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Topics - Megan Crewe

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Writers' Cafe / BookBub results - 2nd deal for this book
« on: July 31, 2017, 07:02:45 AM »
If you've ever wondered if it's worth trying for another BookBub spot right after your six-month wait after the last has past, my experience says definitely!  :D

My YA fantasy A MORTAL SONG ran in the Fantasy category early last January ($0.99). I saw around 2000 sales then that I'd attribute to the BB. I applied in early July for a 99-cent deal the Teen & YA category, and was pleased to get accepted right away for July 30.

Because I've already done a couple of big promo pushes for this book in the last year, I kept this one simple. I booked a few things earlier this week and organized some NL swaps, but avoided the 30th and 31st so I could see the BookBub effect on its own. The only promo on the 29th was a mailing to my own NL, only a third of whom are new since the last sale on this book.

Wed-Fri I averaged around 25 sales per day on Amazon and one or two on other retailers. Saturday (the 29th) I got 58, but those had dried up by the morning of the 30th. I'd only had one sale so far when the BB email went out. So I think I can say these results are purely BookBub.

It's now 24 hours after the email went out. On Amazon I had 684 sales yesterday and 74 so far today, so just over 750 total. Yesterday I also had 50 sales on Nook, 41 on iBooks, and 30 on Kobo. I can't see the sales for today for the first two until tomorrow, but I've had another 13 on Kobo so far today. I have no idea how many sales I got on GooglePlay because Pronoun isn't showing them yet. (I assume this is just a delay in data. Surely I sold at least a few there!) I'd expect the total across all retailers for the first 24 hours will be at least 900, with more to come in tail later today. Pretty darn good for a second run less than seven months after the first, albeit in a different category. :) The Amazon sales yesterday alone more than paid for the spot.

I'll update tomorrow with the rest of today's tail.

Hey all! I'm putting together an Instafreebie group promo for YA fiction, limited to 30 spots max, all subgenres welcome. I'm in the process of finding out from Instafreebie whether they'll be able to feature us, aiming for late March or early April. If you're interested in potentially joining in, here's the sign-up form:

Promo page (currently a work-in-progress):

Let me know if you have any questions!

Writers' Cafe / How long for iBooks to change price?
« on: January 01, 2017, 07:40:54 AM »
This is not how I wanted to be spending my New Year's Day morning...  >:(  I have my BookBub for A MORTAL SONG tomorrow and ads scheduled for today, and to be cautious I scheduled my promo price on iBooks as soon as I got the BB acceptance. Well, I went today to check, and the price hasn't been lowered, and there's no record of the scheduled price drop in my account. *throws hands in the air* 

I've been setting the price over again through iTunes Connect to start "effective now," but that obviously doesn't happen instantaneously because it's been half an hour and nothing's changed yet. Should I expect it'll go through by the end of the day? Should I be trying to contact someone at Apple to make sure it's ready for tomorrow (not that there's much chance of anyone being at work today  :'(  )?  Anything else that might help?

And let this be a warning to others--*triple* check your iBooks promos (I double-checked earlier in December, but apparently that wasn't enough).

I found out last week that I've been approved for a ($0.99) BookBub spot for my YA fantasy novel A MORTAL SONG. Woohoo! With the date very conveniently scheduled on a Monday (Jan 2nd), and the book just gone wide... I decided why not make a run at the lists?

This may sound a *little* crazy, but keep in mind that it can actually be easier to hit the NYT list for YA ebooks than to get on the USA Today list at all, so we're not talking the sort of massive numbers needed for the adult NYT list. And I'm only seeing this as a real possibility because BB took the book in the Fantasy category, which has around 3x the average sales of their Teen & YA category.

