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Messages - eBooksHabit

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I, like others, wonder why the owner of the service is spending so much time on trying to disprove the e-mail, talking about the headers, etc... instead of explaining exactly how he gets his downloads so potential users can evaluate whether it is legitimate or not.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: I Made Rack Cards for my Books
« on: November 21, 2012, 07:34:50 pm »
I made some rack cards at Uprinting.com for an event (not book related) but they were awesome!

I was very very very impressed by them.

Great idea for using them for book marketing!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: 1.4 million for December Select??
« on: November 20, 2012, 10:01:43 pm »
Some math...

There were roughly 298,000 borrows in Oct, making the borrow rate $2.35 from the pot of $700,000.

Let's assume that, Amazon knows, based on their numbers of sales last year for the Kindle Fire, and their projections, that there will be Another 298,000 borrows or so in December.

That makes 596,000 borrows... if the pot stayed the same as October's, at $700,000... that would make each borrow $1.17... most authors wouldn't like that.

So, Amazon makes the pot $1,400,000.... 1,400,000 divided by 596,000... $2.35.

It may be more than that it may be less than that...

But, by doubling the pot, it ensures that it isn't close to $1.17.

Hope that makes sense.


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Writers' Cafe / Re: 1.4 million for December Select??
« on: November 20, 2012, 09:53:48 pm »
More Kindle Fire's Being Sold For Christmas and Holidays.

Comes With A Free Prime Membership.

Christmas Morning: "Oh, I Get To Borrow A Book For Free? Cool!" x Tens of Thousands

That would make the per borrow rate much lower...

Raise the total pot... that way, each borrow will be worth double what it would have been had it not been raised.

My guess? That double will look a lot like $2.00-$2.50 still, as it has been for months.

That keeps it from being close to $1.00-$1.25.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Quick ACX Question
« on: November 18, 2012, 08:48:03 pm »
And another ten percent were from people recording "auditions" on cellphones, or laptop microphones, or other just horribly unprofessional equipment. Was kind of depressing, in a way...

Are you still considering the submission I sent you using my auto-tuner?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGxJk07tO9k" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGxJk07tO9k</a>

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Wow. Disappointing KDP Select Freebie Run
« on: November 15, 2012, 10:57:19 am »
While I see how adding the automated submission forms to the sites makes it "easy" on both the freesite and the author, and likely democratizes the process a bit, what most of those forms do is limit the amount of information about a book and its upcoming run to what's on the book's description page, its current rating and its current ranking. Adding a comments section at the least could help a site owner decide which free books will help make more money for the site and/or please more subscribers.

I recently added:

"Any Other Details We Should Know (NOT THE DESCRIPTION)
(make your case in 60 words or less why we should post your book)"

to the end of my free submission form.

I have had some great responses, that have really helped me decide between adding Book X or not... some I would have passed on made a really good case for their book, presenting info that isn't just readily available to me otherwise.

The volume of submissions, even for a smaller site like mine, combined with the hundreds of books that are free but not submitted to my site, makes asking for much more than that simply too much info to go through on a daily basis.

I would add to your list:
5) Don't submit your book 7 times.. they got the first submission, and having to wade through multiple submissions for the same book isn't going to endear them to your book, in fact, it's quite the opposite. (If you made an error in your submission, by all means, submit a new one to correct it... that's much different than simply submitting multiple times to hopefully improve your chances)...

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Wow. Disappointing KDP Select Freebie Run
« on: November 15, 2012, 10:44:42 am »
This sounds like very good advice and I've heard it before, but what sort of sites do you contact then? I've heard about non-fiction books - you write about cars, contact car sites, etc. But for science fiction?

Be creative... is your book about time travel?

Search around and find the people who are talking about and are excited about time travel online. Forums, blogs, chatrooms, etc...

Is your book about a serial killer in the future? Find people who are talking about serial killers, the TV show Dexter, etc...

Is your book about a cat in space? Find people talking about their cats...

Each book is going to be different, but that is a good thing. Yes, it will take a lot of time to find blogs and forums for different subjects, but it pays off because it opens the potential for an entirely new group of people to download your book.

