Author Topic: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability  (Read 8016 times)  

Offline jb1111

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Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
« Reply #50 on: August 03, 2020, 05:59:54 pm »
It's so silly to brag about not marketing.

If your books sell well without marketing, they'll sell really well with marketing.

It's like bragging about having an ugly cover.

It doesn't matter how good your book or packaging is if no one sees it. If you can get visibility without marketing, great, but that's very rare in 2020 unless you're in an underserved niche (and it probably won't be underserved for long if it's popular enough. Other writers will find it and saturated it).

While you make some good points, I don't think it's silly to brag about not marketing, anymore than it's silly to brag, period.

If someone has made money off their books without marketing, and they state it here, they're giving others their experience that it can be done.

Not unlike someone giving the "I'm living proof that an indie can make a good living from writing" anecdotes that we see from time to time on KB. I don't think those are silly, even if their experiences do not necessarily apply across the board to everyone. They're just examples, basically.

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    Offline Crystal_

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #51 on: August 03, 2020, 09:39:09 pm »
    It's fine to brag about making money, but it's silly to brag about not marketing. Or being bad at marketing.

    This is really common in author circles. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have such a strong opinion.

    When I started, I thought it was normal to have this I just can't do marketing attitude. It may be normal, but it's not something to be proud of. Marketing is a skill. People can learn skills. Almost anyone can learn some marketing.

    Bragging about being unwilling to learn... That's my issue. It makes people think that refusing to learn is an admirable trait.

    I didn't know marketing at first. I'm still more good than great IMO. But I leaned by doing. Everyone is capable of that to some degree.

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #52 on: August 03, 2020, 10:19:11 pm »
    I have an MBA and years of experience in marketing and finance. Turns out I hate marketing my own work. Writing comes out of a different part of my brain for me, and thinking about the business side yanks me out of that fragile place. The books do best when I focus on writing.

    This is a business I have to treat as a hobby, or I cant do it at all. Thus, I do minimal marketing. If I could pay somebody good to do it for me, though, Id do it in a heartbeat.

    That is not something to brag about, Crystal is right. But there you go. I know I am not the only one.

    YMMV. No right answers. Your personality is a lot of it.

    (The thing I truly CANNOT do is graphics. Not at all. Not even. I have worked with graphic designers for 25+ years. I know how to communicate what I want, but I do not have an artistic bone in my body. I cannot make a Facebook announcement. Another reason I gave up on trying to do ads. I had to pay somebody to produce every single version!)

    Edited for length.
    « Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 10:48:39 pm by Usedtoposthere »

    Offline jb1111

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #53 on: August 03, 2020, 10:46:17 pm »
    It's fine to brag about making money, but it's silly to brag about not marketing. Or being bad at marketing.

    This is really common in author circles. If it wasn't, I wouldn't have such a strong opinion.

    When I started, I thought it was normal to have this I just can't do marketing attitude. It may be normal, but it's not something to be proud of. Marketing is a skill. People can learn skills. Almost anyone can learn some marketing.

    Bragging about being unwilling to learn... That's my issue. It makes people think that refusing to learn is an admirable trait.

    I didn't know marketing at first. I'm still more good than great IMO. But I leaned by doing. Everyone is capable of that to some degree.

    And the reverse side of your argument is that some newbie decides that AMS is the only way to go, because every prominent indie author says you have to advertise to sell books, so they dump more money into their advertising (or other more expensive forms of marketing) than they're ever going to make off of their first book. Which can be demoralizing.

    That has happened in with at least two new authors I can recall who have posted on KB over the past year; I would gather that there have been more than that who have had this experience.

    I know in some genres there are authors who sell books without advertising. I have seen enough talk on other forums (particularly reddits) to lead me to believe that it's possible. They may have minimal forms of marketing also -- backmatter pointing to other books, email lists, etc. Apparently, pulling a small profit with no advertising can be done.

    Should an author never market? No. I think any author who is serious about selling books should learn marketing. I think that's a given. Especially in today's crowded book marketplace.

