Blog Housekeeping, Money Matters

I updated a couple of pages here, mostly so that my contact address is easier to find. It’s on both “About” and “November 1 to November 1. Also updated NaNo and publication news to reflect the last year more accurately. There’s more cleaning up and furniture moving to be done on both blogs, but I’m a lazy cuss, so it will be a while before it’s all done.

One the money front, my lack of self-promotion (no Facebook or Google+ and very little Twitter) has led to an extreme drop off of sales for Hidden Boundaries and Crossing Boundaries. Two sales in October, two sales, so far this month. So what have I done? Where most authors would, desperate to dredge up a few more sales, lower their prices to the bargain basement, please take pity price of .99, I just raised my prices.

I’ve thought about doing that, off and on over the last few weeks, but a guest post on Joe Konrath’s blog finally galvanized me into action. For some very insightful opinions on perceived value, try this: Guest Post by Elle Lothlorien.

I’ve read similar discussions before this one, but wanted to see how sales went over a few months before making any drastic changes. The prices are still low enough, at 3.99 for the novel and 2.99 for the novella-length sequel, that purchasing them isn’t much of a risk. But they’re now high enough to shift them out of the territory where it appears that the poor benighted author knows very well that they aren’t worth any more. I also increased the Smashwords sample to 30%, up from 25%. Fair is fair. If I want readers to pay more, they’re entitled to a generous sample to help them judge value.

Meanwhile, life and editing go on.

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9 thoughts on “Blog Housekeeping, Money Matters

  1. I think raising prices a bit is actually a good idea. I did try out the .99 price point this month out of curiosity. It did seem to get me a few more sales, but I didn’t feel good about it at all. I’d rather raise the price a little and just keep writing.

    1. I doubt that the small increase will lose me any sales. And if the sales are going to dribble in slowly, at least I’ll earn a bit more with each one. I’m trying to establish myself as a serious writer. I don’t see that garage sale prices contribute to that.

      1. To be fair, I don’t think prices contribute to it at all. If you want to be a serious writer, then you only have to write. But then, I’m not really prone to judging others and I’m not one to care about how serious I appear to others who would judge.

          1. Yes, that is true, but that’s where the packaging comes into play. A good cover and blurb do most of the work to convey seriousness to potential buyers. Then comes the sample, and that’s the part that really gets them.

            Another aspect to this is also making connections, which is where some social media comes in handy. I know I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have so far without some of the people I’ve met who took a chance, read my book, and told their friends.

            Price really comes last in the list of things you can do to appear serious.

            1. i think it’s hard to say which is most important. But I’m assuming my sales now come from people who don’t know me at all. There’s a point beyond which you can’t rely on social networking. I see the sample and the price as companions, each of them either reinforcing or canceling out the impression of the other.

              But when it comes right down to it, nobody really knows what’s most important, and that’s because every potential reader is different. I’ve seen posts and articles by people who’ve used completely opposite techniques, successfully. And by people who’ve used those same techniques with poor results.

  2. No, I think it’s easy to say what is most important, but to admit there are other ways of discovery. Maybe not everyone is going to look at the cover, but a lot of people will. Maybe people will be put off by a low price point, but maybe a good cover will pull them back. There are definitely a lot of variables, and you’re right that not everyone looks for a book the same way.

    As for social networking, it’s not really about the social networking part of it. It’s about meeting people. I’ve sold a lot of books to people who knew me, who then sold it to their friends for me, and if those friends like the book, they will then sell the book to other people I have never had contact with. So it will go. At a certain point, I think the book will carry itself, and I’m sort of at that point. I definitely don’t go around shouting for people to buy my book, but they meet me, get curious, and then they purchase it anyway. This can happen in any number of ways, not just online and on twitter and through– ugh– “platforms.”

    1. I have the same feeling about platforms that you do. One of my problems right now, aside from skipping out almost entirely on social netoworking is that both my books appeal to a very small niche of readers. That’s one of the things I’ve been planning to blog about eventually. When most people write about their successes, saying this or that method works, I find that almost 100% of the time, the books are in fairly popular genres. When you write for a small niche market, it may actually be impossible to substantially increase sales, no matter how hard you work at it.

      Added: I also don’t publish on Amazon, which is a major limitation for any future success. I’m still thinking about it.

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