Use your creativity... think outside of the box.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Wow. Disappointing KDP Select Freebie Run
« on: November 15, 2012, 10:39:16 am »
Very interesting.  Personally, it also comes down to an aversion towards feeling, well, like some sort of salesman.  Not the good type though.  All though college I worked full time at a now defunct luxury retail store that *cough*images that get sharper*cough* and I could never wash off the feeling of self loathing I felt when I upsold someone on a nose hair trimmer with a built in flashlight, or an ionic air purifier that did nothing.

While I don't feel my stories are in any way shape or form similar to snake oil or nose hair trimmers, I have perhaps conditioned myself towards any commission based sales work due to this.

This is, perhaps, what made Select interesting to me.  Set it and forget it.  Let the power of free beckon the readers with its siren song...

There is a big difference between selling someone else's fan, errr, ionic air purifier, and selling your own product.

Either your product is crap, and you should feel scummy telling other people about it...

Or, you have a good product, that people WILL want, so then all you need to do is tell them about it...

If you have a good product, why in the world would you feel scummy telling other people about the product?

"This is, perhaps, what made Select interesting to me.  Set it and forget it.  Let the power of free beckon the readers with its siren song..."

I can't tell if you were being facetious or not, but there are many who approach publishing their own book the same way. Once they upload it, they assume since it's a good book, that people will eventually find it. It's just a matter of time. Most of these people then complain about the lack of sales. You can't do nothing to market your book then complain when your sales report reflects "nothing".

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Writers' Cafe / Re: First sale!
« on: November 15, 2012, 10:24:01 am »
Congrats!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: The Biggest advantage to selling direct to iBooks...
« on: November 15, 2012, 06:25:35 am »
Fantastic news!

This was new to me... thanks a ton!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Wow. Disappointing KDP Select Freebie Run
« on: November 14, 2012, 10:06:34 pm »
Quote
Everybody doing the same thing=nobody doing nothing.

Scott is 100% right... the key is to not do the same thing.

That doesn't mean you can't still do freebies and still do something people aren't doing.

One of my recent Select free promotions received 12,500 downloads BEFORE I was picked up by ENT (no POI at all, and my own site hadnt fully launched yet). [Ended with 26,000 and change.]

That's because I did something few others do... I contacted sites that related to my book but that weren't free ebook sites (and obviously I have a fondness for free ebook sites... i own one... but I also realize the limitations of the smaller ones and the lottery that is POI and ENT).

Those downloads were extremely helpful... it got me into the top 50... then ENT and the exposure from jumping into the top 20 catapulted me to #2 overall (very briefly... hung out at #5 & #6 mostly).

Find blogs and forums that deal w/ any subject matter in your book... then tell them when your book is going to be free. Sites are more likely to post, because the book is free... Plus, briefly sell the benefits of them using an Amazon  Associates link (if people buy something after going to Amazon for the free book, they will earn money!). Webmasters want to give free stuff to their readers if it's on topic with their blog. They want the potential to earn money. Plus, they didn't have to find your book... you told them about it! It makes writing a post SO MUCH EASIER for them... That's a win-win-win for them, and a win for you! Plus, I suspect (with absolutely no stats to back it up, just a hunch) those who do download your book after learning about it on a non-free ebook website, are much more likely to become a true reader since their kindles probably are not loaded with free ebook.

Just because KDP Select is for the benefit of Amazon, does not mean that the tool is not useful for authors. One just needs to learn how to harness this tool.

Utilizing the free ebook blogs can help, but don't expect them to be your only source of driving free downloads.

Hopefully this tip can help you (and anyone else who reads this)... it requires work, but the payoff is nice too!

I am working on expanding on this concept, and also inviting some great ebook marketers to share some of their tips as well.

The blog is at:
http://ebookshabit.com/marketing-tips/

Come check it out!


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Writers' Cafe / Re: The dark side of Select
« on: November 13, 2012, 10:16:53 am »
Those 10,000 freebie readers may have included 500 people who might have eventually discovered and bought your book. Maybe 100, maybe 20, maybe 1,000. Lost sales.

