Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Saboth

Pages: [1] 2 3 4
Pretty sure most first time authors might get a handful of preorders (if any). You probably have around 100x more than most first time authors, already, which is great.

If it was from your social media following, you kind of messed up because you ate up all of your rank boost before the book went live. Generally, you'd want to release with few preorders, then start your first day live with a good number of sales (but not too many!), then have your sales go up in the coming weeks, so the amazon algorithms will start pushing it. If possible, you probably should have saved the notification to your social media for when the book was live, and notified them in segments so that every few days a new batch of people bought it. The goal is to show Amazon the book can sell, so continuous sales beat out a huge spike (like 550 in a few days).

However, you didn't ask about any of that, you wanted to know how to get more preorders. You can join Instafreebie and Book Funnel and put a sample of your book on those sites.  As people check out your sample, they will preorder. Other than that, you can do newsletter swaps with other authors (you promote their book on your social media and they'll do the same for your book). Then there are promotion sites you can pay for, but that's more for when the book is live, and also 90% of them only promote books that are on sale, like .99. You can start running AMS ads any time you want, and Facebook ads too, even while the preorder is up.

As for book 2, most people release it within the 30-90 day window after book 1 goes live (maybe when sales really start to die off, and people start asking: "where is book 2??")

Good luck!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Question for everybody
« on: January 04, 2018, 07:31:00 AM »
What do your family and closest friends think about your career/profession as a writer? Do they like your work? Are they supportive? I'm not asking whether or not you care (about their opinions), as much as trying to get a feel for what it looks like for other authors.

No one in my family knows (except my wife), and only about 4-5 friends know. Only one friend has read my books, and he says he enjoyed them. No one else can be bothered to read them (too busy, you see). My wife was very negative at the start, after she read a few chapters of my first book, and her comments caused me to put off finishing the book for a few years. She was also very negative about a short story I wrote.

Now my wife seems somewhat supportive after I've published a few books, but she still doesn't like when I spend money on covers, editors, promotion.

These sorts of posts are terrifying for me. Stare too hard at someone else's data, and the data starts to stare back at you.

I published my first book in May of this year, and my second in August. On those two books, my expenses were around 6k and my profits through December are pushing 30k.

I've not run a single promo, discount, or giveaway. My only advertising has been done through AMS. I have a mailing list, but only because I thought I'd lose all credibility as a self-published author without one. I only send out a newsletter when I publish a new book.

How do I build on what I did this year? I have no idea, because I don't know what I did! All I can do is pour everything I've got into my writing.

How are your ads structured? Are you running multiple ads trying to hit different customer segments? What is your daily ad budget? If you don't want to answer, no problem. I'm just curious because Amazon kept trying to push me to spend more and more on AMS, but I was getting diminishing returns, so I scaled back my daily budget and lowered my bids on most keywords. I'm running at about 140% ACoS overall, but I believe at least half of my "sales" are KU (maybe more like 2/3), so I can't see the whole picture. I've had just 1 ad running for months now, never changing up the copy or anything.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is December really a slow sales month?
« on: December 22, 2017, 10:27:07 AM »
Thanks! Inputs and comments from experienced authors really help us understand what's happening. For us new authors, we expect December to be a great season (based on marketing models of other items) but it appears books operate differently.

P.S. JR, love your avatar!

Yeah, it's funny, this is my first year publishing. The common logic I heard was, "You've GOT to have something out for December!" So I released a second book 1.5 weeks ago thinking that with the mad Christmas rush, I was going to cash in, but sales are about 1/5 of what my September-released book was, and everyone said September is an awful time to release a book.

From what I can determine from AMS, and just looking at the store, it seems the giants of the genres all released this month, and everyone is pumping massive cash into ads, promotions, newslists, etc. So little newbies with $1 per day AMS ads get swept away like a dust mote under the bed.

Writers' Cafe / Re: A New AMS Thread
« on: December 20, 2017, 11:39:53 AM »
I'm curious how people in KU cope with not knowing where 50% of their sales are coming from. My ad is running at about 150%, but I'm also getting more borrows than sales. It seems impossible to know which keywords are doing well when you can only see 1/2 to 1/3 of your sales, and KU borrows are invisible. Has Amazon ever said if they will allow us to see our own borrows? Heck, if I could just see how many page reads are being generated from certain keywords, that would help.

I'm not in KU. But there is a huge difference between the sales graph and the month-to-date today. Sales graph: 0, Month-to-date: 20.

