I have a lot on my mind today, so this is a series of topics.
1. Return of the Aliens and all the work that is going into it
Last night I decided to do some rearranging with novellas 6 and 7. I can’t remember the last time I went back and rearranged and added scenes as much to a single book as I am with Return of the Aliens. It’s crazy. As soon as I think I got it figured out, I think, “Well, I could do one more scene between the husband and wife.” No, these aren’t sex scenes. They are scenes to simply develop their relationship because ever since I threw in that one romantic scene where they kissed, I am now wanting to see how they interact after they get married, and I must say I’m surprised they’re joking around and laughing as much as they are considering the world is going to pot. 😛 I guess it’s a good lesson for all of us, though. Even in the worst of circumstances, it’s good to appreciate what you have and laugh whenever you can. So I think I’ve added about 3,000 additional words for this couple.
I cut out a couple of scenes from the end of novella 6 and have put it into the beginning of novella 7 because of the passage of time issue. Novella 7 takes place a year after this couple gets to Alaska. So it’s really better that I did this. But man, I really can’t remember the last time I agonized over scene placement and added scenes or even rewrote scenes (because I have rewritten about three or four in this book so far). It’s been a challenge. That’s why I decided I’m going to price it at $2.99. I’ve decided I will take a loss in sales for this cause.
2. Pricing Ebooks
Oh yeah. I’m getting sick and tired of authors berating other authors for pricing at $0.99. Guess what? Some books just don’t sell well at $2.99. And does it really matter what someone else prices their book at? I have Bid for a Bride up at $2.99. It’s only sold 375 copies this month. Meanwhile, my $0.99 titles outsell it, with my highest (Eye of the Beholder which has an ad posted on Coffee Time and Night Owl) is at 1140. I also have an ad up for Bid for a Bride, but I think it’s only on Coffee Time right now.
So even with the ad and the fact that it’s brand new, I am still having trouble selling a $2.99 book while other authors out there who have had $2.99 books out for awhile are outselling me at this price. It doesn’t bother me except (and I mean except) those same authors who sell well at $2.99 feel the need to give me the lecture on how I’m devaluing indie books everywhere by pricing so low. Freaking A, man. If I could sell like them at $2.99, don’t you think all of my books would be at that price? But I don’t. So no, I’m not changing all of my $0.99 books to $2.99 just because these authors hound me about it on my blogs or emails.
And yes, I’m aware that Bid for a Bride is really doing much better than Eye of the Beholder because I am bringing in about $750 while Eye of the Beholder is at $399. So I do plan to keep pricing at $2.99 for new books. I’m just saying my old titles will stay as they are. It’s not because I devalue them. It’s because when I ran my price experiment last year, I ended up making the same amount of money at $0.99 than at $2.99. My hope is that by making a lot more sales at $0.99, I’ll give people a valid reason to buy a $2.99 book. No harm to other indies are intended.
3. Mega Bucks as an Indie
I’m also sick and tired of authors who go on with the mantra of ‘be an indie author and make oodles of money’. I touched on this in the post at SPAL (Self-Published Authors Lounge), but I’ll go into it here, too, because some of the authors’ blogs I’ve been reading have been making me want to pull my hair out. Like it’s typical for an unknown author to publish a book or two and expect they’ll be making $100,000+ a year. This is the dream I see being sold on these blogs, and it’s really pissing me off.
You have to be realistic when looking at this kind of thing. First, if an author’s heart is in traditional publishing, why not let them go that route? Why give them the whole ‘you won’t make as much money’ lecture? Tes, I am of the opinion that you stand a better chance of making more if you go indie, but that doesn’t mean some traditionally published authors aren’t killing it at the bank with their deals. James Patterson isn’t exactly a pauper. Granted, authors like him are not the norm.
To which, I propose that indie authors who are selling 7,000 to 10,000 or more books a month and bringing home $100,000+ a year aren’t the norm either. Statistically, there are a lot more indie books being published than traditionally published books. No, I don’t have the stats on hand, but I’ve read this enough where it’s stuck in my head. Why? Because anyone can indie publish. I’m not saying this to be mean. I’m just stating a fact. I’ve seen 13-year-old kids publish on Smashwords, okay? Their parents could put their stuff up on Amazon via Kindle. I mean, it’s not that hard.
I’m not saying that should change. As soon as you start setting of barriers, the end result is that indie publishing will end up as selective as traditionally publishing is now. I say the right to choose indie should be in place. Ultimately, readers will vote with their wallets on which books they want to read. Those are the gatekeepers that matter. And this is why I don’t buy the myth that an indie author can expect to earn $100,000+ a year. Some indies are doing good to make a couple hundred. These blogs that only focus on the success stories are leading to a lot of disappointment and heartache down the road for many authors, in my opinion. Plus, it leads to authors thinking they don’t have to try as hard to be professional in their work because these blogs make it sound too easy. I wish there was more balance. Then you could get the whole picture.
4. Leave Amanda Hocking Alone
The chick wants to traditionally publish. So what? Why are there a bunch of moaning and griping over this? Is this not her life? Are we not talking about her books? She is free to do whatever she wants with them. I don’t know why anyone thinks they what’s better for Amanda than Amanda herself. Only she is aware of all of her circumstances and her goals. She has to do what is best for her. Heck, if I was in her shoes, I’d be like ‘Okay’ as long as the publisher would keep my books as are and agree to let me write things my way. For me, there is a line, and those of you who read my books know what I’m talking about. God always comes first.
But hey, Amanda has her own limits, and if this publisher can work with her on those, then I say cool. Go for it! No one is going to be any worse off because she went indie. Plus, I never remember hearing her say she was the official spokesperson for indies. In fact, from what I’ve read in her blog, she’s been upfront about wanting to traditionally publish.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on random stuff today. I keep telling myself I’ll stop coming off as a raving lunatic on my blog, but then I get all riled up and you see the result. I’ll try to be tame tomorrow. 😀