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I'm very firmly in this camp, being deeply reluctant to spend money on advertising. That said, of the two books I've so far self-published (following on from a primarily trad pub career), I think maybe a sixth to a seventh of my overall sales can be tracked to ads, which in my case are just about exclusively AMS in the UK and US. In raw numbers, that's an overall spend since March 2018 of £320 for sales of just over £700. And, of course, that sales figure is for the total price, rather than my slice of the income, so while I've probably made a profit, it's not really much of one for the amount of effort involved.

(I should add here that the above figure is purely Amazon UK. I've barely sold more than a handful of books in the US via advertising in that same time period, and when I say a handful, I mean a handful.)

I've tried spending more in the past - pennies, compared to some of the numbers being tossed around here - but every time I did it didn't prove worth it. I got no extra sales, just more expensive no-sale clicks. I've got decent covers, and spending more on the covers with each new release to get the best quality art I can afford.

So, yeah, reluctant. Mind you, every now and then I read about some guru or other who's handling a whole range of AMS accounts for authors and helping them make money. There are paid advertising promotion services that can supposedly be useful, and help improve sales significantly, but I can see people here and elsewhere are generally leery of them, either because their effectiveness is questionable or because they're insanely expensive.

One in particular, Books Go Social, I've thought of signing up for, but something keeps pulling me back at the last moment (I'm interested in their Amazon ads services and Netgalley access, much less interested in their Twitter accounts and email lists, which they push quite heavily but which, according to some anecdotal evidence I've gathered, are no use). But they're not too expensive, so I may yet give them a go.

Mind you, the fact that advertising accounts for just a sixth or seventh of my overall sales suggests that organic sales on Amazon are a gold-lined pipeline all in themselves. You can perhaps raise visibility using ads, but perhaps, in the end, it really comes down to compelling writing, a cool idea and a good cover.

I keep thinking of a friend who's got a dual trad and self-publishing career (he works for a games company). A while back he put the first in a new series out and due to various life events was unable to give it any support or promote it in any way whatsoever. When he was finally able to check how it was doing, some time after its release, it was in the top five thousand or so on Amazon.com with zero promotion and raking in stupid amounts of money.

The only real rule is that there are no rules.
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Quill and Feather Pub [Public] / Re: The editing blues
« Last post by Simon Haynes on Today at 03:34:57 PM »
How are your hands not falling off?

No idea!

But then it's pretty light work compared to, say, eight hours hammering up old floor tiles.

Also, 10k is a lot, but if you write for 14 hours straight it's not too much per hour.

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Print on demand is not economical for large quantities of books. It's sensible for indies who sell relatively few print books and who do not want to warehouse their own stock based on a mistaken hope that many people will buy them. Large publishers have their own warehouses.
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Bar & Grill [Public] / Re: 50+ words a day...no matter what!
« Last post by Maggie Ann on Today at 01:32:02 PM »
1,104 words tonight. I'm up to 210 pages and 49.4K words. This is turning out to be an awfully long scene. I don't think it's boring. We're at the hostage negotiator stage but it is coming to an end.

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https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/81708-amazon-reducing-orders-to-publishers.html

It's a warehouse space problem. However, cutting back on the number of bestsellers might delay shipments.

My initial thought is: I wonder if Amazon hopes to encourage publisher to use their Print-on-demand platform.

Nope. No way a trad publisher would use POD. It's not cost-effective in the slightest considering the costs (not just the costs indies face, but the overhead of running a physical business) and would probably show a loss. Plus POD printing is a lesser quality for an increased price per item.

This is probably, just what it  says, shifting warehouse space in preparation for holiday shopping. Amazon knows exactly what it has to have on hand at any given week, short of a completely unpredictable variable (which is more rare than people think, often times supply is limited because it can artificially boost demand, especially around the holidays).
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King's output is probably down these days due to his worsening TDS.
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https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/81708-amazon-reducing-orders-to-publishers.html

It's a warehouse space problem. However, cutting back on the number of bestsellers might delay shipments.

My initial thought is: I wonder if Amazon hopes to encourage publisher to use their Print-on-demand platform.
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Writer 101 [Public] / Re: Prologue 'versus' Look Inside
« Last post by TimothyEllis on Today at 11:52:16 AM »
Cussler writes wonderful and fairly lengthy prologues that establishes a mystery in the past that then intertwines with the present-day plot. He doesn’t have to worry about character because his stories always feature the same guy - Dirk Pitt.

That is worth emphasizing.

If you only write one main character, and that name is on the cover, then a prologue isn't a problem in any way, except maybe for Kindle positioning.

When the character is already established, you can do anything.

Reacher is another example.
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What are Amazon doing now? [Public] / Re: Ratings versus reviews
« Last post by alhawke on Today at 11:36:34 AM »
Happened to me too. I wasn't sure if it was an error but it was a high star so I didn't mind.  Grin
As long as they are 4 or 5s, I'm good with it. Just hoping for no 1s
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