I've been gathering info to strategize everywhere I can (including the incredibly useful threads here on the KBoards by folks like C. Gockel and Michael Ploof--thank you so much for sharing your experiences!), and this is the plan I've come up with so far:

-Booking every other halfway decent promo site I can. I got turned down for a RobinReads Featured spot (apparently they are currently more picky than BookBub :P ) and their genre-specific slots were already booked up; same with BookBarbarian. Otherwise I have OHFB, eBookHounds, ILVN (not sure it's the *best* fit for the audience, but they have urban fantasy readers too, so I figured why not?), Reading Deals, ReadCheaply, MyBookCave, BooksButterfly, PixelScroll, GenreCrave, ManyBooks, Just Kindle Books, Booklover's Heaven, FKBT, Booksends, KND, Sweet Free Books, and eReaderCafe. I also applied to ENT and Bargainbooksy but haven't heard back from them yet. Some of these I used to promo the book during its September release, mostly in the Fantasy category. So for the most part I put it in YA for the repeat places, hoping to get it seen by different folks, and in Fantasy for the promos I haven't booked before.

-Planning Facebook and BB advertising, a little on Amazon ahead of time to get the book's ranking up a bit pre-BB and then mostly targeting Nook and iBooks once I'm in the week for the list. On BB I won't run ads on the day of the deal and also will only target YA authors to try to avoid *too* much crossover with people who'll be seeing the actual featured deal.

-Arranging newsletter swaps and paid placements with follow authors across the week (still happy to get more folks, by the way! )

-Planning to send to my newsletter (currently about 18K, although more than half of those folks were around for the $0.99 release week sale and will likely have already grabbed the book if they wanted it) early in the morning on the 2nd, hopefully for an initial boost before the BB.

-Might do some sort of giveaway that gives people entries for sharing info about the sale, but I'm not 100% sure on this yet.

This is all new territory for me--never tried for a list before. If it looks like I'm missing a good strategy or promo place or whatever, please let me know! I want to give this the best possible shot. :)

Will be updating here once the promo kicks off with the breakdown of promo sites by date and the results.

Update Dec 31

I dropped the Amazon price early to make sure it'd be through in time and started running FB and BookBub ads (the latter targeted at YA authors in the hopes of avoiding cannibalizing from my Fantasy spot) to bump up my ranking a bit so the BB boost will catch on faster. Currently sitting around #10,000. #1 in my best category.

Full promo line-up (covering eight days, because NYT apparently does Sun-Sat and USA Today does Mon-Sun) - will update with sales numbers as they come in

Jan 1 - 5 mailing list shares (approx. 20K total audience), starting FB ads targeting Nook and iBooks, starting Twitter giveaway

Amazon sales: 29 (25 US)
Nook: 4
iBooks: 2 (both US)
Kobo: 3 (none US)

Best Amazon rank: Dipped down to around #8000 during the day, was back at 10K this morning.

Jan 2 - Emailing my list early in the morning, BookBub (Fantasy)

Amazon sales: 1615 (1301 US) - Best rank #155, #13 in all YA, #15 in all Fantasy
Nook: 166 - Best rank #34, #1 in Teen
iBooks: 149 (100 US) - Best rank #18, #1 in YA (maybe just in Canadian store?)
Kobo: 61 (13 US) - ranks do not appear to have updated yet

Jan 3 - OHFB (YA), eBookHounds (YA + eBook of the day), ILVN, Reading Deals, ReadCheaply (Fantasy), BooksButterfly (through the 7th), MyBookCave, 4 mailing list shares (approx. 75K total audience), starting BB ads targeting Nook and iBooks, starting boosted FB post with all retailers

Amazon sales: 483 (309 US) - Best rank #166
Nook: 97 - Best rank #104, #1 in Teen
iBooks: 93 (35 US) - Best rank around #150 and #2 in YA in the US store
Kobo: 33 (3 US) - ranks still do not appear to have updated yet (??)

