Author Topic: KU / Koll Question  (Read 1553 times)  

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2018, 03:19:57 PM »
Sorry if I offended (still, 2 - 4 books a year IS churning out - even if those books are brilliant.) My response might have been a little snotty because as a side gig I have 'churned out' erotica in the past.  And I was good at it.  But - it was still churning out erotica as quickly as possible for the fastest possible ROI.  Doesn't mean there isn't pride in the work - but it isn't quite the same thing as heavily researched biblical scholarship.... and my political sensibilities get totally offended by the idea that every creative, literary,  artistic or academic subject is only successful if it results in a positive ROI within 60 days or less.  Of course, we do want this book to eventually make money - but if  this book changes hearts and minds, that is really the intended ROI.

I know a lot of writers and artists who never make a lot of money - but write what they care about.  And in my mind, that is what successful is.
Agreed. Everybody does this deal for their own reasons. Good luck with the project.

Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2018, 05:45:04 PM »
Parker - our book hasn't been out yet for 70 days - and isn't 'romance/erotica' genre (which is really a genre made for e-readers).  And of course we aren't breaking even yet.  And won't on the first book - in no way, shape, form, fashion - for a year or two or three probably.   While churning out romance / erotic novels and releasing one every few months is a solid business model, this book is religious / historical fiction - not gay erotica.  You are comparing apples to oranges.

And I sold 170 books yesterday. On one promo.

Listen, I am new to the whole book promo world (clearly), but the authors I work for have other specific intentions for their work that just printing one and moving to the next.  If under a different pen name, you wanted to write a book about gay politics during the AIDS epidemic (which would take massive time and research) - would that book be 'unworthy' because it was dense, difficult to read, unsexy, and didn't lend itself to late-night downloads?   When I am reading erotic stuff - which I ALWAYS do on my kindle (I never buy paper for that purpose) - I will download everything of an author I like - and pretty much read it in a day or so, then download the next.  But I don't kid myself that 'The MarketPlace' is the same business model as 'The Band Played On' - you know?

Yeah, I can only speak to my own experience. If I'm writing a dense, heavy book about gay politics, I'm never putting it in KU, and I'm charging an appropriate price for it. Many of my friends IRL write serious and academic nonfiction, and they're never putting it in KU either. That's setting money on fire to make Bezos a billionaire, which helps no one, not even Bezos, since he's already a billionaire.

However. I'm not writing a heavy book on gay politics for students who are forced to pay $30 to buy the book because their professor said so.  I'm not the most tactful person so let me see if I can try again to explain why I wouldn't write more in this series after your result.

It's basically because there's a cliff on Amazon. I write romance, and the cliff is a few weeks. It's like opening a new club. If the club doesn't hit the first night, it's out of business in months, because if you can't even create excitement when it's new, it's toast. That's just the way it is. If your genre allows for investing for weeks and months and later on there will be a return, that's great, but in my genre, that isn't the way it works. If it flops, you move on, because there's no use pouring good money after bad.

This got me thinking. If you were a newbie author just releasing your first book in KU, would you give up on the book after the first month if you didn't break even?
How long would you give the book before throwing up your hands, throwing in the towel, and throwing out the remaining books in the series?
I read about people giving themselves 6 months to "get traction" when going Wide. Is 1 month the accepted length of time for KU?

My first novel broke even the day it was published, so it's hard to say. You never really know how you're going to react to a painful situation until you're in the situation. My plan was that if the book didn't sell x number of copies, I would go back to writing fanfiction. The book outperformed expectation right away, and I never really had a tough choice to make. So, yeah... easy for me to talk, I guess.

I assume if I'd sold so poorly right out of the gate, I would quit writing for publication to Amazon. That was the plan, anyway. My understanding of Amazon's algos is that a weak launch has lasting implications, but no one really knows for sure.

My first novel was wide, and I do better wide overall. There's a lot of peer pressure in indie gay fic to go KU so everybody's different but being in KU was the opposite of helpful. I was better off before I knew about any of the indie publishing sites or KU or any of it!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 06:02:37 PM by ParkerAvrile »
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Offline ParkerAvrile

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2018, 05:59:21 PM »
Sorry if I offended (still, 2 - 4 books a year IS churning out - even if those books are brilliant.) My response might have been a little snotty because as a side gig I have 'churned out' erotica in the past.  And I was good at it.  But - it was still churning out erotica as quickly as possible for the fastest possible ROI.  Doesn't mean there isn't pride in the work - but it isn't quite the same thing as heavily researched biblical scholarship.... and my political sensibilities get totally offended by the idea that every creative, literary,  artistic or academic subject is only successful if it results in a positive ROI within 60 days or less.  Of course, we do want this book to eventually make money - but if  this book changes hearts and minds, that is really the intended ROI.

