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Sometimes he just gets it right. By which I mean, I agree with him :)

http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=8415

Bolding mine:
"Some factors to keep the disappointment in perspective if your numbers are very low.

- If you are a new writer, let me simply say, duh. Of course they are going to be low. You only have ten or twenty things out and you haven't learned how to tell a story yet that a ton of people want to read. Keep writing and keep focusing on learning, you'll get there if you keep working at it for a number of years. Realize that most of us in the old days made NO MONEY at all for years and years and years. Consider yourself lucky you have this new world and you are making even coffee money."

"If you think selling 20 books average per month of all your titles across all sites is bad and your average price is $5.99, you really need to have an attitude adjustment. Get a friend to tap you gently on the top of the head until wake you up and realize your sales are just fine and you need to keep writing and get more books out."
 

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Hi,

Only ten or twenty things out? I'm crushed! I just put out book number eleven and was feeling really good!

Cheers, Greg.
 

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MichaelWallace said:
No. I see 5 pieces of bad advice for every good thing in that post.
Interesting. I thought it was one of his better posts.

Would you mind saying which you disagree with? I'm probably not looking at it closely enough.

ETA: Not to start a debate which these things turn into. Often I look at his posts, first agree with them and then start seeing the holes in his logic. I rarely agree with him on pricing, but otherwise when I read this I thought he made some good points.
 

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Count me among those who really appreciate DWS. He's helped me in several ways. I've been lucky to have my first books do better than what he posits, but that just means his get-more-books-out theory will work better too. I'm not sure I agree with him on prices. Hell would freeze over before I'd pay $2.99 for a short story, but then I don't much care for short stories. I wish I had the nerve to try his prices on novels. I don't, but I've never been a freebie or $.99 person either.
 

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psychotick said:
Hi,

Only ten or twenty things out? I'm crushed! I just put out book number eleven and was feeling really good!

Cheers, Greg.
Every time I read something like that, I get depressed. I don't even have one out yet, and once I get this one out, it's gonna be 3 or 4 years before the next one comes out, because it just doesn't happen that fast for me. Finding the optimal visual, the optimal cadence, name, symbolism, etc..takes me time. I doubt I'll finish 10 by the time I'm dead.
 

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ellenoc said:
Count me among those who really appreciate DWS. He's helped me in several ways. I've been lucky to have my first books do better than what he posits, but that just means his get-more-books-out theory will work better too. I'm not sure I agree with him on prices. Hell would freeze over before I'd pay $2.99 for a short story, but then I don't much care for short stories. I wish I had the nerve to try his prices on novels. I don't, but I've never been a freebie or $.99 person either.
For a short time I had a novel priced at $7.99 (not because of his advice actually). It continued to get sales but at a lower rate. I probably made more money, but just wasn't comfortable with the price. I like keeping my novels below $5. And I would be highly unlikely to pay $2.99 for a short story. His pricing advice never felt right to me. On the other hand, I think his advice to stop TINKERING with prices (one of my vices) is very good.
 

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I like his summation of the year's news. I had no idea Kobo and Apple were in 50 countries, now. And four straight years of growth in indie bookstores? That really surprises me. Can it possibly last?
 

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One thing about the short story pricing: do people not realize that a boatload of high quality fiction podcasts exist? And their target base is likely to be the same folks with ereaders?

I mean, I've got more than a few paid sales with fiction podcasts, and a few freebies -- and these outlets have a metric ton of listeners.
 

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You mean I have to write more than one book to get rich :) ?

As I mentioned in my comment on that post, I haven't seen any drop in sales year-on-year after increasing the price of my most popular short story from $0.99 to $1.99. I'm tempted to try $2.99 but I think I'll leave it where it is... I have been selling a few of the longer ones for $2.99, but 4,000 words still seems too short.
 

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vrabinec said:
Every time I read something like that, I get depressed. I don't even have one out yet, and once I get this one out, it's gonna be 3 or 4 years before the next one comes out, because it just doesn't happen that fast for me. Finding the optimal visual, the optimal cadence, name, symbolism, etc..takes me time. I doubt I'll finish 10 by the time I'm dead.
Don't sweat that guy's advice. It clearly works for some people, but there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Stay true to yourself, dude. Believe in YOUR vision, YOUR aesthetic. I know I can't follow his advice. My books are too long, and I certainly can't slap them up as fast as I type them without considerable editing. And his pricing strategy seems crazy to me. Stephen King's 11/22/63 book is 850ish pages, and he's selling that at $3.99. I know DWS would say that's giving it away. I call that extreme value. King's strategy seems to be about taking care of the customer. DWS strategy seems to be about taking care of himself. In my opinion, the best way to take care of yourself as a writer, or in any business, is to take care of the customer, which means providing extreme value, or at least very good value. Stay on course. Make it really, really good, the best you can, then do some decent marketing for it, and move to the next one. There is value for us in volume of books, sure, but I don't think there is any value in volume of bad stuff. So if you need time, take it.
 

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John Daulton said:
Don't sweat that guy's advice. It clearly works for some people, but there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Stay true to yourself, dude. Believe in YOUR vision, YOUR aesthetic. I know I can't follow his advice. My books are too long, and I certainly can't slap them up as fast as I type them without considerable editing. And his pricing strategy seems crazy to me. Stephen King's 11/22/63 book is 850ish pages, and he's selling that at $3.99. I know DWS would say that's giving it away. I call that extreme value. King's strategy seems to be about taking care of the customer. DWS strategy seems to be about taking care of himself. In my opinion, the best way to take care of yourself as a writer, or in any business, is to take care of the customer, which means providing extreme value, or at least very good value. Stay on course. Make it really, really good, the best you can, then do some decent marketing for it, and move to the next one. There is value for us in volume of books, sure, but I don't think there is any value in volume of bad stuff. So if you need time, take it.
John, I agree with much of what you say here, but the Kindle edition of 11/22/63 is $7.99 reduced from $19.99 (http://www.amazon.com/11-22-63-ebook/dp/B004Q7CIFI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1358282806&sr=8-1). I doubt S&S will ever sell a King book as low as four bucks :)
 

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I like this:

4) Quality storytelling is everything. If you are not constantly working and learning and trying to become a better storyteller and entertainer, give it up now.
I've given myself a few notes for things I'm going to work on this year in terms of craft.

Dan Harris said:
John, I agree with much of what you say here, but the Kindle edition of 11/22/63 is $7.99 reduced from $19.99 (http://www.amazon.com/11-22-63-ebook/dp/B004Q7CIFI/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1358282806&sr=8-1). I doubt S&S will ever sell a King book as low as four bucks :)
Actually, I think I saw it at $3.99. It may have been a promotional blow-out, but I saw it, and ... I think it may have triggered one of my meltdowns. We indies have had a little gold rush in the bargain aisle of books. If the heavies and dropping promos in here ... it's a whole new normal.
 

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Dalya, you do realize that those stats make some of us want to slap you? Yikes! Stop making me look bad.
 

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The non-enhanced version of King's book is temporarily on sale for 3.99 (marked down from 19.99). Glad you pointed that out, I was waiting for the price to drop below 15 before picking it up :)

The new normal seems like the old normal to me. Write well, package well, put it in front of people who can pay you, rinse, repeat. Heinlein's Rules still work for me.  ;D
 

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JRTomlin said:
For a short time I had a novel priced at $7.99 (not because of his advice actually). It continued to get sales but at a lower rate. I probably made more money, but just wasn't comfortable with the price. I like keeping my novels below $5. And I would be highly unlikely to pay $2.99 for a short story. His pricing advice never felt right to me. On the other hand, I think his advice to stop TINKERING with prices (one of my vices) is very good.
I was fooling around with this stuff last year too. My experiment was pretty small (one book, for a few weeks at both prices), but I made a bit more money at $5.99 than $7.99. But people were still buying even at the higher price. So I'm kind of with you on price. I think DWS' advice is too high, but $5 and even $6 prices shouldn't be out of the question.

The thing that gets me about a lot of his posts, though, is I don't believe they're at all geared toward newer writers. Building an audience is important. You're going to do that a lot faster at $2.99 or even $0.99 than at $7.99. Maybe DWS is always banging on about the long term because all his strategies take ten years to bear any fruit.
 

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The ebook of 11/22/63 was Number 1 on the Kindle Science Fiction Best Sellers list, at $3.99, when I took a snapshot on 12/30/12, and still is. I was sad because I paid full price, never dreaming they'd drop it so low.
 

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genevieveaclark said:
I debated posting about this the other day, because while I don't need to go looking for fights on the internet, DWS has become so harmful to newbies, that I just...

Ok. Here goes:
I think it is an extremely good idea to post a critical view of what he says. For me, much of what he is saying makes sense. Of course, like DWS and KKR, I don't have anything on the best seller list. (They don't claim to, let me point out and you can make good money in self-publishing without having anything there)

But I can see your points, especially his (imo) rather silly grudge against Amazon. Then again, I don't think there is anyone whose advice you can just swallow whole. I think that for many of us, especially those who have been in the business for a while, he makes some good points even though I frequently disagree.

For new authors, you may be right that it is bad advice. I'm honestly not sure.

On the subject of Pulphouse, yes, it did fail and they discuss why pretty openly. It was also very highly respected in the fantasy part of the industry, so that also should be considered. They worked with the best authors in the business. I'm not very comfortable with your bringing up and attacking them regarding Pulphouse.

ETA: I just don't see that the fact that Pulphouse, which was at first quite successful, expanded much too fast has anything to do with whether they're right or wrong about self-publishing.

Just, please, please, please: think critically about DWS, and look at the actual evidence before you make decisions about your careers
Here I 100% agree, but not just if it's DWS or KKR (and they do get huffy if you disagree with them). The same is true with Joe Konrath or anyone on this forum. We need to look at the advice carefully and think critically about what we're told. And often we need to think about it over a period of time.
 
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