Jan 4 - AwesomeGang (Fantasy), PixelScroll (YA), GenreCrave Spotlight, ManyBooks (Fantasy), Just Kindle Books (Fantasy), Booklover's Heaven (YA), 2 mailing list shares (approx. 30K total audience)

Amazon sales: 191 (147 US) - Best rank around #500
Nook: 59 - Best rank #112, #1 in Teen
iBooks: 20 (10 US) - Best rank #6 in YA in the US store
Kobo: 19 (1 US) - Best rank #3 in my subcategory (can't seem to find the overall YA list)

Jan 5 - FKBT (Fantasy), BookSends + eReaderIQ (YA), 4 mailing list shares (approx. 16K total audience)

Amazon sales: 209 (175 US) - Best rank around #650
Nook: 56 - Best rank #92, #3 in Teen
iBooks: 19 (18 US) - Best rank #10 in YA in the US store
Kobo: 11 (4 US) - Best rank #2 in my subcategory

Jan 6 - eBook Discovery, BKnights, BargainBooksy, 8 mailing list shares (approx. 60K total audience), re-send to my NL's unopens

Amazon sales: 150 (120 US) - Best rank around #850
Nook: 83 - Best rank #42, #3 in Teen
iBooks: 16 (9 US) - Best rank #35 in YA in the US store
Kobo: 15 (2 US) - Best rank #3 in my subcategory

Jan 7 - SweetFreeBooks (YA), KND, Patty Jansen's promo, 5 mailing list shares (approx. 40K total audience)

Amazon sales: 165 (134 US) - Best rank around #1050
Nook: 73 - Best rank #122, #4 in Teen
iBooks: 16 (10 US) - Best rank #45 in YA in the US store
Kobo: 10 (1 US) - Best rank #3 in my subcategory

Numbers theoretically counting toward the NYT list (Sun-Sat):

2211 Amazon
538 Nook
184 iBooks
24 Kobo

2957 total

Jan 8 - eReaderCafe, 2 mailing list shares (approx. 28K total audience)

Amazon sales: 121 (103 US) - Best rank around #1150
Nook: 19 - Best rank #637
iBooks: 7 (3 US) - Best rank, not sure
Kobo: 10 (2 US) - Best rank #3 in my subcategory

Not sure what day Ripley's Booklist will run me, plus there are a few mailing list share folks who haven't given me a definite day. But pretty happy with this line-up! :) *fingers crossed*

What is the next level up from prawn, anyway? ;)

BACKSTORY: I have two self-pubbed books out under this name (a re-released trad-pub book gone OOP and a follow up to a trad-pub series) and four under a pen name, and unless I'm running a promo I'm lucky if any of those sells more than a copy or two a week. But for the past several months I've been getting ready to launch my first completely indie title under this name, and I would like more for this one. A MORTAL SONG is a book I've been writing and then revising on and off since 2009, which my agent didn't feel fit the current trad-pub market or my backlist well enough to put on wide submission, but now that I have some indie experience under my belt, I decided it was time to finally get it out into the world.

I know conventional wisdom is that, generally speaking, books don't really gain traction unless part of a series with at least a few books out. But SONG is a standalone, so it seemed that my options were either throw a bunch of promo at it during launch hoping I could give it enough momentum to make it sticky on Amazon (which I have seen happen for some series starters and standalones, so I know it's possible) or toss it out there to flounder alone. After everything I've invested in this book, in terms of time, emotion, and finances (editing, cover, etc.), I felt I needed to give it the best possible chance to succeed. So join me in seeing how well (or not) that goes.  ;D

CURRENT STATUS: I'm feeling a little optimistic, because the pre-order period has gone better than I expected. The book has been up for a month. I'm going exclusive with Amazon in the hopes that KU will help the book stay afloat, and so far (last day before release) I've gotten 534 pre-orders for the ebook there, mostly in the US with a handful from Canada, the UK, and Australia. Other than a brief burst in the first two days when I announced it, during which the US rank got as low as around #4000, those orders have been coming at a slower but steady pace, the rank mostly hovering between 10K and 20K with a few dips above and below. The book has been in the top 3 Hot New Reads for at least a couple categories most of that time, and in the top 20 overall of one or more at least half of the time. Right now it's in one of the good dips at #8,679, a few top 20s and #2 in some HNRs. I've also been able to get 59 advance reviews with an average rating of 4.1.

(I had a bunch of different strategies I used to achieve all that during the pre-order period, and am happy to talk about that too if people are interested.)

