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PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


EngineerSean posted:

As the voice actor, if you can get paid per finished hour, it's fine. The standard rate is $225 per finished hour, though if you're new at it it can be a lot less. I would NOT take the 50/50 split of sales. As Jalum points out, the rights holder has no control over price, promotions, and the people at Audible and Amazon basically use it as promotional material to pimp their service more than anything.

I don't mind doing just some lovely smaller stuff now to build up some portfolio I guess.

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Roar
Jul 7, 2007

I got 30 points!

I GOT 30 POINTS!


Back on the subject of KDP Select, is there some easy way to figure out where what the borrow rate for the month is? Amazon says that it's determined each month but I can't find anything current for the life of me. Or is it something that just needs to be calculated once the monthly report comes out?

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

It isn't set until the 15th of the following month. So we won't know what we've earned per borrow in December for another two weeks. There is no rhyme or reason to the payout amounts. Amazon announces some arbitrary pool size (January is 3mil) but then they add money to it anyway. In November it was 3mil and then they added another 3.5mil to the pot. It was the first month where the pay per borrow increased since the launch of the kindle unlimited program.

I've resorted to just thinking of it as a dollar per borrow. Probably won't be disappointed if that's your basis for revenue projections.

Edit: And yeah, when the report comes out on the 15th we just do a little division and figure out the borrow rate.

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


What is a good price for 3000 word short stories?

If a scheduled freelance gig falls through I will have more free time on my hands and will try to publish something for the first time ever.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


No Gravitas posted:

What is a good price for 3000 word short stories?

If a scheduled freelance gig falls through I will have more free time on my hands and will try to publish something for the first time ever.

99 cents, and if its not in erotica don't expect it to ever sell.

No Gravitas
Jun 12, 2013

by FactsAreUseless


EngineerSean posted:

99 cents, and if its not in erotica don't expect it to ever sell.

Consider it done.

Yay! It will never sell! At least I know what I'm in for!

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Are Kindle children's books selling at all? Is that even a thing?

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


ravenkult posted:

Are Kindle children's books selling at all? Is that even a thing?

I don't know if they sell but they're on Kindle and generally the format makes them pretty unenticing for picture books and the like, though I still pick them up in sales sometimes.

Unless by "children" you mean "young teen" in which case there are tonnes of huge series with pretty standard stock photo covers that look like they do well.

e: I know I don't need to say it but I buy the children's books because I am interested in looking into basically every genre, especially as ebooks. I recommend finding some and checking out the previews to see how they look currently.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




I've been meaning to do one (your assumption was correct, I'm talking about picture books) for a while, and I guess it's more of a hobby rather than a serious project. I'll probably run it for free a lot or go permafree.

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


ravenkult posted:

Are Kindle children's books selling at all? Is that even a thing?

They're not really a thing yet because of how hard it is to scale any text correctly across different devices (even trad-pub e-books for children look like garbage), combined with the format being little more than HTML for actual MOBI/EPUB books. I'm working on one as an app instead of an ebook so that I can add some animation/sound features, but I have no expectation of it selling well.

Edit: Oh yeah, they also require that you hand your tablet / iPhone to a small child. That's working against them too (as well as children not having disposable income to use on Amazon "buy it now" buttons.

PoshAlligator
Jan 9, 2012

When SEO just isn't enough.


It's all about that Leap Frog.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


EngineerSean posted:

if its not in erotica don't expect it to ever sell.

After reading over the whole thread, I get that this seems to be the general consensus on self-publishing short fiction. However, I've been considering for a while doing a series of short stories (maybe 5k-8k each) that are all interconnected in some way - they would all be set in the same town and each story, while being a stand-alone piece in its own right would also form part of a larger narrative. I'm thinking that each story would be followed by journal entries (or something similar) from a single outside-observer type character, which would serve as as a sort-of narrative thread, and I'm also considering having a tie-in blog (probably a Tumblr, because I can see it being a good platform for what I have in mind) with posts written from the perspective of another character who lives in the town and provides their own commentary on events that either happen or are referred to in some way in the main stories. I guess I'm picturing it being like if the X-files and Welcome to Night Vale had a baby, and the baby was a series of e-books?

