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Search tags: what-is-the-right-price-for-an-e-book
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text 2017-07-09 10:13
Survey results on self-publishing self-evident, self-serving

I've just completed comparing the results of three survey's recently sent to me regarding self-publishing and self-published authors to see what the take away is (if there is any).

 

All three of these surveys were undertaken by companies that are, in the most part, dependent on authors like me who use their platform or services to self-publish their writing.

 

The survey sample is skewed since the respondents are, in some form or another, clients of these three enterprises. They either publish and distribute their e-books with Smashwords, advertise their e-books on one of WrittenWord Media's four sites, or possibly are doing all the above as well as contracting editorial, graphic design and marketing services from BookBaby.

 

The findings provided here are likely their optimistic interpretations.

 

Experience counts (maybe): Successful authors (in terms of book sales) have more writing experience. They spend more time writing and subsequently have more books available in their catalogue. They also contract more professional services, particularly editors and cover designers.

 

This, of course doesn't answer the question of how they became successful? Did they achieve success because of all these things (experience, time, hiring professionals), or once they achieved some success were the the able to spend the time, develop the catalogue and hire the professionals?

 

What to write. Fiction sells better than non-fiction and romance (especially contemporary, paranormal and erotica) sells far better than any other genre or literary writing. Under served markets include the romantic subgenres New Adult, Contemporary and YA.

 

How long should your book be? So much for all those pundits who claim novellas are all the rage because they can be read in one sitting or during a commute. Best sellers, again according to Smashwords, average ninety-two thousand words.

 

Book Marketing. Offering your e-book for free draws thirty-three times more then priced titles, but what's the upside to offering your books free?

 

Okay, so money doesn't matter to you, it's about making that reader connection, about putting forth your view of the world. Does offering your work at no charge achieve that? How many free books actually get read?

 

Not very many has been my experience both as a writer and a reader.

 

I've had hundreds of my books downloaded free and it's resulted in an insignificant number of reviews. On the other hand my ibook library is filled with books I've downloaded free and have yet to read.

 

See what I'm getting at. There's no downside to clicking and getting a book free.

 

This might explain why over sixty-one percent of published authors have asked friends or family members to review their books.

 

However, if you're writing a series, and series are more than likely going to generate best sellers, than offering the first book free is a good marketing ploy.

 

Speaking of FREE E-BOOKS. I'm participating in Smashwords Summer Sale and until July 31, 2017 my entire catalogue, eight novels and two plays are either FREE or 50% OFF. Go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

 

What's the right price for an e-book? So if you opt not to offer your books free how much should you charge? Interestingly, e-books priced at $3.99 and $4.99 did better than those priced less - or more, at least on Smashwords.

 

In the end it was a lot of reading for very little worthwhile information, most of which was self-evident if you really think about it.

 

Here's how the sage folks at WrittenWord Media summed up the findings from their survey.

 

Indie publishing is a viable path to success. Many indie authors signed traditional publishing deals on the strength of their self-published books and many traditionally published authors are becoming indie authors because of more control and higher royalties. Hybrid publishing gives you the benefit of both paths.

 

This rosy prediction in light of the fact that 727,125 ISBNs were assigned to self-published titles in 2015, representing 625,327 individual indie books*.

 

Well, really, what did you expect them to say?

 

These surveys would have been more credible if they'd had similar terms of reference. WrittenWord Media considers a "successful author" as someone who makes $100,000 or more in a single year from book sales. Book sales of $500 or less categorizes you as an "emerging author".

 

At BookBaby you're a successful author if you've earned $5,000 or more annually from book sales. Those who earned less than $100 were labeled "lower earning authors".

 

Huh?

 

We definitely aren't comparing apples to apples here. How can one company consider a successful indie author as earning $5000 a year while another has it pegged at $100,000?

 

But it gets even weirder. Of the forty-three hundred authors who completed the BookBaby survey a little less than five percent fell into the category of the "high achieving group" earning $5000 or more.

 

If only about two hundred BookBaby authors earn $5000 or more how many WrittenWord Media authors earn over a hundred grand?

 

Or put another way, how can twenty successful BookBaby authors only be equal to one WrittenWord Media successful author?

 

See what I mean? It's like they're comparing different species.

 

The take away? Only that I now know how to categorize myself. I'm a "lower earning emerging author".

 

And on that we all agree.