    On your point that it's poor practice to brag about being unwilling to learn, 100% agreement on that. Any newbie who is unwilling to learn the ropes is probably not going to see too much success. There's always room to learn.

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #54 on: August 03, 2020, 10:56:15 pm »
    You can make a very large profit without advertising. It is just less likely, and as Crystal says, you would make more with advertising.

    Marketing is also a lot more than advertising. For publishing, it would be price, product, presentation, promotion. Promotion is only one of the four. Product and presentation matter most.

    Offline GeneDoucette

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #55 on: August 04, 2020, 04:04:10 am »
    I've said before i don't put money into advertising. It's not a brag; just a fact. That doesn't mean I don't do any marketing; I don't consider advertising to be the only form of marketing. I pay for a website, I have a mailing list (a small one) an author page and a Patreon page.

    Now. I get the 'advertising is a skill you can learn'. I really do. But if the first thing about advertising is "find books like yours and authors like you and target their readers" that's where I fall down. I can't find any books like mine. I have tried targeting authors I consider to be 'like me', and had no luck. And I'm not going to bury hundreds-to-thousands of dollars in an attempt to get something to work that I'm not convinced will work for me.

    Offline Douglas Milewski

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #56 on: August 04, 2020, 09:57:14 am »
    Now. I get the 'advertising is a skill you can learn'. I really do. But if the first thing about advertising is "find books like yours and authors like you and target their readers" that's where I fall down. I can't find any books like mine. I have tried targeting authors I consider to be 'like me', and had no luck. And I'm not going to bury hundreds-to-thousands of dollars in an attempt to get something to work that I'm not convinced will work for me.

    That's pretty much where I keep finding myself. I've tried writing to market, honestly and truly, but my brain doesn't work that way.

    When I do advertise, I keep learning what I can, but eventually, spending $10 to make $1 breaks the bank.

    This isn't a brag from me. It's where I'm at. If unprofitability signals that my books are bad, or need better marketing, or have no audience, then that's the case. For two out of the three, I'm best off writing a better book next time, creating a more engaging story for a better targeted audience.

    Disclaimer: I sell horribly. Set your filters accordingly.

    Offline Crystal_

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #57 on: August 04, 2020, 10:21:37 am »
    Gene, have you asked someone else to look for books similar to yours? I find authors are often too close to their own work for this.

    If I went through contemporary romance or NA, I wouldn't think anyone is really similar to me. I'd see all the ways we're different and think "no, that isn't similar," but if I try to be more objective, I can see how readers who like X author might like me too.

    And the reverse side of your argument is that some newbie decides that AMS is the only way to go, because every prominent indie author says you have to advertise to sell books, so they dump more money into their advertising (or other more expensive forms of marketing) than they're ever going to make off of their first book. Which can be demoralizing.

    That has happened in with at least two new authors I can recall who have posted on KB over the past year; I would gather that there have been more than that who have had this experience.
    ...
    On your point that it's poor practice to brag about being unwilling to learn, 100% agreement on that. Any newbie who is unwilling to learn the ropes is probably not going to see too much success. There's always room to learn.

    I think it's really the same issue. People treat marketing as if it's something you're born with or not. They think they need to be at 100, so they either ignore it or jump in headfirst. Marketing is a skill. People can learn it slowly, the way they learned to write.

    It can be expensive (though there are less expensive options) and it is hard work. But, hey, when you do something for money, it's a job. Some parts are going to be hard work.

    I get it. Marketing is hard. It sucks sometimes. Like I said, I could spend more time to learn how to be better at marketing, to go from pretty good to great, but I haven't done that yet. I have plans to sit down with some AMS courses and get better at AMS, but I haven't done that yet, because it is hard and frustrating. (I have my doubts about AMS being profitable in my genre--it's just too crowded--but I'm not willing to give up. My profitability has dropped a lot this year, the year I tried going full force at AMS. I didn't listen to my own advice to build my skills slowly. I haven't had a lot of experience marketing new releases with AMS because my covers are usually too sexy, but I went full force anyway. It wasn't a smart move).