Anyway, I'm aware that the endeavour would be a whole poo poo-ton of work, and so I'm reluctant to go for it if the fact that it's short fiction is going to leave it dead in the water. I suppose I could re-configure the idea into a novel or something, but for some reason I really enjoy the idea of building a little world this way. What do you guys think?

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


Fanky Malloons posted:

Anyway, I'm aware that the endeavour would be a whole poo poo-ton of work, and so I'm reluctant to go for it if the fact that it's short fiction is going to leave it dead in the water. I suppose I could re-configure the idea into a novel or something, but for some reason I really enjoy the idea of building a little world this way. What do you guys think?

The thing is, if someone happens to stumble upon one of these things, can you trust them to find or realise that there is more content elsewhere?

Instead, maybe have a novel length compilation of these short stories, incorporate those Tumblr posts into the text as their own chapters/stories and format them like a blog post to get that sweet Cloud Atlas-y feel, call it "Tales from Townname" and be done with it. If you get more ideas or want to do a series, follow it up with "Further Tales from Townname". I feel it's a safer bet.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Fanky Malloons posted:

Anyway, I'm aware that the endeavour would be a whole poo poo-ton of work, and so I'm reluctant to go for it if the fact that it's short fiction is going to leave it dead in the water. I suppose I could re-configure the idea into a novel or something, but for some reason I really enjoy the idea of building a little world this way. What do you guys think?

I think you should set yourself up for success and write it as a novel.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Write them as short stories, then go back and edit them into chapters of a longer narrative.

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


I posted this in the work-for-hire thread but I'll put it here too, if no one objects.

Good news for writers in need of an editor. I've just launched Bookside Manner, my fiction editing service.

I provide proofreading, copyediting, and line editing for books of all genres.

For my rates and qualifications, and for testimonials from past clients, visit: http://www.booksidemanner.com

Questions? Drop me a line at booksidemanner@gmail.com

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Just sent you an e-mail, Hijinks. :) Want me to add you to the Services section of the OP?

Hijinks Ensue
Jul 24, 2007


Yes, please. That would be much appreciated.

DukeRustfield
Aug 6, 2004


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

I've resorted to just thinking of it as a dollar per borrow. Probably won't be disappointed if that's your basis for revenue projections.
That's depressing. I remember getting some phat lewts from borrows. Or at least fatter.

But it's funny how the unlimited seemed to come down hardest, in terms of revenue change, on the erotic writers. I'm guessing because those voracious readers seemed to flock to unlimited more than other genre readers and thus more of those purchases got converted to the cheapy borrows. Laws of unintended consequences.

As for short fiction, I have 2 collections that are linked to novels, but they don't sell amazingly well. One problem is pricing. If you're not 2.99-9.99 you're at 35%.
.35*.99 = .3465
Sell 100 stories and you've got a whopping $34.65.

Just don't eat lunch for a few days and pay yourself that money.

On a lark, I combined my 2 collections into one collection with a discount over buying the two. And didn't make it available for borrows. So Amazon lists it as 124 pages. That one has sold better than the other two, so not sure if it's length or price or perceived value, but there you go.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


$1.39 is a price I was always willing to accept for my erotica, especially when I'm still pulling down 1% of an increasingly bloated prize pool. There was just no real way to price between $0.99 (for a 35 cent royalty) and $2.99 (for a $2 royalty) before. I can't really say that my latest novel getting $1.80 average royalty per copy sold is fantastic but what I've lost in price per unit, I've made up for in volume.

