Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Branching Out

Hola! Sorry for the long break but I'm trying to finish the third book, a screenplay and school all at the same time. Whew! Things are going well but I've had to cut back on some other things (i.e. blogging and social networking) but I did want to let you know about two new companies I found. I'm at the point now where I'm trying to determine the best pricing strategy and methods for me. To that end, I did a little experiment where I dropped the price of my 1st book from $2.99 to $0.99. The results were very interesting.

First let me explain that if you self publish, Amazon and Barnes&Noble are set up so that you can make a 70% royalty, which is HUGE in the publishing world, but your book has to be priced between $2.99 and $9.99. Anything below or above that and your royalty rate falls to 30% or 35% depending on the company. That means I would have to sell six times as many books @ $0.99 to make what I was doing for one book @$2.99. The results? (drumroll please) Well, I sold six times as many books on Amazon. If I count how many books I sold during the experimentation period, based on what I had been selling, sales were steady. Meaning, if I divided the number of books sold during those two and a half weeks by six, it equalled out to what I had been selling. The benefit though, is that six times as many readers purchased the first book which will hopefully lead to them purchasing the second and third (I'm working on it) books in the future. Remember, those results were for Amazon only. Here's where it gets funky.

Sales for Barnes&Noble decreased. Go figure. Not sure how or why that happened but it looks like it has continued for at least a couple of weeks afterward. Unless for some reason, B&N aren't reporting their figures correctly, I'll be down in sales on that site for this month. That's mostly why the experiment only lasted two and a half weeks. The good news is, Amazon more than made up for it. For one thing my ranking for that book jumped approximately 50,000 places in the Kindle store and even after I returned the book to the regular price, sales are now higher for that book than they were previously. All in all, it was a good thing to do, I believe. I still can't figure out what happened on B&N but I guess somethings aren't meant to be understood. #movingon

So...my experiment got me to thinking that I don't want my financial gain to be at the whim of B&N readers or even Amazon readers only. I figured I should open myself up to other markets, hence the title of this blog. I'm trying two new companies as I branch out (another experiment). The first is BookBaby. For a one time fee they will publish your book on Amazon, B&N, Sony Reader Store and the iBookstore. Of course, I only used them for Sony and the iBookstore but after the one time fee, you can keep 100% of your royalties. The second company is BookBrewer, which is affiliated with Borders. They charge a much lower fee but they also take a cut of every royalty payment you receive that's not from Borders. They also sell in the iBookstore but use Borders (Kobo) and not Sony. The one slightly annoying thing for me is, I've been spoiled by Amazon's hourly updates of book sales. Barnes&Noble also has a system where you can see daily updates but these new companies only report in 3 month (BookBaby) or 1 month (BookBrewer) increments. I don't know how I'm doing on those other sites yet but I will definitely let you know how it goes. So, that's it for my update. If you self publish and are trying something new, let me know what's working for you.
Take care of yourself (no one else will do it like you) :-)
Ciao bellas

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