Check out this great and data rich article on indie author earnings. Eye opening!
Posts Tagged ‘marketing’
Tags: Amazon, marketing, publishing, Writing
According to this article, Amazon is starting to raise prices on certain types of books. Why? Because it can–no competition.
Read up and let me know what you think: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100866228
Tags: indie, indie publishing, marketing, publishing, self-publishing, Writing
So, I just read this article by Derek Haines, which is edgy and maybe a bit over the top. But, a lot of it resonates with me at the same time. Specifically:
(1) Reduction of the value of our free downloads. This 100% happened.
(2) The Amazon review purge. This 100% happened.
(3) Changing of algorithms to reduce the success of indie books in comparison to big six books, including Amazon’s new imprint (Thomas and Mercer). Remains to be seen.
Read the article by Derek Haines, entitled “Self Published Authors Get Ready, You’re Being Dumped” http://www.derekhaines.ch/vandal/2012/11/self-published-authors-get-ready-youre-being-dumped/
Ask yourself this at the same time. Have the price of indie books, including the fact that we are flexible enough to offer our books for free, forever changed what consumers are willing to pay for books? Stated otherwise, will consumers still pay $12.99 for an ebook, which is the thievery rate the big six charge? It would be nice to know that, at a minimum, we changed that.
Tags: book reviews, marketing, self, self-publishing, Writing
A couple quick updates, thoughts, and possible points of clarification. First, Amazon hasn’t taken the Change.org petition seriously yet. Maybe I don’t blame them. What impact could 210 signing indie authors have? That’s why we’re pushing for 1,000. And, if that doesn’t get their attention, then we’ll get 2,000. We will push until they will dialogue with us, which is all we have requested. Sign it here today, just take a second and you’re in good company: http://www.change.org/petitions/amazon-stop-arbitrarily-removing-customer-reviews-from-indie-author-books
Next. I am starting to get information that Amazon is adding another dimension to pulling reviews. It is not set forth in any of their guidelines, but it could be called associated review pulling. What does association mean? Anyone in your family. Friends. People you work with. Reviews from all of these types of people have been removed and/or blocked according to various people. They are being told it is because they have a “financial interest” in your book, but that’s obviously a load of crap. That’s just the catchall phrase they’re using to justify their actions. So, in the future, it may not be possible to have anyone you know write you a review. Just awesome, huh? Let’s make it harder for indie authors.
Finally, just got done reading an interesting blog post on the review issue. It includes another description of what that blogger calls “linked” removal of reviews. It is called “Update on Amazon’s Disappearing Reviews: Konrath Continues Bold, Pro-Lies Stance; Amazon’s Policies Clarified” by Ed Robertson: http://www.edwardwrobertson.com/2012/11/update-on-amazons-disappearing-reviews.html
This all stinks of so many other situation where if there was just transparency, there would be no speculation, rumor, and angst. Amazon could easily step up and give some clarity/description on this whole issue. In fact, that’s all most people are asking for.
Tags: books, marketing, self-publishing, Writing
QUICK TIP #5: CATEGORIZING YOUR BOOK
I’ve been organizing promotional events for a while now, and when sorting through authors’ books to invite or consider inviting, a recurring theme pops up. I can’t tell what the heck category the books fall into. To underscore this point, and to affirm that I’m not just some dolt that can’t figure out a book’s category, imagine you walk into a bookstore (you remember what those were like, right?) and the shelves are filled with books. But, to your dismay, none of the shelves tell you what kind of books you’re looking at.
Now, imagine that, but on a website with millions of products, and hundreds of thousands of books! Starting to understand the problem now?
My suggestions. First, don’t hide the ball with readers. Maybe you’re afraid that if you categorize your book, some readers won’t like your category and won’t buy your book. Guess what? That’s a good thing. You want some thriller junkie reading your romance and leaving it a bad review? Or, you want some 70-year old devotee to steamy romance novels picking up your zombie apocalypse novel by accident? Nope.
So, put the genre in the title like I’ve done, or place it prominently in your Amazon description. Remember, the easier you make it for potential readers, the more sales you’re likely to get!
Tags: book reviews, marketing, self-publishing, Writing
Really interesting article here on the purchase of reviews–primarily positive reviews. By David Streitfeld of the New York Times:
Tags: free, free books, free ebooks, kindle direct publishing, kindle select, marketing
On June 4, 2012, I wrote a blog entitled “Going Free as a Group–Does it Still Work?” I published the blog right before I banded together with seven other great authors to gain maximum exposure for our two free days (June 4th and 5th). The event was called #Reads4Free.
Quite honestly, I was a bit skeptical regarding what type of results we would get. After all, none of us had ever organized an event of that magnitude before. Right as the event was getting ready to start, I had resigned myself to the possibility that the countless hours we had poured into preparation would not yield the results we wanted. Results that were intimately tied to the excitement we all felt about the event.