    I knew absolutely nothing about marketing when I started. I thought I wrote a commercial enough first series, but I didn't get the market. My first three books flopped hard. I've managed to repackage them enough they sell okay.

    I have an MBA and years of experience in marketing and finance. Turns out I hate marketing my own work. Writing comes out of a different part of my brain for me, and thinking about the business side yanks me out of that fragile place. The books do best when I focus on writing.

    This is a business I have to treat as a hobby, or I cant do it at all. Thus, I do minimal marketing. If I could pay somebody good to do it for me, though, Id do it in a heartbeat.

    I think you're underselling yourself a bit. You have very clear, very hooky packaging and that's a huge part of the overall picture.

    I usually separate packaging and marketing when I talk about selling books, because I see them as separate skills, but they are highly intertwined. If I was telling someone to only focus on one of those skills, I'd tell them to focus on packaging. Great packaging + okay marketing will do more for you than okay packaging + great marketing.

    I know, because I'm also only good at packaging. I care too much about a design being pretty and unique. It gets in the way of hitting the market just right, but it's how my brain works. I can mitigate it, but I can't get right of it. I also have no idea what readers find appealing about solo men on covers (which is super common in my genre), so I screw up with those 75% of the time.

    Offline jb1111

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #58 on: August 04, 2020, 10:36:56 am »
    I think it's really the same issue. People treat marketing as if it's something you're born with or not. They think they need to be at 100, so they either ignore it or jump in headfirst. Marketing is a skill. People can learn it slowly, the way they learned to write.

    It can be expensive (though there are less expensive options) and it is hard work. But, hey, when you do something for money, it's a job. Some parts are going to be hard work.

    I get it. Marketing is hard. It sucks sometimes. Like I said, I could spend more time to learn how to be better at marketing, to go from pretty good to great, but I haven't done that yet. I have plans to sit down with some AMS courses and get better at AMS, but I haven't done that yet, because it is hard and frustrating. (I have my doubts about AMS being profitable in my genre--it's just too crowded--but I'm not willing to give up. My profitability has dropped a lot this year, the year I tried going full force at AMS. I didn't listen to my own advice to build my skills slowly. I haven't had a lot of experience marketing new releases with AMS because my covers are usually too sexy, but I went full force anyway. It wasn't a smart move).

    I knew absolutely nothing about marketing when I started. I thought I wrote a commercial enough first series, but I didn't get the market. My first three books flopped hard. I've managed to repackage them enough they sell okay.

    Fair enough, I see what you're saying. I was coming more from the position of some of the newbies that maybe try to put the cart before the horse because they think they need to do it all at once, when maybe it's better to take it a step at a time. I know when some have come onto the forum, usually they get really good advice from the vets like you.

    I myself do not make a lot of money, but I do make a profit, for whatever that's worth. Advertising for me is out of the question at present. My 'marketing' is the standard title, cover, blurb, etc. It works for me right now, I have no reason to complain. I would never tell anyone to not at least try further forms of marketing than I do, though, provided they had the funds to finance it.  I think if someone has the wherewithall to advertise, or engage in marketing that costs some, it probably sells more books, provided it's done right -- and there's always a learning curve. I'm just not at that point yet myself.

    Offline boba1823

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #59 on: August 04, 2020, 01:33:16 pm »
    And the reverse side of your argument is that some newbie decides that AMS is the only way to go, because every prominent indie author says you have to advertise to sell books, so they dump more money into their advertising (or other more expensive forms of marketing) than they're ever going to make off of their first book. Which can be demoralizing.

    I mean.. maybe that's good? Fact is, most authors are simply never going to make any significant profit from their books. For any number of reasons, including most prominently that many just write books that very few people will ever want to read.

    Not every writer cares about generating a profit, and that's perfectly fine. But for those who do have more business-y ambitions with it, maybe it's better to know sooner - rather than many years later - that it's not going to happen.

    Personally, I think it would be a waste of time - for someone with real ambitions of earning decent profits through writing - to spend less than a few thousand on advertising on a first published book. I realize not everyone has that much cash laying around. But if you were my real life BFF and asked for my heartfelt advice, I'd tell you to get a part-time job and save up if you had to, rather to publishing a book with little to no advertising.

