Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


Mrenda posted:

I think this is genuinely the best thing I've written. I put a lot of effort into addressing my flaws and avoiding my usual pitfalls as I wrote it, which took a fair amount of effort and concentration. I think it has the potential to gain some traction, if I can get it in front of people. It's not perfect, but nothing I ever write will be. It's the best of what I've done though.

Honest opinion here: Quality of writing aside (I haven't read it), your cover is working against you.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mr. Pumroy
May 20, 2001



It's been two months since I put my first novel on Amazon and KU. It's done better than I expected, double digit sales (okay, I mean, low double digits but still), pretty good activity through KU and a couple readers even took the time to drop positive reviews. Considering I'm a first time author who had done no promotion for the book and probably did things that shot me in the foot sales-wise without even realizing, I think this is all Fully Sick. Predictably book sales and pages read have nearly flatlined in the second month, but still.

The end of this month will be the end of the 90-day exclusive period for KU, and while I'm working on the second novel I want to do something to give my first one a chance when I start putting it up on other markets. I'm thinking things like providing it for free on KU during the last weekend or maybe just the whole week, followed by debuting it on other markets for free for a limited time. I haven't even looked at ways to promote that yet, but I'll want to do that too. Does all this sound like a good idea?

Fuego Fish
Dec 5, 2004

By tooth and claw!


What sort of phrasing should I be using when sending out review copies, and (possibly more importantly) where should I be sending them? Is there anywhere I can look up potential reviewers based on genre or whatnot?

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


Go to the nearest coffee shop and go up to someone with a laptop, slam a thumb drive onto their keyboard and yell BOOK MOTHERFUCKER

TheForgotton
Jun 10, 2001

I'm making a career of evil.

Mr. Pumroy posted:

It's been two months since I put my first novel on Amazon and KU. It's done better than I expected, double digit sales (okay, I mean, low double digits but still), pretty good activity through KU and a couple readers even took the time to drop positive reviews. Considering I'm a first time author who had done no promotion for the book and probably did things that shot me in the foot sales-wise without even realizing, I think this is all Fully Sick. Predictably book sales and pages read have nearly flatlined in the second month, but still.

The end of this month will be the end of the 90-day exclusive period for KU, and while I'm working on the second novel I want to do something to give my first one a chance when I start putting it up on other markets. I'm thinking things like providing it for free on KU during the last weekend or maybe just the whole week, followed by debuting it on other markets for free for a limited time. I haven't even looked at ways to promote that yet, but I'll want to do that too. Does all this sound like a good idea?

I'm in more or less the same boat, minus any borrows on KU. It doesn't look like I've even gotten a nibble on the KENP graph and I'm not sure what I should do to get it more visible, aside from hashtag spamming on Twitter.

CommissarMega posted:

Great, now I want to write a romance so I can get in on this ground floor :allears:

Speaking of which, Sundered Heavens is free for the next two days (assuming Amazon is using Malaysian time). Pick up your copy today!

Thanks, I'll start reading this today.

Halbey
Dec 9, 2009


psychopomp posted:

Go to the nearest coffee shop and go up to someone with a laptop, slam a thumb drive onto their keyboard and yell BOOK MOTHERFUCKER

This is how I met my wife.

Fuego Fish
Dec 5, 2004

By tooth and claw!


psychopomp posted:

Go to the nearest coffee shop and go up to someone with a laptop, slam a thumb drive onto their keyboard and yell BOOK MOTHERFUCKER

At this point, if that would guarantee me at least one review, I'd go for it.

Halbey
Dec 9, 2009


I am in the proofing stage with CreateSpace to put out this non-fic spiritual memoir. How does the back cover blurb look?



angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I would never want to read that book for many reasons, but the blurb to me is way too much making up excuses for the whole premise of the book.

Tell us what the poo poo is actually about rather than re-affirming the reasons I don't actually want to read it.

The line "not unlike your story" is maximum-level cringe that makes me embarrassed to keep reading. Did you really take a picture with a harsh flash of your moleskine and your pen thrown on top of it for your cover?

"Life in general" is a really boring element of the tagline.