EngineerSean fucked around with this message at 04:22 on Jan 5, 2015

star eater
Jan 1, 2006



Fallen Rib

Shame your avatar isn't Walter white in the lab

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Hi guys,

I just read this whole thread, and I have a BUNCH of questions. First, a little info on me: I want to write commercial fiction that will sell. I have an MFA in poetry, and recently decided to drop out of a lit PHD program, for a bunch of reasons. But I've been around writing my entire life, been an avid reader, and a constant writer etc. I say this just to make clear that I take it seriously, and want to write stories for a market that will sell. I think I'm capable and I want to work hard. I'm fortunate enough to have a job where I work from home, so I have a lot of freedom to write during the day.

So! My biggest question right now is this: does SciFi sell? I'm ~50k words into a SciFi novel, and I absolutely plan on finishing it, but should I consider something like Romance instead? I'm in a pretty good writing habit right now, and I want to keep the word counts going for the foreseeable future. I'm already reading a few Romances (and with only Twilight as prior experience, I actually kinda like them) as research right now. But is it possible to do well in SciFi, or is Romance the place to be? Do the same strategies for marketing Romance works for marketing SciFi?

I have 100 other questions about marketing, covers, blurbs, etc, but I'll hold off for now. Thanks for all this great info!

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Romance sells insanely well, so if you're purely in it for the money, go for that. If you want to make an okayish living having fun and writing what you want, then stick with sci-fi. Don't get tempted to rewrite it as a sci-fi romance because no.

You sound like you have a healthy frame of mind about it though, so I wish you all the best.

painted bird
Oct 18, 2013

by Lowtax


How does fantasy do, on average?

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Romance sells insanely well, so if you're purely in it for the money, go for that. If you want to make an okayish living having fun and writing what you want, then stick with sci-fi. Don't get tempted to rewrite it as a sci-fi romance because no.

You sound like you have a healthy frame of mind about it though, so I wish you all the best.

Thanks! I figured out that scifi romance is basically a huge joke in this thread, so yeah. Clean genre separation for me.

Fanky Malloons
Aug 21, 2010

Is your social worker inside that horse?


Szmitten posted:

Instead, maybe have a novel length compilation of these short stories, incorporate those Tumblr posts into the text as their own chapters/stories and format them like a blog post to get that sweet Cloud Atlas-y feel


Jalumibnkrayal posted:

I think you should set yourself up for success and write it as a novel.


Bobby Deluxe posted:

Write them as short stories, then go back and edit them into chapters of a longer narrative.

Thanks for the advice, goons! I'm definitely still in the planning stages of this, as I'm currently supposed to be writing my MA thesis (:suicide:) so I will take some more time to re-think the format along these lines before I get stuck in.

Jalumibnkrayal
Apr 16, 2008



Ramrod XTreme

Fanky Malloons posted:

Thanks for the advice, goons! I'm definitely still in the planning stages of this, as I'm currently supposed to be writing my MA thesis (:suicide:) so I will take some more time to re-think the format along these lines before I get stuck in.

Good luck, keep us posted!

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



the brotherly phl posted:

So! My biggest question right now is this: does SciFi sell?

Yes. I write in the military scifi genre and I've done pretty well. Not as good as some of our romance writers here, but well enough that I'm still going at it.

My first series sold really well, and for whatever reason just took off in the UK. I did a standalone novel that was out of my genre, but still scifi, and it pretty well poo poo the bed. So, lesson learned, stick to your niche! I've got a pretty good following, a decent mailing list, and a few retired military officers around the world who have written me fanmail.

A few guys who have done really really well with the milScifi niche : Christopher Nuttall, Ryk Brown, and Jay Allan. It's straight up pulp with bug eyed aliens and swashbuckling captains, but it sells well and is pretty entertaining.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Yooper posted:

I've got a pretty good following, a decent mailing list, and a few retired military officers around the world who have written me fanmail.

That's awesome! Retired military officers writing fanmail is fantastic.

