Author Topic: You've Been Amazoned.  (Read 2891 times)

Tiffmeister

Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #100 on: December 13, 2018, 02:06:13 PM »
So,  I've been redoing my business plan all year. I knew something was up, and it had to do with the recategorization in May, then the Createspace Merge into the changes in AMS. Basically, as soon as I started to see I was getting a little bit ahead, the Zon changes the rules. Just like a casino. I once doubled my money at black jack playing at the Nugget in downtown Las Vegas. I was using progressive betting which isn't illegal, and when played with knowing how to play the game, you can win. Plus, the other people at the table knew how to play well, and in an hour, the table was hot. So, the floor boss came over and changed the minimum bet from $5 to $25. And everyone vacated. Yeah, I doubled my money in an hour, but then the casino changed the rules to meet their needs. I knew they would stop the progressive betting, it's pretty easy to figure when they are watching you on cameras. But I did double my money. So, when the min bet was raised, I walked away with my earned money.

So, yeah, maybe it's time to start walking away from Amazon, and it's kind of what I've been doing this year. I have taken my entire catalog of my 3 pen names and gone wide. I'm also turning off my AMS ads. I tried for a few months to see if they ran better, but I think they changed their algos. The spicy romances are just not doing as well. I'm working with other romance writers to do promos and maybe I can get some children's authors to do the same thing. It seems to do multiple author promotions and get the word out that might still be working better. I don't want to earn royalties and give it all back to Amazon in ads. From my costs, that is what is happening, because you pay for the clicks which do not mean they actually buy your book. I can drum up traffic for my book in other ways.

Indies are smart people. We can turn on a dime. The traditional publishers might have the deep pockets to give to the Zon, but I think I'm just going to move on. I still get a lot of my sales from the Zon, but going wide is helping to build up another money stream. I don't want to rely on just Amazon anymore. But then, I've built myself up now from starting out. I used Facebook events, Wattpad, and Twitter to also drum up some reach. You have to watch with FB though. Ads are so much more there.

I don't know. Maybe they figured out there is money to be made from writers just like with a lot of other author services. Sort of how the people that made money off the California Gold Rush were the people that had service skills the miners needed, hotels, restaurants, saloons, doctors, dentists, etc. If everyone has books to sell in the end, it's going to be hard to stand out unless you have some kind of gimmick.

I do miss the good ole' days of price matching, and watching my children's book download 12,000 copies in 2 days. That was in 2012, before the lists got separated. Miss the ole' gold rush days!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 02:09:27 PM by Tiffmeister »
 
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ragdoll

Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #101 on: December 13, 2018, 02:46:17 PM »
Nice post, Tiffmeister.

In terms of sales, I'd love to go back to 2013/2014. Even 2015. Really, any point before page-flip happened.
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #102 on: December 13, 2018, 02:52:25 PM »
any point before page-flip happened.

Page-flip and AMS.
 
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ragdoll

Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #103 on: December 14, 2018, 01:12:25 AM »
any point before page-flip happened.

Page-flip and AMS.

You're right. Since I don't spend on ads, I usually forget what AMS does to me until  I am on one of my book pages and see all the promoted books there.
 

garygibsonsf

Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #104 on: December 18, 2018, 12:42:56 AM »

To me, the big key is living well within your means. WELL within. If you can't survive a 50% drop next month, you're living beyond your authorly means.

That's me exactly. I've always saved as much of my income from writing as I can manage and successfully avoided having a real job since 2007, unless you count freelance editing. I know of one very successful fantasy writer, a friend, who back in the 90s realised he could afford to live in a hotel in Thailand off just the earnings from short stories he was selling to a games company. So he did, for two years. But it was a fraction of the cost of living in a rented flat back home in the UK, with a fraction of the living expenses.

I come from traditional publishing, and the first thing I did with my first cheque was put down a deposit on a house so I never had to deal with landlords again. I now live abroad, but rent the house out through an agency. It more or less pays for itself and the mortgage will be cleared in under ten years.

I keep a huge float of money to one side and try very hard to avoid tapping into it. It's enough to keep me going for a year or two years at a stretch if something happened that prevented me from working at all.


{Fixed quote. t.}
« Last Edit: December 18, 2018, 03:27:52 AM by TimothyEllis »
 

garygibsonsf

Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #105 on: December 18, 2018, 12:49:26 AM »
Quote
The US is very insular at times, with people having very little knowledge or interest of the rest of the world. So a book with a Non-American MC, set in a country which is not the US, often fails to sell in the US, even if performs very well in the UK, Canada, and Australia.

This is my experience. I've only self-published one book, but had numerous others traditionally published in the UK. Despite doing well in the UK, and despite being strongly influenced by many American SF writers, my books were never sold to American publishers while the rights were being sold in Greece, Russia, Portugal, Germany, France and elsewhere. American publishers wouldn't touch them. And now, with my one self-published title, more than 90% of the sales are in the Uk while the book is deep in the boondocks on Amazon US.
 

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Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #106 on: December 18, 2018, 01:18:14 AM »
Quote
The US is very insular at times, with people having very little knowledge or interest of the rest of the world. So a book with a Non-American MC, set in a country which is not the US, often fails to sell in the US, even if performs very well in the UK, Canada, and Australia.

This is my experience. I've only self-published one book, but had numerous others traditionally published in the UK. Despite doing well in the UK, and despite being strongly influenced by many American SF writers, my books were never sold to American publishers while the rights were being sold in Greece, Russia, Portugal, Germany, France and elsewhere. American publishers wouldn't touch them. And now, with my one self-published title, more than 90% of the sales are in the Uk while the book is deep in the boondocks on Amazon US.
I think most people (aside from international bestsellers) sell best in their home country. My sales in the UK, Canada, and Australia together are typically only a very small part of my overall sales; the bulk are in the US. KU reads are a little more distributed, but still predominately US. Short of getting an international Bookbub, I don't see that changing.

To some extent, this is a natural process. Writers from a particular culture are more likely to write books in tune with the readers of that culture. Yes, in some ways the US is insular, but I don't think that's the only factor involved.

All of that said, my first autograph requests (aside from friends) came from Ireland. I do have a very small number of fans outside the US, but I've always thought that was better than nothing.


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She-la-te-da

Re: You've Been Amazoned.
« Reply #107 on: March 15, 2019, 10:22:54 PM »
Quote
But is a mass audience the be-all-and-end-all of creative success?

Depends on who you listen to. Some say you must write to some mythical "market", while others say there are readers out there who want something different than the latest trend. As it's always been, finding the people who want what you write is the problem. For me, having the money to find them is the problem, but nothing's going to change there, so I end up writing what I want, what makes me happy, and letting the rest go. Much better for my blood pressure.
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 
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