If this is seriously just an essay collection, I should be able to tell that more readily so that I know not to read it, because if I accidentally buy it thinking there's a story and I get a bunch of essays, I will leave a bad review. If it is just an essay collection, can you not have some kind of narrative that weaves them together?

Halbey
Dec 9, 2009


angel opportunity posted:

I would never want to read that book for many reasons, but the blurb to me is way too much making up excuses for the whole premise of the book.

Tell us what the poo poo is actually about rather than re-affirming the reasons I don't actually want to read it.

The line "not unlike your story" is maximum-level cringe that makes me embarrassed to keep reading. Did you really take a picture with a harsh flash of your moleskine and your pen thrown on top of it for your cover?

"Life in general" is a really boring element of the tagline.

If this is seriously just an essay collection, I should be able to tell that more readily so that I know not to read it, because if I accidentally buy it thinking there's a story and I get a bunch of essays, I will leave a bad review. If it is just an essay collection, can you not have some kind of narrative that weaves them together?

Thanks! I think you're right about clarifying what the reader is getting.

No, I didn't know what to do for the cover so I just found a picture in my Google Drive that made sense. I thought having an ink sketch of an open notebook might be cool.

ravenkult
Feb 3, 2011




Halbey posted:

I thought having an ink sketch of an open notebook might be cool.

Get your school supplies here!

Ghostwoods
May 9, 2013

Say "Cheese!"


Your blurb sounds apologetic. That's a horrible mistake.

Look, whatever the content, you've written a book, dammit. That makes you a writer by definition. And everybody is just some ordinary person, when you get down to it. So drop the hair shirt.

Your blurb needs to persuade people why they need to read your book. Saying "I'm not worthy and this is nothing special" won't cut it. Your reader's time is precious.

The cover is not objectionable, but it's not going to grab people. Look at well-performing books that you want to compete against, and think about their covers.

Writing a book takes ages. Invest some time in getting the rest of it right.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


Fuego Fish posted:

What sort of phrasing should I be using when sending out review copies, and (possibly more importantly) where should I be sending them? Is there anywhere I can look up potential reviewers based on genre or whatnot?

I was saying this in IRC and I'll put it out here on the thread for others.

My method is simple: I find a book similar to the book I've written (similar genre/subgenre) but one that was relatively popular. Then I comb through the reviewers and pick out a few to message. In Romance, it's easy to spot the people that did the ARC review for the book you're looking at (they usually say it) and I'll always pick them. Otherwise, I pick people who wrote a thoughtful review, or at least a review with some thoughts in it.

As for the message, craft something simple but straightforward. Don't BS them or beat around the bush. Say something like, "Hi, My name is so and so and my new book AMAZINGBOOK was just released on suchandsuch. I'm interested in sending you a free copy in exchange for an honest review. The blurb is down below. If you're interested, reply with your email address and your preferred format (epub, mobi, pfd, whatever). Thanks a bunch!" I use the same form message over and over and just change the person's name at the top. I send out something like 80+ of these, plus the people on my mailing list.

That's it. Simple and easy. Obviously personalize your message to fit your own stuff, but go ahead and send that out to a bunch of people. Some will ignore you, some will say no, but you will get some yesses. Then, of those yesses, maybe like 30% will actually read and review. But congrats! You have more reviews, for better or for worse.\

Keep in mind, Goodreads is notoriously tough. Be prepared for bad reviews. Also, I think it's technically against their TOS to direct message people like that, but I've never gotten any complaints from anyone. Your own risk, yada yada.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


Hey, there's another somewhat high-profile case of this so I thought I'd repost this. Don't use an image under "Creative Commons" for the cover image for your commercial projects. If you absolutely must, read the fine print and if possible, try and contact the person who originally took the picture to find out if it's okay if you use it on your erotica masterpiece. If you don't do this, and the person who either took the picture or is in the picture asks you to remove it, don't get technical on them. Amazon doesn't give a poo poo. You're going to lose that fight and get your dick slammed in the door, and I might personally be the person who is doing the dick slamming.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

I'm going through my catalogue and replacing everything for exactly that reason. Plus they look 100% less lovely than the ones I was putting out six months ago.