    Advertising is the easiest way to stick a book in a potential reader's face. For new authors, it might even be the only really feasible way. And if you don't stick a book in a whole bunch of potential readers' faces.. well, how will you know if it has any substantial sales potential?

    Failing to make a profit, of course, isn't necessarily a sign that an author should give up. It may be a sign of poor marketing skills, which can be fixed. Especially if you're using Facebook ads, where you have much more control over the creative, and the targeting, and.. everything. That's a big reason why I would recommend a budget of no less than one or two thousand USD - if ads aren't performing, you keep trying new ones, refining, and on.

    Maybe it's still not profitable. Not profitable comes in degrees though. I would 100 percent not discourage someone who has to spend, say, $2 to earn $1 in royalties. Not if that can be done at some scale, anyway, like approaching a thousand sales or more. This likely indicates some problem areas with the book/story/writing - hopefully the title/cover/blurb and all is super polished by now, but if not, these too - but there should still be enough potential for future books. Assuming these problems are identified and addressed.

    But if you've tried your best with advertising, maybe read a book about it, kinda sorta copied ads being used by other (successful) authors, there's a good cover/blurb and all, and you're spending $10 to earn $1 of royalties.. maybe it's time to explore alternative business opportunities. Future business success in publishing is.. not likely, if things are this bad. No point in spending ten years writing 50 equally unappealing books in the hope that this will somehow change.

    Offline Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #60 on: August 04, 2020, 01:46:20 pm »
    I enjoy promotions...I just don't have money to pay for advertising.  I try to think outside the box, especially  since our business was closed at the end of March. 

    ETA:  Hopefully, we'll get reopened before Halloween, and I can try for a BookBub! :)
    « Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 01:49:58 pm by Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books] »

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    Offline Lorri Moulton [Lavender Lass Books]

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #61 on: August 04, 2020, 01:58:15 pm »
    I've said before i don't put money into advertising. It's not a brag; just a fact. That doesn't mean I don't do any marketing; I don't consider advertising to be the only form of marketing. I pay for a website, I have a mailing list (a small one) an author page and a Patreon page.

    Now. I get the 'advertising is a skill you can learn'. I really do. But if the first thing about advertising is "find books like yours and authors like you and target their readers" that's where I fall down. I can't find any books like mine. I have tried targeting authors I consider to be 'like me', and had no luck. And I'm not going to bury hundreds-to-thousands of dollars in an attempt to get something to work that I'm not convinced will work for me.

    Most of my books don't fit well either.  I've found hosting my own promos on BookFunnel works better than trying to join others.  I've wondered if that would make AMS and Facebook ads more difficult to target, but I haven't tried any yet.

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    Offline Justawriter

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #62 on: August 04, 2020, 04:33:37 pm »
    I see a lot of authors bragging about not advertising or marketing and it makes me sad because they are missing out. I get that everyone needs to do things their way, but if someone has a book that is selling decently with no advertising, odds are it could sell better with some.

    I don't release as often as Amanda so to sell at the income level I want, I need to advertise.

    The really cool thing about AMS ads is that once you figure them out, they are predictable and virtually risk free. I know that if I spend more money, I will make more.

    The key is to just start really small, and target tightly so relevance is high. As long as your book is well received with an attractive cover and decent blurb that will close the sale, your ads should work. I've found they don't work as well on older books or on books that are not as well received. The more popular the book, the better the ads work. So I focus my ads on my newer more popular books. But the older books get plenty of love too once readers have read the new stuff and go looking for more.
    « Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 04:35:19 pm by Justawriter »

    Offline MMSN

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #63 on: August 04, 2020, 06:56:49 pm »
    Does anybody have any info on how far potential buyers actually go on the carousel looking for a book to read? (I've got a book on page 47 of a carousel and I assume no way.)

