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Messages - Seneca42

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU -vs- Other retailers
« on: April 19, 2018, 10:04:53 AM »
You couldn't find anything on the hottest debate topic on this board? You didn't look very hard. This topic is a weekly bone of contention. For the con side, read S42's posts. He beats the dead horse on KU so strongly you would think he profits from others going wide.

Only because 95% of kboards beats the pro-KU side like a dead horse (to use your logic you must profit from people joining KU). And it's disingenuous because none of you really provide the necessary caveats to warn newbies about the negatives of KU, you simply tout it as the go-to-option for all new authors.

The notion that KU generates visibility is beyond ridiculous. It requires as much marketing spend as any other market, and I'd actually argue even more given the competition on AMS. And none of you KU junkies are disclosing your AMS spend or what it's taking to make KU work with a positive ROI for you; and while it works for some there are a ton of you that it ain't working for but that you won't admit it publicly. I suspect there will be a lot more "retirements" coming over the course of the remaining year. 

Instead of leading newbies off a cliff and getting them stuck in the same quagmire many of you are stuck in where you hold out your hands and await to see what King Bezos tosses into the crowd on any given month, be more vocal about the negatives of KU and I wouldn't have to.

Can KU work? ya. Can it make you rich? For some. Is it the land of lollipops and four-leaf clovers that most of you represent it to be to newbies? hell no.


2
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU -vs- Other retailers
« on: April 18, 2018, 12:34:38 PM »
A good number of the KU readership base are likely to near exclusively read KU titles. There's also a lesser barrier of resistance for KU readers to crack a title open versus one not in KU. Saying "are spending thousands on AMS" seems disingenuous or misinformed; there have been plenty of cases where titles launched with zero or minimal advertising and netted impressive sales and page reads. For those other cases, the rate of return on advertising while in KU can be higher, which drives rank, which can result in higher organic visibility. Also, KU titles can often appear in each other's also-boughts, which also results in KU-provided organic visibility.

The reality is that you PAY to generate your visibility on KU. It's another marketplace, just like any other, and it's now as saturated as many of the others.

And the rare examples of a book launching to tons of borrows... let's just say there are PLENTY of authors who release under pen names and blast their existing mailing lists.


Edited. Drop me a PM if you have any questions. - Becca

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Files Suit Against Book Stuffers [MERGED]
« on: April 18, 2018, 09:51:16 AM »
KU doesn't exist to make a profit. It exists to get readers to come to Amazon for free books, so they'll buy toilet paper while they're there.

I'd love to know where this truth came from. Everyone accepts this as fact when there's no evidence that's the intent of KU.

If KU is anything it's:

1) a legacy division of the business (ie. books) that they are sentimental about
2) is one plank in their 360-degree media content strategy (books, movies, tv, music)
3) A commodification vehicle to attempt to apply pressure to the TP industry and their competitors (ie. a monopolization play)

But I've never ever seen any evidence that KU is designed to drive broader .com buying patterns. I'd be shocked if even 1% of KU users were non-amazon customers prior to getting a kindle who subsequently became prime members because KU introduced them into the amazon ecosystem.

4
Writers' Cafe / Re: KU -vs- Other retailers
« on: April 18, 2018, 07:15:10 AM »
but you're getting eyes on your book which is always a good thing.

How does being in KU equal getting eyes on your book? People are spending thousands of dollars on AMS ads to generate those eyes. Simply being in KU doesn't get any eyes on your book. Sure, you're only competing with 2 million books instead of 5 million, but the numbers are so large in both cases there's no "organic" visibility in either.

Do your research, as you seem to be doing, because there is no easy answer. The notion that KU makes it easier to succeed is mostly a fallacy put forth by old-timers who have been in KU since the start and built their audience around KU. But for new entrants into self-publishing, KU is anything but a panacea to your visibility concerns.

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: Further pondering of the results of going wide
« on: April 14, 2018, 07:48:42 AM »
Instant results are not the only results.

I've done no promos (literally nothing, no ams or anything) since my last BB in october and am still seeing a tail. I think the more intellectual the book, the more people wait to read it until they are in the mood. A glowing hands book will get read very fast because those readers don't wait to be in a "mood", they are consuming that stuff daily.