Halbey
Dec 9, 2009


Ghostwoods posted:

Your blurb sounds apologetic. That's a horrible mistake.

Look, whatever the content, you've written a book, dammit. That makes you a writer by definition. And everybody is just some ordinary person, when you get down to it. So drop the hair shirt.

Your blurb needs to persuade people why they need to read your book. Saying "I'm not worthy and this is nothing special" won't cut it. Your reader's time is precious.


This is super helpful. One of the drives of this book and the publishing company is to try and encourage people to be creative and put their stories and art into the world. So what I was trying to do was explain that I'm a normal guy but that doesn't mean I don't have something to say. I'm now thinking that the back cover isn't the place to make that point. The back cover should just explain what is in the book itself.

Thanks for the input! I'm glad I posted.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


EngineerSean posted:

Hey, there's another somewhat high-profile case of this so I thought I'd repost this. Don't use an image under "Creative Commons" for the cover image for your commercial projects. If you absolutely must, read the fine print and if possible, try and contact the person who originally took the picture to find out if it's okay if you use it on your erotica masterpiece. If you don't do this, and the person who either took the picture or is in the picture asks you to remove it, don't get technical on them. Amazon doesn't give a poo poo. You're going to lose that fight and get your dick slammed in the door, and I might personally be the person who is doing the dick slamming.

oh poo poo wait what.

I went back and found the photo online (from morguefile.com) and just emailed the photographer to let him know how I'm using it - sent him a link, etc. I read the usage guidelines, and everything is very clear-cut on usage:

quote:

You are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit the work and to adapt the work. Attribution is not required. You are prohibited from using this work in a stand alone manner.

http://www.morguefile.com/license/morguefile:
You are free:
Remix - to adapt the work.
Commercial - to use this work for commercial purposes.
Without Attribution - to use without attributing the original author.

Am I setting myself up for a disaster? Crap, I'll need to go buy that camera and take my own photo pronto.

Szmitten
Apr 26, 2008


magnificent7 posted:

oh poo poo wait what.

I went back and found the photo online (from morguefile.com) and just emailed the photographer to let him know how I'm using it - sent him a link, etc. I read the usage guidelines, and everything is very clear-cut on usage:


Am I setting myself up for a disaster? Crap, I'll need to go buy that camera and take my own photo pronto.

What? No. You're in the best position. You're free to do whatever you want with the image, even use it in something you can profit from, without crediting the creator.

All it's saying is that you can't post that image unchanged and say "Yo I took this picture it belongs to me." You're fine. Yours is borderline public domain. There's nothing wrong with Creative Commons, but there are several varieties of the license and you do need to read and heed it. But the above is fine.

magnificent7
Sep 22, 2005

THUNDERDOME LOSER


That's a relief.

EngineerSean
Feb 9, 2004

by zen death robot


magnificent7 posted:

oh poo poo wait what.

I went back and found the photo online (from morguefile.com) and just emailed the photographer to let him know how I'm using it - sent him a link, etc. I read the usage guidelines, and everything is very clear-cut on usage:


Am I setting myself up for a disaster? Crap, I'll need to go buy that camera and take my own photo pronto.

Be 100% sure that the person who put this file up is the person that took the picture, and if someone tries to tell you otherwise (that they own the picture and do not give you or this website permission to use it), the license that this website grants probably means absolutely nothing

Seriously though there's a million photos on stock photography sites that absolutely have their ducks in a row that cost $5 a piece and avoid this headache.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



EngineerSean posted:

Be 100% sure that the person who put this file up is the person that took the picture, and if someone tries to tell you otherwise (that they own the picture and do not give you or this website permission to use it), the license that this website grants probably means absolutely nothing

Seriously though there's a million photos on stock photography sites that absolutely have their ducks in a row that cost $5 a piece and avoid this headache.


Ravenkult and I ran into this on one of my covers. He had an absolutely beautiful image that he'd purchased in a pack of images. Lo and behold the entire pack was all of a particularly famous scifi concept artists work. He still did me an awesome cover, but I felt bad that he was screwed buying a pack of useless images.