1. To see the book get lower than #1000 in ranking as quickly as possible after release. - achieved Sept 15th!
2. To see it stay there as long as possible after it gets there. - Other than a couple hours dip, stayed there for almost 4 days straight
3. To have it reach #1 in at least one category on so I can get that little Bestseller tag. :D - achieved Sept 13th!
4. To have it keep a steady rank for at least a few weeks after I put the price up to what'll be the regular $3.99.


Note: Though technically the book is YA, it has few teen elements other than the age of its characters and I think it'll appeal to adult fantasy fans too, so I've booked fantasy rather than YA categories where available because of the larger audience. Because I'm hoping to sustain a reasonably good rank over time rather than peak and then decline, I've tried to spread the promos out fairly evenly over the seven days.

Sept 13: Genre Crave Book Blast, Reign of Reads, MyBookCave, ChoosyBookworm, ebooklister, emailing my mailing list

Sales: 194
Pages read: 1908
Best rank of the day: #1040

Reached #1 in the Asian Myths & Legends category!

Sept 14: BookBarbarian, MyBookPlace

Sales: 113
Pages read: 585
Best rank of the day: around #1100 first thing in the morning, held over from yesterday's sales (dipped to around #1400 by the evening)

Sept 15: BookGorilla, OHFB, BooksButterfly (phase 1), MML KU/free promo

Sales: 133
Pages read: 2405
Best rank of the day: #971

Broke the top #1000!

Sept 16: GenreCrave SFF, SweetFreeBooks, BookRaid, BooksButterfly (phase 2)

Sales: 154
Pages read: 1024
Best rank of the day: #851 (first thing in morning)

Sept 17: Ripley's Booklist, BookSends & eReaderIQ, ENT, BooksButterfly (phase 3), resend to unopens on my mailing list

Sales: 186
Pages read: 2725
Best rank of the day: #798 (mid-afternoon)

Sept 18: Bargain Booksy, Rainy Kaye's visibility service, Roz Marshall's KU cross-promo

Sales: 193
Pages read: 3296
Best rank of the day: #542 (late afternoon)

Sept 19: GenreCrave YA

Sales: 80
Pages read: 6190
Best rank of the day: #748 (first thing in morning)

Ongoing throughout the launch week: Social media promo (mostly unpaid, probably a couple of boosted FB posts), big Japan-themed giveaway focused around the release, Xpresso Review Tour followed by Fantastic Flying Book Tour, $50 daily in BookBub ads, a bunch of newsletter swaps with fellow authors.

I'll check in each day to update sales and borrow figures and rank, and then again at least a couple times after the book is back at full price to report on stickiness. Let me know if there's anything else you'd find it useful to hear about! And wish me luck!

*crosses fingers*

Writers' Cafe / YA contemporary fantasy cover reveal!
« on: August 11, 2016, 08:25:49 AM »
I've just announced my new book along with cover reveal, and I wanted to share it here too. It was someone at the KBoards who pointed me to the artist & designer when I was asking who could do illustration + typography some months back, and I am SOOO grateful, because, well, look at this:

 ;D  :-*  :D

(thumbnail in signature)

The artist in question is Carlos Quevedo ( ) and he was great to work with, fast and responsive and open to my suggestions while also willing to let me know if he didn't think those suggestions would work out. ;) I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a cover in this style.

And now I'll leave you with the gorgeous full print spread:

Writers' Cafe / Using Createspace and IngramSpark simultaneously
« on: August 09, 2016, 04:40:02 PM »
For those of you who've used the strategy of having Createspace handle your paperback distribution on Amazon and Ingram your paperbacks for expanded distribution, did you approve Createspace just for, or for Amazon Europe as well? I don't want to accidentally create a conflict! :)

Current status as of June 2017: I'll be posting new opportunities in the FB group every 1-2 weeks. All genres of YA covered, though mostly SFF. You can find the sign-up posts here: Right now I have one or two open spots for folks looking to start out list building (current list under 1K) and writing paranormal/dark urban fantasy YA and possibly one for contemporary YA.

