Archive for July 2012
I’m taking this publishing thing sloooooowly. Don’t know if you noticed. I first published Mon Petit Ami in October of last year, distributing through Smashwords. I learned the ropes, trying out the coupons and reviews and changing the price. It was free through nearly every retailer—B&N, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords—and racked up about 400 views over the next 6 or 7 months.
Amazon, however, is the whiny, uncompromising kid on the playground who is ready to take his awesome toys and go home if the other kids don’t play his games. Ergo, Amazon doesn’t give you total control over your pricing when you self-publish and you have to like it or lump it. The lowest they’ll go on any publication is 99 cents, regardless of length, unless you cast some magical price-matching spell which I was never able to figure out. So my little 1500-ish word story languished with no sales, unsurprisingly.
So I started to wonder how the story would do on Amazon. I had a half a year’s data on Smashwords, et al, and several good reviews from complete strangers, so I thought it was time to play Amazon’s game. The only way I could get my story on Amazon for free was to give them exclusivity, so I did.
I found out a lot from my 3-day free promo. Before I did this, I’d thought the reader pool among my friends had already been exhausted. After all, MPA had been free and periodically promoted for many months. What I didn’t realize was how many of my friends have Kindles and would download my story once it was pretty much effortless. I ended up with 77 downloads over three days on Amazon, a number that took about a month to reach on all other platforms combined, maybe a bit longer.
How eye-opening is that? No wonder people play by Amazon’s rules. They have awesome toys.
Now that this promo’s over, I expect my new downloads to drop back to zero. A dollar is just too much for a story this short, especially since it’s my only publication and bears an ISBN from Smashwords—a bias I’ve seen in the Kindle forums that can’t be dismissed.
One anonymous person gave me my first review, for which I am grateful. Reviews are like currency, so every star, whether it be one or five, helps. This one happened to be a fiver.
I wish I could charge .29 for it, but they won’t let me.
So download it now! While it’s free!
The fate of the world hangs in the balance!
The world thanks you for your support!
(and so do i)
I could do one of two things right now: log into Castleville for the third time today, or write a blog post. Yay for me, making the more productive choice.
I’ve started trying to do that more, now that it seems to make a difference.
You know how sometimes life is just harder? Little things go wrong, attempts to make progress of any kind is thwarted, and you just start expecting things to go wrong? At first you try to stay positive, but eventually you get tired and just hunker down, hoping it passes someday. This is where I’ve been for a while, but it seems to be opening up.
For instance, the library. I went in Wednesday for the daughter’s routine book trade, thinking I’d take the opportunity to speak to the librarian about my volunteer application. Based on previous visits, when she was coincidentally absent to the point of absurdity, I fully expected to miss her again. But this time she was right there at the desk, checking some people out. She finished with them just as I walked up, and though we’d only met once before, she remembered me.
I don’t know why I expect people not to recognize me. I guess it’s because I have such an average face I feel like I blend in.
Anyway, she said July is a pretty busy month (as you mentioned, Fal) and she’d likely be calling me in August. I can’t wait! I feel like this is the first step on the road to actual employment.
So that’s one road block that’s opened up. I’m hopeful more will come.
What about you, any progress?
Well, people, it’s summertime. It hasn’t been horribly hot. I mean, 100+ is a common occurrence in an Oklahoma summer, but not last year’s high of 116. That’s desert heat. We haven’t gone above about 105 so far, but I suppose August could have a surprise or two up her sleeve.
So let’s see, what have I been doing with my not-too-hot summer?
I spent a hundred dollars on a family season pass to the public pool, and by golly we’ve gotten our money’s worth out of that. The pool unfortunately closed early for emergency repairs, but up till this week we went 2-4 times per week. Kept us from spending money on other activities for summer-bored children, so I think we came out ahead.
Plus, all three of the kids can swim now. Abby knew how but she wasn’t confident, and both Jonah and Maggie learned on their own this year, just from spending so much time in the water.
We’ve also been going to the library a lot. It’s cool there, and I can knit while Maggie plays with the toys and the older kids look for books. I put in an application to volunteer, but it’s been almost a week and I haven’t heard back. What, am I so untouchable as an employee that I can’t even volunteer my time in a public institution which welcomes even the homeless to spend all day there?
Surely I’m just paranoid.
Writing and/or self-publishing goals have fizzled as they do every summer. One thing I did accomplish is to remove my single short story from Smashwords distribution and enroll it in KDP Select over at Amazon. They require exclusivity for several months, but after three weeks it still hasn’t been removed from B&N or any of the other Smashwords distribution channels. I don’t guess it will go live on KDP Select until that happens. Still not sure what I’ll do with Black Veil Angel. I’ll admit, I’ve sort of lost interest at the moment.
But school is right around the corner, and that usually means a renewed interest in writing. Summer is for physical stuff, like building a new door for the shed, purging clutter, shuttling the kids to the snow cone stand. When I have all day to myself my mind automatically slows down, turns inward. Hopefully I’ll be able to make use of it this year.