Now whenever I explore cover images I do a very thorough Google Image Search. Like Sean said, a license doesn't mean poo poo if it happens to be Annie Leibovitz's work.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



Also be very careful about showing a stock image model's face in an erotica book. Their license and the model release often doesn't cover anything related with sexual media. Whether books fall into that category is debatable, but it's a risk that isn't dismissed by just flashing the license agreement and could be argued in court.

As the focus goes from pure sex, to romance, and other genres with romantic scenes there's less of a risk.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Mrenda posted:

Also be very careful about showing a stock image model's face in an erotica book. Their license and the model release often doesn't cover anything related with sexual media. Whether books fall into that category is debatable, but it's a risk that isn't dismissed by just flashing the license agreement and could be argued in court.

As the focus goes from pure sex, to romance, and other genres with romantic scenes there's less of a risk.

On the other end of this, though, if you cut off faces for erotica specifically, it sells poorly :(

Also I know this isn't really too amazing, but I broke 1k rank in the paid store for the first time today :D

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



angel opportunity posted:

Also I know this isn't really too amazing, but I broke 1k rank in the paid store for the first time today :D



That is pretty great, actually. Congrats.

Popular Human
Jul 17, 2005

and if it's a lie, terrorists made me say it


Way to go! Out of curiosity, how many sales a day does that translate to? I'm over here freaking out b/c a story of mine got into the ~9500s a couple weeks ago, and I discovered that there's easily as big of a gap between a 10k sales ranking and a 20k as there is between a 20k and 100k.

brotherly
Aug 20, 2014

DEHUMANIZE YOURSELF AND FACE TO BLOODSHED


angel opportunity posted:


Also I know this isn't really too amazing, but I broke 1k rank in the paid store for the first time today :D



Awesome, congrats. Enjoy those sweet sweet smutbux,

Popular Human posted:

Way to go! Out of curiosity, how many sales a day does that translate to? I'm over here freaking out b/c a story of mine got into the ~9500s a couple weeks ago, and I discovered that there's easily as big of a gap between a 10k sales ranking and a 20k as there is between a 20k and 100k.

I think it's something like 100? Hard to say now, though, since KU2 doesn't give you any info on how many borrows/day you're getting, which does influence rank.

I have a book ~300 right now, and I would estimate between 200-300 sales a day.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

It's $2.99, so it was 35 sales yesterday, and 11.3k KENPC. Even at that rank it's just over $100/day. In KU 1.0 for erotica, I broke 10k once and made $150/day. I think Sundae can confirm that roughly around 1000 ranking used to be probably several thousand bucks for one book until it fell off, and now it's probably around $1000-$2000 depending on how fast it drops off.

Since this is an EROTICA bundle, I expect it will fall off the rankings kind of rapidly, but I'm hoping all those KENPC pages (260) being read over time flowing in keep it afloat.

From the way things look now. I can knock out an erotica short in 4-6 hours (including all cover making, publishing, etc.), and it will make me maybe $200 for the month, and then that will be the main income for the book; it will have some residual sales after that, but not a lot. I space these releases two weeks apart now because I'm trying to focus on romance. If I pumped an erotica short out every single day instead of having a day job, maybe the over saturation would give diminishing returns...I'm not really sure.

This bundle that is pulling in $100-$150/day now is just ten of those books I mention above slapped together. So it's kind of cool that you can basically release books for some okay gains for minimal time spent, and then once you have 5-10 of them, just cash them in for a big surge in sales. This more or less makes erotica still worth doing to me. I can spend about two of fourteen days working on an erotica short for ~$200/month ($400 total for the month), and then every few months I can do a bundle for a big cash in...hopefully.

Agent355
Jul 26, 2011




Stupid question I guess but it's come up in the thread a few times now and I'm curious. What exactly is the difference between say a work of erotica and a book of romance?

I mean on the surface I guess the simplest answer is just length and plot. With relationships and romance instead of sex. Yet I've seen works of romance that include numerous gratuitous sex scenes as well as the increased amount of plot. So I don't really know where the line falls exactly.