 

Stay calm. Be brave. Watch for the signs

 

*According to Bowker, the exclusive U.S. agent for issuing International Standard Book Numbers.

 

Smashwords   http://smashwords.com

BookBaby   https://www.bookbaby.com

WrittenWord Media   https://www.writtenwordmedia.com

 

My Amazon Author Page   https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

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review 2017-06-24 23:46
The Price of Peace
Price Of Eden: Aquarius Rising Book 3 (V... Price Of Eden: Aquarius Rising Book 3 (Volume 3) - Brian Burt

Price of Eden represents the final book in the Aquarius Rising trilogy; and because it's the culmination of events and tensions raised in prior volumes, it's recommended for followers of Brian Burt's series who will appreciate the smooth continuation of a story that revolves around a civil war that erupts in an underground kingdom after a series of carefully crafted plagues are let loose.

 

Ocypode, an Aquarian Atavism, has successfully foiled a deadly plot; but he's ultimately charged with bringing together two very different factions in a race against time and political alliances, and his perceived destiny as a mythic peacemaker may be an impossible role for him to accept.

 

Familiarity with the prior books in the series will lend to an appreciation of Ocypode's agony and conflicts as he strives to achieve the impossible in an underwater realm which may be the last enclave of a much-changed world.

 

From restless spirits with psychic harpoons to terrorism's barbaric but effective choices, high-stakes encounters between Humans and Aquarians, Guardian friends who watch over Ocypode and prevent him from making stupid mistakes, and the slaughter of innocent humans through competing bioweapons, Price of Eden provides a fast-paced romp through a world that holds different, competing options for survival, and considers both the sacrifices of war and the impossible circumstances of continued existence.

 

As moral and ethical questions about friendships and associations permeate a greater story of this war's impact on all involved, Price of Eden evolves beyond bloodlust and outrage to walk a delicate line between a survival story and a political sci-fi thriller. Descriptions of advanced technology used for warfare (nanomechs and viral mutagens) and the price to be paid for choices that result in dubious 'win' situations for only some contribute to a story line charged not just with action, but with thought-provoking dilemmas.

 

Fans of his prior books will appreciate the unexpected directions Brian Burt takes as he ultimately considers the real nature and definition of 'Eden' and the price all will pay to forge new paths towards peace. 

 

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review 2017-04-28 20:40
Review: The Piper's Price
The Piper's Price (The Neverland Wars Book 2) - Audrey Greathouse

eArc review copy provided by author.

 

An enjoyable follow up to the Neverland Wars. Picking up shortly after where the first book left off, Gwen is now back in Neverland with Peter Pan and her beloved sister Rosemary, ready to aid Peter in his quest to find the Pied Piper.

 

There was a lot more action in this second instalment, much more of an actual plot, than focusing on Gwen torn between wanting to hang on to her childhood or be a grown up. While there was certainly a huge issue with Gwen still struggling with this problem, there was nowhere near so much philosophical waxing and waning over it.

 

Peter needs the Piper’s help to formulate a plan that will stop the adults in Reality attacking Neverland. Gwen is sent back into Reality to team up with a now grown up friend of Peter who can help solve the clues to find the means of attracting the Piper’s attention.

 

Tiger Lily makes an appearance in this one, as a grown adult woman, with friends of other adult women who have left Neverland and grown up, but still remember Peter and the allure of Neverland itself. It’s interesting to see how they cope with Gwen’s appearance and her strange requests. Though it pulls Gwen back into reality and a life she’s not sure if she wants to give up or not. The women hold a “book club” and there’s one rather poignant scene where they’re discussing a romance novel, “Tryst on the Thames” and later Gwen finds a copy wants to know what it’s about, she’s old enough to understand, but the lady who comes to her aid, Dawn, says rather bluntly if she’s still flying about with Peter Pan she’s not old enough to be discussing romance novels.

 

Kind of a bitter sweet but apt point to illuminate Gwen’s awkward positon. Gwen finds herself going on a shopping trip and getting a new hairdo and these normal teenage things help give her flying the happy boost. Things that would give a normal girl a happy, not something someone deep in magic and Neverland should be that fussed about. Just more of the awkwardness of a teenager dealing with Neverland.

