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Messages - aimeeeasterling

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I tested a bunch of promo sites on one of my permafrees recently with three days between each promo site to get solid data. Freebooksy resulted in a 1,148 download jump above the baseline, for a cost of 10 cents per extra download. That made it the fourth best mid-level site I tested, after Buchdeals (I had a promo code), Fussy Librarian, and Bookgoodies.

(Bookbub, of course, is an a whole 'nother tier.)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Findawayvoices Authors Direct Store setup?
« on: November 19, 2020, 08:24:02 am »
I didn't have to pay the fee, I think because I produced through Findaway? (I can't remember the reason!)

If you don't have to pay the fee, there's no reason not to do it. I set up a store with all of my audiobooks at a reduced price (giving me the same royalties as selling through other retailers).

Not sure if Authors Direct is worth it with a fee. In the last three months, I've made 8 sales there for a total income of $39.12. This is despite adding the link to my website and sending an email about it out to my 9,000+ subscriber list.

I agonize over titles (and covers and blurbs). So rather than going it alone, I usually present a list of possible titles to my readers and let them tear them apart. Sadly, I often have to let go of my pet titles. But the ones they choose tend to do well.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Boxed Sets
« on: November 05, 2020, 01:05:27 pm »
I wait and bundle when my income is low and I need a near-guaranteed Bookbub boost. Bookbub may reject one of my bundled trilogies once or twice but will nearly always take it as a 99 cent deal.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Going wide
« on: October 28, 2020, 10:19:05 am »
1. Like everyone else says, add Apple. I also use both Draft2Digital and Smashwords to hit all the little stores (being careful to only use one distributor for each one). That's good for maybe $50 - $100 per month. In addition, if you write romance or anything borderline romantic, you might consider Radish. Lately, they've been beating Kobo and Apple for me.

2. I'd just throw it all out there at once.

3. See #1.

4. Make the first book in each series permafree. Apply to Bookbub as often as you can. Consider a permafree multi-author box set with other wide authors in your subgenre.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are we sure that Audible isn't collapsing?
« on: October 21, 2020, 09:30:08 am »
I had one audio series go on sale via ACX in a month this summer while another is still in review 6 weeks after submission. Since I'm wide with my audiobooks, I just launch without Amazon/Audible now. Due to the ability to discount and get in-store promos wide, I now make more than half my audio income elsewhere even though ACX has two additional (royalty-share) series that aren't on other platforms.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do you list your book on google books
« on: October 14, 2020, 06:06:53 am »
Google is currently my third best-selling retailer (after Amazon and Nook). They do especially well for authors with permafrees.

Writers' Cafe / Gail Carriger's new book on the heroine's journey
« on: October 08, 2020, 05:27:34 am »
I know we don't talk craft on here much, but I couldn't resist recommending a new craft book that is blowing my socks off. Cliff Notes version: Instead of the well-known hero's journey, many stories follow a different trajectory (which doesn't have to have a female main character but often does). The heroine's journey is all about gathering collaborators rather than striking off on your own, and she succeeds with the help of others.

I'd be curious to hear what others think if you check the book out!

Writers' Cafe / Re: ACX advice
« on: October 02, 2020, 11:19:37 am »
I splurged and paid up front for six audiobooks this summer. Not sure if this is still the case, but at the time narrators were very hungry. Many are actors who can't work in any related field other than voice acting during the pandemic. So I was able to find a really excellent narrator for $150 per finished hour. (In contrast, to find the same quality narrator last year, I paid $400 PFH). She worked with her own editor (paid for out of the $150 PFH) and was a major pro.

The other narrator I booked this summer was also $150 PFH and also did a great job, but I had to do a bit more handholding since she'd never produced an audiobook before. A good question to ask if you don't want to do this handholding is, "Do you have a relationship with an editor?"

Both narrators were chosen out of the couple of dozen who auditioned on ACX. Then I launched the audiobooks non-exclusive and uploaded them to Findaway for immediate gratification since ACX seems to take at least a month to okay audiobooks nowadays.

To cut a long story short --- if you have the cash, now is a good time to be hiring narrators.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Which sounds snootier?
« on: September 24, 2020, 08:40:06 am »
I tend to avoid any noun and say something like: "I write werewolf books."

My most recent two took about six weeks apiece, I believe. But I did email in annoyance during that time and yank them from exclusive to non-exclusive, putting them up elsewhere via Findaway. So it's possible that got ACX moving a little faster than usual.

I changed over a couple of years ago. Pretty sure I lost my reviews, but I made a lot more money on Apple once I transitioned over. I think part of it was due to having a bunch of "new" books show up all at once. Part of it was being able to choose Apple-specific categories. Regardless, I made back the $200 I'd spent on a used Mac very quickly.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Findaway Voices Giveaway codes
« on: September 03, 2020, 01:03:12 pm »
I get slightly lower uptake from my audio reviewer crew since I changed over to Authors Direct instead of Audible codes. One reviewer couldn't figure out the platform. Another definitely prefers Audible but will deal with Authors Direct. Overall, it seems okay if not optimal.

The major downside is that ARC folks can no longer review on Audible at all unless they buy the audiobook. Still, my numbers suggest I'm better off wide even with that black eye on Audible.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Trouble with author signature tool?
« on: August 25, 2020, 10:19:16 am »
The tool has been broken for ages. There are a ton of threads on it, and Becca has quite helpfully provided all the steps to get your sig back but it needs to be coded. The tool no longer exists. Once you go to change something, poof, your sig is gone for good.

