It's been a while since I posted one of these helpful hint posts. At least I hope something good can be found in them. I have a few different items to talk about today.
1. Kindle Unlimited
Terri DelCampo, my wife, and I don't agree on whether KU is good or bad. She doesn't like it because she would rather have all the royalties for a book within the time a reader purchases said book and the time we receive the royalties in our bank account. I, on the other hand, think that until we decide to branch out a bit, which does take time, that it gives readers not familiar to us a chance to sample our reading without having to worry about getting a crap story. We get paid by the page read, thus if we write a great book readers should read more pages. Pretty simple, I think. Terri thinks I'm full of crap, however.
Another point is that Terri and I do not give our books away for a ridiculously low price. We never run free promotions, and the only 99 cent book we publish is Terri's Owl's Eye View magazine which comes out every month. At the end of the year, Terri combines all the issues into a year-end collection, which we sell for $5.99, and she starts over again. As for the pricing of our collections, novellas, and novels, we have a range of $2.99 to $6.99. Some of our monster books coming up will be more. We have an assortment of books and prices for everyone. Bear in mind that it takes a lot of time and effort to create a novel. I have one coming out next month, for example, that has been waiting for six years to see the light of day. My first editor even died while working on it. Do you think I'll ever sell this novel for a paltry 99 cents or run it free for even a day? No way!
So, what we have are different price points for everyone. Those folks enrolled to read in KU will get a bonus. But everyone will be able to receive a quality book at an affordable price. Less anyone think we have high-noses about our books, we don't. We believe our books are every bit as good as those coming from the top authors in the business. If an author doesn't feel this way, they should get out of the business ( my opinion ). So why should we charge a price that makes readers think our stories are worth that and no more? We won't.
Getting back to the yay or nay on KU, even within my house, we do not agree. Check around with other authors and you will probably see a lot of inconclusive thoughts on this. I read the top 100 rankings for Amazon Horror Authors and I notice there is an interesting number of authors I respect, and whose books I love to read, who use KU, and there are many who don't. Whichever way you go, make certain you have an ample free sample of your books for your potential readers. Hook them from the beginning.
2. Writing More Books
The best way to sell your back-list is to increase your new book listings. If a reader enjoys your new offerings, they will check through the list of your earlier books and find more that they want to purchase and read. This little hint is a gimme. Terri and I are averaging two new books a month and we're selling books from a few years back. It works.
3. Leave Your Short Stories Where They're At
Many authors have a number of short stories in anthologies, and when the rights revert back to them they republish them as stand-alones. I would suggest you don't do this, unless the Publisher goes out of business. Why? Leaving them there is free promotion. Potential readers will see your name listed with many other authors. Priceless. But might you be losing out on potential sales? Maybe. But not much. Readers will get value with anthologies and won't want to fork over 99 cents for your short story alone.
Take my word for this. Your Amazon rankings will be higher because of this. I have one book I'm in that is constantly in the Top 100. It's staying right where it's at. And, I don't neglect to spread the word about these books.
4. Which Internet Media Source Should You Use?
This is a tough one for many authors. Some don't get noticed on their websites, Facebook, or Twitter. Maybe one rocks awesome sauce and the others fall flat.
I have a simple solution. Use them all at the same time. How? Write a post on your website. Twitter it. Share the post to your Facebook Author page. Then share that post to your regular Facebook page. If you are active on Twitter, people will retweet your tweets. Same on Facebook and your website. I notice a difference in the hundreds at times from posts I do this with and those I don't. The key is to not pound on your own chest all the time. Most of my posts are for other authors or helpful things I pass on.
Let's say you write a post about an author's latest book. Obviously, the author will be happy, but the lucky people finding the new favorite author you posted about will find other posts you wrote and the word spreads. This is simply sharing the word, my friends. It is free advertising for everyone.
Make sure your retweet the folks who retweeted your posts and respond to folks on Facebook. This is only right and fair.
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I have some other tips coming up about Facebook Groups. Should you try to sell your books there? Another sweet mystery in the business we know as publishing.
Until then, happy reading!