Legend of Kimberly sitting pretty in the top ten teen fantasy section.
So, a couple of weeks back, I began trickling out free copies of Inheritance through the ebook market. Eventually, Amazon caught wind, and price matched it. As of sometime on Friday, The Legend of Kimberly was price matched "Free" at Amazon. Shortly after, the website http://onehundredfreebooks.com/ was digging through the mucky muck and hand picked TLOK as one of their books of the day. Please view the attached photo to the left for a visual aid that explains what happened to my sales rank as a result.
Now, I was unaware of what was going on. To be honest, I was carpet cleaning cat pee (my cat had a UTI, which has been bad news for my carpet) and only knew when the author coordinator of the site dropped me a line to inform me. I didn't think anything of it until I checked my sales. In the last 24 hours, I have seen over a thousand downloads.
The reason this is so important to me is I will finally get to see my book stand on its most important quality: its story. Supposedly one thousand people will read this tale, and if ten percent of that thousand really like it, I will see the sequel become moderately successful as well. If that is the case, I am one step closer to living out my big dream of writing full time (and maybe a movie series and a toy line by Todd McFarlane).
So, how does one get their book picked by a website like http://onehundredfreebooks.com/? Well, according to the owner, that's a secret. Suffice to say, when it came time to choose which books were featured, having a professional looking product mattered a lot. Even though the website is devoted to free ebooks, they still need to make sure they are putting a quality product into their viewers hands. As I have said, time and again, have your story edited, proof-read, and have a cover that attracts attention (in a good way). It may cost money, so start saving up your holiday scratch now. A big thanks goes out to the nice people at Onehundredfreebooks.com for helping to introduce so many new readers to Auviarra and the stories of Kimberly. Check them out for free reads on your Kindle, they won't let you down!
So, for the foreseeable future, my paperbacks will only be available on Amazon. While it wasn't an easy choice, it became necessary.
I distribute through Createspace, an affiliate of Amazon. Opting for expanded distribution, I had to raise the price just to make certain that I could actually distribute. After createspace took their cut, and the affiliate (like Barnes and Noble) took their piece, I was making 10 cents a book. Because of the higher price, I made much more if I sold on Amazon. To put things in perspective, I would have to sell 10,000 books on B&N compared to 500 on Amazon to break even on production costs. Yeah, that's pretty huge.
Now, maybe some people think that such a decision would make me greedy. Keep in mind, though, that I had to raise the overall price a whole dollar just to ensure that I could actually distribute. I was pricing my paperback at 7.99, which was higher than I wanted. However, by dropping expanded distribution, I was able to drop the cost of the book a dollar.
Now, a dollar doesn't sound like much to most people, but I really want to make sure that I provide a great product at a great price. 6.99 isn't that price, but it is the lowest I could go if I ever want to see a return on my investments. Yes, I do make more on the eBook version of Inheritance, and that is priced at 2.99, the lowest I can go and still make back my returns.
Now, you keep hearing me say returns, and let me tell you why they are so important. Right now, I am in the middle of writing my third novel. I am far from popular, and my sales have, so far, been just enough to afford a nice dinner. Since I pay for editing, cover art, and everything else associated with a book, it comes out of my pocket to write my books. One of these days, I hope to start making enough on my current books to continue producing new work without dipping into my own pockets. Once this happens, I hope to find a better means to distribute, hopefully at a better price to the consumer.
For anybody coming here who wonders why my book is no longer available in paperback everywhere, that is the reason. I will, however, ensure that the eBook versions of my work will be available for the eReader of your choice for as long as the market will allow it.
As a last aside, for those of you seeking bargains and kind enough to read all the way through, my books are all part of the Summer sale at Smashwords, so get them while they are free! (Sale ends July 31st, 2012)
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