I know a lot of writers and artists who never make a lot of money - but write what they care about.  And in my mind, that is what successful is.

Meh, you were addressing me in the "churning" comment, and I wasn't a bit offended, so don't worry about it. I've already noticed I write a lot...
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Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2018, 08:16:21 PM »
Romance does not necessarily have a huge cliff on Amazon or KU. Perfectly possible to have sticky books in KU. My third-bestselling book overall is a completely non-trendy romance/contemporary fiction/almost-historical-fiction book that's still going strong after 5 years, even though the series has been complete for 4 years. I tried the series wide and it did nothing, because it doesn't appeal to an iBooks or Google Play audience (which skews younger, esp. in romance, from what I know).

For a less crowded genre, I think that's even more true.

I'm putting that out there for the OP and anybody else who might be interested. You really have to try things for yourself and see what works, because it's all so very YMMV.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 11:20:33 PM by Usedtoposthere »

Offline solo

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2018, 09:40:42 PM »
Two to four books a year is "churning." Oh, that's a lot of writers here...  LOL.

Add - there is a huge difference in writing fiction and non-fiction.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 09:47:34 PM by solo »

Offline Usedtoposthere

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2018, 09:51:02 PM »
Two to four books a year is "churning." Oh, that's a lot of writers here...  LOl.
Yeah, wasn't even gonna address that. People can think what they like about romance or whatever genre they're aiming at. But I already offered the example of Libbie Hawker, who puts out a historical novel--in completely different settings/eras!--every three months or so, and does very well both as an indie and for Lake Union. She is first and foremost a literary fiction author, and I don't think many people have discounted her writing or research chops. :) Libbie is seriously awesome. At least, I'm in awe!

To do really well as an indie (note I mean "financially"), you most likely do have to be able to write at a 4 novel/year pace. But as the OP says--plenty of other reasons to write. Everybody needs to determine their motivation for themselves. it's important to be honest with yourself about what that is, IMHO.

Offline solo

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2018, 10:06:41 PM »
Yeah, wasn't even gonna address that. People can think what they like about romance or whatever genre they're aiming at. But I already offered the example of Libbie Hawker, who puts out a historical novel--in completely different settings/eras!--every three months or so, and does very well both as an indie and for Lake Union. She is first and foremost a literary fiction author, and I don't think many people have discounted her writing or research chops. :) Libbie is seriously awesome. At least, I'm in awe!

To do really well as an indie (note I mean "financially"), you most likely do have to be able to write at a 4 novel/year pace. But as the OP says--plenty of other reasons to write. Everybody needs to determine their motivation for themselves. it's important to be honest with yourself about what that is, IMHO.

I guess I have to remember that word the next time a story grabs me by the neck and doesn"t want to let go. For a great many of writers, stories write themselves. Oftentimes, they take a life of their own, arrogantly departing from whatever story structure you"ve planned for it. A lot of stories demand to be written. Brats.

Offline shaunL

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Re: KU / Koll Question
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2018, 04:48:31 AM »
I think it really depends heavily on both genre and on the writer.  Our first book was heavily steeped in non-fiction - and when it came to the biblical scholarship,  it was important to be able to make compelling and historically accurate arguments regarding minutia of - say - the Jewish diaspora after the fall of the temple, the history of the Jewish tax, and the predominance of women in position of political power in both Ephesus and Corinth, as well as  the latest encyclicals and papal position statements regarding the status of women within the Church. 

The next book - thanks be to God (or Goddess) - is only contemporary Vatican politics regarding the Vatican bank.  :)  That shouldn't be too tough. 

Listen, I do know books that write themselves, each word flowing out.  I also know authors who suffer each word, each phrase, looking for the most perfect sentence and who torture themselves as a part of their process.  I admire authors who can do 2-4 books a year.  I also admire authors who work for  a year and more to tease every nuance until they feel they have what they set out for.  I don't think there is a right way (though I can see that the 4 book a year model is far more likely to pay the mortgage!)

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