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A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

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Author Topic: WooHoo! Third book in a series, used to be the trick. Thread ended.  (Read 82189 times)  

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide and Permafree. P31
« Reply #800 on: October 10, 2017, 12:31:48 AM »
Book 5 in the AI Destiny series, Talisman of Tomorrow, went live on Kindle a short time ago.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076BDCH8T
 https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1294818763
https://www.kobo.com/au/en/ebook/talisman-of-tomorrow
 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 06:30:08 PM by TimothyEllis »

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #801 on: October 10, 2017, 06:33:05 PM »
The Books2Read followers email went out within hours of going live on ibooks. Why can't Amazon do the same thing?

Edit: Series page updated in super fast time though, and already on the page.

Reasonable launch so far and better than the previous one.

Book Rank: #4,874
« Last Edit: October 10, 2017, 08:30:56 PM by TimothyEllis »

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #802 on: October 25, 2017, 03:37:19 AM »
An odd day yesterday.

  • International BB on book 7 starts, and I go to bed.
  • I get up really late, see results not up to expectations, and cook lunch.
  • I cut into my Chicken Kiev, and garlic source shoots out the other end, covering my ipad mini and the stand holding it, in garlic. No idea what the cosmos was trying to tell me there.
  • Several hours later, the power fails.
  • Power comes back in 20 minutes later, but the internet doesn't.
  • 26 hours later, the internet comes back on.
Results from a 99c BB in UK,AU,CA,IN were 136 over 2 days in Amazon, 44 from D2D, and 8 from Google via pronoun. 188 total. Less than half BB said was possible. So in one sense, very disappointed. 80c spent to make 30c, in money terms.
However, ranks in UK, Aus, and Can were really good. There was also a 20k improvement in the US store.
One very interesting thing, is as far as I can see, every single person who bought book 7, also downloaded the free book 1. Sales of the 2 omnibus went up immediately, and there has been flow-on into the series.

So while the actual promo wasn't all that good, the last 2 days have been the best since the last release, and the only time I've had 2 good days in a row all year.

Edit: +23 sales for Oct 24 through D2D. Brings the total to 211.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 06:12:04 AM by TimothyEllis »

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #803 on: November 02, 2017, 07:04:28 PM »
The tail to the international BB lasted less than a week.

The US only one for the same book was rejected. No email notification either. They also rejected book 1 again.

 :(

On a positive note, wide sales and downloads is slowly building. Not replacing KU yet, but give it a couple of months, perhaps.

Offline Pacman

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #804 on: November 03, 2017, 12:38:30 AM »
The tail to the international BB lasted less than a week.

The US only one for the same book was rejected. No email notification either. They also rejected book 1 again.  :(

On a positive note, wide sales and downloads is slowly building. Not replacing KU yet, but give it a couple of months, perhaps.

Timothy, I've just gone wide with some of my non-fiction books, as they slowly come out of KU I'll push them across to D2D. Your thread is extremely important to me, so thanks for posting your updates.

When I retire - just 4 weeks to go - I'll have time to write and market, at last. I'll post my results for others as well.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 12:40:35 AM by Pacman »


post-apocalypse anyone?
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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #805 on: November 03, 2017, 06:04:27 AM »
An odd day yesterday.

  • International BB on book 7 starts, and I go to bed.
  • I get up really late, see results not up to expectations, and cook lunch.
  • I cut into my Chicken Kiev, and garlic source shoots out the other end, covering my ipad mini and the stand holding it, in garlic. No idea what the cosmos was trying to tell me there.
  • Several hours later, the power fails.
  • Power comes back in 20 minutes later, but the internet doesn't.
  • 26 hours later, the internet comes back on.
Results from a 99c BB in UK,AU,CA,IN were 136 over 2 days in Amazon, 44 from D2D, and 8 from Google via pronoun. 188 total. Less than half BB said was possible. So in one sense, very disappointed. 80c spent to make 30c, in money terms.
However, ranks in UK, Aus, and Can were really good. There was also a 20k improvement in the US store.
One very interesting thing, is as far as I can see, every single person who bought book 7, also downloaded the free book 1. Sales of the 2 omnibus went up immediately, and there has been flow-on into the series.

So while the actual promo wasn't all that good, the last 2 days have been the best since the last release, and the only time I've had 2 good days in a row all year.

Edit: +23 sales for Oct 24 through D2D. Brings the total to 211.
I'm glad things are going well for you. Every success encourages us all.


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Offline Nathan Elliott

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #806 on: November 03, 2017, 06:10:28 AM »
Marketing and product packaging tactics for wide versus KU are completely different. Its literally night and day.
...