I gave away more than a million ebooks. Sales of many of those books are now far worse than they were pre-Select. Of course, I earned more money in Select roulette, but it is possible all I did was shove a bulge in the arc of my lifetime ebook income. (And I believe there are only three to five good years of this left, despite the enticing notion of a "long tail.") So I can't be sure, but I believe I may have given away a lot of stuff that may have eventually sold. Of course, it's a good bet that the algorithms also took me to new readers, and that some of those freebie readers became fans and bought other books (or simply waited for all of my books to become free--I have heard from quite a number of those readers!).

At the time, my thinking was this was the best time in the world to meet new readers, and the only time in history when a free book was in any way noteworthy. ("My book is free!" Yawn.) And of course there was economic incentive to roll off the roulette wheel into high Amazon visibility for a while. All of the benefits grew progressively and dramatically weaker. My newer books not only sell better than those that have gone through the Select grind, but they also have better ratings, etc. Again, this is a snapshot, and things will likely be different in six months, but it feels to me like 2012 ended in June and we're already deep into 2013.

Part of the problem is that I don't see the bulk of freebie readers ever becoming customers again. If they do, they will be Prime members, with tens of thousands of free choices. Not including the thousands of free books every day. I'm not the only one looking at the effect of the subscription services, and there just doesn't seem to be a rosy picture ahead no matter how you look at it. Don't forget, Amazon is losing money on loans in order to rope in Prime customers. When they have reached customer-base stasis, I wouldn't be surprised to see the per-loan compensation drop substantially.  After all, many indies are already claiming Select is the "only" way to possibly promote a book, so it is hard to imagine a mass migration. I suggest the opposite will be true, that the vast majority of new indies will go into Select because it looks like the easier way.

And it will be harder to sell $14.99 ebooks when you can get "all you can eat" books for $5 or $10 a month. For much the same reason I would never buy a $20 DVD when I can get a month of Netflix for $8. And this isn't even considering the looming impact of ad-supported books, where you may be paid $1,000 or so to give away 20,000 copies of a corporate-sponsored book. I am not saying I know what is going to happen, but many of my hunches have been pretty close, or at least have been decent guideposts, and I know all these methods of book delivery are being vigorously developed. I really hope I am wrong and that ebook life will continue to be sweet forever, and I'd be happy to come back one day and say I was an utter fool.


Scott:

"Those 10,000 freebie readers may have included 500 people who might have eventually discovered and bought your book. Maybe 100, maybe 20, maybe 1,000. Lost sales."

"might have eventually discovered AND bought your book" is a pretty big "MIGHT HAVE"... Let's take the high end at 1,000... Did you receive 1000 sales from the direct boost in the algorithm resulting from the 10,000 downloads? If so, you traded 1000 (high end) might have found your book sales (how would they have found it? is the question) for 1,000 solid sales (in a short time frame, which also helped to keep your rankings higher, giving you more visibility, and leading to more sales... something a maybe 1,000 [on the high end] spread out over a couple of years surely wouldn't do). I think this is the part most people overlook. Yes, some people don't have stellar giveaways, and therefore they do not see many sales afterwards.... this is almost always due to 1)interest in their book being low because of subject matter, cover, blurb, etc and/or 2) a small amount of promotion of their price.  A temporary or even long-term free promo isn't a magic bullet in and of itself. It needs to be promoted. To focus on "freebie readers" as if they are even your market is the wrong view. They are a tool for boosting your visibility on Amazon, so the people who do buy books can see your book. If the freebie reader happens to become a buying customer then awesome... that shouldn't be the goal at all, in my humble opinion.

While you may have lost some of the "lifetime finite number of readers of Book X" you also added a ton of people to that number from people who found you as a result of those promotions. People who may have or may not have found you, did actually find your book AND BUY IT as a direct result of giving away copies of your book. While you mentioned it, I think you really understate the importance of this.

You mention some books are selling worse than pre-Select... there has been massive growth in the self-publishing world in the past year since Select started... What are you doing to promote these books? If they aren't being promoted, coupled with increased competition, I am not shocked they aren't selling well.