 

And being back in reality brings Gwen back in touch with her potential love interest from the first book, Jay. I actually really like Jay as a character, he listens to Gwen, he likes her, he doesn’t think she’s nuts when she explains her predicament to him. He’s a nice, decent guy and I can see why Gwen confides in him. I like the way their friendship develops and hints that there could be something more between them, but Gwen of course is torn with her duty to Neverland.

 

Gwen has some interesting friendship developments in this one, bringing her to see the sides of adults who have been to Neverland and grown up, and then the more magical side of friendships with the Lost Children and the fairies and Lasiandra the mermaid.  The Piper himself is quite a dark and creepy character, and something of a jackass. (Though I also quite liked the Piper and the role he played later on in the novel). We also get to see some of the nastier side of the adults in reality and what they’re doing with the magic and beings stolen from Neverland.

 

Lots more action and some great character development on Gwen, though Peter Pan himself…I found him annoying really. An interesting ending, and I’m definitely looking forward to the final part in this trilogy.

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review 2017-01-23 00:00
Paying the Price (Book 5 of The Empire of Bones Saga)
Paying the Price (Book 5 of The Empire of Bones Saga) - Terry Mixon In this, the fifth, installment of The Empire of Bones saga Jared, Kelsey & Co finally finds their way back home. It is a mixed homecoming though. Although this book sees a bit of a lull in the fight against the AIs Jared and Kelsey are forced to fight against internal enemies instead.

One could say that this book is more about political power plays, vendettas and subterfuge than the other books. Normally I am not too keen on those kind of stories. In this book however, there are enough “good stuff” to make me enjoy it despite the internal strife.

One thing that I like are the surprise moments starting right at the moment when Jared and Kelsey arrives in their supercharged new (or should I say old since it is Old Terran ships) fleet which dwarfs, outruns and outguns everything anyone at home has seen until now. Kelsey of course creates a few dropped jaws but the rest of the crew gets their 15 minutes of fame as well. I quite liked Carl’s show down with professor Bedford (who turned out to be quite likable) for instance.

The snake in the garden is of course Crown Prince Ethan Bandar. Unfortunately the characterization of Ethan is almost over the top just as with Captain Breckenridge (who makes a brief return in this book by the way). Ethan is not as stupid as Breckenridge but his fanatical paranoia which makes him convinced that everyone is conspiring to grab the throne from him and his continuous monologues where he convinces him of this very “fact” and that his actions are justified are a wee bit tiring.

Naturally Nathan manages to screw up more than a few things and the book mostly revolves around our friends trying to unravel his betrayals and scheming to grab the throne even if it tears the Empire apart. However, even though it probably counts as a bit of a spoiler (be warned), I have to say that one of the things that I like in these books is that the bad guys generally gets what they deserve and this goes for this book as well.

Again Terry Mixon has woven together and fun to read, fairly fast paced adventure story. I quite enjoyed it.
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review 2015-01-13 16:40
Review: The Price of Love by Maggi Craft
The Price of Love (A Price Novel Book 1) - Maggi Craft,Laura Meehan,Kristin Thiel

As you can tell by the rating, this book was not my cup of tea. I had a really hard time getting through it and it almost went into the do not finish pile. I did finish it, and though there is a teaser (sorta cliffhanger?) at the end, I won't be reading the sequel. All I can say is that the sex must have been good, because there was not a lot of redeeming qualities in this relationship.

 

Arden was an impossible character: her insecurities and inability to deal with life really frustrated me. I understand that everyone has insecurities and things to learn and grow from, but Arden never did. She runs from her problems and constantly second guesses her relationship. Right up to the last page she was second guessing every decision and that did not sit well with me, especially for a character who was in medical school for 8 years. Diligence, hard work and decision making are required to be a good doctor, and Arden's personality in her relationship contradicted all of those things.

 

Slayde was an okay character, there wasn't a lot of exciting moments for him. Aside from his love of Arden he seemed like a typical guy. Sweet, attentive and down to earth. I guess I didn't understand why he kept pursuing Arden after her repeated terrible behavior. I understand that he loved her, but being a punching bag for someone's tantrums and misunderstandings would be grating and it seemed like he was the only one invested in the relationship for most of the book.

 

All in all, this book wasn't for me. I couldn't connect with the characters and the constant drama (break up, make up, break up, make up- ugh) just frustrated me instead of building that lovers tension that the author was going for. If you enjoy a lot of drama, then this book is for you.

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.

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