Bobby Deluxe
May 9, 2004

this changes nothing, i am still dead inside

Agent355 posted:

Stupid question I guess but it's come up in the thread a few times now and I'm curious. What exactly is the difference between say a work of erotica and a book of romance?
With romance, the reader is there to see the main characters fall in love. If they have sex, that's nice but it's not strictly speaking necessary and will actually put some readers off.

With erotica, the reader is there to see the characters have sex. If they fall in love, that's nice but it's not strictly speaking necessary and will actually put some readers off.

e: more mechanical answer: erotica is about 5-10k, romance is usually more like 25-50k.

Bobby Deluxe fucked around with this message at 21:25 on Sep 2, 2015

psychopomp
Jan 27, 2011


On the same note as the photo thing, be super careful if you're getting fonts from DaFont. I've found fonts marked free that, well, weren't. AFAIK Fontsquirrel is pretty solid, though.

CommissarMega
Nov 18, 2008


Say, what increases a book's ranking on Amazon? Reviews? KENP? Sales?

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


CommissarMega posted:

Say, what increases a book's ranking on Amazon? Reviews? KENP? Sales?


Sales* and borrows* (independent, currently, of total pages read). Nothing else changes your ranking.

Edit: *Relative to other works on Amazon at the same time, and probably time-weighted. Exact formula undetermined.

Sundae fucked around with this message at 13:04 on Sep 3, 2015

Lywinis
Nov 5, 2007

I can bench more than you.


@Angel Opportunity - how are you marketing your shorts that you're predicting $200 in sales a month? I'm actually rather curious. Are you bombing with advertisements and doing like free weekends, or is it just you've built up enough of a backlog that it's become lucrative to do so?

Sundae
Dec 1, 2005


quote:

It's $2.99, so it was 35 sales yesterday, and 11.3k KENPC. Even at that rank it's just over $100/day. In KU 1.0 for erotica, I broke 10k once and made $150/day. I think Sundae can confirm that roughly around 1000 ranking used to be probably several thousand bucks for one book until it fell off, and now it's probably around $1000-$2000 depending on how fast it drops off.

I had something last month hover between #375-500 in the store for half the month and not retreat to sub-1000 for almost four weeks. It only made ~$2.5K. KU is painful now.

quote:

Since this is an EROTICA bundle, I expect it will fall off the rankings kind of rapidly, but I'm hoping all those KENPC pages (260) being read over time flowing in keep it afloat.

I wouldn't count on things flowing in over time. See graph of that book from earlier below...

Sundae fucked around with this message at 20:39 on Sep 3, 2015

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

There's various things you can do with marketing...I've had this pen name going for a while so I have options available that others starting out don't.

My recommendation if you are new to erotica would be:

Finish short and have everything ready to go no later than Monday. Buy ExciteSpice Friday Feature ad ($10) as soon as you finish the story and know it will be ready. When you buy the ad, it asks for the ASIN, but just put in the blank "Not yet live, but will email you when it's live and ASIN is available." Selena Kitt runs ExciteSpice and has a secretary as well; they respond quickly and are fine with me doing this. There is a "featured spotlight" option that is $20, just say you want it every time. Selena decides who gets it every week, and there's only one slot for it. It's always worth the money though if you can get it. I've had it twice, and I always made my money back from getting it.

I would input everything into KDP, but just save it as a draft instead of publishing. On Wednesday night, submit the draft so it will actually publish sometime on Thursday. You want it to publish as close to the ad timing as possible (because the erotica drop off is brutal, and you don't want to waste any of your ~30 days of relevant sales by publishing a week before you run your ads), but you don't want it to publish too late or it won't be released in time for the ad. Wednesday night is fine for now, but you could even do it on Tuesday if you're worried it will take longer to go live. The book must go live by Thursday, otherwise you won't be able to set it to be free on Friday. You have to set free dates at least the day before.

As soon as the book is live, update your newsletter sign-up message (the one that goes out automatically when people sign-up) to have the new story under new releases with Amazon link. Put the book in Prime/KU, and don't bother going wide. As soon as the book is live, set it to go free on Friday, and stay free for the full duration allowed.