Hi all! I wanted to give my fellow YA authors here a heads up that I've started organizing some collaborative promos for mailing list building, currently focused on YA fantasy and paranormal. The promos use giveaways targeted to the readers of major authors in the genre, run through KingSumo for the viral sharing feature, and are boosted by FB advertising the participating authors share costs on, as well as social media and newsletter cross-promo. Each giveaway is restricted to five sponsoring authors, so that they can know that the new subscribers will only be hearing from a few other authors around the same time. I handle the giveaway set up, graphics, ads, etc.

Hi all! I was wondering if anyone could recommend a VA--or other promo-helper type person; I'm looking more to have a few piecemeal tasks done around launch rather than a long-term assistant--who has plenty of experience with the young adult genre? Experience with adult fantasy would be an acceptable alternative. :)

Writers' Cafe / Pre-orders and Amazon algorithms
« on: May 31, 2016, 05:33:36 AM »
I've seen enough discussion of Amazon's algorithms to gather that having a certain number of consistent sales in the first 1-2 weeks of a book's release can mean Amazon starts giving the book a boost. I'm wondering if people have any sense of whether that extends to pre-orders? If you had, say, a two week pre-order period with a good, steady amount of orders, would the algorithms already have noticed the book when it releases, or do only sales after release have an effect?

(I know that the sales are only officially counted on the release day, but you do get recognition for pre-orders via your ranking and Also Boughts...)

For anyone's who's set up a new book with Ingram Spark this year--how long did it take for the book to show up on I've seen reports from a couple of years back saying it may take weeks but I haven't found any recent accounts, wondering if that's still the case.

KBoards special: 20% off all cover services if you mention you found me through the KBoards.

**Prices to increase in January 2017 - Book now to get the current pricing!**

Another World Designs is officially open for business!

I've been doing my own work in graphic design for nearly twenty years now, and I've decided to start taking on clients. I've already worked with Rachel Medhurst redesigning the ebook and print covers for her Reapers Trilogy (read her testimonial here). I also did the covers for Give Up the Ghost and Those Who Lived in my signature. And I've put together a bunch of sample covers to give you an idea of the range of styles I can work in. See a few of my favorites below, and go to my portfolio to check out all of them*.

To request a cover, just head over to my contact page and fill out the form there. Mention you found me via the KBoards so I'll know to give you the deal price. I'll follow up with any further questions I have, and we can begin the design process.

I welcome questions here on this thread or via the email on my contact page. Looking forward to working with some of you!

*If you're interested in adapting one of my sample covers to your use, just let me know what you'd need changed and we can discuss a price.

Edit: Many new covers added to the portfolio. Other genres I've worked in that are not yet public to be added: Adult contemporary romance (sweet and billionaire), adult urban fantasy (superhero and mythical), YA contemporary and science fiction, and typography for a graphic novel. One of my specialities is creating covers to match earlier books in a series if you can't work with your original designer--see the new portfolio section for examples.

Writers' Cafe / Blurb feedback please! (YA contemporary fantasy)
« on: May 02, 2016, 10:55:11 AM »
**Newer versions a couple of posts below.**

I've been tweaking this blurb for weeks now and would love to get some outside feedback. :) It's for a YA contemporary fantasy, though I'm hoping to appeal to adult fantasy readers too, so thoughts from that perspective are also welcome.

The course of a modern-day war between the spirits may be determined by one human girl.

As heir to Mt. Fuji's spirit kingdom, Sora expects to take on all of the kami's sacred duties. Yet her parents have continually delayed her lessons with vague excuses. Determined to prove herself, Sora confronts them--only to be interrupted by the sudden invasion by a ghostly army.

Barely escaping the mountain with her life, Sora follows her mother's last instructions to a heart-wrenching discovery: she is a human changeling, raised as a decoy while the real kami princess remained safe amid the urban bustle of Tokyo. Her powers were only borrowed, never her own.

As she struggles with her emerging human weaknesses and the strange draw of a boy she never expected to fall for, Sora vows to keep fighting to save her loved ones and the world they once protected. But for this mortal girl to make a difference, she will have to part with old friends, peer inside a demon's heart, and maybe even give up all hope of reclaiming the only home she's ever known.

