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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
KellyHarper said:
What tools do you use to write and keep all of this straight? I've had difficulty with going back and re-formatting all of my works (only 9 stories published right now - just finishing the first draft of #10) to update them to include the new titles I've written since the older ones were released.

I'm not sure if there is any easy way to do this, or if time should just be budgeted for on a quarterly basis to go back and update everything.

I use Scrivener which makes things a bit easier - but it can still be a hassle to manage a portfolio that large.
Unfortunately, I haven't found an easy way to do this either and I'm a bit behind updating some of my stuff. I try to do it as soon as I finish a series. Whenever I'm working on an extremely long series though, I tend to get lazy and put it off . . . indefinitely. :-X So bad, I know. As it is right now, I have about a dozen titles I need to update.

I write in Open Office, and I basically created a template that I use for all of my books. That way, whenever I start writing a new one, I can just open a copy of the template and get to business without having to worry about formatting.
 

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MarlaB said:
Oddly enough, I haven't had any luck with Kobo. Everyone's told me that they are great for selling erotica. I pulled 20 of my titles from Smashwords to publish on there directly. I'm lucky if I get 6 sales a month on Kobo.
It's not odd. It's typical.

Kobo is the laughingstock of the ebook world. The worst search engine in the history of ebook websites, repeated revealing of private information, and ongoing failure to pay authors for their work.

Epic fail, Kobo.
 

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MarlaB said:
I write in Open Office, and I basically created a template that I use for all of my books. That way, whenever I start writing a new one, I can just open a copy of the template and get to business without having to worry about formatting.
I can vouch for this being super helpful!
I keep templates in Open Office too with all my formatting saved, so I barely have to worry about anything when writing. Once I'm done I just paste in the appropriate copyright stuff and links from my Amazon/Smashwords templates and it's good to go!
 

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I'm glad (sort of) that it wasn't just me wondering what is up with Kobo. I published 12 books with them few months ago and not one sale. I checked their search engine...yep, they are all there but no bites. Underwhelming to say the least.

Same with Lulu (erotica).

:(
 

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Claudia King said:
I can vouch for this being super helpful!
I keep templates in Open Office too with all my formatting saved, so I barely have to worry about anything when writing. Once I'm done I just paste in the appropriate copyright stuff and links from my Amazon/Smashwords templates and it's good to go!
I essentially do the same thing in Scrivener. I have a master copyright, master "other books", master "about the author" and then I cut/paste the stories into the appropriate section and print them off. If Scrivener would let me include "Back Matter" instead of "Front Matter" managing that many stories would get a bit easier - but it's still a chore to update them all. This is why I'm thinking I'll have to schedule it Quarterly.
 

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In regards to Kobo, there's good money to be made there. I've been slowly building my inventory over the last few months (my children's books are being pulled out of KDP Select), and suddenly I'm selling at least a copy or two a day (it used to be a copy or two a month). A few of my titles are doing better on Kobo than Amazon, and with a higher royalty. My mother has found a little more success, and just received her first check.

For what it's worth, most of my customers are Canadian.
 

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This is a GREAT thread - and it echoes what I've been telling myself for a while. Put your head down and just write. Write good and write often.

(check your grammar while you're at it -  ;) ;) ;D)

And, as for all of the negative experiences some folks have mentioned on Kobo - my Kobo books are seriously out-performing my Amazon books this month. I sell Kobo e-books everyday - not so much on Kindle. A lot of Canadian sales and quite a few UK sales.

Mileage will ALWAYS vary. Some folks kick butt on Kindle, others rock at Barnes & Noble - while some sing paens of adulation to Diesel, Apple and ARe.

The only thing predictable about e-books are their constant nonstop unpredictability.

(mmm, in addition to grammar I ought to also look at redundancy...)
 

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Well, I'll add my 2 cents here. I've been checking all day and I just sold my 38,000th book for 2012. That is with 24 titles (including 2 boxed sets). I was hoping for a little more but that isn't bad.

So, because of the great November and December I had in 2011 that means I've sold 52,000 books in the past 14 months. This does not count paperbacks and PDF downloads.

My pricing is:
Novellas/novelettes -.99 - $1.99
Short story collections: $2.99
Full length novel (over 100k): $3.99
Knitting singles: $5.00
Knitting collection: $8.00
Boxed Sets: $5.99 & $8.99

Onward to 2013!

I should add that none of mine are erotica. Mostly they are psychological suspense or romantic suspense with a few love stories and, of course, knitting.
 

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cdstephens said:
I am also taking the plunge into erotica, and everyone seems to agree that erotica readers are willing to pay more than other genres. Publishing a series of shorts as a series seems to make sense from an economic standpoint, but when I look at some of these I see a large number of savage one-star reviews complaining about the author publishing a book a chapter or a two at a time and ripping them off. The stories, however, seem to be selling extremely well despite this backlash.

Do you, or anyone else with experience in the genre, feel that this is the best way to go? Do you just ignore the bad reviews complaining solely about price, or do you think those will turn away enough potential readers to make the series concept less than the best way?
Well, I put the word count and page count in the blurb. I haven't had any returns and I have had readers thank me for the story afterwards. I don't leave cliffhangers, and that might have something to do with it.
 

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cdstephens said:
I am also taking the plunge into erotica, and everyone seems to agree that erotica readers are willing to pay more than other genres. Publishing a series of shorts as a series seems to make sense from an economic standpoint, but when I look at some of these I see a large number of savage one-star reviews complaining about the author publishing a book a chapter or a two at a time and ripping them off. The stories, however, seem to be selling extremely well despite this backlash.

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

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
alainamarks said:
I've been thinking about getting into erotica...so I downloaded a lot of the bestsellers from Amazon to immerse myself in this genre

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

Thanks!!

Continued success to ya MariaB :) and Happy New Year!!
First person does seem to be the preferred POV in erotica, from what I have seen. Most of my books are written in first person. I have a few that are third person though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 ·
It was requested that I do an update when I reached 75 titles, so here it goes. This time, I included how many titles were published each month. Please keep in mind that I had other titles published before I started keeping track of my sales, which is why the number of total books published does not equal 75.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.) How long are my titles?

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

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

2.) What is my pricing strategy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If there's anything else I forgot to mention or that you would like to know, feel free to ask. When I hit 100 titles, I'll make a new thread.
 
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