Tag Archives: Amazon Kindle

99 cents doesn't undervalue me

Amazon Kindle 2

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Since going free on the kindle Second Chance Romance has  been downloaded a lot. The other two are selling well.

I almost regret not being totally obscure anymore. I feel like people are watching me now. Whereas before I used it as a way to hone my craft.

I’m only making 35% on each sale via Amazon.

Some people would argue that I should raise my prices to 2.99 and get the 70%. But, I’m not going to.

Artists are not entitled to a certain amount of money. No one is. I am not in this for the money. No writer can start out that way. I write because I love it. I have to write. I may even submit to a publisher someday. My books may be the best example of indie work is sub-par.

At least I’m giving it a shot. I am evolving and growing.

If my had not gone Free, I would have been sitting at 50 sales a month give or take. After the initial blitz I still might fall back to that.

Any money I get from this is gravy. Most writers say they can’t make it as ONLY a writer. I’m reading Hugh MacLoed’s book “Ignore Everyone” and he says “artists” have 2 jobs: their creative, fun job and a job that pays the bills.

I’ve heard the argument that if you sell your book for .99 it’s undervaluing the work you did. Your work is worth more than 99 cents. There was hours and hours.

To one person my book might be worth $5 or $10 or $20. To someone who doesn’t like romance, it’s not worth the energy and bandwidth it would take to download my book to their e-reader. To me, no book is worth $20. I will never buy a hardcover.

When you buy a physical book, you aren’t paying the author for their time. The publishing house did that already, now they’ll get a kickback for letting a publishing house licence their words to someone else. (Publishing is a really messed up system if you really look at it). When you buy a hardcover the author’s portion is like 15%. Puh-leaze.

99 cents isn’t undervaluing myself. Readers don’t want to pay 2.99 for an unknown with three books out. When I have 10 releases, when I have an established platform, I can charge $5 if I want.

I don’t have an established platform. I’m not writing material that is really popular (paranormal). My heart is not there. My heart right now is in these hockey novels. After that, i have an idea that I’ve had for a long time (I got it while I was working on Summer Fling) for a paranormal type. I am in love with the idea, but I had to do the hockey first.

I am not saying all new self-published author’s should release their books at 99 cents. I’m not saying it’s bad to list your first book at 2.99 or 4.99. If it’s right for you, go for it. I have thought about this for a long time. Under 2.99 is what I think is a fair price.

As for free, the turn around in downloads and sales has explained to me that free really does work. My next plan is finish my last of three short stories I have for free and bundle them for the Kindle. Maybe four short stories, I have a Up in Flames short story regarding SPOILER. Can’t tell you yet.

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Free Second Chance Romance

Since Second Chance Romance is distributed to the world minus Amazon via Smashwords for free, Amazon said it was doing a price match.

So, Second Chance is Free on Amazon.

And I have it categorized as Erotica. Therefore, I got 10,000+ downloads yesterday. Another thousand this morning. It was #1 in Erotica, and #17 on the Kindle list.

I can’t check what it is this morning because I’m refusing to look. I’m refusing to look because I don’t know if there are new reviews. I dont’ want to read reviews. I’m more or less happy with the book. I don’t know what others will think of it. I don’t what people will think of it being listed as erotic. There are three or four sex scenes and one of those is anal.

I think that reviews will hurt me, but they do. I take them personally. I am disappointed when people say they don’t like it. And I don’t want to be one of those authors that goes crazy and starts yelling about negative reviews. So I’m not going to look.

It’s been a weird day for me. Summer Fling and Complications over Coffee are up as well. Not huge, like 20 books each, but that’s more than I usually get in a month.

I haven’t seen an uptick on blog traffic either. We will see in the next few weeks what happens.

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Why cheap and free are okay

But what about free content?

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I’m sure people hoard 99 cent books because they are cheap to buy. Some people download free content and never around to looking at it. I have a ton of free pdfs that I’ve forgotten about. They sit in a folder entitled “books” or “downloads” and once in a while I find them, glance through the pages, realize it’s not for me and delete it.

It’s still a valid way to get your name out to people.

Especially when it comes to short stories. Colours of the Rain has been downloaded 1500 times. If a tenth of the people read it that’s 150 reads. If half of them read it, that’s 700. Cool!

Second Chance Romance
has 748 downloads. If 5% read it and buy Summer Fling, that’s 40 sales.

It’s far better than no one buying it at 5.99 or even 2.99. I know I could get a higher royalty at 2.99 on Amazon. And I consider changing it and seeing how many copies get sold.

Part of why I don’t have it at 2.99 is I don’t feel like it’s a 2.99 book. I said before in my imperfection that my writing is 70%. I don’t have the 30% to get a professional set of eyes on it to push it past 100. I’m getting better at it.

I know 99 cents is equated with a less professional book. Maybe I’m reinforcing that attitude. Hey, become a beta reader and point out my flaws before I release the book. Email me asrai.rdATgmail.com. 🙂

The second reason I’m going with free and cheap is I just want to be read. At two  years into the writing. self publish journey, I don’t expect to be on the best seller’s list. Many of the author’s going around talking about self-publishing are established, they have a name, they are known, so their success doesn’t apply to me.

ALso, I don’t have a strong backlist yet. I have three novel length books on Amazon and Smashwords. I have two short stories for free. That’s not a lot. I’m building my platform, I’m building my readership. That is more important to me than 70% royalty.

Lots of people can write about why 2.99 is better than .99 cents. It’s not better. It’s different. It’s not a lack of pride.

If you go with 99 cents because it’s cheap and lots of people will buy, do your research. Make sure you are setting a price point that works for you.

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Back to good

My Kobo is working again. Inexplicably it just turned on 48 hours after it started doing the cycles of reboots. No idea.

