Mark Paxson on Writers Supporting Writers has a question for indie authors: how do you choose from the myriad of book promotion services available? Read his post HERE.
Self-published authors often see advice about pricing their books — not too cheap, not too expensive, as though there’s a Goldilocks price for an ebook. I’ve seen 2.99 to 4.99 recommended as ebook pricing “sweet spots.”
Authors sometimes wonder how potential buyers can be so reluctant to part with the few bucks they charge for their ebooks. It’s only $2.99! You can’t buy a cup of coffee for that. What’s the problem?
I suspect the amount of currency isn’t the real problem. The problem is that paying for a book commits one to reading it. Reading takes time. And time is priceless.
The real price of a book is the reader’s time.
We all know the process a potential book buyer goes through — Hmm, nice cover. Cool title. What’s it about? Sounds kinda interesting, but… Do I really want to read this? I already have 20 books waiting… Only 2.99. Well, maybe… someday.
“Someday,” meaning never. Another sale gets away.
Free books, on the other hand, are snapped up eagerly. Because they don’t involve a financial transaction, maybe they don’t register as time commitments? Some say free books are rarely read. But what about when the “price” is your email address? Are totally free books read more or less than those exchanged for contact info? Has anyone compared the two?
Recently, I read that a potential customer needs to be alerted to a product many times before they feel a need for it, as though an inherent resistance needs to be worn down. I don’t know about that — if a book’s cover, title, and description don’t appeal to me, repeated sights of it are irritating rather than inviting.
Maybe when a potential buyer is teetering on the brink, the sight of one more promo of the book creates the “Oh all right, I’ll buy it!” moment.
Advertising is a huge business, involving clever people with backgrounds in psychology and brain science. Some indie authors may decide to pay attention to these fields, but it’s unlikely that many have the resources to make practical use of such research.
So what’s an author to do?
If the reader’s time is the real price, one answer may be to write books that go down easy — quick reads with lots of action and stripped-down prose. Fifty thousand words priced at 0.99 may be more appealing than 100K words at any price. Especially if a glance at the first few pages shows multi-syllabic words woven into long, elaborate sentences.
I should have written this post before I wrote my books.
Nevertheless, all those
long books are available for FREE. Only until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on January 1st, 2020. And only at the Smashwords store. Click HERE.
A while ago, I read a couple of posts about creating infographics to promote books or enhance blogs. Being a keen user of Canva for the past couple of years, I suspected they had templates for that. They do — lots of them, including many free ones.
Here’s an infographic for my book series I whipped up using one of the Canva templates. I changed the background and text colours, and, of course, the text and pictures. It really was quick and easy.
Give it a try: www.canva.com
Just before Christmas, I read this post on Paul White’s blog. As you can see, it sparked some fairly diverse comments. In fact, I was so busy formulating my comment, I didn’t read the end of the post as thoroughly as it warranted.
Paul’s solution to the give-books-away-for-free marketing strategy deplored by the rest of his post is called Electric Eclectic Novelettes.
At this point, I’ll turn it over to Paul…
To quote that wonderful philosopher, Winnie the Pooh, “The beginning is a very good place to start.”
I was looking for a great book to read.
I finished reading the last book by my favourite author. It would be another year, maybe two, before his next book became available. This meant I needed to search for another book to read. I was even willing to stray from my usual genre to find an excellent read.
Easier said than done.
You would think, with over 45 million books on Amazon alone, finding a story to enjoy, a book you can immerse yourself in totally, would be a pretty easy thing.
But no, it is not.
You could look through the thousands of free books on offer. But… much of the time there are reasons books are offered for free, or heavily discounted, by their authors… and not all those reasons are good.
There is the uncertain quality and content of many of the full priced eBooks. Anyway, do you really want to commit spending your hard-earned cash to buy something you do not enjoy reading, or find the writer’s style is not to your taste?
It all makes choosing a ‘new to me’ author or selecting a book from a different genre a bit of a lottery.
That’s when I thought there must be a better way.
I asked myself, “HOW CAN YOU MAKE CERTAIN A BOOK YOU BUY WILL BE ONE YOU ENJOY?”
That’s when I had my eureka moment.
The result is Electric Eclectic Novelettes.
‘Electric’ because they are ebooks– digital, electric.