Questions: Do I need that opening teaser line? (If not, I'll probably change the last line of the blurb to "make a difference in this modern-day war between the spirits...") Is this punchy and hooky enough? Any wording awkward or confusing? Always open to suggestions!

Thanks in advance!

Writers' Cafe / Cover illustrators who also do typography?
« on: March 19, 2016, 11:46:23 AM »
I'm considering going the illustrated route for the cover of my planned fall release, but most of the illustrators I've seen recommended seem to just do the art, and I'm nervous about ending up with a piece that doesn't work well with the necessary typography (especially since the image I'm imagining would be somewhat "busy" in detail). I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable investing in the art unless I could talk with the artist about the entire design, title and author name included, and trust that they knew how to incorporate it well.

Does anyone have recs of artists who take book cover commissions and also do their own typography (well)? I'm totally open to the typography being drawn rather than digital, I should mention. The book is YA contemporary fantasy; I'd be looking for a fairly realistic (vs. cartoony) style and someone who's good with both landscapes and full body figures. Pretty flexible about pricing, care more about the quality of the work.


Writers' Cafe / Launching/promoting a standalone
« on: January 16, 2016, 11:02:24 AM »
Later this year I'm planning on self publishing my first book that's not previously trad published or connected to an existing series. That book happens to be a standalone, which I know isn't ideal for self publishing, but it's a book I love that's already written and that appears to be unable to find a trad pub home, and I don't want to abandon it completely.

I've read a lot of strategies for launching and promoting series books, but not much on standalones (presumably because advice tends to start with "you're best off writing series books" and goes from there :P ). But I know there are standalone writers here! Do you have any tips you could share on how to most effectively launch and promote (either during the launch or later on) a standalone book? I'm starting with a small but established readership, good social connections with other authors in my genre, and a decent sized backlist (though at the moment most of it is under publisher control).

Writers' Cafe / Amazon ranking question
« on: January 10, 2016, 05:53:58 PM »
I'm wondering if anyone has a sense of how quickly one's book ranking generally sinks in the absence of additional sales after a major promo?

Give Up the Ghost has only dropped from around 700 to around 2000 in the last couple days after going back to full price (from a height of 229 Thursday morning after my BookBub spot), and has even hopped a little back up a couple times, even though I've only sold 4 copies in the US in that time. I am seeing a lot of KENP read, but I know that the ranking is affected by KU borrows when the book is downloaded, not when people actually read it. So I'm basically trying to figure out if there's any way of telling from the rank whether people are continuing to borrow the book because of its new visibility and that's somewhat sustaining the rank, or whether this is a normal pace for the rank to drop with minimal sales and those pages read are probably from people who borrowed back during the BookBub.

(I do realize there's no exact science to this because it depends on how well everyone else's books are selling.)

Writers' Cafe / Anyone subscribe to BookGorilla for teen books?
« on: January 06, 2016, 08:46:29 AM »
What the subject line says. I'd just like to confirm that Give Up the Ghost was in today's mailing, since it's not listed on their website.

(I should have signed up myself, but it's been a bit of a crazy week.)

Thanks!  :)

I decided I was going to start the new year off with a $0.99 Countdown deal week for my recently re-released YA paranormal (not romance) novel, Give Up the Ghost, and to my great excitement, I got the BookBub spot I applied for! So now I'm really looking forward to seeing what this week brings and sharing the results.  :D

I only have one other, unrelated self published book to sell through to (sales to my trad pubbed books are nice, of course, but I don't see any money from them as I haven't earned out those advances), so my main goal is just to get the book as high in the rankings as possible in the hopes of some tail once the sale is over. And also just to get the book on the radar of a bunch more readers, since much of even my existing readership isn't very aware of it. (The book was originally published in 2009, didn't even have an ebook edition until a year later, and went OOP not long after my second book came out.)