    Offline ImaWriter

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #64 on: August 04, 2020, 07:10:33 pm »
    Does anybody have any info on how far potential buyers actually go on the carousel looking for a book to read? (I've got a book on page 47 of a carousel and I assume no way.)

    I don't know if there is any hard and fast data, but I have read that it depends on the genre and how voracious its readers are. So if you write romance, page 47 is fine!  ;) :D

    Offline Usedtoposthere

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #65 on: August 04, 2020, 08:31:22 pm »

    I think you're underselling yourself a bit. You have very clear, very hooky packaging and that's a huge part of the overall picture.

    I usually separate packaging and marketing when I talk about selling books, because I see them as separate skills, but they are highly intertwined. If I was telling someone to only focus on one of those skills, I'd tell them to focus on packaging. Great packaging + okay marketing will do more for you than okay packaging + great marketing.


    You are right, Crystal. I think I say somewhere up there that it's product, presentation, promotion, price. We tend to think "marketing" means "promotion," and you're right, promotion is only one piece of it.

    Personally, I'm fine on three of those. I should have said, I hate promoting my own books. I really enjoy the title/cover/blurb part (and the idea part), partly because I'm good at those things, and partly because I just plain enjoy the heck out of them. I think I know my reader and my market, because I pretty much am my reader and my market. But I hate promotion. Cross-promo with other authors. Advertising. Conferences. The works. It makes me anxious and brings up a lot of feelings that kill my creativity stone dead. So I don't.

    It's better if you have all four legs of the stool, obviously, but things can work OK with three strong legs. On the plus side, I have much more time and energy for writing, and less anxiety.

    Offline GeneDoucette

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #66 on: August 05, 2020, 06:18:35 am »
    Gene, have you asked someone else to look for books similar to yours? I find authors are often too close to their own work for this.

    If I went through contemporary romance or NA, I wouldn't think anyone is really similar to me. I'd see all the ways we're different and think "no, that isn't similar," but if I try to be more objective, I can see how readers who like X author might like me too.

    Not formally. My readers have made comparisons, certainly, but the comps tend to be to trad pub authors who aren't current, and aren't killin' it in ebooks. Not coincidentally, I also found little love in KU, so all my books are wide.

    Offline Patrick1980

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    « Reply #67 on: August 05, 2020, 12:33:17 pm »
    Maybe I've been a bit too stingy on advertising. I've got 8 books. They aren't part of a series, but they can be logically grouped together by genre. My most recent books have review averages in the 4.5~5.0 range. They should be selling.

    I just reviewed my "lifetime" spend for AMS ads: Since 2017, I've spent a little over $500. I usually spend about $10 per month on Facebook ads...or less.

    I have to admit: I have an emotional block when it comes to spending on advertising. I don't like to do it.

    Maybe I need to get over it. If even Amanda Lee needs to advertise in order to sell, I probably do, too.


    Online Shane Lochlann Black

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #68 on: August 05, 2020, 01:17:20 pm »
    If you are spending money on AMS ads, all you are doing is voluntarily reducing your royalty. You are also buying a service with no defined benefit (or even any reliable statistics to prove it is effective) at a price determined by the seller after you make the purchase.  Even after you make the purchase it takes days for you to get results that are both incomplete and inaccurate. 

    You are also buying advertising that is constantly increasing in price while you are capped on both cover price and page rate. 

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/suffocate?s=t

    If you are spending money outside of Amazon to advertise, you are Amazon's unpaid marketing department in charge of sending a trillion-dollar company free traffic and customers for everything but your book. If you want to know what people are actually buying, you'll find it advertised all over your book page waiting for the traffic you paid for out of the money Amazon sat on for two months after your book didn't sell.   
    « Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 01:19:01 pm by Shane Lochlann Black »

    Offline Patrick1980

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #69 on: August 05, 2020, 03:47:49 pm »
    If you are spending money on AMS ads, all you are doing is voluntarily reducing your royalty. You are also buying a service with no defined benefit (or even any reliable statistics to prove it is effective) at a price determined by the seller after you make the purchase.  Even after you make the purchase it takes days for you to get results that are both incomplete and inaccurate. 