Thanks so much! For anyone else looking for the same information, the hand-coding tips can be found here:,143085.0.html

Writers' Cafe / Trouble with author signature tool?
« on: August 24, 2020, 04:11:15 pm »
Is anyone else having trouble updating their signature using the author signature tool at ?

I added my newest book...and all of my covers disappeared both from the preview and, apparently, from my posts.

Writers' Cafe / Re: What do you do when sales are slow?
« on: August 21, 2020, 11:30:36 am »
Apply for a Bookbub. (A box set marked down to 99 cents has the best chance of being selected.)

Book some of the lesser newsletter sites for a permafree (borderline cost effective, depending on which sites you choose).

Do a short-term price drop and email my list (always good for a few hundred bucks).

Channel more readers into my email list (since my autoresponder slowly but surely sells books).

Make a permafree, multi-author box set (good for a mild boost for at least two or three months).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Chirpbooks is solid
« on: August 12, 2020, 12:08:40 pm »
I'll third Chirp being awesome! The other wide-audiobook-promo that worked well for me was signing up to let my first in series be free to borrow through Hoopla. (Usually, Hoopla gives the author fifty cents or so per audiobook borrow.) This was part of a limited-time promo that boosted my sales as much as the Chirp did...then led to a much bigger tail.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon page count frustrations...
« on: August 04, 2020, 09:47:25 am »
I usually have to email support and ask them to use the paperback page count on the ebook. But it's an excellent solution since I think that Amazon's auto-estimate for ebooks tends to be low.

Like several others, I'm not particularly worried about KDP closing my account for no reason. However, when writing was our household's full-time living (still is) and I was in KDP Select, the income roller coaster was nerve-wracking. Since going wide, I probably make about the same amount of money annually, but there are no big dips between my three-times-a-year releases.

If you're not really good at saving for a rainy day (which I actually am) or at not chewing off your fingernails when you have a few low months back to back (which I'm very much not), I recommend going wide before going full-time. Or at least diversify into audio to give yourself another revenue source.

Bookbub, of course, is golden. If you have audiobooks, Chirp is awesome. I also get a lot of downloads and readthrough via Bookfunnel and Storyorigin promos. Emailing my own list is always cost effective.

In terms of the lesser newsletter sites, I hadn't tested them one by one with multiple days in between on a permafree in years, so I'm in the middle of a test at the moment. So far, the ones that hit my definitely profitable cutoff of 10 cents or less per download are few:

Fussy Library - 7 cents per download
Bknights on Fiverr - 8 cents per download (although it was 16 cents on Amazon and that's the only link they provide, so it's possible this was a fluke)
Ereader News Today - 10 cents per download
Freebooksy - 10 cents per download

Possibly worth it during a 99 cent launch or other kitchen-sink promotion (11 - 20 cents per download):
Bookbarbarian (a shame, since I used to think they were one of the best!)
Kindle Nation Daily Free Book Highlighter

Really, really not worth it (21 cents or more per download):
Free Kindle Books & Tips

Still on my testing roster:
I Love Vampire Novels
Ebook Discovery

Of course, data like this is very genre specific. It's worth testing with your own books!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Kobo And Kobo Plus
« on: July 16, 2020, 09:18:31 am »
In the past, borrows have been such a small part of Kobo's market that it was impossible to tell. But I will definitely be keeping an eye on the Kobo sales/borrow ratio over the next couple of months now that Kobo Plus has hit Canada. I think it's worth keeping my books in as an experiment, but will yank them if revenue declines.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How many Bookbub subscribers are really authors?
« on: July 16, 2020, 09:16:53 am »
I suspect the ratio of author-doing-research-only to readers on Bookbub is much lower than on many of the other newsletter sites.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Worth having a boxset?
« on: July 08, 2020, 04:59:17 am »
I'm wide, so some of this might not be relevant to those in KU. But I love box sets for:
  • Kobo 40% off sales. This is often my biggest reason for putting out a new box set since these sales are good for a dependable $100 or so per month.
  • Bookbub 99 cent sales. I usually try to do this right at the launch of a new box set and can count on about $1,000 boost over the course of the next month. Bookbub is more likely to take a 99 cent box set than anything else.
  • Audio. On Audible, especially, box sets do great because listeners get the whole series for a single credit.
  • Facebook ads. I haven't done PPC in a while, but when I did I had the most success sending people to box sets.
  • Reaching a slightly different audience. Some people just like box sets.
  • Your kboards signature. You start running out of room after a while, which is when box sets come in handy.  :)
  • Low-risk method of trying a different type of cover. Recovering a whole series is pricey, but a box set is a low-cost way of testing whether your book does well in a slightly different niche.

All of that said, I do feel like box sets cannabilize the individual books to some extent. I wait until the first rush of buying fades before putting one out, which could be anytime between 3 months and 18 months after the last book comes out.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Permafree unexpectedly reverts to full price
« on: June 28, 2020, 03:08:44 pm »
Amazon likes to randomly revert permafrees back to paid. I have five permafrees, and between all of the Amazon stores, I average one book popping back to paid on one store every month. Very annoying since I generally don't notice it until I peruse the month royalty statement weeks later.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Chirp audiobooks
« on: June 14, 2020, 04:29:20 pm »
I had a 99 cent deal on book one in a trilogy on March 10. I hadn't sold an audiobook on Chirp before the promo, but that month alone I sold 1,296 copies of the price-reduced book, 38 full-price copies of the sequels, and 6 copies of an unrelated short.

They left the discount in place for a solid month and I'm still seeing a trickle of sell-through. Overall, I've now seen just over a thousand dollars of income from Chirp.

The deals are still free. If you can get one, jump on the chance!

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