There seems to be a certain camp in the writing and publishing worlds that feels like selling a novel at $2.99 is somehow devaluing that novel, and novels in general. The idea seems to be that readers will refuse to pay more than $2.99 for novels eventually, and that will somehow topple the publishing industry.
But no one is asking whether readers should pay more than $2.99 for most books. We’ve just accepted that paperbacks are priced at $8.99-$16 and that hardcover books are priced at $20-$30. And so we feel like ebooks should be priced somewhere along that line, too. But does anyone know why a mass market paperback is priced at $9? Or a trade paperback at $16? Or why a hardcover book is $25?
In the 1960s, a paperback book might cost anywhere from 25¢ up to around $.75 or so depending on the length, publisher, genre, author, and specific year (you can find evidence of these prices by looking at old book covers from that era). Now, a lot of these books were shorter than what we’re used to these days, coming in at around 150-200 pages. They were “pocket books”, in their truest sense: they would fit in your pocket. (more…)
Wow, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been self-publishing for ten months now! I hit a big milestone this month: I sold my 1,000th ebook! This is a huge deal to me, since most self-published books never sell more than a couple hundred copies. I’ve also had my best sales month to date.
As far as marketing this month, I’ve been plugging a little bit on Google+ and Twitter, which I know has generated a few sales. And I had a couple of new reviews on Amazon (if you’ve read either of the books and feel like leaving a review, I really do appreciate them!), some of which were really favorable. One of my favorite quotes from a review of The Great Healion Race:
This is not Edward and Bella, living in perfection for all eternity. These are two adults with overwhelming baggage as the ballast for their journey. I especially appreciated how Ms. Chapman allowed her protaganists to be messy, angry and human.
Seriously, that’s one of the nicest things anyone has ever said about my books. Because that’s exactly what I was going for: complicated people who have messy, screwed-up lives, and find a way to love each other anyway.
Below are my sales numbers for this month. I saw a drop in sales for the second book, but a big jump in the first book. Hopefully that will translate to more sales for the second book in the next couple of months. (more…)
This is one of those things I keep hearing from writers, all over the internet. And I have to say that it drives me crazy. Fucking crazy.
There is a time and a place for swearing in writing (and in real life, I might add). Not every character you have is going to swear like a trucker. But some of them might. And if that’s what they would say in real life, then that’s what they should say in your book. Doesn’t matter if what they’d say is “fudge” or “motherfucker”. If they’d say it, it’s your responsibility as a writer to write it. (more…)
This is going to be short and sweet.
I recently came across someone on a forum talking about how they wouldn’t recommend self-publishing ebooks via Amazon because then you only get the Kindle crowd. And my eyes bugged out of my head.
When you self-publish your own ebooks, you can distribute through as many platforms as you like. That means you can publish on Amazon for the Kindle via KDP, on Barnes & Noble for Nook via PubIt!, and on Smashwords for everywhere else. You can also self-publish on your own site or other sites you find (so long as it doesn’t interfere with their terms of service, and if it does, I’d run away from that site as quickly as I could). Let me repeat:
You can publish on Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and elsewhere, simultaneously.
You don’t have to pick just one. These are not publishers who expect you to turn over your rights. They’re distributors. They allow you to publish to particular platforms, nothing more, nothing less.
Do yourself a favor and publish to as many platforms you can manage if you’re self-publishing. Don’t limit yourself!
There’s less than 10 hours left in November (in the EST time zone anyway), and I’m having my best sales month yet for The Steam and Steel Chronicles. I would really LOVE to break 200 sales this month, but I’m still a ways away from that. Not so far that I don’t think it’s possible, though.
But I need your help! If you haven’t bought the books yet, now’s your chance. They’re only 99¢, available for a variety of ebook reader platforms (including Kindle and Nook), and are sure to entertain you (I hope).
Here are the links to buy them:
Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris:
Barnes & Noble | Kindle/Amazon US | Kindle/Amazon UK | Smashwords | Goodreads
The Great Healion Race:
Barnes & Noble | Kindle/Amazon US | Kindle/Amazon UK | Smashwords | Goodreads
If you’ve already purchased them, then please pass along the links to someone you think might enjoy them. Post a link on your Facebook page or on Twitter. Send out an email. Or even buy them as Christmas gifts for family members.
What am I offering in return, you might ask? My unending gratitude. And it will give me more motivation to get the third and fourth books finished (the first draft of the third book is already done, and I’m about 75% of the way through the fourth book). Nothing extraordinary. (Though I am planning some pretty awesome stuff for the release of books three and four…)
See? I’m not at all above begging for sales! I just think it would be really awesome to end this month on an even higher note than it’s already at, since winning NaNoWriMo and having great sales anyway.
I hit the 50,000 word mark last night and have now officially “won” NaNoWriMo. I’ve still got about 8,000 words left to write for the fourth book in The Steam and Steel Chronicles, but I’m going to push to finish it by the end of the month. I’m really loving the way this series is turning out, and hope everyone who’s read the first two books will like the second two.
I’m also going to work on a short story that will fit in between books one and two, and will focus entirely on Stig. Since book four focuses mostly on Isabell, I feel like it’s only fair!