Here's the line up:

Jan 2
-Mailing list and Facebook announcements
-Read Cheaply
-Booklover's Heaven

Results: 11 copies sold, 5 KENP read, best rank of the day #39,613, #63 in best category

Jan 3
-Fussy Librarian
-BookSends + eReaderIQ

Results: 56 copies sold, 593 KENP, best rank of the day #14,028, #27 in best category

Jan 4
-My Book Place (free option)
-Many Books
-Robin Reads
-Book Barbarian

Results: 70 copies sold, 1721 KENP, best rank of the day #4,870, #17 in best category

Jan 5
-Sweet Free Books
-Betty Book Freak
-BKnights (FB + newsletter)
-Genre Pulse (app only)

Results: 20 copies sold, 843 KENP, best rank of the day #2803, #8 in best category (in morning after yesterday's sales)

Jan 6
-BookBub! (US & UK)
-Ripley's Booklist

Results: 652 copies sold (581 in the US and 71 in the UK), 2203 KENP, best rank of the day #229, #1 in best category (in morning after yesterday's sales)

Jan 7
-Book Gorilla
-Readers in the Know

Results: 151 copies sold, 6619 KENP, ranked between #229 and #400 for most of the day and #1 in best category (this morning #464 and #2, respectively)

Jan 8
-last day of sale; no promos booked

Results: 59 copies sold, 6618 KENP, best rank of the day #464, #2 in best category (this morning #888 and #3)

I submitted to a handful of other sites and haven't heard back from them, will update the list if it turns out they're running the book.

Right now the re-released ebook is ranking at #235,997 overall and #369 in its best category, so it's got a lot of distance to cover. Can't wait to kick things off tomorrow!

Writers' Cafe / Self publishing survey - some results!
« on: December 09, 2015, 01:58:49 PM »
Hey all!

I didn't want people to think I've forgotten about the self publishing survey I posted about a couple months ago. The truth is I haven't been able to gather enough responses to make any major analysis of the data meaningful. Only 46 people have responded so far, and many people didn't or weren't able to answer some questions, a lot of questions have fewer than 30 responses. Which really isn't a large enough sample to be drawing conclusions from, let alone breaking things down further with questions that had more than two possible answers.

I'm keeping the survey open in case more people want to contribute in the next few months, so feel free to answer now if you haven't already, and to share the link to other self published authors:

In the meantime, I wanted to at least share a little data! So here are some comments I can make based on what I've collected so far, in the areas where I have enough data points that a bit of a pattern can be determined:

-For the people who had their books wide, an average of 75% of their sales came from Amazon vs. other retailers, with a range of 4% to 100%. Apple, B&N, and Kobo were the highest selling other retailers (in that order, though they were only 1 vote apart and single digits each, so don't draw any major conclusions from that :) ).

-For the people in KDP select, an average of 47.4% of their income from the last year came from KU reads/borrows rather than sales, with a range from 18% to 80%.

-Within the small sample of data available, the conventional knowledge that more books published = more books sold and more overall income appears to be true. It also appears to be true that writing series books is by far the most lucrative option. People who only wrote series sold about twice as many books and earned about 50% more overall than people who did some series and some standalones (only a few people reported only doing standalones, so we really can't judge anything from that). People's best selling series novels had sold many times more copies and made many times more income on that novel than people's best selling standalones.

-Again, within this small sample of data, it appears that novels in KDP Select generally earned more money than those put widely. People who reported having most/all of their books Amazon exclusive reported sales and income nearly twice as high as those who were mostly on wide distribution. When looking specifically at individual books, people's best selling series novels were more likely to sell significantly more copies and on average made twice as much income if Amazon exclusive vs. wide; this effect was even more obvious with people's best selling standalone novels, which sold and earned many times more if Amazon exclusive compared to wide.

-Among those who published short stories and novellas as well as novels, for most (89%) most of their income was still from their novels.

I wish I had more to share--hopefully in the future I'll have enough numbers to really dig in!

Writers' Cafe / Another KDP cover question
« on: November 04, 2015, 12:18:42 PM »
I've looked all over the internet and can't find an answer to this. As mentioned in a previous thread, I have a book up for pre-order with no cover currently because I have a cover reveal scheduled that's supposed to be exclusive. I know I need to have the final book file uploaded to KDP by ten days before the release date. Do I also need to have the final cover file uploaded at that point? Or can I upload it later? I know no changes will be possible in the three days beforehand, but what about, say, seven days before?

