I just posted a short excerpt from Gift of the Ancien. The editing is going well, even if I am way behind schedule. I still have seven chapters to go, including finishing the last one. Can I edit seven chapters in one day so that this draft is completed in June, as it was supposed to be? Not likely.
Smashwords July Promotion — Not this year. I’ve had hardly any downloads of samples for the last couple of months, so I doubt that dropping prices is a particularly smart move. In fact, I just raised the price of Privileged Lives on both SW and Kindle. It’s hardly selling anyway, and maybe people are looking at the price and the length (it’s my longest novel) and wondering why it’s so cheap. So it’s now $3.99. If anybody has been planning to buy it, but put it off, give me a shout and I’ll give you the code for a SW discount. The price hasn’t changed on Amazon yet, so maybe you can catch it there.
Gift of the Ancien will also be published at $3.99, but I’ll be offering a short-term coupon for SW purchases. I haven’t decided on the discount yet, but you’ll see it here when the time comes.
Sales Summer is supposed to be a very slow time, and May amply proved that. But June has been somewhat of an improvement, to my surprise. Smashwords is still dragging, with two sales for the month, but Kindle is proving a champion — 23 sales, with Hidden Boundaries accounting for 17 of them.
Kindle payment for May sales came with a surprise, both good and bad. Apparently, foreign sales are paid for separately from amazon.com sales, and you have to have the same $10.00 minimum. So, there was a payment from amazon,uk, which I didn’t even know was due me. Nice surprise. But I’ve had only one sale on amazon.de in the four months I’ve been publishing via Kindle. So there’s a good chance I’ll never be paid for that book. Not so nice surprise. And I’m thinking it might be a good idea to remove the other foreign listings, which have resulted in no sales at all.
Thoughts on pricing. The pricing trend for novels in ebook format is upward, which makes sense from several angles. One of the most important is differentiating your work from books that send the “cheap, cheap” message. If you write quality, you should be paid for quality, and not give the impression, via pricing, that your books lack quality. Another excellent reason is that the higher price for novels lets you establish pricing levels. The debate goes on as to whether you should price by length, but I see length as just one of the variables that should go into pricing decisions. If you establish price levels for works of different length, that could go a long way toward letting customers feel that they’re getting their money’s worth. Setting my novels at $3.99 allows me leeway to price novellas and stories on a scale that signals length. In keeping with that theory, I’ll probably raise the price of Hidden Boundaries eventually, but leave Crossing Boundaries where it is because it’s a novella. My two stories, at 16,000 and 12,000 words, will stay at $1.99, and anything below 10,000 words, more or less (if I ever write anything that short) will be $.99.
None of this is set in stone, but I have enough books now, and enough experience, to start establishing some guidelines for my marketing. A good thing to remember, when you’re thrashing around, trying to determine how to market your books, is that pricing may be a determining factor in success or failure.