OK, well, that's good to hear. I'm starting to realize though that my scifi novel isn't really super marketable, actually. Which I guess I'm OK with, since it was my first try at the genre anyway. It's more literary fiction in a near-future universe, super Gibson influenced. Somewhat post-apocalyptic. Anyway, thanks for your response, I appreciate it.

Mr. Belding
May 19, 2006
^
|
<- IS LAME-O PHOBE ->
|
V


the brotherly phl posted:

That's awesome! Retired military officers writing fanmail is fantastic.

OK, well, that's good to hear. I'm starting to realize though that my scifi novel isn't really super marketable, actually. Which I guess I'm OK with, since it was my first try at the genre anyway. It's more literary fiction in a near-future universe, super Gibson influenced. Somewhat post-apocalyptic. Anyway, thanks for your response, I appreciate it.

Hey, that's not how we do it here. You're supposed to spend a few pages arguing about how the world will not be able to help itself from noticing the genius that is your work.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Mr. Belding posted:

Hey, that's not how we do it here. You're supposed to spend a few pages arguing about how the world will not be able to help itself from noticing the genius that is your work.

Ha, I noticed that. I want to actually make something decent and sell it, which I guess is the difference.

I started a romance two days ago. I'm at ~9300 words already, and I'm really enjoying myself. Aiming for a total of 50k, standalone work. Is that long enough, or should I shoot for more?

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


the brotherly phl posted:

Ha, I noticed that. I want to actually make something decent and sell it, which I guess is the difference.

I started a romance two days ago. I'm at ~9300 words already, and I'm really enjoying myself. Aiming for a total of 50k, standalone work. Is that long enough, or should I shoot for more?

No that's a great length, 50k-60k is the sweet spot in my experience.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




What do you guys use to track your income/sales? I'm selling a lot of books across many distributors and getting lost in my DIY spreadsheet. Help.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


ravenkult posted:

What do you guys use to track your income/sales? I'm selling a lot of books across many distributors and getting lost in my DIY spreadsheet. Help.

I only track deposits/expenses. It'd be a lot easier for me to have a proper spreadsheet now that I'm mostly Amazon exclusive but I remember how much time I wasted loving around with a huge spreadsheet in 2012 and how much more work I have out now and shudder.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




I wouldn't bother (it's enough to know how much I'm making and how many I sold each month) but I think I could use more data (like average sales per book).

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


I'm Amazon-exclusive now as well and I basically just track deposits and biz expenses via Mint. Once in a while I check ranks for individual stories and gently caress with things, but it just isn't worth the time to do it regularly.

The spreadsheets of 2012-2013 are long gone.


Edit: OP updates are coming this weekend.

Sundae fucked around with this message at 19:53 on Jan 7, 2015

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


I used to track sales by books every day. Ahahahahha. Now I realized someone asked my my unit sales for 2014 and I have zero idea. Like, it could be 50k sales or 300k sales, poo poo, I don't know, all I look at is income.

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


I've got a spreadsheet. It's a mess, but it makes sense to me. I make a new one each January.

Page 1:
I track sales monthly, by title and retailer (Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon Other, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iBooks (by way of D2D), Kobo, ACX, Google Play). I record # of sales and income per title, which I record as both a total and an average.

Page 2:
I track each title's monthly sales in $ across all retailers for the year, and have a column where I calculate the cost to produce (covers, editors, hours invested x $30 per hour) so I can calculate net profit per title. I have a column that converts gross into profit averaged by month since publication. Figures grabbed from page 1.

Page 3:
Totals per retailer per month for the year, data grabbed from page 1.

POOL IS CLOSED
Jul 14, 2011

I'm just exploding with mackerel. This is the aji wo kutta of my discontent.


Pillbug

Since we're coming upon that season stateside, here's a logistical question... Does Amazon provide a 1099-MISC statement or something similar to 'Murcans documenting your sales revenue for reporting to the IRS, or do you receive no such statements from them whatsoever?

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moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web


Yeah you get a few different 1099s from Amazon depending on what storefronts you're on (Createspace is separate, etc).

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