So recently my life has been plagued by Phil, Prince of Heck, Lord of Insufficient Light – for those not of my generation, that’s a Dilbert reference. Nothing too bad going on, but I seem to get my early mornings piled with what could generously be called “Cr*p that has to be dealt with, and since I’m the antithesis of a morning person, it throws my entire day and this blog off.
Yes, I should blog at night, but by that time I’m usually tired and peevish, and you don’t want me peevish.
This too shall pass. It’s just a short phase, and I hope you’ll bear with me.
Meanwhile, I thought I’d make this post about odds and ends, because there are some things I need to deal with that aren’t QUITE up to a full post.
Mostly these are things I’ve found through indie publishing.
First – publishers were right on one thing: it’s not how close the cover matches your book, it’s how attractive the cover is that sells it. Right now, what I’ve found is that my consistent sellers have an attractive human figure on them. (Because of the availability of such figures, these tend to be female.) I suspect if I were better at cover design I could make an abstract background and a title very attractive. But I’m learning this as I go, and I can’t find books on how to do it. (If anyone has books on how to do it, list them in comments, please.)
Second – YOU MUST link your other works inside books, particularly inside those books you’re giving away. I found that, say, my first ten short stories are “walled off” from the rest. I.e. the rest sells very well, but I only get sporadic sales on those. So I went back and looked. Because I put the first (published, not written) up the same day, I didn’t link them to each other. So, SF and mystery sort of exist by themselves and there’s no incentive to click on the others. I don’t know if ebook readers are lazy or if – like me – they just tend to go with convenience, and convenience means links. BUT you can run promotions till you’re blue in the face. If you don’t have those links in the stories, you ain’t gonna sell them.
Third – some people are stupid. While I was correcting some of the lack of links (and covers. It’s stuff I’m doing as I find the time) I found that my Marlowe mysteries had really low stars. Being a wussy I asked a friend to read the reviews for me. One of them was because they like the musketeers better. That’s fine. I’m not sure it justifies a two star review, though. HOWEVER the other was one star because it’s a short story. IT SAYS IT’S A SHORT STORY ON THE DESCRIPTION. So… I’m also, as I have time, moving “short story” to the first line of the description. Interestingly this was form when the story was 99c and the person complained about paying 99c for a short story. Dean W. Smith says low prices encourage low reviews. We’ll see if he’s right.
Fourth – not only am I getting more money from the higher priced stories, but they’re selling more. A confession, though, I’m leaving my collections at 4.99 which still makes each short 99c. I do this because I don’t mind if they cannibalize shorts sales. I still get more than if I sold each short at 99c, and people get to feel good about “saving” money. Win win. (And I need to slam some more five-packs up. Weirdly, though, the individual stories still sell best. Go figure.
Other notes – like a total dork I forgot to mention that the short story up for free today IS a short in its description. Now can’t fix it till it’s off promo. But now you know ;)
So, here’s the link again: Wait Until The War Is Over.
And my readers, as usual, have been doing stuff –
Martin L. Shoemaker is in this antho: The Glass Parachute.
Craig Allen has a free story: Goodbye Sunshine.
Pam Uphoff has: Comet Fall.
I know there were others, but I didn’t post this for so long I’ve now lost them. Put them again in the comments, and I’ll update!
And now, I’m going to go for a walk, then work.