Is it 'fixed?' Not as far as I can tell.

I think it's fixed like the fix from Office Space.

Bob Slydell: So we just went ahead and fixed the glitch.

Bill Lumbergh: Great.

Dom Portwood: So, uh, Milton has been let go?

Bob Slydell: Well, just a second there, professor. We, uh, we fixed the *glitch*. So he won't be receiving a paycheck anymore, so it'll just work itself out naturally.

I'm not so freaked out. It will be bad, but anything can be repaired. Most of these things take years to really get going, so even after it's gone, you might not see the effects until 1, 2 years later. Plus, companies might wait to see what happens in the 2018 elections before making any huge decisions as far as revamping their systems. To boot, even some on the "other side" are coming around to keeping net neutrality. If the FCC allows this, Congress can pass legislation that makes Net Neutrality permanent. Of course, the chances of that happening with the current government is nil, but in the future...

In the end, getting rid of it benefits only the ISPs, who have monopolies and duopolies in most places in the country. Keeping it benefits all citizens and all of the OTHER companies on the planet. So it's like 1% benefit from the loss of Net Neutrality, and 99% lose out. Without competition, the government does have to get involved with regulation of an industry, and these companies have fought tooth and nail to prevent and destroy competition. This is a bed they made for themselves. They should all be regulated by the government, because the internet is now a necessity of life, just like indoor plumbing, electricity, roads, etc.

I'd had a certain number of sales and page reads up until December and my AMS budget was being 100% used every day. For the past few days, sales and page reads are down about 80% of what they were, and AMS ads are using only about 20% of the budget they were using. It's like a switch has been flipped.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Removing Arc Reviews (thread no. 2)
« on: December 01, 2017, 01:19:00 PM »
Yeah, I've lost two ARC reviews. Both 5 star. Amazon is fine leaving up the 2 and 3 star ARC reviews though...

Writers' Cafe / Re: AUTHORS: Your best form of book advertising is...
« on: November 28, 2017, 06:13:36 PM »
Speak of AMS, is Amazon ever going to show borrows and/or which keywords are resulting in borrows? I feel like it's impossible to gauge the effectiveness of ads when you can only see 1/2 of the equation.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Mastodon
« on: November 17, 2017, 09:41:45 AM »
I thought this thread was going to be about the band.   :-[

Yeah, I was hoping: "Mastodon is releasing a new album, and is running a contest for writers to come up with a short story that captures the soul of the album. The winner will get a shout out on social media, a ton of merch and a ticket to see them in concert at a venue of their choice."

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kindle Royalty Discrepancies
« on: November 10, 2017, 07:13:54 PM »
I know that even if you set a book to 70%, there are certain countries where your book still sells at 35%. Not sure why. Trade agreements or some such.

Writers' Cafe / Re: The Decline of the Promo Sites
« on: November 04, 2017, 04:59:58 AM »

3. Readers get too many NLs and don't open them all or even see them or even check to see what's been sent.

There are too many books. Too many NLs. The ROI is going to continue to erode.

I think what needs to happen (although no one will do this) is authors in similar genres band together to create one massive list (I supposed one person would be in charge of maintaining the list and organizing the newsletter. Maybe the others could pay that person to do so). Instead of a reader getting 12 newsletters from 12 authors, they get one newsletter, and the newsletter contains a section for each author. Otherwise, as more and more people sign up for promotional sites and newsletters, they'll get 1 email a day, then 2, then 5, then 20, and they'll just say "too much spam! unsubscribe! unsubscribe! unsubscribe!" Right now, any avid reader that signs up for promotions and mailing lists is probably inundated with 5-6+ emails a day, filled with dozens and dozens of free and discounted books, and as more promotional sites pop up and more authors begin publishing, it will just get worse.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Would you respond to this 1 Star review?
« on: October 30, 2017, 05:44:03 PM »
I know the general thinking is never to respond, but I'm trying to decide if I should give the guy a link or no?

I want to so badly. Not only is it on the page, but it's linked to your author profile, it's the first result returned on an Amazon search, Google search and is on your blog, which is listed midway down the page. It literally took 15 seconds to find five places linking to it. Such a strange review. "I couldn't find trash bags that fit my 13 gallon trash can, so I'm going to leave a 1 star review on this 10 gallon trash bag page. I didn't buy 'em, I'm just mad that it's so dang hard to find 13 gallon trash bags!"

Writers' Cafe / Re: My fairy tales led to a job
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:47:49 AM »
That's really cool! Congrats! I hope one day my writing will lead to me losing a job! (at least my current one).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any Ideas Why My Promo Crashed and Burned?
« on: October 05, 2017, 09:40:13 AM »
The reviews seem to indicate a thriller that doesn't thrill, which might be putting off people. The blurb is technically fine, but pretty low-key/laid back. Combine all 3: "I'm not a writer, and don't have good writing skills" in the bio with a laid back blurb in the thriller category, and a few reviews that said they were bored while reading a thriller. It might not be one thing, but a combination.

I'm confused by this review:

"another writer that needs to use the grammer feature but not to bad."

What is a "grammer feature"? (or grammar feature for that matter).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Would someone with KU do me a favor?
« on: September 30, 2017, 02:48:45 PM »
On the first upload of the book in my sig, the prologue was left out accidentally. We updated the file a day later, but my copy and my husband's copy both still show no prologue, even though it shows up in the look-inside. Could someone check to see if it shows up in a virgin download, or if we need to ask Zon to push an update?  We've got a promo next weekend, and I'm trying to make sure the right content is being sent.


I downloaded it from KU and checked it out in the Amazon Online Cloud Reader and after the TOC, there's Author's Note, Prologue and then "1. In the Beginning". I also flipped through to the end and preview so you get page reads. Looks interesting, when I get time I might have to go through and check it out, but such a long list of reads to finish...

Writers' Cafe / Re: My first launch (is having no reviews a problem?)
« on: September 18, 2017, 09:00:21 AM »
I think also getting involved in Instafreebie and Book Funnel and get in with some cross promotions is great too. It's tough at first because no one's going to want to do email exchanges with someone who has 2 people on their list, but the key to breaking that ice is to get in on Instafreebie group promos (I was doing all of this stuff for the first time weeks ago). Even if you don't get subscribers, you get hundreds or thousands of eyes on your book, and people can sample it. Even if you just put up a chapter or 2, it can get some list subscribers or generate orders.

I'm a sucker for anything related to deep sea with sea monsters and that cover is amazing. I'm glad this is on KU, because I'm going to check it out.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Best paid .99 website?
« on: September 16, 2017, 02:25:19 PM »
I wish I had some advice, but I haven't done enough promotions to know which are bad and which are good.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Thank you to all of you!
« on: September 15, 2017, 03:55:14 PM »

Writers' Cafe / Re: International Bookbub Followed by U.S.-Only Bookbub?
« on: September 14, 2017, 06:39:47 PM »
I had an international-only feature in early May and a U.S. feature in mid-June. I can honestly say it changed my life. I would do it this way every time if I had the option to.

Amazon U.S. discounted the book on its own when I had the international feature. I left it at full price and they did the rest, which was great, because we picked up 70%.

I applied for the U.S. feature as soon as I sent in my report and followup email and got it literally the next day.

Full story, backstory, and then some at

That was an enjoyable read. The bit about walking into a room of people while holding a cheeseburger and wondering what they were all doing there was great.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Science Fiction and Fantasy Promotion Site: READSFF.COM
« on: September 13, 2017, 06:10:13 PM »
I like the idea. On the submission page, I guess I'm confused by what the check boxes do. Like... maybe I want to submit my book, but also it's on a .99 promo, but it will only be .99 for X days. How would that work, since there are no date ranges to select? Then you can also submit for "on sale" further down the page (like you can check as many boxes as you want, and nothing overrides other boxes).

Writers' Cafe / Re: 3 years, 17 books, 6 wisdoms to impart...
« on: September 12, 2017, 11:29:51 AM »
"16K books, had 17K borrows/full read throughs and grossed $75K, with expenses of $40K". 35K is so impressive for 3 years (as is 17K!), but you could also stop writing today and your books would continue generating revenue for the next 10, 20, 30, 50+ years. In 20 years you might say, "275K revenue and 40k expenses" (if it were perfectly linear).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon Advertising Campaigns vanished ...
« on: September 08, 2017, 10:45:13 AM »
Yup, gone again. I think it did this the other day. I feel like Amazon's data services are held together with bubble gum and string.

It should be urging indies to increase their prices, but then they'd fall foul of competition laws.

Yeah, this is what really should be happening. The race to the bottom is going to end up just meaning everyone's spending thousands on creating book after book then giving them away for free or for a 2 cents in gargantuan box sets.

Pages: [1] 2 3 4