The ExciteSpice ad will go out around 1pm EST on Friday, and you'll get a surge of like 500-800 free downloads on the first day. ExciteSpice Friday feature is not like BKnights, there is a limited number of titles on it, so you will not be like 50th on a list of 100 books. There is no reason to use BKnights over ExciteSpice.

The main purpose of doing this at this point in your 'career' is for all these free download people to sign up for your newsletter. You give a free story away for signing up, and a lot of people who get your free book will want another free book. While the story is free, you'll still get KENPC and some money, but not a lot. If you have subcategories for certain fetishes that exist on Amazon, you can usually hit top 10 in the free store by doing this. Once the book goes paid, you'll likely be 40,000 ranking or better.

Repeat this every week if possible until you have ~500 subscribers. Every Friday you send your newsletter subs the free book notice, which over time will give you an even bigger spike as your newsletter grows. Expect like ~40% click rate when giving free poo poo away, and less if you are only doing a $0.99 sale. People who subscribed to your newsletter are way more likely to have KU than the average reader, and many will read all your new releases.

Join some off-sites and network with other authors. Try to do newsletter exchanges every week if you can. When I only had 150 subs, I did an exchange with someone who had 500, and it gave me a huge spike for that weekend, as well as more subs.

I jump-started my erotica pen name during the last month of KU 1.0, so I made a bunch of money doing all the above. In KU 2.0 this strategy still works, but you'll make much less money. By the time you get to where I am, and provided you network a lot, you'll find better ways to market and maximize your returns. Erotica is good in that you can pop a book out really fast and get pretty consistent results from it, but in KU 2.0 those results are pretty consistently low even after you've done all this work.

If it weren't for how much money this bundle I just released were making, I would say to not bother. Even then, I couldn't recommend starting from scratch with erotica. It's really good for learning the ropes I guess, but paranormal romance sells well at 30k words, and it's what I'm moving to. If I were starting from nothing right now, that's what I'd start with, and all the poo poo I just said above does not apply to PNR :D

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

Thinking of getting into this, I have a few technical questions:

Pros and Cons of a pen name? Is it strictly required to register a DBA for a pen name? (Note: I will not be writing erotica)

What's the minimum non-free price on amazon for self-publishing? If there's not one, (aka I could hypothetically charge 2 cents), is there an expected minimum price, aka people will not tend to buy things below 0.99 dollars?

How many words do people tend to expected per cent of price (starting at the minimum or expected minimum price)? I know this can be variable by genre and quality of those words matters too, but my general plan is to match a word-count to minimum price for a serialized-type storytelling.

Sorry if these are difficult to answer questions, I'm trying to formulate a business plan based on serialized writing.

ArchangeI
Jul 15, 2010


jon joe posted:

Thinking of getting into this, I have a few technical questions:

Pros and Cons of a pen name? Is it strictly required to register a DBA for a pen name? (Note: I will not be writing erotica)

Depends on how many genres you want to be active in. Think of an author name as a brand. Some genres are compatible (Fantasy and Sci-fi), some considerably less so (hard mil-sci-fi/Romance). Cross-promotion of your books gets more difficult the more pen names you have, though. Think about the audience you're aiming at and what they would expect to find in your catalog. Exception: romance should have a female pen name (and I suppose hard sci-fi sells better with a male pen name).

quote:

What's the minimum non-free price on amazon for self-publishing? If there's not one, (aka I could hypothetically charge 2 cents), is there an expected minimum price, aka people will not tend to buy things below 0.99 dollars?
99 cents is the minimum, and most people will assume a 99 cent title is worth every single cent and no more. Most works work better at a 2.99 price point, which both gives you bigger royalties and makes it look like you actually believe your work is worth something. There are exceptions, of course.

quote:

How many words do people tend to expected per cent of price (starting at the minimum or expected minimum price)? I know this can be variable by genre and quality of those words matters too, but my general plan is to match a word-count to minimum price for a serialized-type storytelling.

