KingMidget's Ramblings

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Learning A Lesson


It’s been a great ride since May 17 when ereadernewstoday featured One Night in Bridgeport.  As I’ve written before, over 1,000 people have downloaded the book since then.  Cost to them: .99 per download.  I make 35% of that.  So, on the plus side, with all sales, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 people have purchased Bridgeport and I’ve made over $1,000.  While the frequency of reviews has diminished, the few that are dribbling in are all excellent.  The latest, posted today, is this:

This was an awesome book. It clearly shows what can go wrong by making one little mistake. You had to feel sorry for the protagonist and you had to guess how it would end. Thoroughly enjoyable.

The last four reviews are all five stars, all from people I’ve never met.  They read my book and loved it.  That’s all good.

I keep waiting for sales to drop off and they don’t.  Every day anywhere from 5-35 people download it for the Kindle.  In the first three days of August, 21 people downloaded the book.  Twelve on August 3.

For weeks now, I’ve had a plan.  Fix the typos, add a few things about Weed Therapy to the inside material (favorable reviews, for instance), and re-publish Bridgeport for the Kindle, with a republished paperback to follow.  The paperback would also include an improved back cover.  When I did this, I planned on increasing the e-price of Bridgeport back to $2.99 to see what would happen.  So, I did that last night, at the end of a day when twelve people had bought the book for .99.

And today rolls along.  Nobody is buying it.  Nobody.   A book with 36 reviews on Amazon and an average rating of 4.5.  That readers think is “awesome.”

Meanwhile, Weed Therapy is out there also.  Priced at $2.99.  So far, ten people have downloaded it at that price.  I’m pretty sure I know just about every one of those ten people.  I ran a Goodreads Giveaway.  648 people signed up for it.  About half of those individuals added the book to their “to-read” list.  I spent a day on the front page of GoodKindles.  I’m still on the front page, just a little further down.  There was one e-book purchase after the giveaway and nothing in the 24 hours since the book showed up on GoodKindles.

This is frustrating, but I’m trying to be patient.  I believe I’ve put two novels out there that are worth $2.99.  I try very hard not to write garbage and expect people to buy it.  Both of these novels took me a couple of years to write. Bridgeport went through one major rewrite and two major edits.  Weed Therapy, I believe is something worth reading.   I don’t think it is asking too much for readers to pay less than they would for a latte when they’re willing to pay so much more for traditionally published authors.  What does it take to get people to pay $2.99 for an e-book?  Why should they if all the other self-published authors are pricing at .99 and free?  I would really like to keep the price of my books at $2.99, but if nobody is going to buy them at that price, what’s the point?

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19 responses to “Learning A Lesson

  1. sknicholls August 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t think it is the value of the read that makes the sell a difficult thing. i think the question is more about how you get the book in front of the reader from a marketing point of view. It is tough to figure that one out for the greatest authors. I am still playing with categories trying to find the right reader audience. Amazon only gives you so few to choose from. Think about it. Amazon held Inferno on it’s front page for weeks until Rowling “came out”…and yet, in all of my reader circles, I haven’t heard one word about it…now I am seeing horrible reviews and I notice it is not on the first page anymore.

  2. Charles Yallowitz August 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Sunday sucks for sales. I wouldn’t use today to judge things. My first book continuously had sales at about 50-60 a day a few months back, but Sunday always saw it plummet to 5-10. It would return to normal on Monday.

    Add in that summer has been terrible for everyone and indie authors have to adjust. Maybe wallow in .99 cents during the slow periods is a smart move to continue selling then jumping back up when things increase.

    For my own book, I’m not sure what to do after Labor Day. I was going to boost up to $2.99, but I’m hearing many authors having a lot of trouble at that price. It’s feels like one of those ‘damned no matter what’ scenarios. I have a month to figure it out though.

  3. Carrie Rubin August 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    It can be tough to compete with the 99 cents downloads. After my publisher ran a 99-cent promotion for my book for three days in June, it saw a nice uptick in sales, and it even maintained reasonable rankings at its usual price of $4.99 for five weeks after. But then things suddenly went sour in August. Not sure if they had it on some lists somewhere, and with the new month it’s no longer on those lists, but whatever the reason, it nosedived. I might try that GoodKindles. Thanks for the idea.

    In the grand scheme of things, Bridgeport has done very well, and the reviews speak to its ability to continue to do so.

    • kingmidget August 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm

      I’m not giving up on 2.99 but I also worry that it may be difficult to recover if I don’t maintain some level of sales. Thanks for the encouragement.

  4. ioniamartin August 4, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    It can definitely be frustrating. Wishing you the very best and hoping those sales pick up considerably.

  5. butimbeautiful August 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I’m starting to think I might forget what sex is if I don’t have any soon. Then writing about it will be very difficult. Also, after reading 50 Shades, I realise that what I’ve been having, in the distant past, may not qualify as sex any more! But back to the book – I wouldn’t worry. Sales go up and they go down, and I guess we learn to do it better with each book.

  6. Kathy August 5, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I know someone who will only download 99 cent books from self-publishers. I asked why and she said it’s her personal protest against the typos that are inevitable in every self-published book. For well-known authors that she pays full asking price, she only gives one chance for there to be a typo. If she finds one in a second book she’ll never read that author again.

    • kingmidget August 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      That’s a self-defeating position. There are plenty of good self-published books out there with minimal typos. She’s missing out on some great stuff.

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