Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Why give away the first chapters of your self published kindle book for free

I am a man who eats his own dog food.  That is, I do what I talk about.  Recently I told a friend that a great way to promote your self published kindle book is to give away the first few chapters of your book free.

He asked me, "So can I download one of yours then?"  Cue me changing the subject.  

Luckily I am ugly enough to know when I am being a hypocrite so I spent this morning putting the first 6 chapters of my kindle book; Mr Personal Development into a PDF that you can get here.

Why do this?  Well clearly the idea is that you read the chapters and have to finish the story by purchasing the book.  Does it actually work?

Yes it does.  I have had varying degrees of success with.

Give it a go and see how you get on.  TIP - Put a link to the book in the freebie or they won't know where to go to purchase.

Let me know how you get on.


Monday, 30 July 2012

How should I price my Kindle book?

That my friend is a great question!

It's a tricky business knowing how to price your kindle book.  Questions you might have going around in your head right now are: -

1. Do I go high and get 70% of the revenue hoping that I sell enough to make it worth it? (Internal voice is saying, "70% of $3 is a lot.")
2. Go low and become a best seller making only 30%  ("Please let that happen")
3. Low to start then high? ("I'll get them interested.")

How on earth do you know?  Well the answer is...there isn't a define pricing structure for your books.  But you can determine roughly what it should be and then tweak as you go.  How do you do that?

Look at what others are doing in your genre.  If you work mainly in the fiction/thriller genre like me then likely you might want to price your first book low.  Are you published already?  If not then maybe 99cents is a good idea until you get reviews and people like your book.

Amanda Hocking still has her first Hollowlands book for free on Kindle.  It's the first part of a trilogy and has been a bestseller.  If you don't know her story.....where have you been!  Check out here blog here

JA Konrath prices his books around the $2.99 mark but he is a well known author and has been in the game for a while.  He also happens to be one of my current favourite authors so go check him out.

The point is don't be greedy.  You don't need to be.  You are self publishing and if you book is any good people will but it and you will make money.  Pricing a first book in the fiction/thriller genre for $5.99 might work for you but I doubt it.  Actually I'll cry if it does but good for you.  Will you sell millions of books at 99cents?  Maybe, if it's any good.

I also write in the romance genre under a different name and my books sell for 99cents $3.99 and everything in the middle of that.  I think romance is a hot market by the way if you haven't already worked that one out!

But I give a lot away for free. I don't have the time nor inclination to spend my days promoting myself. You do have to do some of that but I am a writer and I should write.  Right?

See what works and be prepared to change and test and test and test and test.  A god cover helps so does a good description.  That said I have some books that have simple three line descriptions in the romance genre and they sell.  Would they make more if I put a little further effort into those descriptions?

Well maybe...

I have tried many different ways but I think ultimately it's the cover and topic of the book that makes it sell.  I am not saying here don't have a description, oh no no.  I am just saying do a good one but focus on the price changes to see if that makes a difference.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

My big mistake publishing to Kindle and how to avoid it

I'm certainly no big time author (yet) but I have more than a handful of books published on Kindle.  Some sell really well some sell okish.

So you would think I know the Kindle publishing process pretty well by now right?  Well I should.

Should being the word here.

Here is the mistake I made.  All the other books I have on Kindle are short stories, under 10,000 words.  Mr Personal Development is a novella/novel of over 65,000 words.

It was at the time my first 'real' book and I was so excited to actually have it edited and finished.  Well in my haste I went though all the processes of having a cover professionally done, paying someone to edit it and then getting it up on Kindle as soon as possible.  I downloaded it myself, check it and smiled as I thought about all the sales I would get.

And then....

I emailed people to tell them it was live and they could buy it.....

But then......

I read it all the way through and to my astonishment I had uploaded and old non edited version.  Well not fully edited.  So people had purchased my very first fiction book with spelling, grammar and plot errors in it.

Totally unacceptable to say the least!

Grammar being incorrect on a blog post is fine in my eyes (I know the purist out there won't agree but a blog post is a conversation) but in a published book?

Very embarrassing and frankly I was really sorry to all those who had purchased it and probably wondered what the hell was I playing at.

So my tips to you as a self publisher are: -

1. Take your time - patience
2. Have as many of your friends read it for spelling and grammar. Maybe even pay someone to do that.
3. Put it away and re read it again in a month.  Page by page.
4. Once it's published in Kindle check it!  Have a friend read it.
5. Do the above.

Simple list right?  Well yes but if I'd have followed my advice I wouldn't have let thousands of people download an unedited version of my book.