OPs books seem like the type of thing you'll read when you're in the mood for historical fiction. So he'll probably see a more shallow, yet longer, tail.

Also, it's been widely reported that when zon is down the other retailers will be up. Never made any sense to me, but I do find that tends to happen. If zon goes dry for me, kobo and itunes tend to pick up and vice versa.

So you need at least a month to assess what the sell-through picture really is. 

6
Writers' Cafe / Re: Lowering the KNEP Cap from 3000 to 1000 Pages
« on: April 13, 2018, 09:37:14 AM »
be careful what you suggest to amazon, they are known to act on suggestions authors provide.   :P

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Wow, anyone not rorting the system???
« on: April 12, 2018, 10:24:16 AM »
I think a lot of these shortcuts happen because authors are impatient. If you can take your time then don't worry!

It happens because people are stupid. And before the mods ban me for saying that, I too was once stupid (and probably am in some areas still). It's normal to be stupid until you figure things out. People take shortcuts because sleazebags in the industry tell them things aren't shortcuts but rather the norm, so they proceed thinking that's the case because they are too stupid or desperate not to fall for the schemer's pitch.

All you have to do is look at the big fish little fish co-authoring trend to see how the guppies are being turned out and are none the wiser to it.

It's VERY hard for a newbie to be knowledgeable enough to know that many of the big names in this industry are scumbags. Especially when they are praised and idolized on various forums.

But the real shame goes to amazon for enabling this environment with lax management of the store.


8
Writers' Cafe / Re: Wow, anyone not rorting the system???
« on: April 12, 2018, 09:15:03 AM »
Try to find a forum where you can talk about this stuff openly. I mean REALLY openly. There isn't one. Moment you mention someones name, or point out things that go against the crowd think, BAM, banned or your post is deleted.

The ridiculous coverup by forum managers (this one included) has played a BIG role in enabling a corrupt and immoral indie publishing scene.

9
Seneca, either dial your tone well back into the "compassionate" range, or leave the thread.

I thought I was being compassionate. No one is being harmed here, they only think they are. Once they realize they aren't they'll feel a lot better.

10
Give everyone a break, dude. People are losing $100s of dollars. They don't need you to come in with your (only funny to you, apparently) snark and rub salt in the wound.

They aren't losing hundreds of dollars. If bots were reading their book you want them paid for that? Give me a break.

Unless you're implying amazon is removing legitimate page reads? If you are then that would be criminal on amazons part as it is literally stealing from authors.

If you're in KU then that means you have blind faith in Amazon. If you have blind faith in Amazon then why complain? If they are sorting out the data, then that's what they are doing and you'll get what you are supposed to get.

You aren't losing money, you merely thought you had more than you actually did. Either that, or Amazon is stealing from you. If it's the latter then why are you in KU?

11
Why are you guys complaining? Amazon is doing what they need to in order to keep KU going. Amazon enabled ebook publishing and everyone should be thankful to them, not complaining when they take $300 or $1000 or $10,000 of your money. If they didn't exist you wouldn't even have that money in the first place.

Whatever zon wants to do, it's the right thing to do.

Would you rather not have KU?


12
Writers' Cafe / Re: What a Liar!
« on: April 06, 2018, 07:33:23 PM »
You're getting mad at the wrong person. You should be mad at zon, not the reviewer. Anyone can take pot shots if they want, zon could care less whether the intent was malicious or not. Unless your HC, then they'll remove thousands of reviews to keep you happy.


13
Good for Amazon. The whole store has turned into a flea-market in Djibouti. 80% of what you see is fake of misleading in some way (not just books, for all products).

Zon wouldn't be banning customers if they felt they were legit accounts. Even if they are false positives, clearly the issue of bad actors has reached epidemic proportions and they had to take drastic actions.

That being said, just like every other action zon has taken, the bad actors will ultimately outsmart them and come out on top.