FORTUNATELY, THE DOUBTS WERE ILL-FOUNDED
What occurred June 4th and 5th was actually a bit startling. Let’s start with some of the stats. Seven of the eight books involved hit the top 100 free books on Amazon. Doug Dorow’s “The Ninth District” topped out at #5 overall. Rob Guthrie’s “Black Beast” topped out at #9 overall. My second thriller, “Allegiance,” reached #15. Elise Stokes’ second YA adventure book, “Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula,” reached the top 35. The only book not to reach the top 100 still performed extremely well for its genre–anthologies–which generally do not climb as high as individual novels.
IN ALL, WE SURPASSED 75K DOWNLOADS IN THIS SINGLE EVENT
Gulp. Yeah. Over 75k books downloaded in the first #Reads4Free event. A first event where we undoubtedly had hiccups and mistakes. A first event where kinks will be ironed out for #Reads4Free redux.
Climbing the free charts is exciting and worthwhile in its own respect. It means you got exposure. People have your book in their reading device, and setting aside debates as to whether they will read it, the first step in doing so is owning it. However, we’re in this profession for another reason, as well. To make some money. Especially as indie authors, we are juggling a job (or multiple jobs), families, marketing, promoting, networking, events, etc., so more than anyone else, we are relentless about the pursuit of our singular dream–making writing our full-time and only job.
So, it was important to track books after the free event, and how they performed once they went paid. It was painfully obvious that the heyday of KDPS had passed. With the numbers of downloads each of our books received, some of those books should have gotten into the top 50 paid books as well. In the US at least, Doug Dorow’s book was the only one to reach that level. However, fear not (at least, not yet) because there was a positive impact on most of our books. Specifically, all of us had a nice bump in paid sales that we were able to maintain with other methods such as pricing and advertising.
Here are the things I took away from the event:
- Going free on your own and doing no pre-free preparation is absolutely off the table. Won’t work, and in fact, could hurt your rankings.
- Going free as a group that works hard and works together is still viable.
- Going back to paid is a rough ride, but through pricing and particularly, with some well placed ads, you can mitigate that transition.
That’s dem apples. If you’re interested in being a part of a future event, email me at email@example.com.
Tags: best indie books, free ebooks, indie ebooks, marketing, promotion, Reads4Free
You know what I love about being indie? My world isn’t a cloistered cave of writing and talking to just my editor and/or agent. My world is literally full of thousands of other indie authors that brighten up everyday for me with their generosity.
GROUP FRIGGIN’ HUG
Okay, that bit of sentimentality aside, I’ve actually got a point here. Let’s start with Kindle Direct Publishing Select. When it started out, you could go free on your own and get thousands of downloads. But, like anything else in this (insert expletive) world, there’s no free pass to success. Honestly, some days I wish I would wake up with two things: (1) perfect vision, dammit, and (2) about 50 million dollars. I digress. So, no free pass to success. What does that mean several months after KDPS started? Going free and doing it solo–not so successful anymore. And you’ve heard it from a whole bunch of people who continue to do the same thing and expect the same results. Bottom line, those results ain’t there, so we’ve got to adapt.
What’s a way to deal with this? Think like an indie my friend. Going “solo free” (I’ll coin that term right here) is so freaking traditional author. Going free with a group of great indie authors? Now you’re thinking.
Let’s get one thing straight. Going free as a group is nothing novel. There are other groups that do free events. However, there’s no way any one organization can provide all of your promo needs. For one, it makes sense to diversify your advertising dollars. For two (can you say “for two”?), if you have multiple books, then a single organization may not have enough free events for you. That’s kinda where I was, which is why I did the following.
Through my publishing arm (haha, always wanted to say that. My publishing arm are these two hands, and when I can get his lazy ass going, one of my dogs), I have organized eight of the most excellent indie authors I know to go free as a group. Of course, I know more than eight excellent indie authors, but there will be more events. The point? We have worked our tails off to put this event together (another reason to pay the IBC their entry fee and sit back while their staff run the promo for you!) We have canvassed the entire world of indie publishing and advertising, or so it seems. The bigger point. THERE’S NO WAY YOU COULD DO THIS AS A SOLO FREE.
This world of publishing changes so damn quickly, so who knows how long going free as a group will be successful. However, we indie authors are the small tribe that can adapt to change on a dime. Let the bureaucracy of the traditional publishing world die. In the meantime, we’ll evolve, come together, and take advantage of whatever we can to sell more books.
With that being said, here are the awesome authors involved in the group event, appropriately titled #Reads4Free. You, my dear indie authors, owe it to them to go download their free books. Just as we will owe it to you when you go free.
FREE ON JUNE 4TH AND 5TH ONLY
Oh GOODNASS, don’t those books look sexy? Check them out on the webpage we built. Seriously, they look dead sexy there, and you can find out more info about what you’re downloading. Click on any cover to be transported (the click comes with a drop of acid). Or, just click on this hyperlink: http://www.rogue-books.com/#!Reads4Free/cj6w
Over and out my friends. If you’re interested in being part of an Indie Book Collective event, or another of my #Reads4Free events through Rogue Books, then just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.