    You are also buying advertising that is constantly increasing in price while you are capped on both cover price and page rate. 

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/suffocate?s=t

    If you are spending money outside of Amazon to advertise, you are Amazon's unpaid marketing department in charge of sending a trillion-dollar company free traffic and customers for everything but your book. If you want to know what people are actually buying, you'll find it advertised all over your book page waiting for the traffic you paid for out of the money Amazon sat on for two months after your book didn't sell.


    Shane, I would love to see you lead the indie revolt against the Amazon and FB ad spending regimes. I absolutely hate paying for either!

    Offline Indiecognito

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #70 on: August 05, 2020, 05:54:47 pm »
    If you are spending money on AMS ads, all you are doing is voluntarily reducing your royalty. You are also buying a service with no defined benefit (or even any reliable statistics to prove it is effective) at a price determined by the seller after you make the purchase.  Even after you make the purchase it takes days for you to get results that are both incomplete and inaccurate. 

    You are also buying advertising that is constantly increasing in price while you are capped on both cover price and page rate. 

    https://www.dictionary.com/browse/suffocate?s=t

    If you are spending money outside of Amazon to advertise, you are Amazon's unpaid marketing department in charge of sending a trillion-dollar company free traffic and customers for everything but your book. If you want to know what people are actually buying, you'll find it advertised all over your book page waiting for the traffic you paid for out of the money Amazon sat on for two months after your book didn't sell.

    I'm not "reducing my royalty," in fact. If I don't use AMS I will have piddly royalties, but because I DO pay for AMS ads I net 5 figures a month. So I'm fine with it.

    Would I rather not have to advertise the thing I produce? Sure.

    But no. It doesn't reduce my royalties.

    Offline Nick G

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #71 on: August 05, 2020, 06:12:50 pm »
    I'm not "reducing my royalty," in fact. If I don't use AMS I will have piddly royalties, but because I DO pay for AMS ads I net 5 figures a month. So I'm fine with it.

    Would I rather not have to advertise the thing I produce? Sure.

    But no. It doesn't reduce my royalties.

    It's the same argument over the years as free/99 cents first in series books. Some people will never see it as anything but giving up that money and refuse to see the trade-off, and others will pragmatically look at the bigger picture and the money that follows the loss.

    Online Shane Lochlann Black

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #72 on: August 05, 2020, 08:22:11 pm »
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    I'm not "reducing my royalty," in fact.
       

    Yes you are. If you take the amount you spent on ads and divide it by the number of unit sales and then subtract that from your net revenue on each unit, you will find that you are, in fact, earning less than 70% (or 35%) on each book.

    Call it whatever you want. Math doesn't care. 

    Offline Indiecognito

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #73 on: August 05, 2020, 08:55:52 pm »
       

    Yes you are. If you take the amount you spent on ads and divide it by the number of unit sales and then subtract that from your net revenue on each unit, you will find that you are, in fact, earning less than 70% (or 35%) on each book.

    Call it whatever you want. Math doesn't care.

    Math does care, which is why I must point out that I earn more by advertising (i.e. I make bigger numbers) than I would if I didn't advertise. You said we reduce our royalties. I spend in order to make my royalties add up to more. My royalties are still 70% but I'm choosing to advertise to a readership in the millions, which costs me money.

    I advertise effectively. It pays off.

    I get that you're cheesed off about something, but I'm just fine with my personal arrangement with Amazon.

    Online Shane Lochlann Black

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    Re: The crux of the indie publishing problem, 2020 version: profitability
    « Reply #74 on: August 05, 2020, 08:59:36 pm »
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    Math does care, which is why I must point out that I earn more by advertising (i.e. I make bigger numbers) than I would if I didn't advertise.
       

    That's not what is at issue here. Your royalty, meaning the 70% or 35% you earn on each sale, is reduced if you give Amazon more money to generate those sales in the first place.  The only sale you actually generate the stated royalty on is the organic sale, which we've now proven is a myth. 

    Quote
    I advertise effectively. It pays off.
       

    So do I.  It doesn't change the math.   

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