Thank you for taking the time to share all of that.

Offline Pacman

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #807 on: November 03, 2017, 08:20:40 PM »
Youre welcome.

I think many people worry about leaving the seemingly safe harbor of KU. Its one of those things thats daunting until you do it. Like all things, it takes a few attempts to find a way that works for you and your catalog. It may mean a little repackaging and possibly cleaning up your brand. Its not one of those things that automatically falls into place, even now Im testing different ways of engaging the wider market.

The most important thing Ive learned is the marketing tactics for wide are very different to those that work for KU. The problem with marketing books is its very easy to either lose money or for it to become a zero sum game. Im watching some authors in KU who must be spending 80 - 100+% of their revenue on marketing.

The increasing cost of marketing is the greatest risk for almost every author now, whether theyre in KU or not. What I found was, once I left KU, the entire reader market became my market, not just those subscribing to KU. That one fact changed the math for me. My margins increased. My reader base expanded. I had to focus on quality not quantity and could slow the pace of release. My books are no longer downloaded on a whim. Readers spend real money, meaning my books are being read so I get better feedback.

Leaving KU has been the best decision I could have made. Marketing costs inside of KU were getting crazy. The pay to play cycle has been speeding up over the years, to the point where I thought AMS might as well run a debit against my revenue because they were taking so much of it. This year Ive spent $36.00 with AMS since January and made more money than I ever did while I was in KU.

Im over the KU game and the tactics I felt forced to play just to keep the books in motion. Im as in motion now, if not more so, than I was in previous years. Ive sold more books in 2017. I have an international presence now. My rep on the other sites is slow to develop, but I am selling most days on iTunes. My whole catalog is selling now, not just most recent releases.

My experience outside of KU is meaningful. There is something very constraining about KU. Its as if it slowly boxes you into a corner about what niches you write, how often you publish, and what tactics you can use to market. The cost to earning ratio is shifting so, unless youre an outlier or started a long time ago, theres almost no way to win. If anything, being in KU and living within the constraints was taking the joy out of writing for me. Once I left, not only did my profit line improve, but I felt like Id been released from prison.

Thanks TT, this is an incredibly validating post, the entire thread is refreshing. Over the coming months I will be shifting most of my books wide and this is the sort of post that gives me the confidence to do it.


post-apocalypse anyone?
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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #808 on: November 03, 2017, 09:09:33 PM »
I would ask people not to reply to TwistedTales here, since those posts are off topic here and constitute thread highjacking.

If you want to discuss KU or going wide in that broad a context, please do it somewhere else.

This thread is a documentation of my journey, not a general discussion thread.

I would not normally post like this, but TwistedTales has blocked PM's, which in itself is an indication of a deliberate thread highjack.

Please do not respond this post or TwistedTales posts in this thread, but take it elsewhere.

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #809 on: November 03, 2017, 11:00:19 PM »
I would ask people not to reply to TwistedTales here, since those posts are off topic here and constitute thread highjacking.

If you want to discuss KU or going wide in that broad a context, please do it somewhere else.

This thread is a documentation of my journey, not a general discussion thread.

I would not normally post like this, but TwistedTales has blocked PM's, which in itself is an indication of a deliberate thread highjack.

Please do not respond this post or TwistedTales posts in this thread, but take it elsewhere.

No hijack intended, TimothyEllis.

Ill delete the posts. If you wish to PM me then you can.

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #810 on: November 04, 2017, 12:55:05 AM »
fair enough, Tim, I was wondering if you have audio books in mind later on?


post-apocalypse anyone?
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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #811 on: November 04, 2017, 03:15:55 AM »
fair enough, Tim, I was wondering if you have audio books in mind later on?

I've had them in mind for quite a while now, but recent quoting convinced me they were too expensive to produce.

When your shortest book is going to be around $2000 US, doing the whole series is mindbogglingly expensive.

I've had a call for them, but not enough to justify the expense.

Offline Ann in Arlington

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #812 on: November 04, 2017, 05:04:39 AM »
No hijack intended, TimothyEllis.

Ill delete the posts. If you wish to PM me then you can.

No need to delete anything, Tales. Threads are what they are -- meant for discussion. And sometimes conversation. As such, topics sometimes meander away from where they started. Almost always meander back, and that's o.k. too.

I'll also note that asking people not to respond to another member's posts is unacceptable.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 04:06:58 AM by Ann in Arlington »

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #813 on: November 04, 2017, 05:31:40 AM »
No need to delete anything, Tales. Threads are what they are -- meant for discussion. And sometimes conversation. As such, topics sometimes meander away from where they started. Almost always meander back, and that's o.k. too.

