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Reynard
November 16th, 2018, 07:33 PM
Hello everyone,

I had an idea to write a series of short stories and publish them on Kendle for free-ish as a way to get myself somewhat established on the store before I publish anything larger, and ask for money. Does this seem like a good idea, are there any downsides to filling your storefront with a list of free/cheep short works? I would appreciate any advice and feedback on this matter that can be provided.

:)

Dluuni
November 16th, 2018, 11:39 PM
Lots of people publish ebooks as their primary or only release form. To an extent, it depends on what you are writing, lots of my library of books I own are ebooks.

How you market changes. Smashwords etc. puts the ebook on all the major markets, including international ones, or Kindle has an exclusive program that puts it into their lending, free, etc. library, which can help boost it up in the analytics and bring in more money, but it has to be Kindle-only.

People do great doing either. The strategy and headaches varies, and you have to learn your audience to figure out which to do; some people have international or Kindle-adverse readers, others get more mileage out of working Kindle's programs. Most people I have heard about start with Kindle and then start experimenting with other markets with their backlist as pieces run out of exclusivity time, it seems like; it's easier to take a book out of one Kindle program than try to hunt the book down after it has gone everywhere.

You do have to figure out how to do a lot of the things that a publisher normally would subcontract out, like cover, synopsis, editing, and so on, and those can have a huge effect on your sales that you have to figure out for yourself.
The breakpoints for Kindle are $0.99 and $2.99. Royalties jump up at 2.99 for whatever reason. Other markets have their own quirks.

Reynard
November 20th, 2018, 05:00 PM
I was just thinking of a way to build a following on Amazon or elsewhere before I published a larger work that I dared to ask money for. I suppose I could try several platforms to see which ones sell better, that is a pretty good idea.

Dluuni
November 21st, 2018, 05:55 AM
Just start publishing. If it doesn't sell, you aren't denting your reputation because people aren't seeing it. As you learn more you can pull it back and make adjustments and re-release. Just grind out good quality work and sell what you can. If you go exclusive, you can put it on KU and people can borrow it for free, and you get paid by the page - but you can build up your ratings and reviews. Your first piece might sell. Assume everything will sell. Use the sales and promos.

Reynard
November 21st, 2018, 04:10 PM
Sounds like a good plan, thanks for the advice. :)

Ralph Rotten
November 22nd, 2018, 02:36 PM
Hello everyone,

I had an idea to write a series of short stories and bublish them on Kendle for free-ish as a way to get myself somewhat established on the store before I publish anything larger, and ask for money. Does this seem like a good idea, are there any downsides to filling your storefront with a list of free/cheep short works? I would appreciate any advice and feedback on this matter that can be provided.

:)



Although giving away free books is a proven way of spreading the buzz, you may be putting the cart before the horse.
A lot of writers rush to publish. They pound out their first book (which is usually crap) and they throw it up on Amazon with the other 70,000 books published that month.
Then they're surprised when it fails to sell.


If you really wanna build a following then write well and market hard.
Also, remember that the first 200,000 words are just practice. Until you hit that milestone you are really more of an unconscious incompetent (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_competence) in the field.
Write, write, and write until you master the skill.

Yes, free books can get you noticed, but typically passive marketing like that does not tend to work well.
There are 2 indisputable rules of professional writing:
1) Books don't write themselves.
2) Books don't sell themselves.


If you wanna sell books, be prepared to actively market your book.

moderan
November 23rd, 2018, 01:41 AM
Write well.
Market hard.
Network constantly.
Keep your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel.

Ralph Rotten
November 24th, 2018, 12:04 AM
If you publish your book via amazon, and sign up for Kindle Unlimited, then you can give away your books for free for 5 days every 3 months. You can also do countdown deals. But the free book giveaways do help to get you noticed.

However: On Amazon everything is about the lists, and when you do a book-giveaway your book goes onto the FREE BOOK LIST. Your position on that list will depend on sales & reviews. More reviews & sales=higher float on the list. So ideally, before you start giving them away you wanna have a few reviews or your book will be so far down the list that no one will ever see it. Amazon is the ocean, and your book is but a single drop.


PS: The book giveaways actually allow you to give away more than one book. Essentially you can make your book free for anything from 1 to 5 days. You only get 5 days total per quarter tho.

moderan
November 24th, 2018, 07:24 AM
Be a complete pain in everybody's ass.

NathanielleC
November 26th, 2018, 05:00 PM
Hello everyone,

I had an idea to write a series of short stories and bublish

You may wish to avoid "bublishing" all together. It's a mistake made by a lot of first time writers. Publishing is something you should definitely look into but don't be in a rush to put something out there. Try to remember that for every Hemmingway and Poe there's a bunch of other people you didn't even know about because they didn't have a movie or TV series based on their lives.

Also, if you value your work, why would you give it away for free? And assuming you give away enough books for free, what's the motivation to buy your stuff once you've put a price tag on it? I could just move on to the next person offering their work for free. And the amount of free content out there far outweighs the people who are selling their work.

Reynard
November 26th, 2018, 05:13 PM
Although giving away free books is a proven way of spreading the buzz, you may be putting the cart before the horse.
A lot of writers rush to publish. They pound out their first book (which is usually crap) and they throw it up on Amazon with the other 70,000 books published that month.
Then they're surprised when it fails to sell.

