Tag Archives: book marketing

Discount Sale on Urban/Dystopian Fantasy Sparks Price War Between Amazon and Google

So, like many folks, my novels occasionally go on sale. Right now, Reparation’s ebook is on sale until October 3 (links at bottom of this post). Usually, this is where I would give you the book’s slugline, which is:

ReparationEbookHaruki Murakami’s 1Q84 meets Mark Helprin’s Winter’s Tale as a man battles sinister forces associated with a Native American peyote cult.

I would also inform you that the work has won a national award, and that the usual ebook price is $9.99.

Now, here’s where things get interesting.

The sale price was made available through two ebook channels: Amazon and Google Play. Both provide worldwide distribution, and both offer fast and easy access for readers.

Usually the buying choice is entirely about habits and preferred methods. Some folks like to run all their purchases through Amazon. Others prefer Google, while another set don’t display any particular loyalty.

Today, with Google’s continual efforts to pry their way further into the book market, we see one clear step they are taking to gain more share: beat Amazon’s price. Importantly, this will be done without dropping the revenue earned by the book. So, everyone wins…especially the ecosystem that provides readers with more choice through more distribution channels.

Where will you buy today? Let me know, and we’ll see if the sales figures back you up!

Now, finally, about Reparation!

A beautifully written supernatural story—the work of a master craftsman.”
“Endlessly compelling. A fascinating fusion of forms.”

“Whatever is dangerous, let me do it…I am supposed to die.”

When Aidan Little Boy leaves his ailing mother’s side to visit his sister on a peyote church property in South Dakota, he encounters a religious cult run by an apparently superhuman leader. Suddenly his nondescript life becomes tangled in a world that has grown disturbing and strange.

In a series of remarkable events, the ancient beings of Native American folktales are manipulated by people with strong connections to the parallel world of spirits. Soon Aidan uncovers evidence that his sister and the rapidly growing congregation are in danger. He must understand these unknown powerful forces before the Reparation, a ceremony that will slaughter thousands of innocents.

This complex and surreal novel merges folktales, history, and contemporary lifestyles with magical realism in a hypnotically addictive original tale.

Honorable Mention, Writer’s Digest 2016 Ebook Award

Currently discounted on Amazon and Google Play. At the time of this post, Google is beating Amazon’s price by $0.48!

Grab it now, because these deep discounts won’t last long!

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How to Net More Than $0.35 on Your Promo Ebooks #epubchat #ebooks #epub #indieauthor

Look, let’s be honest. Earning $0.35 per unit sold through Amazon’s restrictive royalty rate sucks. You should be earning closer to the full $0.99. Your book is worth it, and you need to make some money to offset advertising costs.
You could sign up as an Amazon affiliate and earn 4% more on each sale…but you have to refer those sales yourself, which means you can’t net that additional amount on advertisers’ promos. And 4% is pennies, still, so why bother?
Gumroad.com has the answer. They’re a sales site that allows authors, artist and others to sell their digital prices easily and for very little costs per unit. You’re looking at about $0.35 plus a percentage (under 3%) cost per unit sold. That means you net $0.61 per sale. That’s nearly twice as much!
Sell 100 copies on Amazon, net $35.
Sell 100 copies on Gumroad, net $61.
Sell 1,000 copies on Amazon, net $3,500.
Sell 1,000 copies on Gumroad, net $6,100.
Now you’re talking!

How to Outwit the Kindle Unlimited Krash #amwriting #selfpublishing #epubchat

Kindle Unlimited isn’t doing anything new. Subscription services originated outside of Amazon, leading the way for readers and authors to find a new way to interact. But KU did tap into the largest market of ebook readers.
That has caused some difficulty for indie authors…and likely for traditionally published authors, as well. Generally payments are down, even if reading rates are the same or stronger.
What this means is that it is time once again to shift the way you produce and market your books. Consider having only some of them available through Kindle and sell the rest of your ebooks on a different site. This could work especially well if you allow print versions of all your books to remain on Amazon.
Also try moving the price points for ebooks you leave on Amazon to a higher point. This could change the borrow rate by broadcasting to readers that your work is worth more. Higher valuation results in greater respect, and more consumer demand.
Finally, always have a direct pathway for sales. Use Gumroad to sell ebooks directly to readers at a discounted price. You’ll receive more money per sale even at $0.99 than Amazon’s standard 35% royalty at that price and you’ll potentially reach more readers.