‘Eclectic’ for the various styles, genres and authors who write them.
And ‘Novelettes‘ to tell readers they are short, sample books, introducing readers to new authors and new genres.
Electric Eclectic (EE) books are written by various authors under the EE brand as introductory, sample works of each author’s writing style and narrative forms.
Each EE book is a short work of between 6k and 20k words.
A standardised price of just 1.00 (dollar/pound/euro) for each novelette, allows people searching for new reads to get to know our EE authors’ styles and narrative types before committing to purchase their full-length books and novels.
Offering these short works also lets people read examples of genres they may not have previously considered.
Electric Eclectic books are written by some of the best indie authors in the world. Each Electric Eclectic Novelette delivers wonderful and entertaining storytelling to a high standard.
All Electric Eclectic Novelettes undergo stringent assessment, ensuring the storytelling is of high quality, dismissing concerns generally associated with low cost or free eBooks. People searching for their ‘next favourite read’ can rest assured in the knowledge that Electric Eclectic Novelettes have undergone a rigorous selection process, ensuring the stories meet exacting standards.
This means you do not need to read through a bunch of substandard books, or spend money on a random book hoping you will enjoy its content. Say goodbye to ‘dodgy’, inferior writes.
Once you have found the right style of stories, the ones you love, you will have found your next favourite author and can start to work your way through their full-length books and novels knowing you thoroughly enjoy their writing.
Download a handful of Electric Eclectic Novelettes and give yourself a literary treat!
Electric Eclectic Novelettes are easy to find.
The first way is to visit the Electric Eclectic website where all the Novelettes are shown, along with author insights and links to their personal books and pages.
The second is to go to Amazon books and type ‘Electric Eclectic books’ into the search bar. (In the USA you will need the Amazon.com Kindle search page.)
Alternatively, if you are on Amazon.co.uk you can follow this link: http://amzn.to/2BnYe7u
Website link: https://goo.gl/q2zwTS (This site is available to view, but not fully functional or edited. Estimated date of completion Mid-January 2018)
I guess it had to happen. Technology opened the gate to all those writers who couldn’t get published the traditional way. Huzzah! But there are so many of us, cranking out books by the millions, that readers are overwhelmed. Most indie-published books join the blur and go unnoticed.
Except maybe the ones that get lots of reviews. Trouble is, it’s hard to get reviews, or at least the right kinds of reviews. No friends or family members. No “I’ll review yours if you review mine” arrangements. Brief comments by readers are fine; but thoughtful, thorough reviews by “official” reviewers are best of all — and almost impossible to get. Reviewers are the new gatekeepers. (As are a few advertisers, notably BookBub, which is pretty selective about which books it will promote. You need to pay them a non-trivial sum — but first you need a non-trivial number of good reviews).
You don’t have to look hard to find lists of rules and other admonishments directed at hopeful review-seeking authors. They look a lot like the submission guidelines and how-to-approach-publishers advice of the trad pub years. Some of these lists are lengthy and detailed, and a few verge on the offensive. Reading them conjures up a caricature of a desperate author approaching the enthroned reviewer, crawling on hands and knees while pushing a copy of their book along the floor with their nose. (And if your book is taken up by the reviewer, don’t even think about emailing to ask when the review might appear. Just. Don’t. Do it. Ever).
This is part of a bigger phenomenon associated with the self-pub revolution — the author as pest. It seems we’re a pretty annoying bunch: spewing out books full of typos and grammar no-nos, issuing endless “Check out my book!” tweets, approaching acquaintances with book in hand and big salesman’s grin on face, and bothering beleaguered book bloggers just like we did the beleaguered acquisitions editors of days gone by. (Remember all those tales of mail rooms crammed with unsolicited mss?) Maybe creativity generates a ferocious hunger for attention that overrides good manners. Book bloggers and reviewers have reacted predictably to the deluge of review requests by hedging themselves about with rules, just like publishers did.
But hey — at least now we writers are free to throw our books into the public arena. That’s way better than slinking back to our writing rooms to entomb the rejected manuscript in a cardboard box that once held dog food. The toughest gate has been breached. So what if there’s no sure-fire path to success? (There never was, actually). And a few of us have managed to get our books noticed, clearing the gates like so many hurdlers.