You Don’t Say. . .

Just a quick post this morning. If you’ve been following my personal blog, you know I’m dealing with a shoulder injury that makes keyboarding “interesting”. Since I’m on the final push to get Victory from Ashes ready for release, I’m trying to limit keyboarding to that. But never fear, I have found a couple of things I thought you might find interesting and that might strike up some good conversation in the comments.

Before I get started, full credit for finding these links goes to The Passive Voice. I’ve said it before and will say it again. If you aren’t a regular reader of that blog, you should be.

First up, boo-hoo. NY publishers are so worried about keeping their liberal employees and critics happy that they are seeing a slump in sales right now. I don’t know what’s funnier: the publishers still not understanding that the way to make money is to publish books readers want to read or the fact the NYT is quoting its own best seller list (which has little to do with actual sales but can be easily manipulated through pre-orders, publisher placement of a book in sales material, etc.) to prove how politically “polarized” our country happens to be.

But how can we fault these poor NY publishers? According to the Times, they would have to worry about fact-checking anything from Trump or his ilk. Hmm….I don’t seem to remember them worrying about fact-checking Obama or Clinton (either of them) or Bernie.

I don’t know about you, but I think the Passive Guy pretty much hit it on the head with his comment after excerpting from the article.

PG’s heart aches for the poor wittle New York publishers. They have such a tough job. Their little hearts must ache all day when people say bad things about them.

It’s no wonder they have to drink and do drugs when they get home.

The next is something all writers need to take a look at and decide if it might help them. Again, a hat tip to The Passive Voice. Promotion and the question of whether we should or should no advertise is a constant concern/headache for writers. While the underlying article TPV links to is very general–and doesn’t give some information I’d like to see–it is a good place to start. I will, however, take issue with one of the first things the OP says.

If you wrote an ebook, Amazon Kindle Publishing is with no doubt the best place for free advertising.

First because the OP doesn’t tell us why Amazon is the best place for free advertising or how to secure it. Second, it is amazing the opportunities for free advertising you have with the other storefronts if you go direct to them or if you use a 3rd party platform like Draft2Digital. The key is to find what you are comfortable doing.

I urge you to go back and read PG’s comments at the end of his excerpt from the OP because he makes from very good points. Points each of us should consider before deciding how to promote a new title.

Next, a quick update on going wide. This month is the second full month of going wide. It is the first month most of my titles (all but two novels and a couple of short stories) are wide. As of this morning, I have made more on Amazon with no titles in Kindle Unlimited than I have any month save one this year. That month was a release month for a book I spent a lot of time promoting. Going back to January 2020, my Amazon sales for this month rank 5th overall. In the four months that beat it, not only did I have new titles released (and promoted) but there were KU page reads as well.

So, looking at it that way, I have a non-release month with no KU page reads (or very few because my books are all out of the program now) making more money through sales only than any other non-release month for the last 20 months where I had sales and page reads.

But there’s more. Now I need to factor in the sales through other storefronts/channels. When I look at those, the three months I’ve been working on going wide earned as much–or more–than any other month this year save April when I had the promoted new title release. Those three months also earned out more than any other month without new releases last year. And, this month, I am less than $50 off the total royalties for April of this year.

But what is really interesting, at least to me, is that the number of books sold on Amazon continues to grow. Without the KU page reads basically taking sales away, I’m making more money. My books are priced low enough, folks are willing to take a try on them ($2.99-$4.99). If this continues, I am going to be a very happy camper.

But, for now, I need to focus on finishing up the final touches on Victory from Ashes. Here’s the working copy of a promotion piece I put together yesterday since I can do stuff like it mainly one-handed.

victory promo image

Now to get some more coffee and get to work. Until later!

(BTW, the artwork for the above is by David Edwards.)

Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

8 comments

  1. About the only conflating factor I can think of is that you are advertising more– but it’s in a way that you *can’t* really expand, because it’s “advertising” by writing articles about going wide and it mentions your books, both in the places you’re now selling *and* on Amazon, which (pardon the much abused phrase) raises awareness of the books.

    I don’t even have a book finished and I’m interested in this project of yours!

    1. Thanks. When I made the decision to go wide, I wanted to hold off on doing major paid promos until I had everything wide and I saw how sales were going. After all, I want to be able to make an informed decision about the best places to put my promo dollars. But, with that decided, I knew I needed to figure out some way to get the word out and keep it out there. . . so the blogging had to increase. I needed to be more conscious about what I was blogging about and how it might translate into sales and I needed to look at my other social media options.

      In other words, it meant really practicing what I’ve been preaching here on MGC about treating my writing like a business–and adulting. And I hate adulting. VBG

  2. I think you’re spot-on with the pricing. I’ll try almost anything that looks even *vaguely* interesting at the $0.99 price point, and I’ll happily try new stuff in genres or fields that I follow if the price is below $5.00. Above that, it has to be something that I’m already following and really like to get me to buy it. After all, there’s already more good stuff out there below $5.00 than I have time to read – why pay more to experiment?

    1. Exactly. I’ve learned not to price too low–people won’t buy if they think you don’t value your work and, tbh, a lot of folks will give lousy reviews to lower priced books just because they are cheap. They think that means lower quality. So I tend not to do too much at the 99 cent range unless it is a true short story. But $2.99-$4.99 seems to still be the sweet spot. At least for me.

  3. Had to go back to check… Amanda, I would note that the OP says “Amazon Kindle Publishing.” Not “Kindle Unlimited,” or even “Select.” Even going wide, your books on Amazon are still included in the “You might like,” “Based on your reading,” etc. Especially, they will still show up in the “People who bought this book also bought.” As noted in the PV comments, you also get a free “New Releases” newsletter for people who follow you on Amazon.

    So, I have no problem with the statement in the OP. Although I might have worded it as “If you have an ebook, the best place to target it first is Amazon.”

    1. It may be that I haven’t had coffee yet, but I think you’re reading too much into my comment/criticism. If you go back, I said my concern is that the OP doesn’t tell us why publishing on Kindle is best for free advertising. As for your examples, yes. But you have to hit Amazon’s algorithms to be included and those algorithms change without notice or explanation. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still an Amazon fan. I just think authors need to take a harder look at the company right now and what it is doing for them. I was amazed at how much I thought was Amazon only for indies is now being done elsewhere. I will always be grateful for Amazon and its early stance in supporting indie authors.

      1. Hmm. Perhaps (looking at the time stamp), I made that comment when the caffeine in my system had passed its sell by date.

        You are correct about what you wrote.

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