>Ok, I’ve been in a hole. Not because I’ve been depressed about sales. It’s hard to be depressed about sales when you don’t even KNOW what sales are. I don’t expect to see any kind of a numbers until my first royalty statement, which I *think* I’ll see sometime April or May. Of course, I won’t be getting any money then. I have to earn back the advance money they gave me for the book. This is call sell-through. For instance, say you got a $5000 advance for a book. Before you can make any money, you have to sell enough books to “pay back” that advance. I’d like to hit a 60% or higher sell-through rate with Kismet. This means selling at least 8,400 books. We shall see.
In the Hole
I’ve a good reason for being in a hole. I’m trying to keep up the pace on the book that’s due the end of March. I’m still on target and the page count per day hasn’t gotten out of hand yet, but I’m beginning to panic a little. I had a synopsis, but the book is NOTHING like the synopsis, so now I’m flying blind with these two characters in the pilot and co-pilot seat, thus I’m not really flying at all. *sigh*
Amazon and MacMillan
Amazon, totally uncool to pull ALL buy links to MacMillan books. One more reason to call you the hated offspring of the anti-Christ that is Microsoft. I hope the customers of the authors books you pulled go elsewhere to buy. MacMillan, I see your point, but why don’t you just simplify the whole damn thing like the movie industry did. Stop screwing around and say EXACTLY what your price point is for what format. I know you didn’t ask MacMillan, but here’s my suggestion.
Hardcover comes out at retail price of $24. eBook is available for same hardcover price of $24.
MassMarket/Trade paperback comes out at $6-7/$14-16 retail price, and eBook price drops to same $6-7/$14-16 retail price. Even later, you can help expand readership by offering reduced eBooks of the book when it’s no longer on the shelf.
This strategy works for movies. Really want to see Avatar, Star Trek, Sherlock Holmes on the big screen? Pay the big bucks. Don’t want to see it that bad, you wait until it comes out on DVD when you can rent or buy. Finally if you’re really pressed for funds, you can hope is shows up in your movie channel cable package or scrape the bottom of the barrel with commercial TV. My point is that you don’t see DVD lovers screaming that their favorite movies aren’t available on DVD at the same time it’s on the Big Screen.
Hardcore Enthusiasts of eBooks
As someone who came up through the eBook ranks, I have a deep abiding love for the format. But I also think that hardcore eBook “enthusiasts,” are a bit shortsighted. I’ve seen outrageous comments demanding a wide variety in reading material, better quality writing/editing, all at cheaper prices. Based on that criteria, I’m assuming they want authors to work for free. Umm, yeah right. Like that’s gonna happen. I’ve also seen some hardcore enthusiasts suggest we should just sell our books off our websites all by our lonesome because it’s so easy to get a shopping cart. *snort*
So what are they going to do when I have to charge them a HIGH price for my book because I have to pay an editor, a copy editor, and eBook platform format person to put the book in mobi-pocket, pdf, eBookwise, Fictionwise, or whatever format necessary to get it into readers hands, not to mention cover art, and other things, etc., etc., etc. Naturally it doesn’t occur to some people that a publisher (print AND ePub) can do all of this at a more cost-efficient rate, which provides for a lower cost product.
I work hard for every dollar I earn. Even with a two-book and three-book contract deal last year, my income from my writing was about $20K LESS than what I bring home in my day job. And for those who want to know, I’m an Executive Assistant to a state agency head. A glorified secretary if you will. So forgive me if I don’t have a lot of sympathy for people who want my books for next to nothing. I work hard to produce a quality product and I want it to sell at a specific price point so I can earn a living.
Piracy Is On The Rise
Speaking of earning a living. I’ve seen the piracy of my books skyrocket in the last six months. Kismet was available for download within a week of release. THAT bites into my sell-through (the repayment of the advance). It can also severely impact whether a publisher chooses to renew my contract. If I don’t sell-through, the publisher loses money on me. They don’t like losing money.
The hardcore eBook enthusiasts will say piracy is why eBooks should be low-priced. Cheap means people will pay. Poppycock! Thieves steal because they feel entitled to something that’s not theirs. I’m betting they’d be in an uproar if I hacked into their bank accounts and helping myself to five bucks here and there because I couldn’t afford to take it out of my OWN personal account. I think a far better plan would be for me to convince Baby to learn how to program worms. I’ll have her design a mega virus that will go into a piracy site and totally trash their forum, while giving every user a virus that will fry their computer. If only justice could be that sweet.