Good point, I do tend to be a 'Rushing Randy' when it comes to, well, everything in general. A bit of patience and perseverance would do me good. Thank you.


Write well.
Market hard.
Network constantly.
Keep your nose to the grindstone and your shoulder to the wheel.

Indeed, that's probably the best course of action I should take. Thank you.


You may wish to avoid "bublishing" all together.

Very true, as that sounds like some kind of skin disease. Thanks for pointing that out…


Also, if you value your work, why would you give it away for free? And assuming you give away enough books for free, what's the motivation to buy your stuff once you've put a price tag on it? I could just move on to the next person offering their work for free. And the amount of free content out there far outweighs the people who are selling their work.

That's a good point, if my work is good enough then people will fork out a couple of bucks to read it. Plus, if I’m making short stories to just throw out into the either then I won’t give it my best effort.


Thank you all for the feedback. :)

Reynard
November 26th, 2018, 05:28 PM
Also, remember that the first 200,000 words are just practice.

I've been tracking my overall word count for my works, because I'm weird like that, and oddly enough I just passed that number not too long ago. I know that doesn't really mean anything in the grand scheme of things but I have definitely noticed a change in my work over that time, and I believe it's getting better. My POV and World-building is coherent at the very least now. :)

Dluuni
November 26th, 2018, 05:34 PM
Great, next learn editing. I've been studying how to self edit and my writing improved a LOT just having ideas about pacing and such in my head now.

Reynard
November 26th, 2018, 06:45 PM
Great, next learn editing. I've been studying how to self edit and my writing improved a LOT just having ideas about pacing and such in my head now.

Indeed, that is the hardest part. I’ve had to change my methods a bit over the past, as I was editing during the initial draft process, it both slowed me down and got me off track too much. Now, I'm trying to focus on getting a draft done and then going back to edit and revise, which is admittedly much more fun.

Pelwrath
December 3rd, 2018, 05:55 AM
Okay, nice to read this thread but just how do you get yourself noticed for you 1st book? I have a twitter: #vampiresareonlyhuman @sundownersbook I've had it since early November. I follow 21 and have 19 followers.

Ralph Rotten
December 5th, 2018, 01:06 AM
I got noticed by flooding social media about my book. I shamelessly self-promoted on FB, twitter, and dozens of discussion forums (content appropriate forums.)

Shameless self promotion is the key.

moderan
December 5th, 2018, 08:22 AM
I got (barely) noticed by subbing and schmoozing. Publishing other writers probably didn't hurt. Creating a cult of personality is self-promotion, too.

Reynard
December 5th, 2018, 04:33 PM
Creating a cult of personality is self-promotion, too.

It helped get L. Ron Hubbard Published...

moderan
December 5th, 2018, 08:51 PM
Hubbard was already publishing, in Astounding mainly, and not selling all that well, when he came up with the notion of Dianetics and pitched it past Campbell.

Ralph Rotten
December 6th, 2018, 03:28 AM
Getting noticed is not for the meek, not in THIS market.
With more than 70,000 books being published a month, you have got to work hard to stand out.

Start by upping your twitter following.
Join a few writing and book groups on FB
Join online forums that relate to the topic of your book (or find places where your kind of readers hang out.)

...and above all, write a good book. Don't publish it because someone told you it was good, publish it when someone gushes and tells you it was really good. And if they never show enthusiasm for that book, then put it away and write a new book.

Also, don't view other writers as the enemy. Help out fellow writers by retweeting their pinned content, or posting reviews for their books...
We live on a spherical planet, so what goes around will eventually come around. I got many of my early reviews from other writers who I had reviewed or retweeted or helped out somehow. Once I had a few good reviews, the Amazon algorithm floated me high enough to be visible (in the top 10 pages) and people bought my books.
Karma is for-real in this business.

moderan
December 6th, 2018, 01:42 PM
The two-volume charity anthology probably won't hurt that cycle, if true.

Ralph Rotten
December 6th, 2018, 02:34 PM
Good karma is where you find it.
But tis true that no good deed goes unpunished.

Ralph Rotten
December 10th, 2018, 06:09 PM
I always wanted to become a YouTube sensation and use that fame to drive readers to my books.
Unfortunately I look like Deadpool without his mask...so that would not work.
I thought about videos where I only show my hands...but those are ugly too.

Reynard
December 10th, 2018, 08:19 PM
I always wanted to become a YouTube sensation and use that fame to drive readers to my books.
Unfortunately I look like Deadpool without his mask...so that would not work.
I thought about videos where I only show my hands...but those are ugly too.

I'm kind of doing that with my Twitch channel, I'll do some writing or something there that is gradually building an audience. The bright side is that people seem to be able to tolerate my potato head and annoying voice enough stick around. With any luck it might help out with my brand in the long run...


:)

Reynard
December 10th, 2018, 08:20 PM
Hubbard was already publishing, in Astounding mainly, and not selling all that well, when he came up with the notion of Dianetics and pitched it past Campbell.

Good point, but I couldn't resist the joke....

Ralph Rotten
December 10th, 2018, 10:42 PM
I don't think I could write a new religion and keep a straight face at the same time.

Guard Dog
December 14th, 2018, 03:13 AM
I don't think I could write a new religion and keep a straight face at the same time.

Yeah, but if you look like Deadpool, who'd notice?



G.D.