"My newer books not only sell better than those that have gone through the Select grind, but they also have better ratings, etc." ... I assume you've been wise enough to have a blog following or mailing list of readers right? Being able to instantly tell hundreds or thousands of people who WANT TO buy your book, is an extremely powerful tool! That itself can give an effect in the rankings and in your sales, much like Select free promos can.  That should be the aim of growing a readership with tools like Select (by promoting your website/email list... readers who are interested and who know about it, will gladly sign up... if they dont know about it, they won't.)  Of course they have better ratings, as those are eager readers who already have an excitement and positive view of you, your brand, and your products. But, that power isn't available to most writers who are still trying to get their books in front of readers. These books are starting with a head start (one you've worked your butt off for, no doubt) but comparing that head start to books that didn't as far as their ability to sell better isn't a fair comparison at all.

My thoughts on the matter.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Why People Buy, and Why Authors Should Care
« on: November 13, 2012, 09:06:59 am »
My most successful books are the ones that have the smallest market.

There is one caveat to marketing to them, though, particularly when you start going for web sites and blogs and publications that cater to the interests that dovetail with your book rather than Kindle blogs--it's not going to work if you've limited your availablility.

If I didn't have a paperback, I would have lost 50% of my first-year sales. If I wasn't on the Nook, I would have lost 30% of my first year digital sales. When you start getting your work outside of Kindle arenas, you need to be able to sell to the readers however they read.

I am a very big proponent of Amazon, but you have shared some fantastic advice I hope people don't miss:

1) It pays to market your book to websites, forums, blogs, publications that cater to the interests that dovetail with your book, but ONLY IF

2) You have as many different buying options as possible... paperback, nook, kobo, amazon, audio, etc... the more you have, the better.

It's common sense, I know. But I think, this largely depends on the genre, also. There are a lot of genre-specific sites out there, but many generate little to no traffic. Really, most of the 'hot' genre sites I've seen in which you don't have to pay hundreds of dollars just to advertise/sponsor have been the Romance and YA ones.

I think you're missing Julie's point... you need to think even beyond genre websites, similar to what TexasGirl was talking about... find websites that dovetail with your book's theme/subject matter/topics, and market your book there... those places NOT inundated with books.

Hope that makes sense.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Brilliant Idea - Who wants to do it?
« on: November 07, 2012, 09:13:55 am »
eBookHarmony... clever.


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Thanks Greg for clearing it up publicly.

eReaderIQ is definitely an Amazon affiliate.

Dayla: Amazon has also un-hidden the Free ebooks on the bestseller lists since they hid them. It was simply a test, one of many they do every day to see if each change creates the desired outcome or not. They adjust if so, keep it the same if not.

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Let's start a site for free and cheap books NOT on Amazon.

People on those platforms will love it. I am asked often about Nook books.

Doing such a site would be a ton of work as those other platforms don't have the same visibility and the same types of resources that make such a site possible , but if done right, it could be successful.

If you do it, let me know... I will give you some free promotion for the site.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Breaking free from KDP select?
« on: November 01, 2012, 03:14:44 pm »
I am scheduling my free promotion from Nov 3-7. This is the very end of my terms and How it goes could very well lead to my staying in longer. We'll see. I hope it helps bump up awareness and sales of the other two books in the series.

The problem is, you won't be able to gauge how many borrows you get from the big promotion, because your ability to allow borrows will be up if you cancel KDP... 1 day will not be enough for you to see that.

Also, doing a free promo this last minute, your book may not do well. Yes, you may get lucky and have your book picked up, but less than 48 hours away? it won't happen. I don't want to you think free promos are worthless because of this experience, because just setting it to free has almost no power in itself. The key to free downloads is your ability to drive traffic to the free promotion... only then will you be able to see results from a free promotion.