Thanks, Ann in Arlington. Thats always been my understanding of how forums work, but in the interests of keeping the peace I have deleted the posts. All they covered were my observations/learnings about the difference in reader behavior/expectations, and the impact that has on marketing, release cycles, packaging and pricing, when youre wide versus in KU.

I tend to compose my posts in a note system, so if anyone wants the deleted posts I can always send them by PM, or add them to a different thread. I often make notes, which I never post, because it helps me understand what Im seeing and where Im at. The business is in such an endless state of change it can be hard to make sense of it. My little brain works best when I write things down, funny that.  :D


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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #814 on: November 04, 2017, 05:36:36 AM »
Thanks, Ann in Arlington. Thats always been my understanding of how forums work, but in the interests of keeping the peace I have deleted the posts. All they covered were my observations/learnings about the difference in reader behavior/expectations, and the impact that has on marketing, release cycles, packaging and pricing, when youre wide versus in KU.

I tend to compose my posts in a note system, so if anyone wants the deleted posts I can always send them by PM, or add them to a different thread. I often make notes, which I never post, because it helps me understand what Im seeing and where Im at. The business is in such an endless state of change it can be hard to make sense of it. My little brain works best when I write things down, funny that.  :D



Feel free to start a thread on that topic using your posts -- of course, there's no telling where it'll go. ;) :D

My Kindles
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Offline TwistedTales

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #815 on: November 04, 2017, 06:07:28 AM »
Feel free to start a thread on that topic using your posts -- of course, there's no telling where it'll go. ;) :D

I can only start that if Betsy has her cattleprod charged and ready to roll!  :P

Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #816 on: November 04, 2017, 06:53:52 AM »
I've had them in mind for quite a while now, but recent quoting convinced me they were too expensive to produce.

When your shortest book is going to be around $2000 US, doing the whole series is mindbogglingly expensive.

I've had a call for them, but not enough to justify the expense.
At some point, it might be worth doing one to see what happens.

Keep in mind it isn't just about Audible, Amazon, and iTunes anymore (though that's probably the bulk of the market).  Through Findaway Voices or Author Republic, you can reach a lot of other vendors. (That's sort of the audio equivalent of going wide.) The conventional wisdom is that if the ebook version is selling well enough, the audio version is more likely to be profitable. We also know the audio market is growing.

I know this isn't a good time for you to experiment since you're trying a lot of new things. Audio might be worth considering when things stabilize, though.


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #817 on: November 04, 2017, 07:07:18 AM »
At some point, it might be worth doing one to see what happens.

Keep in mind it isn't just about Audible, Amazon, and iTunes anymore (though that's probably the bulk of the market).  Through Findaway Voices or Author Republic, you can reach a lot of other vendors. (That's sort of the audio equivalent of going wide.) The conventional wisdom is that if the ebook version is selling well enough, the audio version is more likely to be profitable. We also know the audio market is growing.

I know this isn't a good time for you to experiment since you're trying a lot of new things. Audio might be worth considering when things stabilize, though.

I cant do audible until they allow Australians in.

Did try Findaway, but they are too expensive. And the problem is, the voice I need is fairly specific, so I cant use just any cheap voice.

Offline Pacman

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #818 on: November 14, 2017, 01:54:54 PM »
I cant do audible until they allow Australians in.

Did try Findaway, but they are too expensive. And the problem is, the voice I need is fairly specific, so I cant use just any cheap voice.

Tim, audible don't allow Australian audio books? I didn't know that, so what happens if I upload my audio book to Audible, it makes it unavailable to Aussies? Or does it refuse to upload altogether?

I'm in Canberra. I intend to make my own audio books, non fiction so I don't need a variety of voices, I'll go thru Findaway not Audible (though Findaway distribute to Audible I believe).


post-apocalypse anyone?
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Offline Bill Hiatt

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #819 on: November 14, 2017, 02:02:20 PM »
I cant do audible until they allow Australians in.

Did try Findaway, but they are too expensive. And the problem is, the voice I need is fairly specific, so I cant use just any cheap voice.
If you don't like the first set of narrators, you can request more choices.

Or are you saying you did find ones you liked, but those were too expensive?

It's certainly true there's no point if you aren't happy with the voice.


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Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #820 on: November 14, 2017, 05:18:55 PM »
Tim, audible don't allow Australian audio books? I didn't know that, so what happens if I upload my audio book to Audible, it makes it unavailable to Aussies? Or does it refuse to upload altogether?

