It’s only on Amazon! BOO!
Yeah. Unfortunately, I’ve had to take a hard look at my business and I just can’t afford not to be in Amazon Select any more. I totaled up the sales on all the other platforms combined and it amounted to just under 6%. Even paperbacks have generated more revenue than that. I started re-evaluating the market and came to the realization that I just don’t know what’s going on. I need more data.
So, I pulled the books in the middle of September and enrolled everything (except Light in the Dark) in Select. The page reads more than offset the income from Kobo, iBooks, and Nook combined already — by a factor of ten. I’ve got a marketing plan that will include running some promotional activities, buying ads, and developing audiobooks in addition to podcasts.
I’m giving it six months and then we’ll see if I stay with Amazon. The Nook marketplace is probably going to die. The iBook store is next to useless. In a year there I sold as many books as I sell in a day on Amazon. Kobo was only slightly better, but they’re trying to give Amazon a run. I’d love it if Kobo could become a contender in the rest of the English speaking world. So far, I’ve been unable to gain any traction with them. Google Play isn’t accepting new titles and until they solve the “random discounting” problem, I’m unlikely to list there anyway.
I hate to boil it down to money, but I also have to be realistic. When Select offered nothing of use, I could afford to ignore it. My thinking was that the secondary markets needed time to develop and grow, and that I needed to be in them to grow with them. My ratio of sales in the secondary markets is not growing. It’s shrinking. And now Select is offering new revenues that – at least for the moment – offset those secondary market sales in a huge way.
In the end, it comes down to money. I was willing to leave a bit on Amazon’s table to get into a wider global marketplace, but things have gotten way beyond “a bit” and I had to make a decision that – frankly – I’m not happy about.
But the bottom line is: I have to make a living at this or I have to get a day job.
The next book out should be the first in the new Smuggler’s Tales. It’s due at the editor’s desk November 1 and I’m still fumbling for the story line. Nothing like a good deadline to get my fingers moving.
The next Seeker’s Tale is due at the editor’s on December 1, and a new Smuggler on January 1.
Between the new titles, the changes in market, and the new promotional activities, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep writing.