Tag Archives: Indie publishing

The Black Swan And The Ebooks Marketplace

The Black Swan effect, which I’ve written about before, might be the single most consequential concept of the 21st century. Just my opinion. If you’re interested in the phenomenon, you could read all about it in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, The Black Swan. Subtitle: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

Mr. Taleb suggests that most of the important events in history are Black Swan events, for example, the 09-11-2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. For my other previous posts on Black Swans, click here and here.

Many events of lesser importance, which nonetheless have momentous effects on nations, industries, and individuals, may also be Black Swans.

As Mr. Taleb explains, a bestselling book is a perfect example of a Black Swan, because it’s impossible to predict in advance which book will be a bestseller.   Continue reading

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Editor (Retired):

Is this a great time to be a writer, or what?
The title to this repost from David Gaughran’s blog tells exactly what the post is about, and the body of the post gives all the details about direct selling. No need for further comment from me. But I do have a question.
QUESTION: WordPress.com from the beginning has been almost fanatically opposed to advertising by bloggers. (Sorry WordPress, that’s my ONLY criticism of WordPress.com, which is by far the best blogging platform for me.) I believe WordPress.com has probably always made an exception for selling one’s own handmade goods (I might be wrong about that), and I guess handmade goods might include one’s own handwritten books. My question, David, is how is WordPress.com responding to this sudden surge in blogging by Ebook authors? Was WordPress.com OK with your recent sale of 99-cent books? I gather that you and many others are Amazon affiliates, and possibly affiliates of other booksellers as well. Do you think WordPress.com might crack down on this?
BTW, I tried switching my blog over to WordPress.org a few years ago, to gain more freedom, but found the technical hassle not worth the benefit. These days, WordPress will handle all the technical details of the switch for a fee, so it’s much easier now if you want to pay the fee.

— John Hayden

Originally posted on David Gaughran:

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 (such as readers in Amazon’s surcharge zone) and those readers who can’t buy from the major retailers (e.g. Barnes & Noble only serve the US, and Amazon…

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“You Can Buy Happiness” by Tammy Strobel

Tammy Strobel blogs at “Rowdy Kittens” about simplifying her life, riding bicycles, and living in tiny houses (or as she puts it, finding “fulfillment in less stuff, less debt and less wage-chasing”). Simplicity! I’m in favor of it.

She has a print book scheduled for release in September.  The title is: “You Can Buy Happiness (And It’s Cheap).”

If we had a Pulitzer Prize for book titles, that would be a winner. You can see the cover and read a little more about her book here.  It’s nonfiction, and already listed for preorder in paperback on Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel. I can’t wait to read it. I think I’ll probably order some happiness as well, since it’s cheap. Maybe I’ll buy happiness in large quantities, enough to share.   Continue reading

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The Write It Forward Author Marketing Plan

Editor (Retired):

A fellow writer-blogger asked about marketing. Viola! I immediately happened upon a highly informative piece posted today by Jen Talty over at Bob Mayer’s Blog, “Write It Forward.”  

You can find a ton of valuable marketing information at Bob Mayer’s sites, and if you want, you can buy his books.

Social media seems to be a huge marketing factor, and I would recommend Kristen Lamb’s blog and her book “We Are Not Alone.”

David Gaughran at “Let’s Get Digital” has posted a lot on his personal experiences with marketing, including his sales numbers. On St. Patrick’s Day he ran a marketing experiment (a 99-cent sale) featuring a variety of books in different genres and by different authors. He’s already posted about the results, which were encouraging.

The Self-Published Author’s Lounge is another blog with great marketing info by a number of authors.

What do all these blogs have in common? You can find them all listed under “Books & Publishing” at the top of my sidebar, which you will see to the right. Click on one or all to be enlightened about marketing and other subjects near and dear to the hearts of Indie writers.

— John Hayden

Originally posted on Write on the River:

I don’t really like calling it a marketing plan. It’s more of an organic strategy for connecting to readers. However, if we don’t map out where we’re going, we’re going to get lost. And, during the journey, it’s always good to evaluate where you have been and adjust course accordingly.

Content=Sustainability

Promotion=Discoverability

Notice the order. Content is the number one key to success. I’m not talking content on your blog, or Tweets or your beautiful Pinterest boards. I’m talking your book. Actually, your books because the only way to achieve sustainability is through having more content.

When asked what advice we would give new authors who have decided to go the indie route we’ve always lead it with the idea the author should have 3 books up for sale before really spending a lot of time and money on marketing. Writing good books that your readers will want more of…

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Ebook and Indie Book Self-Publishing Services, Confusing Choices

I’ve run across a handy chart comparing the leading Indie Ebook self-publishing services. It provides royalty rates for each service, but beware: Some services are free, but keep a percentage of the author’s gross sales. Others charge fees.

You might also want to start by reading the post, “Digital Book World Self-Publishing Guide,” which is very concise, but probably doesn’t include any new information. The accompanying chart, which I found most helpful, is here.  

I broke through the 50,000-word barrier on my WIP (that’s Work in Progress, for the uninitiated) a few days ago.   Continue reading

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Writing My First Ebook, A Work In Progress

WORLD HEADQUARTERS OF ‘CONSTERNATION,’ THE BLOGGING, WRITING, AND EBOOK PUBLISHING CONGLOMERATE. Note the unfinished manuscript and miscellaneous research piled on the desk at the bottom left; various diabetes testing stuff on the top shelf, with the dictionary; a bunch of unpaid bills in envelopes on the shelf at top center; a few reference books and family photos on the same shelf to the right; and last but not least, my trusty but obsolete Apple laptop, sitting on a pile of phone books.

Hello again, patient readers. Yes, I’m guilty of neglecting this poor blog. My other blog is a virtual orphan.

My excuse: I started writing an Ebook around the first of November, and the project is about to consume me. Progress has been slower than my unrealistic expectations. I’ve been working almost constantly, sometimes forgetting to eat. Living and working in the same one-room apartment is not the ideal situation. It’s easy to lose perspective and hard to self-regulate. On the other hand, it helps me keep focused on the book.

To answer the obvious question: It’s a work of fiction, approaching novel length. It doesn’t fall into any particular genre. I’m hoping it will be a fast-moving, suspenseful story of political and economic crisis. That’s all I’m going to say about that for now.

Writing a book is more daunting than I thought.

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