Comments: 10
I really, really hate preordering, just because I'm that way, but have taken advantage of your gaff. And preordered Charm School while I was at it, so there's that.
Thank you, I appreciate it! I'm trying pre-order because it *seems* to help with setting up promotion (ha ha; I'm not sure if I'm doing it right). And it's kind of neat because I really feel I'm gearing up to the release, and the books after them are being worked on as I type. :) So it's pretty cool. MOre than you need tae ken, of course. That book pricing thing, though. I'm getting a clue that science fiction is more 'serious', and requires 'serious' pricing. :-p *country girl at the sci-fi ball*
Sorry, this weekend got messy busy.

And I missed this comment. I think it does help get word around before the books come out.

And I don't know: self-publishing can be... odd. It's not genre for me. I very normally wouldn't pay two dollars for a story with the Charm Girl word count, and I certainly wouldn't pre-order it. I, however, having been talked into pre-ordering Monster Stalker, well, I went for it.

The thing is, page count matters to me as well as quality. It can be the best five page story ever, but I still won't pay twenty dollars for it. I won't pay for it from an unknown self-published author, although I will sample and decide if I like the author.

Point is: I'd have shelled out the full price for your science-fiction, fantasy, or whatever. As far as serious goes? Well, I think it's how it's written and how one approaches the genre. There are hardcore, scholarly fans of nearly every genre - and they will shell out lots of money for exclusives, hard to find books, etc, by the greats.

Sorry for the lecture-pants, which I'm sure you don't need. It just irks me that something is taken as more serious than the other. And while I do read some fantasy, I'm far more likely to pick up a science fiction book than fantasy. Both have their charms, however. Science fiction is 'what could be' while I find a lot of fantasy that I like uses something as a metaphor or to explore human nature, especially one that is seen as progressive/taboo. (Being Human, UK, is one of my favorite metaphor-in-fantasy examples. Love, love, love!)

And the only reason I do put on the lecture-pants is that, well, each genre has its high points and low. Each is serious, or goofy, or just brain candy in its own turn. Instead of worrying about what genre is more serious, or this or that, I think it might be better to look at similar books to the ones you've written, and how well they sell and at what price. Also, do the authors already have a fanbase? (Look, I know I'm your fan, and you have fans out there, but quite frankly I pay more attention to books than authors. That is, I follow you here, but other than that? Your life, your business. I get the impression you have a sizable fanbase, but I, ah, I don't know? I figure its really none of my business. Actually, wow, I do not keep track at all. I feel a little shitty about that now.)

If you have a solid enough fanbase who will pay more for your work, especially if it is sizable, then I don't see any reason not to up the price.

I also think - and much like the looking at similar books/what they're selling for, it's kinda me guessing - that a lot of authors do lower the price in the first week, or as a pre-order and have it go up, to boost initial sales. Or at least I've seen that happen.

That being said, I think these things for actual reasons: judging a whole genre is kinda iffy. I will shell out hardcover money for certain writers, and not for others. How big is your fanbase? How popular is the genre you're writing in at the moment? How much will people pay for your work? (Like judging by other pre-orders and things?) Narrowing it down might help.

Like I said, I've seen these pre-order/first week promos and I've heard from at least one self-published author that the majority of their income comes from new work. Which implies that new works sells more, so maximizing the initial sales via actual sales may work out best for you.

Also, keep in mind that I've heard a lot of self-published authors, or authors who are hybrids - tradpubbed and self-dubbed - or who go from tradpubbed to self-publishing say that it's hard to guess what people will pay for what work. There are pricing wars in that some believe selling too low is devaluing the work, and the marketplace, while others believe that selling at rock-bottom prices for volume works best.

It's certainly not a science. I'd say if people are biting, the three to nine dollar range is best because it maximizes what you get from Amazon, which I'm sure you know already. Other than that? Hey, you may want to keep fiddling with the prices and see what sells the most for you. I know others have done that, and tested things out.

Paulo Coehlo convinced his publishers to drop the majority of his books to one dollar pricing as a test:

Even at way lower prices, the volume in sales made up for the one dollar pricing.

Thanks for the thoughts, Grimlock. :)
I have to say that despite all the factors you indicate, it comes down to two things for me: did I respect the book? No, though I thought to go low because of its debut and would like it to reach a greater audience. That hasn't happened, and possibly because of the second factor: science fiction/fantasy people don't respect a work that's priced low.
It may be argued that's not true, but I've also gotten this with my steampunk books. Everything's different for everyone due to the factors you mention; in my case I do think I make lots of mistakes when it comes to marketing.
And my fan base is not large at all. I have to court new readers all the time, and they are very particular and very specific. They'll buy everything I have, which is great. I hope for mainstream support, but perhaps I'm very foolish about expecting that, considering the kinds of things and characters I write about. I don't know. Hope is what keeps me going.
The thing is you do have a bit of a niche: not just romance but F/F romance. (At least everything so far. I, uh, bought your new one - Monster Stalker - without checking. I figured it's you, and I like your writing.)