I don't think you can really fit that to a formula. People don't buy 20k words of fantasy romance, they buy a story. But then again, Amazon is running a special program for serials, which is 99 cents per installment I believe, minimum 10k words.

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

ArchangeI posted:

Depends on how many genres you want to be active in. Think of an author name as a brand. Some genres are compatible (Fantasy and Sci-fi), some considerably less so (hard mil-sci-fi/Romance). Cross-promotion of your books gets more difficult the more pen names you have, though. Think about the audience you're aiming at and what they would expect to find in your catalog. Exception: romance should have a female pen name (and I suppose hard sci-fi sells better with a male pen name).

99 cents is the minimum, and most people will assume a 99 cent title is worth every single cent and no more. Most works work better at a 2.99 price point, which both gives you bigger royalties and makes it look like you actually believe your work is worth something. There are exceptions, of course.


I don't think you can really fit that to a formula. People don't buy 20k words of fantasy romance, they buy a story. But then again, Amazon is running a special program for serials, which is 99 cents per installment I believe, minimum 10k words.

I checked out the serial program, which they are not currently accepting submission for, but I can still publish in that format through KDP. The minimum 10,000 words per submission at 99 cents is a good baseline, thanks. It seems to range between that and 25,000 words per installment for a serial based on what I found.

angel opportunity
Sep 7, 2004

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Specifically state what genre you are interested in. In this thread there is like one guy who is making a living off military sci-fi, and almost anyone else making significant income is romance and/or erotica.

The advice will vary a lot depending on genre, so if you ask really generic questions without specifying what you are doing, you will get inaccurate answers.

Be aware that the 99 cent pricepoint only nets you 35% of the royalty, whereas $2.99 or higher gets you 70% of the royalty.

This usually means that 99 cent pricing is only really good for trying to climb ranks and get money through KU. The profit from 99-cent sales will often be negligible; you're basically trading in profit for ranking boost, which does lead to more sales...so there's a balancing act you have to do there.

Looking at it this way: let's say a really polished 10k-word serial takes you 15 hours to write, proofread, and make a cover for. For $15/hr income, which is like minimum wage in many places, you need to make $225 in profit. At 99 cents that is 642 sales. At $2.99 it's 112 sales. For non-romance and non-erotica genres, it's especially easier to get people to pay $2.99, and your pool of potential buyers is pretty limited. 642 people is A LOT of sales for non-romance genres and for a no-name self-pub author with no audience. Even then, it's still minimum-wage level income. If you enroll in KU, 10k words doesn't really give great returns either, but it will boost the rank a good amount. A full read on a 10k-word book in KU is something like 30 cents, so assuming the same number of people read in KU all the way through as buy, you might lessen the burden to ~300 sales + 300 KU read-throughs to hit the minimum wage mark.

I feel like for non-romance genres, doing longer novellas or novels is much stronger. You can much more easily sell at $2.99, and the KU income will be more significant. All those KU pages being read over time can help keep a higher rank sticking, and/or prevent your rank from plummeting and the book never being seen again.

angel opportunity fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Sep 3, 2015

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Jon Joe
Oct 19, 2011

GUESS WHO'S LYING


Grimey Drawer

I was thinking serialized YA fantasy, a shotgun approach taking advantage of the serialized format to test both writing and marketing efforts. If something works I can extend it into a longer serialization and if it doesn't I can seek to end it in two-ish more 'parts'. Once any given story is complete, it can be compiled into the 2.99 price point (or higher if very long) for the higher royalty rate, with the first 'part' of the serial going from 0.99 to free for marketing. After my overall popularity and digital presence grows (which it should do faster than standard format thanks to quicker releases of shorter works), then I can move into longer works if I get a sense that my readership is interested.

I see the following problems with this strategy:
I will need to be on a consistent release schedule, or readers will have my head. Writing a second part of a serial before publishing the first part will help with this.
More time spent on management of inventory.
Market might not be there on the basis of serialization, if not genre. It'll take awhile to correctly assess this, especially since I'm starting as an unknown writer.
Covers? If I get a completely different cover for each 'part' it'll be more expensive and potentially confusing, but if I keep the same cover with small tweaks then that might also be confusing.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply