Author Topic: 54 Titles - My Results  (Read 82830 times)  

Offline Victoria Champion

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Re: 54 Titles - My Results
« Reply #75 on: December 31, 2012, 03:46:22 pm »
I am also taking the plunge into erotica, and everyone seems to agree that erotica readers are willing to pay more than other genres. Publishing a series of shorts as a series seems to make sense from an economic standpoint, but when I look at some of these I see a large number of savage one-star reviews complaining about the author publishing a book a chapter or a two at a time and ripping them off. The stories, however, seem to be selling extremely well despite this backlash.

Do you, or anyone else with experience in the genre, feel that this is the best way to go? Do you just ignore the bad reviews complaining solely about price, or do you think those will turn away enough potential readers to make the series concept less than the best way?


Well, I put the word count and page count in the blurb. I haven't had any returns and I have had readers thank me for the story afterwards.  I don't leave cliffhangers, and that might have something to do with it.
    
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    Offline Claudia King

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #76 on: December 31, 2012, 04:28:39 pm »
    I am also taking the plunge into erotica, and everyone seems to agree that erotica readers are willing to pay more than other genres. Publishing a series of shorts as a series seems to make sense from an economic standpoint, but when I look at some of these I see a large number of savage one-star reviews complaining about the author publishing a book a chapter or a two at a time and ripping them off. The stories, however, seem to be selling extremely well despite this backlash.

    Do you, or anyone else with experience in the genre, feel that this is the best way to go? Do you just ignore the bad reviews complaining solely about price, or do you think those will turn away enough potential readers to make the series concept less than the best way?

    I think it's something that's likely to happen no matter what. I got my first couple of negative reviews today for my eRom series, and the only feedback I could pick out of them (other than the reader not being happy) was that they thought the instalments were too short. It's understandable, particularly when you can get a lot of much longer literature for cheaper prices, but I think it's more of a knee-jerk reaction from people who aren't familiar with the pricing model than anything else. Most readers who're enthusiastic about indie erotica will understand that $2.99 for one chapter is pretty commonplace, so I'd imagine reviews criticising the length aren't going to put too many people off. :)
    I've seen dozens and dozens of titles from other (often very successful) erotica authors with these sorts of reviews, so I'm just going to accept them as part of the process.

    Author of naughty, romancey, and fantastical things.
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    Offline KMatthew

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #77 on: January 02, 2013, 10:10:55 pm »
    I've been thinking about getting into erotica...so I downloaded a lot of the bestsellers from Amazon to immerse myself in this genre

    A few of the books are written in first person...is this the preferred POV to write in?

    Thanks!!

    Continued success to ya MariaB :) and Happy New Year!!

    First person does seem to be the preferred POV in erotica, from what I have seen. Most of my books are written in first person. I have a few that are third person though.

    Offline KMatthew

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #78 on: May 07, 2013, 05:26:23 pm »
    It was requested that I do an update when I reached 75 titles, so here it goes. This time, I included how many titles were published each month. Please keep in mind that I had other titles published before I started keeping track of my sales, which is why the number of total books published does not equal 75.

    August 2012
    59 books sold
    11 stories published in August
    $80.30 in royalties earned

    September 2012
    150 books sold
    9 stories published in September
    $238.27 in royalties earned

    October 2012
    290 books sold
    9 stories published in October
    $535.72 in royalties earned

    November 2012
    2246 books sold
    12 stories published in November
    $3,346.18 in royalties earned

    December 2012
    3253 books sold
    5 stories published in December
    $5,060.30

    January 2013
    2503 books sold
    5 stories published in January
    $3,694.89

    February 2013
    2728 books sold
    11 stories published in February
    $5,227.37

    March 2013
    3533 books sold
    0 stories published in March (was working on a novel)
    $7,862.25

    April 2013
    3338 books sold
    4 stories published in April
    $5,536.23

    May 2013 (as of the time this was published)
    740 books sold
    1 stories published in May so far
    $1,205.26

    I've expanded my portfolio quite a bit since this thread was originally started. Since then, I have bundled several of my stories together. I have also expanded into print editions and audiobooks, as well as writing one full length novel.

    Sales from the audiobooks and print editions aren't anything impressive, but it's still neat to have both formats available for readers. While I've been working to get everything I've written into audiobook format, I am only publishing my non-erotica as paperback. I don't think there's a big enough market for erotica in physical form to merit turning all of my series into paperback editions.

    Amazon has been the overall bread winner for my sales, with Apple being next in line. I've had half a mind to buy a Mac just so I can upload there directly, but I hear that it's about as painfully slow as going through Smashwords, so there doesn't seem to be much of a point.

    My sales on All Romance Ebooks have dramatically decreased. I attribute that to the fact that I've switched over to writing more m/f stuff. For some reason, my m/m erotica flourishes over there, my m/f not so much.

    Since I feel like I've already achieved a good amount of success with serializing, I decided to try my hand at writing a full length novel. In comparison to how my serials sell, the results were underwhelming. I've decided to stick with serializing. It gives me dual benefits. People who want to purchase the serials can buy the stories as they're being written. And when the serial is complete, I can combine it into a novel, and also target readers who prefer longer works.

    I thought it would be interesting to update the QA section from the original post to reflect my current experience. So, here it goes.

    1.) How long are my titles?

    My shortest story is still 2,100 words long. Though this particular title is no longer published on Amazon because of an email they sent me.

    My longest title is 50,462 words long (my novel). Though I do have combined serials that are much longer. On average, I strive for at least 10,000 words, which usually gets cut down to a little over 8,000 after editing.

    2.) What is my pricing strategy?

    I follow the Selena Kitt pricing strategy, which is as follows:

    $0.99 > Short Shorts: Under 3k
    $1.99 > Shorts: 3-7k
    $2.99 > Stories: 7-15k
    $3.99 > Novelettes: 15-35k
    $4.99 > Novellas: 35-50k
    $5.99 > Novels: 50-70k

    This is for erotica only. All of my non-erotica short stories I sell for $0.99. Non-erotica novels are sold for $2.99 regardless of length.

    3.) Which sells better, stand alones or series?

    Definitely, series. Every once in a while, I'll publish a stand alone, but most of my stuff has at least 3 parts. For series, I make the first book perma-free. I have done this method and been in Select (obviously not at the same time), and I have found that having permanently free titles increases sales far more than Select ever did for me.

    4.) What genres do I write in?
    I'm currently mainly focusing on erotic romance. I've noticed from my own list of titles that my m/f erotic romance outperforms everything else, so that's what I'm sticking with for now. I've been working on a werewolf paranormal romance for the last three months that's done incredibly well. I'll probably continue down that road whenever this series is over. Werewolves are hot right now.

    5.) Have I had any best sellers?
    Not a NYT best seller, but I have been in Amazon's top 100 for several different genres.

    6.) Who do you publish with?
    Amazon, B&N, All Romance Ebooks, ACX, CreateSpace, and Smashwords (for all other retailers)

    If there's anything else I forgot to mention or that you would like to know, feel free to ask. When I hit 100 titles, I'll make a new thread.
    « Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 05:28:37 pm by MarlaB »

    Offline H.M. Ward

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #79 on: May 07, 2013, 05:37:02 pm »
    Great info! Thanks for the update. I love reading posts like this! Congrats.
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    Offline NoCat

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #80 on: May 07, 2013, 05:56:34 pm »
    Great info! Thanks for updating.

    Offline Hildred

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #81 on: May 07, 2013, 06:19:12 pm »
    Awesome. Have you been noticing your erotic titles being filtered through amazon recently? (Since they're so gung-ho about it.) And if you have, has it dented your income any?

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    Offline KMatthew

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #82 on: May 07, 2013, 06:23:44 pm »
    Awesome. Have you been noticing your erotic titles being filtered through amazon recently? (Since they're so gung-ho about it.) And if you have, has it dented your income any?
    To be honest, I haven't paid much attention to it. I certainly haven't seen anything drastic enough to merit concern.

    Offline whatdanwrote

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #83 on: May 07, 2013, 06:54:59 pm »
    Thanks so much for sharing, it's really inspiring and helpful for you to share this info. Thanks!

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #84 on: May 07, 2013, 07:34:26 pm »
    Thanks for the update! Very inspiring stuff  8)

    Offline AshRonin

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #85 on: May 07, 2013, 08:50:09 pm »
    Very awesome, thanks for the info.

    Offline bellabentley

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #86 on: May 07, 2013, 10:25:10 pm »
    I am so happy you updated this thread! I've been looking for this thread for a long time and could never remember the subject title. :) Congrats on your success! You deserve it! Thanks for sharing! Please keep updating, too! at 100 perhaps? :)

    Offline Skye Hunter

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #87 on: May 08, 2013, 05:37:17 am »
    Awesome info. I really gotta get off my tuckus and start writing more.  

    Quick question for you. How much time a day do you spend writing to be able to publish a dozen stories a month?
    « Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 05:40:47 am by Skye Hunter »
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    Offline Claudia King

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #88 on: May 08, 2013, 07:41:45 am »
    Very encouraging! It's awesome to know your model's continuing to do well, and it's a great incentive to pump out more of my own titles to build up a nice strong portfolio of shorts. :D

    Author of naughty, romancey, and fantastical things.
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    Offline KMatthew

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #89 on: May 08, 2013, 08:27:30 am »
    What do you do about covers? By publishing that number of titles each month covers could get expensive.

    I make my own covers. Since I began publishing, I've gotten pretty good at Photoshop. There's not much I can't do with it in relation to designing the covers I want. It typically costs me between $0 - $5 to make a cover, depending on how many stock photos I use and where I buy them from. The three places I get stock photos from are:

    http://www.sxc.hu - for free photos
    http://www.bigstockphoto.com/ - for inexpensive high quality photos (I mainly use this site)
    http://www.123rf.com/ - you have to be careful which size you download or the image will be distorted when you blow it up for the cover. As a rule of thumb, I buy at least the medium size image

    To cut down on expenses, I've started using the same covers for my serialized work. I also use White Smoke to help me with editing. When you write mostly shorts, I find it's not very cost effective to pay for cover art and editing.

    Offline bellabentley

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #90 on: May 08, 2013, 09:47:25 am »
    @MariaB, I echo @SkyeHunter's questions. I meant to ask the question last night. How much time do you spend writing etc? Do you have a certain time you write every day etc? How long does it take for you to write a short story? And I agree with you on Perma-free. I have been seeing amazing results with it on one of my series. Moving forward, I will keep replicating the model. And I definitely feel the way you do about serials versus novels. I love the fact that I can release the story in serials, and in the end, have a novel for those who like longer works! Seriously though, LOVE this thread!

    Offline Craig Halloran

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #91 on: May 08, 2013, 01:45:25 pm »
    I wish I could say there was an easy way to get Amazon to price-match quickly, but I haven't found one. It took them almost 3 months to price match my first book to free. I have noticed a few things though. First, (in my experience) it definitely has to be free on Barnes & Noble. And second, once you see it free on Barnes & Noble, click the "tell us about a lower price" link and input all of the places that your book is for free. Then go back to your dashboard and 'update' (don't change anything, just send it through their processing again) the book that you want free. Usually, within a week of the book reprocessing, the price-match will kick in. This has worked for me on several books, so it's worth giving it a try.

    Yes! Very helpful! I didn't know about "tell us about lower price".  Thanks!

    Offline KMatthew

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #92 on: May 08, 2013, 07:01:32 pm »
    How much time do you spend writing etc? Do you have a certain time you write every day etc?


    I try to aim for 5,000 words a day. Often, I'm not able to get that much done though.

    Oddly, since I've switched over to writing full time, my production has declined. When I was working full time, I could easily pump out 5,000 words on a work day and closer to 9,000 on a day off. Now, getting to 5,000 a day seems to be a struggle.

    How long does it take for you to write a short story?

    It usually takes me two days to write a story and one day to edit and design a cover.

    I tend to write mostly in the morning. My mind seems its freshest then. Somewhere between 2pm - 4pm, I'll have what I like to call a creativity crash. Most of the time, that's when I quit for the day. 

    Offline shanerowling

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #93 on: June 14, 2013, 10:20:21 pm »
    Marla,

    Thank you for a very motivating post.  Are you still using the DWS method and writing erotica even after the supposed filtering done to erotica books?  Do you have any updated stats?

    Shane

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    Offline OJ Connell

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #94 on: June 15, 2013, 12:18:32 am »
    This is a great thread and I very much appreciate your sharing this information. It's extremely motivational, though-- and I wonder if you or anyone else here might wish to comment-- I have to question whether this sort of success is possible in genres outside of romance. That isn't to say that authors outside of erotic romance aren't making money, however this DWS-style method of publishing lots and growing sales seems to work especially well in romance.

    For instance, I write in horror. Providing that my blurbs, covers and stories are all of quality, how might this prolific method work out for me? No one can say for certain, though I imagine some here might be able to manage an educated guess. I personally see some potential in it and intend to give it a shot, though I scarcely think I'll be as successful as you.

    Do you know of anyone who's published such a large volume of works in other genres-- especially speculative fiction? I'd be keen to hear about their experiences as well.

    Thanks again for posting all of this info. I hope your sales continue to grow!

    Offline Bilinda N Siodacan

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #95 on: June 15, 2013, 03:56:42 am »
    This method works when writing thrillers as well, or at least that's what I've discovered.
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    Offline Nathalie Hamidi

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #96 on: June 15, 2013, 04:02:26 am »
    This method works when writing thrillers as well, or at least that's what I've discovered.

    Marla and Bilinda, would you be willing to give us an update?
    You uplift me, I feel thrilled for you and hope one day I can do as well as you both.

    Just for that, thank you so much for all the data and inspiration!  :-*


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    Offline KMatthew

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #97 on: June 15, 2013, 09:21:26 am »
    Thank you for a very motivating post.  Are you still using the DWS method and writing erotica even after the supposed filtering done to erotica books?  Do you have any updated stats?

    The short answer is yes, though I've been leaning more to the erotic romance side of things, since it seems to sell better. If Amazon has been filtering erotica, I haven't felt any impact from it. There was a thread here with a link to a website where you could enter in the title of your book and it would let you know if it had been slapped by the Amazon adult filter. None of my books seemed to be hit with it, even the more morally questionable ones and the ones where I had explicit excerpts in the description, so I'm not exactly sure how that filter works. As for an update, here are my stats for May.

    May 2013
    3517 books sold
    7 stories published in May
    $5,571.10 in royalties earned

    My current concern is the summer slump. Since this is the first year I'll actually be experiencing it, I'm a bit concerned about the down tick of sales. Plus, most of the books I've published recently have been priced at $0.99 due to an experiment and me starting a new series. It appears that I'm still on track to earn over $3,000 though, so I'm happy for that.

    I put together some data for another thread not to long ago that I thought was worth sharing here. It has to do with the way my books are priced, the percentage of sales I make per price point, and the percentage of income from each price point as well. This data only spans from 06/01 - 06/09, and only for sales from Amazon US/India.

    Number of titles per price point:
    Free - 13
    0.99 - 14
    1.99 - 17
    2.99 - 23
    3.99 - 11
    5.99 - 1   
    6.99 - 1   
    9.99 - 1

    Percentage of sales per price point:
    0.99 - 27%
    1.99 - 5%
    2.99 - 46%
    3.99 - 18%
    5.99 - less than 1%
    6.99 - 1%
    9.99 - 3%

    Percentage of income per price point:
    0.99 - 5%
    1.99 - 2%
    2.99 - 53%
    3.99 - 27%
    5.99 - 1%
    6.99 - 3%
    9.99 - 9%

    This is a great thread and I very much appreciate your sharing this information. It's extremely motivational, though-- and I wonder if you or anyone else here might wish to comment-- I have to question whether this sort of success is possible in genres outside of romance.

    For instance, I write in horror. Providing that my blurbs, covers and stories are all of quality, how might this prolific method work out for me?

    When I first tried this method, I started with horror, since that is my preferred genre to write. Getting someone to buy any of my shorts at $2.99 was near impossible. I was lucky if I got 1 sale whenever I published something. I lowered my prices to $0.99. Sales weren't great, but at least I was actually getting them. I produced 10 horror shorts and a bundle before I moved to writing erotica. From what I've heard, that's not really long enough to make a name for yourself in any particular genre, but I just couldn't hold out any longer. I desperately wanted to make writing my full time gig, and once I saw the sales and income that were possible with erotica, I didn't look back. Of those 11 pieces of horror I have for sale, I still only get a handful of sales a month at $0.99. Sometimes the bundle doesn't even sell.

    However, there are people who have successfully been able to do this, though not with the horror genre, to my knowledge. Bilinda is one of them. I'd actually love to get an update from her as well.


    Offline bellabentley

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #98 on: June 16, 2013, 09:40:08 am »
    I love the breakdown, Marla! This thread is one of my favorites here! Thanks for updating! You mentioned earlier in the thread you write around 5,000 words a day. I was wondering how that breaks down into time? And how much time you spend editing?

    I, by nature, type really fast like 3k an hour. Yet, the situation as of late is, I get really ADD around 12 minutes. I set timers and do make it to 20 min where I'll be at over 1k of writing and then I stop and do other things. I was just wondering your method as I'm working on growing my concentration and having more "20" minute sessions throughout the day because my goal is eventually be like you! And like DWS teaches...and have a plethora of short stories and novellettes. I've soooo enjoyed writing this way. I took a break from writing novels last summer and started this pen name and have had so much fun. I also think it's a psychological thing for me because I'll see a finished product and after I send it to editing...I want to keep writing more and more. So, it helps me complete things. Also, I'm wrapping up an 8th installment of an 8 series short story/novelette series. I'll publish the full series as a full novel around 80k words. That's the longest piece of fiction I've ever written. I feel like writing in series teaches me naturally how to keep the archs going throughout the story of keeping the reader wanting to read the next part...and the next. So it naturally keeps the story moving along. I agree with you about publishing them as serials opposed to full novel in regards to financial reward.

    Thanks so much again for updating! Looking forward for more updates! <3

    Offline Nathalie Hamidi

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    Re: 54 Titles - My Results
    « Reply #99 on: June 16, 2013, 09:41:49 am »
    Ooops I had missed this update, thanks Marla!
    What is the hardest part? Do you have problems sustaining such an output?

     :-* :-* :-*


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