There has been a lot of gold in this thread from others... I want to make sure you and others see it.
- There is no penalty for leaving. You won't have all of the promotional tools available and you'll be on less lists (lending library being one of them), and that is less visibility which has a solid correlation with sales.
- You do have to start over with marketing and visibility for each site. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the tools available for promotion arent as good at those sites, plus their storefronts aren't as good at promotion as Amazon is.
- Borrows affect your rank, and your ranking, if high enough, drives sales... even the few less borrows will mean a decrease in rank... a decrease in rank leads toa decrease in visibility, which leads to a decrease in sales, and a decrease in rank, which leads to.... you get the point. This is an important factor to consider.

You have to do what is right for you and your business... I just want you to have all of the facts to make the right decision.

Good luck with whatever decision you make!

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This is all speculation based on my experience with Amazon Associates...I don't have first hand knowledge of the issue, and am only seeing what you guys are seeing as far as changes... but my site is nowhere near the level Greg's is, so i wouldn't expect a direct message from Amazon.

This is definitely an Amazon Associates issue... not necessarily a KDP or Amazon as a whole level. It amazes me that in every thread regarding a change at Amazon, people immediately jump to "See, they must hate free ebooks." (ie: the bestseller lists, and the very temporary move to separate the free/paid lists, which Amazon changed back... people swore it was because Amazon hates free... by the same logic, Amazon's decision to scrap that format must mean they love free?)

The Amazon Associates program has plenty of restrictions for what you can and cannot link to w/ your affiliate link. Currently, free ebooks is not an item on that list, but it very well could be in the works, and they've contacted Greg based on his obviously large volume. I would assume POI had the same contact, they may just be exploring their options and implementations of the probably new rules and are just taking their time to implement such rules. Or maybe Amazon only chose to contact 1 webmaster as a part of the implementation process.

Someone said, "I can't believe Amazon can tell a website what and how to promote things... "... Amazon tells you what you can and can't do with your ebook... especially if you join Select, you have more do's and don'ts to follow.  Greg COULD stop using affiliate links in his posts, and then he could post as many free ebooks as he wants. This would probably lead to a significant income drop, and he wouldn't be able to pull the images/description/etc from Amazon using their API's (I would assume this is what he is currently doing, but it's just a guess). The API's make things a lot easier for me, that's for sure.

Hope this sheds a little bit of insight, and as I hear news/changes/directives from Amazon for sites like mine, I will keep you guys posted.

I am an author too, and ENT and sites like mine have been instrumental in the success of my free promotions.

Based on what i have observed in the last couple of days on ENT, I am optimistic. Yes, there will be changes, and people hate change, but changes are important for growth.





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Thanks for adding eBooks Habit to your list!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Top 100 free without POI/ENT = win!
« on: October 30, 2012, 07:25:59 am »
And POI just ran it in their morning post :)

Top 5... here you come !!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: So if the ZON offers to promo your book...
« on: October 29, 2012, 09:37:48 pm »
Do it to it!

What a fantastic opportunity!

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I love this type of marketing!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Top 100 free without POI/ENT = win!
« on: October 29, 2012, 08:54:21 pm »
We featured it today!

Congrats on hitting top 100 without ENT and POI... I was able to do that with my last promotion (and without my site since I hadn't launched yet)... then it got the attention of ENT! So, you may still boost!

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Would this fishing-book title be too, uhm, raw?
« on: October 29, 2012, 08:47:54 pm »
Quote
Largemouth *ss: How to Alienate Strangers and Lose Fishing Buddies?

This was my favorite... but I like the OP's title...

Is there any way for you to find/contact the other fishermen, especially bloggers, who hate the particular fishermen you talk about in the book? Free publicity.

Contact all fishing blogs you can find... some will write about you out of hatred... and since you ain't afraid of that, it's good publicity.

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Is this enough of a price drop?
« on: October 27, 2012, 11:20:24 pm »
This is fantastic advice. If your sales are very slow, that's probably a symptom of the fact your book isn't being seen. If it isn't being seen now, that means no one will see the sale price, either.

See, he said it so well I'm essentially just rephrasing.

For those that do not know, I wrote a book called Crackers, which is where Edward W. Robertson got his book, Breakers, in which he essentially rephrased everything I wrote in my book. I gave him a pass then... now he's just rubbing it in my face.

/sarcasm

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