So, I’ll be finishing up soon and will put the books away for a few weeks before I begin editing them, and hopefully will have them out in January or February. I’m aiming to release them about a month apart, and I’m 99% sure that I’ll be pricing both at 99¢ each. I feel like that’s a good/fair price for these books.
Once the series is finished, I’ll also be releasing a print version of all four books combined, and possibly a special, limited edition print book. I’ll keep everyone updated on those.
Here in the U.S., today is Thanksgiving. I’m taking a rare day off of work (I even went so far as to close my email program) and hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my husband’s family and my father. We haven’t hosted a family dinner at our house in a number of years, so it’s a nice change. And a lot less stressful than the first year we hosted Thanksgiving for twelve or thirteen people less than two weeks after we bought our house. That was quite the holiday!
So today I’m spending time cooking and writing whenever I can. My NaNoWriMo word count stands just shy of 39,000 words at the moment, and I’m hoping to push it up over 42,000 today. That will put me slightly ahead. I’m working on book four at the moment. Book three came in at around 32,000 words, though that will probably decrease during editing.
There are a lot of loose ends from the first two books that I’m tying up in the third and fourth books. I left a lot of things open-ended because I knew this was going to be a series, and I’ve had some negative feedback due to some of those things. But I promise that all of it will be tied up one way or another, and pretty much all of it will be explained in one way or another.
Book four is going to be the most adventurous book of the series, and will bring us back to some of the same places we went in book one. Characters that first appeared in books two and three will become vital parts of the resolution to the series (even if they only had cameos in earlier books).
Writing a series is a completely different animal than a stand-alone novel. Especially when they’re being written a year apart. There’s a lot to keep track of, and I think with the next series I’m planning, I’ll spend some time putting together a story bible to keep track of everything.
I guess I should spill the beans on the next series I’m planning. I was going to take some time to work on a gothic romance novel (a complete overhaul of part of a very early novel I wrote, the same one that Steam and Steel was inspired by) after I finished Steam and Steel, but now I’m thinking I’m going to write another steampunk series instead. The working title (and I’ll be coming up with something better before it’s done) is Clockwork Colony. It’s steampunk set in an entirely different world than The Steam and Steel Chronicles, and will take place in India around 1910. It’s going to require a lot more research than other books I’ve tackled, but I’m really excited about it.
This series won’t be a continuous series like Steam and Steel, but instead will be a number of books loosely set in the same world. This means I can write in that world when I want to, and when I have a story to tell, but I’ll have the flexibility to write other things in between, without worrying about alienating fans of the series. I’ll likely start working on this one in December. We’ll see.
Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US, and happy Thursday to everyone else!
Okay, so I was going to mostly stay out of this debate/conversation (with the exception of a brief status update on Google+), but the more I think about it, the more it pisses me off.
I guess I should start at the beginning. Back in April (?), I signed on as a private beta tester of Penguin’s Book Country site. I had been a relatively early member of Authonomy but that site had gone downhill and I was looking for somewhere new to converse with other writers, get feedback, etc. Book Country looked like the place to be.
I posted some work, got some feedback, had some conversations in the forums, and generally found it to be a decent resource. I kind of stopped using it around mid-summer, though, because I had a lot of stuff going on.
This week, Book Country did something that has made me decide to close my account. They’ve started offering self-publishing services.
Now, I self-publish and have no interest in working with a legacy publisher. Ever. And I understand that not everyone wants to take the time to learn to format their own books. That’s fine. What I take issue with, in Book Country’s case, is their complete and utter price gouging. Their pro package, which offers ebook and print book formatting and uploading and basically nothing else that you couldn’t find with some quick Google searching, is $549. That’s FIVE HUNDRED AND FORTY-NINE DOLLARS. I’m sorry, but under what system is that not a total rip-off? (more…)
As of today, I have sold more than 1,000 ebooks since February! This is a big deal for me, as it means over 1,000 sales in less than 10 months, for an average of more than 100 books sold per month.
To celebrate, I’m making Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris available for free for a couple of days through Smashwords. If you haven’t started reading the series yet, here’s a great way to start! All you need to do is enter the coupon code HN48E at checkout and you’ll get it for free (the coupon code expires on the 19th, though I’m not sure at what time). All I ask in return is that after you’ve read it, leave a review on Smashwords, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, or elsewhere if you feel like it. I’m not asking for positive reviews, just honest ones.
It’s said that most self-published books don’t sell 100 copies total, so I feel like the fact that I’ve sold over 1,000 so far this year is a big accomplishment, and one worth celebrating. So, please, feel free to pass this coupon code along to others, or share this post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or wherever else you want.
I’m also at over 28,000 words on book 3 of The Steam and Steel Chronicles, which I should be finishing up either today or tomorrow. Then it’s on to book 4, which will be packed with adventure, more so than any of the other books in the series. I’m really excited about writing it!
I’m still on track for NaNoWriMo this year. I’m currently sitting between 19k and 20k words, and the goal for today is 20,000. So I’ll be there in another hour or so. I have to say, and this might seem a little pompous, but I’m LOVING this book. I love where it’s going. I love the twists the characters have thrown up in my face. I love the new character who has made himself an integral part of the plot.
Sure, there are some spots that will need quite a bit of work (or that might be cut all together) for the final draft, and it needs plenty of polishing, but overall I really love it. (more…)