 

But that’s not what I wanted to discuss.

I haven’t been writing a whole lot lately. And then we got a cold and my husband sprained his shoulder and I’ve taken it easy for the last few days, reading The Purpose of your Life by Carol Adrienne.

There’s a really good chapter or so about intention and positive thinking.

Now, positive thinking and intention got a lot of press a few years ago with the Secret etc.

But, in this case it’s not setting your mind on an amount of money you want to make, or anything tangible.

It’s setting your intention for HOW you want to FEEL.

And it was like a metaphysical slap upside my head.

I’ve focused on sales in the past few weeks, and writing the next book so I have something more for sale and if I should raise my prices from free to .99 for short stories and my novels to 2.99 etc. I blame Zoe Winters for all  her press about .99 vs. 2.99.

And it’s making my creative life feel really shitty.

Do I write for the money? Well, no. I’d love to make my living at this, but I would rather share my words on the cheap and have a day job.

I want to love writing again. I don’t want to worry about profits and making my living from this. It’s my hobby for now. I do dream of making it big like Amanda Hocking. But, now, I just want to love writing.

So I’m focusing on that.

In good news I may have sold 50 books on Amazon in March. I sold 15 in February, so I’m hoping I’m picking up speed. The more stuff I get out there the better it will get.

I love writing and I would do it if no one paid me. It really never has to be my full-time job, because I love working where I did (before I became a mom) and full expect to return to work in the next 5 years.

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Want a free copy of my new book?

With the recent release of Complications Over Coffee, I thought I’d give a chance for a free book.

If you review Second Chance Romance or Summer Fling on Amazon or Smashwords (links are Smashwords), I will send you a Smashwords coupon with a 100% of for Complications Over Coffee.The reviews have to be meaningful, not “good book, you should read it” and do not have to be positive, that would be wrong to ask for. If you hated it, say why. If you loved it, tell everyone.

Leave a comment with your email and the link or email me at asrai.rdATgmail.com (change AT to @) and I will try to send out the coupons within 48 hours. Offer is good until March 20, 2011.

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Complications Over Coffee

Corey has gone live.(Click those words if you are as excited as me, it’ll take you to the buy page on Smashwords).

It feels a bit anti-climactic for me, after having spent several months with him. I’m a little sad to let him go, I loved writing this book. Twice. I wrote his story, started editing, and then had a better idea.

You can grab the book  on Smashwords. Amazon takes a few days but I’ll post the link when it comes.

The short description:

Nicole received the news seven months ago: men are cheating scum. Corey has lived apart from others until he met Mandy Green, who has taken his confession for a family to heart. While Nicole struggles to finalize her divorce, find a job. Corey struggles with a hold on bachelor hood and his temper. Will Nicole and Corey keep their lives untangled? Or will they let their lives get complicated?

The long one is on Smashwords and Amazon.

I hope you all love Corey as much as I do.

Stay tuned I have ways for you to obtain a free copy (limited promotion probably the first weeks of March, 2011). 🙂 Or a free copy of a short story of after Complications.

 

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Waddling through the drek

Many of the naysayers comments on self-publishing goes something like this:

HOW will us POOR readers be able to tell the horrible writing from the good stuff if the editors and publishers and agents don’t tell us what to read?

Shut it people.

Just reading the small blurb about the book tells a hell of a lot. I was on Smashwords looking up free reads to read and then review later and there were things that I could tell were crappy just by reading the small blurb. The author just threw something up there. A few of them didn’t even have proper book description just genre blurb. Huh? I know what romance is about? I need to know what YOUR romance is about.

This is how we currently choose books isn’t it? The short blurb and the cover.

Secondly, almost all indie authors give you a preview of their book. If they don’t then write the author and tell them what a mistake they are making. If the blurb looks good, check out the preview.

It’s how we check out an unknown author at the library or bookstore. Flip open to a random page and see if it’s unreadable or interesting.

If those two check out, then you are probably okay to read the whole book. Even spend a little bit of money on it.

If those two satisfy you and you buy the book and it turns out to be drek, you do have some recourse. Kindle gives you a week or so to ask for a refund if you hate the book. I don’t know if Kobo, B&N or Smashwords gives you the same.

Money back or not, write a review. Let other people know the book sucked or didn’t. Write why it did or didn’t work for you. Write it on your blog, your twitter and Amazon etc etc. Send a letter to the author.

I think if I got a letter from a pissed off reader, I would offer a refund of money.

Really tho, in a world where movies like Saw 54 (what number are they on anyway!!) and The Back-Up Plan get made or TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy are still popular? I think we can sludge through a few bad books.

Bad books make it through the agent-editor-publisher process all the time. It’s really a matter of taste. Your highfalutin tastes might look down on Twilight and Dan Brown and all of Harlequin there are PLENTY of people to make it up for those authors-publishers-editors-agents. They aren’t missing your money at all.

SO shut it. Self-publishing isn’t going to unleash the demons of hell upon the world of reading. If you don’t think self-published novels are where it’s at then don’t bother looking. PUblishing is still going strong, you can still buy a few thousand books published by traditional publishers.

You can even do it in print so you can have the whole experience. The feel of the book in your hands. The paper cutting your fingers. How is it that paper cuts always hurt so bad?

And you can breathe in the musty smell of paper. ANd deep breath and then cough cough. (If you ask me it’s more like breathing in dust).

And you can have the weight of the book in your hands. Both hands because it’s a hard cover and you have to use both hands to hold it. (I was annoyed the other night because I was reading a print hardcover and found it bulky to read my book and hold my infant son so I tossed it aside for my Kobo which is easy to fling from hand to hand).

And yes, you can pay a premium price for all that privilege. The author will get a small percentage. Eventually.

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