14
Up your spend on AMS and they'll leave you alone.  :P

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pricing complaints...
« on: March 23, 2018, 09:28:11 PM »
And yet, the trads were using windowing of their products as their pricing strategy before ebooks and indies gained a foothold. A trad book came out first in hardback for, say, $19.99, then 3-6 months later, the trade-size hit the shelves for $12.99. Then another 3-6 months later, out came the paperback for $6.99. Then a short shelf life before the returns and pulping of any remaining inventory. So the 'art' was worth nearly 2/3 less a year out.

Ebooks pretty much were destined to take the place of paperbacks. Until the market rebelled and readers wanted the ebooks available concurrently with the hardback. The Big 6 (at the time) conceded, and colluded to keep the ebook price high if they weren't going to window. Bye-bye paperbacks, bye-bye collusion plans. And after a couple of years and a few million bucks in legal fees, the Big 6 (oops, Big 5 by then) were selling their ebooks at the same -- and in some cases, higher -- prices than the hardback or trade edition.

Every product in the world gets cheaper as time goes on. Well except limited supply art. So tiering their release is no big deal. And if anything it supports a valuation model. It says "our product is so good people will pay $20-30 upon release". They purposely force people to pay more for early access to the content. 

If the TP's wanted to they could destroy the entire indie market in a year by just low balling. They don't do that because it would devalue the perception of their product.

It truly amazes me that bargain bin strategies are somehow seen as a sign of strength. It's not. It's a sign of weakness and desperation and it's the hallmark of the indie industry. Covers + 99c pricing + write to market + 2 week release schedule + bots + KU + utter lack of humility and obsession with braggadocio = the face of the indie market today.

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Pricing complaints...
« on: March 23, 2018, 08:33:31 PM »
Traditional publishing was unwilling to decouple ebook production, which can be so very inexpensive, from the much pricier production and distribution of paper. In their mind, ebooks "cost" what papers books cost because they were always also producing paper versions of the books; cheap ebooks would've struck them as being sold at a loss, even if the additional production cost in adding an ebook edition was negligible. Indies didn't feel those pressures. Especially back then, when shoe-stringing it was more common, they had miles and miles of potential profit space between their production costs and traditional publishing's price points. That space was their opportunity, and they exploited it to gain market share. It's such a normal and traditional marketing tactic that its use was inevitable, IMO. Railing against it as though it were some bizarrely aberrant choice just doesn't make sense to me.

I view it differently. I don't think TP thinks in terms of production cost determining product pricing. I'd actually be astonished if this was even in the top 10 of their considerations.

I think instead they view a product as having a value. A really good book is worth $15 whether it's in paperback, ebook, audio, braille, whatever. The medium isn't the value, it's the art that's the value.

Indies do not think that way and basically put zero value on their product. And like the zombies climbing the wall in World War Z, they have become a giant mob of desperate, commodified, do anything for pennies authors.

Indies delude themselves at every turn that their pricing strategies are actually that... strategies. When in reality they just can't sell for more and/or they don't value their own product enough to even try. And the more who think and behave that way, the more the market start to expect cheap pricing and barely readable content.

I hate the TP's process for sifting through talent, but they at least value the product they are selling. Until indies learn to do that, we will, in the aggregate, continue to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the publishing world.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Erotica Store-wide Rankings Missing
« on: March 23, 2018, 05:17:10 PM »
maybe xhamster will get into ebooks and then everyone will be happy.

18
Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon most popular authors in science fiction
« on: March 21, 2018, 02:50:45 PM »
keep watching the list. If your brain hurts now wait until you see "A Lesbian Alien is having my baby" at #66. And I'm 80% not joking.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« on: March 18, 2018, 07:29:51 PM »
You are indeed. Have you ever been in KU? They don't use your book's listed page reads to calculate the payout. They use KENPC pages to calculate page reads. My book is listed as 423 pages for my print version, but for the purposes of KU I have 668 pages. So assuming the current KU rate I make 2.94 per full read through. Also, because of the delivery fee Amazon charges I don't get 3.50 per sale. I think I worked it out to be like 3.30 (I also factor in the few days a year I run countdown sales, which slightly depresses the average price I earn per unit)

Did you not know that the KU payout is not calculated from your print book length? No offense, but I'm not sure you should be trashing the program when it doesn't seem you understand how it works.