And like you said, fantasy/steampunk.

By the way, have you considered reaching out to niche markets for this? Steampunk yahoo/google/internet groups. I hear Bohajlin? What's his name, doesn't do things I read is popular partly because he is very, very accessible: if he can't go to a book group, he'll Skype them or something.

If you target reading groups who are into your thing, and just politely approach them, and try to be like, 'would you like to live blog/tweet/Skype this thing, or do Q&As about my work,' it might be easier. Instead of a wide net, try to target people who are already poised to be fans.
Yeah, being a successful seller of books nowadays does require a public personality, or someone who genuinely likes to engage people. I'm very introverted and can turn it on on occasion---but more than that, like to do events and stuff, and I'm wiped for 2 weeks after. I've friends who teach and I can't do that. Even when people simply talk to me (face to face), I've got nothing left after. Lame, I know. I've discussed it with a friend because I find it mystifying how people stay energised night after night doing theatre and stuff, and she thinks its because they thrive on what they receive. I love knowing people enjoy my books and I love discussing books and stuff in person, but unfortunately I'm *that* sort of introvert where I have to bury myself in a hole for 2 weeks after to regain nutrients or something.

But to the other thing, niche'ing: I've never labelled Charm School GAY back in the day because the moment you did that, it goes into the lesbian ghetto---as in, LESBIAN=PR0N. And it still does today. Look at the lesbian fantasy or lesbian paranormal listings at Amazon and the first bunch of books to show up are like "Girl's First Time with Mistress Teacher" or something. :-p At least that's what shows up when I tried to find a niche to keyword/category my stuff, and it's disheartening. Before, I could get away with making Charm School general audience and then get 'regular' girls and women to read it. My primary readers for the Charm School comics aren't lesbian, they're mostly chicks like Merry Meerkat who are married with kids and are gay friendly or have bisexual leanings on the scale. I want All the Womens (and the like-minded) as my readers. I think it's harder reaching everybody once I keyword/label my books as gay----which I had to do because that's the reality of the internet now. We are all Keywords. I can't just do romance, it has to be Military Romance, or Christian Romance, or Paramilitary Vietnam War Romance to distinguish from Gulf War Military Romance, etc. I'm really exaggerating here, but I find putting people's stuff in strict boxes very much against my nature. I don't write stuff to shut most folks out. I want inclusiveness; I want Everybody.

I think *many* lgbt writers are struggling with the niche ghetto (I'm not the only writer to refer to the niche in that way, mind, it's been discussed). HOWever, reality is, what we really want of the world does not jive with how internet marketing works. We can't be seen unless we stick ourselves in a niche. When we're in a niche, the rest of the world can't see us. It's either/or. You're right, I should find groups to woo (if they don't find me obnoxious or something)...start from my niche and hope it grows from there into the world. So all that written to finally work it out that I've been doing it all wrong, starting in the world first. Like any human being would. LOL lame.
Internet-ing with them less exhausting? You can do a Q&A/live IMing session if it is.

I think people like opening up, more than in person. Just showing up for an IM and letting them into your proceess/whatever parts of your life you're comfortable sharing could be beneficial? Also, I know I was in some gay - read M/M - groups on yahoo. From what I get, and I don't have much of a sense of it, there's more G than L stuff out there. Of course, it could work to your advantage, because less of a saturated market.

Also, may I make these suggestions: read the rules of groups/lists, so if authors aren't welcome - some readers prefer no interaction, just buying/reviewing/talking with other readers - you can weed them out.

Approach the leaders/people who run/moderate the groups, and try to personalize it. If the group has a certain interest, mention it. I hear that for review requests from readers, as well as these types of things: they like knowing you took the couple minutes to learn about them, and respond better/more times to that.

The other thing is if someone in that group likes your work, and they review/signal boost/respost/whatever, it could be worth it just for that.

I haven't done this, but maybe?
No; and I'll tell you why. Being part of a group should be genuine and fun and trying to join with a motive, even one openly declared, is not welcomed. How do I know? Steampunk. ;) That's all I can say. I appreciate that you want me to be openly engaged, but we can do that here. An "Ask me anything", like on Reddit. I also have a Facebook closed group (due to my posting paintings and photographs with nipples and such) called Elizabeth Watasin's Club Hecate where I do lots of 'first time' reveals and share writing progresses and story thoughts. People also private message me at my FB fan page. I don't have the kind of fans who want to 'talk' to me in public it seems. Maybe I'm scary or something. ;) Maybe they want a Safe Place. Either way, I'm happy to provide them a safe place. I am thinking about Patreon as well, because it also has a means of creating a very 'private' environment to share content with subscribers. Problem is, I currently do all that for free at Club Hecate, so I'm not sure yet what the 'rewards' should be for a monthly Patreon. I bet you'd suggest the 'live interaction' thing again. lol Luddite here, I know how to skype (sort of), but I don't know what IM'ing is.
I pre-ordered the charm school because I can't wait. Can't wait to see how they come out as Novellas. So happy!
Thank you so much, Meerkat!