Should Authors Switch Between Genres?

For authors who are working in traditional publishing, almost always it is best to stick with one genre until the third book.
Publishers want to keep the foundation of readers generated during the first book’s sales life and build on that with a second book that is in the same genre.
One you have a third book out, you and your agent can discuss whether you have enough name cache to be able to switch genres. If you do, you can switch to something similar.
If you have achieved bestseller status before then, of course, you can write just about anything you like!
Self-publishers should also take this advice but work it a different way. Target all your marketing to specific genres. Only overlap when you know a particular promo will reach readers of more than one genre. This allows your marketing to be more effective, and saves time and money.

Book Cover Copy That Sells Books

The back cover should be more than a simple description of the book, and should include validation both from endorsements and through information about the author.
The description of the book’s content can be the most difficult part. It needs to do several things: outline the basic premise of the story, create an emotional response, and generate immediate recognition by touching on some universal issue.
While authors can try to write their own copy, usually they have trouble working all that into a single paragraph. They should either hand it to someone familiar with their specific category and market or at least get feedback from fellow writers.
When the description fails in any one of these areas, the back copy will fail to capture readers.
Once you have the description, work on blurbs. Testimonials are very effective. If you look at nearly any book, you’ll find that those with a slew of endorsements actually don’t run anything about the plot or the author on the back cover: it’s 100% testimonials. Authors who have only a few strong endorsements should mix those together with the bio and synopsis for best results.
Finally, validate your experience as an author by including a paragraph about you. Even if this is your first book, tell readers why you wrote this book and a little about your journey while writing it.
If you hit all three of these points, you’ll create copy that sells!

5 Secrets Authors Need to Know About Amazon’s Book Sale Algorithms

Self-publishing is a huge undertaking. Understanding how book sales platforms work is critical, and because Amazon sells more books than any other platform, understanding how Amazon works is critical. Here are five things every author needs to know about the company.
1. Free does not count the same as a sale. When you give your book away for free on Amazon, the algorithms count it differently than an actual sale. This means your book will need many more free downloads to rise in the rankings and most of Amazon’s lists.
2. If you have set up your book on any platform other than Amazon’s, you will not be able to directly control the price of the book. You set the retail price only. Amazon decides when to discount it and how much of a discount to offer.
3. After a sale or giveaway that includes many distributors, track your book’s price on Amazon. They often do not restore the original price right away, leaving your book at a sale price for longer periods than you’d planned. Note, too, that they have the ability to leave it at that sale price, including free, forever.
4. If you have a short-term sale that shoots your book up Amazon’s rankings, you will see a very sharp drop-off after the sale. Be prepared for this to happen and continue your marketing efforts over time.
5. Multiple sales spikes, even small ones, are given more weight than single-day or week-long spikes. For best results, spread your efforts out over time. Each smaller sales spike will benefit your book more in the long term than one short, exponential spike.

Romance Fuels Self-publishing

Bowker’s 2013 annual review noted that 25% of spending in the romance category is for ebooks. Compare that to 6% dedicated to ebooks in cooking and 5% for one publisher’s illustrated books, and you’ll see that self-published authors who write romance are taking advantage of the latest technologies.
Check the Smashwords bestseller list any week and you’ll see that romance dominates their listings. Frequently 8 out of the top 10 books are romance: paranormal romance, historical romance, and a slew of other subcategories…but all under the same genre umbrella.
Romance has long been a high-sales category. Readers are voracious, often zipping through 3 or more titles every week. They want what authors can provide: a faster publication schedule than big publishers have traditionally provided, more unique plotlines and character developments than publishers have been willing to experiment with, and a more direct connection with authors through social media.
These three reader benefits have allowed self-published authors in other categories to achieve success. Take a tip from your romance-author friends. Write the books you want to write then get them out there. Connect with fans and listen to what they’re saying. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat!