How I Failed My Way Into A Book Deal – Guest Post by Matt Ellis

I first met author and editor Matt Ellis last summer through Twitter. We exchanged a few emails, after which Matt posted a thoughtful review of one of my short stories, If You Go Into The Woods. In that some post, Matt aired some of his concerns about self-publishing, not least how the promotional burden can chew up precious writing time, and we corresponded about that for a while. Several months later, after an underwhelming experience with self-publishing, Matt made a radical decision about one of his books. Here’s Matt to explain what he did, and why he did it: The Joys of Unpublishing, or, How I Failed My Way Into A Book Deal This winter, my life’s dream was realized: Read More…

Selling Ebooks Direct: How To Set Up A Simple E-Bookstore

Selling e-books direct to your readers has just got a little easier, thanks to a new company called Gumroad. I heard about them through indie author Sarah Billington on Friday, had my store up and running on Saturday, and fully pimped out by Sunday. (Cost = Zero!) But before we get to that, should you open your own e-bookstore? Advantages of Selling Direct The first obvious advantage is higher royalty rates. You can earn a lot more than 70% if you sell direct. I’m making $3.49 on my $3.99 titles (as opposed to $2.70 from Amazon) and I’m getting nearly double the royalties on 99c titles. On top of that, I can now directly serve readers who face higher charges internationally Read More…

St. Patrick’s Day Blowout: Results

If you were on Twitter over the weekend, you probably heard something about the St. Patrick’s Day Blowout Sale that I ran here on the blog. A few of you asked how it was all put together, and plenty are keen to hear the results, so I thought I’d run through it all for you today. As you will see below, it was very successful. So successful in fact, that it might spawn a few imitators. For those thinking along those lines, a caution: I would imagine there would be diminishing returns on any promo like this, and I might suggest adding your own twist to get anything like the same results. On top of that, it’s a hell of Read More…

St. Patrick's Day Blowout: Results

If you were on Twitter over the weekend, you probably heard something about the St. Patrick’s Day Blowout Sale that I ran here on the blog. A few of you asked how it was all put together, and plenty are keen to hear the results, so I thought I’d run through it all for you today. As you will see below, it was very successful. So successful in fact, that it might spawn a few imitators. For those thinking along those lines, a caution: I would imagine there would be diminishing returns on any promo like this, and I might suggest adding your own twist to get anything like the same results. On top of that, it’s a hell of Read More…

Can You Self-Publish Your Way to a Big Deal? Guest Post from Lindsay Buroker

Self-published author Lindsay Buroker was approached recently by 47North, Amazon’s SF/F/H imprint. Today Lindsay is here to explain how you can best position yourself to attract an offer. And, despite what you may think, it’s not all about sales. Self-publishing offers a lot of advantages over the traditional path: freedom to write whatever you choose and price however you like; real-time sales figures; direct connection with readers; complete creative control over things like covers; and, of course, the famous 70% royalty rate (and more again if you sell direct). Despite all these advantages, many self-publishers are keen to leverage their success into a publishing deal. For some, it’s a nice advance, access to bookstores, and the potential increased marketability of subsidiary rights Read More…

St. Patrick’s Day Blowout! 30 Great Books by 26 Authors, All Reduced to 99c!

NOTE: THIS SALE IS NOW OVER AND THE COMPETITION IS CLOSED. The winner of the 30 book giveaway is Loreto Weir. Congratulations!  I’ve left up the sale page in case anyone still wants to peruse this fine list of books. Please note that the prices have likely risen back to their original prices (although you may get lucky) * * * Get ready to fill up your Kindle! In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I have selected 30 great books by 26 different authors, from bestsellers to undiscovered gems, across all genres – all reduced to 99c this weekend only. Many of these books have been cut from $3.99 or $4.99, so there are some real savings here. And as Read More…

St. Patrick's Day Blowout! 30 Great Books by 26 Authors, All Reduced to 99c!

NOTE: THIS SALE IS NOW OVER AND THE COMPETITION IS CLOSED. The winner of the 30 book giveaway is Loreto Weir. Congratulations!  I’ve left up the sale page in case anyone still wants to peruse this fine list of books. Please note that the prices have likely risen back to their original prices (although you may get lucky) * * * Get ready to fill up your Kindle! In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I have selected 30 great books by 26 different authors, from bestsellers to undiscovered gems, across all genres – all reduced to 99c this weekend only. Many of these books have been cut from $3.99 or $4.99, so there are some real savings here. And as Read More…

Profiting Outside Amazon: Guest Post From Sarah Woodbury

The first wave of self-publishers who signed up to KDP Select have either come to the end of their 90-day exclusivity period or that day is fast approaching, and many are wondering whether to re-enroll in the program or to begin uploading to the other retailers. At the beginning of January, when many writers were wrestling with whether to enroll in the program or not, I featured a number of guest posts from those who had seen success with KDP Select. A number of commenters suggested I feature someone who hadn’t done well out of the program, but I wasn’t so sure that would make an interesting read. If you want that kind of information, this thread on Kindle Boards Read More…

The End of Limits: Guest Post by Matthew Iden

There has been a lot of talk recently about the changes that have taken place over the last two years in the business side of publishing. Today, I have a fascinating guest post from indie author Matthew Iden who examines how the digital revolution may be changing the very way we write (and, ultimately, the way we may be compensated for that work). Before we get to that, I want to quickly mention that I’ll be running a monster sale for St. Patrick’s Weekend – right here on this blog – with 27 books from 23 different authors, across every genre, all being dropped to 99c in honor of the world’s favorite saint. There might also be a rather tasty Read More…

Scott Turow: Wrong About Everything

On Thursday it was reported that the U.S. Justice Department was preparing to sue five of the largest publishers, and Apple, for (allegedly) colluding to fix e-book prices. Despite the shock expressed in some quarters, this is hardly a bolt from the blue. It’s almost a year since the European Union raided the offices of several publishers in France, Italy, and Germany, kicking off their own Europe-wide anti-trust investigation – later folding into that probe a similar move by the Competition Authority in the UK to examine the Agency Agreement. It was also widely reported late last year that a U.S. Justice Department investigation, along similar lines, had commenced. On top of that, it’s over six months since the law Read More…

February Sales Report: Amazon Up, Everywhere Else Down

It has been a couple of months since I did a sales report, so I thought it might be a good time to share what kind of value I’m getting out of my pimp suit. For anyone looking for numbers with lots of zeroes in them, or tales of battling with household names at the top of the charts, I have a warning for you: this is not that kind of report. About the only big numbers you’ll see are for free stuff, but I’m selling at a nice level, paying my rent and some bills, and have been for some months now. The checks are about to get a little nicer too because I finally sorted my tax status Read More…

Amazon & The Importance of Popularity

A few days ago, I tweeted a link to a survey which purported to show that self-publishers had captured 77% of the spots on the Kindle Top 200 Science Fiction Bestseller List. As it turns out, the list the survey was based on was not the Bestseller List, but the Popularity List (and I’ll get to the differences between the two below). After this discrepancy was pointed out, the author re-did the survey, based on the actual Bestseller List, and found somewhat similar results – if not quite as staggering. Namely, self-publishers had captured 66.1% of the Kindle Top 100 Science Fiction spots. There are all sorts of interesting nuggets in that post including the various prices books were selling Read More…

Amazon & The Importance of Popularity

A few days ago, I tweeted a link to a survey which purported to show that self-publishers had captured 77% of the spots on the Kindle Top 200 Science Fiction Bestseller List. As it turns out, the list the survey was based on was not the Bestseller List, but the Popularity List (and I’ll get to the differences between the two below). After this discrepancy was pointed out, the author re-did the survey, based on the actual Bestseller List, and found somewhat similar results – if not quite as staggering. Namely, self-publishers had captured 66.1% of the Kindle Top 100 Science Fiction spots. There are all sorts of interesting nuggets in that post including the various prices books were selling Read More…