common price is some form of 10,000 words for $3... whether it's 9,000 words for $2.99 or 30,000 words for $10. Not everyone uses this model, obviously, but it seems to be the most common.

I've never done Lulu because I used to be in the Amazon Prime program which made it almost impossible to sell elsewhere. I'm out of that now, but haven't had the time to look at other sellers.

AnnMichelle said...

Voice of Reason, Thank you! That's very flattering!

Unfortunately, there are a lot of stories out there where the TS/TG elements are just window dressing. I've always found that to be frustrating. My goal has always been to provide creative, entertaining, hopefully-exciting books with characters that you can relate to. I really do want my readers be able to lose themselves in my stories for a few hours and hopefully re-read them over the years.

Thanks again! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. I'm waiting semi patiently.


AnnMichelle said...

You're welcome, cindy bee! I'm working furiously!

LMark said...

I'm looking forward to reading the next part of your story. Take your time.

AnnMichelle said...

Thanks LMark! :)

Anonymous said...

I think taking into account a combination of quality and length your books are the best value out there by a fair margin. Some writers score well on one but almost always fall down on the other. Your my favourite author in our genre.


AnnMichelle said...

Thank you Marie! I'm happy to hear that! :)