Australians cant join Audible as an author. Only US and UK can. There is no upload to audible, if you cant actually sign in.

If you don't like the first set of narrators, you can request more choices.
Or are you saying you did find ones you liked, but those were too expensive?
It's certainly true there's no point if you aren't happy with the voice.

Bit of both. Didn't find a voice which matched my MC, and the price was going to be too high for all the options available.


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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #821 on: November 14, 2017, 08:26:03 PM »
I would ask people not to reply to TwistedTales here, since those posts are off topic here and constitute thread highjacking.

If you want to discuss KU or going wide in that broad a context, please do it somewhere else.

This thread is a documentation of my journey, not a general discussion thread.

I would not normally post like this, but TwistedTales has blocked PM's, which in itself is an indication of a deliberate thread highjack.

Please do not respond this post or TwistedTales posts in this thread, but take it elsewhere.

That was uncalled for.  TwistedTales stands to gain approximately nothing from sharing hard-won wisdom here, especially given that we know neither TT's name nor the titles of any of his/her books.  If you perceive that TT has hatched a plan to steal your spotlight by thoughtfully compiling useful info and then disabling PMs before posting it here, then I would urge you to check the calibration on your sensors.  To me it looked like nothing more than a generous attempt to help folks, as I had assumed this thread was.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 08:46:59 PM by Nathan Elliott »

Offline TimothyEllis

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #822 on: November 14, 2017, 09:17:21 PM »
I've just realized something.

This thread is now obsolete. People keep saying it gives them hope to do what I did, but the fact is, I cant do what I did anymore, and nothing I did over the last 2.5 years has any relevance to making it now.

In some ways, this thread now holds out false hope, and that's not something I want to do.

The sad fact is, everything has changed since I uploaded my first book. Amazon has changed, now bogged down by scammers and algorithms which hurt the genuine author more than they hurt the scammers.

AMS ads changed everything. KU3 changed everything. If you're not in KU, and you're not spending considerable money using AMS ads, Amazon downgrade your books to keep the ones who are paying them the most high.

It simply isn't possible to have the rise I did in my first year anymore.

Going wide is hard. Its as hard as everyone said it would be, and I'm far enough in to see it will take the full 6 months or more to get any traction at all.

But I can also see on my now minor KU reads, just how much Amazon isn't paying me, and how broken that system is now. If Amazon allowed an author to turn off page-flip for a book, I'd be back in KU immediately, but with the scam they have running now, going wide is at least more honest.

For now, I'm making do. I'm down to a level of real sales which pays the mortgage, feeds me, but nothing else. And I have some reserves to tide me over when the next book isn't ready in time.

In some ways, I wish I could just give up. But the sad part of doing really well for a while, is you become dependent on it. So I'm going to make do.

But this thread is done. Its a new age of eBooks, and the old ways of doing things are gone.

And as recently occurred, the more likely it will be highjacked by ongoing arguments looking for somewhere else to happen.

So, I'm asking the Mods to lock this thread, and allow it to sink into the sunset.

For those who read all the way through and are still reading, thankyou for your encouragement. I hope some of what was here helped, even if very little of it is now relevant anymore.

The only things I can leave this with still seemingly relevant are these:

  • Write in trilogies. or sixes. Nine maximum. Or write stand alone stories with something in common.
  • Don't use cliffhangers. If you do, make sure the main story is done, and the cliffhanger is on the long range story.
  • Write to the length normal of your genre.
  • Monthly releases is the only way to keep finances stable.
  • Build your mailing list. Find ways to reach people on release day to make day 1 as big as you can.
  • Use backmatter to ensure people can easily find all your books, and especially the next book.
Thanks for reading.

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, is the trick. Going Wide P31. S2,B5 P33.
« Reply #823 on: November 15, 2017, 01:44:18 AM »
For those who read all the way through and are still reading, thankyou for your encouragement. I hope some of what was here helped, even if very little of it is now relevant anymore.

It's been fascinating watching your journey, with all its ups and downs. Thank you for sharing, and very good luck for the future.
   

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Offline AliceS

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Re: WooHoo! Third book in a series, used to be the trick. Thread ended.
« Reply #824 on: November 15, 2017, 06:15:25 AM »
Thanks! It's been interesting to see the changes and how things stopped working. That was very helpful for me. And seeing your struggles put things into perspective. None of this is easy. We just need to keep on keeping on in a young industry that is still finding it's feet.


Post-Apocalyptic, Space Fantasy and Mystery
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