Generally the print count is HIGHER thn the KU count. But for some authors it's the opposite. I assume because you format your print book in smaller font or something.

But while we're on this topic, how ridiculous that they can't even tell you what your page count in KU even is. You have to figure it out yourself.

And you meant to be offensive, but that's okay  :P  I'm pretty much impossible to offend so don't worry about it.

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« on: March 18, 2018, 07:01:16 PM »
I go where our data leads. Plus, we're short timers now. ;)



So basically what you're saying is tht the ebook market has already commodified and if you aren't moving huge volume there ain't a living to be had? (Unless you can live off low volume at $1.50-2.00 per full read; which obviously no one can)

21
Writers' Cafe / Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« on: March 18, 2018, 06:45:21 PM »
I'm a bit confused. Where are you getting 1.50 and 5.00? Do you price your book on other platforms and Amazon at 7.99? That would be a bit of an indie ebook outlier. My novel in KU is 135k words and I price it at 4.99. I get about 3.00 per read through, and I make around 3.30 per sale. 1.50 through KU would be about a 70k word book, I believe. Doubtful you'd make much traction as an indie writer trying to earn a 5$ profit on a 70k word book. (yes, okay, I'm sure there are exceptions out there. But not common, certainly)

your book is 423 pages x .0046 = $1.94
direct $4.99 x .70 = $3.50

am I missing something?

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« on: March 18, 2018, 06:23:48 PM »
I'm saying that the markets outside Amazon are much smaller and less lucrative, and would require different marketing, which would also probably cost more.

But you don't have to be in KU to sell through amazon. You can have access to the other markets AND amazon.

So why take $1.50 and drive your readers into KU instead of selling direct on Amazon for $5? Even if you didn't sell on other platforms, isn't the direct Amazon market (ie. book buyers) still way larger than the indirect (ie. KU borrowers)?

23
Writers' Cafe / Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« on: March 18, 2018, 06:18:24 PM »
...unless your goal isn't revenue. Say your goal is brand awareness. Then the best price is going to be the one that sells the most books, or more specifically, gets the most press/eyeballs on it...which may or may not be free. Not to nitpick, but...  :)

Or how is anyone supposed to know what their best price is? Maybe if you have 30 books and a couple years time you could get enough data to be able to delineate volume between different tiers of pricing, but otherwise it's all a big guess.

I'd also say, for someone like me, I don't want to know what price I can move the most books at. I want to know IF I can sell at a reasonable price. If I can't sell my books for $5.99 (excluding an entry priced book), screw it, clearly I don't have enough value as a writer for readers to want to dish that out. For me, that means this isn't a feasible pursuit. Dropping down to $1.50 a book where people will buy it because it costs almost nothing, merely deludes me into thinking I have a market when in reality I don't.

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« on: March 18, 2018, 06:04:22 PM »
I don't want to be at the front of a store not very many people shop in selling for a price few people will pay.  I prefer to be wherever I can get in a store with more customers that makes me more money.  I don't attach my ego to the price.  My ego is satisfied by the fact people are reading my book, and after that, the only thing that matters to me is my bank account.

You're saying the overall direct book market is tiny and KU is huge?

Or are you saying that when you try to sell direct very few people are interested, but when you are in KU you get a big crowd that's interested?

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: February 2018 - Headline KENPC Rate 0.0046601USD
« on: March 18, 2018, 05:36:14 PM »
I'm happy to take $1.50 per book in KU because its a convenient, low-cost ecosystem I know how to work in.

If you're in KU you're also selling direct on amazon. You can't do one without the other.

So it has nothing to do with convenience.

And no one, unless they want to lose money, chooses $1.50 if they can make $5. The only reason to choose $1.50 is because you can't move volume direct (and amazon makes it cost prohibitive to sell direct below $2.99).

Let's just call KU what it really is... it's the bargain bin. And if people want to say "I made damn good money in the bargain bin" then that is 100% logical. I can buy that and respect that (although still disagree with it).

But this notion of "I don't want to at the front of the store in the display area selling for $14.99, I prefer to be in the 99c bin at the back of the store." is craziness. 


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