(Considering bumping my release date a week earlier for various reasons, but then I'll have less than ten days between cover reveal and release date.)

Writers' Cafe / Book covers and uploading to KDP
« on: November 02, 2015, 09:46:23 AM »
I have a cover reveal scheduled for the redesigned cover for a soon to be re-released book, which is supposed to be an exclusive reveal, so I haven't uploaded the cover to KDP yet. (The book is already up as a pre-order.) However, I'd now like to upload my finished ebook file, which has the cover image in it.

My understanding of how KDP works is that they don't even use the internal cover image, but replace it with the cover file they have when converting the book. So if I upload the ebook file, the cover still shouldn't show up on Amazon, right? At least, until I upload the cover image to KDP directly, obviously.

Writers' Cafe / Self publishing survey
« on: October 21, 2015, 08:59:12 AM »
Hi all!

I have a subscription to a survey site for a month, and given the many differing anecdotal thoughts on what works more/less when it comes to self publishing, I thought it'd be interested to gather some data and look for recent concrete trends.  :)  The more data, the more generalizable the results will be, so I'd hugely appreciate responses from anyone here willing to take the time. You're also welcome to share the survey and this info with other self publishing authors/author groups you think might be interested in contributing. I'll post the results directly here (as well as elsewhere) once the survey is complete--I expect mid to late November.

I'm focusing the survey specifically on book-length fiction for simplicity's sake, since I don't know much about nonfiction publishing and short fiction seems to be a relatively minor portion of most people's sales/income (though I do have a question about that to confirm). You only need to have self published one (fiction) book, new or re-released backlist, to respond. The survey asks about sales numbers and income mostly in the last year, across genres, standalone vs. series, price points, promotional strategies, and various other factors. All individual responses are completely anonymous, but if you're uncomfortable sharing any particular information, you can always skip a question without answering.

The survey is here:

If you have any questions about it, I'm happy to answer in this thread or by PM/email! Thanks in advance to everyone who responds!

Edit: If you get partway through and realize you've made an error, you can close the browser window and start the survey over--your answers are only saved when you complete the entire survey. Apologies that there is no way to go back and edit answers in the middle of things.

Writers' Cafe / Checking your KDP book info
« on: October 14, 2015, 07:38:57 PM »
You know how when you have a book listed through KDP, when you open up that book from your KDP Bookshelf, there are two pages of info--the first with title, series, categories, keywords, cover, uploaded file, etc., and the second with rights, price, royalty rate, etc.? Is there any way to check the info on the second page without having to "republish" the book and send it into review?

I know that having the "updates" reviewed doesn't affect the book's availability for sale, but it seems kind of silly to send the book through that process every time I simply want to check something like my delivery costs. And also once I've done that I'm then locked out of looking at it or making any real updates until the review process is finished. I can look at the first page and then simply leave, but to get to the second as far as I can tell I have to hit "Save and Continue," and then it tells me I have "unpublished changes" on my Bookshelf listing until I submit it again. Is the royalty and other info available somewhere else for me to just look at?

Writers' Cafe / Self publishing a previously trad published book
« on: October 08, 2015, 07:25:14 AM »
I'm a mostly traditionally published author slowly easing into hybrid status. I self pubbed a story collection as a follow up to one of my trilogies last year, and I've just gotten back the rights to my OOP debut novel, which I'd like to re-release on my own. I think there are at least a few people here who've done the rights reversal and re-release process? I'd love to get any tips you have on self publishing a book that's not really a new release. Do you approach promo etc. mostly the same way you would a totally new self pubbed release, or are there different strategies you've found more effective?


Introductions & Welcomes / Intro to me
« on: October 08, 2015, 06:59:33 AM »
Hi all! I'm an author and avid reader, have been following the forums for a while and am looking forward to participating now! I write YA speculative fiction (sci fi, fantasy, paranormal, horror) and read just about everything as long as it's a gripping story, though I do tend to favor spec fic (adult and YA) in my reading too.

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