Sunday, July 29, 2018

The winds are a changing...

Back a few years ago, I didn't publish 11-12 books a year. However, I did make more money with the fewer books I published.

This appears to be the opposite of what you would expect because everyone will tell you the secret to publishing is to publish more.

Now there should be a caveat that the books need to be WELL WRITTEN BOOKS. But given my ratings, I'm comfortable that by the time my books arrive on Amazon, they are in good shape thanks to my pre-readers efforts and my editor's efforts.

However, I have noticed a few changes that are impacting my sales. First of all, promotions used to bring me triple digits for a 99c sale. They also charged much less to buy a slot than they do now. And they would reliably sign me up, whereas now, it's hit or miss.

Now the major promotions only get me 50 or 60 book sales, so once I pay for their promos, I'm still in the red. And the small promos stopped breaking even, last year.

I should observe that since that my books only sell on Amazon, and most of my books are not best-sellers, Book Bub won't promo me. While I've heard authors complain that Book Bub doesn't bring as much as it used to, at least most authors can still make some money, rather than losing money if they can get a slot.

I've some thoughts as to why promotions don't work as well now.

In the last three years, the number of authors has swelled dramatically. Thus, all the major promotional sites significantly raised their prices. This also encouraged new promoters to show up, and some of them were not very honest ones. 

The result was all promoters have upped their prices to a point many of us have no shot to make a dime.

The dishonest promotions caused some authors to stop using them, while other authors just bit the bullet and they continue to pay whatever the price. 

Seeing how much the dishonest promotions were making, the legitimate promotions then raised their prices even higher since there seemed to be no limit to what desperate authors would do to be noticed.

Beyond the excessive cost of promotions, there is also an issue of proof of promotion (did it even go out???) and another problem began to occur: you can no longer reliably secure the date you want.  So instead of getting a good date for a promotion, they will often change your day to a slow day instead with half results.

This year, it all came to a head for me. I had a mass of promos lined up for the first half of the year and NONE of them paid off. So, as of now, I'm off the 99 cent promo train. If you can't afford to buy my books for $3.99, then join KU. Then you can read them for free.

The stress of coordinating dates on Amazon for monthly promotions has become too much work for no payback. I'm better off spending that time writing more books. Writing is pure pleasure!  Promos--a nightmare.

Without question, I will miss those who no longer read my books because they are not priced at 99 cents. However, $3.99 is a fair and reasonable price. It's very close to the price of a Big Mac, and once you eat your Big Mac, it's gone. If you buy my book, you can enjoy it as many times as you wish.

So I hope you will still read me and my many books. Because I love to have my books read and enjoyed.


  1. During the gold rushes it wasn't the miners who ultimately made the money, it was the guy who sold supplies. They charged big bucks for shovels and pick axes and food. The miners worked hard and ended up more often than not with nothing.

    The indie revolution is not much different.

  2. I believe you are correct, but the high priced promos are a problem for all authors, not just the indies.


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